Friday, July 16, 2010

So here's to the fat ones.

Partly because my best friend Ken Shiotani is one, I seem to be drawn to a fat man. Although when I first met him when I was 18, he was rather like a slim bear. Then the rapid growth started, to my utter amazement.

Once I was traveling in the rural areas. I stayed at an Onsen (hotspring) ryokan (Japanese style Inn). There was a fat man figure in the bath. It was actually a deity, but my memories are rather faint there. In any case, the fat man figure stayed with me to this day. The symbol of reassurance, good things in life, and perhaps a little bit of indulgence. Just the right amount.

When I "interview" Misako, Ken Shiotani's wife, she invariably tells me that Shiotani's protruded belly is an attraction, rather than an obstacle, in her loving of her husband. Misako actually loves to pat on the belly. She cannot get enough of it. It is actually like touching the immortal "Totoro" in Hayao Miyazaki's film. Patting on the belly is an action repeated many times by the onlookers to the Sumo wrestlers. Perhaps here you can find one of the reasons for the popularity of Sumo wrestlers.
A heavenly cushion in the flesh.

So here's to the fat ones. I dedicate some photos I took while on the road. I don't recall where they were taken. I must have drawn to the atmosphere of reassurance and indulgence. We all need a little bit of them in today's health over-conscious world.

The fat man figure.

The fat one, Ken Shiotani, in the front.
The slim one, Takashi Ikegami, in the back.
Both are my soul mates, fat or slim.

Shiotani's belly, taken on 10th June 2009.


(ma)gog said...

One of the good things living in Germany is that I always feel very much at home and reassured being surrounded by "fat bellies" all the time. I wonder if I am reassuring others as well or not??

To tell you the truth, I am horrified to go back to Japan in less than two weeks for the first time in several years as most Japanese ladies are so skinny and tiny.(I am not).

Well, I hope that the number of people of your value towards "the fat ones" (not only towards men but towards women as well!) will increase for the bright future.

A few weeks ago I finished writing the play script "Our neighbor Totoro" for the school festival for my pupils. There are a few original songs from the animation film, so I am supposed to write to studio Ghibli asking for permission to use them. I am being reluctant however, worried in case I would get an unwilling reply.

Believing that Mr.Hayao Miyazaki is a generous man, I have decided to write to his company right now.

Michi said...

Dear Dr.Mogi,
You are the Moomin family,aren't you?
My daughter and I love the Moomin very much.
By the way,sad to say I can't to hear your talk on 3th next month.
Unluckily this clash with my daughter's event! Thanks.
Please enjoy your summer in Canada.

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

Shiotani-sensei is fat, and is thinking about difficult problems of philosophy, outside the institution of the university.

Ikegami-sensei is slim, and is thinking about difficult problems of science, in the institution of the university.

How different, almost opposite, they are! However, they and you are good friends for a long time.

The "diversity" is wonderful!

"That's good, good."
Wow, the fat man figure said now with broad smile.

Oh,this is the another "diversity"...