FIN-JAP Meeting VI: The Return (Japanese History)

Desperate in our quest to fit enough meetings into our busy Spring calendars, we met again at Hannele’s place and discussed Japanese history. It was another YouTube frenzy not unlike the last time we met.

We started out on a light note by watching this video that, despite being pretty comical, actually summarizes Japanese history pretty well. Naturally, thanks to the video ending in a big silent moment signifying the Hiroshima bomb, we also discussed how that is viewed in Western countries as opposed to what the Japanese view is.

From there, we sidetracked a little into Finnish things when we wanted to know if there was a national epic or folklore similar to what Kalevala is to us. The best example Aoi came up with was the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, or Taketori Monogatari. Turns out that both Finns and Japanese have weird girl-related folklore stories. Our world starts from a duck egg that falls of a maiden’s knee (don’t ask), and the Japanese have magical Moon girls hatching out of bamboo stalks. In weirdness, we found common things.

As we started to get a good hang of this staring-at-screens-for-hours thing, we agreed to go watch an anime movie the next time we’d meet. Maybe we’d see some more references to weird Japanese folklore in that.

 

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