An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

Welcome to TokyoFreePress Wednesday, April 16 2014 @ 06:09 AM CDT

Gordon G. Chang

Strong, incisive, and
definitely opinionated,
Yuichi Yamamoto is
where I go to get
perspectives on
Japan. I may not
always agree, but I am
always impressed.
The Japanese media,
unfortunately, don't
carry his brand of
- Gordon G. Chang - Gordon G. Chang is known as the author of an
insightful and courageous book titled
The Coming Collapse of China (Random House, 2001).
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The Inquisition Japanese style


Left: Galileo Galilei defended himself at the Holy Office of the Catholic Church in 1633.
Right: Yesterday a shyster named Hideo Miki made his client Haruko Obokata apologize before the big crowd of news reporters.

Owners of Japanese
restaurant chain Senba Kitcho

Hideo Miki who staged the
above ritual

HIDEO MIKI (三木秀夫) is one of those shameless shysters who are only good at spotting an ambulance and chasing after it. It's only late Tuesday night that I learned now Dr. Haruko Obokata is his client and she would be accompanied by the lawyer in her first public appearance in more than two months at a press conference scheduled for the Wednesday afternoon.

Apparently Miki visited her at the hospital where she was staying. There it must have been a piece of cake for him to dupe the greenhorn on the verge of nervous breakdown into signing the fraudulent retainer agreement.

A famous Japanese restaurant chain named Senba Kitcho is one of the most important clients of Miki Legal Office at least since last November when its shops were raided over false labeling of some menu items and reusing the leftovers from previous customers. At that time Miki instructed the owner of the restaurant chain (the kimono-clad hag in the photo) to offer tearful apologies to the big crowd of people before taking a specific legal action.

That means that his modus operandi is to stage a typical ritual for tentative apologies before getting started with the substantive dispute over which party is more at fault, and only then ask for some leniency. This always works in this country where anyone in trouble automatically chooses to follow the same procedure. But it's a different story when it comes to a scientific matter.

I hastily looked around for the ambulance-chaser's mail address but it was already 13 hours before the press conference when I found it. I quickly warned Miki about the following two points:

- You should never tell your client to offer apologies before the media crew. The moment she takes a bow, she loses her case. There's nothing in common between the STAP contention and the menu scandal.
- You should keep in mind that there is not much legal implication in the Obokata affair because only scientists can take care of science. The only thing you can help your client with is to seek a decent settlements with her current employer RIKEN, e.g. on the severance pay and compensation for defamation.

NOTE: According to a tabloid, the contract between Obokata and RIKEN was tentatively renewed on April 1 pending the final verdict. But she should know it's very unlikely that her authority as a unit leader can be fully restored. And even if she is fully reinstated, her research activities will be shackled by the corporate culture which is now even more fearful of making mistakes. Also it's been said that her alma mater Waseda University hints at the possibility to revoke her doctorate in the worst case.

I knew Miki wouldn't have replied even if I'd sent the mail one day earlier. The parasite certainly knows he would be out of work if he heeded my humble advice.

Actually during the televised 2-hour conference, the developmental biologist took a deep bow to the big crowd at least five times. Each time she repeated the same words: "I feel awfully sorry for causing all this trouble because of the lack of discipline on my part, the faulty way I presented the results of our experiments, and my immaturity as a professional researcher." It looks as though she didn't understand her former colleagues and bosses are more ill-disciplined and more immature. She should have known it's these eunuchs that caused all this mess.

In between Obokata stood firm with her method to create STAP cells. But who would believe in the story and the data supporting it given by someone who deprecates herself like this?

Without a doubt, the Japanese are the world's most gullible people. But this afternoon those present at the congregation had all of a sudden turned into the world's most skeptical people while their brains still remained empty. Not a single interrogator sounded like having expertise in forensic science or a minimal computer literacy, let alone developmental biology.

At one point Obokata said in response to a question to the effect that she has successfully created STAP cells more than 200 times. She added that she isn't alone in ascertaining the method proved workable. Totally unconvinced, the questioner said, "Will you please name one, but yourself, who has succeeded in creating STAP cells?" After a moment's hesitation, Obokata declined to comply. I am sure Dr. Charles A. Vacanti of Harvard Medical School was among the names she could barely swallow.

Now practically all commentators are saying Obokata virtually admitted to fabricating her story when she declined to name a single researcher who has created STAP cells.

I'm not good at speculating. But I think now it's increasingly obvious from the nation-wide witch-hunt that SHINYA YAMANAKA (山中伸弥), now the emperor reigning over Japan's regenerative medicine, is doing a dirty trick from behind the curtain. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2012 for the discovery of the proprietary method to create iPS cells. Since the STAP method is something that will eclipse the discovery by Yamanaka and his colleagues in many ways, the Nobel laureate has a good reason to try hard to defend his vested interests against the threat posed by STAP cells.

There is another factor to the difficulty facing the rebels in cell biology. Nature Publishing Group has its Japanese subsidiary named Nature Japan whose annual sales were in the neighborhood of 3.2 billion yen as of 2012. If you take a peek at its customer list, you will notice RIKEN is among the biggest clients for Nature Japan. Also you will learn the quasi-governmental research institute, which is 2/3 funded with taxpayers' money here, is paying more than 70 million yen every year to Nature's subsidiary.

So far the group's headquarters in the U.K. has remained on the sidelines without giving a helping hand Haruko Obokata is dying for. That indicates that it hasn't realized it now faces the moment of truth.

As I said to someone sitting in the London office a couple of days ago, it's time something must be done by Nature if the publisher wants to preserve its prestigious status as an independent scientific journal. I suggested a couple of specific steps to be taken to that end.

In the meantime, Hideo Miki will have a rosy future thanks to these self-deprecating people who are conveyed in the ambulance to his office one after another. He will never realize Obokata has to defend herself just like Galileo did when the ailing 70-year-old was summoned to the Catholic Church.

This is also reminiscent of Seiji Ozawa, former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1973-2002.) In 1962 Ozawa was ostracized by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and thus by the entire music world of the country. At that time he never thought about hiring an attorney or offering apologies to the government-owned broadcaster. He just left his home country. It's the NHK that apologized on its knees, 32 years later, for having kicked out the exceptionally gifted musician. The Maestro already knew when he was in his mid-20s that no one but himself could help him out of the jam.

Once again this sends me back to the same question: "Are we still evolving forward or are we quickly degenerating?" Actually I was working on a new post in which to discuss the same question from a different angle - "juvenile dementia." Hopefully I'll be able to upload it before long.   · read more (265 words)
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How I hit a gold vein in the Google junkyard - though only at times



On Friday I wrote a mail to Dr. Charles A. Vacanti, professor at Harvard Medical School and one of the coauthors of the STAP papers in question, to suggest he not pull the plug on Haruko Obokata. One hour ago, he quickly got back to me. I take the liberty to publish his reply below here.

"Thank you. The studies presented were stellar. Although some formatting errors were made, I think that they were sincere mistakes, and not done to intentionally mislead. I believe that the science was not affected by these errors and that the conclusions are correct. CAV"


Yesterday Ryoji Noyori, Nobel laureate and president of quasi-governmental research organization RIKEN (PHOTO 1) offered sincere apologies for the "research misconduct" allegedly committed by Haruko Obokata (PHOTO 2) in the research papers on STAP cells she coauthored with her colleagues.

Since I'm completely in the dark about cell biology, I can't tell exactly what the Nobel-winning scum apologized for on behalf of the ambitious researcher. And yet I know for sure what's going on behind the curtain. The reason these old sadists gang up so mercilessly on her is just because they think the nail that tries very hard to stick out must be hammered down without fail.

News reports have it that the young researcher, who had been gagged while the in-house probe into "irregularities" was going on behind closed doors, now expressed her resolve to fight back against the witch-hunt of the 21st century. Her lone battle has only just begun.

CONTINUED FROM Just a search engine or a digital altar?

I listen to myself. If you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer. It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God.
- Mamoru Samuragochi, in a 2001 interview by TIME magazine in which the interviewer touted him as "Japan's Beethoven."

[By the way] I've never felt he was deaf ever since we met. We carry on normal conversations.
- Takashi Niigaki, a music lecturer, added when he came forward to admit he'd ghost-written every "masterpiece" of Japan's Beethoven, including Symphony No. 1 dedicated to the Hiroshima victims.

You are taunting the history of cell biology.
- an e-mail the British scientific journal Nature sent to Japanese researcher Haruko Obokata, when turning down her first submissions of paper on STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells.

At first no one believed in me. I thought about quitting time and again, crying countless nights.
- Dr. Haruko Obokata, at the news that Nature had reversed its previous assessments.

Neo Yamada

Mamoru Samuragochi

Haruko Obokata

What I wrote in my previous post all comes down to this:

A truth-seeker is the worst type of truth-denier.

Like a fake Buddhist monk, he seems to believe truth dwells in pain. Simply this is ridiculous because a fatal logical flaw, which is noticeable even to a kindergarten kid, is involved there.

Believe it or not, I've never been a truth-denier myself because I know it is even more painful to stick my head in the sand. And yet I'm not interested in the truth-seeking game, either. The following are some of the reasons.

Firstly there's no such thing as a universal truth that can be shared equally among two or more nations or individuals. It takes imperialist's arrogance to deny a truth can never be true when looked at from the other side. For instance, the inevitable collapse of the American empire is a dream coming true for other peoples, especially East Asians except these yellow Yankees.

The Americans, in general, view the world which is no longer revolving around their country, standing on their heads. That's why they never understand that if the West is doomed, it's a long-awaited daybreak for the East.

Some ten years ago I shared a big lobster with my date at a seafood restaurant in Sydney. No sooner had we come back to the hotel than she fell sick and couldn't get up until the next morning. All along I was so in good shape that I might have gone golfing, by myself, as we had originally planned together. The Aussie doc explained to me: "This always happens because poison never travels evenly in a living organism."

Obviously he was talking about the lobster. But my interpretation was that the same applies to human society; the implication of any event largely varies from one individual to another.

Secondly, we've already suffered more than enough from the truth of the American century. There's no reason, whatsoever, for us to ask for more.

I've known since my early childhood that treasure (or pleasure) hunting is what my life should be all about. It's an irony but my Epicurean trait is attributable to the abnormally Spartan way my father educated me. Now I believe an ascetic attitude toward life is not only meaningless but also harmful.

My way of using the search engine, therefore, is 180-degrees different from yours. To me the cyberspace is little more than a huge fact sheet which serves primarily as a free dictionary or encyclopedia, with the only exception of audio/visual websites.

In 2001, a U.S. film was released under the title of Serendipity. I think not a few people looked up the unfamiliar word in the dictionary. There they found out that as the filmmaker suggested it means "(the faculty of making) a fortunate discovery by accident." Misled by the wrong definition, these credulous and intellectually lazy people concluded the word is roughly synonymous with "windfall" you just come upon without making a painstaking effort.

