Monday, September 09 2013 @ 03:33 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.
Last night I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. Oh, how I wish he’d go away.
- from a popular rhyme composed by William Hughes Mearns
Let me reiterate the single most important fact about humanity:
No one but yourself can manipulate you.
Surprisingly many adults in America refuse to accept the self-evident proposition which a kindergarten kid wouldn't have difficulty understanding. Some of them even insist this is something you have to prove, but can't.
Kenzo Okuzaki (right) at the tomb of his fallen comrade
It's as though they are saying that when a human being comes into existence, his identity has to be proved by someone else. Actually he already knows for sure that he is what he is. What he has yet to learn is something else.
Here's a simplest example. When a TV commercial made you think about buying the fancy product, you normally say, "I selected it from among other alternatives." You never say the product selected you. You even brag about the fact that you picked the right one. But once something went wrong with it, you would start to complain that you were deceived by the ad, although deep inside you can't deny it's none other than yourself that deceived you.
In 2001, a stupid white man made a fortune from the book about stupid white men he wrote for stupid white men. He was a notch smarter than these kindergarten kids because at least financially he was a little savvier than them. Since the beginning of this century, we've seen thousands of fraudulent writers and speakers emerging from obscurity using the same formula of Michael Moore. These crisis mongers, conspiracy theorists and doomsayers have invariably based their arguments, either explicitly or implicitly, on the false premise that human beings are manipulable. This is exactly how they could "dupe" millions of gullible Americans into buying bogus merchandise from them.
I'm not really concerned about the intellectual vacuum quickly spreading all over America. It's not my job to cure their refractory mental illness caused by developmental failure. What really concerns me is where my fellow Asians, especially Japanese, are headed.
In that respect, one question has long haunted me: What is this thing called the Emperor?
Is it a tyrant? The answer is "No." A plain idiot can't have a supernatural power to manipulate the hundred million subjects at a time as Hirohito did and his son Akihito is doing. Moreover, if Hirohito had been a dictator, then he must have been executed by the people before Douglas MacArthur acquitted him of the responsibility for driving the 3.1 million people to sacrifice their lives in the unwinnable war. Then, is it a mere puppet which is manipulated by someone else? The answer is also "No." Once again nobody can manipulate others. And if Hirohito had been a puppet, it must have bowed out as soon as these puppeteers were sent climbing the 13 steps to the gallows.
In 1947 MacArthur formally ordered Hirohito to step down from deity to become "the symbol of national unity." Time and again in the past, I have tried to explain to my audience the Japanese Emperor isn't a figurehead in the sense it's defined in the dictionary. American Heritage Online defines a figurehead like this: "A person given a position of nominal leadership but having no actual authority." If it were just a figurehead, even the super-generous Japanese taxpayers wouldn't be willingly shoulder an annual 20 billion yen to feed it, its kin and servants.
By now I have concluded it's just a phantom which isn't actually there. It's invisible, and yet it's always being felt by the Japanese people as if it were existent. Asian peoples, especially the Chinese and the Koreans can still visualize what other peoples can't. But my way of explaining what it's like to live in the haunted imperial shithouse has never really worked with my predominantly American audience. That's why I have often had to turn to visual aids.
There is another barrier facing me in that respect. My audience has all been brainwashed most typically by moviemakers in Hollywood to believe in the stereotypical perceptions and images of the Japanese. More than anyone else, the legendary film-maker Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) should be given credit for the total falsification. The truth is that although he was a well-built man (6 ft 00 in,) Kurosawa was given an exempt status from the draft because his father was in a position to influence a high-ranking officer in charge of conscription. He not only dodged the draft but also avoided facing the reality of the haunted country. These are why he kept sucking up to mindless movie distributors in the West throughout his career.
With all this in mind, I strongly recommend you watch the documentary film embedded at the bottom of this post if you want to learn the untold truth about this country, and you can afford to spend 2 hours viewing it. Since I'm completely in the dark about cinematography, I can't tell whether this 1987 movie titled The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On meets the standards of cinematic art. Yet, I'm sure unlike Kurosawa's baloney, it tells you the undistorted truth about the haunted people - their effete, self-pitiful, self-hateful, self-deprecating, self-destructive, mentally disintegrated, overly apologetic, and sometimes narcissistic attitudes. And beware you shouldn't expect yet another cheap story about a man who chases wartime superiors to bring them to justice. FYI: You can turn on English or Spanish caption by clicking the white icon placed at the bottom of the screen.
The protagonist is a Pacific War veteran named Kenzo Okuzaki. He was one of the handful of survivors of the suicidal New Guinea campaign. After he returned home in 1946, Okuzaki attempted to avenge himself on several people, including wrong ones. But his ultimate target was Emperor Hirohito.
