Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sunday Quotation

From the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon,
a lady-in-waiting at the court of the Emperor of Japan
towards the end of the 10th century AD.

Things That Give a Clean Feeling

An earthen cup. A new metal bowl.
A rush mat.
The play of the light on water as one pours it into a vessel.
A new wooden chest.

Row in the Bathhouse

Things That Give an Unclean Feeling.

A rat's nest.
Someone who is late in washing his hands in the morning.
White snivel, and children who sniffle as they walk.
The containers used for oil.
Little sparrows.
A person who does not bathe for a long time even though the weather is hot.
All faded clothes give me an unclean feeling, especially those that have glossy colours.


  1. Obviously, she was a female, feminine dame. :)

  2. The only one I'd disagree with are the 'little sparrows'. Mine are very clean - they've been bathing in the puddles all morning.

  3. An interesting glimpse into values of the time period - and those that have endured.

  4. Clean: dew, the world after rain,line-dried bedding, home-raised food

    Unclean: anywhere a housefly has landed, a city sidewalk on Saturday morning, the back of my kitchen junk drawer.

  5. A Clean Feeling: new fabric or wool, a baby's toes, newly opened roses.

    Unclean Feeling: my kitchen after a cooking session, a sickbed, the bottom of the laundry basket

  6. Clean for me is a fresh breeze or new sunlight.
    Unclean is a sticky kitchen counter or old shoes.

  7. clean - freshly cut grass, washing dried outside, windows - after the man with a ladder has called.
    unclean - illness, wet trainers, lank hair on the person in front on a bus

  8. Clean: a house after spring cleaning and getting rid of clutter. Mountain air. A babbling brook that isn't polluted.

    Unclean: soiled diapers, the laundry hamper, a sick bed, and smelly sneakers.

    Why were little sparrows called unclean? Maybe they are like the doves that use my fence to rest on; they leave lots of bird poop.

  9. Cool idea to have a Sunday quotation. I really like this a lot. I'll have to think of my own answers. :)

  10. jinksy - obviously, very female at that. But she would have been.

    When I Am Rich - I see nothing dirty in sparrows either.

    Bonnie - she was a very interesting woman, she said a lot that is still relevant today.

    Pondside - why a sidewalk on a Saturday morning in particular? Not at any other time?

    Arosebyanyothername - funny how we all associate sickness with lack of cleanliness. We should be particularly clean when we are sick.

    Tabor - like your old hiking boots?

    snailbeachshepherdess - definitely smelly, yucky trainers, especially boys'.

    Darlene - Ah mountain air, a babbling brook ..... delicious.

    Schaufensterbabe - Hi there, do come again.

  11. Hi Friko! I think Asians were on to cleanliness way before the western world. We were known for infrequent bathing or disguising body odor with perfumes. I agree with "When I Am Rich" about those cute little sparrows! LOVE xxox

  12. Good morning Friko,
    now close to sunrise,let me think about what was clean and what was not.
    Clean: the kitchen, bath-rooom as well, as the waching machine decided to send the water somewhere else than in the drain.
    Not clean: the playground I used to go to with my son. Can't understand why adult people leave that much trash behind.
    A wonderful week I would like to wish to you.

  13. Interesting post (I disagree with her about the little sparrows) and interesting lists to follow in comments.
    Hope all is well.

  14. Clean, morning after a rain. Nails, after a manicure and pedicure.

    Dirty, some words. Some folks language. Don't ever tell someone ill that it is dirty. I had a patient commit suicide because she felt lung cancer was dirty, because she smoked. Her church made her feel dirty.

  15. Re: Rilke- Amazon UK only have translations - can you recommend title of any original German book?

  16. I find this delightfully quaint. It will give me pleasure for some time to come.

  17. A well interesting post..I loved this..Thanks for sharing ..I am now your follower..:)..Unseen Rajasthan

  18. Margaret - definitely yes to both

    robert - sorry about the washing machine, hope you managed to get it fixed.

    Lydia - thanks for your comment; I'll come visiting shortly.

    Queenmothermamaw - yes indeed, I have been ill too often to consider illness and dirt to be the same.

    jinksy - will do.

    Dave King - thank you, glad you enjoy little quaintnesses too

    Unseen Rajasthan - thank you for joining me; I have visited you before via robert and will certainly come and say hello in person..


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