Japan Update: Pathological Obsession with Blood Types, Star Signs and Chinese Zodiac System

Wednesday, February 02 2011 @ 10:55 AM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto




1. Sagittarian at the top
2. Piscean at the bottom
3. The end screen

Source: Nippon Telegraph
& Telephone Corporation
Without a doubt, the Japanese are the world's most superstitious people. Especially in the face of a crisis, they go over the top.

Now that they feel extremely insecure about their future, they are inclined more than ever to believe that their fates are predetermined by a combination of the 4 blood types, 12 star signs and 12 animals. That is why - or perhaps because - all the TV stations affiliated with the Big-5 newspaper publishers think it is an integral part of their services as news media to provide audiences with their daily horoscopes, along with sanitized news stories and weather forecasts accompanied by many superfluous information such as laundry tips and dressing recommendations.

Normally their daily forecasts vary very little among these TV stations with nationwide network. I think there are two logical deductions to explain the uniformity; 1) these forecasts are sourced from a single fortune-telling individual or organization, or 2) Kisha Kurabu, Japan's notoriously exclusive association of press clubs, has a unit specifically devoted to rigging people's destinies.

I am a Capricorn born in the Year of the Wild Boar, although the original version of the Chinese Zodiac System says it's the Year of the Pig. And my blood type is B. Most Japanese people believe a Capricorn tends to be intellectual, a Wild Boar tends to rush headlong toward his goal and one whose blood group is B tends to be a freak or genius. At times, I think these descriptions are very true with me, but usually they don't really click.

When I walked by a local NTT branch on Monday afternoon, I noticed that in the last couple of days, a big liquid crystal display had been installed outside the building on which to update pedestrians on their daily horoscopes, coupled with weather reports. (See photos above). Believe it or not, the fortune-telling services are primarily meant for adults despite their anime-like quality of screen designs.

Sagittarius was at the top of the list as the luckiest person of the day. The tips for Sagittarians read: "You will have your day especially if you bother to go to a nearby park." Capricorn was almost at the bottom of the NTT list. As usual some tips were given ex gratia to minimize the effect of the hard luck.

Yet, there was something to be desired. If I had learned of my misfortune on one of those TV waido-sho (wide shows,) a cute presenter would never have failed to give me kind words. She would have said with a syrupy voice: "Gomennasaaai (I'm a-w-fully sorry.) But don't be so depressed because your day will come very soon." That is true because these constellations are rotating at a pace even faster than that of the revolving door of Japan's Prime Minister's Office. So I would have thought, "It's not a big deal, after all; it's highly unlikely that the number of days I have to write off is bigger than 12. All I have to do in the meantime is just to keep a low profile."

I don't really believe in these things, but to the Japanese this is the real beauty of living in the cult-like social milieu where people think they can throw themselves upon God's mercy on the assumption that God is egalitarian.

Exactly what God they have in mind is a different issue, though, because in Japan there are 8-million of them. Given this pathological trait, reporters and editors in Japan's newsroom have long thought they are all shamans whose calling is to hand down vox dei to these brain-dead people
.

This really makes Japan an Assange-proof nation as I argued in December. Just for instance, WikiLeaks revealed that on February 22, 2010, Kurt M. Campbell, U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, sent his boss in Washington a confidential cable from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. In his dispatch, Campbell reported that his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan had concurred to his assessment that it was imperative for both countries to "reach out directly to [Japan's] key DPJ officials like Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Finance Minister Naoto Kan."

If you take into account that at that time the "key DPJ officials" were Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who looked sabotaging the 2006 accord about the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Air Station, and party's Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, who had just taken more than 140 lawmakers to Beijing to pay respect for Hu Jintao. I don't know their blood types or constellations, but certainly Hatoyama and Ozawa were having their day when they were subtly steering Japan away from the vassal relationship with American imperialists, though too timidly, with their delusive initiative for an East Asian Community.

In June, yet another pair of idiots Naoto Kan and Katsuya Okada took over their respective posts. Obviously they couldn't have seized the leadership of the DPJ administration without the unholy alliance quickly formed with mythomaniacs in the media and corrupt prosecutors and judges. Yet, it's quite unlikely that these bastards in the third and fourth estates could have rallied behind Kan and Okada so quickly had it not been for a covert interference by someone else.

