JAPAN – JAPAN – 日本国

Amida Buda u Kamakuri-Amida Buddha in Kamakura

Amida Buda u Kamakuri-Amida Buddha in Kamakura

Gejse u starom delu Kjota-Geishas in the old part of Kyoto

Gejse u starom delu Kjota-Geishas in the old part of Kyoto

Japanske ucenice u poseti svetilistu-Japanese pupils visiting shrine

Japanske ucenice u poseti svetilistu-Japanese pupils visiting shrine

Karaoke

Karaoke

Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto

Panorama glavnog grada-A panoramic view of Tokyo

Panorama glavnog grada-A panoramic view of Tokyo

Planina Fudzi-Mt. Fuji

Planina Fudzi-Mt. Fuji

Slikovitost japanske hrane-Colourful Japanese food

Slikovitost japanske hrane-Colourful Japanese food

Sumo rvaci-Sumo wrestlers

Sumo rvaci-Sumo wrestlers

Tipicna scena-A typical scene

Tipicna scena-A typical scene

U tradicionalnoj odeci ispred hrama-In traditional clothes in front of a temple

U tradicionalnoj odeci ispred hrama-In traditional clothes in front of a temple

Kinkaku-ji Zlatni hram u Kjotu-Kinkaku-ji Golden Temple in Kyoto

Kinkaku-ji Zlatni hram u Kjotu-Kinkaku-ji Golden Temple in Kyoto

Već četiri puta odlazim u najistočniju zemlju i još toliko puta želim da joj se vratim, jer nikada ne nalazim vremena da upoznam ono što najviše želim: malo japansko selo u maglovitim obrisima Hokaida. Do njega ipak vodi savršena elektronska navigacija, ali ono i dalje leži zapretano u svojoj tradiciji, malom hramu na jezeru, okruženom vrtom sa brižljivo oblikovanim drvećem. To je scena koja se može svuda videti u savremenom Japanu, koji ne dozvoljava da ga tehnologija mnogo odvoji od tradicije. Ona je ovde ima mnogo dublje korene nego što se može zamisliti i na tome se u potpunosti zasniva ova civilizacija, koja ne bi ni dostigla taj stepen da nema tradicije, koju poštuju u svakom delu društva.

Obično se u Japanu upoznaje Tokio, uzavreli megalopolis, Kjoto kao bivša prestonica i riznica hramova svih dinastija šoguna ili, možda, industrijski centar Osaka. Ali, čar Japana nije toliko u velikim gradovima, koliko u onim manjim sa suštinom tipičnog svakodnevnog života. U njima se tradicija prepliće kao ogromne žute i zlatne ribe u malim jezerima u oblasti Hakone, u podnožju vulkana Fidži. Ili u šumama javora i ostalog drveća koje u jesen krase skladno uklopljene sve nijanse boja, od narandžaste do crvene u parku oko jezera sa malim ostrvom na kome se nalazi Zlatni paviljon Kinkaku-ji u Kjotu. Ili kada trešnjin cvet, sakura, svakog aprila svojim beskrajnim svetloljubičastim nijansama naprosto prelije i natkrili mnoge gradove. Jednom reči, Japan je izuzetno lepa i civilizovana zemlja, u kojoj je sve besprekorno uređeno, čak ponekad do te mere da prevazilazi mogućnosti razumevanja običnog čoveka sa zapada. U svemu se zna red i niko ne pokušava da ga poremeti. To i jeste jedini način da u tako mnogoljudnoj zemlji sve funkcioniše do savršenstva na relativno malom prostoru.

Ipak, kult hrane je nešto posebno, i to nije samo suši ili sašimi sa kojima poistovećujemo japansku hranu. Mi Evropljani, u stvari, veoma malo znamo o toj hrani, koja se služi u vidu velikog broja malih, dizajniranih porcija. Za naše pojmove Japanci veoma brzo jedu i oni sve pojedu. Mi to činimo nešto sporije, ali kad jednom uđete u njihov čudesni svet hrane, kao u začarani krug, i vi jedete sve više tih neobičnih jela, kojima se sva čula raduju. Skoro da ne možete prestati, niti se odupreti tom carstvu prefinjenih ukusa, a da se posle toga, ipak, osećate neopterećeno i spremno za dalje aktivnosti. Ta radna nacija nema mogućnosti da sita drema posle ručka, kao mi posle teške hrane; zato su im jela lagana, zdrava i, pre svega, ukusna.

