Western influence :(

Exploring the Mystic Lakes at high velocity with a friend clinging to my back.

Snow banks
Turn to puddles
Winter’s passing

The move above the line this week left me disappointed. (Lecture 3/6) I feel so attracted to the non-symbolic relationship traditional Japan had with the world due to its contrast with Western symbolism. All of the “progress” that I have made towards a more positive and present existence is undone by the “kind[s] of change that will later be called ‘progress.’” (Inouye 92) Observed from a traditional evanescent mindset, however, how long could that culture possibly last? Was it not inevitable that “lyricism [became] patriotism… and evanescence [was] channeled into increasingly linear paths of development so that all change becomes either progress or regression.” (Inouye 95) Despite it’s geographic separation and carefully managed interactions between Japanese and foreigners, the Western influence hardly failed to taint Japanese culture. (Lecture 3/6). Despite my chagrin for the change, I recognize the transformative properties induced by the outside influence: eroticism, obligation, and physical places of symbolism. The Ryounkaku in particular is a beautiful concept, with each room symbolising a separate country. The moment the ‘big picture’ view of Tokyo was mentioned, I knew I had to see it in my lifetime. I have always been infatuated with the distortion that occurs at the horizon. Childhood trips to the beach had me questioning the perverse meeting of the ocean and the sky, and I wonder now if this indicates a skewed temptation to see what lies beyond. If you are always concerned with the allure of the horizon, how can you possibly be present in the moment? As mentioned before, I am working to improve presence and practice hedonism. This has come at the cost of my discipline. I need to work again to regain it, without “[going] too far. It can well repress the genial current of the soul. It can force pliant natures into distortions and monstrosities.” (Inazo 110) Balance is hard!

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One Response to Western influence :(

  1. Great post! One thing that I disagree with though, is the idea that you can’t long for the horizon and be in the moment. Sure you won’t necessarily be paying attention to the sand under your feet, but longing for something far away doesn’t mean you’re only thinking about the future.

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