The result is that not quite three years later, I've read many books about Japan, have traveled to Japan once, and am progressing in the study of Japanese flower arranging and of the Japanese language itself. Why? I still don't know the answer to that, but I'm not letting that stop me. This has been an exciting journey so far.
I sometimes wonder if others have had the same experience, to fall in love with a culture you have no prior connections to. I live in the arid landscape of New Mexico, unimaginably distant from the green island nation of Japan. The Albuquerque Journal (http://www.abqjournal.com/main) ran a story this past Sunday (June 23) of just such a person as I've wondered about, a woman who has had an experience similar to mine. (I don't know her except through the article.)
Her name is Hispanic, Anita Gallegos. She also fell in love with Japan, only it lured her through a different doorway---the martial arts. From there she, like me, began to study Japanese history, culture, and language. And then--taiko drumming. According to the newspaper she "came to love the symmetry, discipline, and choreography of taiko drumming." Almost the same could be said of me, but for me it would be "the asymmetry, discipline, and sculptural form" of ikenobo ikebana.
|Photo from Wikipedia Commons, taken by Oiwake 2012|