Battle-cries, punching and kicking the hell out of air! No..that wasn’t Kung-Fu , neither Tai Chi nor any other sort of martial arts… it was a performance of Waseda University’s Anthem.
As I was watching the performance a mixture of feelings filled me u. I was :
- Impressed : he was really giving his best on the stage..you could definitely see he had been working hard on his choreography.
- Amused : he was kind of funny at times when he was kicking and punching the air.
- A bit shocked: his movements and ‘battle-cries'(he was really screaming his lungs out) somewhat reminded me of a dictatorship…plus at times he would actually become kind of scary..resembling a mad general on the battlefield instructing his troops
- Amazed : in the end I was just amazed…Japanese culture is really unique and mesmerizing
Leaving ‘gaijin‘ posting aside, It was really interesting how the other Japanese students looked up to him. Pride could be read all over his face and the other Japanese students really admired him for what he was doing .While most of the Western students(including me) found it a bit funny , maybe over serious or weird, it was in fact more than a performance for his university..it was a performance for his country.
I can’t even think of this type of performance being made in Romania or England(done by a native, especially on ‘God Save The Queen’). Instead of admiration and excited applauding he would probably get laughs and most people would look weird at him. If I had taped the entire performance and sent it back home, I bet[can guarantee it for Romania ] most people would say this is either a comedy number or a fascist demonstration.
Here is a similar video I got from youtube from one of last year’s demonstrations[filmed by foreigners]. It shows only a small part but still it’s insightful. Various reactions can be seen on people’s faces and also allusions towards nazism can be observed.
I guess in the end it’s quite a sad conclusion but one’s pride can be another’s joke.