Dead Poets Society
Monday, November 14, 2011
Dead Poets Society
How true it is!
Relationships are NOT for the timid. In Japan, they say, “虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず.”
Translate it to me, Kato.
It literally says that you must get into the tiger’s abode if you want to capture a tiger’s cub.
I see. So, you must face the difficulty if you really want something, mustn’t you?
That’s right…nobody is perfect. So, naturally, you see some red flags with your boyfriend when you really want something.
Kato, you said that Madame Taliesin was a happily married woman, didn’t you?
Yes, I did.
So, you often see some red flags with Madame Taliesin when you meet her in Japan, don’t you?
Yes, Diane, you’re telling me.
Don’t you think you’re involved in an extramarital affair?
No, I don’t.
Why is that?
Let’s suppose, here is a sukiyaki pot. Have you ever enjoyed sukiyaki?
No, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the genuine Japanese-style skiyaki pot.
The above pot looks delicious. In fact, you can enjoy the above pot as it is. However, you can enjoy it even more if I add some secret flavors or seasoning.
I see. So, Kato, you’re saying, your relation with Madame Taliesin should be able to enrich her life, aren’t you?
Yes, I am. Diane, have you ever seen the movie titled “Same Time, Next Year”?
I’m not sure. What is it about?
It goes like this:
Oh, this is an extramarital affair…I don’t like it.
I thought you were open-minded.
I’m trying to be.
You may not like it, but it’s a lovely story. The most of my friends loved the movie. Anyway, take a look at the video clip:
Interesting!…maybe, I’ll borrow the DVD.
Please do…by the way, Diane, you said, Canadian men are more likely to be introspective than their female counterparts.
Yes, I did. This may not be the case at all but just my experience. What about it?
Well…, in my opinion, regardless of gender, Canadian men and women are more talkative than the Japanese counterparts.
I agree on that. The people in the East don’t talk much.
No, they don’t. In Japan, they say, “Silence is golden.”
We say it in Canada, too.
I know. But in North America, “Dumb” means “stupid” in most cases. On the contrary, in Japan, a person who doesn’t talk much is considered smart because he is supposed to be a deep thinker. Here in Canada, if you don’t talk much in class, other classmates consider you to be a stupid person. Don’t you think so, Diane?
Yes, that’s true to a certain extent.
When I was a kid in Japan, teachers used to say, “Don’t talk too much. When you talk much, people think your head is empty and you’re stupid because an empty can sounds well and loud. Think, instead of talk!”
Is this the Japanese way of teaching kids?
Yes, it is. At least when I was a kid. In middle and high schools, all the students wore uniforms like soldiers, and the above teaching was prevailing. In a sense, all the Japanese pupils and students are conformists, compared to the Western counterparts.
But young people are getting more westernized in Japan, aren’t they?
Yes, they are. Nowadays, students don’t wear uniforms in middle and high schools. Only in some private schools, students wear uniforms.
Same here. Students in public school don’t wear uniforms. They do only in some private schools.
When I was a high school student, I wore a uniform. Even though my high school was publicly funded, students were all male, so were teachers.
Uniformed male-only students in high school…I can hardly imagine that.
Think about some private prep schools in Canada. Well…on my way to Vancouver from Japan, I viewed “Dead Poets Society” on the flight. It has something to do with a prep school.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
It was quite an interesting movie, which reminded me of my high school days.
So you were prepared for Harvard University, weren’t you?
Don’t be silly, Diane…I was in Japan at the time. Actually, my high school was like a prep school, and I met Mr. Aoki, an unconventional teacher like John Keating.
So, Kato, you fell in love with a girl as Neil did, and tried to commit suicide during your school days, didn’t you?
Don’t be foolish, Diane. I’m still alive.
…’Cause your teacher, Mr. Aoki, convinced you to forget about suicide, didn’t he?
No, not really, but he encouraged me and other students to reject the status quo, to “seize the day” and pursue our own dreams—as John Keating did.
So, that’s the reason you decided to come to Canada, isn’t it?
Yes, it is.
How about the girl you fell in love with?
Diane, I think you’re preoccupied with the “a boy meets a girl and falls in love” syndrome.
I thought you were a romantic guy, are you not?
Yes, I am. so, let me finish my story.
Tell me whatever it is.
Well…, Madame Taliesin was a pretty girl attending all-female high school in Tate-bayashi.
I see, you attended the all-male high school while she all-female high school…interesting! Where is Tate-bayashi?
Tate-bayashi is a city where Empress Michiko attended a primary school during the World War II. The city is 20-minute-drive away from Gyoda, my home town.
So, both cities are so close, and you met her during the high school days, huh?
Unfortuntely, we didn’t meet at the time. Although Madame Tliesin and I were almost neighbors, we had to wait for some more time. We were destined to meet each other.
Did you believe that? And When did you two meet?
Some twenty years later…by Deer Lake in Burnaby.
This is the place Madame Taliesin and you met, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. We didn’t know each other when we were high school students. But I knew I would meet a girl in the future.
‘Cause Mr. Aoki used to tell the students, “Seize the day. Boys be ambitious. Pursue your own dream!” So, I knew that a romantic girl would wait for me in the future, and was dreaming about her.
Are you serious?
Yes, of course, I am.
So, you two met in Burnaby…some thousands of kilometer from Gyoda and Tate-bayashi.
Yes, we did. Madame Taliesin had lived in her cottage on and off for 13 years since she was 29 years old.
Was she married?
Yes, she was…happily married. But her husband didn’t like Canada, so they lived separately.
Separated for 13 years?
The cottage was only for summer.
So, the cottage was her summer house, wasn’t it?
Yes, it was. She sold it in 2007. Since then we’ve met once in a year when I return to my home town.
Anyway, Mr. Aoki was right.
What was right?
Well…, he said, “Pursue your own dream, and a dream will come true.” Unlike in the movie, I didn’t have to commit suicide because, I knew, my dream would come true in Canada. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,…
If you’ve got some time,
Please read one of the following artciles:
Hi, I’m June Adames.
Halloween is over, now.
But, have you ever wondered when Halloween guising started?
As you know, children disguised in costume go from door to door for food or coins.
It is a traditional Halloween custom.
The guising is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped-out turnips, visited homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.
The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going “guising” around the neighborhood.