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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

♥ The fascinating world that is Japan

Yesterday I wandered around Shizuoka City for no reason other than to explore and perhaps just do a bit of "me" time. I carried around a little notebook and would randomly start writing on a bench or in a cafe (I went to two Starbucks for the lone reason I didn't know when I'd see one again, haha). So here is what I wrote...

I'm sitting on a bench in front of a French jewelry shop drinking a gingerbread latte, and am next to the two bags full of Mexican and INdian food supplies.

I live in Japan?

yes, Japan is still very Japanese and incredibly traditional, but in its sprint to technological and cultural advancement, I swear it has become more "western" than America.

I understand the importance to be worldly, I advocate it myself. Internalization is crucial to worldwide well being, but if one does not retain some sense of personal identity, we shall all become alike and there will be no more discovery.

Japan, a country of exceptionally little Christians has Christmas lights, trees, and music up everywhere, ahead of even those countries who celebrate it as a national holiday. I understand they use only the commercial values and aspects of it, but I am sad to not see paper lanterns and wind chimes. I understand the glitz and glamor of the appeal of Christmas decorations, but I, being an American, do not celebrate Culture Day or matsuris. Why do the Japanese "celebrate" Christmas?

A few thoughts is all. It is both enchanting and perplexing to me, but perhaps that is the motive. Be drawn to the warping culture of Japan and pay $8 for a tall gingerbread latte just because it is there. And you know what? I did, and I went into Parco, lit up in all its Christmas glory, and I bought something. Fascinating.

A random Japanese lady just gave me a mikan.

I smiled when she sat down next to me, and as she left she handed it to me, telling me what it was. I acknowledge the fact I knew it was a mikan and say asked me if I had eaten one, I smiled and nodded and she went on her way.

It is things like this that are so singularly Japanese. Earlier I passed an old man collapsed on a bench becoming sick, and all people did was stare and crowd about him. A worker of the shop directly in front of the bench was only hesitantly asking for help as he continued to sink to his side. I was terrified i was watching someone die, but as my Japanese is poor, I, myself wasn't able to do anything. I couldn't even remember the number for the police, and so I walked away. Both very angry at myself for doing that, but furious everyone was just STARING. That general disregard is horrific. Kids won't get up for the elderly on buses or trains, but speak about honor constantly. As much as I enjoy Japan, it is a country of many contradictions. On the other hand, I also experience unabridged kindness. I later went back to the palce where the old man was and found him sitting up, blankets around him and drnking water. I do not know what was wrong with him, but I wonder if he is another victim of the salaryman way of life who perhaps never made it home last night because all the trains stop at midnight. I'm not sure, btu I am veyr glad he is okay.

Every day is an experience I shall find seldom anywhere else.


9:03 AM

♥ Kristina

      The Curls. The girl. The Nippon.

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      22 yrs old
      ALT for Yaizu Chuo HS
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      This blog is rated PG-13 for language, occasional violence, crude humor, and lack of pie.

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