Right here’s a disclaimer. The closest I’ve been to Japan is really good anime and youtube vlogs so if you take me literally you must be the three cylinders short of a V8.
When I think of Japan I’m swarmed by cherry petals of beautiful thoughts. I think of this anime I was really into called Bleach (I recommend) and the constant cameos of Japanese culture and tradition, the bright colors of festivals filling the night sky, the peace and calm of nature I’m yet to embrace. I think about the books I read as a kid, about shoguns and wars, folk tales and historical moments. I think about the book I just finished reading about a great sword maker and his apprentice, the sword maker had made a beautiful and powerful sword that throughout the centuries was said to represent good and peace. His apprentice however, a talented but twisted man filled with dark desire to outdo his master, made a blood-lustful blade, through the centuries it was believed to be cursed, known to bring victory, wealth and prestige, along with destruction in its wake and would drive the wielder to murder or suicide. The masters sword is famously known as Honjo Masamune while the infamy of the dark sword etched itself in lore as the Crimson Blade, they crossed paths throughout history and legend until they disappeared near the end of the Second World War but remain still in many people’s minds. Good story I’ll have you know.
Back in the day before there was Netflix, or Dstv we had this decoder at home called WizTech which showed all kinds of channels from different places all over the world. One of my most memorable moments with the Wiz was a Saturday morning, it was raining outside so I was inside and there were unfortunately no cartoons on at that time. So I scrolled and scrolled until I stumbled upon this channel which showed how modern technology was being used to assimilate with the natural elements in countries like Japan. Nine year-old me found this documentary staggering, the gadgets and innovations were so cool while the nature was beautiful and fascinating. On that same channel I would watch documentaries on Japanese artifacts and history and little National Geographic cameos on the places in Japan.
So from what I’ve seen from the pictures is that the most astonishing things about Japan are:
- Their architecture, the way it blends with nature and the constant calm and peaceful aesthetic has properly taken the world by storm.
- The creativity, from the fashion, media and probably anime as the most popular. It puts free-artistic thinking on a completely different wavelength.
- Nature, I will always say that every single place in the world has it’s own type of beauty that makes it it’s own and Japan is no different, it portrays so much color, diversity and vibrancy that one could argue a regular painting or photo could never do it justice.
- The culture and tradition carefully embedded in every aspect of life, what more do you need.
For me Japan has become a place in my mind, a “state” of mind if you will. In my mind I take walks there, watch the sun go down behind cherry blossom trees and Yamajiros (type of Japanese castle) in the distance. Its a beautiful, calm and peaceful place were I sit on a make believe bench next to a make believe koi pond and think up mad ideas and things of that nature. It’s a place were the sun never sets but stays in perpetual sunset, it’s a place were I can sit on an empty plain field and watch horses gallop by while I listen to Jaden Smith and Sticky Fingers. It’s a historic wonderland, a haiku of wars, cultures and traditions. A place of beautiful castles, paintings and Jade sculptures, like the ones I would see in old movies in the pictures.
I can’t say that Japan as a place is unparalleled because I reiterate I’ve never been but from a mental aspect the idea of the place drives a certain form of imagination within, a form of peace and serenity were I can think up anything of any scale with no inhibitions. God-willing I will be able to visit Japan and write a proper article on it instead of this shoddy mess but until then, one must dream the tale for it to come true and I dream quite a bit.
Have a good day