Thursday, February 16, 2012

Will Miss #418 - Japanese snowmen

It may seem a strange thing, but, yes, even the snowmen in Japan are different. For reasons I am not entirely sure of, Japanese snowmen consist of two balls of snow (a head and a body) whereas American ones have three segments (head, torso, "legs"). I've talked to Japanese folks about this, and they believe it follows the general form of dolls in Japan such as kokeshi. I should note that Russian matryoshka dolls have a similar shape. That would open up a whole new question as to why the dolls in some cultures are differently designed than others, but the bottom line is that there is clearly a difference in how imitations of "human" forms are conceptualized. 

Small cultural differences such as the difference between how one culture constructs a snowman and the other does so differently always make me wonder about the evolution of thought, art, and how things are thought about. I will miss seeing the two-part snowmen and how they make me ponder such things.