I get asked all of the time, by everyone why I love Japan. By friends, by people on the internet, by my family, friends of my parents or even people I'm going to school with.
And this question always embarasses me a little bit, because why I like Japan is probably one of the toughest question to answer in my opinion.
People have so many reasons to like it, be it anime, manga, music, language, history, food, the coutry itself or you name it.
And actually I don't think any of these reasons are mine. Sure, I like the food, sure I like the country&am interested in the history. Sure I love languages, and therefore I love japanese language which is so interesting right. But I also love korean, russian and arabic languages. And I also love the food from these countries, which I find to be very beautiful too.
I tend to reply that the main reason is the music. Because after all, what got me started was the music.
But when I think about it, this is not really the correct answer, if there's one to why you love a country so much you feel at home there.
I'd say the reason is much more personal&this is precisely why it's tricky for me to answer to people. The reason why I like Japan is actually much deeper&brings back a lot of memories, that are barely known by my closest friends.
But we are on the internet, you're all my lovely friends and I think sharing everything is the key to a life without fear of being judged or laughed at.
I was a very unhappy child. Not the kind that would moan constantly or be hard to deal with. No. I was the child who would never go to birthday parties, who wouldn't really have friends at school, who wouldn't get on well with parents, who would think books are her best friends. I was that child. The child who writes at 8y-o in her diary : " I think it'd be better if I were dead".
I just felt lonely.So damn lonely, like no one could understand me, no one loved me or even cared and I had no appetite for life. Until I was 14, suicide was a daily thought. My life wasn't horrible, my parents were good parents, I had good marks at school... The problem came, I really think so, from the inside. I just felt lonely, something was missing terribly in my life.
And when I turned 14, something big happened and changed my life.
I discovered the internet, and I discovered that you can find anything on the internet, and among all those things, I discovered what I was missing.
The first song I ever listened to was Cassis by the Gazette. And the thought I had wasn't oh it's beautiful, oh it's interesting or how original! No the thought I had was I already heard that somewhere. Which was, well, impossible. And I had this feeling with all of the songs I listened that day. I was desperately(well not anymore) searching for songs on YouTube and I felt clearly, a hole in myself filling up.
It could have happened with african music or fado. But it didn't. It happened with the heavy yet so light&enlightned jrock&visual kei.
I know most people don't like it, I know most japanese people don't even listen to it, and I know that for the most this is only a genre, like metal or jazz would be.
But when I listen to a song, for example ame no orchestra by MUCC, my heart immedialy feels at ease. What had never happened to me before, when I was this lonely&sad child. I feel at home, I feel relieved and protected. I can listen to the same song over&over again, until I know it by heart, from the vibrato of the singer, to the latest guitar riff.
I've always said, since then, that I had three things to love in my life. Three things or entities that I loved more than anything. Books, musicians and God. For they are the ones to always be here for me.
Obviously, I then liked the whole thing about aethetic,appearance, way to behave and so on...
I can only compare it to a little boy dressing up as a girl in his bedroom, wondering if it's normal and then falling upon a beautiful tranny or dragqueen.
This is relief. I am not alone.
I believe I've always been connected to Japan, and meant to go there. Because in fact, it all feels natural. Though I am very french, feel very french; all of my most meaningful memories or most filled in with emotions are japan related.
My first love, my first best friend, my first penpals, my first concerts, my first travels, my first fantasies and then. this man who represents so much to me.
I've built myself around and with Japan, in spite of it being so far away.
How could I not like Japan with my past being what it is?
Life created bounds with the country that will never fade away, because the reason I am here now, writing this is, sure enough Japan. If I have confidence, if I did&do all those things like going to Moscow alone at 19y-o, sleeping outside for a concert, going to uni& facing my fear of public speech, being polite&loving always, not giving up on my dreams... well, this is because 6years ago, I realized that there was a place for me to feel at home, to feel understood and accepted.
I'm not an asian wannabe, I'm not an otaku, I'm not an avid manga reader, nor a brilliant student that knows everything of the Edo era.
I'm just a french girl, who feels good in Japan. It's not like I have chosen any of this.
I love people, I love the world. I have interest in any culture, I'm just not emotionaly attracted to every country, I'm just not drawn to every country like it is my second home.
I'm not desperate to go to Japan, I'm not focusing only on that. I love France, and I want to see&learn the most of it. I want to travel the whole world, I want to learn how to say thank you in all languages, I want to meet people from all over the world.
But I can't help it, every day my heart goes back to Japan, because I remember a nice talk I had with him, or a letter I exchanged with my dearest friend, or because there's a nice comment on one of my videos, or because I suddenly crave the onigiri from 7/11.
There are plenty of things I don't know about Japan, I am willing to learn them.
There are things I don't like. I am against the killing of whales&dolphins, I sometimes don't get why everything has to be so structured&organized(I'm french after all!)...
No one is perfect, but nothing&no one has to be perfect for me to love them.
Japan saved me, was and is my shelter even nowadays.
Everytime I am asked why I love it that much, it feels like I have to justify myself, and give a reason good enough. But in fact, I think things were just meant to be this way.
I went there, I traveled through 6 cities. I met with amazing people there, and during this trip everything wasn't perfect, everything wasn't pink at all. It didn't look like the dreamland to me. It just looked like Japan, like home. I felt secure&free. Japan teaches you a lot. It teaches you about being polite&respectful. About tolerance&smiling.
I'll always be french, always moan& will always fight&stand up for what I believe in. I am so damn proud of it, of being a daughter of the country of human rights. When asked where my home really is, I'll always answer France. But my heart will always wander in the streets of Nara, or maybe in Miyajima or in the suburbs of Tokyo.
If I had to explain it simply, I'd say France if my mother, and Japan the one that caught my heart.
Not the one I married, because there are too many potential lovers, after all the Earth counts many countries, and I'd like to have a chance to love every one of them.