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Quotes About Japan

Quotes tagged as "japan" (showing 1-30 of 159)
Kobayashi Issa
“What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.”
Kobayashi Issa, Poems

“I've never really wanted to go to Japan. Simply because I don’t like eating fish. And I know that's very popular out there in Africa.”
Britney Spears

Hidekaz Himaruya
“Of course, my Christmas is (so much more) gorgeous and romantic (than Germany's)!! And unlike the rest of the world, we leave wine behind for Santa Claus!"
"So Santa-san is delivering gifts to children while driving under the influence . . . ?”
Hidekaz Himaruya, Hetalia: Axis Powers, Vol. 2

David Sedaris
“In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren't enough euros to go around. "The entire EU is short on coins."

And I say, "Really?" because there are plenty of them in Germany. I'm never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they're not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don't mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like "We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.”
David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames

Ryokan
“Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.”
Ryokan

James Clavell
“It's a saying they have, that a man has a false heart in his mouth for the world to see, another in his breast to show to his special friends and his family, and the real one, the true one, the secret one, which is never known to anyone except to himself alone, hidden only God knows where.”
James Clavell, Shōgun

Haruki Murakami
“Every once in a while she'll get worked up and cry like that. But that's ok. She's letting her feelings out. The scary thing is not being able to do that. Then your feelings build up and harden and die inside. That's when you're in big trouble.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Kentetsu Takamori
“Living in a world such as this is like dancing on a live volcano.”
Kentetsu Takamori

Kentetsu Takamori
“What each of us believes in is up to us, but life is impossible without believing in something.”
Kentetsu Takamori, Unlocking Tannisho: Shinran's Words on the Pure Land Path

Billy Collins
“JAPAN

Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.

It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.

I walk through the house reciting it
and leave its letters falling
through the air of every room.

I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.

I listen to myself saying it,
then I say it without listening,
then I hear it without saying it.

And when the dog looks up at me,
I kneel down on the floor
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

It's the one about the one-ton temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.

When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it at the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.”
Billy Collins

Haruki Murakami
“The rain that fell on the city runs down the dark gutters and empties into the sea without even soaking the ground”
Haruki Murakami, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

Renae Lucas-Hall
“What comes from the heart will go to the heart”
Renae Lucas-Hall

Donald Richie
“Japan never considers time together as time wasted. Rather, it is time invested.”
Donald Richie, A Lateral View: Essays on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan

Kentetsu Takamori
“Some nonreligious people are disgruntled by the word "faith," feeling that it has no connection to them. But we all have faith. Broadly speaking, "faith" does not apply only to belief in the supernatural. We have faith in our life, for example, believing we will live to see tomorrow, or in our health, believing we have years of healthy life ahead of us. Husbands and wives, parents and children have faith in one another.”
Kentetsu Takamori, Unlocking Tannisho: Shinran's Words on the Pure Land Path

Ryū Murakami
“I don't need to eat the stuff now because now I'm here-right in the middle of it!The soup I ordered in Colorado had all these little slices of vegetables and things, which at the time just looked like kitchen scrapings to me. But now I'm in the miso soup myself,just like those bits of vegetable. I'm floating around in this giant bowl of it, and that's good enough for me.”
Ryū Murakami

Nagaru Tanigawa
“From theme song of the show: Boken Desho Desho, boken de ga.......its a good song”
Nagaru Tanigawa

Arthur Golden
“Oh I'm sure you're right," Auntie said. "Probably she's just as you say. But she looks to me like a very clever girl, and adaptable; you can see that from the shape of her ears.”
Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

David Mitchell
“Yet for the first time in three days, I want something. I want the forest lord to turn me into a cedar. The very oldest islanders say that if you are in the interior mountains on the night when the forest lord counts his trees, he includes you in the number and turns you into a tree.”
David Mitchell, number9dream

Ruth Reichl
“...I was not prepared for the feel of the noodles in my mouth, or the purity of the taste. I had been in Japan for almost a month, but I had never experiences anything like this. The noodles quivered as if they were alive, and leapt into my mouth where they vibrated as if playing inaudible music.”
Ruth Reichl
tags: food, japan

Kentetsu Takamori
“Many Buddhist temple priests regard their parishioners as possessions and fear their departure as a diminishing of assets.”
Kentetsu Takamori

Timothy James Dean
I was on one of my world 'walkabouts.' It had taken me once more through Hong Kong, to Japan, Australia, and then Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific [one of the places I grew up]. There I found the picture of 'the Father.' It was a real, gigantic Saltwater Crocodile (whose picture is now featured on page 1 of TEETH).

From that moment, 'the Father' began to swim through the murky recesses of my mind. Imagine! I thought, men confronting the world’s largest reptile on its own turf! And what if they were stripped of their firearms, so they must face this force of nature with nothing but hand weapons and wits?

