TokyoFreePress
      An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan




     
 
Welcome to TokyoFreePress Thursday, August 28 2014 @ 10:05 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
analysis.
- 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).
  View Printable Version 

What if the 2 Nobel laureates (山中伸弥, 野依良治) are behind unscrupulous criminals in NHK?

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.


yoshiki sasai haruko obokata shinya yamanaka ryoji noyori katsuo momii paul knoepfler 笹井芳樹 小保方晴子 山中伸弥 野依良治 ポールネフラー NHK 受信料 理研 納税者負担

JUST IMAGINE:
Two weeks ago you were unlawfully hounded for hours by a gang of rogues employed by a publicly-funded organization even after you fled into a toilet near the hotel lobby; and a couple of days later your personal mails were exposed without your permission or knowledge in a TV program produced by the same organization; and now your important partner died a mysterious death this morning leaving a personal note to you, and an allegedly essential part of it was read out in public again without your permission or knowledge even before the authenticity of the word-processed note is forensically examined. This could not have happened in broad daylight without a nod from a big shot who has insider's knowledge, internal authority, influence on law enforcement, and compelling motive.





The late Yoshiki Sasai was
a top-notch researcher in
the field of developmental
biology

Katsuto Momii, President
of NHK

Shinya Yamanaka, Director
of Center for iPS Cell
Research and Application
at Kyoto University

Ryoji Noyori, President of
RIKEN
Yoshiki Sasai, former Director of Laboratory for Organogenesis and Neurogenesis at the quasi-governmental research institute RIKEN, died on August 5 at the age of 52. That's the only thing you know for sure from news reports. Apparently, though, there's no denying that a "special report" NHK aired on July 27 had been the last straw for the deceased.

In the last six months since February, NHK, Japan's government-run broadcaster, along with other media organizations, has been spearheading an all-out witch-hunt, first against Haruko Obokata, lead author of now retracted Nature papers, and then, her boss and mentor Yoshiki Sasai. But toward the end of July, the NHK-led lynch mob further ratcheted up its sadistic pursuit of the two people.

According to the Japan Times, a pack of NHK reporters chased after their primary target, on the evening of July 23, even after she fled into a toilet of a hotel she was staying at, and holed up there.

There are some, if not many, people who have voiced their indignation over the disgusting behavior of media outlaws. This YouTube v-logger named Kunihiko Takeda is one of these smart apes.

In his video, Takeda, who is a professor at the obscure Chubu University, repeatedly accuses the public broadcaster on the grounds that its news gathering method is totally unacceptable.

Sickeningly so, indeed. I can't agree more. And ..... so what?

As if to sidestep the real question about who is behind the perpetrator, the v-logger starts off his pointless accusation against NHK by reminding his YouTube audience of the 2004 saga about the suicide of the owner of a chicken farm named Asada Nosan and his wife at the outbreak of avian flu.

It is a known fact that just a couple of humans contracted bird flu presumably because Asada Nosan had gone ahead with the planned shipment of poultry in stock, knowing the chickens could have been infected. But as Takeda points out, the death toll from the H5N1 virus was only two: the owner of the chicken farm and his wife who hung themselves side by side at the height of the media hoopla ignited by NHK.

Takeda is not alone in drawing parallel between two totally unrelated cases of media recidivism. All other learning-disabled guys habitually use the same transparent gimmick to make their cases against the mainstream media sound plausible.

The shameless shyster named Hideo Miki, for one, has already ripped off his client Obokata by jumbling up the scientific contention with the criminal case in which a long-established Japanese restaurant Senba Kitcho, Miki's another client, had been convicted for falsifying its menus.

In the wake of the July 23 incident, the petty thief thought this would earn him another bonus. Wasting no time, Miki started muttering he was thinking about filing a criminal complaint against the public broadcaster although he knew the physical injury his client had suffered was not that serious. NHK was well aware of the rules of the game. On July 24, its Chief Editor visited the legal office to seek an out-of-court settlement.

That's as far as these self-styled justice-doers can do. They should know they are just "urinating on a frog's face."

As we all know, a perpetrator always has a dual role. One is to carry out the given plot. But more importantly, he is also supposed to wipe out the fingerprints of his client. In that respect no other criminal in the world is more professional than NHK.

It could, in 1945, not only save Emperor Hirohito from being executed as the mastermind of the apocalypse, but also acquit itself of its responsibility for driving 3.1 million people to death for the absurd cause it had invented.

To that end NHK found a new master on the other side of the Pacific. Now the public broadcaster is acting like a self-appointed guardian of the American values such as freedom and human rights. That's why it is so enthusiastic about revealing cases of discrimination, Pawah Harasumento, Sekusharu Harasumento, Heito Supiichi, Domesutikku Baiorensu, school bullying, and any other infringement of human rights, and proposing halfhearted countermeasures.

The most important thing to note is that this is already a history that's still present today - just by accident, so to speak. It's not only useless but also harmful to criticize NHK, or any other media organization for that matter, for its hypocrisy as if you could undo history.

It's a piece of cake for the public broadcaster to dodge equally deceptive criticism from these mentally-retarded justice-doers. They say, "Don't kill'im till he coughs it up." So NHK will never cough it up, and always survive.

The best way for a perpetrator to prevent his client from being identified as the mastermind is to farm out the job to yet another party to mislead the investigation. But when dealing with an unprofessional investigator like Miki, there's no need for NHK to go for such an intricate scheme it once used sixty-nine years ago.

On the other hand, I know from the traffic analysis of my own website that there are a growing number of people who visit my blog, which is unpopular among justice-doing eunuchs, using such keywords as "truth" and "conspiracy." Most of them are coming from the Tokyo-based truth-seeking cult headed by my sick friend Benjamin Fulford.

Fortunately rather than unfortunately, their guru is currently on a long vacation. For now, therefore, his gullible followers keep silent about the mess around STAP cells. But I'm sure it's a matter of time before they resume spreading around the same old fancy stories about Illuminati's agenda for depopulation and human cloning.

I'm not very sure if what's happening here isn't attributable to an evil plot hatched by Freemasons. But that doesn't matter at all. Let's face it: conspiracy "theories" are an integral part of the conspiracies these anti-Semitic morons keep talking about.

Conspirators disguised as conspiracy theorists intend to distract your attention from the villains at the front-line of their global activity. When pursuing the real, visible, touchable and thus punishable culprit of the plot against the late Sasai and his disciple, you should know it's like walking into a trap to approach the question at hand from a conspiracy angle.

As I observe, truth-seekers and justice-doers have one thing in common: fear of creative minds. These monkey sleuths are scared to death when faced with a creative soul who is never afraid of committing errors.

When it comes to an uncharted area of study such as STAP cells, errors are not only unavoidable but also absolutely necessary. I don't believe Galileo's heliocentric theory was entirely error-free. Neither do I assume the Italian astronomer never resorted to a gimmick in his effort to disprove the Ptolemaic system.

Actually there is a fine line between what falls on a "research misconduct" and what doesn't. And it's very hard for ordinary people to see it. An ambitious scientist, therefore, is always vulnerable to a hostile scrutiny. He can't be defended by justice-doers, let alone by truth-seekers, against inert conventionalists. They fear a creative mind more than anything else because it's such a person that could someday overturn the entire edifice.

When a breakthrough is achieved in a field in question, Takeda, Miki. et al. will be out of work. By the same token, Fulford and his followers will be at a loss over what truth to seek until the end of their empty lives. That is why they always make believe the ubiquity of injustice and fallacy, not the absence of creative minds, is at issue everywhere. A justice-doer always stops short of presenting an actionable justice. Likewise a truth-seeker never dares to reveal an actionable truth.

Arnold Toynbee once said: "A life which does not go into action is a failure."

My own approach to the Obokata affair is completely different. It seems to me the closer I look into the way it has unfolded since February, the more it looks like an inside job by some influential figure(s) in RIKEN or another research institute for regenerative medicine, e.g. CiRA. No doubt about it.

To be more specific, the prime suspect(s) is (are) Shin'ya Yamanaka (山中伸弥,) who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on iPS cells, and/or Ryoji Noyori (野依良治,) also a Nobel laureate who is currently the President of RIKEN. Certainly these guys have both influence and motive needed to mastermind such a scheme. (See NOTES below.)

NOTE 1: When NHK et al. started grilling Obokata like the inquisitors at the Holy Office of the Catholic Church, Yamanaka uncharacteristically kept a low profile. Unfortunately for him, though, someone started whistle-blowing on the web in a matter of a month or two for his part of research misconduct. But it was a breeze for the Nobel laureate to gloss over the allegation with a paper-thin excuse simply because he had already been enshrined by the Nobel Committee and even deified with the "Order of Culture" from the zombie in the Imperial Palace. Once immunized this way in this country, you'll never fall no matter what.

NOTE 2: This morning, I learned something new at the website of Paul S. Knoepfler, an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, the Genome Center, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. I visited his blog because a couple of days earlier some local papers quoted him as saying he had received a mail from his colleague Dr. Charles A. Vacanti, who is one of the coauthors of the now-retracted STAP papers, in which he wrote he was stepping down from his position as the head of the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital to take a one-year sabbatical from September 1. Aside from the confirmation of the news, I found a featured article titled "Challenge could cancel Yamanaka iPS cell patent." It's too soon, though, to decide what to make of this news.

I don't intend to belittle Yamanaka's achievement so lightly, just like I can't deny Steve Jobs did an uncontested contribution to the history of the computer. In 1976 Jobs, together with Steve Wozniak, started to work on Apple at a garage in Cupertino, California. But he ended up pandering to those Sumaho-addicted apes.

