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Author Topic: The meaning of 'Fushitsusha' / '不失者'...  (Read 4963 times)

krakow

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The meaning of 'Fushitsusha' / '不失者'...
« on: June 10, 2009, 11:16:34 PM »
I've heard various things about English meanings / translations for Fushitsusha, but, not knowing any Japanese, I'm a bit stuck about what might actually be valid.

The one that I got from somewhere and always had in my mind, was that it meant "breathing life into non-living things" or similar, but then I read (on ILX, where there's some other titbits and anecdotes) that this was incorrect and that it was better translated (by the ever helpful Mr Cummings no less) as "man without qualities".

So, what's the story...?

What has Haino said about this himself? I can't recall the details of his various interviews off the top of my head, but I'm guessing that he's been asked. Can anyone recall the references?

Thanks very much

Coquille

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Re: The meaning of 'Fushitsusha' / '不失者'...
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 01:51:32 AM »
i do recall ( :-\ ).... reading an interview in which he did sort of explain it .... 
i thought the idea had some Buddhist origin, it is an uncommon phrase ...
... obviously, i too would like to be set straight on this one!

BzL

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Re: The meaning of 'Fushitsusha' / '不失者'...
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 09:11:31 PM »
I think I remember Fushitsusha being a word Haino thought he invented, meaning "man without qualities"; but someone warned him that the word actually existed in a bouddhist sutra, with a different meaning. There is an interview I read some time ago where you may find more information.

edit: Oh well, here you go!

from http://www.halana.com/haino3.html
footnote #9

Haino thought that he had coined the term himself. From the literal meaning of the characters used to write it, Fushitsusha means "a person without qualities." As far as I understand it (which probably isn't very far), in Buddhism the term refers to a process that occurs during deep meditation–after losing all sense of self, if you continue to meditate to a very deep level you will eventually rediscover yourself, but a self devoid of all qualities and spiritually pure. Nijiumu is also supposedly a Buddhist term–the literal meaning of the characters is "the merging of that which is and that which is not."

krakow

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Re: The meaning of 'Fushitsusha' / '不失者'...
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2009, 05:46:19 AM »
Thanks BzL. I actually have that interview sitting by my bed, still waiting to be read fully. I'm always too tired by the time I get there...

The following was posted by the user Duke on ILX, who similarly pointed out the Halana interview and Alan's note:

Quote from: Duke
"Breathing life into non-living things" is not a valid translation of Fu Shitsu Sha. In an interview Haino did once talk of "breathing life into non-living things", but he was not saying that this was the meaning of the group's name, simply that this was the effect/intention of its music.

不 = Fu
失 = shitsu
者 = sha

"Sha" is one of several Kanji that convey the idea of a person/human
"Fu" and "shitsu" both convey the idea of "non-" or "un-". "Fu" is very common indeed, "Shitsu" less so (although I should say my Japanese is very basic".

Alan Cummings (no less) did once translate Fushitsusha as something along the lines of "A man without qualities" (if I recall correctly).

Given this translation, I wondered about any connection or relation to the book by Robert Musil.

The following quotes from Haino (the first from the Halana piece) were also pointed out by Duke as being pertinent to what he means by the name and the band itself:

Quote from: Haino
I was really surprised once when someone told me that the word "Fushitsusha" appears in a Buddhist sutra. On one level, if you are able to explain what "Fushitsusha" means then that means that you can also define what Buddhism means. I heard that from an actual priest, someone who has read a lot of obscure texts. That's the sense in which I use "Fushitsusha." We talked about this before – how in Buddhism nothing is the same as everything, so nothingness is not something that you should aim for

I am not an anarchist, I am Anarchy... When Buddha meditated he achieved satori [spiritual awakening, or enlightenment], and the body disappeared, that would be the end. But what physically remains after satori is what was written up by the Buddha's pupils, not the satori itself. Buddha said he's got something that he cannot understand or express in words. My job, my anarchy, which is political only insofar as not being interested in politics at all is political, what I am trying to do is to express in music the satori that the Buddha achieved but couldn't explain
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 05:52:09 AM by krakow »

alancummings

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Re: The meaning of 'Fushitsusha' / '不失者'...
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2009, 03:58:07 PM »
The three characters literally mean:
不:un-
失:lost
者:person

The Unlost?
I have a memory of Haino once talking about this as a term that he understood as referring to meditation, not sure if it was in an interview or conversation. If the initial goal of meditation is to rid yourself of the conscious thinking mind/self and just be, then this term referred to some deeper level of accomplishment in which the self could be rediscovered, but as a self stripped of certain qualities.
A bit vague, I know.