Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
As I so often do, I’m blogging from a plane. This one is a very big bird that’s taking me 14 hours from North America to Tokyo.
Remember that awesome 80s song “Turning Japanese?” I loved that song when I was in high school. It had this ridiculous infectious beat and was sung with this almost off-putting cadence and intonation that always grabbed you.
It was, simply, ridiculously catchy.
I love the idea of turning Japanese or Dutch or Indian or Paraguayan or anything, really. It’s the transformation itself that so intrigues me. To go from being Canadian or Finnish or Italian to something totally different is compelling and intriguing to me.
I’ve written before that I consider myself a citizen of the world but I’ve never really elaborated upon what that means both to me and the amazing young people who will study with us at THINK Global School.
I see it as a recipe:
Mix one part desire
A sprinkle of curiosity
400 grams of awe
5 cl of respect
and two parts openness
For me, this recipe works. It’s what has driven me for so many years as I’ve traveled the world, moved from place to place, collected pieces of being Canadian and Mexican and Chilean and French and Swedish and culled so many little fragments through trips and experiences and dreams of seeing and doing and being.
And as I landed in Tokyo I could feel myself, even if just for 30 hours or so, turning Japanese.
I really think so.