I did not have a poetic experience this week.
Week two of Japanese Culture had us discussing the ideas presented during week one, but in a more focused way. For instance, we touched again on the basic principles of Japanese religion and animism, (Lecture 2) making sure to note “nonsymbolic reading of symbols” (Class, 1/30). I believe the Professor said something along the lines of “if you don’t get this, you won’t get the entire semester.” So it’s pretty important. After that, we moved along to the history of Japan, and how it was shaped from Utsusemi to Hakanasa to Mujo. (Inoye, 26-27) And this transformation (both cultural and religious) was described in later pages, with an emphasis on Heian writing. (Inoye, 34-35) Finally, after the overview of time, place, and general concepts, we read some of the writing on our own. The writing in As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams focused upon a woman’s exploration of herself and her religion through dream and poem(Bridge, 34, 63, 82). Of particular note is the overall trend of her writing that goes from expanative to evanescent as she grows older.(Bridge, 102+). I was shocked at how short the thing was. (34 chapters, 80 small pages) An entire life, and she only made this many journal entries?!