Today was a very busy and tiring day! I think I wasn’t fully prepared for it, but it was still rewarding and interesting. We started off with a lecture on Noh theatre. Aside from the reading, I’ve had zero exposure to Noh theatre. I’d never seen any footage of one either. I still don’t fully know what to expect yet, but I walked away from the lecture knowing way more than before. I didn’t realize how integral Noh was to traditional Japanese culture, so I’m excited to see a play to get an understanding of what it is.
After the lecture on Noh, we got lunch at a konbini. I’m starting to realize how much I’ll miss them when I go home. It’s amazing how the most basic things can be exciting in a new country, even if it’s just buying a drink out of a vending machine.
After lunch, we had a lecture by Professor Ludvig on Buddhism. It really helped me to fill the gaps in my understanding of the religion. The whole lecture I kept thinking about how closely related Buddhism is to Christianity. Even the nehan scene reminded me of a crucifixion scene. The disciples crying definitely was reminiscent of Christianity. It’s amazing how so many religions tell different versions of a very similar story.
Later on we visited Yamamoto’s studio. I was very surprised by everything. I expected a man with similar mannerisms to Miyamoto, except sort of uptight and old. I really enjoyed how Yamamoto was so friendly and approachable. His studio was very cold, and I’m just a very sensitive person when it comes to cold, but it really made me respect him more. He probably works endlessly in the cold and in the heat, no matter the weather, and I could see how much care and attention went into each mirror. While in his modest studio, I began to reflect on how the attitudes towards his craft have changed. When he showed the newspaper clipping on mirror makers being a popular job long ago, and now, even though he has had important commissions and a successful career, he’s still very modest.
I really enjoyed his personality and his knowledge about the history of his craft. These artists so far seem to be deeply invested and knowledgable about what they do, and I respect that very much in an artist.
Later on, I decided to venture off on my own and explore my own independence. I’ve never gone off by myself in a foreign country before, since the last time I traveled abroad I was a bit too young. It was really liberating and exciting to practice my Japanese and commute. It’s definitely a different experience when you’re not with a big group of foreigners, because I think people assume that you’re an ex-pat. I went to a konbini for an ice cream and ended up getting a ¥100 peach yogurt drink, which is now one of my favorite drinks ever. I also went to ユニクロ, which was nice because I was able to shop at my own pace and do things with a clear head.
I used to think I wouldn’t want to move to Japan after college, but the more time I spend here, especially after spending some time on my own, I really don’t think I’d mind it. I guess only time will tell, but all-in-all, today was another very satisfying day. 🙂