Reciprocal Permeation of "I" and "All Else"

Strange, razor-sharp sense
@As we mentioned in the essay "On Introduction to Spring and Ashura," the world Kenji experienced was more than a relationship between "I" and "objects," rather it was a relationship between "I" and "all else" (everyone and everything). "All" refers not only to other human beings but includes all kinds of "subjects." Here we become concerned with Kenji's choice of subjects, because what characterizes his sensibility is the broad range of entities he perceives as "subjects having intention."
Kenji describes varying aspects of the relationship between "I" and "all else" in his collection of mental sketches, Spring and Ashura. One distinguishing feature of the sketches is the singular state of consciousness he experiences that produces a vivid sensation of "the sights of the land and all else " as being electrified, and a sense razor-sharpened so that minute details of the scenery become conspicuously visible to him. At times like these, the distance between "I" and "the sights of the land and all else" diminishes and he feels that everything is melting into or permeating everything else.
Scenes of clouds rushing across a waxing moon In Spring and Ashura Part 1, this mental phenomenon occurs frequently accompanied by scenes of clouds rushing across a waxing moon. An example is found in the poem Inclining Wind, which records Kenji's mental state on a night when the new moon is out,
The razor-sharp half-moon in an amazonite sky/All of these intricate spectacles of cloud and sky/Transparently alter into the boundless past [omission]

(the factor that forms all worlds is found in the wind and sighs of grief) [omission]

The sky, being washed clear, is a fathomless void/And the moon a lumpy, mercury-coated crater

This sharpened sense of Kenji's, which enables him to see the minute details of a scene in strange vividness, is accompanied by an altered sense of time so that he wanders into time in the "boundless past." During such times, Kenji feels he is able to perceive the root element of "I" and "all else" (the world); the line above, "the factor that forms all worlds is found in the wind and sighs of grief," expresses this feeling.
Kenji senses the murderous intent of the woods Then, as the diminished distance between "I" and "all else" is lost, Kenji shows a marked tendency to feel that the entities around him begin to intentionally work on "I." In Scenery and a Music Box, after the line "This whole place is simply seething with nostalgia," we find the following development,
This whole place is simply seething with nostalgia/With the mild water flowing, gloomy body of glue/I am prepared to meet my death/In this absolutely translucent landscape/At the hands of the fierce assassin who broke away/From the rough andesitic rock face of Mt. Matsukura and the Goken Woods/(after all I'm the one who cut down that tree)

translated by Roger Pulvers, published by Chikuma Shobo.

He feels the woods' murderous intent towards him, bearing a grudge because "I" cut down one of its trees. With the "nostalgia" he feels at a melting together of "I" and "all else," Kenji also finds a magnanimity that would even allow himself to be assassinated by the tree.
The moon as a giant, seductive being On nights when clouds drift across the half-moon, Kenji's frequent experience of a singular state of consciousness in which he senses that "I" and "all else" melt together is no doubt connected with the special importance the moon holds for him. In Clouds in the East are Already Burning the Color of Honey, Kenji addresses the moon as "you,"
What's more, you are a single fragrant will/A giant, seductive being/Who answers us and works on us/At this instant that knowledge/Seductively excites my heart anew/Ah, the more the clouds freeze near daybreak/The lighter it grows everywhere/The clouds are freshly filled with the ester incense/You emit
Here we see that Kenji does not regard the moon simply as a physical object, but as a "subject" having intention; in other words, it is one of the "all else" he feels at times when the distance between "I" and "all else" diminishes, and his vision and sense of smell become strangely sharpened, as described in Inclining Wind and Scenery and a Music Box, so that he feels almost able to perceive the root element of the world.
From "Spring and Ashura" in The Complete Works of Miyazawa Kenji Vol.1,
Chikuma Bunko

->Monadic Dust-Motes and the Avatamsaka Sutra

The World of Kenji's Works
The World of Kenji Miyazawa