On my long list of places I would like to visit, Japan is fairly high up, probably just after Iceland, and Iceland is right at the top. It’s the kind of list that I can’t laminate because it changes all the time. Still, Japan is right up near the top. I’m sure by now you are on the edge of your seat, biting your nails (stop it!) and begging “why, Kat, please tell us why you would like to go to Japan so much?”
Well, since you ask, I shall tell you why: Japan rocks.
In fact, I don’t even know why you bothered to ask, everyone knows that.
The Japanese have giant robots and pod hotels, they have sushi and onigiri, they have girls in tiny short skirts and white knickers, and samurais, and ninjas, and sumos, and geishas. They have lucky cats, magic foxes and racoon-dogs with giant scrotums. They have anime and manga. They have ghosts and spirits and ancestors. They have sake. They have toilets that will do almost everything short of giving you a haircut (and by the time I have finished typing this blog post, they will probably have invented that too) and gadgets for everything under the sun. They also seem to have thought of a million things you could do with tentacles if you were so inclined, and indeed, so endowed…
In fact what I am really fascinated by is the amazing contrast between the very rigid traditions and rituals of Japanese society and the quasi-insane creativeness of Japanese culture. How can a single people be both so very serious and respectful and yet so utterly demented and inventive? That said, my own dear Blighty is also a country of contrasts, home of the cucumber sandwich, the scone and afternoon tea, but also of asbos, hooligans and chavs. In fact, that may well be the answer: the more refined and rigid one part of society becomes, the more eccentric and insane is the response. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, said Newton.
One day I may just save up enough to take myself and Husband off to the land of the rising sun, but in the meantime, I’ll just have to make do with a few nicknacks*, some Studio Ghibli DVDs and some amateur sushi-making.
*I have 2 happy little Nohohon-Zoku (see above) at home, who keep each other company and waggle their heads and feet in the sunshine, and a little black Maneki-neko cat who greets people as they enter our living room. I would like to make it clear that I have actually been physically restrained from buying more of these silly little cute-yet-utterly-useless thingamabobs. That is all.