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June 29, 2014

Hojoki II

When you see the ridgepoles of the impressive houses in Heian-kyo competing to rise above one another--dwellings of people of high status or of low--they look like they might stand for generations, but when you inquire you discover there are very few still standing from ages past.  Some may have burned down just last year, and been rebuilt since.  Or a mansion may have disappeared, to be replaced by smaller houses.  Things change in the lives of the people living in those houses, too.  There may be just as many people, but in places where I might have known twenty or thirty people in my youth, I may only recognize one or two now.  Some die in the morning; others are born in the evening.  That's the way it is with the people of this world--they are like those bubbles floating on the water. KAMO NO CHOMEI