Dustin Dreams of Japan

I recently read the book Shogun, which is a pretty famous historical drama that takes place in Japan during the end of the samurai era. This was really the tipping point when it came to the inspiration for my latest comic, although I’ve sort of always fantasized about Japan. In terms of my love for the whole Buddhist, meditative, perfectionist thing, I don’t know what I can add here that isn’t already stated in the comic, although I think it is ironic that in my own life, I am so busy and thinly spread, I’m pretty much the opposite. Jack of all trades, master of none. Rarely ever enough time to actually enjoy what I’m doing… to put in the effort to make it perfect, not because I HAVE to, but because I WANT to.

But like I said, I have no idea what Japan is really like. And if some of this is in part true, I’m sure this kind of mentality can also lead to plenty of negatives, namely, reluctance to change and unwillingness to rock the boat. And hey, I work in advertising, and I hear the industry is so stressful in Japan, it’s a leading cause of suicide. So there’s that. But there’s also super happy turbo fun, sake, giant monsters, raw octopus, and tentacle porn (not that I like it but only in Japan could something like this not only exist, but be so prominent as to have its own genre).

Come on, Japan is awesome. I know it is. It has to be. When are we going?

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4 responses to “Dustin Dreams of Japan

  1. Helicopter Ben.

    Radiation from Fukushiima!!! Japan is awesome tho. Tokyo is enormous, with so many distinct neighborhoods which could be cities on their own. People are very, very, very, very polite. They bow at each other, and well everyone. Seriously. I am whiter than rice, and they bowed at ME! I admire their adherence to, and respect for, their own culture. Their population is cratering, but to care for their elderly, they’re not allowing immigration, they are building robots to do jobs that in NYC would be done by Haitians (LPN nurses, etc.). Almost no one in Japan is fat, and no men walk around bald. They either wear toupees or have out-evolved baldness genes. The fat Japanese people I did see in Japan looked like they were literally dying. They’re plenty of big fat white people, but they are strong like oxen and it doesn’t seem to affect them much until well into middle age (50s).

    In some US cities, people jaywalk and walk when the light says to stop because they just don’t give a shit. In Japan, I was in Akihabara, and no one, and I mean NO ONE (including groups of people in their 20s, teens, kids) crossed when it said don’t walk even when there were no moving vehicles in sight. People just had respect for their fucking laws and society. Respect plain and simple. (Australia was like that too. No one jaywalked, out of respect.)

    One thing, is that their nationalism can go too far. Look up “Unit 731”. It’s about the vivisections the Japanese committed against foreign POWs during WWII. A demon visited me while I was in Tokyo and it tried to slice my face off. The Japanese worship spirits; and I believe that when they tune into the spirit world, *all* spirits show up or hang around, whatever, including evil spirits. There is such a thing as “pure evil”, and to have balance, “goodness” and righteousness has to be offset. It’s a while different religious system. Totally not Judeo-Christian.

    • This is a fantastic comment, even without the mention of evil spirits and face-slicing demons at end, which is a super bonus.

      I love the little things like people not jaywalking. They say so much about a culture. There is so much inconsiderate behavior in the U.S., it’s overwhelming. Just this week, my neighbors put their old Xmas tree out on the curb for collection. On a windy night, it blew across the street, landing up against someone’s car. My neighbors did nothing. Just left it there. “Oh, 10 feet away, not my problem!” That’s it in a nutshell. “Not my problem!” That’s the philosophy of way too many Americans, as well as the entire Republican party, come to mention it.

  2. Well, i’m doing my monthly binge reading of your webpage, and i can rate! I read and saw Shogun when i was a kid, and I admired the same things you like about Japan , particularly the concept of giri (duty, obligation) , and as a result was a serious Japanophile. When i finally got to visit , reality kicked in . Don’t get me wrong, I still admire japan and the Japanese people; It’s
    just that I got to see beyond the the idealistic idea of Japan. A lot of them admire us because of the perception that we are free to do what we want, and don’t give a F**K! 🙂 well I ‘m off my soapbox . I just wanted to let you know I that someone else enjoys your comic.

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