I already knew what serendipity means. When I was in my late-teens I learned about the same idea in the context of Plato's epistemology and Kierkegaard's "forward recollection," although the two thinkers didn't use the word serendipity. But after watching the cheap "romantic comedy," I made a web search to look into its etymology.

From a Wikipedia entry, I learned that an Englishman named Horace Walpole wrote in 1754 to his friend to the effect that he coined the word from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip," in which "the heroes were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of." (Emphasis mine.) In short, serendipity takes both good luck and some mental effort.

A truth-seeker's problem lies in the obvious fact that any preconceived search criteria won't work. If he already knows the answer, there's no point in seeking it while if he doesn't know the answer, he doesn't know what question to ask, either. A hunter of pleasant truth faces the same dilemma in his quest for something really creative. That's why I always let serendipity guide me especially when I do my video-mining exercise.

YouTube was a rich reservoir of creativity until Google acquired it from these young entrepreneurs, Steve Chen, et al. But now it looks like a vast graveyard of civilization. For instance, the moment you upload a video in which your Pomeranian does a funny trick, as my disowned son used to be doing, tens of millions of idiots come to view it. Now a creative video is a real rarity. But with my serendipity-guided search method, I can distinguish art from crap, science from superstition, or philosophy from delusion.

In December I found an 11-year-old jazz organist named Neo Yamada (photo on the top.) I saw in this gifted kid an audio-visual confirmation that as is true with treasure-hunters, serendipity is an integral element when you are working on the embodiment of your creativity into an artistic performance or technological achievement. It takes serendipity for two contradictory attributes, spontaneity and discipline, to meet in a same person. Discipline with which to pay due respect to tradition is not really a rarity here, but in this cultural wasteland you seldom come across spontaneity which isn't contaminated by impurities from commercialism, nationalism or anything that has nothing to do with art or technology.

The chord progression called "12-bar minor blues" isn't my type of music. But it was a real blessing that I stumbled on Neo's excellent performance.

I think it makes little sense to tell you exactly how I landed at this video because the way to exercise sagacity varies from person to person. But to make a long story short, I've been in touch, though off and on, with half-a-dozen female musicians, including one professional vocalist in the last ten years. I've had a lot of discussions with them over the chromatic scale, fine articulations particular to jazz, etc. I came upon the particular artist when I was looking around for videos featuring Harry Warren's "There Will Never Be Another You" to recommend to a lady who plays the trumpet in the band organized by my biological son. Had it not been for this background, I might have overlooked Neo as just yet another prodigy.

My serendipity method also helps deselect rubbish from Japanese male "artists."

Westerners, especially Americans, are always looking eastward for handy alternatives in the face of the ruin of their traditional value system. What if I had carelessly keyed in a set of keywords such as "japanese music fukushima hiroshima" as they often do? Then I would certainly have hit this small-time crook named Mamoru Samuragochi (photo in the center) and his "masterpiece" Symphony No.1 which was originally dedicated to the Hiroshima victims and now re-dedicated to those who suffered from the Fukushima disaster. This is how an American truth-seeker is often taken in by Oriental rubbish.

I'm glad I could avoid wasting my limited time with yet another fake thanks to my intuition-guided search method.

When the obscure music teacher named Takashi Niigaki came forward to cough it up, his confession ignited a public outcry especially among "classical music lovers" who bought 220,000 copies of the CD featuring Symphony No.1. But actually this is not a big deal. The only crime Samuragochi committed is the collection of the disability pension from the goofs in Yokohama City Hall for his feigned deafness almost for two decades. There's nothing wrong with using a friend's name with his consent or outsourcing one's task to someone else.

If this farce should still be called a fraud, the main perpetrators are TIME magazine that dubbed him "the Japanese Beethoven" in 2001 and NHK that deified the petty thief taking a cue from TIME. Now that the Japanese Beethoven finally revealed himself, the government-owned broadcaster has started playing dumb as it has always been doing since August 1945 every time a deity was exposed as fake.

Just imagine what would happen if a forensic expert revealed that one of the masterpieces previously credited to Ludwig van Beethoven was actually composed by someone else. Of course that wouldn't affect the way real music lovers appreciate it. But in Japan, the moment it was revealed Niigaki was the real composer, every piece of music released under the name of Samuragochi turned into rubbish which is what it actually is. This, alone, is telling evidence that entire Japanese culture is fake.

Admittedly my serendipity-guided search method is not flawless. One week or so before the revelation, another intriguing news broke out about a young cell biologist named Haruko Obokata (photo at the bottom.) Until then her name meant absolutely nothing to me.

Just like the Japanese Beethoven was lifted out of obscurity by the stupid interviewer at TIME magazine, Obokata's recognition came just after the British scientific journal Nature published the paper Obokata coauthored with Charles Vacanti, Professor at Harvard Medical School, and some other fellow researchers. But her dethronement came much sooner than Samuragochi's deposition.

Although I'm interested in the idea of initializing human cells, I'm completely in the dark about cell biology. So I can't tell for sure if there were "fatal" foul plays in the way Obokata and her colleagues handled their experimental data. And yet what's going on right now is somewhat familiar to me. Time and again I've experienced this for most of my adulthood, and until the last days of my eight-decade-long life.

Vacanti, one of the coauthors of the article in question still maintains he doesn't agree to the proposed withdrawal of the paper because as he told a Yomiuri reporter a couple of days ago, "some mistakes were made, but they don't affect the conclusions" about STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells.

But the pleasantly ambitious and Moomin-loving cell biologist with jovial eyes in her roundish face is now having a hard time as these jealous old boys in 日本再生医療学会 (Nihon Saisei Iryo Gakkai or the Japanese Society of Regenerative Medicine) have started to gang up, first insidiously and then openly, on the researcher, on the pretext that Japan's credibility is now in jeopardy because of the "defective" paper. They include Nobel Laureate-turned emperor of the JSRM Shinya Yamanaka and Professor at Yamanashi University Teruhiko Wakayama who posed as a wholehearted supporter of Obokata when she came under the spotlight.

Wasting no time, the media followed suit and are now chastising Obokata as if they weren't touting her as a heroine as recently as two weeks ago.

She has fallen silent in recent weeks. Today (March 14) a joint statement was released by the names of the members of her team at the quasi-governmental organization named RIKEN. It said to the effect that they have decided to agree to the withdrawal of the article because so many people have found defects in their way of compiling the paper.

Obokata must have learned a bitter lesson that she should first and foremost represent Nippon before representing herself as a cell biologist or whatever she wants to be, in this dead country where people never fail to mercilessly hammer down a nail that sticks out. Yet I hope in her next public appearance she won't offer apologies before the TV cameras as Samuragochi and Niigaki did in their recent press conferences.

This is yet another reminder of the case with Maestro Seiji Ozawa. In 1961 he was ostracized by NHK just because the young guy had acted like himself. Only after he got certificates from Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein, the gifted musician was re-imported accepting apologies from NHK. Now he was finally enshrined here as the emperor of Japan's classical music. He was fortunate because the late Hideo Saito, Ozawa's first music teacher, kept encouraging him to stick to his unique style even after he was kicked out of their home country. Unlike Professor Yamanaka, Saito never betrayed Ozawa in his lifetime.

This is also reminiscent of my own experience with Gordon G. Chang and his agent. They were desperately trying to keep my heretical view at bay. Instead of pointing out possible logical flaws in my argument, they enthusiastically nitpicked over my "run-on" sentences and minor grammatical errors.

By now the dreg of humanity in New Jersey should have retracted all his baloney about China heading for collapse by 2011 and Japan once again overtaking China, GDP-wise, by 2013. But with feigned ignorance of the fact that corrections, apologies and refunds of royalty income are already long overdue, the shameless crisis-monger is now talking about Asia's 1937 Syndrome.

Perfection is one thing and integrity is quite another. And the pursuit of perfection cannot be a goal for a self-motivated individual like Neo or Obokata. That means creative people is totally defenseless before establishment which knows very well where to find their weak spot. Most of the time an exceptional talent is ruined outright, or subtly incorporated over time into the society of conventionalists and conformists.

.Here's a creativity test for you.

How would you cope with the situation if the Internet connection was totally disrupted in your country because the entire infrastructure had been destroyed by a full-fledged war or a gigantic earthquake and there was no prospect of recovery in sight?

You would say, "I'm too busy to discuss such an unrealistic situation. You are crazy." You bet I am. But don't forget you are crazier. This situation is a reality for billions of people in underdeveloped countries. And even in industrialized countries not a few people are exposed to the same threat everyday. I, for one, will get totally disconnected the moment my ailing PC goes dead because I have no money to replace it and I have no Sumaho as a backup device.

What you actually want to say is: "I don't want to use my brain if there's no monetary award at stake. And to begin with I'm not sure if I still have one." So my call for papers is meant only for those who can make believe I'm offering $1 million for the most creative idea. · read more (38 words)
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Is it just a search engine or a digital altar?


This question has long been haunting me: "What the heck are these guys googling for day and night?"

I, too, do a web search or two everyday. But unlike most of you, I do some thinking before and after a search because I know I can't substitute a search engine for my own brain.

It's been said people are primarily looking for factual information to keep up with the quickly changing world. But I don't believe in the myth because the types of factual information accessible on the web are quite limited.

To be more specific, there are:

● weather reports,
● geographical information, e.g. how to get to one's destination, the distance and time difference between two places,
● micro-history, e.g. who wrote a particular book or musical piece, what his bio and quotations are like,
● schedules and results of sporting events and other "circenses,"
● laws and regulations,
● descriptions of administrative and judicial systems,
● anatomical data, and
● linguistic information, e.g. definitions, synonyms, antonyms and etymologies of words.

I can't think of any other kind of factual information that doesn't fall on these categories.

One case in point here is the same old semantic question about the difference between "fact" and "truth." My way of distinguishing the two words goes like this:

"A fact is truthful only when you know the question while truth is factual only when you know the answer."

I haven't found a single answer any better than mine in those Q&A communities.

And don't tell me news stories, comments by pundits and bloggers, macro-history, scientific theories and hypotheses, safety standards established based on them, and statistical reports are factual. I'm not talking about the known fact that these types of information are often distorted. Distorted or not, they are all nonfactual types of information.

For instance, if you are one of those empty-headed Japan watchers in the U.S., you did a web search in late December using such keywords as "abe yasukuni shrine." Then you learned that Japan's prime minister had visited the shrine where the war criminals are enshrined along with the war-dead and for that he was criticized by China, South Korea and even the United States. It's hard to explain but billions of people all over the world visited billions of different places on December 26, 2013. It's neither a fact nor truth until the sender of the information tells those on the receiving end exactly why he thought this event was particularly report-worthy.

Then what about statistics? It is true statistical data such as gross domestic product and government's debt of a nation are not always fabricated. But so what? It's a known fact that "shadow economy" and "shadow banking" are not negligibly small not only in Greece and China but also in the rest of the world. Take gross domestic product of the United Kingdom for example. Wikipedia says it stood at 2.49 trillion in 2013 in terms of US$. This is not a fact because as THE TIMES recently reported, it would add at least US$16 billion if you included the illegal activities of prostitutes and drug dealers. And needless to say the British daily just made it up. How can you estimate the size of underground activities?

