Postponed: What is the sound of one hand clapping? On music in Japanese culture


Sun 22. March 2020, 15:30


Arvo Pärt Centre


Alari Allik



Japanese Zen master Hakuin (1686–1769) devised a task for his students: “A one-handed clap makes a sound – listen to it!” Buddhism avoids simple dualistic oppositions – sound and silence, music and noise – which distort our perception of reality. Giving up such concepts, you may notice aspects of things and phenomena that would otherwise remain hidden. Throughout history, Japanese composers, writers and artists have seen creativity as a practice that helps to get rid of fossilised ideas and to approach sounds, words or colours from unexpected angles. This time, our talk will focus on the philosophical foundations of this tradition.

Alari Allik (PhD) is the lecturer of Japanese Studies and Head of Asian Studies at Tallinn University. He has studied in Tōkyō and Ōsaka and teaches courses on Japanese literature, religion and philosophy. His research deals with biographical and autobiographical writings and the ways the identity of the authors was constructed in Medieval Japan. In addition to his research Alari Allik has also translated and commented on classical Japanese literature. His translations of Saigyō’s “Mountain Home” (Sankashū) and Fujiwara Teika’s small anthology “One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each” (Ogura hyakunin isshu) have been published by Tallinn University Press.

The lecture will be in Estonian and is open to all those interested.


Attendance with the Arvo Pärt Centre's visitor ticket or with the ticket for the concert after.


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