It all struck me as very odd. But my intention in visiting him was not to study or analyze Sensei, so I let it pass. In retrospect, I particularly treasure my memory of that response to Sensei. Because of it, I think, I was able to achieve the real human intimacy with him that I later did. If I had chosen to turn the cool and analytical eye of curiosity on Sensei’s heart, it would inexorably have snapped the bond of sympathy between us. At the time, of course, I was too young to be aware of any of this. Perhaps that is precisely where its true value lies. If I had made the mistake of responding less than guilelessly, who knows what might have befallen our friendship? I shudder to think of it. The scrutiny of an analytical eye was something Sensei always particularly dreaded.
from Soseki Natsume “Kokoro (Translated by Meredith McKinney)”
Uji, Kyoto, Japan in May 2015.
Yes, Japan to her shame was aggressor in war both in China and America and this ending was brought upon us for this reason. But I think worst thing is use of split atom, human discovery of nature’s secret, to destroy. Perhaps if possible. You asked me, what is Japanese idea of sin. For Japanese there is no original sin. In Buddhism, belief is that human in original state is pure and our effort should be no return to the pure nature.
The next day Miss Ota, Barbara, and Keiko set out for Matsue in Keiko’s car. Miss Ota suggested they visit an ancient Inari shrine. “You will be particularly interested, I think, Barbara-san, with your curiosity about our Japanese fox.” As they walked along a canal lined with pine trees, Barbara thought of Ko walking here; this was the place where Michi’s story began. She paused, looking down at the reflection of pine branches and her face in the water. Michi would be glad she’d come. A legacy. Sheffield the words settle into her.
from Angela Davis-Gardner “Plum Wine”
The Lake Shinji, Matsue, Shimane in October 2014.