I like the relaxed way in which the Japanese approach religion. I think of myself as basically a moral person, but I'm definitely not religious, and I'm very tired of the preachiness and obsession with other people's behavior characteristic of many religious people in the United States. As far as I could tell, there's nothing preachy about Buddhism. I was in a lot of temples, and I still don't know what Buddhists believe, except that at one point Kunio said 'If you do bad things, you will be reborn as an ox.'This makes as much sense to me as anything I ever heard from, for example, the Reverend Pat Robertson.
Too lazy to be ambitious,I let the world take care of itself.Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?Listening to the night rain on my roof,I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.
To be pleasant, gentle, calm and self-possessed: this is the basis of good taste and charm in a woman. No matter how amorous or passionate you may be, as long as you are straightforward and refrain from causing others embarrassment, no one will mind. But women who are too vain and act pretentiously, to the extent that they make others feel uncomfortable, will themselves become the object of attention; and once that happens, people will find fault with whatever they say or do; whether it be how they enter a room, how they sit down, how they stand up or how they take their leave. Those who end up contradicting themselves and those who disparage their companions are also carefully watched and listened to all the more. As long as you are free from such faults, people will surely refrain from listening to tittle-tattle and will want to show you sympathy, if only for the sake of politeness. I am of the opinion that when you intentionally cause hurt to another, or indeed if you do ill through mere thoughtless behavior, you fully deserve to be censured in public. Some people are so good-natured that they can still care for those who despise them, but I myself find it very difficult. Did the Buddha himself in all his compassion ever preach that one should simply ignore those who slander the Three Treasures? How in this sullied world of ours can those who are hard done by be expected to reciprocate in kind?
The bond between husband and wife is a strong one. Suppose the man had hunted her out and brought her back. The memory of her acts would still be there, and inevitably, sooner or later, it would be cause for rancor. When there are crises, incidents, a woman should try to overlook them, for better or for worse, and make the bond into something durable. The wounds will remain, with the woman and with the man, when there are crises such as I have described. It is very foolish for a woman to let a little dalliance upset her so much that she shows her resentment openly. He has his adventures--but if he has fond memories of their early days together, his and hers, she may be sure that she matters. A commotion means the end of everything. She should be quiet and generous, and when something comes up that quite properly arouses her resentment she should make it known by delicate hints. The man will feel guilty and with tactful guidance he will mend his ways. Too much lenience can make a woman seem charmingly docile and trusting, but it can also make her seem somewhat wanting in substance. We have had instances enough of boats abandoned to the winds and waves.It may be difficult when someone you are especially fond of, someone beautiful and charming, has been guilty of an indiscretion, but magnanimity produces wonders. They may not always work, but generosity and reasonableness and patience do on the whole seem best.
His smiling face revealed a love too strong to be kept inside, but the feelings obviously rising inside him kept him from looking directly at Kikunojou. He gazed instead at Kikunojou's clear reflection on the water.
Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning.
Real haiku is the soul of poetry. Anything that is not actually present in one's heart is not haiku. The moon glows, flowers bloom, insects cry, water flows. There is no place we cannot find flowers or think of the moon. This is the essence of haiku. Go beyond the restrictions of your era, forget about purpose or meaning, separate yourself from historical limitations—there you will find the essence of true art, religion, and science.
When composing a verse let there not be a hair's breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.
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From the moment of my birth, I lived with pain at the center of my life. My only purpose in life was to find a way to coexist with intense pain.
I have been brought up in a world dominated by honor. I have known neither crime, poverty, nor betrayal, and here I taste hatred for the first time: it is sublime, like a thirst for justice and revenge.-the girl who played go
A feeling of liberation should contain a bracing feeling of negation, in which liberation itself is not negated. In the moment a captive lion steps out of his cage, he possesses a wider world than the lion who has known only the wilds. While he was in captivity, there were only two worlds to him; the world of the cage, and the world outside the cage. Now he is free. He roars. He attacks people. He eats them. yet he is not satisfied, for there is no third world that is neither the world of the cage nor the world outside the cage. Etsuko however, had in her heart not the slightest interest in these matters. Her soul knew nothing but affirmation.
Just as there is an archetype of woman as the object of man's eternal love, so there must be an archetype of her as the object of his eternal fear, representing, perhaps, the shadow of his own evil actions.
Psychologically, Japanese women depend largely on each other. In their sex-segregated society, they could be criticized for living in a female ghetto, and yet they have what some American feminists are trying to build, a ”women’s culture” with its own customs, values and even language.
During the reign of Domitian (81-96 A.D.), Christians in Asia Minor were severely oppressed. The book of Revelation was likely written at this time to encourage them not to apostatize and not even to compromise their faith. No doubt some believers felt that they could meet the demands of the state without denying their master. They could argue that calling Christ 'Lord' and calling Caesar 'Lord' were not in conflict, since the term Lord could mean Sir as well as God. And as far as the Roman government was concerned, what people believed in secret made no difference so long as they observed the outward ceremonies required by law.
