A Way of Life
The Brothers Four performed in the Hokkaido mountain town of Furano yesterday. We leave in a few hours for Sendai where we will do a concert tomorrow.
Along with being a ski resort Furano is a destination hot springs. Today I sat outside in the hot bath breathing in the mountain air with a scattering of Japanese men and boys of all ages. No swimming suits allowed. Not all or nothing, no, nothing for all.
There was a (fully clothed) woman cleaning the sinks in the men’s locker room when I returned to get dressed. We said nothing. We acted modestly. She kept working as I put on the outfit supplied by the hotel.
When I first came to Japan in 1969 I was surprised when I went to a public restroom that there would often be women in there as well. These are simply ways of life in this amazing country.
In America it appears we spend a lot of time fighting to hold on to a way of life. In some cases a way of life that never was and in other cases a way of life that is never coming back.
On a lot of levels this is simply humans being human. And yet it feels like the holding on and the fighting keep getting uglier and meaner.
For me it comes down to a couple of simple thoughts: however we find our way as a country we are finding our way together whether we like it or not. We are also at an important moment in our national conversation. In many ways for the first time a lot of folks have a chance to find a true way (of being) in life if those of us privileged folks who have mostly had our way in life can let it happen without believing it will threaten our way of life.
Just a few thoughts from a mountain in Hokkaido.
There are a few pictures of the resort area as well as a shot from yesterday's show.
I am also including a recording of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone"