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Enfolding SilenceThe Transformation of Japanese American Religion and Art under Oppression$
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Brett J. Esaki

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190251420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251420.001.0001

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Origami, the Silence of Self, and the Spirit of Vulnerability

Origami, the Silence of Self, and the Spirit of Vulnerability

Chapter:
(p.75) 2 Origami, the Silence of Self, and the Spirit of Vulnerability
Source:
Enfolding Silence
Author(s):

Brett J. Esaki

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251420.003.0003

This chapter examines the history of origami, notably streams that divided in early twentieth-century Japan, Europe, and the United States; the art of Linda Mihara; and the silence of self that employs indigenous interconnectivity to negotiate psychic bifurcation. The silence of self, illustrated with sign language notation, hybridizes the American independent self of integrity and the Japanese interdependent self of intimacy, a dichotomy portrayed in psychology and religious studies. The history of origami details its transformation in Japanese culture and European and American education, notably in the tradition of Friedrich Froebel. Explications of Linda Mihara's art reveal the cultural negotiation of Japanese American women as the "nice girl" and the preservation of a Japanese American conception of kami (Shinto spirits). These insights are brought together through psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott's potential space, leading to a model of development for a non-binary or polytheistic self that can sustain multiple cultures.

Keywords:   silence, Japanese Americans, origami, kami, psychoanalysis, Friedrich Froebel, potential space, independent self, interdependent self, nice girl

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