Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Pico Dyer- Quotes from “The Lady and the Monk” and “Video nights in Katmandu”

“It often seemed to me, in fact, that all the tinky amusement-park surfaces and chipper reassurances of the public world here were almost a way of keeping people quiet; or at least of providing them with pre-shrunk pleasures so that they would not seek out unscheduled dreams of their own- let alone acknowledge any kind of sadness. Thus all the happy communal rites- from Disneyland tours to cherry blossom parties- seemed ways of providing safe, user-friendly forms of organized happiness, satisfaction guaranteed, a little like the bright baubles that a parent might offer a child to prevent him from crying. This was the social contract in Japan: forfeit your individuality and you would receive a life of stability and comfort; give yourself over to Japan and it would never let you down. It was like a kind of emotional welfare system: give up your freedom and you would receive a life so convenient that you’d hardly notice the freedom you’d relinquished” Pico Iyer (author of the much better known Video Nights in Kathmandu) in “The Lady and the Monk”

“[Japan’s] assumptions are so different from the West that to understand it seemed scarcely easier than eating sirloin steak with chopsticks” Pico Iyer, Video Nights in Katmandu

“Here was passion by remote control, and everytime I saw ten thousand [baseball] fans filling the air in unison with black-and-yellow bullhorns, I found myself shuddering a little at the militarism of the display-and its beauty.” Pico Iyer, Video Nights in Katmandu

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