Which became contaminated first, the body or the soul?

Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 03:33 AM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto


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

Takashi Hirose,
investigative journalist

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

Abe's grandfather
Nobusuke Kishi

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

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

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

An insoluble dilemma over whether to love or leave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The circenses angle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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