Category: CrossCurrents

Egalitarian Canada Kinder to Consumers Than Japan?

For an old timer still more used to windows one had to roll up and down manually, the array of electrically controlled mechanisms from seat position and height adjustments, seat warmers, and mirrors and the top quality audio system with 6 disc CD player turned out to be a novelty, but not a must. How many CDs can one listen to during a 30-minute ride? How often does one adjust seats? All these little amenities that people who live in big houses with electronic controls and indoor swimming pools might take for granted were in fact superfluous as far as our lifestyle was concerned.

How to Think of Life. As Something Cyclical or Linear?

Things that can be quantitatively measured, from one’s income to physical strength to one’s metabolic rate inevitably decline linearly. Such is life. Having accepted that, why not continue to reach for seemingly attainable possibilities? That would be my “reminder” for the new year 2010.

That “Mattari” Feeling…

Why don’t young Japanese these days want to venture out? Some say it’s because of the economic downturn but then, the Japanese were generally poorer in the old days. The columnist concludes that people would rather go to a hot-spring resort inside Japan where they can relax feeling “mattari.” Having apparently entered general usage about five years ago, the word “mattari” is nowadays even used by elementary school kids.

Rather a TCK than a Kikokushijo

The choice between becoming Canadian (or American) and going back to being Japanese has to have been the critical decision faced by some elements of the Japanese immigrant communities in North America from the time they started coming over around the turn of the 20th century.

Eating One’s Way Through Four Countries

Although our visit to Kerala’s coastal cities of Trivandrum, Kollam and Kochi (Cochin) was the only totally new experience, it was quite stimulating to encounter so many different peoples and their cultures one after another in a short time.

You Can be Serious (in Earnest) Without Becoming Serious (Grave)

We can hardly compare ourselves to a mountain village in rural Thailand. But it would seem a certain amount of “reserve of looseness” might be handy in getting along with in the multiracial society of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, which probably has as many different racial minorities and cultures as anywhere.

Why I Can’t Throw Away Old Photos

It is quite selfish of me, but I would rather not say a “formal goodbye” to those who live on forever in my memory. They were —and are—all wonderful praiseworthy people each in his/her own way. By not bidding them farewell, I’m sort of asking these people to live on, to “stay alive,” if that makes any sense.