Final day in Japan

Finished the final workshop day in Kyoto. My comic highlight of the day was the biker fest going on close by which involved a band playing cover versions of popular songs. On the ground this was not so noticeable, but when I arrived at the top of the access line and cleared the hill between the workshop site and the bikers I was treated to a pretty bumpy, off-tune, but non the less very enthusiastic and raucous rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana in best Japanglish. Not the best for continued communication with the ground, but not without its humor.

A big thank you to all the folk at KEM for making this possible and to the whole family Niikura for the invitation and for their gracious and incredibly generous hospitality. What a fantastic group of people to work with, a true pleasure and privilege! Also a big thank you to Takashi-san, as I already mentioned in yesterday’s post. Another day of – as far as I could tell – flawless translation. Look forwards to working together again in the future.

And finally I would like to thank all the attendees of the workshop. I hesitate to generalize, as I always feel that it’s a bit stereotypical, but all the same, I can’t help but observe that the Japanese audience is a very easy one to work with, people are very attentive, forgiving of occasional fits of fuzziness on my part (yes, definitively happens!), polite and switched on. I am excited to see how this industry seems to be rapidly evolving in this country and am glad that I have been given the opportunity to make a small contribution towards this.

I will be leaving Japan tomorrow filled with many impressions, and once again intrigued by how superficially some aspects of this society seem quite westernized, yet at the same you get the sense of a proud and very different culture, with a strong sense of identity and a long history. What fascinates me is how it is possible for cutting edge technology and age-old traditions to co-exist side by side, both very much alive and seemingly not in contradiction , but rather complementing each other.

P.S. Good news! Just realized I’m flying with JAL, codeshare with BA… so I won’t have to watch the same films again. Small joys 🙂