Universal Truths in Japanese Literature
By Imani Fulwilder
Arts, Culture and Literature
Period 1 Mrs. Alkazian
February 14, 2014
In The Crane Wife and Princess Hase, both short stories in the book Tales of Japan-Illustrated Folk Tales, Fairy Tales and Mythology by Birgit Amadoi there are examples of Universal truths. The Universal Truths such as Good vs. Evil, Greed vs. Generosity, and Outer Strength vs. Inner Strength affect the people of Japan, and reflects on how the live their life, and their outlook on the world.
The universal truth of Good vs. Evil reflects Japanese culture through, the history, the people, their outlook on life, and their actions. Evil is usually perceived as the opposite of good. In history it is to be known that Good always conquers evil. Every language has a meaning for good, and a word that expresses it, and also a word for evil meaning bad. The sense of knowing right from wrong and knowing good from bad is a universal meaning or truth. Buddhist believes that good and evil is inseparable aspects of life; meaning you cannot have one without doing the opposite of the other. Buddhist also strongly believes in Karma. Karma can be either a good thing or a bad thing. This word means that if you make an action either good or bad, there will be something that follows. Having either a good or a bad intent can bring either happiness or suffering. The Christian view of Good vs. Evil is that God will always be on the good side, and good will overcome.
Good versus evil; goodness comes from trying to do the best, out of the honor truthfulness. Evil comes from being naturally competitive. One must fail in all situations. Evil will do anything to win, even if that’s means to cheat. Goodness with follow the rules. Evil people are selfish, and do not care about others. The goodness in people comes from a good background, and knowing right from wrong and having a moral compass. Most people know the difference between right and wrong, just choosing which direction to take is what determines you good or evil.
In the short story Crane Wife Yuhei faced a challenge of good versus evil when he came across a crane who was struggling who was in pain from an arrow stuck in his wing. Yuhei was on a hunt looking for food, and this was a perfect opportunity for food. Cranes were not for eating, they were a sign of good fortune. After he thought about his he let the bird go, and suddenly was not hungry anymore. This was the first event of someone being good instead of taking the evil path. The next day Yuhei meets a women, when she comes knocking on his door, with food (5) This was the first example of good karma. This woman takes care of him and they eventually get married. She offers to make him a quilt. His wife’s name was Kaede, she tells him, and I will make you this quilt if you promise me to that you will never look inside my work space while I am weaving. He thought this was a simple request so he arranged a spot where...