My first impression of Japan after three years in the UK (5)

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Jul 22, 2012 23:08

I wrote about my negative impression about the modern Japanese architecture and people. I was quite depressed by them throughout the trip, actually, and perhaps still I am. I'm frustrated, because I love my country.

In part, this experience was similar to watching news about the tsunami and nuclear power stations on BBC in the UK. For me it was to see my country being destructed while I'm away. In other words, it was like my root being undermined while I couldn't do anything. I felt the same sort of feeling when the screening process '事業仕分け' was carried out by the government in 2010. These two events were indeed upsetting.

This time, it was to see that my root, i.e. the Japanese culture, has actually been undermined over a century. To be fair, because I don't know how it was like 100 years ago, I can't really tell if it has changed, but I just felt in that way. It was the discontinuity in inheritance of culture that worries me. In addition, the change doesn't seem to be globalization, either.

In an old photo album in my parent's home, I found a picture of myself in my childhood with my grandparents about 30 years ago. The grandparents naturally wore traditional kimono. We were in a garden of their traditional style house in Kyoto. After seeing all above in Japan, my granddad and grandma in kimono in front of the old house 30 years ago looked extremely convincing and gorgeous. They were probably the best looking Japanese people I found during the trip.

I vaguely remember that at that time people took it for granted that grandparents wore kimono, lived in traditional houses and ate traditional cuisine. Now the generations who grew up before the war have gone, all the traditional standards have gone together. These days elder people, like my parents, prefer to wear T-shirts and trousers.

Was that change good? I'm really not sure.