Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Utopias, to start

心象風景: perhaps, a landscape that can only be imagined

 From Lafcadio Hearn's Japan: an attempt at interpretation (published 1904, the year he died), pages 504 to 505-

    No: the charm is made by the fact that this vision of the past represents to us much more than past or present,-- that it foreshadows the possibilities of some higher future, in a world of perfect sympathy. After many a thousand years there may be developed a humanity able to achieve, with never a shadow of illusion, those ethical conditions prefigured by the ideals of Old Japan: instinctive unselfishness, a common desire to find the joy of life in making happiness for others, a universal sense of moral beauty. And whenever men shall have so far gained upon the present as to need no other code than the teaching of their own hearts, then indeed the ancient ideal of Shinto will find its supreme realization.


Sunday, 24 April 2022

More about flowers, this time, Korean

 Years ago, I tried to find information about Korean flower arrangement traditions, wondering if it would be like Japanese and Chinese traditions; but I couldn't find anything on the internet. Now I've come across loads, via Korean Literature Now's article on Korean Garden Culture.

Searching for 'Hwaam surok' brought up two very interesting theses (I have no idea if theses are usually published on line these days)

Keumhee Oh's Exilic Experiences and Creative Practice: Insights from the lives and art of Scholar-Artists Exiled on Cheju Island during the Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) is fascinating. Not really about flowers at all, but it is interesting how flower symbology is used in the art.

Sang-jun Yoon's History and Conservation of Gardens in Korea Vol. II is the appendices for their thesis which I haven't read. It has lists linking Latin names for plants with the Korean and Chinese terms.