The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mountain and Molehills

Hey. I like Japan! Really! (Everytime I write something criticizing Japan or Japanese people, I feel like I have to preface it with that statement, otherwise people will say, "Well, if it's such a terrible place, why don't you leave?")

So ANYWAY, today in the paper there was an article about how people in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo are really upset over a newly-renovated building. The building, which houses some sort of Italian-Japanese Cultural Exchange institute, has a bright red exterior, meant to evoke the brilliant red colour of some Japanese lacquerware. It was actually toned down from its original red colour, which was thought to be too bright. So they compromised, and made it a more mellow red colour.

Now people are angry because they feel that the red colour clashes with the greenery of the nearby parks. Buildings in the area are meant to harmonize with the local scenery, although the by-laws aren't clear on how they should do that, exactly. As a consequence, the buildings beside this new red building are every kind of conceivable UGLY, except that they are grey and ugly, or white and ugly. Tokyo is not a beautiful city by any means. But somehow, people are upset by a red building. Good lord. Could the fact that it is an Italian building have anything to do with it? Gee, I wonder... Nobody seems to mind the monumentally hideous buildings that are the corporate headquarters for Japanese corporations. Argh! It's easy to read too much into this (Japanese are racists!) but man... they (and I by writing about it) are really making a mountain out of a molehill...


At 2:50 PM, Blogger BeatDogg said...

That reminds me of a story Kayo told me the other day... no, it's not that kind of story, get your mind out of the gutter. She was telling me about her nephew and how he has just started kindergarten over there, and there are two North American kids in the class, one white and one black. I guess the Japanese kids have never seen a black person before so they started poking and prodding the little kid because they didn't believe his skin was real. Much psychological trauma ensued and now the kid is a freakshow who drools and pitches a fit when he sees Asians, ie. constantly.

It's a strange land you've chosen for yourself, Jeffro. Good luck over there.


Post a Comment

<< Home