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見える

dhmkhkk

Sempai
Joined
25 Jun 2017
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Hi,

I was reading a text about Tokyo, Shinjuku. The main idea was that Shinjuku now is a great place, with many shops, people running to their workplaces and so on. But thee are also homeless people sleeping in the park next to the Shinjuku station. And in the end comes the sentence 「見える日本」と「見えない日本」。どちらも今の新宿です。

I understand the idea and I know that 見える means "to be seen, to be visible". Not only is it intransitive, it also means seeing something without looking at it intentionally. I don't understand why the author chose this word. Visible Japan, invisible Japan? Japan which is seen, Japan which is not seen? Both the shops and the homeless people are seen, so why 見えない then? Thank you for your help :emoji_slight_smile:
 

Majestic

先輩
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You are thinking about this too literally. Of course you can see the homeless in the park if you go looking for them, but the contrast is merely between the easily seen and the hidden. Superficial and submerged. Out-in-the-open and behind-the-scenes.
 

dhmkhkk

Sempai
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Thanks, I was just wondering that. Maybe there was some hidden grammatical moment I didn't know about. :)
 
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