For the last two days I have been glued to the TV and Internet, watching the horrific events unfolding in Japan. It doesn’t feel right to let the situation pass without mention, but I don’t feel I can add much to the extensive media coverage that is already out there. Instead I’ll briefly explain why I love Japan and introduce you to a few of my favourite Japanese things.
I have been to Japan three times and so have spent a reasonable amount of time in the country. I love it there! The scenery is beautiful, the culture is fascinating and the food is delicious. Basically it has everything you could ever want in a holiday. I can only begin to imagine the suffering that is taking place there now. It is all so sad.
It will be a long time before I stop thinking about Japan so I thought I’d try to add some positivity to the situation and highlight a few things from the country that you can enjoy without going there:
Out by Natsuo Kirino
This is the best thriller I’ve ever read. It contains numerous moral conundrums on top of vivid characters and a compelling plot. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I used to bulk buy bottles of this sesame sauce whenever I went to Japan, but I have now discovered that I can buy it at The Japan Centre in Piccadilly. This means I always have some available and can spread it all over my salads without fear of running out.
I love Japanese mythology – their stories always seem so much more exciting than ours. Kodamas are tree spirits and they are so cute! Here is a short video explaining a bit about them.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
This was my first introduction to the bizarre world of Murakami. Weird and wonderful. Everyone should experience Murakami.
The Films of Miyazaki
The above kodama clip comes from Princess Mononoke, but I have loved every Miyazaki film that I’ve seen. You never know what will happen next and the stories are so different from anything I’ve watched before. Highly recommended.
Which things from Japan do you love?