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Photo of sunrise as seen from Mt. Fuji

Sunrise as seen from Mt. Fuji, September 2009.

The Asahi Shimbun recently published an article in which they spoke with Donald Keene, a U.S.-born scholar on Japanese literature and culture who now lives in Japan.  Keene discusses a Japanese aesthetic toward beauty and nature, how he came to appreciate it through his studies and translation work, and how he has tried to portray Japanese culture in his 70+ years of writing.  The article includes the following haiku by Matsuo Bashō, which I’m quite fond of:

A day of mist and drizzle–a day one can’t see Fuji is the most evocative.

Mt. Fuji evokes a certain sentimentality among Japanese, and among those who’ve visited or lived in Japan. Perhaps the article is a little sentimental as well, but I don’t mind ツ.