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It is common to see old Japanese temples amidst a bustling city, traditional garb and items on sale, and even geishas out and about in Gion district, Kyoto. This convergence between the old and the new is astonishingly noticeable in such a modern nation-state as Japan, and it is this aspect of the country that has the most allure for me. As a Filipino of Chinese descent, a third-generation descendant of immigrants, I thought I had begun to lose touch with the culture and history from both my countries, yet my trip to Japan in December 2019 helped reinforce an idea: it is possible to reconcile one’s culture with modernity. In Japan, there seems to be an invisible red thread that binds the traditions of antiquity to those of modern lifestyles. It’s not unlike Makoto Shinkai’s musubi, symbolized by the red-knotted thread that ties the main characters of Kimi no Nawa (Your Name) together despite the challenge of time and circumstance.


Faith Madeleine S. Ong (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is taking up her masters degree in Asian Studies at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Article Information

Type of Manuscript: Travel Narrative
Volume, Issue, Year: Volume 58, Issue 1, Year 2022
Pages: 167–172

Back to Asian Studies 58 (1): 2022