Happy New Year Meltingpot readers! Thanks for coming back. I hope 2008 will be filled with thought-provoking and fascinating blog posts featuring loads and loads of cultural cross pollination.
So on that note...right before break I had the opportunity to share a meal with author extraordinaire, Veronica Chambers. We were talking about her latest book, Kickboxing Geishas which is all about fierce Japanese women, and I asked her where her fascination with Japanese culture came from. Her answer surprised me. She said that she views Japan, specifically Tokyo, like the Paris of the 1920s in that the Japanese people have a unique love affair with Black-American culture.
I'd never heard this before. As a black hair "expert" I knew that there were a lot of Japanese people rockin' dredlocks and into the whole hip-hop aesthetic, but I didn't realize the love affair included Black art, music and literature. So now I want to know more. I want to know about the Black experience in Japan. I found this blog Sista in Tokyo written by a young Black American woman working in Japan. And then there's the Japan African-American Friendship Organizationwhich really made me smile.
Now of course I know that there is no country where all people are really considered equal. But it sure tickles me to know that there is a place half way around the world that technically has no real connection to an African past, but yet and still the people have in some way embraced it.
Can somebody tell me more about the Black experience in Japan?