And to begin with, who decided GDP is the primary indicator of nation's health and vigor? As anyone who has learned the essence of the Luca Pacioli system can tell, any figure arbitrarily singled out from among tons of data means absolutely nothing when the total picture of a system is at issue.

The same can be said of the promotional material of a company you scrutinize when making a purchase decision.

This time I thought numerical data would give me some clue to what underlies the puzzling behaviors of netizens. And it did. Take a look at the following table.

Description Figures for 2013
in Million except for F
A Annual Number of Google Searches 2,161,530 Google Annual Search Statistics
B Daily Average of Above 5,922 Ditto
C Daily Average of Total Web Searches 8,839 Google's share in search engine market (Wikipedia)
D World Population 7,100 Wikipedia
E Internet Users 2,769 Internet Penetration Rate (Wikipedia)
F Average Number of Searches per Day 3.2 C divided by E

I was a seasoned senior manager who worked on financial matters for more than a quarter century. So I never take any unaudited figure at face value. The above figure F already seems to be on the high side when taking into account the obvious fact that there's not much of factual information available on the web. Yet I suspect these figures have been largely understated, intentionally or not.

For one thing they didn't count you when you clicked a bookmark, or used a direct link, to know, say, the weather forecast of the day. Another factor of the obvious understatement is the known fact that Google makes it a rule to use the ill-defined unit of traffic measurement the IFABC calls UU (Unique User.) If you come back to your browser within the same session or on the same day with the same IP address and auxiliary identifier, Google tends to ignore the second search onwards. These are why I suspect the Annual Number of Google Searches here is largely understated.

At the end of the time-consuming exercise, I realized there's no reliable per-capita number given on the web. But in the absence of unambiguous data, I could tentatively conclude that I was right in assuming the average netizen is seeking something other than factual information most of the time. Put it simply, he is seeking what he thinks is truth because of his tendency to constantly mix up fact and truth.

As I observe, a vast majority of people on both sides of the Pacific, and in the rest of the world to a lesser degree, have been indoctrinated, since their childhood, into believing a funny idea that seeking truth with eunuch's asceticism is what their life should be all about. To that end they rely on a false assumption that they can find the correct answer just by keying in casual search words because more specific questions have been planted beforehand by someone else. Small wonder these change-disabled people always end up with inertia-friendly and inactionable truth.

This explains their compulsive behavior but still leaves us wondering how they can find truth when it's something each individual should create, or re-create, on his own.

The fact of the matter is that truth isn't searchable on the web or anywhere else. On the one hand if you already know the answer, there's no point in seeking it, and on the other if you don't, you are looking for an answer without knowing what question to ask. How can you tell what search string to use to look for something that is yet to be known or even created?

For their insatiable quest for fake truth, they are unwittingly paying a prohibitively high price. In doing so they have chosen to subordinate themselves to the battalions of web spiders, i.e. search robots, unleashed by the likes of Google. To me these people look like a big school of fish being driven into a huge Net by giga-tons of lures spread all over the World Wide Web.

Here's how I summarize my deliberate statements:

Seek not truth. Instead, make it chase after you.

Although this is nothing more than a commonsense argument, most of you truth-seeking, crisis-mongering, doomsaying folks will have great difficulty swallowing my heretical view. And that is essentially why my unpopular website is getting further un-optimized by these SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies who are affiliated with the Google Cult in one way or the other.

POSTSCRIPT: I'm afraid Westerners think my altar analogy is an exaggeration. But it is not. There is a subtle difference in attitude between Western netizens and their Japanese counterparts. While Christians are susceptible to addiction to truth, Shintoists, or fake Buddhists, tend to become addicted to the search engine itself because of their long tradition of "technology fetishism" coupled with blind admiration of Western ideas. But the bottomline is the same; they are equally indoctrinated to remain fixed with the past. In that respect TV commercials have symptomized the Japanese disease for more than six decades. People in marketing departments and copywriters have known it's 100-times more effective if consumer goods is named and described in "English," such as "Be-A-Doraibaa" for Mazda (to be pronounced in completely flat intonation) and that food stuff will make viewers salivate more than not when endorsed by a blue-eyed Gaijin. Believe it or not, foreigners other than Chinese and Koreans living in Japan account for a mere 0.6% of the total population. Now every second TV commercial tells the viewers how to make 検索 (Kensaku or a web search) for the product instead of giving a sales pitch directly. Now the entire population is into the Kensaku Karuto. · read more (17 words)
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The Untold Truth about Fukushima - 広瀬隆氏から全世界の若者への緊急メッセージ

First published on October 11, 2013

A Letter to All Young Athletes Who Dream of Coming to Tokyo in 2020
Some Facts You Should Know About Fukushima

On September 7, 2013, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, to the 125th session of the Olympic Committee, the following:

“Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you, the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”

This will surely be remembered as one of the great lies of modern times. In Japan, some people call it the “Abesolute Lie.” Believing it, the IOC decided to bring the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo.

Japanese government spokespersons defend Abe's statement by saying radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean have not yet exceeded safety standards.

This recalls the old story of the man who jumped off a ten-story building and, as he passed each story, could be heard saying, “So far, so good.”

We are talking about, remember, the Pacific Ocean—the greatest body of water on earth, and for all we know in the universe. Tokyo Electric Power Company—TEPCO—has been pouring water through its melted-down reactor at Fukushima and into the ocean for two and a half years, and so far the Pacific Ocean has been able to dilute that down to below the safety standard. So far, so good. But there is no prospect in sight for turning off the water.

Here are eight things you need to know:

1. In a residential area park in Tokyo, 230 km from Fukushima, the soil was found to have a radiation level of 92,335 Becquerels per meter. This is a dangerous level, comparable to what is found around the ④ Chernobyl zone (the site of the nuclear catastrophe in 1986). One reason this level of pollution is found in the capital is that between Tokyo and Fukushima there are no mountains high enough to block the radioactive clouds. In the capital, people, who understand the danger, absolutely avoid eating food produced in Eastern Japan.

2. Inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors #1 - #3, the pipes (which had circulated cooling water) are broken, which caused a meltdown. This means the nuclear fuel overheated, melted, and continued to melt anything it touched.

Thus, it melted through the bottom of the reactor, and then through the concrete floor of the building and sank into the ground. As mentioned above, for two and a half years TEPCO workers have been desperately pouring water into the reactor, but it is not known whether the water is actually reaching the melted fuel. If a middle-strength earthquake comes, it is likely to totally destroy the already damaged building. And as a matter of fact, in the last two and a half years, earthquakes have continued to hit Fukushima. (And as an additional matter of fact, just as this letter was being written, Fukushima was hit by another middle-strength earthquake, but it seems that the building held up one more time. So far, so good.) Especially dangerous is Reactor #4, where a large amount of nuclear fuel is being held in a pool, like another disaster waiting for its moment.

3. The cooling water being poured into the reactor is now considered the big problem in Japan. Newspapers and TV stations—that previously strove to conceal the danger of nuclear power—are now reporting on this danger every day, and criticizing Shinzo Abe for the lie he told to the IOC. The issue is that the highly irradiated water is entering and mixing with the ground water, and this leakage can't be stopped, so it is spilling into the outer ocean. It is a situation impossible to control. In August, 2013, (the month prior to Abe's IOC speech) within the site of the Daiichi Reactors, radiation was measured at 8,500 micro-Sieverts per hour. That is enough to kill anyone who stayed there for a month. This makes it a very hard place for the workers to get anything done. In Ohkuma-machi, the town where the Daiichi Nuclear Reactor site is located, the radiation was measured in July, 2013 (two months before Abe's talk) at 320 micro-Sieverts per hour. This level of radiation would kill a person in two and a half years. Thus, over an area many kilometers wide, ghost towns are increasing.

4. For the sake of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, an important fact has been left out from reports that go abroad. Only the fact that irradiated water is leaking onto the surface of the ground around the reactor is reported. But deep under the surface, the ground water is also being irradiated, and the ground water flows out to sea and mixes with the seawater through sea-bottom springs. It is too late to do anything about this.

5. If you go to the big central fish market near Tokyo and measure the radiation in the air, it measures at about 0.05 micro-Sieverts—a little higher than the normal level. But if you measure the radiation near the place where the instrument—that measures the radiation of the fish—is located, the level is two or three times greater (2013 measurement). Vegetables and fish from around the Tokyo area, even if they are irradiated, are not thrown away. This is because the level established by the Japanese government for permissible radiation in food—which if exceeded must not be sold—is the same as the permissible level of radiation in low-level radioactive wastes. Which is to say in Japan today, as the entire country has been contaminated, we have no choice but to put irradiated garbage on the dinner table.

The distribution of irradiated food is also a problem. Food from near Fukushima will be sent to another prefecture, and then sent on, relabeled as produced in the second prefecture. In particular, food distributed by the major food companies, and food served in expensive restaurants, is almost never tested for radiation.

6. In Japan, the only radiation from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors that is being measured is radioactive cesium. However, large amounts of strontium 90 and tritium are spreading all over Japan. Strontium and tritium's radiation consists of beta rays and are very difficult to measure. However, both are extremely dangerous: strontium can cause leukemia, and tritium can cause chromosome damage.

7. More dangerous still: in order, they say, to get rid of the pollution that has fallen over the wide area of Eastern Japan, they are scraping off the top layer of the soil, and putting it in plastic bags as garbage. Great mountains of these bags, all weather-beaten, are sitting in fields in Eastern Japan, subject, of course, to attack by heavy rain and typhoons. Eventually, the plastic will split open and the contents will come spilling out. When that happens, there will be no place to take them.

8. On September 21, 2013 (again, as this letter was being composed), the newspaper Tokyo Shimbun reported that Tokyo governor Naoki Inose said at a press conference that what Abe expressed to the IOC was his intention to get the situation under control. “It is not,” Inose said, “under control now.”

It's a sad story, but this is the present situation in Japan and in Tokyo. I had loved the Japanese food and this land until the Fukushima accident occurred. But now...

What are the Olympics for?
Do you want to come to Tokyo and enjoy sports surrounded by polluted air and water?
Do you want to eat irradiated food?
Because of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi's Reactors, Japan today is in an abnormal condition never before experienced by mankind.

My best wishes for your health and long life.

Takashi Hirose

(Please translate this into the language of your country and pass it around.)

An American's Point of View
by Randall Tillotson

I am an American visitor to this website. Mr. Hirose's alarming message has already been introduced in many websites based in the U.S., but since these reproductions have all been abridged, presumably for space reasons, I used Hirose's original text and all photos embedded in it, and took the liberty of editing some of his sentences for the sake of clarity.

