Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) described Japan in "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" just as it was before opening up and had been influenced by the West.
What an interesting life: He was born in Greece, illegally married a black woman in US, influenced creole cooking, translated Maupassant, quoted in James Bond film, became Japanese citizen.
"Everything Japanese is delicate, exquisite, admirable - even a pair of common wooden chopsticks in a paper bag with a little drawing up it; even a package of toothpicks of cherry-wood, bound with a paper wrapper wonderfully lettered in three different colours; even the little sky-blue towel, with designs of flying sparrows upon it, which the jinrikisha man uses to wipe his face. The bank bills, the commonest copper coins are a thing of beauty. Even the piece of plaited coloured string used by the shopkeeper in tying up your last purchase is a pretty curiosity"
Fear of Westernisation
Posted at 10:55 am by salmony