Kyoto Journal Issue 5
Ki: Defining the Vital Force
Manga: The Physics of Discontent
The faces of Noh
Kaomise: The Soul of Kabuki
I began to suspect Japan was going to be a new experience when I first came across people waiting for six different “No Walk” signals to change in the middle of the night on a deserted street. I noticed a second time when an 85-lb. girl, an aikido student, threw me over her shoulder so hard and fast she dislocated joints in half my arm. A third revelation occurred two weeks later when the still impressive arm pain was turned down and switched off like the volume on a radio by an old man twirling a needle in the opposite wrist.
Those events mesmerized me and pretty well determined my course of study for the last 15 years — research primarily on corporate psychology, genius & mastery, and traditional Eastern medicine. In the Japanese context all three subjects turned out to be knotted together with a common vocabulary of ki terms and a shared reliance on ki phenomena to achieve their effects. —W. David Kubiak, Ki and the Arts of Sex, Healing and Corporate Bodybuilding
The following pages are an attempt to suggest that the Japanese cultural tradition hides in its deepest recesses a vast storehouse of notions and practices which may be helpful in establishing a culturally-grounded ecophilosophy. The method used in this short article is simple and could be developed in complexity if it is agreed that it is useful in evidencing the presence of environmental ethics in the tradition: having gone through a large number of texts belonging to the philosophico-religious traditions of Japan, and having witnessed a number of ritual practices which could be interpreted in the light of these documents and in the light of contemporary Western thinking on the topic of deep ecology, I propose a few reflections on what could be called “base-models” of environmental ethics. — Allan G. Grapard, Nature and Culture in Japan