J: In Japan, it is considered an extremely thorough piece of work, and by far the best thing you can read on the No-play.
I: But reading alone is hardly enough.
J: You would need to attend such plays. But even that remains hard as long as you are unable to live within Japanese existence. To allow you to see, even if only from afar, something of what the No-play defines, I would assist you with one remark. You know that the Japanese stage is empty.
I: That emptiness demands uncommon concentration.
J: Thanks to that concentration, only a slight additional gesture on the actor's part is required to cause mighty things to appear out of a strange stillness.
I: How am I to understand you?
J: For instance, if a mountain landscape, is to appear, the actor slowly raises his open hand and holds it quietly above his eyes at eyebrow level. May I show you?
I: Please do.
(The Japanese raises and holds his hand as described.)
I: That is indeed a gesture with which a European will hardly be content.
J: With it all, the gesture subsists less in the visible movement of the hand, nor primarily in the stance of the body. The essence of what your language calls "gesture" is hard to say.
I: And yet, the word "gesture" helps us experience truly what is here to be said.
J: Ultimately, it coincides with what I have in mind.
I: Gesture is the gathering of a bearing.
J: No doubt you intentionally avoid saying: our bearing.
I: Because what truly bears, only bears itself toward us . . .
J: . . . though we bear only our share to its encounter.