It's not fair to put all the blame on Jobs. Wherever the value-creating chain has gone to pieces, we see a protracted drought of disruptive technologies as they are defined by IBM consultant Grant Norris. An adaptive technology always calls for adaptive attitudes from its users. There's no room for creative attitudes. But he wouldn't have started acting like a pusher had it not been for hundreds of millions of junkies who didn't know that's what they were.

When the news of Sasai's death broke out, I was working on the next post in which I'll elaborate on this aspect of technological development.

Either way, you will ask me: "Do you have hard evidence for your bold allegation against these highly respected figures?"

OF COURSE I DO.

On July 27, NHK aired a special report on Obokata's "research misconduct" and some other misbehavior. I didn't watch the program myself, but according to Takeda, the program exposed personal mails exchanged between Obokata and Sasai in a way that made you suspect they might be having an affair. I don't know, neither do I care whether or not what some informant whispered to the reporters was true. And even if that was the case, it has absolutely nothing to do with their yet-to-be-proved hypothesis about STAP cells.

There's more to it. Even before Obokata could read the "suicide note" Sasai had reportedly addressed to her, someone leaked to the media what was in it. Now everyone knows that Sasai wrote:

"It's not your fault. Just make sure to reproduce STAP cells."

Do I have to have any more evidence?

I am a retired businessman who has been running a single-issue blog focused solely on the evolution of humanity in the last 10 years. Admittedly I'm completely in the dark about biology. And yet, I have a premonition of what the potentially groundbreaking STAP cell technology will bring about.

As I wrote two years ago, medicine is thoroughly cartelized in this country. Owing to NHK's propaganda, the entire population has developed a hypochondriac fear of disorders, except those caused by irradiated food, water and air, and blind reliance on the rotten medical system. These dupes are insatiably seeking longevity as if the ultimate goal of their lives is to vegetate for 3,200 years like the giant sequoia tree in California.

Chalmers Johnson once called our country "the cartels of the mind." But now it's quickly converging with the cartels of the body.

There are two groups of users of a newly-emerging technology. On the one hand, there are people who constantly meddle in the process of research and development in order to turn a revolutionary idea into a mediocre product. On the other, there are a small number of users who let the researchers and scientists pursue their disruptive end so they can give their customers a real game-changer at the end.

Now with stem cell technologies on the horizon, the two groups of its potential users are facing the moment of truth because what's at stake for both is enormous. If the majority group can outdo the minority group in managing the situation we are in, these dregs of humanity in the medical cartel can perpetuate their monopoly on medicine perhaps for good.

Believe me, whodunit kind of exercise isn't my favorite pastime. But now it's so obvious who is tampering with the burgeoning regenerative medicine that I feel an urge to give some actionable suggestion to my fellow countrymen. I just hope each individual heeds my specific advice to the extent practicably possible.

I think you should be reminded that RIKEN, NHK and CiRA are primarily funded with taxpayers' money. Although you are misled to believe in their financial statements that say the appropriations from tax revenues are only part of their income source. But if you are familiar with the Pacioli System, you know it's nothing but an accounting gimmick. And equally important, Article 30 of the Constitution, which stipulates your obligation to pay taxes, is valid only when your constitutional rights are duly honored.

In addition to taxes, you are duped into paying subscription fees (受信料) to NHK on a false assumption that Article 32 of the Broadcasting Act (放送法) is constitutional. Actually it's totally unconstitutional.

And don't tell me the public broadcaster strictly adheres to Article 83 of the law that prohibits it from running commercials. Actually NHK runs commercials for Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Softbank, NTT DoCoMo, Toyota, Nissan, and the like, and most importantly the government. For allowing these guys to place free adds, the broadcaster is collecting a huge amount of money from the government under the guise of tax appropriation. · read more (31 words)
  View Printable Version 

What exactly do you expect from the STAP cell - if you expect anything at all from it?

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.

eisaku otsuka john maynard keynes karl marx john forbes nash jason stutman paul knoepfler 大塚英作 ケインズ マルクス ネフラー 慶応大学 横浜国立大学 energy and capital SAPジャパン beauty contest full employment nobel prize acceptance speech equilibrium disequilibrium

I've always believed in numbers and the equations and logics that lead to reason. But after a lifetime of such pursuits, I ask, "What truly is logic? Who decides reason?"
- from the Nobel Prize acceptance speech by John Forbes Nash, Jr.


The late Eisaku Otsuka, PhD in
game theory

In the last half of the 1950s I was supposedly majoring in macroeconomics at Keio University. But actually I skipped most classes because I thought it would be a total waste of time to listen to these taped lectures on John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith or the like. Moreover, it was on the eve of Rokujunen-nen Anpo Toso (nationwide uprising against the 1960 revision of the Security Treaty.) I didn't really care which theory better explained the new stage of the strategic alliance between the two sick peoples.

And throughout my 46-year career, I kept feeling the same way. As a matter of commonsense, we all knew in the wake of the heightening of a political tension, oil prices would ho up, and as a result, the demand for the hard currency would also soar. But we didn't have to revisit any macroeconomic theory every time that happened.

Today I still know that in theory, demand and supply tend to adjust themselves against each other through the price mechanism, and that in reality, though, they are manipulated by government intervention, most typically through suicidal quantitative easing or measures for what they call income redistribution.

From time to time I ask myself why I've never been really interested in the contention between proponents and opponents of Keynesian theory. My answer is always like this: Both camps take it for granted that at the end of the day supply and demand reach an equilibrium in one way or the other. I think they are missing the point when they say constantly rebalancing the two should be our ultimate goal.

For one thing, it's not really at issue how to achieve a full employment. Or are we yet to emancipate ourselves from the absurd myth that dates back to 1917 when Vladimir Lenin said, "He who does not work shall not eat," or even to the New Testament in which Paul the Apostle said exactly the same thing?

Perhaps Karl Marx was an exception. Although at first glance he also seems to have thought life and business are driven by the desire of revolutionaries to establish a new equation in the context of "dialectical materialism," he was actually more inclined to believe creation, not production, is what man's economic activity is all about. In a sense, he was seeking a disequilibrium.

On Tuesday, someone who'd read my most recent post sent me a link to this article.

Stock chart of AnGes MG, Inc.,
one of the hundreds of stem cell-
related companies

Paul S. Knoepfler is now updating
his closed community on stock prices

I was caught totally unprepared. Not that I found Jason Stutman's argument irrelevant to the issue at hand. On the contrary, I thought it was a real challenge to my creativity angle; there's something that explains why people on both sides of the Pacific, who all seem to suffer premature senility, think I am ideologizing the Obokata affair while, in fact, I am trying to un-ideologize it.

Last night I revisited the famous Keynesian analogy of the stock market to a beauty contest. (See NOTE 1.) Then I quickly walked through a wide range of arcane macroeconomic theories from Nash Equilibrium (See NOTE 2) to General Equilibrium to Walras' Law.

NOTE 1: In his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Keynes wrote: "It is not a case of choosing those [faces] that, to the best of one's judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those that average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and higher degrees."

NOTE 2: A Wikipedian explains: "The Nash equilibrium is a solution concept of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy. If each player has chosen a strategy and no player can benefit by changing strategies while the other players keep theirs unchanged, then the current set of strategy choices and the corresponding payoffs constitute a Nash equilibrium."

Among other things, this Nash Equilibrium thing conjured up in my mind the face of the late Professor Eisaku Otsuka who was conferred a doctorate degree in game theory by the University of California, Berkeley back in 1987. I vaguely remember hearing him casually telling me of the idea first presented by John Forbes Nash. He was one of the most intelligent and humane persons I've ever met in my lifetime.

When we first met in 2000, he was a professor at the School of Business Administration of Yokohama National University, and I was a contractor at the rotten Japanese subsidiary of German software giant SAP AG who was working on its "university alliance program." My plan was to build an application hosting network through which dozens of business administration classes across the country could use SAP's huge "Enterprise Resource Planning" system configured for a model company.

While most other participants were too change-disabled to become committed to the purpose of our ambitious project, Professor Otsuka seemed to know helping students learn "business as-is" was the smallest part of our goal. Despite financial constraint and other difficulties facing him, he volunteered to host Japan's first inter-university network of its kind from his department simply because he thought, like I did, working on "business to-be" was crucially important in nurturing creative minds in students if we still intended to reinvigorate Japan Inc. which had gone belly up when the bubble burst. I would never have succeeded had it not been for his understanding and cooperation.

I fondly remember traveling with him to Miami and Orlando to join big conferences sponsored by SAP America. On these occasions we didn't discuss much about game theory because I was, and still remain, in the dark about that discipline. But between the two of us, and sometimes joined by faculty members of universities from all over the world, we talked a lot about how to educate business administration students.

In Orlando, Florida, Prof. Otsuka already kept his headgear on during sessions. He confided to me with a charming smile: "Before coming here I was going through a radioactive treatment." When the professor passed away, he was still in his late-40s.

Having reread some of his papers for the first time in years, now I got the impression that dedicated scholar and educator as he was had started to think an equilibrium in itself can NOT be the goal of business or life.

In this respect, the Nobel Prize acceptance speech by John Forbes Nash, Jr. is very intriguing. Following the sentences quoted at the top of this post, he said: "And I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found."

My interpretation of his 2-minute speech is that for him equation is no longer there to seek, if it may be bestowed on him as a token of reward at the end of his life. And by the word "love" he must have meant not only his personal feelings for this particular lady sitting among the audience, but more in general, the manifestation of one's creative attitude toward life.

Now everyone surrounding me suffers a refractory mental illness. I've termed it Redwood Syndrome because you want to vegetate, or think everyone else wants to vegetate for 3,200 years like a giant sequoia tree in Sierra Nevada, California.