On January 2, 1969, thirteen years before the shooting of this film started, he attempted to hit Hirohito with four "pachinko" balls (lead pellets) fired with a hand-made sling shot, for which he served a 1.5-year term in prison. This incident leaves you wondering what exactly Okuzaki was aiming at by his seemingly farcical attempt of symbolic assassination. Some of you may even suspect he was a psychopath. But actually no prosecutor, judge or courtroom lawyer ever thought he needed to take a sanity test.
The real question to ask is why he didn't kill Hirohito despite the fact that it would have been a piece of cake to get him. He had everything necessary with him - the resolve, the motive, the weapon, and the chance. In Japan you are not allowed to possess a firearm unless you are a soldier, cop or yakuza gangster. But it's evident that Okuzaki knew where to get one. In the mid-1980s, he visited the home of one of his former superiors carrying a real gun. When he knew the target wasn't in, Okuzaki fired a shot or two at one of his family members at point-blank range. He served a 12-year term in prison on charges of attempted murder. It should also be noted that he could approach the balcony close enough for the sling shot attack when his target stood on it. In those days, the balcony wasn't walled with bulletproof glass because it was totally inconceivable that Hirohito might be assaulted by its subject.
My answer to this question is as simple as that he knew his Hirohito wasn't there, or to be more precise, the weird thing waving its hand to the crowd from the balcony was nothing but a double of the phantom. His real target was deep within himself. It seems to me Okuzaki couldn't find a workable way to kill the "inner Emperor," as anti-establishment Japanese often put it, until the last day of his life. He died on June 16, 2005 at a Kobe hospital. The local news coverage was next to nil. But according to a foreign correspondent, his last word was "バカヤロー" (Fuck you!). He shouted out the same word over and over as if he was suffering a serious aphasia.
Admittedly Okuzaki was an uneducated man. He didn't have the ability to conceptualize things. Small wonder what the protagonist of the film says and does is more often than not incoherent. To make it worse, the director and the producer of the film don't seem to have understood his real message. So they keep the cameras running when these characters are talking about irrelevant things such as cannibalism which was commonplace in the jungle of New Guinea.
From late Saturday night through early Sunday morning, every fourth Japanese was glued to the TV to witness live the pretentious ritual taking place in Buenos Aires to select - through rigged vote - the city to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. The moment Jacques Rogge, outgoing president of the venal International Olympic Committee, announced Tokyo was the winner, the entire nation went into raptures. In the last couple of months these self-deceptive people had acted like drug addicts showing serious withdrawal symptoms. But now the 128-million junkies got everything they need in the next seven years.
You can't imagine what it feels like to spend the last days of one's life surrounded by these haunted people who now hope to see their imperial shithouse emerging as a viable nation toward 2020 with its land miraculously decontaminated of radioactive materials. · read more (1 words)
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.
Okinawa Governor-elect Takeshi Onaga
Outgoing Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
In the middle of writing on the result of Okinawa's gubernatorial election of November 16, I realized it would take too much time if I intended to analyze its implication to the fullest. I decided to make it short because I still have some backlog issues such as Japan's religious salad and consequences of the protracted drought of disruptive technologies. Hopefully I will further elaborate on my take on the Okinawa election, if I have time after I can release these pieces from the pipeline,
People in even more uncivilized countries such as the United States always talk about election fraud in the face of the loss suffered by a candidate they support, or as a handy excuse for not bothering to cast their ballots so they can say, "It's not my fault," whenever things go wrong.
But in Japan vote-rigging is a rarity simply because it's unnecessary. It doesn't make a bit of difference who wins the poll.
In the last thirteen centuries since Shotoku Prince promulgated the 17-Article Constitution, the ruling classes have been increasingly well-equipped with the art of governing, while their subjects have developed for themselves an ingenious art of being governed. Not that people don't fear, complain, resist or protest. On the contrary, they express dissatisfaction nonstop with their constrained lives.
I think this is primarily attributable to the tradition of shamanism. Let's face it: Japan is, in fact, a mirage. True, it isn't a nothing; something is there. But certainly this country is a mere optical phenomenon without substance. It comes into real existence only when it's met with fear, resentment, or any other strong feeling from its people. By this hypothesis the pathology of its insatiable desire for international recognition, or even the nationwide addiction to Sumaho and other mobile devices, can be explained, as well, in an indisputable way.
Believe it or not, I'm not exaggerating or just analogizing, but this country is nothing but an illusion shared among 127 million people. Maybe the same is more or less true with some other nation-states. But it's their headache, not mine.
I know if you are one of those thinking-disabled people who "think" they are thinking while in fact they are just shuffling information purely on an ear-to-mouth basis, you will find my ontological inference about this nation-statehood not only crazy but also outrageous. That's too bad. But I'm not in a position to babysit a curtain-climber like you.
