Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Lateral View

Generally all that Donald Richie wrote of Japan still holds true, and I think that can be seen from the week and a half that I've been here. There is a sameness in change and Tokyo is much like an organism that grows and changes and in certain aspects remains the same. The contrast of old and new and east and west all snugly assembled into something all it's own. I wonder about familial life and how it might possibly change because this is something I haven't experienced myself in Tokyo. The 'rabbit hutch' or 'chicken coop' housing that keeps the wife and children as the men go to work and then out with their coworkers to strengthen company bonds. I've seen many salary men out late at night, so I'm not doubting that it still holds true, but rather just curious as to whether or not the women have careers and how this affects the familial life. Would the women be committed to an evening with coworkers in order to in some ways secure that position in the company?

The whole idea that there is no word for home in Japanese, but rather hometown, would make sense to the way of life. Just one little fact that I found quite interesting. As far as towns are considered, Donald Richie was right in saying that the city is in fact made up of little towns. In a sense, the fact that there is no zoning makes these multiple towns that create the city much more homogenous than the cities that I'm accustomed to. Though one area can be vastly different from another, they are the same enough that you understand. I find this and the public transportation system incredible about Tokyo. In so many ways i find it much more efficient and comfortable than anywhere I've experienced.

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