And the last thing you would accept is this idea that perpetual disequilibrium inherent in human society is the only source of élan vital (vital impetus) for Creative Evolution. Small wonder these days practically everyone tries to find his place in the role of an intermediary between supply-side and demand-side. It's out of the question for you to pursue your own value.

One example is Paul S. Knoepfler, Associate Professor at University of California, Davis School of Medicine. It's hysterically laughable to know now he is working on his own Beauty Contest. As if that isn't enough for him, the respectable biologist seems to have started to give investment tips to his audience lately. · read more (47 words)
  View Printable Version 

The ultimate taboo you haven't possibly touched on with your mate or offspring

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.



Japan's curve is shown in black in the international comparison of Total Fertility Rate

Amid the nationwide craze over ongoing FIFA World Cup 2014, I've been working on a new post to follow up my argument on the pandemic of premature senility, i.e. juvenile dementia. I'm going to give it a tricky title that goes something like Where I might have wished to belong. This time I'll focus particularly on the Japanese strain of virus that causes the highly infectious mental disease.

Along the way I've reread dozens of poems from Man'yoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) and books about the ancient history of this country which I'm inclined to call East Korea. I thought the 13-century-old anthology might be part of the answer.

I can't proceed any faster than a snail because these sumaho-addicted dregs of humanity keep driving me crazy.

Everywhere and around the clock I hear 120 million with childish obsession with national oneness and insatiable desire for international recognition rooting for the Japanese squad with their voices cracked with emotion. It seems the wartime slogan that went, "One hundred million hearts beat as one," as Ian Buruma translates it, still applies 14 years into the 21st century.

When Côte d'Ivoire defeated Japan, they kept saying in concert: "We should have played it more aguresshibu to make us shine before the world. But let bygones be bygones. The next time around we shouldn't hesitate to put an ahrii-kurosu before we reach the baitaru area," and so on and so forth.

It's as though they've forgotten Japan is still placed at the 46th position in the FIFA ranking because of, rather than despite, the generous contribution by taxpayers in the last several decades. I used to play soccer myself. Even today I sometimes enjoy watching young guys have fun playing the game. But to the Japanese, World Cup has absolutely nothing to do with the sport inventive Englishmen started circa 1863.

How I wish Japan's population would further sink to some 12 million from 127 million before my departure from this cultural wasteland so I would see a population density equal to that of the United States. It may be my wishful thinking, but my assumption is that the Japanese are an endangered species because in a degenerating, instead of evolving society, the fittest are the first to go extinct.

Around the turn of the century they started saying the single most formidable problem facing their country is its dwindling and graying population as if the issue with the headcount outweighs the quality problem and biological aging matters much more than juvenile dementia. Should it ever be considered true that the larger the population, the larger the nation's vigor, it would take an eternity for China to fall apart. But on this absurd assumption, the Japanese have been willingly footing the tax bills of 2.1 trillion yen (US$ 20.2 billion) every year to fund government's programs centered around the system called "Child Allowances."

As a result, the productivity of these "birthing machines" has slightly picked up from 1.26 to 1.43 in terms of "Total Fertility Rate." But since it's been said the minimum total fertility rate to keep the population flat is 2.07, the improvement by 0.17 percentage points is far from enough to curb the downtrend.

Also there are quite a few brainless pundits in the U.S., as well, who believe in the media's red herring which has its origin in Japan. Ching Chong Chang is one of them. He boldly claims and is widely believed to be well-versed in the Northeast Asian geopolitics.

It's hysterically laughable that the idiot in New Jersey thinks he is a respectable mainstream pundit. But actually those who are practically on Washington's payroll like this guy and equally empty-headed conspiracy cultists who blindly believe in the joke about Illuminati's evil agenda for depopulation are the two wings of the same sick bird.

On the one hand Chang predicted the world's most populous country would collapse in 2011 under its own weight of 1.3 billion people, but on the other he repeatedly urged this blogger in 2005 through 2007 to take up the demographic "crisis" with his audience on the grounds that most other industrialized countries would face more or less the same problem sooner or later.

I wrote a post just out of a sense of obligation to the despicable crisis-monger. I wanted to stop there because it would be a total waste of time to further talk about the false issue. Now the mass-insanity surrounding me has prompted me to discuss the real crisis: the pandemic of juvenile dementia.

For my part, more than two years ago, I reluctantly let go of my last girlfriend when her parents, who are some 15 years younger than I, started to worry their daughter was missing her marriageable age. Recently I received a mail from this woman, in which she advised me now she is a mother. Although I had been prepared for all that, it was an added depressant to me.

Earlier today I had a funny dream in the third or fourth installment of my fragmented sleep.

In the dream a smart cookie visited me at a place that looked like a company cafeteria. She had an air that suggested she was fully assimilated into the rotten society dominated by male macaques. She said she came to me to seek my advice on a questionnaire to be used in a survey she was going to conduct next week. When she showed me the draft questionnaire along with the chart embedded in this post, I noticed her questions were all about the Child Allowance program (amounts granted in it, eligibility to be its recipients, etc.) and other measures to make the lives of working mothers easier. Every question was so predictable that I didn't think she could expect an unpredictably creative answer from her pollees.

I said, "Frankly, the most important question is missing here." The woman grudgingly asked: "What would it be?" I explained: "I would try to find out if most women in reproductive age have great difficulty in suppressing their instinctive rejection of the idea of reproducing the same developmental defects their husbands tend to have. I hypothesize that unlike their mentally-neotenyzed mates, they feel deep inside that their role is to contribute to the evolution of the species, if in a small way, and that they wouldn't tolerate the labor pains if ....."

The woman didn't let me finish. She just said, "Mr. Yamamoto, I must be going in a minute. Thank you so much, anyhow." · read more (16 words)
  View Printable Version 

The pandemic of PREMATURE SENILITY, i.e. juvenile dementia

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.
- Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan
In May last year I kicked off this series of intensive discussions over Creative Evolution. At the beginning I quoted the following passage from Henri Bergson's book to give you a clue to what's at issue in our contentions.

In the animal and in the vegetable world between the generator and the generated, on the canvas which the ancestor passes on, and which his descendants possess in common, each puts his own original embroidery.

Ever since I've singlemindedly talked about the same topic simply because I think it makes a critical difference to my last glimpse of the people and the way I leave them behind to know if we are still evolving forward.

I don't know exactly, but I've spent 30,000-40,000 words, or 150,000-200,000 letters, which is equivalent to 1,000-1,500 tweets in a matter of 12 months. This was a hard labor for a half-bedridden 78-year-old who, at the same time, has to take care of himself for his mere survival.

But I don't think my effort is paying off. Thus far I've failed to bring my audience onto the same page that I opened one year ago. An old proverb goes: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink." Every time I uttered the lousy C-word, these smart horses made every possible effort to artfully sidestep it.

I should have known that the topic wasn't just unpopular. In the U.S. and its satellite countries alike, it's the ultimate taboo to mention "creative thinking" (NOTE) especially in the context of man's evolution.

.NOTE: Actually the phrase has an apparent redundancy in it. To think is not to subscribe to, or unsubscribe from someone's opinion, or to converge two different thoughts. You can't really think without thinking creatively.

They treat the phrase like it's a hot potato presumably because of their irresistible reverence to those apes Wynton Marsalis once called noble savages. To these guys the idea of "putting one's own original embroidery on the canvas which the ancestor passes on" arouses a strong feeling of fear.

This is quite natural, if not understandable. Since the canvas has already been worn out into a tattered rag everywhere, you have to visualize a vast greenfield before really getting started with your embroidery. That is not easy when you are still dragging along lots of vested interests in this world.

Your refrigerator, unlike mine, is still filled with food and beverages for the next week. Also unlike me, you are more or less covered with medicare and other benefit programs. And you take it for granted that your life is a going concern which is still reparable. Equally important, your brain has been stuffed with rubbish from childhood indoctrination.

My humble suggestion would be that you better ask yourself some hypothetical questions like:

What if I had no working refrigerator?
What if my refrigerator were empty?
What if I weren't covered with any welfare program?

If you don't want to look straight into the physiological foundation of your existence like this, the more you complain about injustice inflicted on you, the more you discredit yourself.

Now I've decided to take a different approach to the same question so I won't waste any more time. In this post I'll focus on the issue of dementia: what it really is, what causes it and how it can be cured if it can be cured at all.

Sometimes I compare the oldest U.S. President in office with the youngish incumbent or his even younger predecessor who was nothing but a sexual pervert. The purpose of this exercise is to find out why the American people failed to grab at the golden opportunity for change that momentarily emerged in the greenfield when the Cold War came to an end, and what underlies their pathological obsession with the inert idea that status quo should be preserved at any cost.

Don't take me wrong, however. I don't intend to discuss their political or religious ideologies. An ideology is nothing but a stain of shit that fell on the canvas from a bird that flew by.

In his November 5, 1994 letter to the American people, Ronald Reagan wrote: "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."

Not a single American took his wishes seriously.

Anyone who has read Creative Evolution (Henri Bergson) or The Fountain of Age (Betty Friedan) with a certain level of comprehension will agree that in an evolving society, biological aging means maturity, the only enabler of creative thinking. But as the afterglow of the Reagan era is quickly fading away, things have unfolded in a different direction in America, and then in its satellite nations.

It's George W. Bush, Sr. who set off the downward spiral that has lasted a quarter century by now. Millions of Americans were disappointed by Bush although they didn't notice he was suffering a certain type of senile dementia. That should mean the President was just mirroring the voters. They should have known it could never be the other way around.

