The day before yesterday I finally sent Assignment Five to my tutor, and to say I’m worried about it is an understatement. I like what I did, and I really enjoyed doing it, but I don’t know whether it will appeal to other people, or is even what the assessors are looking for in terms of the final assignment.
So…..now the nervous wait begins for another two weeks or so, and this is the part I like the least. Still, at least I have plenty to be getting on with in the meantime, having a load of books that I haven’t blogged yet, and thinking about how to present it all for assessment.
In this post you’ll find the assignment itself, but the layout has obviously been changed a little to the PDF that went to my tutor. I’ve put the page breaks in below just as a guide.
I also sent a Companion to Assignment 5 to my tutor which included camera settings, and a general report on how I found doing the assignment; challenges, any extra background info, my thoughts and reasons for doing something or not etc. This companion will be in the next post, so I won’t write anything else here as you can probably find it there.
Below is the assignment, beginning with the cover image which was full page in the original assignment:
Japan, a country which treasures its past, is facing a dilemma; whether to embrace a technological future, or to try and preserve its unique history and culture.
The shinkansen (Bullet train) is symbolic of how Japan is being forced to adapt to the much faster pace of modern life.
Centuries old traditions like the green tea ceremony are being replaced by faster and more convenient ways of living; kaiten sushi being one example of how the once important ceremony has been taken out of meal times:
(Kaiten sushi (rotary sushi)
(A green tea ceremony in progress)
Keeping at the forefront of the technological race may be having a detrimental effect on traditional learning activities such as the soroban, (abacus- pictured above), and shodo, (Japanese calligraphy – pictured left) as smartphones, tablets, and computers are all being offered at discount prices at electronic superstores such as Yamada Denki, pictured below. People of all generations may be relying so much on computers that they could forget how to write kanji.
———————————————————————Schools and universities are trying to reignite interest in cultural hobbies such as shodo, soroban, the Japanese board game Igo, and Taiko drumming (both pictured below), by creating clubs for students to join.
However, more and more people are taking to more modern pursuits such as pachinko and karaoke to fill their free time:
(A karaoke venue in Kumamoto’s entertainment district)
(Above- pachinko has now become one of Japan’s most popular pastimes.)
Considering the rate at which modern life progresses, is it possible for Japan to maintain its ancient traditions, but also remain a leader in regards to modern industry and technology? Can it protect its own unique culture and identity, but also adapt to modernization?
At the moment, Japan is a country torn between two different paths; I wonder which one it will take?