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The Totality of Japanese Culture Essay

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A. Sonzai
Sonzai is constructed from 2 words; son and zai. Son means subjective self-subsistence or sustain over time. Zai means that the subject stays in the same places in which the word “places” refers to social places which consist of human relations, such as home, hotel, inn, etc. By putting these two words together, we get sonzai (human existence) which literally means self-sustenance of human relations. Although sonzai looks similar to ningen, they are quite different. Ningen refers to capability of being an individual and at the same time also being a member of a society. To sum up, ningen is mostly explaining about a person as an individual. Sonzai emphasizes the dynamic structure of human being, such as human relations which
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As he negates the totality, he comes back to be an individual. This process continues back and forth between individuality and totality. People also call this as the never ending creation in Ningen Sonzai. To sum up, Watsuji explained that there is neither absolute totality nor absolute individuality. He emphasized that both totality and individuality are important for human being. I agree with that. Human being needs to socialize to other people. At the same time, they need their own privacy in some occasions as well. Both are important. We have our own will and desire, but we also need interpersonal relationship. I would like to take an example, such as hitori bocchi. It is a Japanese term for those who choose to be alone rather than gathering with other people. In my opinion, it’s quite easy to find it in Japan. I joined a small discussion couple weeks ago together with some Japanese and international students. We talked many things and hitori bocchi was one of them. Some of Japanese students said that they chose to be bocchi, such as eating, going to movie, and travelling alone. Some others had no options left, such as all of their friends having classes during that time. For those who chose to be bocchi due to personal choice argued that they chose to do so because it’s more convenient for them. They also cared with their privacy. Although they choose to be bocchi, they also have
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