I've learned from my firsthand experience that the entire game being played here is rigged from the beginning through the Shintoist ritual. I first learned as a university student how the system works from the nationwide protest against the 1960 revision of the U.S.-Japan security treaty. And then I learned more in depth about the same mechanism as a key staff member at the Human Resource Management section of KYB, a manufacturer of shock absorbers and other hydraulic equipment, who was in charge of industrial relations at the height of the labor movements dominated by belligerent communists from the late-1950s through early-'60s.
Now I know for sure it's much more than just degassing dissidents. The perpetual antagonism among people, who are actually obsessed with the idea that harmony should always prevail, is what has shaped the very foundation of this country.
Looking at Takeshi Onaga, the winner of the Sunday election, dancing his victory dance at his campaign headquarters, I realized all anew that Okinawa which was annexed by this mirage-like country in the 1870s has been irreversibly assimilated into America's Japan. Now the two parts of the "nation-state" have conglutinated to each other in a way to form a monster that looks pretty much like inoperable Siamese twins.
Onaga's predecessor is Hirokazu Nakaima. In the last eight years, he did the following three things: 1) he won two elections on his anti-base campaign pledge, 2) he upped the ante for the budget allocation from the Tokyo government for the "development" of the prefecture, and 3) now he is leaving office as a governor who did his best for his voters despite the fact it's Nakaima himself who gave a green light for the landfill at Henoko, the new site for the base of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Since Nakaima has already made the relocation plan a fait accompli, it's almost irreversible now. If Onaga really meant to rescind Nakaima's approval as he promised to the voters, he has no time to dance to the same old tune. But actually, Onaga, as the incumbent Mayor of Naha City, had previously confided to his fellow mayors that "no matter how we protest against the policy of the Japanese government, it will never be overturned," according to a Wikipedia entry. He reportedly added: "Yet we have to uphold our anti-base position because that is the only way to get more budget allocations."
In fact in the last forty years the Tokyo government has allocated an aggregate 10 trillion yen of taxpayers' money to Okinawa to compensate for "the disproportionately heavy burden" on the 1.4 million islanders.
This is a deja vu of what I have experienced time and again with the Yamatonchu in the last six decades. · read more (26 words)
Thursday, September 04 2014 @ 11:11 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
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. Last night I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. Oh, how I wish he’d go away.
- from a popular rhyme composed by William Hughes Mearns
I'm still behind the cause of Mr. Takashi Hirose. To my regret, however, his approach isn't really paying off despite the fact that the anti-nuclear power movement seems to have further gathered momentum when measured by the numbers of people he and his colleagues have mobilized.
The reason behind this is because Hirose has ideologized the issue by getting more and more involved in politics himself.
Recently someone close to him uploaded interesting videos which show an all-night debate program aired 23 years before 3/11. It, in itself, is yet another Shintoist ritual called Dibehto in this country, but if you have some Japanese proficiency, you will know Hirose, still in his mid-40s, already had an unparalleled insight into problems entailed in nuclear power generation, but at the same time his weak spot was already there.
When an empty-headed cynic named Susumu Nishibe challenged the arguments by Hirose and some nuclear scientists who sided with him as helplessly childish, Mr. Hirose had to pretend he hadn't heard him. Actually Nishibe said to the effect that speaking against nuclear energy is like saying we should refrain from driving cars just because tens of thousands of people lose their lives in traffic accidents every year.
Nishibe's argument was equally, or even more, childish. So it's all the more regrettable that the youngish Hirose was at a loss over how to counter it. 26 years have passed since then. I think it's about time he should have learned that by politicizing the issue, he is externalizing it as if it were someone else's problem.
In fact, the single most important thing for an activist, or any human being for that matter, is always to internalize the issue at hand. If you are really serious about the risks involved in manufacturing, selling, buying and driving cars, you should stop engaging in such activities altogether to be the role model for others. In short:
You shouldn't cherry-pick.
Fortunately for us, though, there are a handful of level-headed nuclear scientists and medical experts who pursue the same end using a much more down-to-earth approach. One of them is this Hiroaki Koide, Associate Professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. He has made it clear to the public that he doesn't want to become associated with any political group.
On June 18, Koide visited Okinawa University to give a 3-hour presentation in which he stressed more than anything else that citizens of Okinawa, Hiroshima/Nagasaki and Fukushima have one important thing in common.
He started off his lecture by summarizing the situation in Fukushima from a nuclear scientist's point of view. There was nothing particularly new in the numerical data and factual pieces of information he gave to the audience. But I think the introductory part of the speech served his purpose of reminding what his audience had almost forgotten.
