1 Chen Zachary

1 Chen Zachary

Walking to Tisch Library after class, I saw a stranger take a picture of the sun.

The snow-covered ground,

We stand on the hill

And watch the sun set


 The tension between evanescence and form is an interesting one. The poem by Dōgen is helpful in understanding the relationship between the two; while the seasons are always changing and transitioning into the next, there exists a “fixed pattern or form” that marks the changes (Inouye 1). Form is molded from the evanescence and brings about order. If the winter was warm or if the cherry blossoms stayed year round, it would be difficult to clearly say “This is winter!” The practice of koromo gae, the seasonal change of wardrobes, as well as the changing of menu makes sense in this context. To have a specific wardrobe worn no matter the actual weather, and to have a children’s song repeatedly declaring “Spring has come, spring has come” is as important to the form of spring as much as the bird songs and cherry blossoms (Inouye 9). The existence of kata enforces a normality upon hakanasa.


This entry was posted in Week 1: Shell of the Cicada. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 1 Chen Zachary

  1. Hello Zachary,
    I really like your haiku, as I can see the image perfectly. Your drawing is very interesting and I like the shading and detail put into illustrating the cicada shell. I agree with you about the fascinating tension between evanescence and form, particularly in the kata performed in accordance with the seasons. The Japanese enforcing their normality isn’t strictly trying to mandate order in a hakanai world, but is acknowledging it’s evanescence with their practices of form. It’s a very interesting tension indeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *