From Alan Arqueza
My first experience of the atmosphere and culture of Japan was in the year 1986-1988 with my friends. Our visit to Japantown a 45-minute drive was among our happiest moments. While my friends were shopping for Japanese animation from the video rental shop at Japantown in San Francisco I could not find animation interesting, yet I did notice something unique about the artistic design of the characters. The color styling of the animation and the magazine Newtype was modern unlike American graphic design and American cartoons. The design of the magazine layout and pages were advanced and sophisticated compared to American English magazines. The calendars of J-Pop Idol or popular young women singers and actresses unlike anything in America. The photography style advanced in lighting and aesthetic design. The words Love and Heaven evoked in my mind. The feeling of happiness and true love in the color styling and naturalness of the portraits.
We were in our first year of college. I was interested in architecture design for my profession. When we first entered the parking garage we were invited into an all white interior and each area was color coded. We walked into an elevator lobby with excitement to see the animated video rental store. When we entered Japantown we were the only non-Japanese people in the crowd. The people there were mostly families Saturday morning. It was always bright and sunny when we visited Japantown in San Francisco. I remember the fragrance of nature inside the plaza and the quietness and presence of the Japanese people were calming. We could not read a word of kanji. I was feeling unintelligent at that moment. My body temperature increased. I do not know why. Yet I was amazed by the intricate and complexity of the text displayed on the posted bulletin boards printed on pastel colored paper, and Japanese advertisement posters at the consumer electronics shops. Mazinger Z, Ultraman, Dai Apolon, Godzilla and Kikaida broadcasted on Channel 2 KTVU in early 1980 was our first animated entertainment from Japan in California. Visiting Japantown was our first experience of Japan without leaving California. We were only 18-19 years young. It was exciting and so cool (note: I remembered in elementary school, we always watched on a Japanese Hitachi color television screen - awesome, see EdX for the history of the television electronics industry in Japan). There were toys from Japan and many traditional shops related to ikebana, kimono and expensive fashion boutiques. The windows of the shops were immaculate and in the format of a panorama rectangle unlike American style window shops. The natural ambient lighting from the diffused skylight windows above the ceiling was soft white, and the color of silver aluminum and 'gold' brass window frame of the shops were simple in design and yet in a sense expressed refinement in ultra-modern design compared to my impression of American style architecture from shopping malls. The entrance and maze-like walkways were intimate. The walls of the shops were all partitioned windows. The Kinokuniya bookstore and the café used giant glass windows. I noticed. Everything was white. The magazine covers at Kinokuniya were mostly white. I was amazed.
Sometimes I wondered why I did not do good in mathematics in High School. The thought enters my mind when we go shopping with friends. I always dreamed of being rich since my 10th year in secondary school when I was 16 years young. I sensed myself to be among the millionaires. I also worried why I could not go to an elite university.
Visiting Japantown in San Francisco, California in the years 1986-1988 made me feel like I was in a utopia. It was always a new place to me because every time we visited Japantown we were the only non-Japanese customers (顧客, kokyaku is the word for customer) there. The architecture was futuristic to me. Writing this post for the second time since my first webpage in the year 1999, incidentally I realize to my amazement there were no Japanese teenagers when we were there in the year 1986-1988.
The title of today's blog 'Philosophy: Ginza Happiness Japan 1980s was inspired from what I learned about the city culture and design of Ginza. Ginza is the most expensive real estate in all of Japan. Yesterday evening I was watching CM (CM is the word for television commercial in Japan) from the years of the 1980s when Japan experienced a bubble economy. The commercial showed young men and women whom are 20 years young in the 1980s happy in business clothing drinking Coca-Cola in Japan. I always imagined those moments to be me. Amazingly the Japanese commercial looks like utopia to me more than American television advertising. I felt sad at first because I could have been a great architect in Ginza and be among ultra-rich happy friends just like the commercial. I thought commercials are unreal. Wait, my thoughts make my reality. Why did I think that? Today I can say I love that Ginza commercial.
I learned something about myself from my younger philosophy from today's update. Be aware of your consciousness every moment. Now that I am 50 years young, thanks to New Thinking Allowed and the book titled 'Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza, the best-selling author of 'Evolve Your Brain' (Amazon affiliate link - I receive 4%-8% if you buy from the following link).
Thank you Internet for making global electronic communication to Japan possible in English.
Ⓒ 2017 Alan Arqueza Send monetary gifts to paypal.me/arquezaalan