Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Eric Talmadge- quotes from “Getting Wet”

“the annual flock of newbies who once found me impressive now look on me as an expatriate lifer, a concept that, like running off to join the circus, smacks of extremism and, because there is no return home, seems to defeat the whole purpose of going abroad to begin with” Getting Wet pg 10

“Japan is both a population of restless energy and a landscape of geological restlessness…The whole country rumbles and jitters as though it were balancing precariously atop a circus bear’s unicycle” Getting Wet pg 22/23

“[Hot springs are] the closest thing the normally stoic Japanese have to socially sanctioned hedonism” Getting Wet pg 115

“the Japanese are very Calvinistic. To be acceptable, the cultivation of pleasure must involve a deeper purpose, it must be couched, for example, in the pursuit of a philosophy, of a deeper understanding of life. Or of the cure to an ill. Because the baths have that curative element, bathers need not feel guilty that they are just frivolously eating, drinking, and being merry. They are working on their health situation. It’s a self-improvement thing.” Getting Wet pg 117

“[Yakuza] would swagger around, wear pins with the logos of their gangs right there on their lapels for anyone to see, congregate in headquarters with big signs out front saying exactly which gang they were with…One of my sources, a mid-level boss with Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s biggest gang, used to send me New Year’s cards with the syndicate’s logo embossed in gold in one corner.” Getting Wet pg 156

“about the time that mixed bathing was banned- making it officially naughty- it became sexy. And it was about that time that Japan truly joined the ranks of the civilised.” Getting Wet pg 134

“So far, the [Visit Japan] campaign has only had modest results. Visitors to Japan still pay exorbitantly high prices for their hotel rooms and dinners, but at the main airports those who do come are now treated to recorded messages from the prime minister himself, touting the wonders of the country they are about to see. Which doesn’t seem like the most effective advertising, since I presume everybody at the airport is already sold on the idea of coming” Getting Wet pg 104

“I have another confession to make…I’m not really all that much of a fan of Japanese cuisine…I like my food hearty…fixing up a real belly-satisfying meal doesn’t seem to be the role of most self-respecting Japanese chefs” Getting Wet pg 99


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