Japan and my Heart

The reason why I love everything about Japan and is the Japanese people’s perspective of the past, present and future and their attitude towards them. They highly respect and embrace their past, and at the same time they work so hard for the present and for a greater future. Respect is part of their culture and part of who they are. They are what they are , the world’s most developed country, due to how hard they worked and picked themselves up from the ashes of a destructive nuclear war, pain and agony of the loss of so many innocent lives, two cities blown into dust and a period of economic hardship called ”The Lost Decade” in the 90s. Their nation lived and suffered, yet they never gave up. They respect their land and love it from deep within. I haven’t seen anything like this and I don’t think I will. Not that I belittle the other nations, but no one can deny how much the Japanese people are dedicated to their home and families as well as their future generations. I wish the people I live with loved their country like this. Even quarter of this love and dedication can actually do a difference. But people with no love in their hearts, no regret to the destruction of their nation and downfall of themselves along with it are simply dead and going no where. In my first Level of Japanese language, my sensei instructed us from the very first day to not throw any trash on the floor and to keep our classroom clean. I was amazed by how she was so keen on taking care of a place that wasn’t her home. I see Egyptians throwing trash on the street every single day, even my father, others even spit with no shame on the ground of their country. Critics and writers have argued a lot when it comes to the definition of identity and how it is formed as well as identity crisis and problems that appear throughout, and I always felt that identity is not a fixed thing, but rather a very complex unstable thing that is shaped by certain aspects from the experience of the person. I am Egyptian, this is my ”nationality” and part of my ”identity”, but I have never felt like I belong here. Perhaps because I witness everything I love in this country being destroyed by the people, and I can’t do anything about it. Or perhaps because I love this country so much, so I don’t belong here. People kept talking about ”change” and a ”better future” three years ago, everything was on fire and I was so anxious to witness an actual change, but the ”change” went down the drain along with the people. Whatever happened to their voices, I don’t know. Maybe that’s another reason why I’m so in love with Japan and the culture, they never give up and consider giving up as weakness. Always doing their best . Always saying this phrase ”gambate kudasai”, which means ”do your best”. Learning Japanese is giving me hope and hands me the encouragement and love that seems to be lacking here.
Have I mentioned that in my pre Masters year, my project in one of the courses was about Japanese anime in relation to Japanese Mythology ? ^_^ It was about Miyazaki’s ”Spirited Away” and the Shinto Realm portrayed in the film in relation to the concept of spirituality in Japanese Mythology. I wrote and made a presentation about this and the happiness I felt was just over the top ! The richness of their culture, mythology and past is seen in every thing they do, something that we lack here if not disrespected as well. Japanese cinema is also one of the interests that occupy most of my time. I watch a lot of new wave Japanese films and I only seem to be hungry for more, so I keep exploring films from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. I don’t think there seem to be anything like those films when it comes to aesthetics and true passion for cinema. Whenever I watch one of those films, I feel so grateful that I actually got the way to find those beautiful secret gems.
Do I want to go to Japan ? OF COURSE ! It is my dream and one day it will come true. I seem to feel that something there is waiting for me, but I have no idea what it is. I just feel it.
I don’t know what made me write this, but I just did… And am glad I did. This is entirely my personal view, whether I intended to generalize or not, I don’t think it matters as this was just a ”thought piece of writing” .


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