We know that neither whales nor sharks hunt individual humans for weeks on end. But, Dear Reader, crocodiles do! They are intelligent predators that choose their victims and plot their attacks. So, lost on its river, how would our heroes escape a great hunter of the Father’s magnitude? And what if these modern men must also confront the headhunters and cannibals who truly roam New Guinea?

What of tribal wars, the coming of Christianity and materialism (the phenomenon known as the 'Cargo Cult'), and the people’s introduction to 'civilization' in the form of world war? What of first contact between pristine tribal culture and the outside world? What about tribal clashes on a global scale—the hatred and enmity between America and Japan, from Pearl Harbor, to the only use in history of atomic weapons? And if the world could find peace at last, how about Johnny and Katsu?”
Timothy James Dean, Teeth - The Epic Novel with Bite

“Why has pachinko swept Japan? It can hardly be the excitement of gambling, since the risks and rewards are so small. During the hours spent in front of a pachinko machine, there is an almost total lack of stimulation other than the occasional rush of ball bearings. There is no thought, no movement; you have no control over the flow of balls, apart from holding a little lever which shoots them up to the top of the machine; you sit there enveloped in a cloud of heavy cigarette smoke, semi-dazed by the racket of millions of ball bearings falling through machines around you. Pachinko verges on sensory deprivation. It is the ultimate mental numbing, the final victory of the educational system." - Lost Japan, Eng. vers., 1996”
Alex Kerr

“It’s clear that if we use the mind attentively, mental power is increased, and if we concentrate the mind in the moment, it is easier to coordinate mind and body. But in terms of mind and body unity, is there something we can concentrate on that will reliably aid us in discovering this state of coordination?

In Japan, and to some degree other Asian countries, people have historically focused mental strength in the hara (abdomen) as a way of realizing their full potential. Japan has traditionally viewed the hara as the vital center of humanity in a manner not dissimilar to the Western view of the heart or brain. I once read that years ago Japanese children were asked to point to the origin of thoughts and feelings. They inevitably pointed toward the abdominal region. When the same question was asked of American children, most pointed at their heads or hearts. Likewise, Japan and the West have commonly held differing views of what is physical power or physical health, with Japan emphasizing the strength of the waist and lower body and Western people admiring upper body power. (Consider the ideal of the sumo wrestler versus the V-shaped Western bodybuilder with a narrow waist and broad shoulders.)

However, East and West also hold similar viewpoints regarding the hara, and we’re perhaps not as dissimilar as some might imagine. For instance, hara ga nai hito describes a cowardly person, “a person with no hara.” Sounds similar to our saying that so-and-so “has no guts,” doesn’t it?”
H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

Christopher Hitchens
“Even in former days, Korea was known as the 'hermit kingdom' for its stubborn resistance to outsiders. And if you wanted to create a totally isolated and hermetic society, northern Korea in the years after the 1953 'armistice' would have been the place to start. It was bounded on two sides by the sea, and to the south by the impregnable and uncrossable DMZ, which divided it from South Korea. Its northern frontier consisted of a long stretch of China and a short stretch of Siberia; in other words its only contiguous neighbors were Mao and Stalin. (The next-nearest neighbor was Japan, historic enemy of the Koreans and the cruel colonial occupier until 1945.) Add to that the fact that almost every work of man had been reduced to shards by the Korean War. Air-force general Curtis LeMay later boasted that 'we burned down every town in North Korea,' and that he grounded his bombers only when there were no more targets to hit anywhere north of the 38th parallel. Pyongyang was an ashen moonscape. It was Year Zero. Kim Il Sung could create a laboratory, with controlled conditions, where he alone would be the engineer of the human soul.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

John Burnham Schwartz
“By almost every account he's a fine young man. I'm simply trying to figure out why I should care that he's three centimeters taller than he was in May.”
John Burnham Schwartz, The Commoner

“Japan likewise put her hopes of victory on a different basis from that prevalent in the United States. (...) Even when she was winning, her civilian statesmen, her High Command, and her soldiers repeated that this was no contest between armaments; it was pitting of our faith in things against their faith in spirit.”
Ruth Benedict, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture

Jon Courtenay Grimwood
“Half of Japan still couldn't tell the difference between crime and politics.”
Jon Courtenay Grimwood, End of the World Blues
tags: japan

Dr. Takaaki Musha
“I was employed for many years as a senior research scientist developing naval underwater weapon systems at the Technical Research and Development Institute of the Ministry of Defense, Japan, and I often suspected there existed extraordinary technologies developed by the world’s superpowers. I am of the opinion that most of these technologies have been concealed from the public’s eyes.”
Dr. Takaaki Musha, The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy

Kenichi Fukui
“As is known worldwide, Japan has tried to catch up with the western countries since the beginning of this century by importing science from them.”
Kenichi Fukui

Ruth Ozeki
“There are lots of superheroes with different superpowers, and some of them are big and flashy, like super strength and super speed, and molecular restructuring, and force fields. But these abilities are really not so different from the superpower stuff that old Jiko could do, like moving superslow, or reading people's minds, or appearing in doorways, or making people feel okay about themselves by just being there.”
Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

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