Monday, November 07, 2005

"KO-YO" in Berlin

Dez.2003 in Kamakura

In Japan October and November are called as "season of KO-YO". "KO-YO (紅葉)" literally means "red leaves". How beautiful maple leaves turn red and yellow in fall! From ancient times many poets and authors have expressed the beauty of autumn leaves. Compared to Japanese automn, "KO-YO" in Germany is not so colorful; leaves turn only yellow. But I think it is also beautiful. Here are the photos I took recently in the street "Unter den Linden".

"Unter den Linden" means "under linden or lime trees". The street is one of the most famous boulevard in Berlin runs from Brandenburg Gate to Palace Bridge (Schloß Brücke).

In front of Deutsches Theater

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"as one Japanese"

Today I would like to explain a bit more why I started writing this English blog. One of the things suprised me when I came to Berlin five years ago was to know that quite a few people are interested in Japan. In the university I got to know German students studying Japanology. I was very suprised to see that they were learning hard to master Japanese. I also got aquainted to people who I wouldn't get to know if I weren't Japanese.

When I lived in Japan, I had little opportunity to know how foreigners look at Japan, so I found it interesting to see Japan objektively from the outsiders' point of view. Many times people asked me questions about Japan on all kinds of topics such as traditional culture, modern film, history and politics. Sometimes I felt ashamed when I could not answer to these questions very well. It is sometimes difficult to answer to a political question like "why prime minister Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni-temple is controversial?" However I am sometimes asked to state my own opinion, because I'm Japanese.

As one Japanese who lives in a foreign country I think it is important for me to be able to explain all kinds of things about Japan in English and German. I hope that this blog will be a goog exercise for me and help to meet with many people. To begin with I will talk about my home town Yokosuka.