I watched “Shall We ダンス” last night after prom and partying.
“Shall We ダンス” is probably best know for the English adaptation (starring Richard Gere) in which a middle aged man who has fallen into what can be called a mid-life crisis starts taking ballroom dance classes after spying a beautiful woman giving instructions at the dance school. A typical Hollywood story follows: he falls in love with the sport and competes with his dance instructor and wins, everyone goes home happy. A mediocre film if you ask me.
The Japanese film follows the same plot, but adds an additional layer to it. In addition to falling in love with the art of dance, the main protagonist (Shohei Sugiyama) contends with the many stigmas in Japanese society associated with dancing, touch, or intimacy in general (Shohei and his wife sleep in separate beds). There is no way I can think of to translate those sort of stigmas into American Films.
My whole point, I guess, is that had I not started learning Japanese, that movie would have completely been lost on me. And that’s not just limited to Japanese. Without Economics, I feel like I couldn’t express myself as well as I am able to; without studying Journalism, I might be engaged in some other vocation that I wasn’t as good at.
But of course, I can’t be all knowing, so I wonder from time to time: What am I missing out on as a result of my own ignorance?