Saturday 20 January 2018 3 pm

Nature’s role in Japan

Monica Braw

Nature permeates much of Japanese life. According to the Japanese religion of Shintoism, everything in nature is divine: both a stone and a tree can be revered. Haiku poems are written by millions of people, who observe the tiniest shifts in nature to write three lines. Nature’s seasonal changes are also reflected in cooking, where people make excellent use of the produce of each period. The passing of time, evidenced in a rotted bamboo stalk and a withered hydrangea, is nothing to paint over or cut away. Nature is both life and death.

Monica Braw is a PhD in Japanese history, an author and a journalist. 

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