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This 15-minute documentary, titled “Traces of a City,” focuses on Masaaki Tanabe’s efforts to digitally reconstruct his hometown–Hiroshima–as he remembered it before the destruction of the atomic bomb. Well worth watching, won’t take much out of the day. But it does speak to memory, nostalgia, and the concept of furusato, or “hometown,” which plays an important role in Japanese culture.

Since WordPress does not allow java, check it out at Mainichi.

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羊をめぐる冒険[1] by 村上春樹

A Wild Sheep Chase by Murakami Haruki

Essay by Michael Ignatov

A Wild Sheep Chase (1982) deals primarily with time, and specifically the past, as its central concern. Many of the other constituents of the thematic web of this novel are either subsumed in or directly related to the problem of the past.

The past must be understood as a place where time stands still—a frozen moment of time that can be accessed through the cottage in Hokkaido’s frozen landscape. Here time grinds to a halt (238-9), and it is here that Boku learns the dangers of letting himself be consumed by the past—by living in the past one fails to live presently. Murakami takes up this idea again a decade later in South of the Border, West of the Sun.

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I came across this expression today. Could not find it anywhere, so had to ask around.

いっさいがっさい – apparently it is synonymous with 全部. In other words, “all.” Of course, issaigassai is much more colloquial than zenbu.