25: Christine and Drew Vogel on Visiting Japan

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In episode 25, I talk with Drew and Christine Vogel, husband and wife, jiu jitsu black belt and blue belt respectively, about their recent 10 day journey to Japan. We talk about Tokyo, Osaka, David Sedaris, bowing, politeness, drinking with the bosses, work ethic, samurai, octupus donut holes, raw horse meat, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, BJJ, sport jiu jitsu,  how Drew and Christine met, marriage, advice for anyone visiting Japan, and much more.

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Quotes

Christine on the past, present, and future of Japanese culture:

“The thing about Japan that is fascinating is the constant parallel between tradition and the future. A zealous, hurried interest in the future: the trains are fast, the people are fast, the food is constantly evolving.”

Drew and Christine on the difference in social interaction between strangers in Japan:

“You’re waiting for that cacophony of beeping and cussing and rage that cities have. People still bump into each other, still smash into each other in subway cars, but they don’t really acknowledge it with their eyes. They just look right past it when it happens. Nothing is taken very personally.”

Christine on the effect of the Internet and the global economy on prevailing mindset in Japan:

“I think the currents are shifting. The Japanese, in the past, have taken an isolationist attitude. I think that’s changed a lot now.”

Christine on architecture in Japan:

“There is something intrinsically balanced and harmonious about the Japanese aesthetic. You can’t get away from it. It’s evident even in the most modern construction… I was never described the immense color, vibrancy of Tokyo. It is New York on top of itself, 20 times over. It’s Blade Runner in the middle of the day. “

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