By Charles Shirō Inouye (auth.)
This booklet explores the japanese proposal of hakanasa - the evanescence of all issues. Responses to this concept were quite a few or even contradictory: asceticism, fatalism, conformism, hedonism, materialism, and careerism. This ebook examines the binds among an epistemology of continuous swap and Japan's formal emphasis on etiquette and visuality.
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Extra resources for Evanescence and Form: An Introduction to Japanese Culture
In other words, this tendency is not merely an observation and a noting of things evanescent, but something more direct and heartfelt. By Tsurayuki’s day, such lyricism yielded a highly formalized reality. To state the point more mechanically, the algorithm is this: a change of environment or situation results in a corresponding change of emotion. In sum, the changing world makes me feel this and that emotion. ” Poetry comes lyrically, or “without exertion,” because people were not yet supposed to be separated from the animistic roots of the world that animated them.
46 But the insistence with which the Japanese posit a transcendental realm of eternal beings and values is significantly weakened by the strong pull of the real as inherently changeable. Japan’s early poets linked utsusemi and reality (utsutsu). Utsusemi was closely associated with another similar sounding epithet, utsusomi, which served as a modifier for a very similar constellation of nouns: world, person, and life. Utsusomi occurs five times in the Man’yˉoshˉ u. 47 In fact, the sounds “utsusemi” and “utsusomi” were so close that, over time, the one epithet became conflated with the other.
He cannot help seeing them. The verb, to look up, is normally miageru. 82 As a spontaneous expression, miageraretaru highlights Genji’s sensitivity to each and every nuance of his environment. The space of the soon-to-be-haunted house fills him with foreboding. What might have been “he looked up” becomes “his eyes could not help but be drawn to” as evanescence and form resonate portentously. In sum, Genji’s reaction is passive, automatic, and natural, where “natural” means having a formal response to an evanescent situation.
Evanescence and Form: An Introduction to Japanese Culture by Charles Shirō Inouye (auth.)