Quotations I Like / 好きな言葉

Quotations I Like / 好きな言葉

From “Freedom Within Bounds”, A Conversation With Donald Richie

Interviewer: Janet Pocorobba: Do you still feel like a foreigner in Japan?

Donald Richie: Yes. I think if I didn’t feel like a foreigner, I wouldn’t be here. And if I were Japanese, I wouldn’t stay here ten minutes. I like being a foreigner. It’s so rewarding not to have to belong to things, not being allowed to belong to things. It’s really free. When I was taking things for granted back in Ohio, it never occurred to me that I could lead a life in which I set my own obligations and decide how I want to comport myself. Because if you never leave your native culture, you’re forever bound by it, without ever realizing it. If you ask a person in Ohio or Japan about their own culture, it’s like asking a fish about water. What can they say? When you come over here, or anyplace, and you get your eyes opened, you can never get them shut again. – Donald Richie (from “Freedom Within Bounds”, a conversation with Donald Richie by Janet Pocorobba)
The Japanese people are the deliberate self-conscious creation of certain individual artists. The actual people who live in Japan are not unlike the general run of English people; that is to say, they are extremely commonplace, and have nothing curious or extraordinary about them. In fact the whole of Japan is a pure invention. There is no such country, there are no such people. –
Oscar Wilde (from “The Decay of Lying” 1891
The man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign land. -Edward Said (from “Didascalicon of Hugh of St. Victor”)

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