The Spirit of Japan
By Rabindranath Tagore
The Spirit of Japan is a Spiritual book. This speech is delivered for the Students of the Private Colleges of Tokyo and the Members of the Indo-Japanese Association, at the Keio Gijuku University by Rabindranath Tagore. I am glad to have this opportunity once more of speaking to you before I leave Japan. My stay here has been so short that one may think I have not earned my right to speak to you about anything concerning your country. I feel sure that I shall be told, that I am idealising certain aspects, while leaving others unnoticed, and that there are chances of my disillusionment, if I remain here for long. For I have known foreigners, whose long experience has made them doubtful about your moral qualifications, --even of your full efficiency in modern equipments of progress. But I am not going to be brow-beaten by the authority of long experience, which is likely to be an experience of blindness carried through long years. I have known such instances in my own country. The mental sense, by the help of which we feel the spirit of a people, is like the sense of sight, or of touch, --it is a natural gift. It finds its objects, not by analysis, but by direct apprehension. Those who have not this vision, merely see events and facts, and not their inner association. Those who have no ear for music, hear sounds, but not the song. Therefore when, by the mere reason of the lengthiness of their suffering, they threaten to establish the fact of the tune to be a noise, one need not be anxious about music. Very often it is mistakes that require longer time to develop their tangles, while the right answer comes promptly.