Weird, wonderful Japan


Japan, Germany, Italy - Hetalia

Just as they were saying a couple of days ago that Japan was likely the only place in the world you could lose thousands of dollars of photographic gear yet have it returned without hassle and completely untouched, today they are reporting on Misao Okawa, currently the oldest person in the world at age 115, with her birthday on Wednesday. Japan is the home of quite a few centenarians.

The Japanese are fascinating and wonderful in many ways, and while like every society they have some negative aspects, I hear so much good of them. When I was younger, I wondered why I had to be born into a Chinese family when it was evident from all that I saw that Japanese families were so much more amazing. How different my life could be if I were born into a Japanese family — closer to that magical and wonderful world of anime and manga, despite being told many Japanese are in fact not very interested in anime or manga at all.

Despite all the good I hear though, at times it can be a slap to the face to remember the realities of the past, like when I watch historical films and television series of the ages when Japan occupied Hong Kong.

Going back in time, it can be shocking the horrors that Japan did commit, yet it seems we are more likely to learn of Hitler here in Australia than we are of what the Japanese did although they are nearly as brutal in nature. Japan have since issue quite a few war apology statements, and have still issued further apologies in recent years, yet some do not feel that this really makes up for the suffering and loss they have experienced.

Nonetheless, Japanese culture has had such a great global impact over the last two or more decades, and has become a culture many have come to really love or even want to adopt. It is amazing to see how the world can progress so far in such a relatively short amount of time. But equally it can be interesting how us generations are eager to forgive and forget this mistakes of the past.

Of course, not having to experience or grow up in such an environment, the horrors of war can not feel real, yet I’m glad that the world can be a friendlier place. Despite the ongoing wars and battles around the world, it would be pleasant to one day be rid of that, even despite our history as a war-loving species.

The Japanese are weird and wonderful, and their products are too. Heil Japan!