No delicacy. No identity.
Now it is December, already the last month of the year. Older you become faster time elapses. There is an explanation of this phenomenon. Both your physical and intellectual alertness and also sensitiveness deteriorate with the aging. Therefore you do less, feel less. A day passes aimlessly. A week, a month and a year runs away.
I feel the dignity of December disappearing. In the Edo period, people lived in the real credit life, nearly cashless life. By the last days of the year the credits had to be settled. Some people were busy to collect money and some were busy to pay. It is said there was a suggestion to add one extra day, as only one last day of the year was not sufficient. By the way the date of the last day in their lunar calendar was the 30th, not the 31st.
"Pop singers' competition." "Big public lottery." "Gift-sales." It seems December of today's Japan is not so ponderous as old days. Perhaps the end of the calendar year as the date of bookkeeping settlement such as the tax declaration has no physical meaning since the dead line is in March. Very few families prepare for Japanese traditional New Year fest that was once the most important festivity.
Christmas, imported event, used to be considered a big feast, is loosing its' profile. Halloween took the position. Japanese mass media drummed Halloween and the manipulated Japanese people danced after as usual, as expected. It was exactly the same pattern of the manipulation when St. Valentine's Day with the obligatory gift of chocolate for Japanese men was introduced. For me, Halloween is a grotesque tasteless feast.
All Saints' Day in Europe is a calm and a serious day very similar to Japanese "O Bon". Families visit their graves and have dinner after the visit. The sunset of the countries in high latitude zone comes early afternoon. At 3 o'clock it is dark. People come to the graves and leave candles light on. The graveyard with candlelight is not dark, not frightening but calm and romantic.
I can see how useful and meaningful moonlight was, when nights were dark in old days. To walk, to work, to meet, to fight, to avoid robbery, it is quite understandable the lunar calendar was used so long time. We Japanese valued highly moonlight, snow light, full sky stars and even glow of fireflies. We sensed their beauty since we respected, and were afraid of, the night's darkness.
Scientifically, our eyes distinguish and evaluate the contrast, the difference of the light value, to identify the object. We can't see an object better only if it had higher luminous intensity. If you want to show things clearer and better, the dishes or the goods, you must give them highlight spots and deep shadow. It is well known that the more exclusive restaurant you go, the room gets darker, and ends with a candle-illuminated room.
Today Japanese houses have rooms without
character. The rooms are always applied with
fluorescent tubes to pursue the evenly spread
higher intensity of the illumination, consequentially
the lighting effect is weak little shadow,
flat. The traditional Japanese rooms, the
space with delicate nuances, disappeared.
It is popular to illuminate buildings and
bridges, especially big scale structures.
The precious natural scenery is infested
with this silly fashion. Cherry blossoms
and autumn colored leafs are illuminated.
The disturbance. The waste. The idiocy.
Dawn, morning, noon, twilight, and moon light,
the nature illuminates best and superb. There
might be an international conspiracy making
Japanese people to lose their delicacy, own
character and dignity.