Japanese Arts and Self-Cultivation

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Overview

It is through the practice of the arts, and not through rules or theory that moral and spiritual values are taught in Japan. Author Robert E. Carter examines five arts (or "ways" in Japan): the martial art of aikido, Zen landscape gardening, the Way of Tea, the Way of Flowers, and pottery making. Each art is more than a mere craft, for each takes as its goal not just the teaching of ethics but the formation of the ethical individual. Transformation is the result of diligent practice and each art recognizes the importance of the body. Training the mind as well as the body results in important insights, habits, and attitudes that involve the whole person, both body and mind.

This fascinating book features the author's interviews with masters of the arts in Japan and his own experiences with the arts, along with background on the arts and ethics from Japanese philosophy and religion. Ultimately, the Japanese arts emerge as a deep cultural repository of ideal attitudes and behavior, which lead to enlightenment itself.

About the Author:
Robert E. Carter is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Trent University in Canada

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Suitably modest in length and scale, this book exemplifies the mindful enrichment of everyday life that we think of as Japanese and exhibits precisely those elements of Asian awareness and attentiveness to detail that appeal most strongly to the West. Carter (emeritus, Trent Univ., Canada; Encounter with Enlightenment: A Study in Japanese Ethics) discusses Aikido, gardening, tea, flowers, and pottery with learned lucidity, showing the reader how these disciplines contribute to self-transformation. For most collections.


—Graham Christian
From the Publisher
This fascinating book features the author’s interviews with masters of the arts in Japan and his own experiences with the arts, along with background on the arts and ethics from Japanese philosophy and religion. Ultimately, the Japanese arts emerge as a deep cultural repository of ideal attitudes and behavior, which lead to enlightenment itself.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791472538
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2007
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 5.93 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Carter is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Trent University in Canada. His many books include Encounter with Enlightenment: A Study of Japanese Ethics, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Eliot Deutsch     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     1
Self-Cultivation     7
The Bodymind     8
Unification of Body and Mind     10
Enlightenment     13
Meditation as a Path     15
The Resultant Transformation     16
Ki     17
A Brief Map     18
Aikido-The Way of Peace     21
The Beginnings     22
Aikido: One and Not One     27
Aikido and Budo     30
A Spiritual Way     31
Aikido and Ethics     33
The Value and Worth of the Other     37
Aikido and Sports     39
Yagyu     42
Letting Go of the Ego     46
Landscape Gardening as Interconnectedness     51
Prelude     51
The Shinto Influence     54
The Buddhist Influence     57
Zen-Inspired Gardens     59
Masuno's Gardens     62
I and Thou     66
The Ethics of Gardens     70
The Way of Tea (Chado)-To Live without Contrivance     75
Background to the Way of Tea     76
Wabi     80
Zen and Pure Land     85
From Sen no Rikyu to Sen Genshitsu XV     90
Furyu     92
The Lineage     92
Beyond Language     94
The Way of Flowers (Ikebana)-Eternity Is in the Moment     97
Introduction     97
Zen and Ikebana     100
Ikenobo     101
Shinto and Ikebana     102
The Koan of Living by Dying and Dying by Living     103
Reflections of a Pioneer     108
The Principle of Three     111
A Culture of Flowers     113
The Way of Pottery-Beauty Is in the Abdomen     117
Introduction     117
Non-Dualistic Awareness     121
Hamada: Teacher and Collector     124
... and Ethics?     127
Summary     131
Conclusion     135
Ethics and Self-Transformation     136
The Train to Takayama     139
Attitudes Revisited     143
Glossary     147
References     155
Index     163
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    An Excellent Introduction to Japanese Art & Spirituality

    Mr. Carter's new book provides readers with a fine introduction to several classical Japanese art forms, while it explains how these cultural arts function as 'Ways' that lead to spiritual realization. The author's many years of experience in this field are clearly evident, and the book will appeal to readers well familiar with these disciplines as well as novices.

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