In just over 24 hours, I board a plane to D.C. that takes me to Narita where I board a third plane to Komatsu in Ishikawa prefecture. It’s to be a short, five day trip to Japan to conduct interviews on the export value of various products, some of which are food, some of which relate to health, and some of which are design-related.
This past Friday I was trying to sort out, again, why I feel a strengthening tie to Japan, and it occurred to me that the appeal comes about in part from the way in which acceptance is so fundamental to the culture. It reminds me of cognitive-behavioral ideas or values utilized in treating mental disorders. It’s good to be in a place where acceptance is understood to be as much a part of being a human being as tumult.
To be sure: Beneath the surface of acceptance is quiet suffering and there can be erosion of versatility needed to create change or develop workable tactics and strategies. But it’s a good starting point, and the calm can lead to deep creativity.
Some of that imaginative prowess is evident in the products I’m looking at: Clean lines, delicious eggs, well-placed tatami mats.