The empty-headed American people thought they had to rejuvenate the leadership of their country in cul-de-sac while actually they should have thought about rejuvenating themselves. As a result America's intellectual decline has further accelerated and now it seems irreversible.

I know not a few of them are inclined to call their immature leaders psychopaths. But it's laughable to see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of "awakened" people call their own reflections in the mirror that way. Actually, the derogatory appellation is an undeserved compliment. The word psycho has a connotation that subtly suggests he has a relatively high level of intelligence that enables him to think creatively. Vladimir Putin, for one, may be a psycho. But the Russian president thinks and acts so creatively as to make Obama look like an idiot which is what he actually is.

The only words I can think of to describe the Black Kenyan Monkey or any other post-Reagan President are premature senility, i.e. juvenile dementia.

On May 5, 1951 Douglas MacArthur testified at a joint committee of the Senate about his experience with these neotenized Japanese. He said: "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, [a Japanese adult] would be like a boy of twelve as compared with our development of 45 years." The general would be surprised if he learned practically all American adults now look like their Japanese counterparts.

There are more than a dozen types of dementia, including those induced by Alzheimer's disease, vascular diseases and Parkinsonism. According to the Alzheimer's Disease International, a de facto branch of the World Health Organization, there are 101 million people worldwide who are suffering Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. The ADI warns the number is expected to almost triple to 277 million by 2050.

As anyone with commonsense will agree, all the figures were invented out of thin air by these bastards who are suffering serious dementia themselves.

For one thing it hasn't crossed their minds that they shouldn't exclude those under 60 from their survey. Their cross-sectional analyses and forecasts mean absolutely nothing because they were based on the absurd assumption that you suddenly develop dementia when you turn 60 years of age. It is true they sometimes talk about infant dementia. But they never talk about "juvenile dementia" for an obvious reason.

I see another flaw there in the fact that they have never defined the symptoms very precisely. The generally accepted description of dementia in general goes like this: it is symptomized by a progressive, and often irreversible, deterioration of cognitive faculties including memory. Loss of memory in itself isn't a big deal. We all forget a thing or a person we don't think is worth memorizing. That's why memory is sometimes restorable. But as to the other symptoms, especially the inability to judge what should be memorized and what can be forgotten, the dim-witted researchers at ADI didn't think they should have been much more specific in that respect.

Etymologically, dementia is taken from a Latin word, originally meaning madness. But madness means nothing in the world where people call each other a madman. That leaves the American Psychiatric Association as the only source of supposedly reliable information about the specific symptoms. Now let's take a listen to those shrinks at APA who now give the mental illness a fancy name "Neurocognitive Disorder."

Its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-5) goes like this:

"[major/minor dementia shows] evidence of significant/modest cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains — such as complex attention, executive function, learning, memory, language, perceptual-motor or social cognition."

DSM-5 goes on to elaborate on its criteria:

In general dementia involves:
Trouble recalling recent events or recognizing people and places,
Trouble finding the right words,
Problems planning and carrying out tasks, such as balancing a checkbook, following a recipe, or writing a letter,
Trouble exercising judgment, such as knowing what to do in an emergency,
Trouble controlling moods or behaviors,
Depression which is common, and often entails agitation or aggression,
Not keeping up personal care such as grooming or bathing,
and blah, blah, blah.

It kindly adds: "It is important to know that memory loss can be caused by conditions other than dementia, such as depression, and that those conditions can be treated. Also, occasional trouble with memory (such as briefly forgetting someone's name) can be a normal part of aging. But if you are worried about memory loss or if a loved one has memory loss that is getting worse, see your doctor."

All this joke is what the empty-headed shrinks think is a scientific description of the mental illness. Actually it only serves as the valid diagnostic criteria for apes with cognitive failure. That is an unmistakable sign that they are also degenerating to the proximity of the ape with their cognitive faculties also afflicted with "neurocognitive disorder."

As is the case with American shrinks, you always assume that the loss of creativity results from dementia. But as usual you are turning the causal relationship upside down. Actually it's the loss of the ability of creative thinking that causes dementia.

Now I have concluded that if the ADI had used the longitudinal method and based its statistics on scientific criteria, it must have come up with a "ballpark" figure at least 20-30 times larger than 101 million. Although both ADI and APA constantly mix up different types of dementia, I tentatively exclude Alzheimer's and Parkinson's from my estimate.


My father Mineo Yamamoto
in his mid-50s

The same person in his mid-70s
My father Mineo Yamamoto was an extraordinarily intransigent person in his pursuit of innovative ideas, until he mellowed out around the time he turned 70. He hated conformism more than anything else because he believed it's the surest way to mediocrity. For that trait he was hated or even feared by the people he was associated with, just like his son is today.

He couldn't refrain from showing his contempt for the double of the phantom until he became a living corpse himself. But when he was to be decorated by Emperor Hirohito in 1973, my mother dragged him along to the Imperial Palace.

Likewise he couldn't conceal his disdain for medical doctors. Every time someone talked about medicine, he never failed to say: "Look, medicine is not a science." I think he was absolutely right. In recent years computer-aided diagnoses and treatments are commonplace. And yet medicine by and large remains more of a superstition than a science as a result of its total cartelization.

Once again it's his wife who forced him to see doctors when his loss of alertness had become apparent. One of them gave him two separate diagnoses: Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Most probably the doc was wrong. Today his illness would be diagnosed as PDD (Parkinson's disease-induced dementia.)

I've already outlived my father by 2 years by now. It can't be helped. But now I'm fully determined not to outlive my ability to think and act creatively. The last thing I would do while alive is to vegetate like most of you do.

As I said in earlier paragraphs, loss of memory, in itself, is not a big deal. But since it's "the earliest and most noticeable symptom" (DSM-5) when I become unable to memorize what should not be forgotten, I routinely examine my memory in many ways. One of the self-testing methods I use is to sing songs. Although my voice has already grown too hoarse to sing these lovely tunes, say, on YouTube, I still remember, word for word, lyrics of dozens of songs, such as ones written by Lorenz Hart, Lew Brown, Johnny Burke, Sammy Cahn and Mack Gordon, et al.

When it comes to the ability of creative thinking, I know it's not that easy to maintain it until the second-to-last day of my life, so I can prepare myself for a creative death. But I'm still confident that I am not really done for yet.

Like tango it takes two to be creative. For one thing a (potentially) creative blogger needs a (potentially) creative audience. But now I know that is asking for the moon; most visitors to this website are like eunuchs who untiringly sing the self-pitiful blues instead of the "grand, sweet song." So it's all the more true that I need an un-assimilated young woman to carry through a creative life.

In 2007, then Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare stirred up a big controversy when he likened women to birthing machines which were expected to be more productive. Although his slip of the tongue cost him his post, he was uncharacteristically telling the truth. In this country, every potent man uses a woman to reproduce his stupidity, and calls it a conjugal love.

For my part I have never used a woman that way. I let go of my last date more than two years ago. Yet I believe I can build a creative, if not productive, relationship with someone new.

One month or so ago I received an invitation to a jazz concert from my disowned son. His band was going to give the concert in downtown Tokyo. He knows I think the jazz he does with his colleagues is nothing but a fake, but at the same time he knows I'm enthusiastic about mixing with potentially creative young musicians, especially with this talented female trumpeter.

I accepted his invitation on the condition that I would be entitled to the privilege of free admission and that all the transportation cost be reimbursable. Then I took a long round-trip braving the health risk to be involved in the 2.5-hour train rides and 1-hour walks in between.



I refer to this lady just as Satomi, one of the most common feminine names. She was born and brought up in Rikuzentakata-shi, a small city in Iwate Prefecture which is said to have been wiped off the map by the tsunami of March 11, 2011.

As usual Satomi opted to spend with me most of the 30-minute intermission and some more time after the concert to update me on her troubled life and musical career where she is not really on a roll.

To that concert she had brought along two grandpas - one was her step-grandfather and the other was her biologically paternal grandpa. According to her, the biological grandpa was told by his doctor that he had only two months to live. Now he had left his hometown in Iwate to spend his last days with his beloved granddaughter in her Tokyo apartment. He kept saying he wanted to share all the joy of life with her. She explained that's why she'd invited him to the concert.

To make her living, Satomi plays the trumpet as the member of a dance band that appears every third day in a Tokyo ballroom. But she finds it extremely boring to do tangos, rumbas and waltzes all the time. That's why she takes part every time my son throws a gig. From the beginning Satomi knew it won't earn her a single yen. She expects something other than money from the nonprofessional activity. In that respect, however, she seems to feel largely underexploited by my son as the band leader.

Satomi wasn't very explicit about it, but I thought I should do the best I can for her, though only in a small way. For instance I have already resumed regular contact with the bastard I shouldn't have fathered to have more influence on his way to manage the band.

Now I'm contented with the grandfatherly role she gives me. The bright lady with an exceptional grace and charm is the last bastion of my commitment to making my life still worth living.

Aside from taking these precautions against senile dementia, I think I should also keep myself on full alert against the Japan-particular strain of virus that causes premature senility. It's even more infectious than any other type.

I think Satomi and I were born in the wrong country. In Japan essentially the same thing is happening as in the U.S. And yet, there is something that makes me feel the word dementia doesn't fit very well into the weird behavioral patterns of these Japanese runts with serious developmental defects. While "dementia" implies that you have lost what was once there, that is not the case with them.

