13 February 2007

Orientalist Yearnings

Right now, John Bennion, the professor over my study abroad, is in Japan visiting his son, and he's posting journal entries to blackboard (BYU's classroom software) to keep us updated on his doing. Reading about his adventures in Japan is making me totally jealous. Especially that he gets to see the new (well, old to Japan apparently, but new to us) Miyazaki film, Whisper of the Heart. Miyazaki + John Denver = bliss! I absolutely adore Miyazaki, especially Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle. I really like the whole anime look, and also the Japanese style of storytelling--very indirect and subtle. Ha ha, anime and subtle in the same sentence. In most cases, not true, but for Miyazaki, definitely. :D I wonder if there are anime versions of any of the novels we are reading . . . .

Japan holds an interesting place in my mind. I don't know that much about it, yet I've fallen in love with the few over-romanticized scraps that I have. Memoirs of a Geisha has recently become one of my favorite movies. I watched it three times in one week before school started. Inaccurate as it may be, the beauty and the mystery just draw me in. It leaves me with this strange longing to abandon my English and chemistry programs and just fly out in my time machine to a Japan in the 1920's and wear beautiful kimonos

For those of you who don't know, I'm now officially dating George, who went on his mission to Japan, which doesn't help my Japanese obsession at all. We went out to eat at Tepanyaki, where I finally learned how to use chopsticks properly: absolute ecstasy! And the fact that the food was over-spiced to appeal to American tastebuds and the samurai swords out front were probably some cheap knock-offs didn't bother me at all. In fact, George tells me it's illegal to sell real samurai swords in Japan anymore. Interesting.

It's kind of like orientalism all over again, but I somehow don't feel guilty about it.

In summary, I'm totally jealous of John. He should bring us all back some Pocky or something. I can eat a whole box of pocky. No trouble.

2 comments:

Cathryn said...

YAY FOR GEORGE! Congrats, Liz! That's very exciting. :)

If you want some slightly more authentic Japanese than Tepanyaki (which is actually not too bad, if you ask me), try Osaka on Center Street. I've heard that Demae is good, too (also on Center Street).

Oh, and I've seen Pocky at the dollar store before, actually. And I know they always have it at the Crazzy [sic] Canuck on 1st North and University. :)

Liz Muir said...

Ironically, we just ate at Osaka for Valentine's Day. It was really good, though I think it'll take me a while to get the hang of sushi. But that's okay cause the company was good.