This morning I woke up, opened my eyes, and I had the most perfect horizontal view of Japan: tatami mat, simple wooden blinds, rain, beautiful green hillsides and everything was quiet.
So, that said, here is my explaination about what I mean when I say the the Japanese have a deep-rooted sense of how delicate life is.
Japanese never eat too much because they understand how delicate beauty is. They seem to have no conflict with the saying ‘you are what you eat’ and its as if they all strive to fill themselves with the healthiest, yet most satisfying, food. Japanese understand how delicate architecture is because they have so many earthquakes that structures are usually not very high, and have the most simple, beautiful and efficient designs. They understand how delicate enviornments are; by enviornments I mean the earth, nature, the enviornment of animals, cities, and the home enviornment. The trash is picked up every day and they sort their trash SO well. Every home has 3 trash cans: plastic, glass and paper. Japanese homes are very small because the population is so big. So walls are kept very clean, and homes are well organized and clutter-free to create a very soft, relaxing enviornment in a very small space. They understand the delicacy of design, from fashion to flower arrangement. They play up the importance of space, not filling space. Placement of flowers, for instance, takes seeing not only what flowers to put next to other flowers, but also how much distance to put between them. Do you understand what i mean? This idea also carries over to fashion. Their fashion is delicately tailored to the T. It makes a huge difference. If you dont understand what i mean it is because you dont have attention for detail, and you think this all sounds silly. You are not like the Japanese! They have high attention for detail because it is the small details in life that make the bigger picture more beautiful. The Japanese also understand the delicate mannerisms of society. Their idea of respect and politeness is held within small things, like bringing someone a small gift when you visit their home. Another example is their way of bowing. Some of these things may seem tedious to Americans when in fact it is we that are socially clumsy, respectfully 🙂 Another example is that in America we say ‘treat others how you want to be treated’, and it seems as if in Japan they say ‘treat yourself the way you treat others.’ Naturally, this would mean that they treat themselves with the utmost respect. When they wash, they shower, wash hair, body, sometimes twice, and then they soak in a bathtub for a while. In the US we usually shower, or we bathe. But it is tradition to shower and bathe, its just how they do it! Every night before bed. (side note: getting unto a bathtub without showering first is considered filthy, and if you think about it… it is!)
In short, life is full of many delicate balances. Happiness is all about balancing work and play, health is about balancing body and mind… some dream of balance, the Japanese seem to live it. I hope this made sense…