The only alternative word I can think of is "infantilism," which more often than not requires a qualifier "paraphiliac." Each one of the following phenomena speaks for itself:

The entire population here is hooked on the digital altar which has become portable now. So many mobile phone users play games or make a search for tips on them while in the bathroom or bedroom.
Tens of thousands of people still fall victim to a cheap trick of Ore-Ore Sagi (it's me, it's me scam) every year. The amount of defrauded money has leveled off at 40-50 billion yen and doesn't show the slightest sign of coming down despite the anti-scam campaign across the nation and around the clock. This simply means that in this country you've got to be mentally retarded or criminal, or both, to be able to make a fortune big enough to share with others.
Amid the deluge of Manga, the 127 million people from the Prime Minister to company executives to university professors to winos and homeless purchased 968 million copies of comic books in 2011.
The inundation of sexual perversion such as pedophilia, lingerie theft and voyeurism won't subside anytime soon. Just for instance, in 2012 Takuma Okura, then CEO of IBM Japan and a right-hand man to Luis Gerstner, former Chairman of IBM Hq., had to step down from the prestigious, high-paying position when he got caught for his childish act of voyeurism at a JR train station. Believe it or not, this isn't an isolated incident in the nation afflicted with mental neoteny.
Recently practically all shrinks enthusiastically recommend what they call the Karuta therapy to counter the overall deterioration of cognitive abilities. "Karuta" derives from the Portuguese word "Carta" but it's the name of a Japanese card game solely meant for kids.

No wonder the Americans stubbornly believe Japan is the showcase of the greatest success in their longtime pursuits of nation-building outside their own country. · read more (52 words)
  View Printable Version 

The Inquisition Japanese style

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE YOU CAN'T EXPECT SOMEONE TO DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.




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 presumably 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 his 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)
  View Printable Version 

How I hit a gold vein in the Google junkyard - though only at times

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.



POSTSCRIPT TO OBOKATA UPDATE (April 4):

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"


OBOKATA UPDATE (April 2):



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)
  View Printable Version 

Just a search engine or a digital altar?

OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS PRACTICE HERE, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. BEWARE THAT NO ONE CAN DO THE THINKING ON YOUR BEHALF.



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
Source
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 40 years. 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 a deliberate statement that summarizes all this:

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)
  View Printable Version 

戦禍逃避行 PART 3 - 山本峰雄の「滞欧雑記張」 (1939) より

LAST-MINUTE ESCAPE ON THE EVE OF NAZI'S INVASION OF POLAND - PART 3
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. You can't really talk about, let alone live your life like it's history. Another thing I was reminded is that as Gustave Flaubert observed, God is in the details.
CONTINUED FROM PART 2


Lifeboats are getting ready
on the deck

Manhattan Island
9月1日、遂にドイツ軍はポーランドに侵入し、同時に6都市がドイツの誇る空軍の翼下に蹂躙された。そして2日にはイギリスは予てから計画されていた通り60万人の児童をロンドンから退去させ、ロンドンの日本人もダブリンに逃れたのであった。
9月3日の朝、我々は朝食後スモーキングルームのラジオの前に集まって、イギリスからの放送を待っていた。
10時15分、イギリス首相チェンバレンの例に依って力の無いしゃがれ声がスピーカーに入って来た。「イギリスはドイツとポーランド問題に就いて平和的解決を計って百方努力したが、ドイツは今やポーランドに侵入するに至った。……我々は茲(ここ)に我がイギリスとドイツとが交戦状態に在る事を宣言する。……神よ我々に勝利を恵み給え。」 チェンバレンの声は悲痛其のものであった。言葉は所々とぎれて、重苦しい沈黙が彼の演説を区切っていた。戦備無きイギリスは遂に起たざるを得ないのである。
スモーキングルームは彼の一語毎に緊張を増した。遂に来るべきものは来たのだ。21年目に欧州は再び戦禍の中に入ったのである。
其の日の午後、イギリスの皇帝はチェンバレンと同じ放送を行った。
此の放送の直後、遂に靖国丸は明日正午出帆と決定した。燃料と食糧は遂に積込めなかったが、然しニューヨーク迄は何とかして航海出来るのである。
9月4日のあわただしい朝、我々船客と船員は靖国丸の船腹に書かれた日章旗の下に並んで最後の記念撮影を行った後、纜(ともづな)を解いてベルゲンの埠頭を離れた。只1人残るH書記官は、さびしい姿を埠頭の風にさらして帽子を振っている。外にはノルウェー人の二、三人が、他人事の如くうつろに我々の船を見送っているばかりであった。2時間の絵の如きフィヨルドの中の航海を終えて、午後2時半、遂に外洋に出た。遂に我々は運命を天に委ねて、戦禍の大西洋の荒波に乗出したのである。既に前檣(ぜんしょう)(フォアマスト)の上と船首の左右には浮流機雷の見張りが立って、どんよりと乳色に曇って来た空の下に荒れ狂う海面を見張っている。救命艇のカバーは全部外されて、食料品を詰めた木箱と飲料水の樽が積込まれて、風の中に不気味に待機している。船室ではボーイが救命ブイを取出して、寝台の枕下の棚にいつでも着用出来る様に用意してしまった。

出港に先立ち、H書記と事務長はベルリンのイギリス領事館に靖国丸の保護を依頼してあるので、前途は多分恙(つつが)ないと考えて安心しているのであるが、宣戦布告と共に大西洋は既に戦禍の中に突入してしまった。イギリスの1万5千トンの貨客船がイギリス北西岸より250浬(かいり)の沖に於て、ドイツ潜水艦と想像される潜水艦に依り撃沈されたと云う報が入り、次いで我々に先だってベルゲンを出たイギリスの汽船もノルウェー海岸で撃沈されたと云うニュースが入って、船内の緊張は高まって来た。無電の発信は停止されてしまった。
船はノルウェーの西岸を北上して、海は次第に荒れて来た。之から3日の最も危険な航海がどうか無事である様にと祈る気持は誰も変わらなかった。
船客乗組員は何分の通知ある迄、夜間と雖も何時にても甲板に集合出来る用意をなし置く事、集合の必要ある時はアラーム・ベルを鳴らし、汽笛は短聲6聲以上を長聲急鳴すべし外3箇条の注意書が船内に配布された。
かつて我々がニューヨークからドイツに渡る際に乗船したドイツ最大の汽船ブレーメン号がイギリスに拿捕されたと云うニュースは我々を驚かせた。ブレーメン号はI氏を乗せて8月23日欧州の風雲急なイギリスを出帆して、大西洋を南下して形勢を観望した末ニューヨークに着き、此処でイギリス、アメリカ合作の出港妨害の為に出帆が出来なかったのであるが、8月20日遂にイギリス海軍の監視を逃れて大西洋に出たのであった。
然しブレーメンがイギリスに拿捕されたと云うのは実は誤報であって、此の時ブレーメン号は大西洋の霧にかくれて、水平線上の船影におびえながら、ジグザグの航路を一路ソ連領ムルマンスクに向って逃げつつあったのである。そして9月2日には我々に先だってベルゲンを出港した哨戒艦キャンベル号を其の無電にキャッチして、之を逆用して難を免れていたのであった。
斯くて我々はドイツの潜水艦の眼を逃れんとするイギリス船とイギリス海軍の監視をくぐるドイツ船との間を航海しつつあったのである。然し我々の出帆の日からニューヨーク迄は遂に一つの船影をも大洋の中に見出す事が出来なかった。全ては北大西洋の深い霧が波頭に洗われる迄垂下がって、各自の行動をかくしてくれたのであった。
欧州の戦況ニュースは刻々と入って来た。先ずドイツの空軍の小部隊がロンドンを空襲したと云うニュースが入ったのを始めとして、イギリス空軍がハンブルグを空襲し、イギリス機がウィルヘルムスハーフェンに於て撃墜された事が判り、またフランスの空軍がラインラントを空襲したと云う事が電波に乗って伝わって来る。然しながら我々の予期したドイツ空軍の大規模なロンドン空襲も無く、地上部隊の戦闘も報ぜられないで、我々は些か拍子抜けのした思いであった。
9月5日正午には、北緯63度01分、西経5度12分の高緯度を通過して、波は愈々荒く、風はリギングを鳴らして、霧は深くなって来ていた。波頭を覆ったフェレー島沖の霧の中に、鴎が低く怒波をかすめて滑翔飛行を行っているのが、我々の唯一の慰めであった。アイスランドからの冷たい水は灰色にくすんで、唯でさえ憂鬱な避難者の心を暗くするのであった。
ある霧の深い真夜中であった。深い眠りの中に突如轟く汽笛にすはと褥(しとね)を蹴ると、船はエンジンを止めて怒涛の中に漂い始めた。キャビンの廊下を甲板に上るあわただしい足音。私は次の瞬間に船が傾き始める事を予期して、船窓の闇を見つめたであった。然し船は尚も汽笛を鳴らして、大西洋の深夜に音も無く止まっている。舷側をかむ怒涛の音と波の衝撃は私の不安をかきたてた。然し間もなく此の汽笛は霧笛信号である事に気がついて、私は独りでキャビンの闇の中に安堵の吐息をついたのであった。
然し我々は遂に危険区域を突破した。9月11日には波は収まり、デッキから甲板迄しっとりと濡らした霧も晴れて、デッキチェアの上の読書も楽になって来た。
ニューヨーク到着後の計画に話ははずんだ。ウォール街附近の料理屋でオイスターやチェリークラムを食べる計画、街角でオレンジジュースのコップを飲みほしたいと云う者、支那料理の話から遂に日本料理の話に落ついた。
怒涛が静まると、夜の甲板はまた楽しいものであった。夜は満天の星屑の下に更けて行った。懐かしいプレアッヅの神秘的な光、アル、ニール、カペラの華かな星が、我々の無事な航海を祝するかの如くである。金剛石(ダイヤモンド)の飾棚の如き星屑の下に、船は何時迄も水平線上に淡く残るアベントロートを追って、アンドロメダ座に向って、ニューヨークへニューヨークへと急ぐのであった。
9月13日、愈々ニューヨークは近づいた。参戦していないイタリアの汽船ローマ号は、白い船腹に国旗を書いて我々と挨拶を交しながら行きちがって行った。午後の一時を甲板の散歩に楽しんでいると、靖国丸の後檣(こうしょう)(後ろのマスト)に日章旗がするすると掲げられた。水平線に目を向けると、其処に4本マストの巡洋艦が我々を目がけて波を蹴って近づいて来る。そしてやがて船尾をまわって再び水平線下に消えて行った。アメリカの哨戒区域に入ったのである。
翌14日、我々は西方遥かにロングアイランドの褐色の岸が煙霧の中に光っているのを眺めて、歓呼の声を挙げたのである。アメリカ海軍の双発型哨戒用飛行船は檣頭(しょうとう)(マストの先端)の日章旗をかすめて低空飛行を行った後、遥かに飛去った。次いでコンソリデーテッド飛行艇が靖国丸の上空を旋回飛行して行った。ロングアイランドの沖にはアメリカ海軍の艦艇が10数隻投錨して、アメリカの神経過敏さを語っている。
午後2時、遂に我々はハドソン川の河口検疫所に入った。左舷はるかに「自由の女神」が波の上に聳え、マンハッタンの摩天楼は行手の空をさえぎっている。
平和な碧空に大衆飲料ペプシコーラの広告がスカイライティングに依って浮び出しつつある。
我々は遂に戦禍を脱したのである。 · read more (1 words)
  View Printable Version 

