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The Beauty of Japanese Culture

I have always been fascinated by Japan’s deep cultural background. It is touted as one of the leading and most prominent cultures around the world. They have managed to preserve their culture. It is undeniable that their culture in terms of technology, language, fashion, and even movies or animation has expanded beyond borders and territories. In fact, when I was a child, I always watched some of their famous TV programs like Masked Rider, Ghost Fighter, Dragon Ball, and my all-time favorite, “The Ninja Movies”. I just couldn’t take it out of my system. Nothing made me feel more curious than indulging in their culture. I’m privileged to share few of my wonderful experiences and to recount how it made my journey become more meaningful.

I’ll start with my most unforgettable experience, my first encounter with snow. I was able to have the glimpse of it when my colleagues and I went to a famous tourist spot in Kusatsu where Japanese people enjoy snowboarding. My heart skipped a beat when I saw and touched them for the first time, like a young child, I was ecstatic. It was a blissful confrontation as I deliberately basked to the ground of snow. That breathtaking moment was massive and I couldn’t help but feel on top of the world, considering my circumstance back in my country where the climate is tropical, mostly humid and hot. I relished every moment of this fairyland I had always dreamed of.

My first snow encounter

The journey didn’t stop there. We continued to explore together with our Japanese friend who happened to be our tour guide by chance. He led us to a famous traditional spot in the area. We entered into an “onsen,” a hot spring for taking a public bath. I was reluctant at first, a sudden struck of cultural alienation. This place is literally out of this world and the most vivid recollection was the idea of feeling “half cold and half hot.” The experience was overwhelming and I want to cling to this splendid moment forever.

Hot spring in Kusatsu

In another occasion, but equally as memorable as the first was the event when we visited a Shinto shrine with my colleague and my share housemates where we  embellished ourselves with the Japanese traditional dress “kimono.” It was distinctively special because I felt for the first time that I was Japanese, although I could never be one. As we passed through the corners of the streets where many Japanese were heading to the shrine, I asked myself with audacity “How can I be more Japanese than this?” Wearing that kimono was by far, the nearest state I can be like the locals. It feels like a million bucks. Consequently, we went to the Shinto shrine to pray and wish for good luck and drew a piece of paper from Emperor Meiji’s enchanting poetry that tells me to have certitude.

Wearing kimono on the streets of Harajuku

I’ve gained multifarious insights from this once in a lifetime experience. One is self-discovery, to be able to look into myself as a whole. Another one is the feeling of sophistication and elegance that despite the struggles I have had, I need to keep my poise and pride as a person. I may not mention everything but certainly, a treasure to keep. I would never trade this to any precious thing in this world.

There are still many things yet to discover and I believe that each culture has a valuable jewel that lies in the beauty of its uniqueness. I will continue to embrace its beauty and reckon up more meaning to my existence. I hope you would come to this place and together we will discover the beauty of Japanese culture. What are you waiting for? いきましょ!(ikimasho!)

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