East Asian Ecocriticisms: A Critical Reader by Simon C. Estok, Won-Chung Kim (eds.)

By Simon C. Estok, Won-Chung Kim (eds.)

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Such a relationship both implies and necessitates a nondualistic, nonhierarchical conception of the world. Her own childhood experiences in nature F i r s t Th e r e W e r e S t or i e s 45 provided the base for her ideas of coexistence between humans and nonhumans. Such coexistence implies not just a respectful, cerebral relationship, but a deeper participation, on both physical and imaginative levels, with the nonhuman world: a transformative imagination. Ishimure often writes about the transformations and metamorphoses that can take place between animals and humans.

Morisaki’s struggle for a way of whole, uninstitutionalized being and a language that gives form to it suggests how tightly and deeply cultural and social values determine one’s perception of self, others, and life. It this way, Morisaki’s work demonstrates that what we call “ecological identity” does not simply 32 M a s a m i Yu k i concern human relationships with the natural world but should include more comprehensive issues of self and others. Notes This chapter is an English translation of the last chapter of my book Mizu no oto no kioku [Remembering the Sound of Water: Essays in Ecocirticism] (Suiseisha, 2010) with some revisions.

Even the boss didn’t say anything when you were in a period of red defilement. It actually wore you out and I wanted to take a day off. But if I didn’t go work, the whole family would suffer . . If you are thorough in your faith, that’s good. But if your faith is superficial, it’d be better not to have one. A superficial faith does not do any good, just making you feel uneasy. It is not your faith but your will that makes you decide whether you should go in a pit or not. (Makkura 174–75) This passage implied Morisaki’s fascination with the underground world, in which “a story of above-ground” does not mean anything, as a place where the ideology-laden “Japanese” order cannot reach.

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