Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Culture- Quotes about traditional Japanese arts and crafts (kabuki, haiku etc.)

“Much in Japanese aesthetics is determined by social dynamics and one-upmanship… The salient features of Japanese culture-wabi sabi, less is more, Zenism, etc.- thus appear as attempts to constantly outflank and counter the gaudy flash and panache of the nouveau riche… Japanese aesthetics are revealed as the product of this social competitiveness, of the desire to find yet more subtle shades of meaning and beauty than the next guy.” C.B.Liddell in a review of A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics by Donald Ritchie in Metropolis magazine, Dec 28 2007  

“Kabuki is a good example of the ultimate in kata-izing human behaviour, revealing not only its strengths in providing precise guidelines for each new performer to master the set form, but also the weakness and inhumanity of the system as well in that it rejects any individuality or new intelligence and thus stifles change and growth of the person and the art. Still the Japanese tend to look upon kabuki as representative of the best of traditional Japan, and continue to herd foreign visitors to the Kabuki-za for a taste of the “real Japan” without realizing they might also be showing the worst side of Japanese culture” Boye Lafayette De Mente

“Haiku writing is a sociable affair, not a matter for solitary inspiration or tranquil recollection” Ronald P Dore, explaining how even poetry is the mirror image of the West in Japan

“There is an aura of solemn spirituality about many recreational pursuits in Japan and nothing seems to thicken that aura so much as the presence of money” Ronald P Dore


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