Thursday, August 31, 2006

Superior Japanese aesthetics, cleanliness

Fujiwara, in his Dignity of a Pompous Ass---sorry, I mean Dignity of a State, claims the non-Japanese cannot really understand beauty, not have the same sensitivities as pure Japan does.

Additionally, the article from the Nihongo Journal pointed out how clean the natives of Nippon are and how the rest of the dirty filty world outside of Japan would be better off if it were as clean as it is in Japan.

Well, I recalled an old book I had read in college by Isabella Byrd, a woman who traveled throughout Japan in the late 1800s. One for some strange reason gets a bit different view from her. She had traveled throughout much of the world and could probably make some pretty good comparisons. I am sure some of her observations are not politically correct by today's standards, but that's ok, since we are going by Fujiwara's and Japan' standards.

Her book, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is available to read on the internet since the copyright has long expired. You can read it here.

Few would deny that Japan has a lot of beauty. However, most people did/do not live in beautifully designed and built houses wearing fine silk kimono and sipping tea while viewing the moon.

Read that book. I suspect that Fujiwara and his ilk would simply claim that she was just to dumb, too unevolved, too animal-like as a non-Japanese to have understood the exceptional, superior, godly beauty and aethetics of Japan and its pure-blooded inhabitants. (Not including the Ainu of course.)

"Nowhere is [racial prejudice] greater than in Japan and other lands of East Asia. Because the Japanese have merged their feelings about race, culture, and nation together, they have probably made their attitudes toward race all the stronger. It is as if they regarded themselves as a different species from the rest of humanity."
Edwin Reischauer.

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