Like the knights of medieval Europe, so the samurai of Japan hold great fascination. Maybe, with a touch of orientalist exoticism, all the greater a fascination.
Japan tourism is booming – and the Fascination Japan still arises from its foreignness and the peculiarity of its culture. With Japan being seen as so different from the “West”, a Japanese influence on highlights of European art, works by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh or Klimt, surprises.
Tokyo, on my arrival and first days, presented itself as a megalopolis from high up, that felt like a collection of villages on the ground.
Back again, with the Autumn Festival taking place in the Meiji Shrine park and with the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku and Shibuya, it was parkland – and Blade Runner.
We don’t often have reason to think of where we’ve come from and where we’ve gone. In this world of instant communication and a fascination with youthful impulsivity, even less so.
I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that you should go to the south side of Uji, from the railway station, should you decide to go there at all.
North side, wrong side of the tracks. Nothing to see there.
As Japan still suffers from the aftershocks – literal and indirect – of the massive Tohoku earthquake of March 11, and even as I’d rather not talk much about it out of reverence for all those affected, there are some noteworthy inter-cultural dynamics playing out in the reaction to it…
It’s been particularly interesting as I’m standing at an intersection of a long-standing interest in Japan, insight into the e-mail list of German lecturers in Japan, a view of German and American media, and the view from China.