[More quote from Soestu Yanagi] beauty accompanied by the nobleness of poverty. The Japanese people have a special word shibui to express this ideal beauty... It is impossible to translate it satisfactorily into one English term, `austere', `subdued', `restrained', these words come nearest. Etymologically, shibui means `astringent', and is used to describe profound, unassuming and quiet feeling. The mere fact that we have such an adjective would not call for second thought, but what does call for special note is the fact that this adjective is the final criterion for the highest form of beauty. It is, moreover, an ordinary word, and is repeated continually in our casual conversation.
Bernard Leach A Potter's Book London: Faber, 1940, p. 9
[Akahira Miyairi: producing the sword]
Edward Lucie-Smith The Story of Craft: The Craftsman's Role in Society London: Phaidon, 1981, p. 85
According to a Japanese myth, in ancient times the deity of Izumo (today's Shimane Prefecture), Yatsukaizuomitsu no Mikoto, dissatisfied that his own realm was so small, gazed across the sea at the Korean peninsula and the continent beyond and cried out, 'Too much land. I see too much land.' So he cut off part of the continent and pulled it over to Japan with a net...
'Inside' (uchi) is the reduced and concrete world that one knows from direct experience. 'Outside' (soto) is the abstract world of expansion
O-Young Lee Smaller is Better: Japan's Mastery of the Miniature Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1984 (orig. 1982), p. 170
In Japanese, the generic word for 'craftsmanship', saiku, translates literally as 'delicate workmanship'. In other words, to craft something is to make it smaller and fashion it delicately. And besides, the prefix ko (small) can be attached to form the word kozaiku, 'small, delicate workmanship.'
O-Young Lee Smaller is Better: Japan's Mastery of the Miniature Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1984 (orig. 1982), p. 19
[To Japanese and Ancients] Silence was then a specific form of experiencing a relationship with others. This is something that I believe is really worthwhile cultivating. I'm in favour of developing silence as a cultural ethos.
Michel Foucault (1926 - 1984) `The minimalist self Politics, Philosophy and Culture: Interview and other Writings of Michel Foucault, 1977-1984 L.D. Kritzman (ed.) New York: Routledge, 1988 (orig. 1983), p. 18
Project for a global policy of which the Yamato race would be the nucleus (written 1942-43 for team of 40 research scholars of Ministry of Population and Health)
minzoku, that is, a culture represented by a people, with Japan being placed at the summit of this cultural ladder and being accordingly destined to lead the others, as a result of the synthesis it had achieved between the East and the West. However in their colonization scheme these high official advocated in their programme the establishement of groups of colonists around 'Japanese cities' scattered nearly everywhere, mixed marraiges being limited to a minimum, 'not because people of mixed blood are inferior, but because mixed marriages would destroy the psychic solidarity of the Yamato race'...
The slogan 'eight directions for a single roof' accurately characterises the Japanese notion of the colonization of others. The sphere of coprosperity is indentified with a large family led by its eldest brother...
Professor Komaki Tsunekichi of Kyoto moots the idea of representing Africa and Europe as the western part of the Asian continent, America becoming the East-Asian continent and Australia the South-Asian continent. The oceans interconnecting them would be called the 'Grand Ocean of Japan'.
Marc Ferro Colonization: A Global History London: Routledge (trans. K.D.Prithipaul), 1997 (orig. 1994), p. 101
[When Albuquerque conquered Malacca in 1511, noticed other vessels, manned by "Guores"]
They may have been the Japanese or Koreans from Korai, but probably they were from Luchu (Ryukyu) Islands, since it is known that Luchuan ships frequently visited Malacca, Patani, and other tropical ports in the fifteenth century, in not earlier.
George Sansom A History of Japan 1335-1615 London: Cresset Press, 1961, p. 268
Japanese ships frequently entered Luchu ports (principally Naha), where they purchased for sale in Korea and China articles from southern countries - Indonesia and Malaya. The triangular trade began shortly before the fall of Korai. The voyages of the Luchuan craft were quite remarkable, for they reached as far as Siam, Burma, Sumatra, and Java. Every year the Luchu traders would collect Chinese porcelain and silk and Japananese swords, fans and sulphur, and exchange them for tropical products, such as the spices and perfumes of Indonesia. They made us of the monsoons, and in order to find favourable winds the ships went by way of the Fukien coast to Malacca and thence to their several destinations across the seas east and west of Malaya.
George Sansom A History of Japan 1335-1615 London: Cresset Press, 1961, p. 180
[Under command of Chinese Muslum from Yunnan, fleets of Chinese ships travel Indian Ocean to Aden and East African coat, to set up tribute system.
1433, Chinese expeditions stop under mood of anti-commercialism in Ming period.]
Off the Chinese coast in the late fifteenth century, the small kingdoms of Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands stepped into the picture and began to play a commanding role in trade between China and Japan and Melaka, incidentally providing the economic base for a kind of Okinawan golden age.
