Tea Ceremony evolved from Samurai times to something mostly practiced by little old ladies -- including some who just graduated from college but are determined to be old anyway-- and a few men. They are not really interested in the Zen part, just in looking "refined".
This is -- or rather was -- a problem for ad companies. Because little old ladies of any age or sex are not "cool". In fact, as we have seen, nothing "old" can be "cool", which is to say "marketable".
Tea ceremony, in fact, was like the little green shit they stick on your plate, often right on the steak, like the meat was growing something. Do you eat it? Will it kill you? Or is it just decorative? If so why is it so branchy, green-ugly? It's just something restaurants do to cover up for the skid marks on the beef.
Tea ceremony is cultural garnish. Maybe it's classy somehow -- but, from a commercial point of view it lacks the trendiness of 14 year old girls singing badly in their underwear..
Still, the ad companies did need something -- not so much as to balance the sticky-fingered juvenility of "Cool Japan" as to extend the boundaries of the concept and confuse the issue.
The answer was to use the moribund tradition of tea ceremony as a background for something else -- and sex it up.
That's how we got "omotenashi" -- which most people used to mean just "hospitality" -- blissfully unaware that Sen no Rikyu had used the word in a different way 400 years ago for the Tea Ceremony.
Chosen to present this concept to the world - and, of course, to the Japanese themselves, was Dentsu Creature & Official Hottie, Cristel Takigawa. A refined Hottie who advertises LED backlights, she also speaks French, which is the language she used in Rio to put a new spin on the idea of "omotenashi".
Suddenly, the Japanese realized that that word -- hey!-- used for...um...hospitality... was chock full of other stuff, tied in the history and tradition in books that they would rather not read or know about (it being old). It wasn't just hospitality -- it was a whole bunch of other stuff, which nobody could quite figure out -- but was impressive anyway. Like Cristel, only half-Japanese.
And the world realized that the insular, rule-driven regimented Japanese were all huggy and warm.
And...um... sexy! Which is a natural follow-on to huggy and warm.
One issue was that Cristel Takigawa doesn't have big jugs. Not to worry... she was soon out of the picture.
|The Omotenashi ("True Heart") Bra|
What sells as well as tits & ass?
Notice the little hands together in joining the bra cups -- a sign of homage. Yes! Subtle signs of submission.
Or maybe group grope.
Hopefully, there are Omotenashi Panties too.
Omotenashi condoms? An Omotenashi Dildo in every hotel room?
One can only wish.
Is this "nation branding"?
Not the way, Joseph Nye meant it, of course. It is commercial nation branding -- with a defined objective: getting foreigners to come to Japan for the Olympics and spend money.
As defined, "omotenashi" is predatory hospitality -- you have to pay for it. It is "service" -- but in Japan is also a word used for some kind of vague add-on charge, like a "happy ending" after the massage.
Foreigners, of course, have their understanding of
Japanese culture, which inevitably is confused with all things Asian....
To batter the point in like a bent nail: the Olympics is a money thing; therefore --so "omotenashi" is also.
Most ordinary people in Japan will get no benefit from the Olympics -- any benefits they do get, they will pay for in the form of increased taxes and higher prices.
Who profits? Only the big developers and ad companies – the same guys who gave us the Tokyo Bay development and Shiodome -- now scheduled to be largely underwater by 2035!
Very good for those who really wanted some waterfront property but live uptown.
|Tokyo Underwater: 25 Years From Now|
The Olympics is part of Cool Japan's slow slide towards disaster.
The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming! Banzai! Just zaibatsu mercantilism.
A teenage girl holds a party so she can be "in". Everyone gets drunk. And she gives the captain of the football team a blow job. Afterwards the house is a mess and she has to clean up all by himself. The house is empty. He is empty. And the next day, nobody says hello.
Yes, the Olympics are coming.
And then...the hangover.