Prelazim lagano preko drvenih podova carske palate Nidžo u Kjotu, sedištu Tokugava šoguna. Dok hodate, drveni spojevi proizvode tihi zvuk koji podseća na prijatan cvrkut ptica. Taj zvuk je znak da neko hoda dugim hodnicima palate i da se nikako ne može neopaženo privući Šogunu. Savršenstvo, lepota i sklad svih odnosa u ovoj zemlji, od načina obraćanja pa do diskretne opreznosti, kao nekada u ovoj palati, čine osnovu civilizacijskog uspona i uspeha ove zemlje. I sve je lepo upakovano.

Moj kolega i prijatelj, profesor Hosaka i njegova supruga Kjo su oni divni Japanci na čijim ličnostima počiva ova zemlja i koji mi nenametljivo otkrivaju zašto toliko volim Japan i želim da mu se vratim.

Oni su mi pružili ono najlepše što se u ovoj zemlji može doživeti, na čemu sam im beskrajno zahvalan.

April 2005.
_______________________________________________________________________

I have already been four times to the this Easternmost country, and I would like to go back at least as many times again, because I never get enough time to see what I desire most: a small village hidden in the mist of Hokkaido. Even though perfect electronic navigation will lead you to it, it is still enveloped in tradition, a small temple in the middle of the lake, surrounded by a garden with carefully manicured trees. Yet this sort of landscape is easily available anywhere in contemporary Japan which resists being separated from its tradition by new technologies. Here tradition has much deeper roots than you can imagine and their entire civilisation rests on it. Their development would certainly not reach the heights it has if the tradition was not observed in every segment of the society.

Usually, when in Japan, people visit Tokyo –the hectic megalopolis, Kyoto – the ancient capital and a treasure trove of temples of many a Shogun dynasty, or perhaps the industrial hub – Osaka. But the real charm of Japan is not to be found so much in big cities as it is in smaller towns that exemplify the essence of Japanese everyday life. In such places the tradition and its roots interlace with the fabric of daily life, much like the yellow and gold fish swim together in the small lakes of Hakone, at the foot of Mt. Fuji; or in the harmony of colours ranging from orange to red in the autumn maple woods surrounding the lake where the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji, rests on a small island. Or in sakura, the cherry blossoms at full bloom in April, whose infinite palette of pale violet nuances suffuse entire cities in their hues and shelter above them like another sky. In a word, Japan is a very beautiful and civilised country where everything is so perfectly neat and tidy that sometimes it surpasses comprehension of an average Westerner. Everything has its order and no one attempts to disrupt it. That is the only way for everything to function perfectly with so many people, in a relatively small space.

Yet, the cult of food is something really special, and by this I do not mean only sushi or sashimi that the Japanese cuisine is usually identified with. In fact, we the Europeans know very little about this food which is served in many small, individually designed portions. By our standards, Japanese eat really fast and they eat it all up quickly. We eat somewhat more slowly, but once you enter the magical world of Japanese cuisine, like a virtuous circle, you start eating more and more of these unusual dishes that delight all our senses. You almost cannot stop yourself and resist this empire of refined tastes; yet after the meal you do not feel heavy and are ready to continue with your activities. This hard working nation does not have the opportunity to nap after a very heavy meal, like we do after lunch full of rich food; that is because their food is light, healthy and more than anything, delicious.

I gingerly step on the wooden floors of the Nijo Castle in Kyoto, the seat of Tokugawa shoguns. While you walk on the wooden planks, the joints make a subtle sound like the pleasant chirping of birds. This is the cue that someone is walking down the long palace corridors and therefore cannot get close to the Shogun unnoticed. Perfection, beauty and harmony of all relationships and ways of communication – from addressing each other to the discreet precaution like in this palace many centuries ago – make the basis for the civilizational development and success of this country. And everything is packaged so nicely and neatly!

My colleague and friend professor Hosaka and his wife Kyo are a perfect example of the wonderfulness of the Japanese people, their very personalities making the foundation of this nation; in their own unassuming way they show me why I love Japan so much and want to return to it.

Due to their hospitality I experienced the best of Japan, and I am infinitely grateful for that.

April 2005

Leave a Reply