Thursday, November 1, 2012

#192- Thinking of Japan…

Always…Around this time, I am thinking of Japan a lot, because my late father’s memorial day is on November 22…, and I am usually busy preparing for my winter vacation in Japan (I spend one month vacation, Christmas and New Year in Japan every year).

But, I am not going to have a vacation in Japan this year… But + Anyway, I am still thinking of Japan a lot...

For us (Japanese people), the season of fall is a special time for food, books and sports. We enjoy “Eat Play Read” in fall. Sounds like Thanksgiving in U.S. right?

October 27 through November 9 is the “Reading Week”, and November 3 is the “Day of Culture / Culture Day” in Japan.

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And I found out about that…from this year 2012, Japanese government established November 1 as the “Day of the Classics / Classic Day (Koten No Hi)”, an anniversary to the “classics”, a wide range of arts, such as literature, music, fine art, performance art, and philosophy.

While it is not a public holiday, various forums and symposiums were held for this day in Tokyo and Kyoto.

As you may know, Kyoto is formerly the imperial capital of Japan (Kyoto is an ancient city with a 1200 year history. It was established as Japan’s capital under the name “Heian-kyo” in the year 794), and the famous Japanese classic novel “The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari)” was born in Kyoto.

In an entry for November 1, 1008 in “The Diary of Lady Murasaki (Murasaki Shikibu Nikki)”, written by the author (Murasaki Shikibu) of the classic “The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari)”, there is a reference to the literary tome. It is the oldest date on which a reference to what is sometimes considered one of the world’s first and greatest novels appears.

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When I read some books of classic Japanese literature, I feel and smell beautiful Japan. The beauty of four seasons in Japan, sensitiveness of Japanese people, smell of the air in Japan… It’s nice to feel my country sometimes…

I heard that the classic essay “An Account of My Hut / The Ten Foot Square (Hōjōki) / by Kamo no Chōmei. Written in 1212, it describes disasters that befall the people of Kyoto from earthquakes to famine and fire” has been widely re-read for Japanese people since March 11, 2011 (Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster).

The opening sentence of “Hōjōki” is famous in Japanese literature as an expression of impermanence (mujō).

“The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before. The foam that floats on stagnant pools, now vanishing, now forming, never stays the same for long. So, too, it is with the people and dwellings of the world.”

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Do you feel like to read a good book? Why don’t you try some Japanese literature?

Oops… I hope my editors are not reading my blog right now… I have many deadlines by next week… between the deadline and the deadline…And…I am not feeling well today (Sorry, A, I couldn’t take your phone call today, I am really not feeling well and I have many projects)…But… I felt like… I wanted to write this blog/post…I guess, I am a real writer…ha ha ha!

xoxo
Yoko


By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles Nov 1, 2012
Copyright © 2012 Yoko Fujimoto