Philosophizing Again

I always base my views and thinking about things on nature, humankind, and the universe. Which is not to say that I understand the truth. I just interpret things in my own personal way.

Nature. I was born and raised in a depopulated mountainous area in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Though I came up to Tokyo at the age of 18, I still cannot forget the workings of nature through the four seasons.

In the spring the plants would sprout and blossom, exuding a soft warmth. The poet Bocho Yamamura wrote a poem titled “Ichimen no nanohana” (A Full View of Rape Blossoms), in which he repeated the line “A full view of rape blossoms” seven times before, in the eighth line, writing “Larks soaring in the sky” and then repeating the line “A full view of rape blossoms” on and on. In my home village in the past, vegetables and wheat used to be grown as secondary crops, and the endless fields of wheat and rape blossoms were just like the scenery described in Yamamura’s poem. The fields of rape blossoms shone even in the dark, creating a fantastic atmosphere.

In the summer, looking up from the various shades of green in the mountains, one could see heavy thunderclouds overhead. In the autumn the changing colors were superb. I would be captivated by every hued leaf on the trees. And in the winter the deep blue of the quietly flowing river would, and still does, soothe me. The sky was full of stars, which looked as though they might come tumbling down at any time.

Such scenes made me understand that essentially human beings exist only because nature exists. I etched that feeling in my mind, and it has become the crux of my thinking.

Human beings. I wonder why the Chinese conceived the character for person (人) and then the pair of characters for humankind (人間). I did a bit of research here. The characters for “humankind” are written as “person” and “between”---in other words, “between person and person.” The character for “person” is plural too. That is to say, humankind needs more than one person to exist. One person is not humankind. You need two people to form humankind. Then if you have three people, you get a society, which needs rules. A society takes shape because at the base there is love.

The universe. I don’t really understand it. But I do know that the light from the sun and gravitational pull of the moon nurture and care for life on earth. Stars are born and come to their end in the universe. In the end they come to nothing, but then the next stars are born. I think that nothingness is not nothingness but the beginning of life.

This made me think of the unit of light-years. A light-year is the distance traveled in one year by light, which travels at a speed that would take it around the earth 7.5 times in just one second. Even now, there is light reaching the earth from stars that existed 100 million years ago.

This vastness makes one think about the life of human beings. The life span of humans changes over the times, but let us assume that in the future people will live to be 100. Compared with the world of light-years, 100 years is absolutely nothing. Now we are into the year 2017, but the 12 months of this year are nothing either. Yet human beings and other living creatures continue existing according to their own time frames.

Individuals exist because humankind exists. Rather than looking at humankind from the individual, it is important to think about the individual from humankind. More than anything else, a love of humankind is the source of success in human society. If you have a love for humankind, you will do really well in business.

Whether it is the year 2000 or the year 3000, these maxims will not change. Again I reaffirm them here and express my determination to set sail toward a new era.

Having said that, though, the scenery has changed somewhat with the emergence of President Donald Trump in the United States. This turn of events gives me some cause for concern . . .