Japanese people tend to talk about Japan and what the inherent about Japanese culture. I’m one of those people and I’ve always wanted to know what may separate Japan from the rest of the world.
I read a very interesting book titled “Nihon Henkyoron,” or Japan as a Peripheral Country written by Tatsuru Uchida.
Peripheral is a counter concept of Sinocentrism. Geographically located in the East end of Asia, Japan has accepted various things that flew into the islands and also Japan has adapted and refined them in its own way.
Please spread a world map so as Japan locate on the right side and turn it right 90 degrees. You’ll see Japan is lying at the bottom of the map like a pachinko pocket that swallows everything coming down from Rome, Persian, India, Silk Road and China. This is exactly the image of peripheral country that catches everything and ferments it inside.
Uchida said that the way of transforming what we received is just the characteristic of Japanese culture. And he added that Japanese people are likely to think that wisdom comes from outside and it’s superior to what we have now.
Peripheral is a nice key word and with this word I was able to understand more about what we are. It might sound a bit paradox, but reading this kind of books on Japan is a proof that I’m one of the peripheral people because, peripheral people likes new ideas and what they already knew is inferior to the newly acquired one.
↓Thank you very much for your click