Then the lecturer moved on to the historical background against which the Japanese, especially people in Okinawa, Hiroshima/Nagasaki and Fukushima have been going through all these sufferings.
Mass suicide in Okinawa, June 1945
The nuclear scientist did not directly mention this particular incident that happened to hundreds of female Okinawans in June 1945. One year earlier almost thousand Japanese civilians committed mass suicide by throwing themselves off "Banzai cliff" when the U.S. Marines had advanced to the northern tip of Saipan. Banzai literally means "Long live the Emperor."
In June next year another hundreds of women did exactly the same thing toward the end of the bloody battle of Okinawa. When doing so, they all cried Banzai.
Seven decades later, male Japanese macaques are still chitchatting over the incident. Some say these women were forced to do so while some others insist it was a voluntary act. It's as though they think it matters whether or not they were forced by the military personnel to kill themselves.
Memo W. J. Sebald addressed to Douglas MacArthur
As to the prolonged, or even perpetuated, U.S. occupation of Okinawa, Mr. Koide touched on what is vaguely known to the Japanese subjects as "Emperor's Okinawa Message". (See POSTSCRIPT dated September 10.)
It was a top secret thing until the document was declassified some 60 years later.
To make the long story short, the father of incumbent Emperor Akihito sold off Okinawa and its residents to the American people just to reciprocate the super-generous leniency Hirohito was expecting from Harry S. Truman.
Hiroshima in the 1930s or early-'40s International University of Okinawa, August 13, 2004
Although Mr. Koide stopped short of elaborating on the true story behind the Hiroshima bombing, he showed his audience a picture similar to this one I embed here.
The stupid peoples on both sides of the Pacific have been untiringly disputing over whether the use of enriched uranium-based atomic bomb against the Japanese could be justified. As I've repeatedly argued in this blog, this is a red herring.
If ever that's what's at issue, all I can say is the A-bombing would have been justifiable if it had been targeted at the Imperial Palace to decapitate the nation. In fact, though, U.S. Commander-in-Chief ordered the Enola Gay to detonate Little Boy over the strategically unimportant local city named Hiroshima.
There is a conspiracy theory that goes like this:
Two months before the success of the "Trinity" test in the desert of Alamogordo, U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson secretly contacted Emperor Hirohito, via Shigeru Yoshida (to be profiled later) to ask where to drop the bomb. Without hesitation Hirohito said he wanted Harry S. Truman to pick Hiroshima presumably because the city is 420 miles away from his residence in central Tokyo.
The story can be true because there's no other way to logically explain what happened here in the summer of 1945.
But as I've said time and again, all conspiracy theorists are not only disguised conspirators themselves but invariably play a pivotal role in evil plots. Their role is always to give gullible people an extremely poisonous illusion that you could possibly undo history.
Whether or not we call it a conspiracy, the same gang of rogues are still there to wreak havoc on the Japanese. In the last two decades or so, the entire population has been parroting the media saying that the postwar regime is over now. But Mr. Koide asked his audience: "How can that be true when the war is far from over yet?"
Japan started working on the nuclear development in the mid-1950s under the agreement on U.S.-Japan cooperation for "peaceful uses of nuclear energy." While Japan still remains totally shackled with the U.S. East Asia policy, it has acquired all the core technologies needed for its nuclearization, i.e. those for uranium enrichment, nuclear reactor and reprocessing of used fuel to extract fissionable plutonium.
According to Koide, there is only one nuclear-capable nation aside from the 5 NPT-authorized nuclear powers and those who have nuclear weapons outside the non-proliferation framework, i.e. India, Pakistan and Israel. (He is skeptical about the existence of the nukes in North Korea because from the nuclear scientist's point of view, the country has yet to acquire all of the three essential technologies.) And this de facto nuclear power is the country named Japan.
In 1968, then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato (to be profiled later) announced his Three Non-Nuclear Principles, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 1974. But the fact of the matter remains that the Japanese government has long complied with the U.S. demand that the deployment of tactical nukes in Japan, especially bases in Okinawa, should be tolerated.
The last part of his presentation was devoted to summarizing the situation facing the Okinawans today.
In 1972, the Okinawa Islands, along with Daito islet, were returned to Japan according to the "Agreement between Japan and the United States of America Concerning the Ryukyu Islands and the Daito Island" countersigned between Eisaku Sato and Richard Nixon. But that didn't make a bit of difference because Hirohito's memo of 1947 and the security treaty of 1960 weren't superseded by the agreement.
In August 2004, a U.S. Marine CH-53D copter crashed into the campus of the International University of Okinawa.
As shown in the photo embedded above, the campus was immediately sealed off and the Japanese police stood guard outside the barricades to stop students, faculty members and other onlookers from interfering with the work being done inside. As you can see in the picture, one of the guys working on the removal of the debris was wearing a coverall and using a Geiger counter.
