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3: The Tale of ‘Wildcat and the Acorns’ (Donguri to Yamaneko): Self and Subjectivity in the Characters and Haecceitas in the Organic World

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Chapter Summary

Miyazawa Kenji wrote 'Donguri' in about 1921 during his sojourn in Tokyo. This chapter focuses on how particular artwork helps reach beyond individualistic views. Much of the artwork invokes the idea of oneness with nature through an awareness of the Buddhist idea of the self as an 'empty' vehicle or 'non' being. The artistic representations, range from those that work to subsume the human presence of Ichirō into the natural world through those that more overtly showcase the ludicrousness of Wildcat's and the acorns' pride to those that reject all forms of replicatory representation of story to invoke a loss of self through the reading process. While all enhance the narrative's position on the negation of ego, they do so in decidedly different styles and ways. Kenji's material pride and conceit contrast with the haecceitas of the forest's organic phenomena who are oblivious to the mundane desires of this world.

Keywords: acorns; Buddhist sermon; Donguri; haecceitas; Ichirō Kenji; Tokyo; wildcat



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