The Writings of Lafcadio Hearn, Volume 6

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Houghton Mifflin, 1922
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Page 60 - Devotion to the memory of ancestors is the mainspring of [96] all virtues. No one who discharges his duty to them will ever be disrespectful to the gods, or to his living parents. Such a man will also be faithful to his prince, loyal to his friends, and kind and gentle with his wife and children. For the essence of this devotion is in truth filial piety.
Page 301 - I looked and saw your heart In the shadow of your eyes, As a seeker sees the gold In the shadow of the stream ; And I said, " Ah me ! what art Should win the immortal prize, Whose want must make life cold And Heaven a hollow dream...
Page 60 - If you desire to practise true virtue, learn to stand in awe of the Unseen, and that will prevent you from doing wrong. Make a vow to the god who rules over the Unseen, and cultivate the conscience implanted in you, and then you will never wander from the way.
Page 368 - ... part of deportment. The most agreeable face is the smiling face; and to present always the most agreeable face possible to parents, relatives, teachers, friends, well-wishers, is a rule of life. And furthermore, it is a rule of life to turn...
Page 127 - The thoughts that have shaken the world,' he said, 'were created by beefsteak and muttonchops, by ham and eggs, by pork and puddings, and were stimulated by generous wines, strong ales, and strong coffee.' But that was written in an age of the glorification of meat. Today Japan's simple fare is not only endorsed by scientists but verified by the brute strength of the Japanese on the farms, their endurance in the educational mill, prowess in the Olympics, and fortitude in war. Physical training in...
Page 381 - The adoption of these principles of liberty and equality in Japan would vitiate the good and peaceful customs of our country, render the general disposition of the people harsh and unfeeling, and prove finally a source of calamity to the masses. . . . Though at first sight Occidental civilization presents an attractive appearance, adapted as it is to the gratification of selfish desires, yet, since its basis is the hypothesis that men's wishes constitute natural laws, it must ultimately end in disappointment...
Page 211 - ... rather like acting than like what we Occidentals call dancing, — acting accompanied with extraordinary waving of sleeves and fans, and with a play of eyes and features, sweet, subtle, subdued, wholly Oriental. There are more voluptuous dances known to geisha, but upon ordinary occasions and before refined audiences they portray beautiful old Japanese traditions, like the legend of the fisher Urashima, beloved by the Sea God's daughter; and at intervals they sing ancient Chinese poems, expressing...
Page 60 - Is not every action indeed the work of the Dead who dwell within us? Have not our impulses and tendencies, our capacities and weaknesses, our heroisms and timidities, been created by those vanished myriads from whom we received the all-mysterious bequest of Life? Do we still think of that infinitely complex Something which is each one of us, and which we call ego., as T or as 'They'?
Page 54 - Shinto signifies character in the higher sense, — courage, courtesy, honor, and above all things, loyalty. The spirit of Shinto is the spirit of filial piety, the zest of duty, the readiness to surrender life for a principle without a thought of wherefore. It is the docility of the child ; it is the sweetness of the Japanese woman. It is conservatism likewise ; the wholesome check upon the national tendency to cast away the worth of the entire past in rash eagerness to assimilate too much of the...
Page i - No effort to create an impossible or purely ideal landscape is made in the Japanese garden. Its artistic purpose is to copy faithfully the attractions of a veritable landscape, and to convey the real impression that a real landscape communicates. It is therefore at once a picture and a poem; perhaps even more a poem than a picture.

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