It is a joyful thing indeed to hold (1) intimate converse with a man after one's
own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the
world; but such, alas, are few and far between. Not that one desires (2) a companion
who will sit opposite and never utter a word in contradiction—one might as well
be alone. Far better in hours of loneliness the company of one who, while he will listen
with respect to your views, will disagree a little, and argue, saying "Yes, that is so, but..."
or "For this reason such and such is the case." And yet, with those who are not of the
same way of thinking or are contentious, a man can discuss only things of passing
(3) interest, for the truth is there must not be any wide gulf between (4) bosom
 Though the breeze blow not, the flower of the heart of man will change its hue.
Now looking back on months and years of intimacy, to feel that your friend, while you
still remember the moving words you exchanged, is yet growing distant and living in a
world apart—all this is sadder far than partings brought by death.
 Although some will say, "After all this time, why stand on ceremony?" I myself feel
that it is a sign of genuine and proper feeling when even the most inseparable friends
treat one another, if the occasion demands, with due reserve and decorum. On the
other hand, it is sometimes well for people who are not intimate to speak freely. (5)
Reading and Writing
 (6) To while away the idle hours, seated the livelong day before the ink slab,
by jotting down without order or purpose whatever trifling thoughts pass through
my mind, truly this is a queer and crazy thing to do!
 It is desirable to have a knowledge of true literature, of composition and versifying,
of wind and string instruments; and it is well, moreover, to be learned in precedent
and court ceremonies, so as to be a model for others. One should write not unskillfully
in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music;
and, lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him. (7)
 To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate
converse with men of unseen generations—such is a pleasure beyond compare.
Fondness for Women
 (8) However gifted and accomplished a young man may be, if he has no fondness
for women, one has a feeling of something lacking, as of a precious wine cup without
a bottom. Admire the condition of a lover! Drenched with dews and frosts and
aimlessly wandering; ever concerned to shun the world's reproof and escape his parents'
reproaches; hither and thither pursued by doubt and distress; and spending his nights
withal sleepless upon a solitary couch.
 But it is well that a man do not become addicted to (9) lewdness, a constant
and familiar companion of women.
 Of all things that lead astray the heart of man there is nothing like (10) fleshly
lust. What a weakly thing is this heart of ours. Though a perfume, for example,
is but a transient thing, and though he knows full well that incense is burned to give
an odor to garments, yet a man's heart will always be stirred by a vague perfume. (11)
 The Magician of Kume, the legend runs, lost his magic power through looking at a
maiden washing clothes. This may well have been, for here was no charm from without,
but the real beauty of plump and glistening limbs.
 It is well for a man to be frugal, to abstain from luxury, to possess no treasure nor
to covet this world's goods. Since olden times there has rarely been a sage who was
 In China there was once a man called Hsu Yu. He had not a single possession in the
world. he even scooped up water with his hands, until a friend gave him a gourd. But
one day, when he had hung it from a branch, it rattled in the (12) wind; whereupon,
disturbed, by the noise, he threw it away and once more took to drinking from his clasped
hands. How pure and free the heart of such a man.
Kenko, Yoshida. "Friendship, 1340 CE." The Tzuredzure Gusa of Yoshida No Kaneyoshi. Translated by George Sansom ed. N.p.: Asiatic Society of Japan Transactions, 1911. 39. Humanistictexts.org. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
What is the main idea of paragraph one?