Philip D. Curtin Cross-cultural Trade in World History London: Cambridge University Press, 1984, p. 127
The prevailing image of the world from this perspective was a mental map borrowed from China, according to which the known, setted, orderly centre (ka) was surrounded by boundless circles of increasing strangeness, disorder and barbarism (i). This ka-i vision of the world is nicely illustrated by the widely sold Japanese-Chinese Illustrated Encyclopedia (Wakan sansai zue) of 1712 Immediately surrounding Japan are the 'foreign countries' (ikoku) - including China, Korea, the Ryukyu kingdom, Ezo (The Land of the Ainu), Tongking and Cochin - whose inhabitants write with Chinese characters and eat with chopsticks. Beyond that lie the realms of the 'outer-barbarians (gai-i), who write horizontally and eat with their hands. The gai-i include a number of readily recognisable soceities such as Siam, Luzon, Java, Bengal and Holland, as well as other less familiar places like the Land of the Bird People and the Land of the Creatures with Six Legs and Four Wings.
Tessa Morris-Suzuki `A descent into the past: The fronier in the construction of Japanese history Multicultural Japan: Palaeolithic to Postmodern D. Denoon, M. Hudson, G. McCormack & T. Morris-Suzuki (ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 83
1879, Japan declares control over Ryukyu.
The French historian Francois Guizot, whose work inspired the great Meiji westerniser, Fukuzawa Yukichi. According to Guizot, civilization meant 'the fact of progress and of development; it at once evokes the idea of a people on the move, not in order to change place, but in order to change their way of life: a people whose condition expands and improves.' this modern version of civilisation - translated into Japanese by the neologism bunmei - was dynamic, where the concept of Ka had been static, and was defined less in terms of correct behaviour than in terms of material wealth and power.
Tessa Morris-Suzuki `A descent into the past: The fronier in the construction of Japanese history Multicultural Japan: Palaeolithic to Postmodern D. Denoon, M. Hudson, G. McCormack & T. Morris-Suzuki (ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 86
the 1853 Account of the Countries and Ocean Routes of the World (Bankoku karo no ki) tells the reader that New Holland (that is, Australia) is so called because it has recently been developed by the 'Dutch race' (oranda jinshu).
Tessa Morris-Suzuki `A descent into the past: The fronier in the construction of Japanese history Multicultural Japan: Palaeolithic to Postmodern D. Denoon, M. Hudson, G. McCormack & T. Morris-Suzuki (ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 87
In August 1990, Okinawa hosted a convention/festival for overseas Uchinanchu to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the beginning of Okinawan emigration. Home-country Okinawans were impressed and pleased with worldwide expansion of their kin. To the stunned pleasure of the spectators, the Uchinanchu of the world paraded in the streets of Naha wearing colourful national costumes of their respective adopted countries. Feelings of 'we are not alone' but a part of the entire world boosted ethnic pride further. The 90th anniversary of Okinawa emigration was also celebrated by Okinawan communities in Hawaii, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and other countries.
Koji Taira `Troubled national identity: The Ryukyuans/Okinawans Japan's Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity M. Weiner (ed.) London: Routledge, 1997, p. 167
In an idealised spatial layout of a Ryukyuan village, the founder family builds its house near a wooded hill or a grove and the houses of its offspring spread out like a fan riveted on the founder's house. The spatial pattern correlates degrees of kinship and spatial distance from the founder family. The hill or grove behind the founder family's house is a sacred space where the guardian deities reside and religious functions are performed. This is the origin of the gusuku. The sister of the male founder assumes the role of the village priestess (nigan). The founder himself is considered the 'root' of the village-clan (nicchu). The founder's house is called 'root house' or 'original house' (nija or mutuya)
Koji Taira `Troubled national identity: The Ryukyuans/Okinawans Japan's Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity M. Weiner (ed.) London: Routledge, 1997, p. 147
Ainu cultlure was characterised by hunting, fishing, and gathering of edible plants, and a complex spiritual relationship with the phenomena of the natural world (personified as kamuy, deities) on which the Ainu depended. The main religious rite was the iyomante, where the spirit of a deity (usually a bear) was 'sent back' to the land of the gods
Richard Siddle `Ainu: Japan's indigenous people Japan's Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity M. Weiner (ed.) London: Routledge, 1997, p. 18
A flag, a history, and a homeland, Ainu Moshiri (the quiet earth where humans live) legitimized the existence of the Ainu people and underscored their claims for increased access to wealth and power.
Richard Siddle `Ainu: Japan's indigenous people Japan's Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity M. Weiner (ed.) London: Routledge, 1997, p. 25
Daioh Temple of Daioh Mountain: "http://www.thezen.or.jp/"
Okinawa prefecture: "http://www.pref.okinawa.jp"
Australian haiku from Chris Wallace-Crabbe
What does the magpie
The gum leaves hang down
These parrots squeak by,