"HARAGEI (which roughly..." Japan Local Custom Tip by drolkar

Japan Local Customs: 477 reviews and 616 photos

<font color=blue><b>HARAGEI</font></b> (which roughly translates as 'group thinking or feeling'): Five famous Jewish intellectuals were up in heaven discussing the essence of life. Moses said, 'The essence of life is in your head.' Jesus Christ said, 'No, the essence of life is in the heart.' Then Karl Marx said, 'You're both wrong. The most important thing in life is the stomach -- you've got to keep it fed.' Sigmund Freud said, 'Gentlemen, you're all wrong. The most important thing is further below the belt.' And Albert Einstein said, 'You're all off the mark. Everything is relative.' A Japanese intellectual who overheard the conversation just kept silent, with an enigmatic smile on his face, nodding assent to each remark. So Moses asked the Japanese, 'What's your view?' The Japanese responded, 'What you all feel is what I feel.' 'But whose view, specifically?' asked Freud. 'Well,' said the Japanese, 'if I think in my head, Einstein's. But I don't think in my head; I think in my <font color=blue><b>HARA</font></b> (abdomen). Thinking in my head gives rise to yes or no. The essence of life is not yes or no, but yes AND no, because yes means no and no means yes.' -- Attributed to the Japanese newspaper columnist Michihiro Matsumoto, as quoted in BREAKING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER.

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  • Written Aug 24, 2002
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