Scenario: while walking, I catch a reflection in a puddle for a brief moment.
Trees and the sky
This week’s lectures about hedonism and the floating world and the idea of perspective and nature were very intriguing to me. As someone who completely believes that selfishness is a good trait and that everybody is selfish, it seems unbelievable to me to think that until this age of hedonism, people weren’t doing things for themselves, spending money on superficial things, and having lots of sex. I was reminded of your earlier lecture discussions about whether or not we would still try so hard in school if our grades weren’t associated with ourselves, to which I quickly answered “hell no.” I truly believe that hedonism is okay, and there isn’t any point in “wasting precious time in the pursuit of anything else” (Inouye 70), but I don’t necessarily mean hedonism as sex, but instead see it as any form of doing what you want. If you want to get good grades or keep learning, then that is your hedonism. It seems that the Japanese at this time realized that they no longer had to care about their “grades,” and yet they still kept many formal aspects of their lives in culture even though they didn’t have to, because they knew that form was still necessary – they liked to learn (in this metaphor). I hope that my views on doing what you love aren’t too associated with loving love, as Saikaku’s protagonist does: “I let myself be swept away to ruin. There was no way for me to stem the current” (Saikaku 159). I believe those are different “loves,” and that the woman actually was too hedonistic.
I’ve run out of space to talk as much about “perspective” and the east vs. west mentality as I had wanted, but one thing I felt when comparing the two gardens shown in class was that when something is so pristine and man-made and well-kept, any little thing that’s out of place sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s the reason why bad CGI in movies is unbearable, and that CGI in general feels weird to human beings. Maybe that’s another reason why I much prefer the Japanese garden to the European one.