Japan In the Land of Mickey-San

Celebrating the New Year in a different kind of shrine

"It's as if we're taking the seeds offered from across the sea and cultivating them into our own Japanese garden," the long-beaked cartoon crane explains to the audio-animatronic figures of a little girl and her brother. "Culture doesn't just come; it develops slowly, richly. Generation after generation has to digest and refine these marvelous influences." The message may seem a little heavy for an amusement park, but the audience in the country's first revolving Carousel Theater is all ears. As the stage revolves, the sagacious bird launches into a lecture on the virtues of isolationism. Finally the Feathered One concludes, "People...

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