After midnight, I looked out my window at the park across the street where lights illuminated a trashcan in the snow.
A streetlamp shines
On a bin and hard snow
In the park
My experience learning history has prepared me to search for commonalities across national borders, across time. Over and over the same narratives seem to play out as we hear constantly, ‘history repeats itself.’ I am recalibrating my point of view, moving away from the expectation of learning about, “man-within-the-world,” (Kitagawa, 43). The unique Japanese perspective survived the integration of new belief systems-Confucianism and Buddhism, (Kitagawa, 46)-which demonstrates the ability to absorb change, “Rigidity invites disaster. Flexibility enhances survival.” (Inouye, 6). The operating assumptions of early Japanese that, “the ‘world’ was the world they… experience in the Japanese archipelago,” and that, “the natural world was the original world.” (Kitagawa, 44), appear to have insulated it from the corrosive nature of imported belief systems. The immediacy of the Japanese experience feels dangerous. During a time when people abstract themselves from each other and the world, the statement, “The beginning of Heaven and Earth is today.” (Kitagawa, 58), may as well be inhabited byことだま (Inouye, 24).