tale of Heike

sal tree, 沙羅双樹
"Tale of the Heike", a samurai war tale written in the 13th century, is one of Japan's most famous classical literature. Its beginning sentences, "Gion-shoja no kane no koe..." are so well-known that the most Japanese can recognize them as we learn and recite them at high school. In this Tale, you can learn the philosophy that nothing can be immortal or permanent, that is, a view of life as something transient and empty.
A student of mine liked the thought very much. He practiced reciting it many times with his eyes staring at a distance.
I hope he would have an opportunity to recite it before Japanese people someday. They would be deeply impressed.