|Hashiguchi Goyo. Woman After Bath , 1920.
“In Europe, the truth lies in what is discovered, is aletheia, while in Japan the most important is what is hidden. … What immeasurable is the distance between the two civilizations! “
Here are some excerpts from Hisayasu Nakagawa , Japanese professor and academic, from his book “Introduction to Japanese culture” :
On one occasion I took a plane from Japan Airlines, when all the passengers were already in their seats, a female voice said in French:
“Because of a strike by drivers in London, we will delay the launch. Would ask you to be patient.”
The same voice sent the message in English. Finally, again in Japanese said
“Minasama (Ladies, ladies and gentlemen), because they are tired, it is truly inexcusable announce the following.” After which it occurred and the information given in French and English, to finish with the same sweet voice, and give sincere apologies .
In Paris, the Japanese goodwill there. As a professor at a university in Paris, occasionally had to contact a senior secretariat. The secretariat is like a beehive, where the offices are independent from each other. When this man phoned, I was, and to inform me of his return, phoned others I always respond with a “do not know”.
The opposite happens in a Japanese university. The secretariat is installed in a spacious room. If the person responsible has gone, someone will respond paa in place, or at least tell what time it will be possible to contact the person in question. The secretariat will act as an animal cell with one will. All Japanese are very sensitive to this climate standardizing and his wonderful ability of identification, and are quick to adapt to it immediately. However, in such a climate is not too much appreciate an individual assert its independence from the whole, which sometimes will show who is hostile to distinguish.
For Europeans, the self is an entity that transcends all circumstances: it all starts with “I”. In Japanese, l to first person there as itself, but as a relationship in a particular scene.
Suppose a child is terrified by a huge dog. In order to calm him down, tell him: “Do not be afraid, I am with you.” But in Japanese, you say, “do not be afraid, your daddy (ojisan) is with you.” The “I” is only defined in terms of the circumstances and your relationship with the other. Alexis Rygaloff defines lococéntrica Japanese as a language.
Other aspects of Japanese culture confirm this lococentrismo.According to European historians, it is individuals who take the initiative to intervene in history. God said, “there be light.” An event is thus the result of a will. When a Japanese historian was forced to explain the cause of a historical fact could always resort tospontaneous formation of events. Evidence of this is the declaration of war against the Allies, with the United States in the lead, which gave the emperor on December 8, 1941. “Unfortunately it has come to a point where war broke out against the United States of America and the United Kingdom for a need that could not be otherwise. Was my will?” Europeans interpret this idea that all things are formed spontaneously as a Japanese fatalism, but has two aspects: the optimisa and pessimistic.