Friday, March 10, 2006

After reading Donald Richie's articles

Donald Richie has very interesting observations of Japan. He mentions about Japanese garden in his article, "Japan: A Description". He says, "Rock and tree have been placed there, placed by the hand of man, the Japanese hand." I agree with this.
Since long time ago, Japanese have created the garden and preferred it. Extremely, we enjoy watching the gravel garden on which we intentionally place rock and lead some lines. We call this kind of garden "karesansui", which expresses a river and a mountain. It is obviously not natural. It means the garden is not nature but uses nature to make Japanese nature. As he says, "Raw nature is simply never there", it is very difficult to find raw nature in places where people usually live or go in Japan. Even if there is row nature, Japanese reform it to make nature they like. It is because Japanese original thinking like "Unkempt nature, unkempt you, both are equally nonexistent", he says. Personally, I do not really like this preference Japanese have. I like row nature, tidied things.
Japanese may dislike naked, I mean they want to clearly distinguish something that they want to take care or keep from all. They cannot live in row nature although they like to live with nature. In connection with this idea, In "Walking in Tokyo", Donald Richie says that the Japanese street is very public while the Japanese home is very private. This means that Japanese clearly line to define what they need.
An example of what we can find this way in is appearance of Tokyo. Tokyo has been kept reformed by gathering some aspects from foreign countries as he says in "Tokyo Style". Japanese always create Japan by distinguishing and deciding what they want. Japanese are not likely to accept naked thing, row natural. For Japanese, it is rare to keep one thing as a whole. It is difficult to accept immediately something even if it is great all over. Unless Japanese reform it, they can’t let it enter their life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tired people in Tokyo

Where I obderved: In a train and a bus.
The reason why I went there: I found something different in surroundings between in the States and in Japan. When I lived in
the States, I often saw people singing or talking with others who were not friends each other in
a train and a bus. They look fiendly. On the other hand, I do never see people talk with others
who don't know each other nor people sing freely in a train and a bus. The behaviors that
people talk to otheres who they don't know and sing in a train and a bus are rude in Japan, but,
I think, they have good effects on our every-day boring way to work or a school. Actuary, in
Kansai, we can sometime see people talking to strangers in a train and a bus. Especially, old
women do that.

I observed people in a train and a bus. I was observing what they were doning.
I took Keio Line from Kokuryou Station to Meidaimae Station in Jan 19th.
Population in the train: about 30, 6 people sleeping, 2 people listening to music, 3 people reading a book,
3 people reading a magazine, 6 people using their cell phones, one making up,
Others looking outside withoout no purpose.
I tried to interviewed with a young girl who made up in the train, but I was ignored. Maybe, I looked strange for her.

I also took Tokyo-to Bus from Sibuya to Furukawabasi, where is near Temple University Japan campus.
Population in the bus: about 26, one person using a cell phones, another eating snacks, 4 people taking each other
and they look like they know each other. 6 people sleeping, Others looking like they were
watching outside without any purpose, or they were thinking something.

I interviewed one guy who looked outside and seemed to be not fine. I asked him, "Are you thinking about
anything ?" He said, "Not really". Then, I asked " what do you usually do while taking a train or bus?" He answered,"
Sometime, reading a book and sometime listening to music, but actually not really doing anything, just being there
I thought he was tired.

As a result of the observation,
I concluded that the reason why most of people taking a train or a bus in Tokyo are not really do anything or talk
others is that they are busy and tired, so they can't afford doing anything but they need a rest.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I can't catch up!!