Wednesday, July 13, 2005

They are from another planet 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIt only takes only a cursory view of Japanese horror films like The Ring, Dark Water and Hot Tub Girls to know that Japanese culture differs vastly from ours. But what can you say about a society that has elevated a smelling game to a high art? From the endlessly fascinating Jacobson's Organ and the Remarkable Nature of Smell:

In Japan they play a game, called kodo, in which participants try to guess the names of up to two and a half thousand different scents. In even more refined versions of the game, one kind of incense is burned and the participants are required to find whichever other incense will combine most pleasantly with the first. And at the highest and most aesthetic level of competition, participants try to create an odour which would be most appropriate as an accompaniment to a particular literary work, perhaps one of the lesser-known poems of Kokinshu.

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