J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Monday, July 18, 2016


The Light that Watches and Protects

The Light that Watches and Protects
The Japanese represent their ancestors by floating lanterns, that watch over and protect the living. The message, "don't worry, we are getting along together really well. Please watch over and protect us forever," is written on the lantern on the right. The " please watch over us" on the young lady's lantern is prefaced by "Kind old Sun*" since the Japanese traditionally believe that ancestors merge with the Sun(goddess), who is always watching and protecting. The visual aspect of the Japanese Other, watching and protecting as it must an 'external' appearance, convinces most that the Japanese are more collectivist and conformist, but the whispering that Westerners do, though it seems solitary, is no less social. We will realise this eventually.

That it seems as if Tiger Woods' head is appearing from a lantern bottom right is a mere coincidence.

*The literal translation is more like "Mister/Madam Sun". The Japanese salutation "sama" is genderless. "Kind old Sun" is a term of respect and endearment for the sun, like the Japanese original, from Wilfred Owen's poem, Futility.

Central image by Azumi Fukuoka. (2016/7/16). Asahi Newspaper. p1.


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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.