2010-04-19

Things like superficial and substantial

Long time, I thought an expression ``The last but not least'' was special, but recently, I finally connect this with a small cultural thing. In English, an important thing comes first. Therefore, it is 'not least'.

In Japanese, the last one could the most important thing. ``Tori'' is the last one and the most important one -- it is Shin'uchi. If you said, ``Zenza'' means one before, that is usually less important. I miss this assumption.

This is a kind of cultural thing, but this is a superficial thing for me. As far as I know, any culture prioritize the issues, and the first one or the last one is the most important. Some think this is big issue, but, I thought it was just picked one of them. For example, in Japanese grade system, five is the best if it is five degrees. If someone gets all one, that's bad. All five is the good one. This is not the case in Germany. Or in USA, if the grade is ABC, then A is better.

Mathematics usually didn't care a superficial thing and concentrate the substantial part. Finding minima of a function is exactly the same as finding maxima, just flip the sign. Maybe in this way, I think these are superficial. It's still interesting, but, not so important for me.


Today, I saw a movie from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Angst essen Seele auf, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071141/ .

This is an interesting movie. I think individualism in Germany is stronger than Japan, but, in this movie, there is a lot of envy and bias for personal things like marriage. I thought these stuffs are strong in Japan and should be well described in Japanese movie. However, this movie shows me it is not.

An old woman falls in love, but it is not so easy. People reject something not familiar with or hard to understand. Foreign people is one of them. There is a shop that says ``I don't understand what you want. Your pronunciation is too bad.'' In my experience, it is not so bad as in the movie, but, there is. This is well done in the movie. It's not only in Germany, there is the same things in Japan. I found something substance human in this movie over the culture. Unfortunately, this movie is a bit dark. I feel it is honest. I can not say the woman, an usual old woman, becomes happy. I presume this movie is not so successful. Because many people just enjoy the fiction in the movie, I am also one of them. I understand: I don't need the reality in the movie since I have it already enough by myself.

As if one eats only sweet cakes, or if one sleep a month because it is just easy, they will be sick. There is necessary to eat some bitter things. I found this movie is such one.

When I see substance of human, I found at least German and Japanese have some common. This is a great hope. We could understand deep cultural part each other. It is interesting how Japanese and German are different, but, first, I always have a question, is it really substantial? This story reminds me some Dazai's (Dazai Osamu, a Japanese author) articles. As this movie showed me, I am interested in the deep similarity in German culture and Japanese culture. These have very different looks, however, when I found it actually they are just a superficial difference, like minima and maxima, it's fascinating. Actually, finding superficial differences are easy, we don't need to look in to German and Japan, just look Bayer and Berlin. It seems not so easy to find a substantial things in life even in a good movie.

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