My End-less Love for Japan

by Jeanette Kanaguri

 

 

Dear Beautiful Soul,

thank you for reading my blog. I hope you are enjoying it!

The winter in Tokyo has been very cold. The Japanese people haven’t experienced such a cold winter in a long time. How has your winter been so far?

For long, I wished to thanks, Japan, for being my home for the last 4 years. Almost 5.  It is such a wonderful country, and there many reasons to Japanese can feel proud of their country.

First of all, there is such a respect for the elderly people. You can immediately feel it when you enter a hospital and watching how the nurse and the family care about their elderly family member.

Secondly, the Japanese embrace imperfection. It derives from the Japanese saying “Wabi Sabi”. Leonard Koren, the author of “Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers,” has coined his own definition, which has become standard for authors in the West:

“Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental.”

As an illustration are handmade potteries, that are irregularly shaped, with uneven glaze, cracks. In tea ceremonies, we appreciate the bowls because of (not in spite of) their drips and cracks. The Japanese philosophy is to celebrate beauty in what’s natural, flaws and all.

Thirdly, is patience. For example, if you stand on a busy train in the morning in one the largest cities in Japan, like Tokyo, the Japanese people show such diligence and humility.

One morning, I stood next to a young businessman. While he tried to type a message on his smartphone, a lady standing next time him her ponytail came on his display. He looked like nothing had happened and continued his message.

Kindness is the basic language of the Japanese people. Almost everywhere you go you meet kind and goodwill people. I have visited many countries, and it my first time I have met such graciousness.

Following the rhythm of nature. The Japanese people embrace the seasons. Every season has its own charm and beauty, and the Japanese people love to eat seasonal food and hold parties related to the season.

For example, do they have Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival, February 3rd). Setsubun signifies “the parting of the seasons” the day before the first day of spring. On the evening of that day, people yell, “Out with the orgre! In the with the happiness! (Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!)” while scattering roasted soybeans (mame-maki) inside and outside of their homes.

Clean-up after yourself! In Tokyo, you seldom find garbage boxes on the street. Instead, you bring home your own garbage from your trip outside.

Last but not least: Peace. When I came to Japan, I immediately felt peaceful. Everywhere you go you feel a sense of peace and tranquility. Even in the center of Tokyo, you feel calm, and undisturbed by the many people.

I felt it very unique, and I wanted to question it whether it was only me who felt it in that way. One day, I was sitting next to a Japanese lady. We began talking and she said, “I have been living many places, but I always wished to come back to Tokyo”. I asked why. She said: “I feel at peace everywhere, I go”.

Stay warm, and with someone you love,

シャネット

 

Below pictures are my current love from the Internet, Instagram. I love pictures, they make me smile, dream – e lot :o), and make me feel that everything is possible.

Pictures by @nonihana_, @journeyintolavillelumiere, @myrahpenaloza, @womanonpurpose.rachael, @thetrottergirl

Top picture and featured pictures are created by Crista Priscilla

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