Week 2 : Hakanasa to Mujo

Thinking about Hakanasa to Mujo

By Song

I got various colored roses as a present from my friend yesterday, so I put them in a vase to appreciate their beauty.


Roses in a vase

Already withering


In the second week, Professor Inouye taught various concepts of the Japanese culture to us. When he talked about Kami, it especially interested me. Kami is simply “God”, and it means all things are awesome, worthy of reverence. (44)  Everything can be Kami, so nature and space can be sacred, spiritual, and visible. For these reasons, I think that Japanese people have a sense of awe toward nature. Everything has a soul. (Lecture 1/30) This idea is similar with the movie Avatar’s main concept that humans have to be in communion with nature.  We also mainly discussed the Japanese fundamental Buddhist notions: Anitya, Duhha, and Anatman. Anita and the Japanese evanescence (Mujo and Hakanasa) have something in common. Those both have the idea that all things are constantly changing. (Lecture 1/30) Lastly, we learned about Heian classics. As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams is a Heian woman’s understanding of the world of change. (Inouye 25) Japanese people idealize their lives and love like a dream. I think it is romantic. I also sometimes dream an imaginary love by myself. It is little unrealistic, but not useless because in my dream world at least I could realize my hidden desire. When I read Sources of Japanese Tradition, I learned how to solve my sin and desire in a meaningful way. I found out that, “The religious life starts with an awareness of one’s sins and the desire to atone for them. It is reason which enables us to surmount these failings, and the highest expression of the triumph of reason is in an act of self-sacrifice.” (Tsunoda, de Bary, Keene 95) Human always sin in their lives, but we can learn how to atone for our wrongs through the Japanese Buddhism.

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