Thread: Slow Japan
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:57 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Slow Japan


Have you read Donald Richie's The Inland Sea, or Alan Booth's The Road to Sata and Looking for the Lost? And there are Alex Kerr's books, which I do not like as much. These are pen pictures, for the authors were not filmmakers.

I hope the two filmmakers do a good job and show unique things that you could not see anywhere else. One of the clips had been removed from Youtube, but you can make a film of a large urban intersection or of people boarding a train, anywhere in the world, and then conclude that living in a large city is 'fast-paced'. On the other hand, I spent several years living in Paris and London and amid all the bustle there are places where life can be experienced at a much slower pace.

The best parts were the reactions of the Japanese natives to the fact that they were walking from Tokyo to Kyoto (which was also one of the best parts of Alan Booth's book) and the destroyed umbrella.

Here in my part of the world, there is a region of Japan that is (happily) missed by most people, which is the Sanin region. I saw a TV programme recently that followed a trip by rail from Kyoto to Shimonoseki, at the southern tip of Honshu. The programme drew upon a vital aspect of modern Japanese culture, which is that of travelling, especially by rail. Of course, Europe also has this tradition, but Europe does not have eki-bento. This really is Slow Japan.

So, having got to Kyoto, I suggest that the two filmmakers make a documentary entitled, Much Slower Japan, and walk from Kyoto to Shimonoseki. There are a variety of interesting routes: through the mountains, along the coast (north or south), via Shikoku, or they can do combinations.

And there there is deepest Kyushu...

Best wishes,


Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-10-2011 at 07:02 AM.

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