Nature in the Japanese archipelago has a shift in spring, summer, autumn and winter. In the course of these four seasons, humans, animals and plants grow and decay, and they return to the earth. Japanese have realized that human beings are a fleeting being in nature. We have reflected that in religious and literary works. Japanese people call things constantly changing, "Mujo". On this page, I would like to introduce about this unconscious view.
Japanese experienced natural disasters many times
The Japanese experienced many natural disasters such as a large earthquake, tsunami, volcanic explosion, and so on, and as a result, We were keenly aware that things are impermanent.
The Japanese archipelago is a terrible area of earthquake damage. Many people live along the coast, so when a major earthquake occurred, the damage of the tsunami has often been received.
There are also many volcanoes in the Japanese archipelago, so Japanese people are often subjected to volcanic explosion damage as well. The volcanic explosion also caused great damage to agriculture, and as a result people have suffered from starvation as well.
For these reasons, the Japanese people are keenly aware of the fear of nature. Human beings can not defeat nature.
In this way, Japanese people have a feeling that all things are ephemeral.
This philosophy established the custom of building many temples and shrines and offering prayers to God Buddha.
Temple companies in Kyoto, Nara and many other temples remain, and there are such thoughts in the background being protected.
Japanese still love nature and have learned
Nature is occasionally scary, but at the same time it gives us a lot of grace. Besides, nature is beautiful. So, Japanese people cherish the symbiosis with nature, not going against nature.
In this way, Japanese houses have been built, making use of natural materials. We have pioneered the fields by utilizing nature. Many small animals lived in the field, and began to maintain a beautiful ecosystem.
In such nature of the Japanese archipelago, we have deeply loved the cherry blossoms in particular.
Cherry blossoms tell people that things are all ephemeral. Cherry blossoms will be scattered immediately after blooming all at once. What a short life!
Cherry blossoms bloom very hard even though their lives are short. Japanese wish to live beautifully like cherry blossoms like that.
The Japanese observe how the cherry blossoms are scattering. We call this "Hana-Fubuki (Cherry Blossoms Blizzard)."
The scattered cherry blossoms gather in the ground and in the river and looks like a beautiful carpet. The river sweeps the cherry blossoms and the petals disappear.
Japanese people will appreciate these phenomena.
The Japanese love the beauty of nature, understand the truth that nature teaches, and live everyday.
I appreciate you reading to the end.
Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.