Now it's quite evident that the swindler in the White House has bought into Campbell's malicious plot. Actually you can see an unmistakable finger print of the CIA in Japan's political landscape since June.

There is a striking resemblance between the ways the current DPJ administration is going to solidify its power base and the old LDP administration was brought into existence by former war criminals and yakuza recruited by the CIA. Now that it has belatedly written off the old edifice centered around the LDP, Washington is trying to covertly "reinvent" this country for the second time.

Unfortunately for the learning-disabled Obama, though, anyone with commonsense knows you can't expect a different outcome from the same, old trick. For one thing, the cradle of Washington's new picks, Kan and Okada, is none other than the 55-year-old LDP.

Independent daily Nikkan Gendai, alone, has reported on the confidential cable. It has suggested, practically everyday, that Kan's premiership wouldn't last a single day without the help of the CIA. The same daily has also got a scoop on the clandestine meeting between Ozawa and Hu Jintao that took place at a Yokohama hotel in November. For better or for worse, Ozawa's career will not have really ended as long as the Chinese leader can outclass U.S. President, as Hu did Obama in many ways in late January.

I know very little about what's going on in Egypt and Tunisia. But I do know one important thing that Obama and his stupid people do not; these proud and self-reliant people are not risking their lives for the cause of "American democracy."

In his Jan. 23 op-ed piece titled Did Tweeting Topple Tunisia?, Doyle McManus of Los Angeles Times quotes Jared Cohen of Google Ideas as saying that a "Twitter Revolution" is not what is happening in Tunisia or Egypt. According to McManus, although Cohen admits that social media may sometimes serve as an accelerant of the ongoing wave of revolutions, he concludes that in the end, "a successful revolution still requires people to go into the streets and risk their lives."

These days busybodies in the U.S. think it's trendy to talk about "digital wildfire spreading across the repressive wasteland of the Arab world." That's why they still keep tweeting about the faded dream of American primacy. Until the demise of their evil empire, they will never accept the idea that days are numbered for the American imperialism, also known as the American democracy.

Obama, for one, wasted no time in meddling in, saying Mubarak should do this and shouldn't do that. The guy will never learn America's interference with foreign affairs creates more problems than it solves.

On the other hand, these protesters in Cairo and Tunis are neither anti- nor pro-American. They have just sailed out on uncharted waters looking for a new world without the ubiquitous presence of the United States. They don't know themselves yet exactly what they are getting at. How can they afford the time to discuss the fate of the doomed country?

By stark contrast with Egyptians and Tunisians, the horoscope-obsessed Japanese are still on the same astrological chart drawn by Washington. They will remain there until the final curtain falls on the Americans.

The good news is that they don't have to wait so long for the coming collapse of the United States. And then? God knows what's next.

Postscript:

A couple of days ago, the Foreign Ministry announced that Kan's visit to Washington planned for early May had been postponed. The face-saving story released by the ministry had it that talks between Kan and his black boss were canceled because the schedule on Kan's part is too tight to manage the visit. This can't be true, of course, because the Japanese calendar says people will have the holiday-studded Golden Week from late April through early May.

The Nikkan Gendai daily gives a plausible reason for the postponement; Washington thought it would be a total waste of time to discuss the "deepening of the bilateral partnership" with the brainless head of the precarious and unreliable government. That would mean that it has belatedly dawned on the empty-headed U.S. President that Campbell's plot would be unworkable.

The tabloid also speculates that Obama may want to see his Japanese counterpart after June if Kan is really determined to consider participating in the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) on free trade, as he "pledged," though in a muddled way, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Junichiro Koizumi, former Prime Minister from the LDP, could develop a buddy-buddy relationship with George W. Bush simply because the traitor could actually bulldoze his postal privatization bill into law as his boss in Washington had demanded. On the contrary, Obama, who has been trying to coerce Kan into joining the TPP, can never expect him to carry through with his impromptu pledge at the cost of nation's dying industries, especially agricultural sector.

At any rate, with Washington pulling the plug on Kan's administration, it's a matter of time that the Japanese see another fall of their government.

In the meantime, Kan should keep a watchful eye on his horoscope, if he is not acquainted with an Indian fortuneteller like his predecessor was. But my crystal ball recommends he should pick Ozawa as the partner of the double suicide like Hatoyama did in June last year. Ozawa has a special skill to die over and over again.

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