Skip to main content

Japan Country

iwaki
( B/W film, 125, 400, red filter, Olympus IZ-20)
This shot of an old wooden storage shack was taken somewhere along the West Coast of Japan, the Pacific Ocean side.

From where this wooden shack stands, tucked away in a grassy meadow, there are numerous small residences spread far apart from each other, many of which have only one occupant; perhaps an elderly person or two. They all own huge plots of land according to Japanese standards.
iwaki1
Even in this slow paced environment people still wake up at the crack of dawn to toil away in the fields. Most people out here get out of bed at 4:30a.m. sharp everyday. They eat a nice Japanese style breakfast, read a newspaper then head out to the garden and work until lunch. After lunch they head back out until dinner and then they call it a day at around 10p.m.


I recall one day while I was relaxing in an onsen in Nagano during this time of year, Autumn. Two older Japanese gentlemen entered in and greeted me. One of them asked me what I had thought about the place. I said that I was in love with it, the nature and the natural raw rugged beauty of the Nagano Alps.


 A burst of laughter came out of both of them over my ridiculous comment. They told me that I should come and live with them for six months during winter, that way I could shovel snow for them at 4:30a.m. every single day until early spring. I guess I must’ve been looking at things through rose colored glasses….



It’s amazing how Tokyoites and working holiday travelers have the same opinions about foreign countries and city life.    Most kids get bored living in the country, so they move to the big city and the only thing that has changed is their attitude and the way they dress everyday.  They work just as hard, make more money but are more stressed out and less happy, and most of all, less sexual and more ignorant of the sublime beauty of life at home, even with its ups and downs and 4:30am wake up calls.


The working holiday traveler( Japanese female) has more opportunities abroad than here at home. She has a lot of reasons for leaving Japan, one reason being is that there are few men left in her native homeland. Most of the Japanese men here have all evolved into herbivore types ( new term to mean fag, queer, or homo – let nobody tell you any different term for this).  Many lack any sense of moral responsibility for the country, and have no sense of patriotism, nor accountability for the future of the nation. It’s not hard to understand why a Japanese woman would be desperate for a real man in another country – they’re just thirsting for testosterone!



Unfortunately, most Japanese women think that somehow by learning and mastering English their lives will improve drastically. This most often is not true, and is what also fuels their drive to learn more English. Some of the most unhappy and confused Japanese men(?) and women are the ones who have acquired near fluency in Western languages. They spend years trying to make sense out of being Japanese and Western all the time. Common sense should tell them that it’s impossible to truly merge both mind sets into one whole.



The Iron Laws of history repeat itself time and time again.   Eastern and Western thought cannot merge. They can agree on a set of terms, but never be merged completely into one whole consciousness. Stubbornness prevails more often than not in Japan I guess.

(“The house is burning.   Girl says, “ I don’t believe you.” )


In the end, you work hard your whole life no matter where you choose to live. The city life destroys the soul, the rigors of country life destroys the imagination.  I have succeeded in merging both my soul and imagination into one whole beauty, one whole concept.  These two elements merged will serve you better.   My whole heart and mind is in Japan, not split between two countries and two different sets of ideologies.

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…