The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the theoretical significance of mi-tate [seeing-as, to see something as another] through analyses of the inner structure of consciousness (imagination) and the outer expression of speech-act (signification).
In the first part, "Mi-tate and Metaphor", I analyze the act of mi-tate from the etymological and semantic point of view. According to the definitions in authoritative Japanese dictionaries, mi-tate is comparing something to another, and in this meaning it is similar to the metaphor: transferring some word to another. In the second part, "Aspects of Mi-tate: Comparison between Images", first I introduce the associative relationship between images based on the resemblance. Then I examine some examples of mi-tate which are divided into the following three dimensions: comparing (resemblance), adaptation (substitution), and transition (naming). In the third part, "Structure of Mi-tate: Transfer of Concept", first I analyze some aspects of trope and the perlocutionary act of speech. Then I insist the difference between mitate and metaphor, and point out the ironical attitude toward being behind mi-tate.
Based on these analyses and considerations, in the "Conclusion: Symbolization of Being through the Analogy of Nothingness", I will demonstrate that mi-tate is the dialectic process of heuristic expression through seeing and making, that is based on the inner discovery of the nothingness of things which are becoming and disappearing, not eternally being.