i have to get up in 4 hrs to go to hiroshima ugh
one of the guys in my program i think has a crush on me? and hes cute and korean im kinda down
im very down actually oops
I somehow made it into the second highest levelof japanese despite being horrible at it???? mirakuru desu
Every day that I leave my apartment in Totsuka, I expect awestruck stares and pointed fingers as I tower over the population of mostly octogenarians and high schoolers, but they pay no mind. Lovers are absent, affection is taboo, loneliness isn’t stigmatized, but rather, it seems, accepted as a fact of life. Most nights I sip wine as watch as the citizens walk with headphones, toting a briefcase, chainsmoking in complete silence. When I’m not looking, the occasionally glance comes my way, but it is quickly shut down as soon as our eyes meet.
I will see the occasional timid couple—not quite friends, not quite more, indulging in simple pleasures. They go by the riverside and hunt for toads or set of sparklers on the adjacent platform. They rarely come up to me, but when they do, communication is sparse. I can’t help but feel as though it’s not only because of the language gap. I am never catcalled or harassed.
When I go to Tokyo, I am immediately struck by my power as a white woman. Not only does the inherent privliege I possess come to light, but also the stereotypes of the western woman that come with it. I take charge, I’m assertive, i’m overtly-sexual and wild. To the Japanese male mindset, this is seen as not only exciting and new, as women here are expected to remain unassuming and docile, but also a way for them to get out their pent-up sexual aggression. They want to carry me on their shoulder, but they would never introduce me to their parents. One “gangster” I hung out with from Yokohama secretly loved singing “Tonari no Totoro” and SNSD. Despite attempts to kiss me, he was ultimately a gentleman and helped me find my way back home.
Tomorrow I make way to Hiroshima. Regardless of the time that has passed, the city is stll deeply affected by the tragedies of the bombings. Relics remain—such as buttons from school uniforms reminding people of their loss every day. As a historian, I am looking forward to exploring more of this endlessly fascinating isolationist yet communally forward-thinking country. It just goes to show that you truly cannot understand a culture until you’ve lived it, and it’s tested your limits, and you’ve come to understand it.
I’ll never get there, and even to begin I have a long way to go.
i could listen to bjork for the rest of my life exclusively and be fine with that