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Ginza Hokoten Story I
Judit Kawaguchi

Ginza Hokoten Story I


I love Japan! I have so much to thank Japan for: a wonderful family, tons of great friends and the general bliss I feel 24/7 because of the immense kindness and thoughtfulness of pretty much everyone I come in contact with. I am one lucky girl and I thank for all this goodness every single day.

For the past five years I set up my love antenna in Ginza's hokoten to give people a chance to vent freely and myself the opportunity to return some of the love and attention I get. Listening to people's problems, through this emotional connection, I noticed that most Japanese are burdened by the same guilt-laden lack of self-love and the tortured, self-destructive national identity that I see in the Japanese media. My street monitor to the national psyche shows a confused picture and in this series I will examine the roots of these feelings while offering up my own ideas of how to deal with them.

Even while living in Chicago, I knew something was very wrong with Japan because most Japanese I met there ---or in Paris, for instance---complained endlessly about Japan. OK, I thought, these people didn't like it there so they left but amazingly not only long-term residents but even Japanese tourists gave the same bad rap to their country. What shocked me was how they couldn't find anything to be proud of. This was especially strange after living a few years in the US where I met people from so many countries and although we all shared our love for the US, we also had a lot of nice things to say about our birthplaces. All except the Japanese. I always offered up the little I knew and loved: the great movies, poetry, electronics, traditional arts, my tiny list went on but while most of them actually didn't seem to know much about any of it, they were adamant: Japan was not a place to live and its culture nothing original but simply imported mish-mash and its history a series of events to be ashamed of. Although based on my limited knowledge at the time I already disagreed, I didn't have enough information to back up my position. Now I know that Japan is the world's second biggest economy, has the world's longest life expectancy and it is the safest and the least aggressive country since it does not sell any military equipment to anyone, even though Japan has very sophisticated weapons technology to protect itself. Yet all the great current and past achievements are not enough to give the Japanese pride in themselves ? How come?

Till next time, from hokoten with love! JK
【2006/05/20 21:34】 | Ginza Hokoten 物語(J/E) | トラックバック(0) | コメント(0)
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