Koide explained: "Since a small crack in the blade can cause a serious accident, every helicopter is equipped with crack detection devices which have a certain amount of Strontium 90 in them." Although this may not constitute a violation of Sato's principle, the accident refueled the wrath among Okinawans of the situation they were in for almost six decades.
Here is an incomplete list of criminals whose names were mentioned, explicitly or implicitly, by Mr. Koide.
● Matthew C. Perry ● Harry S. Truman ● Ruth Benedict ● Douglas MacArthur ● Dwight Eisenhower ● Barack Hussein Obama ● Shigeru Yoshida who served as Prime Minister during 1946-47 and 1949-54 ● Yoshida's grandson Taro Aso who served as PM during 2008-9 ● Nobusuke Kishi, who was an undercover CIA agent disguised as PM during 1957-60 ● Kishi's younger brother Eisaku Sato, who was PM during 1964-72 ● Sato's grandnephew Shinzo Abe, who was PM during 2006-7 and came back to the same position in 2012 ● Kazumi Matsui, current Hiroshima Mayor who let more than 70 Hiroshima citizens die in huge landslides while he was chanting the same old incantation for a nuclear-free world toward the 69th anniversary ● Emperor Hirohito ● Hirohito's son Akihito.
The list will go on and on if we omit small fish the no-nonsense nuclear scientist didn't even think were worth mentioning, e.g. Ching Chong Chang and ベンジャミン古歩道.
I don't know, neither do I want to know, if some of them are Freemasons or their minions. So many Americans, and Japanese alike, have given us paper-thin excuses such as "I didn't vote for Obama," or "I don't support Abe," etc. But so what?
If you are an American, you can't deny you are part of America. It's OK if you are still determined to deny that. But beware the Japanese are the people who have been defended by 神風, or Divine Wind, in the face of a crisis. And this time around 偏西風, or Subtropical Westerlies, have sometimes taken Divine Wind's place to send Cesium 137 and other radioactive materials westward.
Here again, let me reiterate the most fundamental thing about life.
No one but yourself can manipulate you. A French philosopher put it this way:
We are our choices.
It's an extremely unusual thing that a 65-year-old top-notch scientist like Koide has yet to be promoted to a higher position than an associate professor. He didn't say a word about it. He just hinted that Shozo Tanaka is his lifetime role model.
In concluding his remarkable presentation, Mr. Hiroaki Koide quoted the old saying that goes: "An ignorant leader for ignorant people." He wanted to say each individual citizen deserves all the pain inflicted on him with the only exception of children.
I don't think you are willing to study Japanese as hard as we do English because the only Japanese words you have to know are 偉大な日本国民はアメリカ人にとって大切な友達 ("The great Japanese people are our important friends.") After all most of us are vassals and serfs living in America's far-eastern fiefdom.
But just in case, I'll embed below here the YouTube videos of Mr. Koide's lecture. If you carefully look at his presentation slides, you will know there still are a small number of Japanese individuals who refuse to observe the rules of the game unilaterally imposed by American apes.
POSTSCRIPT September 7: If I had attended Mr. Koide's class, I would have asked him this question, if nothing else, in the Q&A time: "Mr. Koide, I'm afraid iPhone and other types of mobile devices are more or less hazardous to mental and physical health. Could you give us some quantitative data to prove or disprove my fear?"
POSTSCRIPT September 8: In response to the above question Mr. Koide took his precious time to give me a mail this morning. He explained he and his colleagues in the institute specialize in "Ionizing Radiation" (電離放射線) which is normally dealt with separately from Non-Ionizing Radiation (電磁波.) But he referred me to his old friend who has long been investigating the health hazard of Non-Ionizing Radiation. Also Mr. Koide sent me a report he wrote ten years ago in the wake of the helicopter crash into the campus of the International University of Okinawa, in which he detailed how Strontium 90 affects the human body. Now I got a lot of homework.
POSTSCRIPT September 10: Since the document in question was declassified, Japanese dupes have been told that the message was verbally conveyed by this "adviser to Emperor" named Hidenari Terasaki to William J. Sebald, then U.S. Ambassador to Japan ad interim, who then passed it on to Douglas MacArthur in writing. But I don't believe that's how it actually happened. There wasn't, and still isn't, a single Japanese individual who was able to verbally articulate an intricate message like this one. According to Japanese newspapers, the 12,000-plus page "Annals of Emperor Showa" released yesterday by the Imperial Household Agency do not specifically answer the question as to whether Hirohito actually made "such a remark." Obviously, the Japanese people are now given a meticulously cooked "history" which is the 21st century version of Kojiki and Nihon-shoki compiled in the early-8th century by court-retained historians. It's about time we should realize it's a total waste of time to seriously discuss the myth about this fake nationhood at face value.