How ironic that the first country attacked with atomic weapons from a foreign country is now in the position whereby sources within their own country are poisoning the citizens with the same deadly material. The weakness of the post-World War II government by submitting to the pressure of the American nuclear industry is now coming back to haunt the people, like a demon emerging from within the earth in one of those silly Japanese sci-fi movies—gigantic freakish monsters that were mutated by radiation. These were supposed to be warnings of the danger of nuclear radiation. No one heeded the warning.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Abe say that “I wouldn't have allowed nuclear power plants to be constructed. It was what the previous governments did. You're not being harmed by our government. It was those fools in the past. We're being killed by the dead. That's what you call really bad karma.” His lack of responsibility for this nightmare is typical of a sociopath. He and the TEPCO management will never accept responsibility for any of this disaster, and it appears that they have a symbiotic relationship—one neurosis feeds the other.

Even as Mr. Hirose attempts to warn the world about this nightmare from which the Japanese can't awaken, I don't think he's gone far enough in describing the absolute danger to humanity. One commentator is describing this disaster as “The Mouth of the Dragon, as mentioned in biblical scripture.” Beginning in November of this year, TEPCO will begin moving from an aerial water storage tank 1,300 spent fuel rods. When they were placed in this idiotic location, they were guided into place to within 10 millimeters by a computer that stored the exact location of each rod. That computer is now dead, so each rod will have to be moved by human control. As Helen Caldicott warns us, if just one rod is dropped and its cladding gets breached and catches fire, this could potentially cause the entire site to catch fire and release the equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshimas. If this worst case scenario happens, all life in Japan would end forever. In fact, Helen Caldicott gives the chilling warning that the Northern Hemisphere would have to be evacuated, an unlikely possibility. What countries would accept all of these people, especially if they were heavily contaminated?

As for Abe's gigantic lie that Tokyo is safe and Fukushima is under control, a few days after the IOC granted Tokyo the franchise for the Olympics, he openly reversed himself, and asked the global scientific community to come to Japan and help resolve this dangerous situation. In other words, he's admitting that TEPCO hasn't got a clue about how to safely resolve this seemingly unresolvable problem. As is typical with the nuclear industry in every country, secrecy by management is mandatory. Thus, all we can do now is hold our breath as November comes, and hope that this next crisis—the transfer of the spent fuel rods—passes without incident. I try to keep a realistic view of situations like this, and remember the words of swordsman Miyamoto Musashi: Pay your respects to the gods and the Buddhas, but don't rely on them.” We're on our own.

I'm addressing this to all American and other foreign nationals that are potential Olympic team members and game tourists. Please consider consider what's written here and do your own research. Every day, more and more information is being exposed that show the Japanese government and TEPCO have been criminally covering up the true danger in this area of the planet. As athletes and coaches, you will have to live in a radio-active contamination zone: breathing radio-active air, eating food that is radio-active, and drinking and bathing in water that is radio-active. The scientific community has guidelines for daily, weekly, monthly, and annual exposures to radio-active contamination. There are also lifetime maximum exposures to consider, and if contaminated, how will you decontaminate yourself? Would you consider going to an Olympic game venue if it was only 230 km (140 mi) from the site of the Chernobyl disaster? According to Wikipedia the exclusion zone around Chernobyl is 2,600 km.

After reading Hirose's article that notes that Fukushima's contamination is equal to Chernobyl's, this large exclusion zone should be a warning to all athletes, coaches, and visitors. Yet, the Japanese government is ignoring this fact, even at the municipal village level. The exclusion zone at Fukushima should be at least equal to or greater than Chernobyl's.

Therefore, I would urge all persons considering going to Japan for these games to reconsider the insanity and irresponsibility of the IOC for choosing this site, and begin now to lobby the national Olympic committee in your individual country with the goal of immediately canceling the franchise for Tokyo, and demand that the IOC find a safer location. Once Japan gets the infrastructure in place and the the 2020 date gets closer, it will be too late to alter this location. It must be stopped now and moved. Otherwise, you athletes and coaches will be placed in a double-bind: do you go into a zone of poison and fulfill your dream but possibly get cancer later in life, or do you refuse to go and protect your life but face potential ridicule? Choose life, your life. Either lobby to get the games moved, or choose not to join your Olympic team. Don't let these insane people trick you into being a sacrificial lamb. Let this '60s chant be your mantra: “Better active today, than radio-active tomorrow.”

A Japanese Point of View
by Yu Yamamoto

My take on Mr. T. Hirose's open letter to the young around the world is basically the same as Mr. R. Tillotson's. But let me add something here from my point of view.

Very few are better-versed in the profound and far-reaching implication of the nuclear disaster at TEPCO's Fukushima No.1 Plant than Hirose, the author of Fukushima Meltdown: The World's First Earthquake-Tsunami-Nuclear Disaster (2011). But among other things, what made me feel an urge to do the best we can to help Hirose's effort is his love of life and confidence in humanity. In his letter he writes, " I had loved the Japanese food and this land until the Fukushima accident occurred." If you don't love, or didn't love and now aren't missing, someone or something in this world, there's no point in fighting against anyone or anything.

It is true I share with Hirose the same resentment against the Prime Minister for his abEsolute lies and insatiable vanity, but our goal can't be just to ruin a despicable politician, or anyone else for that matter. Instead, we are going to save someone or something else.

Unfortunately, most of our fellow countrymen have turned a cold shoulder on us. That is no accident because it's these people who selected Abe and his predecessors as their leaders. In that sense they do deserve any consequence of the man-made disaster.

It's against this backdrop that we are now focusing more on sending our message to peoples outside Japan. We are still hopeful that some of them will realize it's next to suicidal to participate in the 2020 Olympics, and take necessary actions before it is too late. · read more (38 words)
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Tweeting at the turn of the year


It's already one-twelfth into
the year of the horse

The creepy creature keeps
saying, "Domo." The word
has a broader meaning than
"Aloha." It can even mean
"I'm sorry."

■ In 2004 Chang suggested I do blogging. I heeded his advice only to waste the last 1/8 of my life. It’s this infamy that delayed my recognition of the 10th anniversary.

In September 2010, Chang tweeted at like this:

■ By 2013 Japan will overtake China and become, once again, the world’s second-largest economy.

At the beginning of this year I sent him a mail without expecting anything from the most despicable person I've ever met in my lifetime:

■ Shame on you. Yet another correction, apology and refund of royalty became overdue from you. Remember not everyone of us is a forgetful dupe like Americans.

The scum didn't respond; he just stuck his empty head deeper in the sand as any educated American would do.

■ American “culture” is nothing but a heap of ill-digested quotes. The moron named JFK, for one, famously quoted Juvenal in Berlin without reading the original text.

■ Recently I concluded I should stop quoting Juvenal to come up with a good definition of a game. Obviously any human output but excrement/secretion can be called that.

■ In the past a game was considered harmful when it distracted you FROM political reality too far. Now all games are designed to distract you TOWARD political delusion.

■ I had a big lobster for dinner with my date. She soon collapsed, but I was OK. The Aussie doc said, “This often happens; poisons don’t travel evenly in a living organism.”

■ In the past you were modest enough to say you couldn’t tell good games from bad ones. Now I wonder what keyword you use when googling for a new game you know nothing about.

■ Lara’s sister said her nephew stays at home all the time to play games. That’s why I haven’t seen the kid in the streets lately. She added: Lara keeps shouting, "STOP IT.”

■ His son is getting familiarized with the basics of music. On Jan. 1, I alerted DK to this video to say discipline alone can’t help the kid’s creativity come into bloom.

■ DK showed a keen interest in Neo. But to other guys, including my disowned biological son, man’s creativity means absolutely nothing. They vegetate until time comes.

■ SS transcribed an essay my dad wrote after evacuating Berlin 6 days before Hitler’s invasion of Poland. I don’t know why he did it, but everyone has his own game to play.

■ I used up the Diclofenac pills the eatery owner’s wife had passed on to me. I visited the dentist myself. Once again he gave me an X-ray and the prescription–all for free. · read more (27 words)
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Wisdom to contain one's inner ape


I became a traitor and have remained one. Though I throw myself heart and soul into what I undertake, though I give myself up unreservedly to work, to anger, to friendship, I'll repudiate myself in a moment, I know I will, I want to, and I'm already betraying myself, in the heat of my passion, by the joyful presentiment of my future betrayal. On the whole, I fulfill my commitments like anyone else; I am steadfast in my affections and behavior; but I am unfaithful to my emotions. Monuments, paintings, landscapes, there was a time when the last one I saw was always the finest. I annoyed my friends by alluding cynically or simply lightly - so as to convince myself of my detachment - to a common memory that might have remained precious to them. Because I did not love myself sufficiently, I fled forward.
- from Jean-Paul Sartre's autobiography The Words (English translation by Bernard Frechtman)

After consuming an estimated 500K pieces of
cigarettes in the last 57 years I still remain
addicted to nicotine
I was still very young when I first had the weird sense that death is at the very core of my life. Now with that feeling further reinforced as my life is coming closer to its end, I've realized I've lived my life as if it were a game. At the same time, I've learned that in most cases other people's attitudes toward life are 180-degrees different from mine. Most of you play a game like it's your life.

In recent months I've talked a lot about games. Now let me summarize my arguments below here.

There are three types of games.

The most primitive games are ones that even Japanese macaques could play. Among many other things I used to be into card games, solitaire in particular, first with the deck of paper cards, then with the virtual one. I still don't know exactly why I was hooked on them. All I can tell is that some of them are so addictive that my prefrontal cortex couldn't stop the autonomic nervous system from being into the hard-to-break habit. These games were not only unproductive but also uncreative. And yet I didn't think I had to kick the habit by all means because it could help ease the uncomfortableness inherent to my life - without doing me too much harm. I'll come back to that point in later paragraphs.

All along I've known the most creative type of games are ones that help me internalize everything that happens to me. I sometimes felt that without their help I couldn't simulate my future. That's basically why throughout my adulthood, I've stayed away from the other type of games that allow you to externalize your own life as if it were someone else's. They are only helpful when you want to emulate your past, instead of simulating your future. Unfortunately, games for externalization have proliferated across the board since the turn of the century. Now games for internalization have virtually gone extinct.

Take the currently most popular Fukushima game, for example. Most of you blindly swallow the media's propaganda that always goes: "3/11 is a wakeup call for believers in the myth of the clean nuclear energy." This simply means that we should forget about the fact that in the late 1960s, the vast majority of local residents were enthusiastic about the plan to build the power plant in their village, and that in subsequent years they could enjoy unprecedented prosperity which couldn't have been expected if the plan had been thwarted by these lunatics who untiringly played the green game. The same can be said of the plan to perpetuate the U.S. occupation of the Okinawa Islands. To most of you, Fukushima and Okinawa are always someone else's problems.

I know very little about American journalist Hunter S. Thompson. But I think he made a lot of sense when he observed: "Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is." To put it bluntly all political racketeers and pundits are drug dealers, and other people, who still don't realize politics is nothing but addiction to the wreck of the modern nation-state, are junkies. These guys never fail to politicize issues because they know very well it's the most effective way to externalize them.

This all the more makes Juvenal's disapproval of circenses the single most relevant issue facing us today.

