Spent the afternoon watching The Last Samurai yesterday. When I first saw the preview for it last summer, I groaned, “Oh God, no, not another epic movie about some white guy becoming a downtrodden and less enlightened people’s icon, who saves them for their own good!” After hearing good reviews about it from the Japanese press, though, and getting some thumbs up from a few of my students, I decided to give it a try.
In the last two weeks three times the air has carried the smell of the sea through Tokyo. Tonight was another such night. In all my years living in Tokyo never before have I smelled the ammonia and seaweed and salt away from the coast. It was like a subtle reminder of where I am, where all people in Tokyo are, but which is so easily forgotten amidst all the concrete and rush.