Ideals of the East ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Kazuko Okakura

Ideals of the East

Tuttle Publishing
Publication date: July 2012
ISBN: 9781462904754
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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Here are the long-cherished ideals of the East with special reference to the ageless art of Japan. Japan, Okakura wrote more than 60 years ago, is a museum of Asiatic civilization, and yet more than a museum, because the singular genius of the race leads it to dwell on all phases of the ideals of the past, which welcomes the new without losing the old. He wrote of that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, which is the common thought-inheritance of Asiatic races, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world. In Buddhism he found "that great ocean of idealism, in which merge all the river-systems of Eastern Asiatic thought—not coloured only with the pure water of the Ganges, for the Tartaric nations that joined it made their genius also tributary, bringing new symbolism, new organization, new powers of devotion, to add to the treasures of the Faith." Asiatic art and culture went hand in hand, and how well Okakura wrote about both! He describes "That constant play of colours which distinguishes the religious and artistic life of the nation, . . . now gleaming in the amber twilight of idealistic Nara, now glowing with the crimson autumn of Fujiwara, again losing itself in the green sea waves of Kamakura, or shimmering in the silver moonshine of Ashikaga—returns upon ushere in all its glory, like the fresh verdure of a rain-swept summer." In writing of the national reawakening, Okakura worried about "that portentous danger with which Western encroachments on Asiatic soil threatened our national existence." This little classic undoubtedly reflects his concern—but it also is one of the best assurances that Japan will remain true to the Asiatic soul even while it nourishes as one of the industrial giants of the world.
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