Author Archives: Lauren Traitz

9 Traitz Lauren

In both Grave of the Fireflies and Summer Flowers, we gain access (superficial access, since it is impossible for any of us to truly place ourselves in such a world) to a reality in which people are surrounded by suffering … Continue reading

Posted in Week 9: New Kind of Nothingness | Leave a comment

8 Traitz Lauren

Humanity appears most unrecognizable at war and yet there seems to be something about us that allows for the same behavior to be reproduced in countless tragedies – the Rape of Nanking, the Holocaust, the My Lai Massacre, etc. Any … Continue reading

Posted in Week 8: In the Chaotic Margins of Formal Space | Leave a comment

7 Traitz Lauren

This week we discussed the introduction of foreign influence, the transition towards Japan getting a sense of itself from the outside and the accompanying difficulty of developing an idea of what it means to be Japanese. With Bushido, it seems … Continue reading

Posted in Week 7: Bushido and the Transcendental Order | Leave a comment

6 Traitz Lauren

What I thought about most while reading this week is our tendency to place ourselves within a narrative. Perhaps, as Professor Inouye suggests, this habit of seeing our lives as a protagonist’s role in a story flows from the development … Continue reading

Posted in Week 6: The Order of Here and Now | 1 Comment

5 Traitz Lauren

“Mono no aware,” as explained by Professor Inouye and Momokawa, is the complex combination of the sadness that naturally accompanies recognition of powerlessness and the gaiety, and often vivacity, that results from the compartmentalization of this realization. In describing the … Continue reading

Posted in Week 5: Hedonism, Mono no Aware, Monstrosity | Leave a comment

4 Traitz Lauren

  This week I want to write about the Thomas Merton reading because both the claims made in Zen and the Birds of Appetite and Zen in general resonate with me deeply. Throughout the book, Thomas Merton claims that the … Continue reading

Posted in Week 4: Nothingness | Leave a comment

3 Traitz Lauren

  This week’s discussion regarding shukke or “leaving the house” made me think deeply about if I possess the drive to depart, to disconnect from those conditional features – school, family, money, politics ­­– which seem so constricting and yet, … Continue reading

Posted in Week 3: Failure, Success, and Leaving the World | Leave a comment

1 Traitz Lauren

I was walking to class in the evening on a foggy day and had just reached the Academic Quad. I emerge on top of the hill covered in mist, the heart of a cloud. From our initial exploration into Japanese … Continue reading

Posted in Week 1: Shell of the Cicada | Leave a comment

2 Traitz Lauren

I was in the Middlesex Fells this weekend and, after crossing over a hill, I walked down into a snow-covered valley in the heart of the reservation. A ring of leafless trees, silence and snow, nothing else. In Evanescence and … Continue reading

Posted in Week 2: From Hakanasa to Mujo | 2 Comments