戦禍逃避行 PART 2 - 山本峰雄の「滞欧雑記張」 (1939) より

LAST-MINUTE ESCAPE ON THE EVE OF NAZI'S INVASION OF POLAND - PART 2
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. You can't really talk about, let alone live your life like it's history. Another thing I was reminded is that as Gustave Flaubert observed, God is in the details.
CONTINUED FROM PART 1


Looking down at the port
from Mt. Floyen

Ditto

A British destroyer
anchors astern the
Yasukuni-maru

Kids playing by a lake

Fellow countrymen, who
had missed the Yasukuni-
maru in Hamburg, arrived
at Bergen aboard a plane
ベルゲンに於ける第一夜は明けて、欧州の情勢は益々逼迫して来た事は、此の北欧の小港ベルゲンでもひしひしと感ぜられた。朝食後友人と船を出てベルゲンの町に散策に出る。舷梯には船客への掲示が出ている。曰く「外出は午後9時迄として午後9時迄には必ず帰船する事」また曰く「本船は遽(にわ)かに出帆する事あるべきに依り其の際は汽笛を数回連続吹鳴するを以て其の際は直ちに帰船すべし」と。
我々はベルゲンの繁華通りに出て昨日の如くズンド百貨店に入って、之からの長い航海に備えてタオルや石鹸から煙草迄様々の日用品を買い集めた。何れもアメリカ製品やイギリスからの舶来品である。
百貨店を出て坂を登り、やがてフローバーンのケーブルカーの客となって、ベルゲンの港を一望の内に収めるフロー山に登る。此処からはベルゲンの碧いフィヨルドと之を囲む美しい緑の山々とが手に取る様に眺められる。北欧の大気は飽く迄澄み渡って、港も町並も手に取り得るばかりに鮮やかに浮上っている。我が靖国丸も此処では堂々たる体躯を埠頭に横たえていた。我々はフロー山の展望台に寄って港の朝景色の美しさに時の経つのを忘れていた。やがてドイツの一青年とノルウェーの老婦人とがケーブルカーで上って来て、我々の傍で景色に見とれていた。
淡碧の遠山からふと眼を靖国丸の埠頭に落すと、いつの間にか靖国丸の後尾にはユニオンジャックの旗を翻したイギリスの一万トン級巡洋艦が、灰黒色の不気味な姿を浮べているのであった。我々は一様に何とはなく不安に襲われて、此の巡洋艦はノルウェーの沖に遊弋(ゆうよく)しつつあると伝えられるイギリス艦隊の一部が、ドイツや我々の船を監視する為に入って来たのではないかと考えたのであった。然し此の疑いはドイツの青年の説明で氷解した。此の巡洋艦はイギリスがソ連に送った軍事使節団を乗せてイギリスに帰る途中、ベルゲンに寄港したのであった。独ソ不可侵条約に依って外交的敗北を喫したジョンブルは、此の巡洋艦でイギリスに逃れるのであった。然かも此の巡洋艦から沖合に数百メートル離れた所には、ハーケンクロイツの旗を翻したドイツの貨物船が形勢を観望している。甲板の上迄ノルウェー宛の材木が積上げてある。
斯くする内に、突如港内から鋭い汽笛の音が伝わって、周囲の山に木魂をかえして来た。我々は、すは靖国丸の出港かとどよめいたのであるが、やがてイギリスの巡洋艦の右舷に白色に塗った一隻の哨戒艇が現れた。船尾には見掛けない星條旗が翻っている。アメリカ海軍の哨戒艇キャンベル号で、アメリカ財務長官モーゲンソーを運んでベルゲンに来て、今また欧州の情勢迫った為モーゲンソーとアメリカの避難民を乗せてアメリカに帰るのである。キャンベル号はやがてフィヨルドの入江に姿を没した。
風雲の前の中立国ノルウェーの港があわただしい動きを見せている事は、フロー山からの一望に依って観取されたのであった。
我々はフローレストランのテラスに入り、美しいビーチパラソルの下で池を見下して食事をとった。此処は欧州の風雲を外に、華やかに豪華な食事が待っていた。靖国丸の一品料理に慣れた我々は此の上ない栄養をとって外に出た。フロー山の散策路は松の木と樅の木の間を縫って、遥かに山のふところに入った。至る所にエリカの可憐な花が地に匍(は)っていた。そして雲に洗われた岩山の清浄な肌は、北国の強い太陽にきらきらと光っている。
遂に我々は山ふところに抱かれた小さい湖に達した。碧黒い水に積雲を浮べ、水草は灰緑色の華を静かに水面に漂わしている。岩を伝わって落葉松の森蔭に憩うと、此処には数人の可憐な子供が浴みの後にブロンドの髪をほしている。
遥かな向う岸には、一群の男女が水着姿で岩に腰を下ろして林檎を齧っている。華かな水着が冷たい水にあでやかな影を落して、人無き池畔の道を隔てた岩山の中腹には、此処にも2人の麗人が水着の上にプルオーバーをつけて、自然の寝台の上に横たわって静かに雲の徂来を眺めている。然も自然は静寂で人の声も聞かれない。我々は山一つ越えた後に斯くの如き仙境を見出して、あわただしい我々の旅や前途の不安を忘れたのであった。
再び町に降りて、今度はチーズや林檎等、航海中の食糧を買い込むと、1ポンドは既に昨日の19クローネから18クローネに下って、戦争の危機は急激に迫りつつある事を知らせる。船に帰って甲板を散策していると、檣頭(しょうとう)(マストの先)をかすめて一台のユンカース52型水上機が飛来し、夕闇迫る山々をフィヨルドの彼方に下った。ノルウェー国籍の此の飛行機は、此の切迫した北欧の空に急がしい逃避行の人々を乗せているのだろうと噂し合っていたのであった。

