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.

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