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Richard Walker

The Ten Foot Square Hut

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I am in self isolation now for some weeks at least and this is day three. It is an interesting and different experience.

It made me think of one of my favourite books, Hojoki, written in 1212 by the Japanese poet and Buddhist monk Kamo Chomei. After witnessing many disasters such as fires, famines and earthquakes, and suffering personal setbacks at court, he retired to the mountains and lived a simple, largely solitary, and reflective existence, in a hut he constructed for himself, spending much of his time contemplating the impermanence of all things.

The translator of the Penguin edition I own, Meredith McKinney, reconstructed the plan of the hut from Kamo’s description, see the lovely illustration below


Brittanica has a good short entry about Kamo, see 


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