Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Looking at Mirrors
This photograph shows a Japanese lady whow was doing her makeup on a Japanese train.
This is a suprising phenomina for me because in the UK, people would be embarrassed to look at a mirror in a public place.
There are posters encouraging Japanese ladies to do their makeup at home. Nonetheless the behaviour seems more prevalent here, and in the past women looking at mirrors was a popular subject of floating world pictures (ukiyoe).
In the West, looking at a mirror is thought to be vain, and often associated with evil. The with in the Seven Dwarves was always looking into her mirror. Medusa was killed by a mirror. And when, in the play "Pygmallion" (Later to become the film "My Fair Lady" starring Audrey Hepburn) by George Bernard Shaw, the central character, Liza, finds a mirror in Higgins' bathroom she says
HIGGINS. I'm glad the bath-room met with your approval. (I am glad you liked the bathroom)
LIZA. It didn't: not all of it; and I don't care who hears me say it. Mrs. Pearce knows.
HIGGINS. What was wrong, Mrs. Pearce?
MRS. PEARCE. Oh, nothing, sir. It doesn't matter.
LIZA. I had a good mind to break it. I didn't know which way to look. But I hung a towel over it, I did.
HIGGINS. Over what?
MRS. PEARCE. Over the looking-glass, sir.
Liza finds the looking glass quite immoral even in private, but Japanese ladies do not mind using them on trains.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.