1 Hanyao Zhang

1 Zhang Hanyao

Having dinner at Dewick, seating besides the window and noticing it started to snow again.

Snow falls


All covered.


The shell of cicada can be one example to show the evanescence of nature. It is “empty, frail, and quickly passing” (Inouye, 19). However, the cicada, no matter how many times it sloughs, is a cicada. Each Cicada behaves in different way but it sloughs and reproduces each year. Each of them follows the same pattern – the form of nature. This idea of evanescence and form is also interpreted in Japanese religion. In Joseph Kitagawa’s “A Past of Things Present”, it mentioned “… everything within it (Japanese nonsymbolic religion) is not as the representations of kami but as kami.” (Kitagawa, 45). Different from other symbolic religions such as Buddhism and Christianity, Japanese religion needs the participation of nature. This participation brings the evanescence. The sacred tree (himorogi) follows the pattern of seasons: flourished in the summer and faded in winter. The sacred rock (iwasaka) is polished by wind and rain, changing its appearance each day. Moreover, there is also form in this religion, such as the Shimenawa need to be put on the sacred creature, the respect and sincere attitude towards the kami. I found this really interesting – the evanescence of kami – the animation of the nature. When I first time look at the title “Evanescence and Form”, I thought the meaning of two words are opposed to each other however, after two classes and some readings, I realized they can not be separated from each other. “Formality affirms the potential chaos of evanescence”  (Inouye, 2) and the evanescence follows in certain form.  I can not wait to have more discussions about it in following classes.


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