“An illustration is an example or a story which is used to make a point.”

Krisztian Attila  and Donald Keene

Donald Keene was Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor at Columbia University.
He is the author of more than thirty books.

I could introduce Donald Keene in many ways: a professor who introduced the Japanese literature to the Western world. Or an American who found himself in the Japanese culture and strengthened its values. Keene could be introduced as a man who the more immersed in the Japanese culture, the more famous person he met in Japan, the U.S. and many other countries while his simplicity and humbleness was shining.

After the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, Donald Keene applied for the Japanese citizenship when many foreigners left Japan. He said “The majority of foreigners left the country after the catastrophe but I stayed! I would like to show that I believe in Japan.” Donald Keene spent his whole life with understanding what is so attractive in Japan and who the Japanese people are.

Keene was able to connect the past and present in a way that it enhances the value of all of this if I listen to his words attentively.

„When I was a boy, milk was delivered by the drivers of wagons pulled by horses. Such milk wagons probably no longer exist, but even more vivid in my memory is clink of bottles of milk as they were set down every morning at the door by the driver. In the “mansion” where I lived in Tokyo, there is a little cupboard for milk bottles built into the wall outside the door, proof that as recently as thirty-five years ago (when the building was erected) it was normal for milk to be delivered in bottles.”

Donald Keene

„Art & Wisdom for Life.”

  Copyright © Silent Sage by Krisztian Attila