それから一時も経たない夕食後のスモーキングルームに、私はなつかしい旧友Yが入って来て驚きと喜びに手を取り合って躍り上ったのである。彼は高等学校の3年間を同じ部屋に起居し、リレーには私は2番に当り、彼は3番を走った仲であり、ニューヨークで会い、更にベルリンで会い、ベルリンを離れる2週間ばかり前には、毎土曜日と日曜には一緒に自動車を借りて、ベルリン郊外からハルツの山地、さてはニトブスの野原を訪ねたのであった。彼がドイツの工場見学に出る時には私の下宿に荷物を託され、此の荷物を後に残したまま、私はあわただしくベルリンを発ってしまったのである。彼は遂にドイツに残されるかと心痛していたのである。相変らず元気な彼の顔が突如スモーキングルームに現れたので、夢かとばかり驚いたのは当然であった。
彼は悠々と欧州の見学をすませてベルリンに帰って見ると既に戦時状態で、ハンブルグ行きの汽車は僅かに1日1列車となり、しかも靖国丸は既にベルゲンに到着していたのであった。北海は既に一切の船の通行が禁止されている。最後の手段として1日僅かに1本しか出ない3等列車のみの汽車に身を託してコペンハーゲンに渡り、深夜ノルウェーの国境を突破してクリスチャンセンに辿りついて、遂に旅客機を見つけて此処北欧の一角に飛んだのであった。
ベルリンは既に戒厳令下に在って、重要な建築物の上には高射砲が空を睨み、町の辻々にはサイドカーに乗った兵士が待機していると云う事であった。
我々は彼の話を聞いて、彼の為に大いに乾杯して夜の更けるを知らなかった。 翌日我々は再びY氏と共にフロー山に登った。フローレストランの前を港に臨んだ散策道を辿って、フロー山の突角に出て、此処に設けられた山小屋の側に腰を下ろして、ドイツの思い出を語合った。北緯61度の山上の大気は、一呼吸毎に健康な眠りを催さした。エリカの深々としたしとねの中に、我々は仰いで紺碧の空を眺めている内に、いつしか眠ってしまった。小1時間も眠ったであろうか。私は友の声に眼をあけると、彼は「おい、君はいびきをかいていたぞ」と笑っている。然し彼も数日来の疲れでエリカの花の中で安堵のいびきをかいていたに違いなかったのである。
斯くてベルゲンの不安と悠々たる気持の交錯した生活は1日1日と流れて行ったのである。
船中では多数の子供が政情等は外に終日甲板でさわぎ、泣いていた。良人をベルリンに残して来た婦人連は、再び欧州の風雲が収まって良人の下に帰れる事を願って、1日も長くベルゲンに停まる事を主張した。国際情勢の逼迫を知っている我々は、1日も早くベルゲンを出て戦禍を遠く大西洋に避ける事を願っていた。船内の空気は斯くて複雑になって来つつあった。
しかし国際情勢は愈々危機を増しつつあったのである。此処ベルゲンのフィヨルドの南方にはイギリスの航空母艦と艦隊が遊弋(ゆうよく)して、艦上機がフィヨルドの中に不時着陸したと云うニュース、ベルゲンフィヨルドの出口でドイツの船がイギリス艦に撃沈されたと云う浮説が町を横行している。
8月30日にはソ連は60万の軍隊を動員して北部ポーランドの国境に集中して、ドイツと共にポーランドを併呑する態勢を整え、オランダとスイスも動員を完了し、ノルウェーは海軍の動員を行って、靖国丸の附近にはノルウェーの水雷艇が頻繁に往復する様になった。イギリスは既に海軍の配備を終ったと云われる。
靖国丸は既に船腹に大日章旗を書いた。黒い船腹に鮮かな日章旗を見て、我々は祖国の国旗の下にあらゆる苦難を冒して長い北洋の航海に堪える事を誓ったのであった。サン・デッキと船首の甲板にも日章旗が取り付けられた。之等の日章旗と船尾の日章旗と、そして煙突の日本郵船のマークは、夜間照明を施して日本の船である事を示す様に設備が出来上がった。
然し問題は燃料と食糧であった。ストックホルムからは我が大使館のH書記官が単身ベルゲンに乗込んで、毎日ノルウェー当局と燃料と食糧の積込を交渉したのであったが、戦時を控えて其の希望は遂に達せられなかったのである。此の国は完全にイギリス派であり、またアメリカの勢力下にあった。1日靴を求めにとある靴店に入ると、売子の若い娘は私の靴を見て之はベルリン製であろうと云い、ヒトラーの靴は憎らしいと云って拳で靴を打つ真似をしたりした。新聞はフランス軍の写真を掲げ、フランス軍強しと宣伝している。ノルウェー当局は我々の写真機の携帯をも禁止してしまった。 · read more (6 words)
  View Printable Version 

戦禍逃避行 PART 1 - 山本峰雄の「滞欧雑記張」 (1939) より

LAST-MINUTE ESCAPE ON THE EVE OF NAZI'S INVASION OF POLAND - PART 1
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. You can't really talk about, let alone live your life like it's history. Another thing I was reminded is that as Gustave Flaubert observed, God is in the details.


The Port of Bergen,
Norway

Ditto

The Yasukuni-maru
anchored in the pier

Japanese evacuees in the
city of Bergen

Curious citizens looking
on the Japanese ship
明くれば8月26日。過去7カ月余を過した懐しいベルリンを去る日である。あわただしい戦塵逃避行の前夜に夢を破られた空征く爆音も未だ耳朶に消えやらぬ午前7時、私は早くも床を蹴っていた。いつもの如く白い浴槽の湯に浸って窓に映る朝の日ざしを眺めていると、昨日迄の私の生活が再び今日も始まるかの如き錯覚すら起るのである。
然し現実は浴みしている内も急ぎ足で、最後の爆発に近づきつつあるのである。朝食もそこそこに残りの書類を整理して、たった一つ残った旅行鞄と手提鞄の中に詰めていると、9時には既に労働戦線のH女史が訪ねて来る。私は数度の見学に一方ならぬ骨を折ってくれた彼女に篤く礼を述べた。それから話は日本人の引揚げの事に入って、彼女は戦争は決して起らないであろうと云う事、日本人の引揚げは独ソ不可侵条約を憤慨している為ではないか等と、繰り返して事情を訊(ただ)すのである。私は日本大使館の勧告に依って引揚げるのである旨を繰返す。日本語の出来る、そして時々は日本語の手紙を寄こした彼女は、一度は日本を訪れる機会があるだろうと、東京での再会を楽しみにしている。彼女の集めてくれた数冊の書籍と、そして見学報告書を受けて、私は彼女と別れた。私は齢50を過ぎたH女史と再び日本で会えるかと些か疑問に思いながら彼女を送出した。彼女はいつもと変わらない少し危げな足取りで、暗いアパートの階段の下に吸われて去ったのである。
10時、私は過去7カ月の間に世話になった人々に挨拶すべく家を出た。ベルリンの街はいつもと変らない表情を見せて、朝の活動は高潮に達していた。
11時、私は再び下宿に戻って、主婦とそして集って来た人とに最後の別れを告げた。同宿の人々は或はイタリアに、或はドイツの国内に旅行中で、果して靖国丸に間に合うかどうかは疑わしい。私は旅行中の友人に預った荷物を主婦に託して、主婦と共に下宿の前のタクシーを拾って、レーアター駅に向った。主婦はハンカチを出して眼を押えている。300人の日本人の世話をして来て、自ら日本人の母と称している彼女にも、斯くの如き突如の引揚げは未だ経験の無い事であったのである。
私は彼女を見るに耐えなかった。瞳を思い出深いベルリンの街路に移すと、重武装をした一隊の兵士が緊張した態度で行進して来るのにあう。平常ベルリンの街を歩いている兵士と云えば銃を持ったものはなかった。日曜に街に出て来る兵士は全てスマートな上質の服をつけて、大半が愛人とのどかな散歩を楽しんでいるのである。それでなければ軍隊輸送車の中に、鉄兜もいかめしくおさまり返って通過ぎて行くのであった。徒歩で銃を持っている部隊は始めてであった。
我々のタクシーはスプレー河をモルトケ橋で渡って、やがてレーアター駅の広場に入った。駅の右手の街路から一隊の屈強な招集兵が、手に手に旅行鞄を一つ宛提げて、二列縦隊で駅の構内に入って行く。中には40を過ぎた人々が多い。何れも黙々としてたくましい眉をあげて、人々の無言の見送りを受けている。
駅の構内は多数の軍人が右往左往して、昨日に変る風景である。切符を求めてプラットフォームに入ると、のどかな平常の風景とおよそ懸離れた情景である。軍服姿の将校を見送る家族、招集を受けた若者を励ます友人で、プラットフォームは混雑を極めている。

