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Sushuri Madonna
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Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was talking to Minami-chei about this rather old discussion and oddly enough I found an interesting sidelight on it the next day. Minami-chei said that the Korean expression for liking tea (or anything else) was exactly equivalent to the japanese, but that she (as a mother-tongue Korean speaker) had never thought of its literal meaning as I have portrayed it (although she agreed that this is the literal meaning.

Now I would not expect the literal meaning to be consciously uppermost in the mind of a modern-educated person from Japan or Korea, but I do suggest that it is in the deep structures of the traditional thought of Japanese and Koreans. I was interested, therefore, to read this in The Japanese Today by Professor Edwin Reischauer:

Professor Reischauer wrote:
The word "individualism" (kojin shuji) itself has always been of ill repute in Japan. It suggests to the Japanese selfishness rather than personal responsibility... For a while students used the term "subjectivity" (shutaisei) in the sense of one's being the active subject rather than the passive object of one's life.


Now this is surely very interesting. The very grammatical term is used. The whole point of our tea sentence is that the tea is the active subject, taking the action of being-liked. And it is from this precise structure of life that the Westernising student wishes to escape. Japanese tends to relieve the individual of the burden of subjectivity, while Western languages - like the cultures - stress it as a positive value.

As a Novarian I am often told that I am, by West Tellurian standards "unnaturally passive". I tend to wait to be led, although when I am sure of a principle I can be forceful and even unbending.

Some of this may be my age and my own nature, but I would say that Aristasians - and particularly Novarians tend to be "passive" in the sense of looking for the "right" thing to do and expecting a consensus of some sort. It doesn't mean we are followers rather than leaders (we couldn't all be could we?) but rather that in our natural habitat we live by a Norm, or thamŽ both in society as a whole and then reflectively in any group within it. There tends to be a "way things are done" rather than a "way I do things".

One is either following that way or administering it - and if one is administering it one is still following it. Being a "passive subject" sounds negative from the Western - or the Westernised - point of view. From a Novarian perspective it is reassuring. It is the surety of following the right way rather than having to invent a way for oneself that will probably be wrong. Ultimately, it is the sense of acting in harmony with the universe and its Creatrix rather than against it. Of treading the steps of the Cosmic Dance laid down from eternity rather than ambling in one's own random fashion.
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Miss Tiffany



Joined: 19 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rayati!
Wow there is a Japanese Coversation Group here as well? This is amazing!^_^ I have been learning some Japanese on my own, I even have a Japanese-English dictionary that I bought. It would be very helpful to have help with learning it since I am only a beginner.
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Sushuri Madonna
Administratrix


Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 335
Location: In a strange and scary place on a long journey homeward.

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am afraid the JCG is a little quiet at the mome. Quite a few of us are interested in the language. I know very little too.

We really need to work out a way for a Japanese group to operate. We have cracked lots of other problems lately so perhaps the girls can turn their massive minds to this one!
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