I dont. And for some reason, it bothers me.
When I came to Tokyo in 2007, I met several interesting people. Yes, I met Yuta and there's lots of record of that. But, my most interesting conversation was with Masa - about kamikaze fighters, about pride in something so great (one's country in this case) that a person would give up their life to defend it.
Im not really a nationalist. I think a lot of pride in one's country -specifically, country not possible loved ones that may live there- comes from a lot of government propaganda. I'm a just skeptic on this issue...but that's for a separate entry. (Nationalistic pride is just an example here and I dont wanna debate the merits of the USA or freedom or American troops in Iraq wasting their lives right now. OK?)
He sat slouched against the wall of my hotel room, shoes kicked off in the entry. Masa said, with tears in his eyes, that he would do the same thing today, I was lost. Here was a feeling I'd never felt. And to this day, I still havent. In retrospect, a deeper and hidden reason for the end of the Dave era was a search for this very thing. But why is it so important? And why do I feel so guilty about having a short and posh existence such that I don't even have to consider such an issue should I choose not to? What is the real problem - that I have no deep real rooted love and pride for anything, or that I feel guilty for no having love and pride for anything?
I was reminded about this quiet search during a conversation with Yanai on Sunday evening. He kindly took me out for dinner in Roppongi at a very "Kill Bill" kinda of izakaya. (apparently Bush Jr. dined here, along with Quentin Tarantino..altho not at the same time. That's another movie! lol) Over tasty and expensive Japanese tapas and a nice bottle of dry white wine, we started having a real conversation - something VERY hard to do here. We got on the subject of families, and before long, he was telling me that his grandfather was a kamikaze pilot. Apparently, the government promised a nice chunk of money should his grandfather every need to trade in his life. And he did, but not for the cash. And Yanai started telling me how proud he was, even tho Japan lost the war..and maybe Japan was wrong...but he was proud that his grandfather stood up with Japan against the big and powerful USA. He said all this while not actually attacking me, and directly explained that he was not intending to be hostile. I quite understood his pride. Nothing hostile about. We were far removed this this bit of history, and much closer to being quite drunk. An at this point, I was reminded of my conversation with Masa last year and that nagging underlying little voice that I'd so temporarily forgotten about--"what is it that you'd fight for?"
Maybe that's why Im here. But right now, I have no idea...love? (i dont even know the meaning of the word anymore- never mind the feeling), my country (hmm...), my life (Saw 5 coming right up)...yeah, in not sure. Not sure at all. and it seems pretty selfish.