· read more (1 words)
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.
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 in the foreseeable future.
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. But now the mass-insanity surrounding me has prompted me to look at it from a 180-degree different perspective, i.e. what the causal relationship is between the pandemic of juvenile dementia and the decline in birthrate.
I have concluded by now it isn't my wishful thinking to theorize:
THE FITTEST ARE THE FIRST TO GO EXTINCT IN A DEGENERATING SOCIETY.
That should mean that the Japanese are an endangered species, and the same is more or less true with the Americans.
For my part, more than two years ago, I reluctantly let go of my last girlfriend when her parents, who are some 20 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 and the subsequent burden of child rearing 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)
TRAVELING SOUTH TO VISIT BMW AG - 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.
Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 08:18 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.
In my previous post, I briefly portrayed one of the small number of regulars to this unpopular website as a typical anti-hatred advocate in the U.S. But I'm extremely reluctant to elaborate on the modus operandi this particular gentleman (hereinafter referred to as "AHA") has used as if it's his favorite pastime to derail our serious discussions over serious issues.
Since we are constantly swayed into off-the-topic issues, now it looks like my destiny always to return to the point where I started the last time every time I go on to the next issue. Nothing is more counterproductive and demotivating.
In the last nine years we've got almost six million hits to this website. But I suspect the abnormally high "exit rate" and "bounce rate," which are still on the rise, are attributable at least in part to my unusual writing style resulting from my effort to disentangle past threads. At any rate, I can no longer afford to waste too much time for anything that is not my primary concern at this moment.
Another reason I'm so reluctant to talk about AHA's attitude is that it runs counter to my principle to openly attack a specific personality. After all he may have just stumbled on the wrong website to promote his pointless cause. And admittedly I think an irrelevant response to my post is a little better than no response at all. Galileo is often quoted as having said: "I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."
Especially I don't like to criticize this particular gentleman because not once he has done me a favor since we got to know each other on an unlikely website - YouTube - some five years ago. We found out our areas of interest partly overlapped each other. Among other things, AHA is a self-styled writer who has privately published a book titled Tales of Our Germans. Based on his experience with the U.S. publishing industry, he gave me a lot of tips when I was still thinking about reviving my aborted book about the terminally-ill Japanese people.
He kept saying my "great idea" should be worth an exposure to the American audience. Certainly I felt flattered. But at the same time I felt there was something fishy about his lavish praise of my writing because he didn't give me a single specific reason for that. I still didn't know what looked like big-heartedness was yet another trick an anti-hatred activist habitually uses when he spreads around empty lip service so harmony prevails everywhere.
I wanted to publish it outside Japan simply because no one had ever attempted to reveal the truth about the foundation of my home country based on his experience living there for three-quarter century and working in Japan Inc. for a half century.
As I always say, Japan is the country where the East met the West in the weirdest and most unfortunate way. In plainer words, it shouldn't have modernized, industrialized or Westernized itself at all - or at least in the way it actually did in the last 1.5 centuries. As a result Japan has long been the "Orphan of Asia" and there's no way back anymore. I know the American people are so determined not to accept anything but all that myth they have created about their Far-Eastern fiefdom that they can't really visualize what I'm talking about.
For one thing, I love the Uzbek embroideries (above photo) very much because although you can see the influence of the West there, their artifacts remain genuinely Uzbek. Not that the Japanese don't have traditional artifacts of their own, such as the sophisticated bamboo craft you can see in some areas such as Oita Prefecture of Kyushu island. But the fact of the matter remains that aside from modest commercial values these artifacts carry, Japanese craftsmen are primarily seeking the recognition of their "artistic values" by the UNESCO, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, or the like. That is where lies the fundamental difference between this cultural wasteland and Uzbekistan.
This is what AHA has failed to understand or even hasn't tried to understand. I was really taken aback when I learned actually he didn't give a damn about my arguments at all. Every second time we talked about Japan, he didn't fail to automatically repeat his unconditional admiration toward these "terminally-ill" people.
At one time, he wrote in his mail:
"Years ago, my wife and I hosted several Japanese travelers and students. I particularly remember a young air conditioning repairman who sat with us in a park playing his guitar. He thought his voice was 'dirty.' Nonetheless, all the Americans were absolutely delighted. He deserved a big career in music with one exception; He was singing Kingston Trio songs and when he came to Tom Dooley, it came out 'Tom Doorey.' For the same reason that nobody could think to help him in music, nobody thought to help him with his pronunciation of the letter L. We were too shy to help."
