Sitting in South Hall, I looked out the window at the stormy whether outside and in the dark room, I thought about the challenges my life was presenting me.
The trees are moaning.
Rain falls from the sky to ground,
And the world is gray.
Throughout this course, evanescence has held similar meanings and representations. Japan’s transition from here-and-now to the Transcendental Order showed evanescence changing for the first time. Evanescence changed from being focused on impermanence and form to progress (Lecture 7/15). This shift develops because Japan now has a global existence rather than a local existence. By competing with the other powers in the world, Japan’s views changed as they see the main difference between all the countries being progress and a lack thereof. More shocking to me than this was the emperor’s new role brought in an idea of an unchanging and lasting essence (Inouye 111). For Japan to accept something as permanent seemed to go against the ideology I had known them to have. This seemed to me as if Japan was becoming less Japan. What made me rethink this thought was bushidō, the way of the warrior. Bushidō, written by Nitobe Inazō, is a book that explains and defines Japan as the way of the samurai. Most interestingly to me is that Nitobe compares bushidō to chivalry (Inazō 34). As a competitive person, I define and compare myself to what is around me. In a similar way, Nitobe is defining the essence of Japanese character with another type of character from a prevalent society. By using another existence to decide what makes oneself different was a concept all too familiar to me. This made me realize Japan’s westernization was just another example of evanescence, yet its retention of form still made it Japan. In fact the comparison to other cultures made it all the clearer how Japan is Japan.