In truth my relationship with Japan, above all else, is defined by nostalgia. However stimulated I may be by ponderings on the psychological and philosophical connotations of our British-Japanese biculturalism – as Naomi and I like to explore on Thinking Japlish – my emotional interaction with Japan is nostalgic; it is why I love it, it is why it’s the only place I ever really want to go.
Nostalgia, though it is perhaps the most enigmatic emotion of all, is also one of the most distinctive and compelling. Whilst it can never be consciously summoned and only an external trigger can bring it out from your subconscious, no one could mistake that cocktail of joy, yearning and regret it evokes. It is a particularly apt emotion to explore in the context of Japan when so much of Japanese art is pre-occupied with it – just think of any Hayao Miyazaki film; and consider how much more common a word ‘natsukashii’ is than ‘nostalgic’.
Continue reading “Taro’s Nostalgic Walk – The Walk to the Station”
In the largest metropolis in the world, the crowds bustling around you become a blur. Shibuya lies at the heart of this vibrant city. To me, standing in the middle of Hachiko crossing, the path of about one million people per day, I feel as if I’m at home.
Continue reading “Tokyo Has Lungs”
Hi there and welcome to our blog, Thinking Japlish! We’re Taro and Naomi and we’re both half-Japanese, writing about our thoughts and experiences. We think that being half-Japanese is quite a unique thing – a unique identity. In Japan it is sometimes referred to as ‘hafu’ – a rather alienating phrase. But we have decided to embrace it. Japan is a particularly fascinating country and it is constantly in the news in the West for being ‘different’ and more often than not, ‘bizarre’. However, as both outsiders and from having insider experience of our cultural heritage, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to see Japan through two sets of glasses, appreciating it in different ways.
We’re both studying at the University of Oxford in the UK; Taro is studying Classics and Naomi is studying English Literature. You can find out more about us here!
Our blog will be a record of our thoughts about Japanese culture, and our ‘Japlish’ way of thinking. We will also be posting restaurant reviews for Japanese restaurants that we find and enjoy.
We hope that you check back to see what we’re writing about!
See you again soon,
Taro and Naomi