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18 May 2007


Only now do I know with certainty that it is almost impossible for me to pursue this project in a city, simply because of the fact that in a city I am never able to tell/smell from the outside what can be expected on the inside.

I never experienced this before.

Please note that I have no regrets at all about anything involving this experience! The results showed the differences between city and country living in Japan at the beginning of the 21st century, and will therefore be a great contribution to the documentation of Japanese inhabitation during this period.

In this area of Nara, deer come down from the nearby mountains and roam about. The deer are simply there, like pigeons. The inhabitants straddle a duality: they accept the deer being there and also exploit the fact that they are. Note the teenage girl's headband.

There is a larger duality that the culture is dealing with, especially now. In the countryside, life is pretty much the same as country life everywhere: lots of people working in the fields with their hands doing what has been done for centuries. And yet they long for new and modern (Western) values. When I got out to the country, finding domestic landscapes was about the same as finding them in Europe, I would say. It was not easy, but they were quite extraordinary.

On the other hand, technology is very important to them. Mobile phone connections are available even in the remotest areas, and you'd be able to find the best hotel around and book a room, all on your cell phone. There's phone and internet access even on the subway. Everyone's always ON.


mariko said...

Hi Bert, I'm very happy to be able to read this special site in English!

Interesting view of yours on Japanese culture. Yes, I agree entirely that there are quite a few layers in our culture/tradition/way of living.

I'm not one of ALWAYS-ON people though!!

I'm looking forward to visiting this site again very soon : 0)

mariko said...

Hi Bert, just wanted to drop a line to say, "this is very beautiful & touching site of your work".

Was reading your impressions and opinions on Japanese culture/traditions/way of living.

Please bear in your mind that I'm not one of ALWAYS-ON people :)

Bert Teunissen said...

Hi Mariko, sorry for the late reaction but we had some difficulty getting this thing going. Thank you for your posts and I'm glad you like the weblog. I just have one question; what do you mean when you say you are not one of ALWAYS-ON people? I hope you can explain what exactly you mean here. Regards, Bert