My favourite writer Haruki Murakami is from Japan. My favourite mangaka Tsugumi Ohma (Death Note) is from Japan. Even one of my favourite film directors Kiyoshi Kurokawa is Japanese.
It is suffice to say that Japan plays a big role in influencing the way I approach my art. My most admired trait of Japanese people are their inventiveness. Films like Cure, Battle Royale, Suicide Club and Tokyo Story (Ozu's) helped shaped my approach in filmmaking.
I also love their work ethics. I once watched a documentary about a filmmaker's life in Japan. Basically the camera crew followed the filmmaker around for one whole day to discover where he gets his inspiration (because he is so awesome) When they arrived at his home, I was surprised to find out that he lives in a small but practical apartment. This revelation sent shivers down my spine.
Here is a blockbuster film director who can easily afford a luxurious condominium or bungalow house in the village but he decided to live in a small apartment. Why? He said because his enjoyment doesn't come from the size of his living room or his furnitures. I can vividly remember the subtitles "My bliss comes from my art and its process."
I bought audio lessons and I am currently learning how to speak Japanese to prepare for my one week trip there this September. I also find it odd that some of the most exciting things that comes in mind when I fantasize about going to Japan are the pod hotels:
Criss-crossing roads for pedestrians:
and their street performance and cosplay exhibition at Harajuku:
Hah! Watashi wa jōdan o itte iru!
That's more like it. Shugoi desne?