Saturday, August 9, 2008

How To Collect Mac Brushes

not fooling Yamato (Japanese spirit) yamatodamashii (âme japonaise)

The word yamatodamashii (やまと だまし い 大和魂) is one of the most problematic word of Japanese civilization. It is a word composed of two elements: Yamato (大 和) is the ancient name of Japan, and tamashii (魂) (t the soundtrack is in of the sequence) means the soul. This is the key concept of "national studies (philology kokugaku ) of the 18th century, inaugurated by Kamo-no Mabuchi 贺 茂 真 渊 (1697-1769), which determined the modern nationalism. Do not forget that Japan, whose origin dates back to prehistoric times has been reinvented at this time. The Japanese soul
yamatodamashii was also reinterpreted by the learned Motoori Norinaga 本 居 宣 长 (1730-1801), but the word had a meaning significantly different from the modern sense. I will first give the old sense, before explaining the current meaning. The notion of
yamatodamashii was the opposite of karazaé (汉 才) or simply zae, Chinese mind ( Kara means China and zae mind). The Japanese who were aware that their civilization was very young compared to the Chinese had a large complex to them. Zae was considered the poetic corpus of knowledge and science. But the Japanese Middle Ages wanted to believe they the Chinese were better for their ability to execute. They believed that their continental neighbors had to know, but they did not know well to exercise. So the yamatodamashii meant the practical ability of the Japanese away from the formal knowledge of Chinese.
But the scholars of "national studies" of the 18th century were not happy with their compatriots who were still in love with Chinese culture even a hundred years after the border closure. They wanted to find the origin of the Japanese before the meeting with the Chinese, and they have rediscovered the Japanese myth, which became a reality historic mid-19th century. This false story has been denied by Japan after the Second World War, but some still believe. For these scholars
philological, the yamatodamashii has changed a little sense. Its antonym is now rather karagokoro , heart Chinese ( kokoro means heart). The karagokoro love is the heart of Chinese civilization. Philologists criticized those people who kept to imitate the Chinese. The yamatodamashii no longer understood as the practical ability, but magokoro (the real heart, that is to say, the sincerity), Unknown explained by the scientific spirit zae.
There is another word wakonkansaï (和 魂 汉 才), which is the composite form of these two words. This word meant at first the need of the ability of Judgement ( yamatodamashii ) that accompanies the studies ( zae). He also changed direction after the 18th century. It will clean the soul before the Japanese largely unexplained. This is the actual meaning of the word. It is the Japanese soul, but it is inexplicable.
Since the Meiji period that begins with the enthronement of Emperor unlikely, the Japanese made another word like wakonkansaï . This new word wakon'yôsaï (和 魂 洋 才) means "the Japanese soul" with "Western knowledge". We have completely forgotten the other wakonkansaï now. Western knowledge inevitably lacks depth because it can be explained, but the Japanese soul is sublime because nobody knows what it is!
Thus, philologists of the 18th century discovered the essence of the Japanese nation as "something inexplicable." If the Japanese well-behaved shamelessly say often enough "is Japanese, it's inexplicable," Mabuchi is to blame, blame it on Norinaga.
I do not necessarily believe that these scholars have only hurt the history of modern Japan, but their yamatodamashii reinvented is the scandal of Japanese thought. After the very scholarly and thorough study for several decades, they came to the conclusion: what is Japanese is inexplicable. And the Japanese nationalists may remain on this conclusion without their being any troubled conscience.


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