Friday, December 02, 2011

Japan as Symbol…

One thing that dawned on me when I deplaned in Tokyo was just how significant Japan has been for me as a symbol.

It’s more than a country where I spent some formative, post-college years.

You see, back in 9th grade, I took Japanese for a year at a graduate level (after school) and it represented the opening of the world to me.

What’s more, in 11th grade, I applied for (and won) something called a Japan-US Senate scholarship which would have given me a summer’s long worth of activity in Japan. Unfortunately, because of my allergy to sesame seeds, the program refused to allow me to participate (stating that too many foods in Japan have sesame in them.)

Obviously, (and if you know me, this is no surprise), this intensified my desire to go!

But that’s sort of beside the point.

Japan just happens to be the country that, in my mind, represents “the other.”

Maybe it’s because of the wholesale personality difference between myself and traditional Japanese culture (and it’s pretty stark), I don’t know, but I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to return and reflect.

blog comments powered by Disqus
View Comments