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2021年3月 5日 (金)

Two Europes

 The Pacific side of the Kanto region has been blessed with fine weather recently, and the days have been really pleasant. The weather on the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago in early spring is really wonderful.

◆Climate and Mind/Body
 The weather directly affects the biorhythms of the mind and body. It is not surprising, then, that such a bleak belief as Calvinism was accepted by people north of the Alps, where the climate is cloudy and gloomy for two-thirds of the year. The movie "Babette's Feast" (1987), with its depiction of a cold village in Jutland, gives us some idea of this.

Babette's Feast [Babette's Gøstebud] (1987)

◆France, the Superpower of Europe
 Traditionally, France has been a superpower with the largest population and area in Europe. This means that it is an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally complex nation that has been repeatedly annexed (militarily and politically) by successive French royal families. On a related note, France and the West are the only countries in Europe that face both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Oceans.

◆France, a mosaic nation
 France is a kind of mosaic, a complex nation with contrasting geography and population of northwest Europe and southern Europe at the same time. It is no wonder that France is constantly shaken to the left and right by the great waves of revolution and counter-revolution in the modern era. And it was the Frankish Empire that inherited the legacy of the Roman Empire as a Catholic state and handed it over to Northwestern Europe.

◆The French Hierarchy and the North-South Problem in Europe
 The general disdain of the French upper classes (or "the rich and educated") for the middle and lower classes is the same structure as the disdain of Northwestern Europeans for Southern Europeans (Italians, Iberians) as "slackers. It may also be an expression of the reversed and twisted mentality of northwestern Europeans' longing, envy, and jealousy of southern Europe, as seen in Goethe's travels in Italy.

◆The Possibility of the 16th Century in Europe
 If there is a way to salvation for the modern West, it would be to retrace the path of Montaigne (1533-92) and Cervantes (1547-1616) of the 16th century.

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