Back to Japan!

In a few hours, I’ll be flying directly to Narita, which is something I haven’t done in many years.  Normally, I change planes to get to Japan.

I like the long flight, dozing and reading and watching a movie or two.

I’ve had Japan on the mind for many years, since I was a teenager.  Channel 13 in NYC ran a series of movies by famous directors.  I was twelve when I saw, “Rashomon,” and I loved the idea of narratives being true and untrue.  It kind of fit home life.

From there I read , “Snow Country,” by Tanizaki.  Then a couple of novels by Mishima as well as a biography of him by Henry Scott-Stokes.

I let it go in college.  But in graduate school, I wrote my doctoral thesis on the psychological effects of the nuclear threat, which led to reading a lot about Hiroshima.  Robert Jay Lifton was on my committee.

Much more recently, I’ve been to Japan 22 times, starting in 2002, and have tried to understand the complexities.  I prize the silence.  I especially love the concept: aun no kokyu–“breathing in harmony.”

The work continues, and there is much to learn, embrace, and accept.


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