It's become my morning routine lately to go visit WIL WHEATON DOT NET and check the weblog and comments. Wil Wheaton is an actor, starred in Stand By Me and Star Trek -- neither of which I have seen, to my regret. It's his personal website written and maintained by himself.
It's always so much fun to find cool websites, English or Japanese. His weblog is full of jokes (sometimes I can't follow them, though, dude) and wits, making me have fun, touched, give some serious thought, reflect on myself, have sympathy, jump, and such. Reading his weblog makes me feel like being an American isn't that bad.
While reading his archives a couple of days ago, I came across these lines:
Do not ever take anyone for granted, for even one minute. If there's someone in your family who you love, pick up the phone, and call them, right now, to tell them.
I love you, Aunt Val.
-- The passage he wrote after the loss of his dear aunt. I was moved. So moved that I was about to call my aunt to say "I lo..." ... W,Wait a minute. There is no expression equivalent to "I love you" in Japanese! Um...er...there sure is a seemingly definitive translation of "I love you" in Japanese. The fact is, we have no custom of expressing our "I love you" feelings to others directly IN WORDS -- except for married or loved couples. (Well, if I said the translated "I love you" to my aunt, that could mean ...ugh) I can't say I'm 100% sure about it; some may like to say "I love you" in their everyday lives. I can say the lines like Wil wrote can hardly be seen in the, say, weblogs written by Japanese in Japanese. That doesn't mean we are in a loveless society. The Japanese show their "I love you" in other ways. Using other expressions or , mostly, indirect manners. Such as your attitudes -- the attitudes to the extent that the other person "feels" that you love them. Or some kind of "telepathy" -- Really?? Things go well that way in Japan. Trouble is, there's no handy way to know that you REALLY know that I REALLY love you. haha.