Shawn Power


Nothing the week

The idea of evanescence and form, or structure, in Japanese culture has been somewhat confusing for me. I guess the only way that I understand the concept is through the line, “In Japan, formality affirms the potential chaos of evanescence..” (Inouye 1). To me this seems to say that the relationship between evanescence and form is a balancing act of sorts. The way I understand it is that the Japanese embrace the “fleeting …unpredictable” nature of life and counteract the lack of control they have over things with rigorous form and tradition. I also had some difficulty understanding the concept of animism. I only came to fully understand the “non symbolic readings of symbols” (lecture 1/24) when I spoke to professor Inouye after class. The way I came to understand it is that a cross is a symbol the represents Christianity whereas a sacred tree does not represent anything other than itself. The tree is sacred; it is not representing something greater than itself. Being a Catholic this concept is very foreign to me because nearly everything in Catholicism is representing God, Jesus, or something of greater importance.

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