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Mar 26, 2019 19:18:47

Kyoto for inspiration ⛩

by @jasonleow | 401 words | 347🔥 | 385💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 347🔥
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I'm in Kyoto for 3 weeks. This was a trip that's a year late. Looking back, I remembered writing this in my journal last year:

Ubud for restoration. Kyoto for inspiration. 

If there were some cities in the world that I felt at home in or inspired by, these were the top 2 candidates. I'll probably add Reykjavik, Iceland for otherworldliness, but that's a story for another post.

I was awe-struck by Kyoto during my previous trip here in 2017, so much so that I vowed to return one day. Something about this place really spoke to me deeply to the core. Something about the traditions that's been loyally and quietly passed on generations after generations. Something about their devotion to craftsmanship that's tear-jerkingly heart-moving. Something about how 100-year businesses are sustained not (just) out of profit, but as a service to society. Something about the people and how they conduct themselves around others - reserved yet well-mannered, stoic yet considerate, traditional yet creative - and perhaps seeing a teeny bit of myself in them (*humblebrag). Something about how walking among the heritage houses of Higashiyama felt like walking home. 

So this time I decided to return to Kyoto for a longer period of time, to immerse in a craft and the culture. I want to learn by living here, not just read about it. I want to pick up kintsugi, the traditional craft of repairing broken pottery with gold. I want to learn wabi-sabi - what it means to find perfection in imperfection. I want to heal from (metaphorically) fixing brokenness with gold. 

I want to take long, slow walks along the Philosopher's Path lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom, and write haiku that’s inspired by nature in it's prettiest pink. It is after all, hanami season now. I want to offer prayers and contemplate how life ebbs and flows in seasons, in the century-old temples of Kyoto. I want to stuff myself full of Kyogashi - traditional intricate confections in a style unique to Kyoto.

Besides the traditional, I’m also checking out the local co-working/design/startup scene a bit. How are the locals translating their values and beliefs of tradition in modern context? I'm super curious to learn this, for selfish reasons: 

How am I to make sense of this inspiration from the past, so that I can use them moving forward, back at home in Singapore?

How does tradition + creativity look like? 


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    @jasonleow Watching a lot of Anime introduce me to Japan deep culture. Damn! this post reminds me of my childhood dream to go there one day :)

    Chris 🤔🇵🇭 avatar Chris 🤔🇵🇭 | Mar 26, 2019 20:02:13
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      @chrisdeuda big anime/manga fan here too! Started from Dragon Ball way back haha. Now loving One Punch Man, Jojo's Bizarre Adventures, Dragonball Super... Which anime are you favourites!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Mar 26, 2019 20:29:20
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      @jasonleow Ohh nice, Some of my longtime favorites One Piece, Death Notes, Bakuman ( same creator of Death Note), Full Metal Alchemist, The Prince of Tennis.

      Some recent anime like My Hero Academia.

      There is a lot of anime's I could no longer member that I've watched before ranging from Romance, Shounen, and Mecha.

      On my break on writing here, I watched the Food Wards ( all about improving skills in cooking). This animes reminds of Makers Movement. A lot of interesting people.

      On a side note: It was a little bit hard to relate to Saitama 'cause he was too strong already. haha. Though I really like the visuals effects of One Punch Man. I like more when the protagonist still requires more practice and training to improve their skills ( since it was really relatable).

      Chris 🤔🇵🇭 avatar Chris 🤔🇵🇭 | Mar 27, 2019 18:37:51
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      @chrisdeuda Oh yes Fullmetal! Who could forget about that! Iconic piece of a manga. Oh haha i think that's the unique thing about saitama. He's a satirical character to counter the typical manga hero who works hard, and also stands up even when beaten down. I love his deadpan, it's just a hobby don't take it so serious way of superheroing - so completely opposite to how manga heroes do it with their dramatic dialogue and flamboyant style.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Mar 27, 2019 20:28:33
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      @jasonleow haha. Yeah, I remember he just does superheroing for fun while other hero trying hard to reach the top.

      Chris 🤔🇵🇭 avatar Chris 🤔🇵🇭 | Mar 31, 2019 19:37:00
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    @jasonleow Super interesting! Keep us updated on what you learn

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Mar 26, 2019 12:36:54
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      @basilesamel for sure!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Mar 26, 2019 19:55:03
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