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, comment by Currin
Currin While traveling in Japan a month ago, I listened to almost all the Japan 99’ and 00’ shows.

Phish picked up on Japan’s vibration and energy. It’s a society with intense focus, where one’s craft is their higher purpose. It’s highly-structured, orderly, clean, rule-abiding. Meanwhile the restrictions encourage them to express themselves through dramatic and “cartoonish” fantasies: from Hello Kitty to Geishas, from Samuari and Hentai. The Japanese intentionally block out alien influences—they don’t want to be as Westernized as the rest of the world does—so they maintain their sacred culture. Unlike Americans, who’s minds are deeply indoctrinated with Christian and Jewish principles (regardless of if one grew up religious), the Japanese are rooted in Taoist and Buddhist philosophies. They have a deep respect for, or directly worship the gods and goddesses of, water, music, trees, fish, etc. I recall there was shrine to a god of “things are as they should be”. They bow to each other when they say “Arigatōgozaimashita”

To me, overall, I found parts of the shows felt respectful to the audience and the craft, focused and almost somber, and less influenced by what was and what was to come. Then they’d take us on a magical animated manga ninja ride. Then we’d come back to honor the god of “things are as they should be” is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

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