Saturday, February 20, 2010

In the process of "jumping" between the two languages

I have started a new series in my twitter. The first two entries are:

Have you heard of the "flowers in the storm" metaphor? Life is all about saying goodbye.

Drink this wine and pretend that you're dead once you have drunk it. To our health! 

These two sentences are actually translations of famous sayings in Japanese.
It is interesting to consider what remains and what not in translation. If you compare the above two English expressions with the original Japanese ones, you notice that some elements of essence are preserved (otherwise what would be the use of translation?). On the other hand, some nuances are lost. It is true that particular impressions can only be invoked by the use of the Japanese language.

Interestingly, things are also added. In the process of "jumping" between two languages, something is attached to one's mind. These elements then sparkle and impress.

It is a general biological principle that crossing the border would generate new things. Here's to the joy of bridging two universes!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The medal monopoly was such an excitement for us kids

The Vancouver Olympics brings excitement and sweet memories.

When I was 9, the Olympic games were held in Sapporo. The 70 m ski jump was a dream result for the Japanese kids, as three compatriots, Mr. Kasaya, Mr. Konno, and Mr. Aochi won the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, respectively.

The medal monopoly was such an excitement for us kids that we immediately started to imitate the game. We gathered around the slide and imagined that we were actually participating at the jump hill. After the beep sound signaling for start, we would slide down, and jump, trying to imitate the marvelous players.

Because the Olymics come so far in-between, it can be an impressive marker of your life.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keep going with the "writing streak"

I went to a wonderful performance of Siegfried at the New National Theater. Wagner took years to complete this magnum opus.
As I reflected on my own daily activities, I came to the conclusion that I needed to review the way I interact in the internet.

I would like to use my hours and minutes so that activities would lead to meaningful accumulation. After much thought, I have discontinued the comment and trackback sections of the Japanese blog, as approving the entries take too much time every morning. I have pondered the nature of this English blog, and decided to keep going with the "writing streak" (since 6th June last year), as this space is meaningful as an opportunity of experimentation with English expressions. I also decided to leave the comments function here open, as I see it is serving as a medium of meaningful communications here and worldwide.

Several things in my life made me go through this soul searching.

The qualia journal. Phase 1

The qualia journal. Phase 1.

From 9th October 2004 to 17th February 2010.

Now I am soul searching.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Looking forward to the unknown, no matter how small it might be

The healthiness of one's brain can pretty well be judged by whether one embraces the uncertainties in life with pleasure.
A kid has great expectations for the future. On the night before the school trip, for example, it is not uncommon for a kid to be so excited that it is difficult to sleep. It is not that those school outings are going to be anything great in actuality. It is just the expectations that brings the children into the cosmos of the infinities.

As one grows older, this great ability of being excited over the unknown is gradually lost. The future becomes mundane. There, the decline of the brain health starts.

Looking forward to the unknown, no matter how small it might be, is a great way to keep your brain young and up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On intolerance

Much as I respect and love my fellow country people, there are some tendencies recently in Japan that I cannot go along.

One thing is the spreading of intolerance. It is not that people in Japan are generally intolerant. Far from it. All my trusted friends are quite liberal, and respect the individualities and variances. At best or worst it is a divided nation. It is only that intolerant people are often noisy. And the media follow them without reflections and criticism. Making noise is one of the business models of big media, much to the disservice for the whole community.

Intolerant people are old in spirit. They cannot accept change. They inhibit the creative dynamo of others and themelves. In a society where many people are eagerly applying anti-aging techniques, I sometimes wonder why people do not take the prescriptions for tolerance.

If the wave of intolerance spreads further, everyone loses. Not only does it have a generally intimidating effect on the young and creative, but also the intolerant people themselves lose the most essential brilliance of life.

If, on the other hand, more and more people learn how to be tolerant to individuals of different opinions and value systems, no matter how alien and strange they may appear, everyone would be a winner.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Either way, they have nothing to say about their performance

The Vancouver Olympics is well under way. When I watch the games, when I can that is, I tend to focus on the losers, as well as the winners. Athletes cannot explain their failures away. They have nothing to say about their performance. They just do it, based on the skills and experiences that they have acquired over the years through arduous training, and they just accept the results as they come, no matter what nature. If they lose, they quietly fade away. If they win, they enjoy the transient spotlight. Either way, they have nothing to say about their performance, as everything is over once the competition time is up.

As the world become increasingly talkative, delving into other people's matters and widening the range of one's objects of comments, the athletes in the Olympics provide a refreshing contrast, just concentrating on what their finite bodies can and cannot achieve.

Maybe we should all be like the athletes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

During the dinner party even, I strolled onto the night street alone.

I came to Shimada, Shizuoka. I gave a public lecture in the city auditorium, talking about the brain, life, and mindsets.

After the lecture, I had a break before the evening social events. I strolled the backstreets of Shimada.

It is always such a great pleasure to be lost, or, more precisely, to try to be lost in an unknown city. Narrow streets would meander, and you're led to a new vista, in a metaphorical movement for life itself.

It is so soothing to be released from your everyday social networks, and to be immersed in the soothing radiance of the isolation of choice.

During the dinner party even, I strolled onto the night street alone. Mr. Kawamura came to search for me. I raised my hand to assure my connectedness. We are all connected, through the great darkness that envelop the planet earth in periods.