Monday, April 17, 2006

Today is turning out to be a beautiful spring day. Only 2 weeks to Golden Week which is one of my---and probably most people's favorite times of the year. Not only are most people off, but Tokyo often clears out as people leave for their hometowns. I have one private lesson scheduled with a favorite student on Saturday, the 29th, but that is the only scheduled holiday lesson for me.

We will be moving this Golden Week which will dampen the fun, but we are going to a really nice place in Tokyo. After the move, I will get back into archery, or try Kyudo as I thought I might early this year. One reason that I am interested in kyudo, is that it focuses on small details more than results---so I hear. Generally, I don't like this kind of thing and tend to lose patience with it; that is one reason I am interested.

One thing most people here have is an outward calm and tend to show a large amount of patience compared with Americans, and especially with me. I would like to learn some of that. There is nothing worse than losing one's temper in public in Japan. You will simply appear to be some uncouth lout. Nobody will be impressed with your manliness. It is actually shows childishness and immaturity here.
I usually can bite my lip and say nothing, but am po'd inside. I suppose this happens with people who have lived here all their life too, but they seem to be better at dealing calmly with it. (Or so I guess.)

So hopefully, I can get a little bit of immersion into somewhat "traditional" Japanese culture (although I learned when first researching kyodo, zen was not traditionally a part of it. I linked to an article in an earlier post in Jan or Feb of this year.) and at the same time gain a bit more patience and calmness when dealing with small irritants or an extraordinarily slow pace.

Back home, politics and traffic were the things that irritated me the most. Other things, generally were just a pain, but no problem to deal with (unless it was recurring, like a noisy neighbor or something.) It's different in a foreign country, because no matter how conscious I am of it, I still tend to get irritated by individuals and then take it as all of Japanese society. Some of these things are common, and some aren't. It isn't always easy to seperate the two automatically like we do in our own cultures. Lots of drivers are rude, impatient, and obnoxious in the US, but when that happened, I didn't get upset at US society or culture, but just figured the individual(s) were to blame. (Never myself, of course. At least until I calmed down and thought it through.) Ultimately, that is how I want to live in Japan.

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