Because I like foreign cultures, things and people.
The trigger might have been Carl Lewis?
I wonder when I started being aware of foreign countries. Looking back over the past, when I was about 10 years old, I watched the Olympic Games on TV and admired Carl Lewis. It could be at that time.
When the World Athletics Championships was held in Tokyo in 1990, I was eagerly watching the athletes on TV. There were representative athletes from various countries together with Carl Lewis. Especially, to people who live in the country-side in Japan, there were less opportunities to come into contact with foreigners, so I felt foreigners to be very unfamiliar when I was a child.
Music and Films have had a great influence.
The next triggers to make me aware of foreign countries were films and music. When I became a junior-high school student, my friends started listening to foreign music and I was influenced by them to listen to it as well. I often listened to Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses. Even now, I sometimes listen to them. AXL revived and I put weight on sadly, though.
I wanted to watch MTV which was not easy to watch in Japan at that time. I remember well that I had asked my parents to sign up for the cable TV. You can come across various types of music, when you keep watching MTV. I came to like RAP which was unfamiliar to me until then. Especially, I really liked 2PAC. I still can’t forget the shock of the news of his death. I also liked TLC. On MTV, Waterfalls’ hit music was often played, but I didn’t know what was so good. However, by listening to it every day, I started liking it and I still think that its feeling was a fresh and precious experience. The news of LEFT-EYE’s death was also very sad.
Love at first sight of Jodie Foster!
I liked Jodi Foster in any film. It was love at first sight when I saw Jodie Faster’s beauty in a film magazine. I watched many films she acted in. I watched her best films such as “The Silence of the Lambs” and “The Taxi Driver” (I didn’t understand the concept for a child though.) as well as the ones without any awards. Later on, I watched “The Accused” for which she received an Academy Award for the first time. I can’t forget the impact of that either. In the film, I couldn’t believe that Jodie could have been treated like that. I feel as if I have been influenced a lot by America which has very strong levels of entertainment. But I’ve never been to America! If I can visit America to deliver a lot of Origami creations, that’s my dream right now.
It’s not only America which I like!
My favourite country is not only America. I would like to mention Italy. I liked the football club, AC MILAN. Now, I have been supporting the local J3 League (Div. 3), so I have been taking a break as a Milan follower.
Speaking of France, I like the clothes, called St. James which Picasso also used to wear.
They have a lot of different colours, so I’ve been wearing them all year around.
Speaking of England, it’s the Beetles home, isn’t it? My first CD was HELP by the Beetles. I’ve been influenced by my father who was obviously in a totally different generation but who was a big Beetles fan.
I had a chance of visiting Spain, when I was in university, but I missed it due to the lack of money. I was really upset. After coming back from Spain, my friends excitedly told me how wonderful Spain was and I remember that I listened to them in rather a sulking manner.
It is a good memory now, though.
Watches represent Switzerland, don’t they? Japan also produces precise watches, but from my point of view, they haven’t matched the special charm which the Swiss analogue watches have. I have been wearing my Swiss analogue watch every day without getting sick of it which was given to me on my 20th birthday.
Canada reminds me of rugby shirts called the Barbarians. In Canada, I don’t know how popular they are, but I used to wear a tough rugby shirt in my youth. I haven’t worn any of them recently.
The football game is famous in Brazil. Among all the footballers, I like Ronaldo best. I always support Brazil apart from Japan of course. At the world Cup held in Japan, he had an outstanding performance with 8 goals to lead his team the championship!
I have been very happy wearing German shoes. My favourite maker is Birkenstock and I have been wearing them as both outside and inside shoes. German and Japanese are often depicted with strong national characteristics, so I often want to talk to Germans.
I like Rainie Yang in Taiwan. It’s strange that her song titled “Wishing For Happiness“ couldn’t make a world hit in spite of its great song. I also, watch the drama in which she has acted.
Well, it would be better to finish here, as I have to pay more for the translation otherwise.
Foreign cultures are indispensable factors to create a human-being, like me.
There is no limit to writing about them, but I strongly feel as I carry on writing, that I, an individual has been created by absorbing the far way foreign cultures little by little without being conscious of it.
Japanese traditional culture, Origami
Just like I have admired foreign cultures, foreigners I believe will admire Japanese culture. We have a lot of culture that Japan boasts about to the world. Sushi is a good example, but I can’t offer sushi, as I’m not a cook. However, I can offer Origami!
When one is brought up in Japan, by the time of entering a kindergarten, Origami papers are naturally all around you. Mothers fold them for her children and teach them how to fold them. Most Japanese adults can fold a crane and it is ingrained in our hearts. Therefore most of us can introduce Japanese culture to the world through Origami, unlike sushi.
By coming into contact with Origami, I hope you’ll be interested in the other Japanese wonderful cultures. I’m sending Origami to you having such a thought. Respecting each others’ cultures might be the shortest way to have a peaceful world, even if it seems to be rather a detour!