To unravel the metaphor of ‘city as living organism’ in Megastructure projects of Metabolism, the commonplace of ‘Japanese love for nature’ seems to be one starting point. Going back to the Ise publication, Tange described it as “an animistic attitude of willing adaptation to and absorption in nature”. 1 Instead of the mere appreciation of nature’s picturesque beauty, however, Japanese rather respect nature’s process, or to say the ‘course of nature’. The cyclical change of the four seasons has been a popular subject in Japanese arts since as early as the Heian period. The main theme of The Tale of Genji ( Genji monogatari ) 2 by Shikibu Murasaki, one of the classics of Japanese literature, is exactly this changing character of nature. Yet, Murasaki is not merely describing the charm of the changing seasons or the changing moon, but masterfully harmonizing the feelings of characters to each stage of this change. Motoori has claimed that by virtue of his sensitive emotional response to the beauty of the changing character of nature and the gentleness of human relations, Genji—the main hero—manifests the idea of mono no aware. 3 A similar emotional sensitivity to the power of nature can be detected in the famous monk-poet Saigyo’s poems a century later. His description of his feelings when faced with the beauty of Ise was taken up in Horiguchi’s discourse: “The expression as an architectural ensemble, built within a thousands-year-old forest and surrounded by a sacred hedge [ mizugaki ] and imperial fence [ tamagaki ], has long echoed the feeling of the twelfth-century monk/poet, Saigyo: ‘I know what lies within, but I am in tears with gratitude’”. 4 According to Isozaki, Horiguchi interpreted Saigyo’s words as a testimony of “an intuitive sympathy for the power of nature”. 5 “Hojoki” (“The Ten Foot Square Hut”), 6 by a contemporary of Saigyo, the poet and essay-ist Kamo no Chomei, is in turn one of the most well-known transmissions of the concept of mono no aware, rooted in the Buddhist understanding of the impermanence of material things and the transience of human life. Through chronicling a series of calamities he has seen in his life, Chomei denotes his resignation to this 180impermanence. Similarly to The Tale of Genji, the feeling of impermanence is embodied in the nature metaphor. Apart from the already established practice of the metaphor of the four seasons, however, the continuously changing character of nature is described in the story’s opening sentence in a slightly different way: “Though the river’s current never fails, the water passing, moment by moment, is never the same. (…) In this world, people and their dwelling places are like that, always changing”. 7 Chomei’s interpretation of the concept of impermanence through the river metaphor is quite complex: not only is impermanence expressed by the passage of time, but also the physical movement—represented in the passing water—emphasizes the dynamism that resides in this impermanence. This concept of dynamism is what indeed differentiates the Japanese nature view—and based on it, life view—from that of the Western one. In his book entitled Nihon bunka to kenchiku (Japanese culture and architecture), 8 Kawazoe claimed that the incompleteness of the non-Euclidean space defined by the sculptures of Russian avant-garde sculptor Naum Gabo expresses “the process of dynamic motion of Life”, 9 which was a central notion also in traditional Japanese arts.