3/25/2012

Japan: Land of the Immortals

While reading Inheritance (the last book a series that started with Eragon) in Australia, the idea struck me that the Japanese are the influence behind the Modern Western view of Elves. What follows is a pictorial outline of my reasoning:
J.R.R. Tolkien (pictured left/hidari) was born on January 3rd, 1892. After the Americans (pictured right/migi) rocked the boat in 1854, tearing the doors off of a still closed Japan. It wasn't until the First Shino-Japanese War that the Japanese people started venturing out, westward. This started in 1894. He grew up in a time in which Japan was opening itsself up for the first time under it's own fruition.
Further, Tolkien served in World War Part One as an ally with the Japanese (they were both part of the Allied Powers at this point). After falling ill during the war, Tolkien recovered and returned home to write The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is considered the father of modern fantasy and, in turn, the father of the modern view of The Elves.

Now on to the fun stuff:
The Elves: Are a Secretive, Closed off Race. || The Japanese: Even in 2012, Population: 98.5% Japanese.
The Elves: Posses Untold, Ancient Powers. || The Japanese: The Indigenous Spirituality of Shinto, Kami, The Force Through All Things.
The Elves: Are Said to be Immortal. || The Japanese: Have Adopted Buddhism Alongside Shinto, It is Possible for One to Never Truly Perish.
The Elves: Are Known to Rarely  Have Children. || The Japanese: The Same Sentiment has Become So Pronounced, They Must Now Turn to Robots for Their Elderly Care.
The Elves: The Elves are Revered for their Super Speed and Fit Physique. || The Japanese: Have you ever heard of the Samurai or Watched Ninja Warrior? They're those guys.
The Elves: Write in a Completely Foreign Script That Looks More Art Than Written Language ||
The Japanese: Decades are Spent Mastering Kanji and it is Best Drawn with a Brush.
Both Spoken Languages are Completely Incomprehensible when First Heard.
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That's about all I've got. I would just like to note that this is all out of admiration and respect. Why else would I have fought the bureaucratic system for a year to get to come to The Land of the Quendi?



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Location: 日本, 〒980-0065 東北学院大学

2 comments:

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  2. I really, enjoyed your article. I've just learned of an indigenous people on one of the Japanese Islands called the "Ainu". Sounds familiar. The same island (Hokkaido) which is a famous tourist spot for it's golden forest, which too me sounds a lot like Loth Lorien.

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