Miriam Weiss   Writer & Aesthetic Realism Associate

Japan and the World

I have titled this section of my website JAPAN AND THE WORLD because I have come to see through my Aesthetic Realism education that the uniqueness of any culture is enhanced and can be appreciated truly through seeing its relation to all culture, all humanity. Even during its more than 200 years of self-imposed isolation from other countries under the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan was still in relation to the whole world. This can be seen, among other places in Japanese art and through the lives and selves of the Japanese people.

Included here along with my own writing is that of others I see as important in illustrating the following principle stated by Eli Siegel: “The world, art, and self explain each other; each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites. It is my conviction that this principle, central to the understanding of art and our own selves, also provides the way of seeing necessary for authentic respect between nations and world peace. It shows what is in common among every people and nation in the world.

Japanese and Chinese Characters Show The Beauty of Language
--Article by Miriam Weiss describing the beauty and ethics in Kanji as explained by the Siegel Theory of Opposites

Despite Cell Phones and Email, Why Can't People Really Communicate?
--Paper by Miriam Weiss inlcuding a critical discussion of the 2003 film set in Tokyo, Lost In Translation

Remembering Hiroshima
--Article by Miriam Weiss & Joe Spetly - published in Asian American Press, Palladium Times and elsewhere

I Learned About Sincerity from Utamaro
--Short art talk by Miriam Weiss on a wood block print by the 18th century artist Utamaro Kitagawa

Japan: Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?
--Photo album from Japan, 1973, as comment on Eli Siegel's "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?"

A Japanese Film and the Questions of People
--Paper by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Ken Kimmelman on the 1945 Kurosawa film "The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail"

A Screen at the Met
--Art talk by Architect David Salmon on "Persimmon Tree" of 1816. by Sakai Hoitsu

Lafcadio Hearn: He Saw Art as Kindness
--Report by poet Sheldon Kranz of Eli Siegel's 1968 lecture on the renowned 19th century writer about Japan

Jack Hasegawa and the Civil Rights Movement
--Article by Writer Alice Bernstein on this Japanese American civil rights activist

Honor and a Kabuki Play
--Notes from a lecture by Eli Siegel on the Kabuki play, "Kanjincho" ("The Subscription List")

The Self: Japan
--Notes from a class taught by Anthropologist Dr. Arnold Perey on The Tale of Genji

Ruth Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
--Notes from a class taught by Anthropologist Dr. Arnold Perey on this classic 1946 work on Japanese culture