More Japanese inspiration

Something for anyone seeking an extra challenge right now...

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Mar 30, 2016
2
10
Upvote 2 Comment

In Week 12 we heard about "forest bathing" prescribed for the stressed workers of Japan. Here's an extra challenge if you fancy it for right now - try hanami! That's watching the cherry blossom to you and me - and they usually make a party of it!

Take a look at this article from Upworthy to read all about it - another Japanese tradition that seems to me to perfectly sum up the spirit of the Great Wake Up.

http://www.upworthy.com/introducing-hanami-the-jap...

Go to the profile of Vanessa

Vanessa

cat lover, wife, designer, analyst (the spreadsheet kind...), friend, sister, daughter, writer, consultant, lover of beauty...

10 Comments

Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
Mark Cuddy almost 2 years ago

Wow, that's amazing. I love cherry blossom. and what a great link. On a personal level I love Japanese samurai films from the early 1970's so I have a huge soft spot for Japan. Thanks for the link and the blog and giving something positive to the 'wake up' gang. All the best Mark.

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Vanessa almost 2 years ago

Thanks, Mark. I've never seen a samurai film (any recommendations?) but I love Japan as well - the food, the art, and the balanced, measured take on life. I even have a little blog of my own where I write haikus - I enjoy the the precision and elegance of them and somehow the tight constraints loose my creativity. I'll think of you when I'm sitting under the cherry blossom.

Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
Mark Cuddy almost 2 years ago

Vanessa I would love to give you a recommendation of a samurai film to watch but I'm not too sure if it would be your cup of sake (couldn't help myself there, ahem). For me there are two types; the films of Akira Kurosawa (masterfully shot, great plots and characters and great fight sequences - try 'Seven Samurai' or Kurosawa's take on Macbeth- 'Throne of Blood') or the manga-influenced blood soaked films - my top favourites being 'Lady Snowblood' (Tarantino completely ripped this off to make Kill Bill Vol. 1) or 'Lone Wolf and Cub Sword of Vengeance' or 'Lone Wolf and Cub Baby Cart at the River Styx'. The manga influenced ones are blood soaked but I do enjoy them. If that's not your cup of tea/sake try the TV series Shogun with Richard Chamberlain - it was made in the early 1980's but it really is superb and hasn't dated at all (in my opinion). I watched it a couple of months ago - superb! It does go on for a very long time but it is a beautiful story told beautifully. Hope this helps.

Go to the profile of Jacqui
Jacqui almost 2 years ago

Lovely Vanessa! Thank you. As for all things Japanese, have you read any Ishiguro? He is Japanese born and i fnd his writing has much of the focus and clarity you and Mark have noticed in the films.

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Vanessa almost 2 years ago

Thanks, both! Mark, I was going to order Seven Samurai to give it a try until I asked my husband about it and he agrees with you - probably too violent for me... He suggested easing in with an episode of something called The Water Margin - are you familiar with that one? Jacqui, I've never read any Ishiguro but I've just ordered Remains of the Day - are there any others you would recommend? Love the way Wake Up is snowballing with new ideas!

Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
Mark Cuddy almost 2 years ago

Vanessa, when I was a kid, sometime in the mid-'70's I remember something along the lines of The Water Margin being shown on TV for kids during the school summer holidays but I can't remember too much about it. I think they dubbed it in the same way Monkey was dubbed (very badly). When I was a kid I had a fear for Chinese and Japanese culture (I don't know why) but when I got to about 10 years of age my hero became Bruce Lee - his posters were all over my bedroom walls - I love him. To this day Enter the Dragon is in my top ten favourite films of all time. As for The Water Margin I can't remember too much about it. Obviously when it was shown I either didn't want to watch it because it looked silly being dubbed badly or I just wanted to go out and play football all day! Ha - probably a case of both knowing what I was like as a kid - happy days. So I can't help with The Water Margin. Try Shogun though - it's very good and because it was made for TV there's not too much violence either. Hope this helps.

Go to the profile of Jacqui
Jacqui almost 2 years ago

Hi Vanessa, each Ishiguro are so different in genre. I lived his latest The Buried Giant. Never Let Me Go is thought provoking too. Quite melancholic in tone but very meditative on life and love. I agree about snowballing. Great to shake cultural suggestions. Any books either of you could suggest greatly appreciated!

Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
Mark Cuddy almost 2 years ago

Jacqui, one of my favourite books is the actress Kathleen Turner's autobiography Send Yourself Roses. This is of course is not Japanese or too philosophical or too melancholic but when you read it it's like she's in the room with you reading it. And for me, she along with Lauren Bacall have the greatest female voice in film (in my opinion). I absolutely love it. I don't know if it helps, don't know if it's your thing but I do love it. There you go I've admitted it - I love it!

Go to the profile of Jacqui
Jacqui almost 2 years ago

Thanks Mark. I love old films- definitely think I have been born in the wrong era. Will check it out.

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Vanessa almost 2 years ago

Jacqui, a strange, but beautiful, book I really enjoyed was Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay - funny I can read about violence but can't watch it... I was very tempted by both of the more recent books you mention, but thought I should start with a "classic" - maybe not...
Oh, dear, Mark, sounds like I may end up laughing at my husband's childhood memories with The Water Margin, then. Better get my hands on Shogun (I did watch the preview on YouTube but then got distracted by clips from The Thorn Birds - such a girl!)