An Indonesian friend Judith (I wrote about her once) sent me another illustration. I really appreciate this pic. Besides it, my journal has been read by other people on Discord exactly. A person said to me that “u do impact people u just don’t know it”. Yes, it’s pleasant if my writing do a certain impact on various people. But all I am doing is just to write my thought honestly. So I can’t see how my writing does an impact. I write myself as usual. Just I have kept on that acting and I will do it from now again and again.
Today was a day off. I had to go to the hospital and see my doctor. I told him what I thought. It is strange weather. Humid at daytime but cold at dusk and dawn. He said that I should take care of myself. I have to be thankful for my parents because I’ve got such a strong body. After those heavy drinking days, I can still live healthily and finely. I have not got a cold nowadays and never got flu or corona. After the meeting with him, I returned to my group home and spent the time with Yoshio Kataoka’s book “Outside of Japanese”. It still lasts and makes me sleepy because of the difficulty.
Reading “Outside of Japanese”, I notice and think about the difference between English and Japanese. There are many sentences I want to quote from this book, but it would be long so I try to write briefly with my thinking. We catch the things and think about them in our mother tongue. If we didn’t have language, we had difficulty connecting concepts and words (as Helen Keller tried to connect real water and the word “water”). Then, thinking in a different system of language means going “outside of” the limitation of mother tongue. That is the pleasure of thinking by foreign language.
“Going out from the thought or ideas which have been created in a long time by mother tongue can be, even if I tried to use moderate words, almost impossible work. Thinking about that difficulty or trouble. it’s very easy that speaking and writing in English, which has very thin skin, with keeping the thought or ideas in our mother tongue”. Shortly, these words criticize the people who try to use English to explain Japanese thought or ideas very directly. He says about politicians and business people. Yes, I agree with him. But how about “my” English? It also can have very thin skin?