What got you interested in Japanese culture?
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What got you interested in Japanese culture?
I started getting interested in Japanese culture when my cousin taught me a few phrases in Japanese. From then on, I have been reading books about Japan, reading Japanese magazines given to me by my cousin-in-law and getting information about Japan from my cousin-in-law.
We grew up with Japanese anime so it was a slow growing interest I suppose. I picked up the language a long time ago and then stopped. I'm thinking of starting again.
I really want to learn the language but I just don't have the time. I would absolutely LOVE to be able to speak Japanese.
My admiration for Japanese culture emanated from my contact with the work and philosophy of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who was deeply influenced by Japanese aesthetic principles: the studied elimination of the insignificant, the high respect for landscape and for the Nature of materials, and for the superb sense of craftsmanship which found application in Japanese Architecture and in the various arts and crafts.
Incidentally, I'm pleased to have in my collection one of the many Japanese prints which Wright collected. From the series Meisho Edo Hyakkei (A Hundred Views of Edo) by Hiroshige, the print features subtle pencil shading added by Wright.
The print, The "Kesakakematsu Pine" by the Senzoku-no ike Pond (Senzoku-no ike Kesakakematsu), is dated 2/1856.
I am totally fascinated with mythic Japan: Genji, Musashi, Madame Butterfly, Godzilla. This amuses my friends actually born in Japan, but I can't help it. I actually wrote a paper about Japanese creation myths when I was working on my first degree in mathematics. No idea where the fascination comes from. Love to recommend Yoshikawa's Musashi series, The Needle-Watcher by R. Blaker, and Japanese Inn by O. Statler.
When I was about 6 years old, my great aunt taught me some simple Japanese words (ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, etc.) and drew the kanji "person" and "horse" for me. It was the first awakening that there were other languages besides English and other types of people in the world. We were in the American midwest, and my great aunt had been an English teacher in Japan 1919-57. She also brought several Japanese things into our very plain lives, introducing me to fabrics, toys, paintings, ceramics, dolls, and BOOKS. :) Now, some 50 years later, I am married to a Japanese and live most of the time in Tokyo.
I think it all started when I was a small child and I saw the film Ran. I had no idea what was going on (or even that it was based on King Lear) at the time, but I was transfixed by the language, colors, violence, and how the actor's moved.
The more I explored the society of Japan, the odder it got (to my Western ideals & upbringing). And there are so many great things to observe. For one, they have a culture of Cuteness that is just so strange; especially since this is the antithesis of what Americans project.
So, yeah...from Ran to Cuteness...
I was 1st interested in Japanese Buddhism (specifically Zen).
I then went to Japan for 3 weeks to visit my ex partner who lived there and fell in love with the place.
It was cherry blossom season and this just made an already beautiful place even more lovely.
The people were so friendly and the culture is just fascinating. Japan is such an artistic place, and I just loved this about it. So now I am trying to learn Japanese and my visit to Japan has further spurred my religious journey as a Buddhist. Hopefully I will find myself living there for a while someday.
When I was a young teen, my mom gave me The Secret of the Samurai Sword by Phyllis A. Whitney, which is set in post-war Kyoto. Loved it and vowed to go to Japan. Took me 30 years, but eventually went and enjoyed it so much that I went back the next year to live there for 2 years. Want to go back again.
Some college friends of mine were exchange students in Osaka and talking to them about their experiences made me fall in love with Japan.
I was offered a position teaching English at a school in Sendai back in the 80's, but as I did not yet have my bachelor's degree, I couldn't go. Now I am 51 and have never been to Japan. It is probably my greatest regret.
Re: Messge 10
My Dad was 79 when he went to Japan. He still raves about it. Look forward: What would it take to get you there NOW? (Meaning the nearish future: 6 months to 2 years.)
Re: Message 10 JoseBuendia
51 certainly isn't too old to travel to Japan for the first time!
I got interested in Japan because 1) my husband started traveling there for work occasionally, and 2) they were holding the World Science Fiction Convention there in 2007. My husband and I began taking once-a-week Japanese lessons, plus we met Japanese scientists visiting here in Houston. So we planned our trip in 2007 and went for two weeks. It was wonderful! I brought home many Japanese children's picture books.
My father was in the Armed Forces, and we lived in the Far East until I was 9. We stayed longest in Malaya and as a child I watched a great deal of Japanese T.V including Astro Boy and The Samurai, impressions of which, stayed with me for the rest of my life. I have remained a great fan of Japanese Cinema, especially the Baby Cart series and classics like 'Kureneko' and 'Kwaidan'. I also have a great liking for Japanese Art especially prints, and have been reproducng them in watercolour for a number of years.
I was ready to go to taiwan but my dad who worked as a boat engineer/designer in japan was the only guest in a rural hotel in japan excepte when he heard thunder (groups coming to play majan) and paid half my fare there and let me stay for free so japan it was and when i told this story in japan it dissappointed many people
But i returned and it was largely because i found japanese the world's best language for punning. and i knew i could write my first bks by hand, which i did. In the US typing was demanded.
interesting to see more fathers above !
One of my best friend parents got divorced when he was younger and his dad moved back to Japan. He had to visit his dad every summer but freaked out at the idea of going alone so I went with him every year fr a few weeks. I really loved going and seeing all the neat things.
I have a personal affinity for Japanese culture just via my personality. I've never been, but I suspect it's a country that would make me feel very comfortable to visit or live in. I enjoy reading about its history and mythology, and I follow its daily news now and then via online sites like Asahi. For several years I corresponded with a penpal in Nagano valley and learned much that way as well. For instance, if a red pen is all you can find to write a letter with - go buy a blue one instead of using it!! Apparently red ink is reserved in Japan for "I despise you" letters.
September, 1998. I watched Evangelion and read James Clavell's Shogun at the same time.
That's when I decided to learn Japanese. Got a B.A. in Japanese Studies in 2006. :)
it is not re despising but about unluckiness and death.
Be that as it may, minasama,
please peek at my books 100% readable at Google-books
and react as you wish
i'll get back here some day!
I was at school in Derbyshire at the right time (local government were attracting Toyota to build their production plant at Burnaston). So, at a normal comprehensive school, we suddenly got offered Japanese language and cultural lessons. I ended up doing 3 years of Japanese and it included museums, a trip to the japanese embassy in London, kabuki and bunraku plays, lots of manga and anime- it was just excellent.
In the last few years, after I ended up working in Logistics, I have even had a few long work trips to Japan that have only confirmed it as a really wonderful place.
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