Hall (1984). Appendix II – Japanese and American Contrasts, with Special Reference to the MA. (The dance of life: The other dimension of time.)

Hall, E. T. (1984). Appendix II – Japanese and American Contrasts, with Special Reference to the MA. In The dance of life: The other dimension of time (pp. 208–215). Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

“The closest one can come to understanding Japanese time is to approach via the route of MA. MA is time-space. … in the West we pay particular attention to the arrangement of objects, and in Japan it is the arrangement of the spaces — the intervals, MA — that are attended. In speech this means that it is the silences between words that also carry meaning and are significant.” (p 208)

“MA is categorized as nine different varieties of experience: _Himorogi_, _Hashi_, _Yami_, _Suki_, _Utsuroi_, _Utsushimi_, _Sabi_, _Susabi_, and _Michiyuki_.” (p 209)

“_Himorogi_ stands for two things: the sacred descent place of the Kami (the original pre-Buddhist, pre-Shinto Gods), and the exact moment when this occurred. … It is a little bit like concentrating the essence of the event into a momentary flash, which is just the opposite of the Hopi notion that many important things require repeated small ceremo- [page break] nies spread out over time.” (p 209-210)

“_Hashi_ means ‘to bridge.’ It underscores the bridging function in both time and space and gives buildings a special significance which is almost sacred. _Hashi_ also means the space between two things (the time between two events) and implies dividing up the world. _Hashi_ also stands for edges, spaces between, and bridging.” (p 210)

“_Yami_ is the world of darkness from which the Kami come and to which they return.” (p 210)

“_Suki_ MA means aperture, but because of the etymology of the word it carries a connotation of ‘like’ and the French concept of ‘chic’ (_furyu_).” (p 211)

“_Utsuroi_ encompasses the whole process of change. … Mind, trees, and grasses are symbolic of growth and change. … Waves and currents in the ocean with their constant motion are symbolic of eternity.” (p 212)

“_Utsushimi_ stands for the physical projected into reality and _Utsushimi_ MA is the place where life is lived — the house or home.” (p 212)

“_Sabi_ — like _Utsuroi_ and _Himorogi_ — evokes images of ‘the precise moment,’ but it includes something else, another inevitable force in life: the process of death, decay, and the life cycle.” (p 212)

“_Susabi_ MA referred originally to the playing of games by the Kami. There is something whimsical in _Susabi_, something more than paradoxical.” (p 212)

“_Michiyuki_ MA deals with pauses — pauses and stops on journeys. … Similarly, the traditional Japanese garden frequently has stepping — stones which are so arranged that one has to stop and look down and then look up again and in doing so one sees a different perspective for each step.” (p 213)

“This matter of shifting from one world to the next is paralleled in the daily relations between people who move between the world of the formal public self (_tatemae_) and the [page break] private self (_honne_). One world is formally ritualistic and preoccupied with status, the other is informal, warm, close, friendly, and egalitarian.” (p 213-214)

“A recent characteristic of commercial, social, and academic life that does not augur well for stability in our culture is the extremely ‘trendy’ nature of our society. The fact that something is new means more to us than anything. Apart from antiques, which are in a special category, that something or someone is old evokes images of the scrap heap regardless of how much inherent value remains.” (p 214)

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