There's another aspect we shouldn't overlook when discussing games. Despite the huge difference between your favorite games and mine, games are games. The two types of games have one thing in common: both are addictive, though to varying degrees.

To those of you whose mental development has been irreparably retarded by Freudian Über-Ich or Super-ego, addiction is always a vice. As was the case with Hitler, the goal of your life is to purify the world of the original sin. Let us be reminded of the disastrous consequences of the Prohibition hysteria of the 1920s. The lesson to have been learned there is that if you pursue a vice-free world too far, you always end up in a vice-ful world, instead.

Like I've said before, I am an avowed Epicurean. I always fail to understand what's wrong with letting the neurotransmitter called dopamine stimulate my "pleasure circuit." Don't take me wrong, however. I've never thought in my lifetime that addiction is a virtue. All I'm saying is that these fanatics and eunuchs should know that asceticism is the most perilous kind of addiction.

It is true not a few gifted artists eventually ruined themselves because of their substance abuse. The sad story about self-destructive trait of Billie Holiday or Charlie Parker only serves as yet another parable the nation of hypocrisy named America is always looking for. But it is also true that some others not only knew how to tame their susceptibility to addiction but even could leverage it. My favorite singer Anita O'Day (1919-2006) was a good example. The diva wouldn't have been what she was had it not been for her abuse of a variety of substances such as heroin, along with her tough experiences with abusive American gorillas before she could establish herself as a first-rate singer. And most important of all, O'Day was well aware herself that any talent wouldn't come into full bloom at the price of mediocrity resulting from axenic culture. That was evident from her candid and unapologetic way to talk about her "bad habit."

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) is another case in point. He was seriously addicted to substances such as tobacco, "little meatballs on toothpicks," and possibly amphetamines to a lesser degree. Also he was constantly hooked on women, if not in the way an ordinary sex addict does. And yet the French philosopher seldom discussed addictions.

Some knowingly argue that Sartre's physical ugliness underlay his quirky thoughts. Maybe that is true, in a way. But I think it's truer that he owed his creativity to his addictive trait.

When he wrote "We are our choices," people took it as if he meant to say, "I could be a handsome guy if I chose to be one." These simple-minded people instantly jumped on the idea to pooh-pooh him because they thought Sartre had finally revealed himself as a naive and immature person. But nothing was farther from his ontological ethics that explains how a being-for-itself (l'être-pour-soi) gets involved with a being-in-itself (l'être-en-soi) or another being-for-itself (lêtre-pour-autrui.)

In later years Sartre used the word "l'engagement," in place of "free project," in order to counter the malicious distortion. But that didn't work either. People thought it was a new way to refer to the old idea, or subtly revise it, now to call on them to take part in politics by participating in demonstrations or signature-collecting campaigns. In fact, though, Sartre always viewed politics essentially in the same way Thompson did.

It seems to me the reason the French thinker always refrained from using the word addiction is because of, rather than despite, the fact that he wanted to say there's no such thing as life without accidental and self-deceptive attachment to things or people. In that sense, addiction is what his Being and Nothingness is all about.

I don't know exactly what biological and psychological processes man goes through to expedite interaction between the inner ape and the prefrontal cortex. But I think now we can safely assume that when one creates something new, he has to objectify his real self, first and foremost, to come to terms with his apeness because it is where his genuine spontaneity dwells. Only then he can sublimate it into a well-disciplined manifestation of humanity. If, on the contrary, he fails to contain his inner ape, the innate inertia will dampen what a neuroscientist once described as "dendritic fireworks." Failure to exploit spontaneity will thus lead to failure to ignite creative ideas. As a result, he gets hooked on a promiscuous idea about things and people to which he can't commit himself wholeheartedly. Worse, the addictive thought tends to be self-perpetuating because at the same time he's got a strong conviction that it can be defended by reason.

I'm glad my girlfriend asked me to take her to the 1960 U.S. film Jazz on a Summer's Day shortly before these "noble savages" swarmed out of nowhere. When I heard for the first time that obscene, greasy baboon named James Brown shout, "I feel good," I was really sickened. The movie itself was yawnful, or unimpressive to say the least, but the famous sequence (embedded at the bottom of this post) in which Anita O'Day demonstrates her inimitable talent improvising some traditional tunes was really unforgettable.

I also think I was lucky to have encountered Sartre well before the monkey business of crisis-mongers, doomsayers and truth-seekers started to prosper. Now more than five decades later, almost entire population has been irreversibly into fixation to the past, as if what has been done is, or at least should still be, undoable.

Many years have rolled by since I came upon these creative individuals. They still throw a bright light on the road that I once crossed and even lead me to an unknown world ahead of me. If I hadn't become addicted to the right people at the right time, I would have acted like a junkie for all these years. For my life filled with so much fun, I think I owe them much more than I can repay before my departure. This is why although it's well into the 23rd hour of my life, I still feel my game isn't over yet. · read more (1 words)
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南独の旅 PART 1 - 山本峰雄の「滞欧雑記帳」 (1939) より

BY Mineo Yamamoto

This is part of a serial essay my father contributed to an aviation journal soon after he came back from Germany, via the USA, on the eve of Hitler's invasion of Poland. My friend named Shohei Shintani was kind enough to manually transcribe the 75-year-old articles for this website. (The letter-count reached 120,000.) We just thought some of you might want to apply your translation aid to the Japanese text provided here to know how a Japanese individual viewed the bilateral relations between Germany and Japan under the Axis Alliance. This has somehow reminded me all anew that one shouldn't speak like a historian unless he is actually in the most despicable occupation on earth.

The city of Salzburg

Autobahn that connects Salzburg
and Munich

Munich headquarters of BMW
8月も半ばを過ぎると9月に行われるニュルンベルグの党大会の準備が進行し、其のプログラムも定まって日本人にも参加申込みの勧誘があったりした。党大会参加者のバッジの意匠も発表されて党大会だけは予定通り進行し、それ迄は何事も無く平和な日が続く事と思われた。消息筋を以て自任するベルリンの邦人駐在者は、党大会が終って軍隊と党員が其の隊に復帰した頃が最も危険であると説明してくれた。また或る大商社の人々は、ドイツ人の間に行われていた巷説其の儘に、戦争は絶対に無いのだから安心したらよい等とも慰めてくれた。 平和の気構えと戦争の雲行とが交錯して、人々が落付かない気分で街々を往来していた8月17日の午後4時40分、私はミュンヘン行きの特急でアンハルター駅を出発した。
旅行の目的は、航空研究所の長距離機の映画をB.M.W.会社で公開する事に在った。長距離機のフィルムは既に数回ベルリンでドイツ航空界の人々に見せていた。ベルリンに着いた翌日親友W氏の骨折りでデーレンドルフ広場のウーファー会社の試写室でやったのを最初とし、ドイツ航空省の映写室で第二回目の映写をやった。此の時は航空省技術長官ウデット将軍の智能と云われるルフト技術大佐を始め、10数人の航空省技術課の連中が集った。第3回目はドイツ航空研究所見学の際にトムゼンザールでボック教授以下20数名の所員の人々に見て貰った。第4回目はベルリンのN.S.F.K.本部で、ブランデンブルグ分区長以下の顔見知りの人々の希望に依って、本部の団員に披露した。 ミュンヘンでの公開はドイツで第5回目の映写であった。

此の日から丁度4日目に独ソ不可侵条約が締結されて、我々邦人は勿論、世界を驚かしたのである。 斯くて若い我々は云いたいだけの事を云い合って、ホテルの前で別れた。
· read more (6 words)
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ゲルマン食物談義 - 山本峰雄の「滞欧雑記帳」 (1939) より

BY Mineo Yamamoto

This is part of a serial essay my father contributed to an aviation journal soon after he came back from Germany, via the USA, on the eve of Hitler's invasion of Poland. My friend named Shohei Shintani was kind enough to manually transcribe the 75-year-old articles for this website. (The letter-count reached 120,000.) We just thought some of you might want to apply your translation aid to the Japanese text provided here to know how a Japanese individual viewed the bilateral relations between Germany and Japan under the Axis Alliance. This has somehow reminded me all anew that one shouldn't speak like a historian unless he is actually in the most despicable occupation on earth.

