Professor Yamamoto Yasuo's quest lecture "Aestheticising tradition in Japan"
Thursday, 23rd February at 16:15-18 (room HU205)
Yamamoto Yasuo is the professor of German language at the Yokohama National University. He has visited Oulu University with his students several times and is the key person in initiating collaboration between the human sciences in our universities.
Professor Yamamoto will discuss what makes Japanese the way they typically are. He says that in the history of Japanese literature, you can find a huge number of beautiful poems and tales related love and farewell (social dimension), or four seasons (natural dimension), but, on the contrary, you may seek almost vainly for such pieces dealing with political or economic or divine justice (political-economical or spiritual dimension).
You may such attitude toward life "atheistic" or "nihilistic", for, if you don't find any consciousness of the spiritual-moral, then you will have to regard the Japanese as pure materialist. Indeed, the mainstream of intellectual history in Japan, you may say materialist standpoints are dominant, compared with idealist world views.
In his lecture Professor Yamamoto wishes to pick up some phenomena in Japanese history which indicate latent inclinations toward the spiritual. Such tendencies had scarcely been articulated in moral, philosophical, or even spiritual terms, but rather expressed in artistic terms in an aestheticising way. We may find some works of Japanese painters, craftsmen, poets, which are purely artistic and at the same time the expression of spiritual longing, because they try to tame materialist factors of life, power and wealth, make them less aggressive and more beautiful.
Last updated: 21.2.2017