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I am now flying back to London. My second visit to Japan has ended and I leave this time, feeling like I understand a bit more of their people and customs.

This doesn’t mean I now see them in a different light. For me it is clear that there is such a thing as being “Japanese”. The day Japan won its first World Cup match, you would never have guessed it from just seeing the people in the streets. Celebratory mood is carried within and only expressed during a Matsuri it seems, or maybe it is as it was pointed out to me by a couple of locals at IPMU: we do praise when there is sacrifice involved. Here there was no sacrifice. We are happy, and that’s it.

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Here I am writing my guest post on my last day in Japan. I came from England about a month ago, full of excitement and puzzled about this new place I would encounter as I’d never been in Asia before. However, I am left with many great experiences and happy memories, while also with a deeper understanding of this island and its people.

Japan is completely foreign to Westerners, since we are given all these ideas about how it is. One really has to come here to understand what I call the “Japanese common sense”, which in all honesty took me a while to get. Thankfully, I had the wonderful pleasure of being received by my dear friends, the writers of this blog, who made my stay even much swifter and memorable.

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Another post by my father Johannes who is visiting us.

hakone
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