will be in Japan in the near future, just a short trip to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary (so you might notice a gap in my posting). We’re looking forward to this – some light touring and some pointless Tokyo wandering. Should be fun in a casual sort of way (I’ll be posting up my trip report in due time).
One thing though – one of the reasons I’m going is, in a nutshell, the Anime culture. We couldn’t get into the Ghibli museum (booked solid) but we’ll check out the manga shops and look at all the funny toys. I like it since the storytelling can be very dynamically moving (yet sometimes stunted). But it’s fun, just another part of the human storytelling culture.
The other day I was doing a favor call on another work team (their lead was not at work and there were questions). The woman there was a nice Japanese lady and I solved her problems quickly. Then we got to talking about my upcoming trip. When I told her that I was interested in checking out the Japanese bookshops, the anime and manga, she gave me this you’re kidding look, like adults give Peter Pan when they actually meet him. There was that moment in the conversation when you can clearly feel yourself being reevaluated. Um…
I thought about that as I went back upstairs. I guess some things are not universally shared in a culture. For example, if the Japanese think that I like cowboy hats and football, they will be sadly ill-informed. Just as I’d assumed that a woman who grew up in Japan would have any interest at all in the Japanese storytelling craze of space robots, vampires in high school and tentacles (yow). Then again, people find it strange that I’ve written self-help books, historical novels and nature stories (and not Space Opera). So I guess, in the end, we shape our tastes and interests as we drift through life and not as a solid cultural identity.
In writing this, I’m reminded of a fellow I’d met in Virginia Tech back in the early 80s. Nice guy from Louisiana with a drawl you could cut a board on. But he loved The Three Musketeers – talked about it endlessly. And there was nothing like listening to someone discuss the affairs of the court of Louis XIII with a corn-pone accent. That always broke me up, the ability of literature to jump environmental boundaries like a forest fire. Just a delight.
So I guess we’ll see what we’ll see and then report on it. No expectations, y’all.