Hobutsu shu (A Collection of Treasures) (宝物集)

Hobutsu shu is a Buddhist setsuwa (anecdotes) collection from the end of the Heian period. The author was TAIRA no Yasuyori.
It is also known as 'Yasuyori's Collection of Treasures.'
It was written during the Jisho period (1177-1181).

There are different texts of 1, 2, 3 and 7 volumes, and the contents are extremely different between them. It is said that the one volume text is closest to the original. It is written in the form of a dialogue between a monk and a layman at the Saga Shakado (Shaka Hall) in Seiryo-ji Temple, where in the course of citing a large number of setsuwa, they discuss how Buddhist law is the greatest of all treasures.

It can largely be divided into 4 parts, with parts 1 and 2 acting as a kind of introduction when taken as a whole.
The discussion about 'what is the most precious treasure in the world?' starts from part 3, and by the end of part 4, they have decided that 'the greatest treasure is simply the Buddhist law.'
It preaches that things commonly regarded as precious have both merits and demerits, and while they can make people happy, they can also make them unhappy, so above all else is the Buddhist law that stands aloof from the trivialities of life.

The author TAIRA no Yasuyori (Buddhist name, Shosho) was a member of the Northern Guard for the retired emperor Goshirakawa, and was also appointed to the Imperial Police and the gate guards at the same time, however, in 1177, he was exposed as a participant in the Shishigatani plot (a failed uprising against the rule of Taira no Kiyomori), and was exiled to Kikaigashima island (Iwojima island off the Satsuma coast), although he was recalled to Kyoto the next year in an amnesty due to Empress TAIRA no Tokuko's healthy childbirth. After that, he lived in Sorin-ji Temple in Higashiyama (Kyoto Prefecture), where he compiled this setsuwa collection.

It is included in Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei (published by Iwanami Shoten), a collection of classical Japanese literature.

[Original Japanese]