Eyes, JAPAN Blog > Continuity in change

Continuity in change



Since I came to Japan I was quite often wondering about the big number of festivals held for very specific purposes. I am thinking of festivals related to seasonal blooming of flowers or to other short term phenomenons in nature for example. The first of such festivals I visited was the Ipomoea-festival in Tokyo (入谷朝顔まつり) in July of this year. I was strongly recommended to visit this festival. So I saw streets bordered by countless flower stands and thousands of people surging the narrow streets. I saw this overwhelming amount of flowers, somehow all of them looking alike and even sold for very high prices. There were many food stands and I could feel the big excitement of the visitors and that something big and special was going on. But somehow I couldn’t figure out what and why.

Now, after six month, especially after seeing the changes in nature from spring to autumn and its linked changes in meals and even in food ranges you get in supermarkets, I begin to understand a little better. I think that there is a much deeper perception and appreciation of seasonal changes in Japan than I know of my home country. Of course there are seasonal changes as well. But I have the impression that these changes are more felt like restrictions and dependencies. Here in Japan this seasonal changes are perceived more like diversification and enrichment and are therefor celebrated. Maybe this very special way of dealing with changes in Japanese culture is one of the main reasons why Japanese people are very much more open to new technologies than in other countries – I don’t know. However, I am stopping mourning that I cannot get my favorite ice cream flavor anymore (green tea latte – a seasonal flavor, of course), but looking forward to the variety that may wait ahead.


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