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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, ...

Dear Kami: My Hatsumode


Dear Kami, Thank you for a very interesting year. I learned a lot about people, about myself, too. I learned that it's ok to forget and to release the past. But, at the same time I also learned that it's not OK to entirely  forget the past because it's from our past that we learn our future, yet the future does not exist, yet the past is are only indication of what may lie ahead, for if we do not learn from the past we are bound to make the same mistakes again.

I closed myself off and stopped socializing in order to reassess my bearings, and why I was socializing in the first place.  I'm glad I did.  I do intend to make a major come back on the social scene this year, though, and with a goal of putting myself out there, so to speak.   To further the gospel of Japan love, Jukujo, and Japanese sake.  Thank you for all the people I have met over years. Thank you for all the happy times, even the sad ones. The heartbreaks the let downs, the disappointment, the joys.

I have learned that a smile isn't a smile, and that mere words alone simply roll off the icy cold glass window pane.   Love is a sacrifice, not a kiss or flowery word.  I have learned that people are all different, and that I do not have to always compromise with these people.   If I choose to hang out with dung beetles then it's going to be on my own terms, not theirs.  If you do not drink the ancient rice brew then shame on you.

Superficial and pretentious are words I must learn to overcome.  Superficial in what I want, and from who I want it from.  Pretentious I am not, but come off as in the eyes of others.  Pretentious and arty would be me trying, I am not and neither have I ever tried to be either.  I have placed an enormous degree of importance on things like onsen, sake, and the Jukujo, and so on.  It's because these things are what I value over the rampant sub-culture and anglo worship of this country.  I don't find Haikyo to be beautiful; dead buildings and remnants of old rotting unattended structures.   I don't think it's chic to mix wine and nihonshu; fried chicken and sushi. Interracial marriage is not cute either, unless it is with me.

There's only one Japan, yet there are many Americas. This year I hope for more Jukujo encounters. More hot springs, more sake, more tales must be told. Hopefully, I can lecture more on the Right and the science of "wa." I aspire to become a better human being, a mentor, a lover, a Japanologist. A better connoisseur.   Better than best.   God of my own desires.


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