To: Heart of America Japan-America Society members
Greeting from HAJAS President
Japan is a very old country, especially compared to the United States. So traditions in Japan run very deep and are actively preserved. There have been cases where you might say Japan has not done enough to preserve its traditions. But often they do a very good job. The photo is a traditional gate that has been preserved in Uno Park, Tokyo. The metal work, the wood work, and the tile work all reflect old traditional methods. It is especially amazing that most of these methods are still available today. Ordinary people can't use this kind of artisanal work in houses and other modern structures. Naturally, the government is a big player in hiring these artisans to reconstruct historic buildings. It is also true that the artisans themselves are very proud of their work and their traditions. Even facing a lack of demand, they stubbornly stick to their traditional work, which is often family-based. By one reckoning, Japan was founded in 660 BC. That is a long time for traditions to develop. Of course, not all have been preserved, but when this country is two or three thousand years old, I hope that we will have some well-preserved traditions to admire.
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