斯くしてドイツはナチス政権樹立以来鋭意農村復興、労働奉仕団に依る荒蕪地開拓、食糧生産工業の振興、漁業の奨励を行ったのであるが、然かも今日でも其の食糧問題は仲々重大なものである。 1937年ドイツは食糧品のみ20億4500万マルク大量を輸入し、中でも植物性食料品は11億3500万マルクを輸入しているのである。此の数字は全商品の輸入額の37.4パーセント及び20.7パーセントに相当するものである。
然し長い此の様な忍従の冬が終って、春がきざして先ずイタリアやオランダやバルカン方面から野菜や果物が入る頃になると、全く蘇生の思いがするのである。五月に入ると天地の春と共にホウレン草の走りがバルカン方面から市場に表われ、ハンガリーやオランダからは夫々サラダ菜とチシャが齎(もたら)され、更にオランダからは廿日大根と胡瓜が運ばれる。イタリアからは桜桃が華やかな姿を現して、長い冬をバナナで過した果物党を喜ばすのである。斯くしてドイツ産のアスパラガス、ホウレン草、アブラ菜等が砂地に育った清潔な味覚をそそるのである。五月も末となるとスモモや巴(は)旦(たん)杏(きょう)(トガリスモモ)が現れ、次いでドイツの桜桃や苺が顔を出し、八百屋の店頭は華やかさを加え、街頭に屋台店を出している果物屋も其の数を増して来る。桜桃の実る並木道をドライブして、桜桃を口に五月の風を切って緑の平野を走るのも独特の楽しみであるし、ビアホールに五月大根(Mai-Rettich)の味覚を楽しむのも興趣の深いものである。葉ごとに土を付けた五月大根を、テーブルを縫って売歩く少女から求めて皮を剥き、薄く切って鹽(しお)を振り水が出るのを待つ間も五月の野菜は楽しめるものである。之がビールのほろ苦さと調和する時、バイエルの春を想起させるのである。 苺はドイツのものは地味の痩せた為か余り大粒ではないし、味も感心しないが、然かも高級な果物に属するのである。日本の苺の大きさと艶は、ドイツ人を驚倒させずにはおかないであろう。苺(Erdbeere)の代りに大衆的のBeereとしては、すぐり(Stachelbeere)、えぞいちご(Himmbeere)、あかすぐり(Johannisbeere)、くろまめの果(Blaubeere)等とおよそ大部分の日本人の口には合わないげて物が存在する。我々は子供の時代からすぐりはおもちゃにして遊ぶ果実であると思いならわされているし、くろまめの果やあかすぐり等は日本の都会の人は見た事もないであろう。食べると口中紫色になるくろまめの果等は特に有難くないものである。森の民族ゲルマンの異色ある特徴が之等のBeereに表われている様である。然しアメリカ等でも之等の愛すべき小粒のBeereは、若い人達の一部に人気があるそうであるから、北国の果実として古くから人類に親しまれた者共であるかも知れない。
ドイツの秋の果物としてはリンゴがあるが、之は其の香りと味覚と大きさに於て日本や満州のものと比較すべくもない。イタリア、南仏、スペイン、アフリカに産するミカンもドイツ迄は仲々行渡らない。たとえドイツ迄来たとしても種子の多いミカンは本場の日本人の口には合わないのだ。日本から苗を移植したものとしては此の外にKaki(柿)がある。ドイツには入らないからドイツ人は其の存在すら知らない。 ジャガイモは四季を通じてドイツの食卓には欠くべからざる食物であり、我々の米に相当するものである事は誰でも知っている事である。貴賎を問わない此の食物は、ドイツの気候と地味に適している様である。5,6月の交(変わり目)には新ジャガイモがドイツ人を喜ばせる。大きな器に盛られて食卓をまわされるSchwenk-kartoffel等に味覚を感ずる様になれば、永久にジャガイモは嫌いにならないであろう。 ドイツの材料で野菜以上に貧弱なものは魚である。不味いせいもあるし、魚の料理法を知らない事もあるが、一般に魚を好まない。政府は食糧問題解決の一助として魚を食べる事を推奨している。日本で言う所謂「文化映画」によって漁業の実況を映し、魚の化学的成分と栄養を紹介している。此の映画に依ると世界中で最も魚を食べる国民は言う迄も無く日本であって1年1人当たり52キロ余、次はイギリスであって25キロ、之に反してドイツは12.5キロに過ぎない。然かも海の幸は無尽蔵であり、その栄養も多いと云うのであるが、日本の魚は味に於て、栄養に於て遥かに北海の魚に比して優れていると言う重要な点は説明が抜けていた。
淡水産の魚としてドイツの食膳に最も普通に上るものは、云う迄も無く鯉である。ベルリン近傍からマルク、ボンメルンの地方の湖沼地には鯉は無尽蔵である。日本と同様鯉はガラス張りの箱の中に生かしてある。魚を専門に販売している店は無いが、肉屋や食料品店にいつでも置いてあるのは鯉である。フランスに行くと鯉は高級な魚であるらしいが、ドイツでは余り多過ぎて人にも珍重されない。淡水産の魚で鯉と共によく引合いに出されるのはヘヒト(Hecht)である。「鯉の中のヘヒト」等と云う諺もある。鯉と共にドイツの太公望狙われる魚である。鰻もドイツの湖沼地に多いが、料理の方法は鯉やヘヒトと同様に油で揚げるか、或はAal grunと称してボイルしてマヨネーズで味わう。蒲焼等と云う天下一品の料理法を知っているものは1人もいない。
山間には鱒(ます)がとれる。ラインの上流マジノ線の附近の渓流等には鱒が多い。変ったものとしてはザリガニ(Krebse)が賞味される。形から云っても我々には好意が持てない。 海の魚は舌鰈(Seezunge)や赤舌鰈(Rotzunge)が最も愛好される。日本の舌平目と同じ様な形をしている。之等はから揚げに限られているが、我々にも之なら満足出来る。先ずドイツの魚の王者と考えてよいだろう。鰈(Steinbutt)もドイツでは珍重されているが、北海道の大物の鰈と同じく大味である。北国の魚らしいものはオランダのニシン、東海の鱈(Dorsch)、アイスランドで取れる鮭、鱈(Kabeljan)から、Schellfisch(鱈の一種)、Bratschollen(ヒラメ)Blei(鯛の一種)等が北海から東海から、或はアイスランドから入って来る。
ハムは煮沸ハムの他に生ハム(roher Schinken)はドイツの特産であって、アスパラガスとの取合せで、アスパラガスの出始める頃にはドイツ特選料理の部に加えられる。豚の爪の酢漬け、酢漬けキャベツ(Sauerkraut)等割合によく知られたドイツの食物の話は抜きにして、今度は薬味(Kraut)の話をしよう。
ドイツの家庭の台所には必ず薬味を入れる陶器製の壺が大抵6個一組になって、箱に入って壁に取り付けられている。それ程薬味と料理とはよく結びついている。月桂樹の葉(Lorberblatt)は肉を料理する時は必ず入れる。豚の焼肉にはNelkenを、肉桂(Zimmt)はミルクや米飯に、肉荳蒄(にくづく)(Muskat)は馬鈴薯等に、葛縷子(カルシ)(Kummel)はキャベツに、丁香の実(Gewurzkerne)は肉や魚の料理に、パプリカ(Paprika)は牛肉やドイツ特有のグーラシュの料理に、更にガチョウ焼肉にはタケジャコウソウ(Thymian)を入れる。また以上の様に乾燥した薬味でなく、生のままの草としては洋芹(Petersilie)をサラダや魚に加える。更に蒔蘿(イノンド)(Dill)は生サラダや胡瓜サラダに加え、またザリガニ等の臭みを抜くのに之を加えて茹でる事は、藤原銀次郎氏の「実業人の気持」の中に見えている通りである。またルリヂサ(Boretsch)は胡瓜サラダに、ヤマヨモギ(Beifuss)や玟欄(マジョラム)(Majoran)は再びガチョウの料理に加えられシャク(Kerbel)はスープの味を出すと云った具合である。気のきかない女をつかまえてdumme Gaus(馬鹿なガチョウ)等と云うが、ドイツのガチョウ料理は仲々丁重な取扱いを受けている。之等の薬味のある物は日本でも薬屋で売っている程であるから、高級な西洋料理屋や味覚を追う人々の中には、既に充分知っておられる人もあろう。
飲料の方はリンゴ汁や各種の鉱泉水が下戸の飲料として楽しまれているが、上戸の飲料は実に豊富である。ミュンヘンビールやピルスナービールは今更云う迄もないが、之等にも勿論種類が多く、またドイツの各地至る所にビールの醸造所がある。三月に醸造するメルツビーヤ(Marzbier)、アルコール分の強いミュンヘンのボックビーヤ(Bockbier)等はビールの中でも上戸の好むものである。大都市から片田舎迄至る所の数知れないビアホールは、酒を飲んで楽しむ所であると同時に大衆的社交場でもある。音楽に合せて隣席同志腕を組んで民謡を歌う風景は実にほほえましい。これがミュンヘンのホーフグロイの大ホール等では特に壮観であるが、比較的小さな所でもまた其処に楽しい気分が醸し出される。客の中でピアノに自信のある婦人はキイに向って自ら民謡を弾いて聞かせ、最後には客の合唱の伴奏をやり一同の歓呼をあびて満足するのである。而して決して深く酔ってしまう事はない。 葡萄酒は辛口のモーゼル、甘口のライン等があって、フランスの葡萄酒とは異なった風味である。矢張り年によって出来、不出来があるから醸造の年を見て注文する。葡萄酒専門のレストランは、Weinstubeであって此処はビアホールと違って一段と高尚な客が集り、古典音楽を聴いてゆっくり琥珀の酒を楽しむ。
其の他卵黄で作ったリキュール等数々の酒があって、此の方面は仲々盛んである。 最後にバターとパンと珈琲が残った訳である。バターは満州大豆から作ったマーガリンが其の大部分を占めているが、稀には農家自製の白い半透明のBauerbutterが手に入る。見かけに依らず味は上々である。ドイツ人は一般に我々に比して多量のバターを消費するが、愈々バターが足りなければ豚油をパンに塗りつけるのである。1週間1人当り125グラムの切符制は戦争前からの話で、バターの獲得には仲々骨を折る。外国に旅行した時にバターをお土産にすると、受けた方の喜び方は筆紙に尽し難い。パンは質が悪いが不自由はしていない。
珈琲は紅毛人が欠くべからざる飲料であって、軍隊では士気を鼓舞するのに絶対必要である。之もドイツでは1週間1人当り50グラムに制限され、一般には豆が入っている珈琲を飲まされている。珈琲を楽しんで飲む事はパリ辺りと全く同じで、カフェのテラス等一杯の珈琲を2時間も楽しんで外を眺めている人もいるそうである。どうやら出揃った様であるから此の位でゲルマン食物談義を終る事としよう。ドイツ人は食物等は問題ではないとよく云っているし、また書いている。我々美食にならされた日本人も早く其の位の意気になりたいものである、と考えるのは筆者のみではあるまい。 · read more (3 words)
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Whose game is over now?



Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
- from Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Scottish journalist Charles McKay (1841)

It's all over for the dirty rat
named Naoki Inose

Mr. Hirose's game isn't over

Recently I read a rare truthful fiction written by Daniel Keyes under the title of The Touch. I was deeply touched, literally.

Does that mean I could identify myself with the protagonist or any other character, or I got a political message or a moral lesson? My answer to both questions is "No, not at all." To begin with that's not what I normally expect from a book, either fiction or nonfiction.

If there is something I learned anew from The Touch, it's that no two situations are really comparable. True, you can draw a parallel everywhere. But an association established arbitrarily or opportunistically between two different things never provides an actionable link because by extending your thought too far, you tend to lose touch with the life-size view of the real world.

I had an impression that every single character or every single event depicted there refused generalization. This is evident from the unusual way Keyes updated his book. I read it in its 2003 edition, but it was first published in 1968. Instead of incorporating stories about nuclear accidents the protagonist and other original characters had yet to know, the author opted to briefly tell his readers of a dozen nuclear mishaps that had occurred between 1968 and 2003 in "Author's preface to the 2003 edition" and "Appendix." Obviously Keyes knew it would make no sense if he put his characters in a situation that arose in different places and at different times.

Likewise what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 doesn't allow an analogy to any other event in history of mankind.

For one thing, it was nothing but an extra act of the mass suicide binge. The detonation of Fat Man and Little Boy must have been avoided if the Japanese had accepted the Potsdam Declaration weeks earlier. Let's face it: the apocalypse of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was invited by none other than the victims who had long been haunted by what I call "the double of the phantom."

Another distinctive feature of the destruction of more than 200-thousand lives in the two cities lay with the fact that the bombs were targeted at the wrong people. Hitler was a relatively sane person: he murdered millions of Jews simply because he hated them. By comparison, Harry S. Truman was a real pervert; he targeted the strategically unimportant local cities in total deviation from the standard tactic of decapitation.

When the war ended, the Japanese felt that in order to pull themselves together, they had to deny things had happened the way they actually had, just like a kid who wakes up from a horrible nightmare has to alter it to make it a little more tolerable or explicable. To that end they turned to the Shintoist formula which is centered around exorcism. That is why they demonized an imaginary thing and named it the evil nuclear power. The cheap trick of generalization and externalization is the only thing they could think of to refrain from pointing their finger at the Japanese phantom or the American pervert.

Truman's prank has taken a devastating toll on the Japanese in many other ways. You are taught to see a "nuclear allergy" in the behavior of the postwar Japanese. As always you are wrong. Actually it's an allergy to humanity, so to speak.

In the subsequent sixty-eight years, one hundred million people with irreparably damaged brains have been praying for a nuclear-free world. Deep inside they know things will never change by repeating the same incantation million times. In other words, it's a prayer for prayer's sake.

