Not a single historian has dared to unravel the profound mystery of the Pacific War. To really understand the unfathomable behavior of the Japanese, it's far from enough just to label them defeatists with a strong bent toward self-destruction. Only compensatory narcissism can explain why they went into war with the Allied Powers, while knowing very well it was an unwinnable war. To those who were dying for international recognition, the war was a great success. Pearl Harbor was only part of it.
In his book titled Inventing Japan - 1853-1964, Buruma quoted Kotaro Takamura, a prominent poet at the time, as saying:
"[I felt] as if a heavy load had been lifted from my shoulders,"
when he learned about the Imperial Army's spectacular success in Hawaii. Buruma also quoted another literary figure Sei Itoh as saying:
"I felt as if in one stroke, I had become a new man."
We already know Pearl Harbor was a cheap trick set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Previously he had moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego presumably to save the cost to have been involved in the decommissioning of these obsolete vessels. But that didn't prohibit the 100-million terminally-ill people from experiencing a consummate sense of euphoria.
When the war ended with Fat Man and Little Boy detonated over the wrong cities, they still saw no reason to feel it was necessary to take a hard look into their real selves so they could drop the childish behavior. Douglas MacArthur later called Japanese adults 12-year-olds. The general felt that way simply because they were too immature to do some soul-searching when it was absolutely necessary. To begin with, if you have no soul inside, you can't examine it.
The Fukushima disaster of March 11, 2011 was a windfall opportunity because it put these people in the international spotlight once again. But as the memory of 3.11 was gradually fading away, they resumed looking around for something else that would show they still deserve international attention. On June 22, tens of millions of Japanese across the nation were holding their breath before their television sets. In the fancy liquid crystal screens, the final deliberation was going on over Japan's 10-year-old proposal to have Mount Fuji recognized as UNESCO's World Heritage Site. And the moment the chairman banged the gavel, saying, "The motion adopted," the entire nation went into raptures. More than seven weeks have passed, but the state of ecstasy is still lingering on. It's as though the 3,776-meter-high mound of soil has instantly turned into a sacred mountain which is supposed to mirror the Japanese spirit. It's a different issue whether there is anything to be called a spirit inside these people.
What's next? Of course, it's the Summer Olympic Games they have desperately wanted to host in 2020. There is a myth that says the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 gave this country a jump start for its "miraculous" rise to center stage as the world's second largest economy. They will never forget how it all started in 1964, but they choose to forget how it ended in 1990. As Buruma reminded his readers, the abridged Japanese Century was a total illusion from the beginning.
Former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, dubbed "a Neanderthal" by an Australian journalist, hasn't shown the slightest sign of waking up. Encouraged by his fellow apes in Japan and the U.S., including Gordon G. Chang, who is an ardent admirer of him, Ishihara made a bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics to reinvigorate the economy while boosting patriotism at the same time. But it failed four years ago when the International Olympic Committee announced Rio de Janeiro would be the next venue.
Then, Inose, the former right-hand man of the Governor, took over Ishihara's silly aspiration. The new Tokyo Governor has exerted every possible effort to convince the IOC that Japan's capital would be the best choice. To that end he has stressed that Tokyo is much safer than other candidate cities because unlike Istanbul, its citizens will never rise up against any initiative from the government, and that Japan is fiscally sounder than Spain. He is telling the truth when he talks about the unparalleled docility of the Japanese. But it's an outright lie when it comes to the fiscal soundness as you can see in my post about the Pacioli Revolution.
On July 9, six days after Inose's presentation at the IOC meeting, something quite unexpected happened. Masao Yoshida, the former chief of the Fukushima Fifty, died of esophageal cancer. If you didn't know of the Fukushima Fifty, they were covertly ordered to stay on inside the crippled nuclear power plant to work on the suicide mission. In September 2011, the Spanish government gave the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord to these Kamikaze pilots of the 21st century, calling them the “heroes of Fukushima.” Needless to say this particular recognition by the foreign government wasn't appreciated at all here. Since the media practically ignored it, most Japanese don't even know the feat.
As a nonfiction writer puts it, if Yoshida had stopped pumping seawater into the most seriously damaged reactor in compliance with the orders from then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and the TEPCO headquarters, a wider area including Tokyo must have turned into a Chernobyl in a matter of days. But it was a piece of cake for the media to practically hush up the news. Most of them placed microscopic obituaries and some related stories. But nation's leading newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the world's largest circulation of more than 10 million, followed suit only two days after Yoshida's death. It's obvious that during the 48-hours time, Yomiuri reporters stationed at Kisha Kurabu attached (in every sense of the word) to The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan were trying to minimize the impact the news would have on their audience, in close consultation with their bosses at the editors' room, government offices and the FEPC. Their primary responsibility was to prevent Inose's vanity project from being adversely affected by the death of the 58-year-old martyr.
They have more or less succeeded to manipulate the post-3.11 situation by glossing over the enormity of the pollution resulting from the meltdown of the reactors. Anyone with commonsense can tell the entire food chain has been irreparably poisoned in this country. But as usual, while they quickly white-list relatively safe food items, they never disclose the blacklist on a timely basis. Certainly they know how to immunize people. For one thing, as recently as a couple of weeks ago, the government and TEPCO announced matter-of-factly that they had learned that 300 tons of contaminated groundwater is draining into the ocean everyday. They added although they didn't know exactly when the massive leak had begun, it couldn't be ruled out that they had been unwittingly dumping this much of the groundwater into the briny since Day 1 of the disaster.
Don't take me wrong, however. I don't particularly want them to stop lying. It can't be helped because it's their job to keep telling lies. Moreover, I have never been a truth-seeker myself. Truth is nothing more than something one does not think is false. So if and when they changed their mind and coughed up the true story, all I could say would be: "Oh, is that so? And so what?" It does not make a bit of sense to reveal an empty truth when the entire population is drowned in one of the most malign types of mauvaise foi - narcissism of the yellow Hottentots.
Now that it seems somewhat likely the venal guys at the IOC buy into Tokyo's second bid on September 7, the day that falls on Japan's Judgement Day, all I wanted to say in this post is that it's too obscene an idea to give the international athletes a big treat of Japanese food contaminated with Iodine-131, Cesium-137, and other radioactive materials, just in order to entertain Japan's insatiable appetite for international recognition.
Many researchers have revealed that among other monkeys, apes that have no tails can recognize their real selves in the mirror. In that context Kawarazaki's statement was an undeserved compliment for these male Japanese macaques including my own biological sons, siblings, friends and neighbors. I don't know if I am an exception, but at least I always try hard to become one.
In the dead of the endless midsummer heat, the only words that crop up in my head to add to Kawarazaki's observation are: "The Japanese are the only people who are closer to monkeys than these salauds américains."