Wednesday, September 8

R. H. Blythe

"The fundamental thing in the Japanese character is a peculiar combination of poetry and humour, using both words in a wide and profound yet specific sense. 'Poetry' means the ability to see, to know by intuition what is interesting, what is really valuable in things and persons. More exactly it is the creating of interest, of value. 'Humour' means joyful, unsentimental pathos that arises from the paradox inherent in the nature of things. Poetry and humour are thus very close; we may say that they are two different aspects of the same thing. Poetry is satori; it is seeing all things as good. Humour is laughing at all things; in Buddhist parlance, seeing that 'all things are empty in their self-nature' . . . and rejoicing in this truth."

--R. H. Blythe, Japanese Life and Character in Senryu