Thursday, 25 September 2008

Japan Or Bust

Capital= Tokyo. Currency= Yen. Population= Over 127 million. Welcome to Japan.

It’s safe to say that traces of Japan feature prominently in everyday life, here in London. Your car might be Japanese; your television might be Japanese; your next door neighbour might be Japanese. No matter which angle you look at it, there is almost definitely something connecting your home, and the contents within it (or anything else that is your property), to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Prior to the emergences of the nouveau superpowers in the nearby vicinities of China and India, Japan had earned the title of most economically influential country located in Asia. When we think of Japan, brand names such as Toyota, Honda, Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, Sanyo, Panasonic and Casio may all spring to mind. And is there any good reason for them not to? No. You instantly know that “the car in front is a Toyota”. Honda adverts are, in my opinion, immensely memorable; very possibly the best advertisements for a product you shall ever see in your life. And should you ever find yourself wandering aimlessly around Piccadilly Circus, take a glance at the neon sign that lords over you with such arrogant superiority, you may just feel sick. Happen to espy the Sanyo logo, by any chance?

Edible substances have also had success is Britain. The scale may be limited, and, once again, trumped by its Chinese and Indian counterparts, but impact and popularity of Japanese cuisine continues to increase, with ultra-contemporary sushi bars attracting many a customer day after day. Of course, the negative media attention they caught the fancy of in the murder case of Alexander Litvinenko – who was poisoned prior to dining in Itsu, a sushi bar located on Piccadilly, in London – did little to win over would-be new customers. You hear on the news that a man has yielded to the effects of radiation poisoning, so naturally the first thing you wish to do is to have a meal in the last restaurant he was seen eating at. Oh wait…No, that doesn't happen.

I have never been on an aeroplane. Yes, it’s still as true as it was in year 9, when I realised it wasn’t common for a person of my age back then to have never had the opportunity to fly. Now that I’m 4 years older than then (and 4 years wiser? I beg to differ), the opportunity still hasn’t arisen, and I’m stuck languishing in the suburbs of London nigh on every school holiday. But the reasoning for my lack of aircraft travel is not due to laze or even inability or my part, but rather a condition that forces a member of my family to veer from airlines altogether. When I have accumulated enough dosh to take myself there, Japan is one of the first countries I’d like to visit. I’ve had a fascination with the culture and lifestyle of it for several years now, and the photographs I have seen of it suggest that it is a country of beauty. The “bullet trains” are, too, something I wish to view first-hand (and if a few years time, a similar type of train may be running on the Circle Line or the London Underground), as are martial arts practices such as kendo and jujitsu. In fact, ideally, I’d like to be able to practice jujitsu myself!

Now without the intention of sounding derisive, sayonara!


Kavi said...

I think Japan appeals to a lot of people, it seems so different, yet so familiar. It's quite strange to read that you have never been on an aeroplane, but you're not missing out on much tbh. I personally don't like Honda adverts, i'm never quite sure what they're advertising!

thew said...

i don't know why, but Japan just doesn't do it for me :/ i don't know why. it's like people saying they hate america, but i'd love to go there again. nonetheless, a lovely read as ever =)