Hello, こんにちわ, to everyone who’s reading this, to everyone whose interest in Japanese culture (the high and/or the low arts) made him find this blog.
I want to give everyone a brief heads-up, a brief look into the future. No, not into your future, but into the future of this blog. For this, I ask, like Robin Hood in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993): “Lend me your ears”.
To fully understand what’s in store for you and me – It’s a journey for me as well – we need to look at the past. Indeed, the recent blog-posts and the added pages are indications of what is to come. The very first post about Forma (2013), for instance, is a preparation for my review of the movie. Forma (2013) will also feature in future articles, just like the other movie-posts – the other movies will get reviews too. These future articles will use Japanese cinema as a way to expose a piece of Japanese culture. That’s where the newly added page “culture” comes in.
This newly added page indicates -pretty obviously- that a plethora of cultural phenomena will be discussed. The first phenomenon, I’ll examine is Zentai (image on the right). The purpose of these cultural examinations is to provide questions beyond the usual aim of understanding. The guideline I’ll use, is Lacan’s “Gardez-vous de comprende”. In accordance with this guideline, writing only one article about a given phenomenon would be denying the complexity of that phenomenon. To put it differently: If we deny the complexity of a phenomenon, we create the possibility of reducing it to what we already know. Given the fact that the phenomenon is an element of a different culture – an element who’s defined by all the other elements of that particular culture, we face the danger of westernizing this phenomenon.
For the person who saw ‘high arts’ in the first sentence: well spotted. It’s also my aim to introduce you to great Japanese artists and performers, their works and their thinking. The first artist that I’ll introduce on this blog is the internationally prolific contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (see a work from him underneath). Murakami is famous for practicing fine arts media, like painting and sculpture, as well as commercial media such as fashion, merchandise and animation.
Where the ‘low arts’ are concerned, I’ll be posting about manga, anime and J-drama in the near future. The first anime/manga, I’ll bring up will be Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana) (see picture on the right), a dark emotional tale about romance, budding sexuality and puberty.
So that’s all for this heads-up. If you have any questions, remarks or suggestions: don’t hesitate to contact me.