by Shawn Power
I was watching the snow fall on Friday evening when I realized how deserted the world looked.
Seemingly an apocalypse
The component of this week’s discussion that I found the most interesting was the rise of the samurai. Prior to speaking about it in class I had never really thought about where they had arisen from; I just thought of them as having been there. The fact that they were essentially the unwanted sons of nobles came as a complete surprise (lecture 2/4). The amount of time that they dominated from was also amazing. When you think of a 700 year time period, it’s pretty absurd. The idea of shukke was also very interesting to me. I have often thought that if everything went wrong I could simply pack up, move to some island, and serve drinks at some bar. This idea of shukke, or walking away, seems to coincide with that. Shukke, however, had more uses in Japanese culture than simply getting away. It could be used to as a way to resign from office, or a way to continue working without as much pressure or influence (Inouye 40). Shukke was not looked down upon in Japanese culture which insinuates that the Japanese were not against retreating or stepping down. This is very different from other cultures I have studied, such as the Ancient Greeks, who viewed surrender as the ultimate shame.