Dogged Perfectionism

Mom and Dad send me newspaper clippings from time to time, mostly about weight control, sometimes articles and adverts about New Zealand, but recently there was a short series on Japanese involved in the textile art industry. And somewhere in there someone mentioned that they did not participate in a prestigious event in Paris for the first time in a while, because their work was not perfect. This kind of story is not unheard of, but in fact, almost expected of anyone making thing seriously.

I was reading Jack Lenor Larsen's memoir at the Polytech library this afternoon while waiting for Ben to finish work, and there, he wrote about the efficiency and excellence of Japanese textile workers' skill and methods, and how he thought collaboration with them made it worthwhile even when dollar/yen balance was disadvantageous for him.

It's in our DNA to not only strive for perfection, but so darned many of them achieve it, too.

As a lapsed Japanese, I need to find a happy place where I don't discard everything just because they are not perfect, but not allow myself to slip or accept a lower standard.

Like that's going to be easy...


  1. Meg, a lapsed Japanese? You made me laugh out loud.

    PS your parents send you articles on weight control and you still speak to them ;-) ??

  2. Taueret, in the two years we couldn't get residency in NZ, I often thought of appealing to Immigration that I'm too pig-headed and independent and bossy to live in Japan; a kind of a cultural refugee.

    When I was going through the changes, that book "Japanese Women Don't Get Fat or Old" came out, and I have considered a public book burning on the main street of Nelson. I am indeed a lapsed Japanese in many ways! I don't fit the mold, or muffin tins, if you get the drift.

    My weight is one of the things my family love to discuss. The older I get, the more amazed I become on the way we treated each other in my family. And we all thought we were relatively nice to each other!!

  3. I don't think it a Japanese thing, Cubans are the same, if you are plump believe me they tell you to your face "God, you know your really fat, ever think about getting on a diet?" This is the topic at ALL family gatherings, yes I still love and talk to all of them because EVERYONE has put on some "FAT". I'm considered by many standards una cubana arependida translation, a remorseful cuban, hehe no big deal I'm still Cuban even tho they scar me sometimes.

  4. When I first learned about the propensity of a prototypical Jewish mom to make kids feel guilty, I laughed out loud. My Dad, and many of my aunts, can out-Jewish-mom many of the Jewish moms I knew in Minnesota any day. Some things are universal, IMHO.


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