Toyohiko Kagawa, famed for his ministry to slum-dwellers, paid tribute to all three of Japan's major religious traditions. 'I am grateful for Shinto, for Buddhism, and for Confucianism,' he wrote. To Shinto he attributed his spirit of reverence; to Buddhism, his craving for transcendent values, including compassion and selflessness; to Confucianism, his efforts to follow the golden mean of humaneness and harmony in society. Kagawa saw Christ in the priestly robes of all these religions.
Tea followers were among the earliest converts to the Christian faith. Takayama Ukon, a daimyo turned ardent evangelist, was a disciple of Sen no Rikyu, the preeminent tea master of all time. After Christianity had been banned - Takayama was exiled to the Philippines - underground Christians cherished the tea ceremony as the only opportunity to assemble without arousing suspicion on the part of the authorities. It proved to be a fitting substitute for Holy Communion; even in its Zen context the rite symbolized the giving of oneself. For Christians liable to detection and torture because of their outlawed faith, it was a solemn reminder that Christ had willingly given his life for them. Some of the cups were boldly inscribed with a cross. So it is little wonder that some Japanese Christians have envisioned their Lord in the graceful robe of a Zen tea master.
The blue of the sky is one of the most special colors in the world, because the color is deep but see-through both at the same time.
No, I don't want your money. The world moves less by money than by what you owe people and what they owe you. I don't like to owe anybody anything, so I keep to myself as much on the lending side as I can.
Read Hearn, the most eloquent and truthful interpreter of the Japanese mind, and you see the working of that mind to be an example of the working of Bushido.
I really hope that the Japanese are going to stop demonstrating to the world what man-made radiation does to people.
For everything sacred has the substance of dreams and memories, and so we experience the miracle of what is separated from us by time or distance suddenly being made tangible.
The better you were able to imagine what you wanted to imagine, the farther you could flee from reality.
I mutter and mutter and no one to listen. I speak my words in Japanese and my daughter will not hear them. The words that come from our ears, our mouths, they collide in the space between us.Obachan, please! I wish you would stop that. Is it too much to ask for some peace and quiet? You do this on purpose, don’t you? Don’t you! I just want some peace. Just stop! Please, just stop.Gomennasai. Waruine, Obachan wa. Solly. Solly.Ha! Keiko, there is method in my madness. I could stand on my head and quote Shakespeare until I had a nosebleed, but to no avail, no one hears my language. So I sit and say the words and will, until the wind or I shall die. Someone, something must stand against this wind and I will. I am.
Within two or three years of World War II's end, starvation had been basically eliminated in Japan, and yet the Japanese had continued slaving away as if their lives depend on it. Why? To create a more abundant life? If so, where was the abundance? Where were the luxurious living spaces? Eyesores dominated the scenery wherever you went, and people still crammed themselves into packed commuter trains each morning, submitting to conditions that would be fatal for any other mammal. Apparently what the Japanese wanted wasn't a better life, but more things.
You know Americans...Self-improvement. No matter who or what we are, we're always working on ways to become somebody else.
What I always say is that Japanese are like willow. We can be bent easily, but once you try to break us, it would not be so easy.
If automating everything makes people lazier and lazier, and laziness leads to stupidity, which it does for most people, judging by the current content circulating the social networks everywhere, except North Korea, where they don’t have any internet to speak of - at some point the Japanese robots, for which a market niche is currently being developed, with no concerns on how they should be designed to act in society or outside it - will have no choice, but to take everything over, to preserve us from ourselves…
To study the self is to forget the self. Maybe if you sat enough zazen, your sense of being a solid, singular self would dissolve and you could forget about it. What a relief. You could just hang out happily as part of an open-ended quantum array.
The Japanese have two words: uchi meaning inside and soto meaning outside. Uchi refers to their close friends, the people in their inner circle. Soto refers to anyone who is outside that circle. And how they relate and communicate to the two are drastically different. To the soto, they are still polite and they might be outgoing, on the surface, but they will keep them far away, until they are considered considerate and trustworthy enough to slip their way into the uchi category. Once you are uchi, the Japanese version of friendship is entire universes beyond the average American friendship! Uchi friends are for life. Uchi friends represent a sacred duty. A Japanese friend, who has become an uchi friend, is the one who will come to your aid, in your time of need, when all your western friends have turned their back and walked away.
I am a lonely man,' Sensei said. 'And so I am glad that you come to see me. But I am also a melancholy man, and so I asked you why you should wish to visit me so often.
When I went on anyway, my body began to grow cold, and I thought I was dead. Face pale, my dead self sat down on a bench and began to turn toward my real self, who was watching this hallucination on the screen of the night. My dead self came nearer, just as if it might want to shake hands with my real self. That's when I panicked and tried to run. But my dead self pursued me and finally caught me, entered me and controlled me. I'd felt then just the way I felt now. I felt as if a hole had opened in my head from which consciousness and memory leaked out and in their place the rash crowded in, and a cold like spoiled roast chicken. But that time before, shaking and clinging to the damp bench, I'd told myself, Hey, take a good look, isn't the world still under your feet? I'm on this ground, and on this same ground are trees and grass and ants carrying sand to their nests, little girls chasing rolling balls, and puppies running.