And believe it or not, they strictly adhere to the formula of the traditional Shintoist ritual so things will remain unchanged until the problem solves itself, or better yet, until the end of time.

In 1974, then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, great-uncle of Shinzo Abe, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his Three Nonnuclear Principles. But it is the same person who cemented the bilateral arrangement in which Japan swore to eternally stay under the American nuclear umbrella as a "necessary evil." His acrobatic logic has been accepted by the superstitious Japanese in the last four decades thanks to their tendency to demonize the nuclear power.

Small wonder these people have been constantly mixing up Fukushima and Hiroshima since 3/11/2011. They can move from one of the two catastrophic events to the other in a blink of an eye because after all the both incidents were caused by the same evil power of nuclear fission - so they think.

I don't intend to go into too much detail about other types of games, which are designed to solely engage your autonomic nervous system (ANS.) But let me quickly touch on some of them before going on with my story about the weird combination of the nuclear games and the Olympics.

It didn't take long until the one hundred million people became irreversibly hooked on ANS-targeted games. Now practically every adult from one to twelve has his hand glued to a Sumaho (smartphone) around the clock. It looks as though they are playing these games as a substitute for something to pray for. Recently most of them have even developed a weird behavior called "Aruki Sumaho," that literally means playing, instead of praying, a game on Sumaho while walking in the street. These days it's commonplace that such an addict falls off the railroad platform, or is hit by a rule-abiding car.

At times they are somehow reminded that the smartphone is primarily meant for verbal communication. But their conversation is more often than not for exchanging tips on where to find an exciting game or how to win it. These neotenized people remind me of the Red Guards who carried around Mao's Little Red Book anywhere they went at the height of the Great Cultural Revolution. This is another confirmation that an ape can play a game, if not in the same way a mentally sound human being does.

Another thing that makes the Japanese jumble up reality and illusion is their Waido-sho (wide show) mentality. Just turn on the TV at nay time of the day, you will see a dozen untalented Terebi Tarento (TV personalities,) from empty-headed professors, to amateurish commentators, to cuties flirting in Kurisumasu costumes chitchat about news, Uezah (weather report with lots of laundry and clothing tips,) supohtsu (sports,), Entame (entertainment) and today's horoscope.

It's these learning-disabled Tokyoites, 4.3 million of them, that elected Naoki Inose to succeed Shintaro Ishihara as Tokyo Governor one year ago. They also elevated him to a national hero who brought the 2020 Olympics to the country ridden with inferiority complex. Although the same people are now making fun of him, he was the right person to carry on the vanity project started by Ishihara because he is also racked with an implacable sense of inferiority since his youth. You will agree if you look at his poor physique and ugly chin-like face. He is believed to stand only 5ft tall.

On Thursday last week Kisha Kurabu (the press club) physically and collusively attached to the Metropolitan Government staged a big press conference for Inose to officially announce he would call it quits. It was televised live but everything that was going on there was quite predictable because all the questions about the reason of his resignation had been planted beforehand. At the end of the ritual, it was reassured over and over again that even after he left office, the rest of the nation will carry on the same spirit of "Chiimu Nippon" (Team Nippon) in order to make the Olympics a great success. This was reminiscent of the wartime slogan that went: "One hundred million hearts beat as one."

Inose has been a prolific "nonfiction writer" in the last several decades. But in this country where the entire population is caught up in illusions, nonfiction books don't sell as well as in other countries. (The same is true with Mr. Hirose's books.) So the only way he could make a fortune as a writer was to blackmail his subjects. Now as the Tokyo Governor, he made extra billions from influence-buying construction companies on top of the money lawfully extorted from taxpayers in the form of salaries, bonuses and severance pays. (He had already received 37 million yen when he resigned as Deputy Governor under Ishihara's governorship.) A small part of his loot has been passed on to the IOC thieves, but this is why the scum from a poor family could afford to buy a gorgeous mansion.

The name of his game was the compensation for inferiority complex. It's all over now. But life still goes on for the 67-year-old retired thief because the rest of the people are still playing the same game. The dreg of humanity is now condemned to vegetate in the palatial mansion for the rest of his worthless life.

Another nonfiction writer Mr. Hirose is playing a totally different game. Some of us know that an enormous amount of numerical data is stored in his database to support his cause. That leaves you wondering why he talks very little about numbers in his open letter. He already gave his answer to this question in a YouTube video.

The 70-year-old investigative journalist, that Mr. Hirose actually is, talked to the audience about early days of his writing career. In those days, he worked on the translation of medical literature authored by American and German doctors. According to Hirose, he was astounded to know there is a huge difference between Japanese doctors and their German counterparts in the way they deal with their patients. In stark contrast to German doctors, Japanese quacks totally ignore 個体差 (the inter-individual diversity.) As the fingerprint or the DNA sequence can never be the same from one person to another, every patient has his unique predisposition toward illnesses. What Mr. Hirose was getting at in his Fukushima lecture is that he doesn't give a damn about safety standards for radioactive exposure.

You may think Hirose meant to say anything in excess of "background radiation" is unacceptable. Again you are wrong because the exposure to ionizing radiation through inhalation of air, ingestion of food and water, etc. also varies by time and location of measurement. What he wanted to say is that it makes very little sense to discuss figures in terms of sievert and becquerel when talking about radioactive contamination.

These days the systolic reading of my blood pressure has seldom fallen below 180mmHg, the threshold to "hypertensive crisis" which was artificially lowered by Japan's medical cartel. How can I keep my blood pressure below that level with my sympathetic nervous system almost hijacked by a big battalion of Red Guards who do Aruki Sumaho all the time?

Another case in point is my eyesight which keeps deteriorating very quickly. I sometimes suspect that as is the case with the protagonist of The Touch, I'm going to lose my vision because of cataracts caused by radioactive dust. But who knows? And who really cares?

To summarize all this, the implication of the Fukushima disaster largely varies from one individual to another. It's YOUR problem, and no one else's. Those of you who think Fukushima is yet another game for doomsayers, crisis-mongers and truth-seekers will never understand what I'm saying.

This is something mainstream and fringe conformists will never accept. And this is essentially why Mr. Hirose addressed his open letter to young athletes outside Japan, although he had stopped short of entirely writing off his home country. · read more (24 words)
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Which became contaminated first, the body or the soul?


What was available in books he could understand was inadequate, and the rest was too technical: studies of radiation biology based on people who had suffered high radiation exposure - victims of major explosions like those in Japan, and others who had died as a result of accidents in testing centers and runaway reactors - and the study of Marshall Islanders based on the testing fallout in 1954, or the people involved with the reactor that exploded at Idaho Falls. None of these provided a comparable situation. What had happened to him and Karen was closer to the small industrial accidents - about which there was very little information - like the case of the girls who worked in watch factories painting dials with radium paint and came down with symptoms of radiation poisoning. .
- from "The Touch" by Daniel Keyes (emphasis mine)

Takashi Hirose,
investigative journalist

Abe demonstrates how safe
it is to eat a slice or two of
an octopus caught in the
offing of Fukushima

Abe's grandfather
Nobusuke Kishi

I'm glad that in early October I could make this website the first, and perhaps the last, one to have introduced the unabridged English text of Mr. Takashi Hirose's message to young athletes overseas, together with all the thumbnail pictures he inserted in it. In that respect, let me express my gratitude to Messrs. Randall Tillotson and Dai Kashio for their assistance in converting the original PDF file into a format publishable here.

Some of the intended recipients of the message may be skeptical enough to suspect the writer of the letter must be yet another crisis-monger who exaggerates the fallout of the meltdown of the reactor in the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company. Even so it's inconceivable to me that any sane person takes a chance with his health when he can avoid the risk just by taking out a premium-free insurance policy offered by Mr. Hirose.

However, this is not to say Hirose's argument is convincing enough to the rest of us who can't directly relate to the issue of the Olympic Games which may or may not be hosted by the Japanese capital in seven years from now.

An insoluble dilemma over whether to love or leave

If you are one of those exceptional people who are still able to do real thinking before quickly brushing aside or swallowing Hirose's story, you will notice that there are some important logical flaws in it.

For one thing, he describes what he told in his letter as "a sad story." Yet he fails to tell exactly why he was saddened by the post-3/11 situation, when it's actually terrifying or infuriating rather than saddening.

Another question you may ask is: "Isn't Abe a born liar? Or did the Japanese Prime Minister become a mythomamiac only after 3/11 by a sudden mutation?" There's yet another: A professional liar doesn't lie unless it's absolutely necessary. So what exactly made Abe feel a compulsive urge to use his unparalleled skills only to bring the quadrennial circuses to his country? Needless to say it's the insane vanity on the part of the Japanese that made it necessary for him to resort to the "abEsolute lie" that "everything is under control" here. Our question in that respect is what made Hirose get around the pathological aspect of the problem?

Most puzzling of all, why the author of the letter attributed the "abnormal condition never before experienced by mankind" to "the accident" at Fukushima Plant No.1 of Tokyo Electric Power Company? Some of us already know Hirose has made it clear from the beginning that the Fukushima disaster was not a force majeure. Time and again he has pointed out that the earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the tsunami that followed it could have been prevented from turning into an unprecedented man-made catastrophe had it not been for people's inability and unwillingness to face up to the reality.

Let me ask you a hypothetical question: how would you react if your wife sent out the invitation card for a party you didn't want to throw for some compelling reason. Normally you would try further to talk her into sending a cancellation notice to the invitees. But what if you knew she wouldn't budge an inch on her plan?

Actually Hirose opted to subtly discourage the invitees from coming to the party, instead of trying to talk Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose into taking back his thoughtless invitation. He went for that option primarily because he didn't want to let them know something is fundamentally wrong with his home country. If he had directly overridden Inose's invitation, he would have sounded like whistle-blowing. But he knew that to be a whistle-blower, you've got to write off everything for good.

Since 3/11, the 70-year-old journalist has repeatedly said that the most worrisome thing to him is the future of his young grandchild he dearly cares for. To him it's out of the question to leave his fellow countrymen. It's because of his affection for people, if it's exclusively reserved for his kin and close friends, that he stopped short of hanging out their dirty laundry in public. Likewise he was well aware that there would be no point in deterring young athletes from participating in the 2020 Games if he didn't believe in the original spirit of the Modern Olympics.

I think Mr. Hirose did the right thing when he deliberately turned the causal relationship upside down by singling out the crooked Prime Minister and Tokyo Governor as if there weren't 100-million people behind them. By doing so he could avoid confusing the recipients of his message with intricate issues which are totally irrelevant to the Olympians and way beyond their comprehension.

The System

Actually Hirose showed no mercy, either, toward the administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan.

Soon after 3/11, I came across a YouTube video which featured the "nonfiction writer," or the investigative journalist to be more precise. This was my first encounter with him because he wasn't a household name even after Fukushima took Hiroshima's place as the symbol of the haunted country.

