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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Ethics in Japan consists of a demand to show compassion (fellow-feeling or human-heartedness) in one’s dealings with others and with the world of nature. A key approach for the teaching of human-heartedness is through the “Japanese arts,” such as the ways of tea, flowers, calligraphy, landscape design, and the indigenous martial art called aikidō. While the ultimate aim of these “ways” () is enlightenment, the more immediate fruit is a genuine expression of compassion. Ideally, the expression of human-heartedness should arise spontaneously and without calculation, as an effortless revelation of one’s true nature. An ethical person will likely have a passion for acting well, for not causing undue pain to others, and for nurturing and protecting the environment at large. This passion arises out of the realization that we are all interconnected, that we are one with others and with nature.

Keywords: ethics, compassion, Buddhism, nothingness, Japanese arts or “ways,” enlightenment, interconnectedness, spontaneity, environment (nature)

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