Zhao Meng Cui Buddhism Professor Broughton Mon 6:45pm-9:45pm Ten-Foot-Square Hut The Ten-Foot Square Hut is more of a story book to me rather than any religion related book. Kamo no Chomei describe the arrival of the mappo is complete chaos. First, there is a huge fire broke out on a windy night in the third year of the Angen era(1177) in the capital city.
The fire was spread widely. Houses were torched; people were chocked to death by smoke or burned to death alive. The result of the fire was “Sixteen mansions of the nobility were consumed by the fire, to say nothing of untold numbers of other dwellings.
Fully one third of the capital was destroyed; several thousand men and women perished. ” Second, there is a huge whirlwind hit the capital again in the Jisho ear(1180). Four or five blocks of the city were destroyed. People lost their house, belongings, and lives. The southwestern area next to the city was damaged as well due to the wind moved that way down. Third, the relocation of the capital and changing in politics. New capital was built in a different location up north in the mountain area by the sea. Kamo no chomei was also noticed the persons that he knew were riding on horses like the warrior clans instead of sitting in ox cart.
People were still living in the fear of the fire. Fourth, the hunger comes around the Yowa era (1181-1182). Typhoons and floods destroyed farm lands and grain. It lasted 2 years. Many people were dead and grain were worth more than gold. Fifth, earthquake. Kamo no chomei mentioned the destruction of all temples first time. Last, People’s mind changed. People’s desire of wealth grows. They become greedy. This is the arrival of the mappo to Kamo no Chomei. It’s like everything that is known to people were destroyed and the old believes were collapsed.
Nothing is going to the right direction. Kamo no chomei’s hut measures ten feet square in area and less than seven feet in height. The eaves extend out three feet for firewood and cooking on the east side. There is also a bamboo balcony with a book shelf at the western side. He put an image of Amida and bodhisattva fugen on the north wall. His bed is along the east side of the room. He kept his music instruments and other books at the southwest corner. Nembutsu was his Bhuddhist practice. His problem was that he loved his small hut and the simple life style.
His small hut help him with practice, but it is still consider as mental grasping. “Buddha warn us against feelings of attachment. ” He is still attached to something that would keep him in the samsara. His solutions to his problem are “call upon my tongue to utter two or three recitations of Amida Buddha’s name, ineffectual as they might be, before falling silent. ” My understanding is that he would first do more Buddhist practices as mentioned above “utter two or three recitations of Amida Buddha’s name”; secondly, easy his mind and meditate as in “falling silent”.