I’ll admit I’m torn on Japanese culture (and I realize how absurd that statement is). I love to be in Tokyo and hope to visit the rest of Japan some time – particularly Hokkaido – and I love Japanese art and design. Their architecture and craft are among my favourites too.
Where I have a major issue, though, is the whaling and dolphin-killing. It’s very hard to forgive that and see past its influence on the culture as a whole. I’d like to believe (as I have read) that support for these is an older generation thing and dying out, but I have nothing direct to base that on. I know I did see a whale meat restaurant in Asakusa when I was there last.
All the above notwithstanding, this is fantastic (via Susannah Breslin at BoingBoing):
“I’m in the front seat, riding with Soichiro in his car on his way to Shinjuku. “One cuts off one’s finger to make a point”, Soichiro explains while driving. “Usually to show the sincerity of an apology after doing something wrong.”
“You cut off a single digit of your own finger in a ceremonial way, while facing your boss, and then you present the severed finger on a folded napkin to him. It reinforces the power of your apology. It shows that you’re serious about what you’re saying.”
Somehow, i don’t feel like questioning that.”