English Seminar

Saturday, January 21, 2006

View from stations

There is what I always think, when I arrive at famous stations of the provinces, such as Kamakura or Kofu. It is that the view from the stations are very similar. I see what I see in my town there, such as taxi stops, fast-food places and convinience stores, although I want to see what I have not ever seen. So I think it is better for those stations to make features of their city outstanding. For example, in the case of Kamakura, many statues of Buddha are put around the station or people there speak their dialect. If so, visitors are surprised and feel something new. But I know those are impossible. To sum up, I want those stations and cities to be different from each others.

Japanese People

I read a book about Japanese "Nihonzin to Yudayazin". This book was written by a Jewish person in Japan, but I thought he was quite familiar with Japanese. The most impressive thing ha gave on the book to me was the view to Japanese from themselves. He said if people get nationality, they become the nation of its, but this does not apply to Japanese. The condition that Japanese think people as the same nation is not to have the nationality, but the same appearance and language, in other words, the same ethnicity. I thought this was very convincing, because I have not ever cared about nationality. When I see people whose appearance or language is different from Japanese, I am sure that they are foreighers without knowing their nationality. And probably many are same as me. So I think Japanese may be closed ethnically, but we are not aware of it. The book shows us what we, Japanese, do not know about ourselves.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

PIctures of Buddha

I went to the Aichi Expo last summer. And I vsited many Asian pavilions, such as Nepal, Mongolia, India, but unfortunately Chinese and Korean pavilion were crowded so that I did not visit. Most of these are Buddhist countries, so there were many pictures or statues of Buddha in the pavilions. I was very impressed with them, because they were a little different from those of Japan. I felt that Japanese Buddha were less gorgeous. Of Asian works of art, what I felt the most diffrent was Sri Lankan. Although they were a little different, they were made by Asian technique, but Sri Lankan looked like Christian pictured. Of course, Buddaha was painted, not Zesus. It means their composition and color were like Renaissance art. I cannot express them well, but I would like you to imagine. I wonder how Sri Lankans got the technique. Altough we share Buddha, the way to create works of Buddha are various. This is interesting.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My American friends

I have two friends who is half American and Japanese. When we were young, we often prayed together, because our house was near each other. When we were a pupil, however, they have gone to America. After several years, they came to Japan and I met them. But they have changed very much. When I was young, I did not care about who they were. Maybe I thought they are same as me, Japanese, because what we were interesting in was same. But I felt they became American. Of course, their apperance was one reason why I felt so, but the most clearest reason was their sense. They introduced me some American jokes, and they laughed very much. Unfortunately my family could not laugh. One of them was that "The way to decide names of new babies in China. Throw a coin, and the sound that made become names." I could undestand only what they meant. Probably they meant the sound a coin make and pronunciation of Cninese names are similar, and the joke included dispite to Chinease a little. But I thought most of Japanese could not laugh and there were various sense of jokes in the world. Although American jokes were dull, we enjoyed ourselves very much.

Religion in Amami Island

As I wrote the previous blog, people in Amami Island is different from people in Honsyu. So their culture is a little different. The clearest difference I think is their religion. In Tokyo religious institutions I see the most often are temples or shrines and probably you too. There are churchs too, but much less often than them. But in Amami Island religious institution I saw the most often overwhelmingly were churchs. And most of preschools there are missionary and I often saw status of the Virgin Mary or Jesus. Moreover in urban district there are two very large churchs, so the sound of their bells were very clear to hear, although I was walking or shopping. I have never experienced something like this in Tokyo. Of course there are shrines and temples. But altough I have been to Amami Island many times, temples are not in my memory, and shrines are far from urban district. I think this means more people there belong to church than others. Kikai Island, which is near the island, is called "Mary Island", because there are many Christians. It is said that most of Japanese belong to Buddism or Shinto, but people around there do not. I think this diversity is very interesting.

People in Amami Island

When I went to Amami Island, which is between Kyusyu and Okinawa, I felt racial difference there. People there are different from people in Honsyu in their race. The island was conquered by the Sathuma Clan in the Edo era and it became one part of Japan. Before that, it had been under the rule of Ryukyu. So they are different from people in Hosyu like Ainu in Hokkaido. You can understand this by just their appearance. Their eyes are bigger and nose is a little higher. Of course their skin is browner because it is a southern island. But they are not similar to Cninese or Koreans. And my parents are from it, so when I was young, I was often asked "Are you a mongrel?" But they think they are Japanese, not a different race. But I thought Japan is not made from only one race in true sense.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I am checking this blog.


I am cheaking if this blog is on work.