Jeudi en résidence #12 with Michaela Vieser: “Nature Writing and Spirituality”

Thursday 7 November 2019 from 6.30 to 7.30 pm

Jeudi en résidence #12 with Michaela Vieser

“Nature Writing and Spirituality: Embracing the Kumano Landscape”

Michaela Vieser will talk about Nature Writing and Spirituality, why as a German this is still considered a taboo topic and how this has led her to write a novel set in Japan in 1690.

She will outline the work on “Kumano” in which she portrays the life and walks of a nun from the Japanese Kumano order and how she crosses paths with the German physician Engelbert Kaempfer. Three landscapes meander through the novel: firstly a Japanese religious painting of an enacted landscape, secondly the sensory landscape of the wandering nun and thirdly the dissected landscape of the German physicist.

Michaela Vieser will comment on her real encounters with Japanese mountain ascetics, why slime molds are important to understand Japanese nature and spirituality and how a Mandala by a Japanese polymath has become an iconic image in present-day Japan as a roadmap through the anthropocene.

Michaela Vieser studied Japanese and Japanese History of Art, lived in Japan for six years and immersed herself for one year in a Buddhist monastery in Southern Japan, where she was introduced to the so called Way of Sword, Calligraphy, Flowers, Tea and Zen. She now lives in Berlin, but frequently revisits and produces stories about Japan for radio, TV and print. One of the episodes of her series Love Rituals with Charlotte Roche also deals with Japan and is currently available on ARTE.

She has contributed to Japan fürs Handgepäck (Unionsverlag, 2019) with one chapter from her book Tee mit Buddha.

Event in English

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Library of the Jan Michalski Foundation