By Peter Carey
While Peter Carey provided to take his son to Japan, 12-year-old Charley stipulated no temples or museums. He desired to see manga, anime, and cool, bizarre stuff. His father stated definite. Out of that discount comes this captivating journey of the mansion of jap tradition, as entered via its garish, brightly lit again door. Guided–and now and then judged–by an ineffably unusual boy named Takashi, the Careys meet manga artists and anime administrators, the meticulous impersonators known as “visualists,” and solitary, nerdish otaku. all through, the Booker Prize-winning novelist makes observations which are interesting even when–as his hosts preserve courteously reminding him–they develop into fallacious. humorous, staggering, individual through its splendidly nuanced portrait of a father and son millions of miles from domestic, Wrong approximately Japan is a pride.
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The merchants got so rich, but it was against the law for them to be higher than the samurai. Still, they have lots of stuffu. Dangerous for them to show off, I think. Cut their head off if they get too high. So nice they build a simple house, looks simple, but very expensive to make. ” This was the only time I heard this intriguing suggestion, that the origins of the tokonoma lay in the old sumptuary laws. “These days everyone has stuffu. ” And he produced from deep inside his coat a little photographic book called Tokyo: A Certain Style, whose hundreds of untidy teenage rooms turned out to be the apartments of Tokyo designers, musicians, software inventors, Swatch collectors, publicists, editors, not one of them displaying anything like what you would call a Japanese aesthetic.
Perhaps we can take tea,” I suggested. I had earlier noted a little salon just beside reception. Here, I assumed, such meetings might be held, but there was something about Takashi that— so sorry—made this salon temporarily unavailable. The three of us were ushered back up to our room, and tea was brought to us in this fine and private place. ” They turned together to evaluate the very small television set beside our two suitcases. “I guess so,” Charley said. ” I invited Takashi to inspect the television.
Charley brought home the famous manga about Hiroshima, Barefoot Gen. Not to be outdone, I unearthed Studio Ghibli’s masterly anime about the firebombing of Tokyo, Grave of the Fireflies. If this was pop culture, it was also art and history, and our conversations took an interesting swerve. Coming back from Brooklyn after school one day, my son wondered if I thought the A-bombs would have been dropped had Commodore Perry just stayed at home. Who knows? Maybe not. In that case, Charley concluded, there would be no Godzilla.