Saturday, December 15, 2012

Only Once - Ichigo Ichie, Japanese Proverb

I watched Hitsudan Hostess. It is a film released in 2010, based on the true story of Rie Saito, which she published in 2009. Hitsudan 筆談 is formed of fude, writing brush and dan, story. It is an inspiring story of a hearing-impaired girl who becomes the best hostess in Ginza, communicating with the customers only through written messages. It is a story of words as well. Sometimes, hitsudan – the written communication can exceed and have a bigger impact than the verbal communication. Indeed, the kanji of tsurai – painful, tough, by adding just one stroke in the upper part, becomes fortune, luck, happiness. From difficult, it is only one step to happiness. Apart from many messages of encouragement and optimism, she mentions a very famous Japanese proverb.
Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur. Ichi-go ichi-e, one time, one meeting. It is a Zen concept of transience. Each meeting and each moment is unique.
“Difficult times happen on the way to happiness.” Another nice message is related to the word star formed of day and born – “a day is born”: “During hard times, look up at the sky. Surely, tomorrow will be born.”
This Japanese saying is little similar to the famous words in a poem by Horace, “carpe diem” – seize the day. Have a day with many reasons to smile!

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