荷物を席に収めて再びプラットフォームに出ると、其処にはベルリン工科大学のC君が見送りに来ている。私は彼から借りた書籍を返し、後の事を頼んであわただしい一時を語っていると「アインスタイゲン」の声が掛る。私はC君と主婦とに固い握手を交して、車中の人となった。彼等は再び会う事を確信するが如く「アウフ・ウィーダーゼーエン」と呼び、帽子とハンカチを振っている。私は車の昇降口に立っていつ迄も彼等に答えた。席に帰ると遂に彼等と別れたのだと云う惜別の情が湧上ってくる。
食堂車の中は相変わらずのどかに楽しげである。ミトロパの献立は私を満足させてくれた。本物の珈琲でなくても之が最後と思えば、一入なつかしい思いがする。車窓から眺める田園の風物は一片の雲もない快晴の碧空の下に、地平線の彼方迄のどかに広がっている。
森の裾のエリカは相変わらず淡紅色のしとねを繰拡げているし、ダリヤは家々の前庭に華やかに伸びている。之が戦塵逃避の旅であろうかと自ら疑わざるを得ないのびやかな風光である。
車中で2組の同朋に遇う。1組は生後僅かに3カ月のいたいけな乳児をつれている。何れも顔見知りで、前途に不安を持つ気持は何十年の旧知の如く我々を親しませてしまった。然し此の親しい団欒はやがて現実の問題にぶつかって、我々の不安をかき立てた。此のいたいけな乳児の為のミルクをベルリンに忘れて来た事を母親が発見したのである。ベルリンに電報すべきか、或はハンブルグ到着後購入すべきか。或はベルリンに引き返してミルクを取って来るべきか、我々は判断に迷わざるを得なかったのである。2組の夫婦は特に心を悩まして色々と相談した結果、遂に2時過ぎルドウィッヒスルスト駅から彼等は引返して行ったのである。私達は彼等が無事にミルクを持って再びハンブルグに到着する様に祈った。
実は我々の次の列車は既に大変な混雑であって、座席券のなかった或る者は、列車に乗れないで残されてしまったのであった。我々は云わば第六感で、靖国丸の出帆に間に合うかどうかと心配になったのである。
ルドウィッヒスルスト駅からは愈々戦時色が濃くなって、線路の護衛に立つ突撃隊員の姿が沿道に見えるかと思うと、若い兵士を満載した貨物列車に行きあったりした。彼等は林檎の様に色艶のよい頬に微笑を浮べて、貨車の戸口から我々の列車に手を振っている。何かのんびりした風景である。
3時20分、我々の列車は恙(つつが)なくハンブルグ主駅に到着した。荷物を赤帽に託してタクシーを拾い、直ちに埠頭81番に急がせる。タクシーは例によって便々たるビール腹を抱えた老運転手に依って、ガタガタとハンブルグのうら淋しい郊外の道をエルベ河畔に向って行く。
沿道はどこも彼処(かしこ)も一面に高射砲の陣地で、之が全て擬装されて戦備既に終ったと云う形である。
30分の後、やがてエルベの河面が夕陽に光って見えて来た。81番埠頭には我々を待つ靖国丸が、黒く塗った見覚えのある姿を横付けていた。久し振りに見る故国の船、此処には故国の生活があり、故国の感情があるのだ。そして此の船はあらゆる危険を冒して我々を祖国に運んでくれるのだと思うと、私は不覚にも眼頭が熱くなる思いがしたのである。
舷梯を登れば、祖国の人々は我々をやさしく迎えてくれた。彼等の顔と動作は、彼らが祖国から直接ドイツへ運ばれたのだと云う印象を我々に与えた。事実外国で見る日本人は、何れもどこか外国的の臭いがする。顔も外国化された分子が含まれているのであるが、此の船に見る同朋は全てが日本的であった。私は一度に日本に帰った様な思いで、大きい船に特有な臭いを吸込んで見た。
私は直ちに日本人会から送って貰った荷物を受取り、部屋の割当てを事務室に聞き、次いで船倉に降りてベルリンから送った荷物をたしかめた。既に百人に近い同朋が乗船していた。大部分はベルリン駐在の人々の家族である。そして婦人子供第一主義で部屋が割当てられているから、我々男子は二等の方にまわされている。定められた部屋に降りると、此処は水面から2メートルも離れていない所である。船窓の下に水雷でも流れて来たら忽ち吹飛ばされそうに水は近く見える。
出帆の時刻を聞くと今晩午後9時であるとの事である。明日早朝から明日午前3時となり、午前零時と早まり、遂に今晩9時に変更されたのである。事態は急速に切迫しつつある事がひしひしと感ぜられる。
やがてドイツの税関が船に乗込んで来て、国外持出しのマルク紙幣の検査が始まる。大抵の人は100マルク以上の紙幣を持っているので、之を申告して封筒に収めて、正金銀行員に寄託する事となっている。
やがてハンブルグの港に夕闇が迫って、久し振りに食事の合図が聞える。懐しい日本の食事は前途45日の航海に備えて、まずしい一皿料理であった。そして同朋のみの水入らずの食卓には悲喜交々の感情が流れて、そこに何か一抹の不安な空気を醸し出した。いとしい夫をやがて戦禍に捲込まれるドイツに残す人々は、箸取る手も進まず不安な瞳を震わせているし、単身戦塵を逃れる我々さえも、靖国丸が宣戦布告にならない前に、無事に封鎖網を突破する事を祈っていたのである。
食事を終って私はデッキに出て見た。ハンブルグの町は既に灯が入って、遥かにエルベの河面に華やかな灯影が揺れている。既に靖国丸は出帆の準備に忙しい。淋しい埠頭には僅かの電燈が河風に揺れている。大部分の引揚げ同朋は集結を終って、人々は食後をデッキに出てドイツでの最後の夜を惜しむが如く語合っている。埠頭が一時静寂に帰って、幾人かの見送りの人々が電燈の影に寒い影を落している時、突如まばゆい前照燈の光が埠頭倉庫横からあらわれた。2台の大型バスに同朋と其の荷物が満載されている。一目でM会社の人々と判る。之等の人々は戦争無しと判断して、一時は引揚げを見合したのであるが、情勢刻々に切迫した為にバスを借切って、国営自動車道路を急いで来た人々である。一しきり乗船のざわめきが起った。知った顔も見える。
我々とベルリンから同乗して引返したS婦人と其の愛児は未だ顔を見せない。
9時の出帆は刻々と迫って、遂に見送り人の退船を告げるドラがあわただしく船内をゆすって来る。私は親友Y君と2人、最も高いサン・デッキに上って出帆の情景を眺めていた。我々の下の二つの甲板は引揚げる婦人と子供であふれている。埠頭から見送る夫は愛児の名を呼んで手を振っている。舷梯は上げられた。靖国丸は甲高い汽笛を吹鳴らして、一しきり起る惜別の呼声と共に徐々に埠頭を離れた。埠頭から頑張れと呼ぶ者がいるかと思うと、声を限りに父の名を呼ぶ声も聞える。
かくて靖国丸が約1メートル埠頭から離れた時、再び突如前照燈の光芒が埠頭を明るくして、1台のタクシーがあわただしくすべり込んで来た。船上の人も埠頭の人も、一斉に此の間一髪の瞬間に到着した人に歓呼の声をあげたのである。埠頭の人々は忽ち自動車をかこみ、船上では號笛がなって曳船が停止を命ぜられた。我々にはすぐに途中で引返したS君である事が判った。舷梯は再び下されて、埠頭の人々は舷梯の上に一列に並んで、荷物は手から手へと渡されて忽ち船に運び込まれ、彼の愛児も人々の手から手へ移って行った。上から見ていた我々は同朋愛の美しさに涙が出たのである。S君は夫人を船に上げると舷梯の上に立って「どうもすみませんでした」と一同に感謝して埠頭に戻り、やがてエル・ゼックスの箱を取出して安心した様に一服した。マッチの火に彼の紅潮した顔が照出された。
9時10分、靖国丸は再び曳船に曳かれて埠頭を離れた。エルベの河水を分けて闇の中で旋回して、やがて空を染めているザンクト・パウリの灯の照返しを右に見て、速度を増してエルベを下った。我々は数人の知友と喫煙室の後部のテラスに席を取っていた。私は余りにもあわただしかった今日の出発を思い返して、夜風の中にきらめくハンブルグの灯影を眺めていたのである。陰暦12日の月は空に掛って銀波をゆるがしている。Y君との話はつきない。彼の乗った列車は我々の次の列車であったが、既にダイヤは乱れて座席券がない多数の人が後の列車に残されたと云う事である。我々の出帆は実に時機を誤らなかった様な気がするのである。
エルベの流れを下る事約3時間、午前零時クックスハーフェンの漁港の光を左舷に見て、愈々北海に出る。始めての夜を軽いうねりを感じつつ眠りに入ったのであった。
翌朝眼を覚まして見ると、船は既に昨夜から非常警戒に入っているのを知る。機械水雷の見張りは船首とブリッジの両端に配置されている。船路は陸と大分離れているらしく、終日島影を見ないで北海の蒼茫たる海上を走ったのである。夜は全ての燈火を消してかくれるが如く闇を縫って、一路北へ北へと急ぐのであった。
斯くてハンブルグ出帆後1日半の後、28日の早朝、我々は一先ず危険区域を通過して、ベルゲンのフィヨルドの中に入っていた。嘗てスカンジナビアの旅に飛行機から見た様な岩山が右舷近く迫って、人無きフィヨルドは益々狭まって行く。温度は急に下り、水は寒い色を湛えて、再び北国に来た旅愁が湧くのであった。やがて遠く近く淡霧の中に小島があらわれ、緑や赤に塗った家が岩山の上に見える。
フィヨルドの中を2時間半の旅を終って待望のベルゲンに到着する。船首からは測深錘が入れられて、船は徐航しつつベルゲンの埠頭に着いたのである。 ベルゲンの港は左右に標高350メートルの山をめぐらした良港である。嘗て5月末に、私はスカンジナビアの旅を企ててフォス迄来たのであるが、遂にオスロ・ベルゲン鉄道の終駅たるベルゲンを見る機会を失って残念に思っていたのである。ところがはからずも戦禍を避けてベルゲンを見る事が出来たのは、或る意味で幸運と云ってもよいのである。
我々は昼食をすませて簡単な旅券の検査を受けた後、上陸した。埠頭から歩いて急坂を上り更に下った所がベルゲンのセンターである。此処にはズンド百貨店がある。同朋は期せずして此処に集り、之からの長い航海に備えてタオル、石鹸、歯磨等の日用品を買った。そして4階の食堂に集ったのである。此処では一先ず危険を通過ぎた安心で人々はくつろいで、休息の一時を過したのである。
ベルゲンの町は全てがイギリスの勢力範囲である事を示していた。買物はポンド貨で用が足り、カフェでのボーイにも百貨店の売子にも英語を話せる者がいた。そして物資は豊かで、人々は欧州の風雲をよそに楽しい生活を送っていた。
然し新聞は欧州の風雲益々急を告げた事を知らせ、また靖国丸の入港を大きく取扱っている。避難民130人を乗せている事や、また靖国丸のトン数まで書いていると云う始末である。
ベルゲンの漁港には靖国丸程の大汽船が入る事は如何にも珍しい事である。その為か午後になると靖国丸の繋留された岸壁には多数の市民が見物に来る様になった。彼等は靖国丸の勇姿を岸壁から見上げて去りもやらない。そして我々船客の出入を物珍しげに見物している。我々は大いに心強くなって町を闊歩した。
ベルゲンの港にはイギリスの避難船1隻とノルウェー船3隻が入っているのみで、他は漁船、帆船の類である。
夕食後は皆喫煙室に入ってラジオに聴入る。ダイアルを廻して遂にイギリスとドイツの放送をキャッチする。ヒトラーとヘンダーソンとが会談して時局収拾を行ったのであるが、ヒトラーはポーランドのコリドアと上部シレジアを要求したので、ヘンダーソンは再び本国政府と会議する為イギリスに帰ったと云う放送で、去年のチェコ問題当時を思わせるものがある。
靖国丸はストックホルムの日本公使館から命令のあり次第、直ちに出帆する事となって、船客は午後9時以後上陸禁止となり、また昼間でも汽笛を吹鳴らしたら直ちに帰船すべしと云う事となる。
靖国丸はストックホルムの日本公使館から命令のあり次第、直ちに出帆する事となって、船客は午後9時以後上陸禁止となり、また昼間でも汽笛を吹鳴らしたら直ちに帰船すべしと云う事となる。 · read more (6 words)