Great Construction

East and West

     The principle that everything in heaven and earth embraces either the aspects of yin or yang is known by all. I distinguish yin and yang as the horizontal and the vertical. The vertical-horizontal distinction can be classified as follows. Vertical: sun, fire, East, spirit, male, Buddhism, red, mountain, day; Horizontal: moon, water, West, body, female, Christianity, white, sea, night.
     The above is only an outline, and I will describe this classification in detail. As stated above, there is a vertical and a horizontal aspect to everything in the universe. For example, the East is vertical so it promotes veneration of ancestors, treasures loyalty, strives to bequeath prosperity to its descendents, and maintains strict class systems as opposed to the horizontal West with a keynote of love between husband and wife that extends to love of one’s neighbor and ultimately encompasses love for all humanity, spreading infinitely on the horizontal level. In the East, unqualified rights of males are recognized, and females are expected to obey the male, but the rights of women are recognized in the West, and equality between the sexes is taken as the norm.
     Until the present, the East has adhered to the vertical line and the West was satisfied with the horizontal line described above. But there will come the day when these two lines must be joined to form a balanced cross, a synthesis of the spiritual civilization of the East and of the material civilization of the West. When these two lines are joined, the world and humanity will for the first time embark upon an age of ideal civilization. The cross of Christianity indicates this as does the Buddhist swastika.
     Because the vertical is spirit and the horizontal is body, power is generated when the two aspects are joined. Power in Japanese is chikara and the chi of chikara signifies blood, spirit. Blood flows up and down vertically throughout the human physical body. “Body” in Japanese is karada and kara signifies “shell,” the receptacle for the spirit. When blood, the physical manifestation of spirit leaves the body, you could say that the body becomes kara or “empty.” One word for “corpse” in Japanese nakigara or “no shell,” and the living physical body is nikutai, literally “flesh-body.” Explaining the Japanese word for “person” in Japanese, hito, according to the principles of word science, hi is the “spirit” and to is “stop,” so when “the spirit stops,” one becomes a person. Human beings are solid mass, which is written “standing body” in Chinese ideograms, because while individuals are in the physical world, the vertical, the materialized form of spirit which is blood, flows through the body. With death, the body becomes horizontal, the spirit leaves, and only the material, which is horizontal, remains. While it is a solid mass, the human physical body is warm, and when it lies on its side, it becomes cooler. We wear nightclothes when we sleep because in the spiritual world, the spirit of fire fluctuates vertically and the spirit of water flows horizontally.
     The balanced cross deserves mention here. Until the end of World War II, Japan, with its feudalistic system, was rather vertical. Because the class system was so strict, the war came about, and the general population had to suffer. It was at this stage that God, through the power of the horizontal, that is, democracy, saved the Japanese people. In simple terms, God placed through the vertical stick that is Japan, the horizontal stick of the American way. So were joined vertical and horizontal, and thus the birth cry of the civilization of the balanced cross was raised. When this meaning is grasped, the recent defeat in the war is a matter for rejoicing and because Japan has become a better, more fortunate nation, the its people should act accordingly. That the Japanese must look forward to the future and Japan become a magnificent country which is respected by the entire world is what I think.

 Essays in Faith, page 63, September 5, 1948
translated by cynndd