Series: Hetalia: Axis Powers ( ヘタリア Axis Powers
Pairing/Character(s): Japan, Germany
Word Count: 420 (I fail at writing long stories)
Summary: It's amazing what something as simple as a handshake means.
Prompt: Week 2: Hands at hetalia_contest
Notes: Inspired by the readings I had in my writing class the past year. If there is interest I could name which ones?
“You must be Japan,” a tall blonde stated looking down at the Asian man. “I’m Germany. I look forward to a long alliance.” Ludwig boomed in that voice of his and held out his hand.
How strange it seemed to actually touch someone in introduction, to break that personal bubble that formerly only those close had the privilege of doing. Kiku had to stop himself from bowing and stared at the western custom, in the back of his mind going over all that it meant.
How quickly Japan had westernized! Every single aspect of the Japanese lifestyle was irrevocably changed from the mannerisms to the food to the clothing to the layout of the houses to the military. Writers such as Tanizaki railed against the changes and accused the government of destroying precious aesthetics and causing the death of Japanese art.
The living embodiment of Japan had visited the reformed Noh stage and could not help but agree with the assessment. Electric lamps destroyed the atmosphere by dispelling the shadows that formerly created an otherworld feeling to add to the story. Indoor plumbing brought impurity into the home. The light could not shine properly off of plastic bowls the same way it could off of black lacquer-ware engraved with gold. Even light itself was a different color when it came from a light bulb instead of a candle or the sun itself.
Students went to university and refused to take over their family farms because it went against modernization. The parents themselves could not understand the change and estranged themselves from their children in their ignorance. Kiku wanted to weep for the loss of companionship and the growing trend of a solitariness that went against every definition of that word he had ever known beforehand. What happened to Shonagon’s Pillow Book where she wrote individually but let others into her world? Where were the love suicides of puppet plays that protected the obligation of giri and spoke of the pain of honoring the family?
No longer would he follow the lunar calendar. No longer would he watch the moon with his older brother Yao. No no no. Things could not be rewound. Japan would not fall like China, torn apart by the western nations. Japan would not become a spoil of war to be tossed back and forth like Korea. The pebble had been pushed down the slope and it was too fast to stop now.
Did westernizing really mean that he had to be all alone?
Kiku shook Ludwig’s hand.