A Japanese Thoreau of the Twelfth Century (11)


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16

  • CHAPTER 11


    For many years I lived in the house of my paternal grandmother. When that relation was interrupted [death of grandmother] my health suifered, and I could no longer remain there. Just over 30, I built myself a house to suit my own ideas, one-tenth of the size of my former home. It contained one room, in fact it was hardly a house at all. It had a kind of wall, but a gate I could not aRord. The uprigh-ts were bamboos, the construction was like a shed for vehicles. When the snow fell or the wind blew it was scarcely safe. It was close to the river-bed, in the way of floods and handy for thieves.' There I passed my time reflecting on this world of nothingness. Thirty years and more thus slipped by, during which I surveyed the vicissitudes of my wretched life in relation to events around me. Attaining my 50th Spring, I left my house and turned my back on the world. As I had never wife or child there was nothing to hinder me. I was no oilicial, I had no emoluments; what interest had I in the world ? And soI lay idly five more Springs and Autumns amid the clouds of Mount Ohara.

    When the 60th year of my life, now vanishing as a dewdrop, approached, anew I made me an abode, a sort of last leaf as it were, ust as a traveller might run himself up a shelter for a single night, or a decrepit silkworm weave its last cocoon. This compared with the dwelling I had in my middle period was less than one-hundredth of its size; as I wax in years my lodging wanes in space. It is not an ordinary sort of hut I live in. It measures only 10 feet square, and is under 7 feet in height. As I had no fancy for any particular place I did not fasten it to the ground. I prepared a foundation, and on it raised a frame work which
    I roofed over with thatch, cramping the parts with crooks so that I might remove it easily if ever the whim took me to dislike the locality. The labour of removing, how slight it would be !—a couple of carts would suilice to carry the whole of the materials, and the expense of their hire would be that of the whole building.




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    「A Japanese Thoreau of the Twelfth Century」は『南方熊楠全集 第10巻 』に所収。

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