BGM: R.E.M. - Man On The Moon
Today I worked late. This morning I read Yoshio Kataoka's "Outside of Japanese language" step by step with Pat Metheny's music. Kataoka progresses his discussions steadily and logically, and they are also thrilling, so I am attracted by them. Reading the pages about the Gulf War, I thought about how I would face the situation and answer it if the war was happened "now". Indeed, I am just a citizen, so I shouldn't do "world leader pretend". It would be shameful. But I also feel sick certainly for the real state that innocent people are killed by the war between Ukraine and Russia. I say I can't accept the wars because they are basically irrational for me. I admit that it would be shameful to pretend as a cosmopolitan without accepting the real state around me. People would say to me that "you must know yourself". But I think that acting too cynically from the high position would also be shameful. Call me an idiot. I want to support the idea of love and peace.
Kataoka talks about various "ways of life". For example, America has the "American way of life", etc. It comes from the attitude which is based on the ideal of important democracy, and also supported by a competitive society which is enabled by that ideal. It might also be the way of life of "mass product", "mass consuming". Reading that discussion, I was reminded of the fact that Japan has also become a competitive society, which finally divided us into the two types as "rich" and "poor", or "winners" and "losers". Once, Japanese society was called "everyone belongs to the middle class" (although the real state was not so). Time flies... Sorry, these kinds of "talking politics" would show my ignorance. Anyway, his critical thinking about "America in the 90s" shows "current Japan". It is really brilliant, and I guess this book predicted that "current" situation.
This afternoon, the weather became fine again, so I enjoyed Bruce Springsteen's music. I thought that learning America by reading books like this in Japan can mean that I can understand a different culture. Meeting the different culture, and also the trial of understanding it. We have to accept that there is a wall between America and Japan, and also a huge difference in cultures. But I believe that we have to try to understand other's character, learning where the difference can be between us, instead of feeling disappointed by the difference itself. We don't have to adore other as "Oh, America!" or proud of ourselves as "Japan as No.1". We don't need to underrate ourselves, but can be proud of ourselves as the country of anime, sushi, and other great products... Oh! My! Today I act like a commentator. I have to save myself because I am just an amateur.
I talked about Yoshio Kataoka with a friend of mine on the app LINE, and she suggested to me that "if you could choose, what language you would do as your mother tongue next life?". Although it needs time to discuss there would be next life, I would choose Japanese as my mother tongue next life again. Indeed, it would be attractive if I could speak English fluently as my mother tongue. For example, I want to understand brilliant Eminem's or A Tribe Called Quest's hip-hop. But I have enjoyed Haruki Murakami's and Yoshio Kataoka's sophisticated Japanese because I am Japanese, so it could be a huge loss if the situation changed. In addition to, I feel really thankful for the fact that I can read Junichiro Tanizaki's and Yoshikichi Furui's Japanese directly. I also believe that learning English as the second language, not the language which is installed in me yet, must be pleasant for me. I can feel that learning something, studying something is pleasant even if I am middle-aged. I will never be able to "master" English, therefore it has a worth.