In that video, he harshly denounced the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Hirose expressly stressed that Kan's notion about "once-a-millennium disaster" was an absolute lie to cover up the fact that if Kan had observed the basic principle of crisis management and acted accordingly, the meltdown and the subsequent melt-through would most probably have been prevented. It's a matter of commonsense that in the face of a crisis, you must face the reality without wishful thinking so you are always prepared for the worst-case scenario.

The DPJ is nothing but a spinoff from intra-party factions of the Liberal Democratic Party. So it's no accident that Abe's predecessors, Yukio Hatoyama, Naoto Kan and Yoshihiko Noda were all former members of the LDP. It's no coincidence, either, that Abe, who came back to power as recently as December last year, is the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, the main architect of the 1955 System.

Now it's obvious Mr. Hirose has long written off the entire political system of this country.

It is true that the Japan Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Japan are also advocating the total and immediate decommissioning of the 54 nuclear reactors in 17 locations. But they all remain "perennial oppositions" who show no signs of waking up from the reveries of the Cold War era. The same can be said of their right-wing counterparts such as the one headed by Shintaro Ishihara, the brain-dead former Tokyo Governor. These learning-disabled guys have also proved an important part of the 58-year-old System.

All along the media obscurantists, who Ian Buruma once called "political sandmen," have played a pivotal role in perpetuating the only showcase of the nation-building the U.S. government has pursued overseas for many decades by now. In 1993 we witnessed what Buruma termed "another fake dawn." By that time the media sandmen had realized that their conventional way of falsification wouldn't work anymore. Now that they had to change their rhetoric, they have since been resorting to something to be likened to Ninja's evaporation trick. Their audiences are once again being duped into believing in another falsehood that the postwar regime has finally come to an end.

"Awakened" people untiringly put the blame on the mass media for "dumbing down" their audiences. But their criticism is totally misplaced. How can you dumb someone down when you are also dumbed down yourself? Since the media are an integral part of the System, it's not only useless but also harmful to single them out as if these self-righteous participants in "alternative" and "social" media weren't doing essentially the same thing as their mainstream counterparts.

Let's face it: a nation which was meticulously built by foreigners can never be reformed from within.

The People

In theory, no one but yourself can manipulate you. This is important, although in reality, highly suggestible, or even auto-suggestible people are in denial of this a priori truth about humanity so vehemently that a growing number of them now seem to be resorting to the trick of self-manipulation. To that end they have chosen to incorporate themselves in the System, either in the ruling class or the ruled, or even the unruled. They always "think," say and do whatever they "think," say and do as if in response to the operators of the System. There are no signs of creativity and spontaneity inherent to human beings. It's the same Ninja's trick used against themselves.

In early October I talked about my failed attempt to leverage the virtue of anger. In response, someone from the U.S. said in a roundabout way that my tactic would never work at least in the U.S. because of libel and slander laws. He added: "If an accuser goes too far in making such claims against someone else, then the accused may sue the accuser. Fines can be quite high. Those possible fines tend to intimidate us."

I was really taken aback because now I learned a supposedly well-educated citizen of the country, which was created by his ancestors as recently as 1776, views things upside down. Small wonder people in this country, which was founded by the son of the Sun Goddess on February 11, 660 BC, take it for granted that laws regulate people whereas the fact of the matter remains the other way around; it's always people that make legislation.

Not that the Japanese don't protest against things they don't like. Everyday, around the clock, they vociferate on Twitter or Facebook. At times they even hit the streets to chant all-too-familiar incantations such as "Genpatsu Saikado Hantai" (No reactivation of nuclear power plants) as if the issue of energy mix has something to do with Fukushima. Most recently they staged big rallies over the "controversial" State Secrecy Bill. It's as if they'd still had something to lose by the enactment of the law, whereas they have never had such a thing as freedom of speech in the last thirteen centuries.

The last thing the Japanese would learn is the obvious fact that things won't change as long as they refuse to change themselves. As a French thinker warned amid the bloody Algerian Independence War, any protester is destined to develop an addictive dependence over time on the very thing he protests. If he could achieve his goal by any chance, he would be at a loss over what to do for the rest of his life.

My interpretation of the French wisdom will be summarized like this: "Don't protest, and do create, if you want to be part of humanity."

By the same token, the Japanese don't hesitate to call the Prime Minister a liar or any other name. That will be quite OK because Abe isn't an Emperor. But they always stop short of giving thought to the fact that it's none other than themselves who have repeatedly elected these political racketeers to rule over their country. And they haven't voted for them at gunpoint.

Another example is Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose. Up until weeks ago he was a hero who brought the 2020 Olympics to Japan. But now he is in big trouble because of a series of revelations of bribery. This triggered public outcry to urge the hero-turned-criminal to step down. This is sidesplitting because as recently as one year ago, he was elected the Governor by Tokyo citizens with a record-breaking 4,338,936 votes. And as recently as early September, he was further elevated to a national hero. It's incredible that these voters couldn't tell Inose is yet another born criminal. You don't have to be an expert in physiognomy to tell that's what the ugly Japanese Chin is.

Here's a tip for Americans. If you are a con man, as every American well may be, you have the Midas touch in this nation of dupes. According to the statistics most recently released by the National Police Agency, those who have a full purse and empty head were defrauded of 38.3 billion yen in 4,258 cases in the first 10 months of the year.

Taro Yamamoto is a self-proclaimed maverick politician. But actually he is just one of those learning-disabled, change-resistant eunuchs. He claims to be pursuing the same end as Mr. Hirose's. Obviously he thinks he can capitalize on Hirose's arguments to promote his pointless cause. But unfortunately for him, the independent journalist has never been politically motivated.

Some weeks ago, the independent lawmaker volunteered to be one of the invitees of the semiannual Imperial Garden Party. On that occasion he reportedly handed Emperor Akihito a letter in which he plead for His Majesty's understanding of the truth about Fukushima. Without giving a glimpse at the plea, Akihito just passed it on to the grand chamberlain standing alongside the zombie. It was a farce because a couple of days later Yamamoto offered sincere apologies when he was censured by the Diet Speaker for his indecent behavior.

It is true that there are a small number of clear-headed scientists and journalists who address the Fukushima issue, with admirable perseverance but without politicizing it too far. It is also true they have a certain number of people behind them. But these followers are so gullible and superstitious that they think laymen can share the same scientific convictions with experts such as Takashi Hirose, Hiroaki Koide and Arnold Gundersen. In this cultural climate, most of them end up acting like gurus surrounded by a bunch of cultists.

These are the people Mr. Hirose has to deal with. To put it bluntly, they do deserve all the consequences of what is happening here. Small wonder he had to tell his "sad story" to young athletes overseas, knowing his dilemma will still remain insoluble as long as he can't solve the problem facing him back home.

The circenses angle

This once again brings us to the famous Latin words, Panem et Circenses. Panem (bread) is more or less irradiated, or tainted in other ways. No doubt about it. So let me focus on circenses (circuses) for now. I don't know the singular form of the word, but I think it's roughly synonymous with "game."

To me life is a game in the broadest sense of the word. I've lived my 78-year-long life like it's a game. On the contrary, most Japanese play a game as if it were their life. This propensity is considered to have a great bearing on everything Japanese, including movies. You always have a weird impression about the actor who plays a secondary role of playing his primary role.

In order to stay on the same page with my audience, I will have to talk about games only in the context in which Roman poet Decimus Junius Juvenalis, better known as Juvenal, is often quoted as saying the Roman populus was degenerated by them.

One year ago I wrote about the deluge of Manga in this country. Then in April, I wrote another piece under the title of What art is - and isn't in which I juxtaposed the paintings in Altamira Cave and graffiti in the public restroom. Each time I just wanted to find out if people outside Japan still can tell art from crap. In response, half a dozen people defiantly said they are fascinated by everything I'd called the excrement of civilization.

Obviously they thought I was yet another self-righteous person who advocates ascetic attitudes toward art and life. Actually asceticism is the farthest thing from my inclination. As I have said many times, I am an avowed Epicurean. I love playing a game or watching others playing it, be it an art piece, literary work, sporting event, or entertainment, as long as it entertains my creative imagination.

I don't care a bit if a certain number of people appreciate crap. It's none of my business. But it's a problem if they aren't exceptions. And actually they aren't.

It is true, however, not everyone is an avowed scatophiliac on either side of the Pacific. There are a smaller number of people on the fringe who claim to be different from these addicted people. This person named Thomas James Martin is a typical example. He laments over "a population so distracted with entertainment and personal pleasures" just like Juvenal deplored the Romans of his time. He seems to think there is something in common between the way the American and Japanese people are hooked on "mass distractions" today and the way the ancient Romans were distracted with their circuses two millenniums ago, in terms of exactly who does exactly what to exactly whom for exactly what purpose.

The way Mr. Martin, who claims to be a writer "best known for his creative nonfiction and poetry," generalizes on incomparable situations is an unmistakable sign that he is also under the influence of modern-day circuses, perhaps more than the first group of people are.

This was yet another confirmation that the intellectual decline in the two cultural wastelands is no longer reversible.

Throughout the last century, especially since the early 1960s, games were seriously contaminated. The Olympics and most other sporting events irreparably polluted with nationalism, commercialism and sports science that led to performance-enhancing drugs were only part of it. But at around the turn of the century, new strains of pollutant started to flood us. Now we are drowned in the deluge of even more poisonous games produced by a big battalion of crisis-mongers, doomsayers and truth-seeking conspiracy theorists.

The recipes these guys apply to their products meant for adults with developmental failure are as simple as the templates the likes of Nintendo use for their games targeted at kids. Although they invariably claim to be anti-media, you can see a striking resemblance between the two groups of people in the ways they pick sensational themes, oversimplify them most typically by politicizing what can't be politicized, demonize common enemies while cleansing the cause of justice-doers of all ambiguity, and finally "avatarize" these delusions into something visible and thus playable.

In short, they are the two wings of the same bird. But there's no point in deploring their fraudulent business model. As I always say, where there are no junkies, there are no drug dealers.

Once the player has familiarized himself with these rules, he instantly becomes addicted to the game because it's very easy to identify himself with his favorite avatar. He always generalizes and externalizes any situation so he can avoid individualizing and internalizing it. This way he will never really get over the adversity. But now he has succeeded to make it someone else's problem. And if he loses the game as Japanese defeatists always do, that is that. After all it's nothing but a game.

It's indisputable that the most popular theme of games since the turn of the century is 9/11. The basic assumption those who play that game must accept is that "the world is never the same again after the collapse of the WTC buildings." No matter whether it's spoken in the conspiracy context or from the al-Qaeda angle, the notion is hysterically laughable. At the same time I smell a sickening imperialist stench out of it. If the insignificant incident which claimed no more than a couple of thousand lives changed the world, Hiroshima had changed the entire galaxy fifty-six years earlier.

The most recent addition to the list of popular games is the 3/11 disaster in Fukushia. But let me leave it there for now. Hopefully before long, I will come back to this point in a separate piece to further examine the dilemma facing Mr. Takashi Hirose.
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