Turning Japanese

I love being Norwegian, but today I found myself wondering why am I not Japanese?? Why was I born in Canada and not Japan??? I absolutely love (almost) everything about Japan. I love how beautiful everything is, I love their history, and that their “cartoons” actually have stories and aren’t necessarily meant for children. Everything is artsy in Japan, like how their language (both spoken and written) is so intricate. Have you ever seen someone writing in Japanese? It’s amazing. There are so many strokes in so many orders, its totally confusing and I just love it. I have a book of Edo Era artwork that blows me away every time I open it. These are just a few of my favourite things about Japan…

This photo is well over 100 years old

Hard to believe right? Its on glass and was painted over. I believe its from the Meiji Era.. and that’s all I know about it.

Edo Era houses

Ink Fisherman

Sumi-e

Edo Era monkey painting

You can find this in the British Museum.

Edo wave painting

This has a cool title, but I’ve forgotten it 😦

Studio Ghibli's Grave of the Fireflies based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka

One of the most heart breaking movies I’ve ever seen.

Howl's Moving Castle

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

A great movie “for five year olds”. Another great children’s movie is My Neighbor Totoro.

Princess Mononoke

Hayao Miyazaki is a genius!

Ouran High School Host Club

Don’t judge until you’ve seen AND read it.

Baccano! based on the novels by Ryohgo Narita

Violent, but so beautiful. And funny! A perfect display of Japanese appreciation for North American culture.

Durarara!!

Also based on the novels by Ryohgo Narita. It takes place in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, but is about wordly issues. The name refers to a Dullahan, an Irish headless rider of sorts.

(When I said I love almost everything, I just meant that I don’t eat meat and even when I did I hated sea food. I love rice and noodles though!)

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7 comments

  1. Melanie

    I like alot of Studio Ghbli’s work. Ponyo was cute, Island in the Sky is great, Grave of the Fireflies is sad but great too. I’m pretty sure we have Princess Monoke but for some reason I haven’t watched it yet. Casey has all these and it’s because of him I know them. Have you watched any videos of the conductor/composer Joe Hisaishi? He’s fantastic. I love his expressions. He always looks so pleased and like he is really enjoying himself. I too love many things Japanese and I don’t eat meat either but I love noodles and rice and I will eat sushi that has vegies in or crabmeat only.

  2. Ashley Løseth

    Princess Mononoke is absolutely stunning, you should watch it as soon as possible! I’ve never watched Joe Hisaishi in action really, but I have seen a few interviews with him. I can see why he does every Studio Ghibli film! I used the theme song for Princess Mononoke on my photo story in grade 12 because I love it so much. You can watch the video on my facebook page if you like 🙂

  3. scarletsculturegarden

    I’m a Studio Ghibli fan – it was great when Kiki’s Delivery Service was on the other day, a real rare treat! I spent most of my time between 8-13 wondering why I wasn’t Japanese and that it wasn’t fair. Now I just want to go there one day, since I’m quite comfortable being British.

  4. Ashley Løseth

    I’ve never seen Kiki’s Delivery Service, but I’ve heard great things. I almost bought it once, but I thought I should see it first just in case. I plan on going there one day too, I don’t think I could live there because I can only speak a little Japanese. And by little I mean just a few words and phrases. However if I was raised there I’m sure it would be infinitely better than here in Saskatoon! I am also quite jealous that you are British, and I am not 😦

  5. Christine

    I’m a die-hard fan of Japanese culture (and not just pop culture and anime, like a lot of people are), and it’s nice to see that other people appreciate Japanese traditional arts, too. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Japan a couple times, and it’s definitely awesome for travelers, but I wouldn’t want to live there for a long time. One unfortunate aspect of Japanese culture is how deep some of their sexism runs, and also how, while they’ll always been polite to tourists and people with work permits, they definitely tend to keep “outsiders” at arm’s length. Still, that doesn’t mean their cultural products can’t be admired, or that Japanese people aren’t lovely and modest people. 🙂

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