Yesterday we went to the British Museum to attend a talk given by Donald Keene on Carmen Blacker organised by the Japan Foundation. The lecture hall was packed even though it was a talk about a relatively unknown person. Obviously this shows what a great interest there is in Japanese studies and Japanese culture in general in London.
It was very encouraging to know that there is so much that is still happening on the level of the one culture trying to understand another. As Carmen Blacker had tried to establish, there is nothing so mysterious about the Eastern cultures. One can know the way others live if one is truly interested.
Just sitting in the lecture hall was such a joy. These are steps towards human unity that are not so visible to everyone but they are surely being taken. What we read in the newspapers about war and conflict is one reality but a lecture hall full of people listening to a talk about a woman who dedicated her life to studies of Japan and making the country better known in the Western world is another reality too.