I was thinking. Sometimes, when you distill the big decisions or themes in your life down to their very very beginnings, they can seem quite ridiculously trivial. I thought I'd share today the specific circumstances that actually started me out on my fascination with Japan...
A good few years ago, me and Louise had just started getting into martial arts films after watching a few good ones (House Of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger, Hero). When we came across an Amazon voucher, we thought we'd use it on another, similar DVD.
My job involves making TV listings magazines and film guides, so I tend to be fairly clued-up on movies, and one which I'd heard about and was hoping to see soon was Ong-Bak - the Thai film starring Tony Jaa. For some bizarre reason, instead we elected to go for an animation called Spirited Away - something we'd both only vaguely heard about but heard it was kinda quirky and very good. A quick
Funnily enough, Studio Ghibli, through its fantastical, magical worlds, actually gave us a reason to delve further into the very real aspects of Japan and other Japanese films, cartoons, manga, culture, food, etc.
We joked about going to the Ghibli Museum. We didn't know that just a short while later, we'd actually be going...
It's interesting to consider that if we had gone for Ong-Bak instead (I subsequently saw it: it was ok; good, not great) I may not have ever gone to Tokyo or eaten ramen or listened to Macdonald Duck Eclair or read GTO or anything fun like that!