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Playing catch up

Yeah, well, life goes on. I'm going on one of my japanese kicks again - I do that every six months or so. I blame seeing Hero last week, then starting to read up on L5R stuff. I've started reading the series of japanese detective stories which I've been collecting again, and yesterday I picked up the complete and unabridged "Across the Nightingale Floor" on CD. It's really odd, because it's an ABC produced reading; the voice actors have clear Australian accents, unlike the Jane Austen reading I've been listening to recently. But I am enjoying it immensely.

Mrs N. has gone back to Japan for her yearly (or so) visit, thus Airlie and I are looking after the naginata classes. I must admit, I got something of a warm and fuzzy feeling when Mrs Nagae reminded us a few months ago that we had very important duties as "stewards of the dojo". I can't really explain to you what this actually means, because it is more a translation from a Japanese concept of which I cannot find the english words to describe, but it made me feel... I don't know. It's hard to explain.

Mr Nagae is from one of the old samurai families, and Mrs Nagae was as well (before they were married). There is something deeply respectful in the very core of their beings, something which commands respect as much as they give it to others. I've known them for about six and a half years now, and I have tried very hard to... I don't know, live up to their ideals or something.

Their honourable natures are contagious, I suppose.

I know that all sounds a bit hokey. It always strikes me as just a tad tragic when white folk strive to be more like other highly different social or ethnic groups - white guys trying to be like african american rappers (I'm looking at you, Eminem), or those creepy guys who find buddism or martial arts (I'm looking at you, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Dam). Hipocritical much? Yeah, maybe.

I picked up some "Sugar and Spice" lip balm from the Body Shop yesterday - it's really very nice. Get some if you can!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 22nd, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC)
Re: hiphoprisy
You're probably true about the creepy guys. But perhaps I didn't get across what really bothers me - it's not the attempting to emulate another culture which bother me, but I think it is the turning your back on your own culture. I find that deeply sad.
Nov. 22nd, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)
Re: hiphoprisy
Surely Eminem turned his back on a culture of living in trailers and beating his wife and children...
Nov. 22nd, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: hiphoprisy
Hey, you don't have to agree with me. I'm just stating my opinion, I'm not claiming that my opinions are flawless.
Nov. 22nd, 2004 04:27 pm (UTC)
Re: hiphoprisy
I don't recall agreeing with you, if I seemed to, I apologise.. :þ
Nov. 22nd, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: hiphoprisy
Actually I don't think he did turn his back on that culture, in the sense that he's still hyper-aware of it. A lot of his work explores that fucked-up background of his. He puts the worst and the best of himself on display, he 'owns' his own fucked-up-ness in a way that I find fascinating and refreshing.
Nov. 22nd, 2004 04:39 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed "Across the Nightingale Floor" but I thought the sequels weren't as good. Have you read/listened to all of them?

Did you read any of her (Gillian Rubinstein/Lian Hearn) books as a kid? I had Space Demons and Skymaze but apparently there was a third book in that series as well, which I haven't read. It's good to see her writing for an adult audience as well now, Australia could do with some more good authors.
Nov. 22nd, 2004 05:00 pm (UTC)
Third book was Shinkei. It was good. Some really cool concepts
Nov. 24th, 2004 05:41 am (UTC)
a culture you can claim as your own, a close match
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )