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Y is for Yugen

Today’s word is not really an English word, rather yūgen (yugen) is an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics. Its meaning is as beautiful as the word itself sounds. While the exact translation of the word depends on the context, one definition I saw says, “yugen is an awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and powerful for words.”

Yūgen suggests that beyond what can be said but is not an allusion to another world. It is about this world, this experience.

Wikipedia

“To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds. And, subtle shadows of bamboo upon bamboo.” ~Zeami Motokiyo

When I read these examples above that can evoke yugen, it does seem that all of us have experienced it one time or another, and it is what we just fail to put into words. We end up saying vague things that something-or-the-other, or use those oft-repeated words like amazing, awesome, magical and so on, and realize that the feeling is still beyond what we have said.

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The Books

The Yawns are Coming

Book Info

Title: The Yawns Are Coming!
Author/Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos
Publishers: Dial Books
Pub Date: April 28, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Bedtime & Dreams
Age-Range: 4 – 8 years
Source: Edelweiss

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My Thoughts

Yaaaawn!!! That is what I kept doing as I read this book. And before you think this book is boring, I assure you, IT IS NOT BORING AT ALL!! It is a really sweet and original read, totally fun, and full of energy that bounces off the pages.

The scene is one that is familiar to all, where two little ones are battling the Yawns as they plan to stay up all night during their sleepover. After all, they have a long list of things to do!! But what can they do when the Doze follows those numberless Yawns, and then some more as well!

And I loved the illustrations – they match the fun, cute, bouncing with energy (yes, even though this book is about yawns) text perfectly well. Yawn….

In Summary

This book is made for reading aloud! It will make sure the aawwwss and giggles are coming to the readers who read it! And I dare you to read it without yawning once….

Get it Here

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Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for the eARC of the book; these are my honest opinions after reading this book.

You Can Do It, Noisy Nora!

Book Info

Title: You Can Do It, Noisy Nora!
Author/Illustrator: Rosemary Wells
Publishers:Viking Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: April 28, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Family / Multigenerational
Age-Range: 4 – 8 years
Source: Edelweiss

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Barnes and Noble
|| IndieBound

My Thoughts

I recall reading a few Noisy Nora books for my dd when she was littler (she is a teen now!) and always enjoyed them. This one takes the reader on Nora’s efforts to master the violin, and reminded me of those early days of my kids’ learning their instruments.

The painfully-not-able-to-put-into-words (note: not yugen) noises that make others cringe, the struggles of the one learning, the ‘try, try again, and you will succeed’ truth: all of this is captured effortlessly through smooth flowing rhyming text and sweet colorful illustrations.

In Summary

Great for those who enjoyed the original Noisy Nora books as well as for those who have struggled with learning (or those around them) an instrument.

Get it Here

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Barnes and Noble
|| IndieBound

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Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for the eARC of the book; these are my honest opinions after reading this book.

“It is like an autumn evening under a colorless expanse of silent sky. Somehow, as if for some reason that we should be able to recall, tears well uncontrollably.” Kamo no Chōmei

My ‘Y’ Book Stack

The Books

  • The Year of Fog
  • You’ve Got to be Believed to be Heard
  • Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
  • You Read to Me I’ll Read to You
  • You Read to Me & I’ll Read to You

Quick Notes

Except for the first book, I have read the others, at least partly, and enjoyed them all. The You Read I’ll Read books are both different ones and great fun to read with your little ones.

Random Thing(s) for ‘Y’ Day

Just a list today; the words and their meanings

  • yawny (adj): full of or inspiring yawns  (had to include this one!!)
  • yarborough (n): (in bridge or whist) a hand with no card above a nine
  • yealing (n): Scottish word: someone who is the same age as you
  • yepsen (n): an obsolete British dialect word. I loved the meaning (or rather the fact that what it means has a word for it!). Yepsen refers to the amount that can be held in two hands cupped together.
  • yim (v): to break something into fragments
  • yogibogeybox (n): it is all the paraphernalia carried by a spiritualist (from Ulysses).
  • yump (v): When a car leaves the ground when it crests a hill at speed, it yumps.

And now, the end of this post

So, dear reader, as always, a couple of questions for you. Have you read any of the pictured books? Do you have interesting ‘y’ words or facts for me?

“What we call yugen lies within the mind and cannot be expressed in words.  Its quality may be suggested by the sight of a gauzy cloud veiling the moon or by the autumnal mists swathing the scarlet leaves on a mountainside.   If one is asked where yugen can be found in these sights, one cannot say; a man who cannot understand this truth is
quite likely to prefer the sight of the moon shining brightly in a cloudless sky.  It is quite impossible to explain wherein lies the interest or wonder of yugen.”

–  Shotetsu, in Donald Keene’s No: The Classical Theatre of Japan.

For previous posts, click on the links below:

Day_0(Theme) Day_1A Day_2B Day_3C Day_4D Day_5 Day_6E Day_7F Day_8G Day_9H Day_10I Day_11J Day_12 Day_13K Day_14L Day_15M Day_16N Day_17O Day_18P Day_19 Day_20Q Day_21R Day_22S Day_23T Day_24U Day_25V Day_26 Day_27W Day_28X

Linking up to the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge (click on the images to learn more about these challenges)

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11 thoughts on “Y is for Yugen

  1. What a cute book about The Yawns are Coming. Yes, as soon as I read the word ‘yawn’ I started yawning! I haven’t read any of your Y books but Noisy Nora sounds familiar, maybe my granddaughter read it when she was younger.

  2. The theme of my blog post is Yertle the Turtle!!! And other books. But I was also thinking about places that have Y names. Such as Yakutsk and Yucatan and Yeongam and Yongfeng and Yanzhou and Yalta and Yamaguchi and so many others. It is fun to pick a letter and find all sorts of places that have names that begin with that letter!

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