Surprisingly enough, AHA thought his impression of a young Japanese repairman invalidated my arguments based on firsthand experience with thousands and thousands of fellow countrymen in the last seven decades. To him the only problem facing Japan is its people's inability to pronounce the L-sound correctly.
Increasingly at a loss over what's going on in his brain, I uploaded a post last month about Tokyo's bid to host 2020 Olympics in which I deliberately called the Japanese the only people uglier than the Hottentots. Needless to say I'm not blogging to communicate with AHA alone, but I wanted to see, more than anything else, how he would respond to my provocation. His comment went like this:
"You said that you, '... disrespect the Americans at large.' With your high IQ, a certain amount of disrespect for everything is justified. Nonetheless, rest assured that we respect everything and everyone Japanese."
As always AHA didn't think he had to give me a specific reason he respects the Japanese while at the same time respecting this blogger for his contempt for the same people.
More recently I uploaded a post in which I raised the same old question about the Emperor from a fresh angle. In the piece I concluded the enigmatic figure is nothing but the double of a phantom because historically it has proved neither a tyrant nor a puppet. You may disagree to my unusual way of describing the Emperor, but without precisely defining it in one way or the other, you will never really understand this country. It's no accident that Japan has followed the weird trajectory in the past and still stays there.
And what did AHA write in response to my post?
"You said, 'In Japan you are not allowed to possess a firearm unless you are a soldier, cop or yakuza gangster.' That is funny, of course, but valid. Though any US citizen can own a firearm, our leaders make a point of arming and training officers of our ostensibly gentle government organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency," and blah, blah, blah.
Most recently I wrote that I'm increasingly turning to the virtue of serious anger because when you are mad at me, at least you are taking me seriously.
And what did AHA said? He wrote:
"You said, 'I see an unmistakable sign that you take me seriously.' That is the understatement of the year! We definitely take you seriously. I think that it is fair to say that our responses are not always logical because you present so very many competing polemics with each post. I imagine that each of your readers focuses on something different." (Emphasis mine.)
Obviously AHA must doublecheck the meaning of the English word "serious."
"The things you like are things you like immensely. The things you don't like are things you hate. Like a schizophrenic, you seem to always be at one pole or the other."
I said to myself, "Maybe he is right; I'm more or less schizophrenic." But I thought it was totally unacceptable to give such a diagnosis without a single specific reason, and without a license for practicing psychiatry. I replied:
"DSM-IV says one is diagnosed as a case of schizophrenia when 2 or more of the following symptoms are observed: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms, i.e. affective flattening, alogia, avolition, social/occupational dysfunction, continuous signs of disturbance. To be honest with you I will appreciate it very much if you specify the two or more symptoms you think I’m showing."
Then AHA got back saying:
"No! The concept of schizophrenia is a cloudy idea at best. As originally posed, Dr. Freud saw the the people of interest as being of two minds. That is born out in a number of my friends who are schizophrenic manic-depressive. Unlike you, they have the real disease and are happy/capable one day and almost non-functional the next. Real schizophrenia is extreme. You are not extreme. The great Stephen Foster, a distant relative of my third wife was schizophrenic. Sometimes he was a genius capable of great wonders and at other times he was angry and spent his time hiding from his peers. I am definitely not diagnosing you as schizophrenic. Each person has a little of everyone else in him or her. That is what I meant."
I refrained from striking back simply because I couldn't afford to make a battlefield for plain idiots and half- or full-blown schizophrenics out of my blog, which is the only thing this poverty-stricken man owns on this side of the Styx.
The anti-hatred gentleman always thinks that there is no reason for a serf in America's Far-Eastern fiefdom to feel insulted by his ill-defined words and muddled statements. In order to stay uncommitted to any idea but "harmony," he seldom uses singular pronouns. It's always WE and THEY. (I call it "WE-THEY Syndrome.") And like most other Americans, he is a personality that is very easy to get hurt and unable to notice it when he is hurting others. (I'm inclined to call it "Infantilism.")
In the last couple of weeks two silent visitors decided to unsubscribe from my website. One of the two is a typical Japanese who lives in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of this archipelago. He explicitly said although he had to admit I have an "unparalleled intelligence," he was getting increasingly sick and tired of my "self-righteousness." The other lurker, an American who has comfortably settled down in Yokohama, the second largest city of the Far-Eastern colony of his home country, sneakily left us presumably for the same reason. I'm totally at a loss over how to understand their logic, or complete absence thereof, that essentially says an intelligent person can be self-righteous, or a self-righteous person can be intelligent.
Now that I have lost the two regulars at a time, AHA looks all the more irreplaceable here despite his trolling habit. I wouldn't have thought about writing this long had it not been for the fact that he is an ideal specimen to represent the average American and his Japanese counterpart at the same time.
