The Use of Simele in Hōjōki

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Attaya Suwanrada


Hōjōki is a famous Japanese literary work written in 1212 by Kamo no Chōmei. The first half of this work depicts the impermanence of life through the description of various disasters such as fire whirlwind, famine and earthquake. The second half describes the peacefulness of ordination and living in solitude. In Hōjōki, there are many examples of figurative expression, especially simile. This article aims to analyze the characteristics of the use of simile in Hōjōki. From the study, it is found that there are examples of using simile to convey images of concrete objects and to symbolize abstract things, especially impermanence. The author often uses natural elements, such as rivers, waves, clouds, and the moon, as parables which help to enhance the reader’s imagination. It also reflects the emotions and thoughts of the author who lived by the river surrounded by nature.


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