SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
Wu Xiaoxiao “Nagasaki , take action ! ”
It was in the afternoon, when I arrived at Nagasaki. It has been raining on and off all day. And, it was already after 19:30 when I arrived at hotel after finishing supper following visit to Dejima and the Oh-ura Cathedral. I had a plan to visit Inasa-yama (Mt. Inasa) first. However, my fatigue and rain made me being bewildered and tried to persuade myself to give up. According to my checking on internet how to enjoy night view of Inasa-yama, people say “it is difficult to visit there without car”, or “recommend to use tour bus”. Actually, I persuaded myself to give up saying “the number of public bus is limited”, “I have to worry about the way back to hotel at night”, “it will be possible tomorrow” and “it will be OK without enjoying night view” etc..
When did look I persuade myself to give up what I like to do or what I want to have before starting? It becomes my fetters if I would examine and think beforehand too much. Or, I put off because there are too many things to do knowing that I have to do. I have to use bigger energy if I like to shift my idea to action. Or, if I cannot keep my promise due to my putting off, I would become “kana-shibari” (old hag syndrome) by sense of guilt and fear like an ostrich (burying it’s head in the sand while leaving other parts exposed). It is a vicious circle that lack of ability of taking action becomes bigger due to stress by my putting off and self-hatred.
It becomes clear that if I plan to go tomorrow, it would mean I do not go by 100%.
In conclusion, I left hotel having mobile map only (not following a route on network).
There is a Japanese word “houkou-onchi” (no sense of direction). There seems no relations between direction and the sense of hearing or space and sound. If we think of a metaphor “architecture is a frozen music”, I think it very exquisite expression.
I was turning around repeatedly on the same route, like from walking to streetcars, walking to bus, walking to ropeway, and I was heading to opposite directions.
Strange to say, my stress, fear or uneasiness, has been disappearing after leaving hotel.
When I got off ropeway, I heard a cheer from a distance and saw a lot of people moving at the foot of a mountain. It was a finishing of any concert. When lift doors
of the observation platform open, I could see a glorious view of the Nagasaki Port,
which is long horizontally and folded with mountains. Shadow of the port on the sea-surface is very conspicuous. That’s the port Nagasaki ! It is the one of the best 3 night views in Japan. When I enjoyed such view and went to the elevator hall, I heard explosive sound and I could look back gigantic fireworks which was lighted from a vessel below. It was very exciting to see fireworks on the sea which continued for about twenty minutes. It was the first time for me to “look down” fireworks from above.
Once I take the first step, mind and body become lightened. And, once I keep walking, there would be nothing useless even if it may not be shortcut. If I take any action, everything would go better. Why do I take such action from the beginning ? There would be many reasons depending on people who are lacking of action. On the way back to hotel, I realized that if I think of too much what I would do, it is a reason of lacking of action. The more you think, the more you afraid of your failure. And you will have a negative image in your future. You will have a pressure on what you think it important or difficult and it takes time to take action. It is said that reason for such thinking too much comes from “perfectionism” or “PCN (Procrastination Syndrome)” Everybody may have such “syndrome” more or less, and if someone feel seriously for such syndrome, he would make cause trouble to surroundings. It is natural to make trouble in his daily works and living. Especially, his confidence will be damaged and it is not good for his mental health.
Then, how to solve or improve it?
When I left hotel, I did not imagine to look down fireworks from the top of “Inasa-yama”. But, I thought I would damage myself if I do not take action to leave hotel by momentum. After leaving hotel, I have been losing way all the way and could not care about myself to be able to reach “Inasa-yama” or not. It was good to give no time to myself beforehand. Once I take one step forward, only action will follow. I think it most difficult to open “Word file” when I try to write an essay or a thesis after deadline. I feel it torturous to read my unfinished essay. But, once I can clear such psychological barriers, task itself would not distress me. Rather, it may make me pleasure like night view from the top of Inasa-yama and fire-works and make me feel “I am glad I could come here”. By the way, it rained very heavily ever recorded next day in Kyushu and all the trains in Nagasaki stopped. If I have postponed my schedule saying “I would go tomorrow”, I missed the chance to see such wonderful views.
Wu Xiaoxiao /2018 Raccoon, Associate Fellow, Curator of Tokyo National Museum,
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala