On the Roman calendar, it is the feast of Francis Xavier—a Jesuit of some personal importance to me. To celebrate the day somewhat fittingly, given the Navarran’s mission to the East, I offer the following. Behold Beethoven’s tribute to Schiller’s poem, sung by thousands of Japanese in “daiku”:
For some background, you may wish to read, “A Weird Relationship between Japan and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”
It is remarkable to see how well a civilization has embraced the treasure of another. Of course, such borrowing and adoption have happened since the dawn of man. Cross-pollination underlies much of culture. However, those transactions happened in distant ages, and we no longer consider them. However, the Orient remains, in many ways, quite alien to us. It is therefore wonderfully strange to witness the Far East celebrate the canon of the West.
As Europeans fall into barbarism, there may be consolation that the yellow people will keep the flame of the West burning, at least in some ways.