Jeremy Millar

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My First Day in the Orient
1997

Colour photograph; hotel writing paper

This work was made in a hotel room at the start of my first visit to Tokyo. In an attempt to come to come to terms with this unfamiliar place, I memorised the first paragraph of the first piece from Lafcadio Hearn's anthology of writings from Japan, 'My First Day in the Orient', and then attempted to write it down as accurately as possible upon a sheet of hotel notepaper. The passage begins:

'Do not fail to write down your first impressions as soon as possible,' said a kind English professor whom I had the pleasure of meeting soon after my arrival in Japan: 'they are evanescent, you know; and yet of all the strange sensations you may receive in this country you will feel none so charming as these.'

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