The timing the two locals unsubscribed from my blog suggests that they can't wait to see the Tokyo Olympics 2020 which they believe will mark the beginning of another Japanese Century. If you didn't know it, the first Japanese Century began in 1964, the year of the first Tokyo Olympics, but was aborted in a matter of 26 years when the bubble economy burst. All this makes it an open issue for me. I'll continue seriously discussing it in the next post. · read more (12 words)
Tuesday, March 05 2013 @ 01:40 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The dendritic projections are like muscle tissue. They grow more the more they're used. - Arnold Scheibel, former professor of neurobiology at UCLA, re-quoted from a New York Times article titled "New Evidence Points to Growth of the Brain Even Late in Life"
Chen Tien-shi appeared on the Education channel of NHK on February 26
Me discussing emergency measures at a meeting in Switzerland in the wake of the burst of Japan's bubble economy
Me awaiting the midnight junk dinner at a shabby eatery
Lara, Chen Tien-shi wears two hats. She is known as an assistant professor and senior researcher at National Museum of Ethnology. At the same time she is a dedicated activist working for the cause of the reduction of "stateless" persons as they are vaguely defined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
I do know she is an extraordinarily intelligent and compassionate person from her biographical book titled Stateless and our personal contact in the last three-plus years. But to tell the truth, I know very little about her academic accomplishments simply because I haven't had a chance to read her research paper. I can't tell for sure, but I suspect she's had a hard time to unequivocally define the problems facing stateless people living in Japan. Here's the reason.
The Japanese legal system, if ever there is such a thing at all, is just a jumble of many incongruous elements. The country first imported the judicial system from the European Continent, particularly from Prussia and France, while it essentially remained a feudal society. After WWII, it has single-mindedly introduced the "Anglo-American" system to blend it into the Franco-Germanic one in an extremely unprincipled way. Once again, Japan has failed to transform itself into a modern civil society.
Let's be reminded that law doesn't change people. It's always the other way around.
Japan's Nationality Law, for one, is based on the MacArthur Constitution. But the problem is that in the 66-year-old Constitution, you will find the definition of "the people" only after you read through the first nine articles devoted to the absurd definition of the Emperor and the manifestation of "renunciation of war." Article 10 says: "[By the way] the conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law." That means in this country, there are at least two extra-legal entities, the divine Emperor and the false pacifism, on which the obscenely incongruous U.S.-Japan alliance is based -- and certainly many more. That way, the rule of law to be reciprocally applied between the state and citizenry is hollowed out from the beginning.
This really hinders Lara's studies as an ethnologist specializing in nationality issues because in reality the subject of her studies is neither law nor ethnology, but theology or mythology, or worse yet, psychiatry.
Lara was wryly grinning when the Japanophilic moron named Donald Keene acquired Japanese citizenship despite the fact the former professor emeritus at Columbia University met none of the requirements of Japan's Nationality Law. Fortunately, though, she has been quite successful in her pursuit as a human rights activist, thanks to her admirable optimism, tenacity and down-to-earth approach toward individual cases with stateless persons who are seeking Japanese nationality only with great difficulty. She is an exceptional person in that she hasn't lost the life-size view of herself, and of others either.
The way she spoke in the TV program of February 26 somehow reminded me of Spielberg's film Schindler's List. Toward the end of the 1993 movie, the German businessman blames himself because he thinks he could have saved more than twelve hundred Jews he actually saved. In this sequence, his old accountant Itzhak Stern gives his boss a gold ring as a token of appreciation. Stern explains about the inscription in it: "It's Hebrew. It says, 'Whoever saves one life saves the world.'"
Lara launched a "Stateless Network" several years ago. Now it's been authorized by the Japanese government as an NPO. An authorized non-profit organization is a funny thing. If lawmakers or bureaucrats think something has to be done to solve a problem, it would be natural that the government, itself, takes corrective measures. Instead, however, it often helps set up an NPO and grants it a tax-exempt status and a small subsidy only to leave it struggling with the hot potato. In this tricky arrangement, what an NPO can do is quite limited.
I don't know if Lara has previous experience in managing an organization. But even if she has some know-how in running one with profit orientation, it's a totally different task to articulate goals for her NPO, and establish the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) accordingly. So it's not her fault at all if the members of her group can't envision their missions very clearly. It's all the more important for each one of these volunteers to understand the spirit of volunteerism that calls for his/her own principle on which to determine what to do and how to do it.
Last week a couple of my friends who watched the TV program gave me their feedback. One of them is a person who heads another NPO working on TIP (trafficking in persons.) She said: "Do you think they (members of Lara's organization) are aware of the fundamental fact that all types of discrimination are deep rooted in one and the same problem: pathology of the Japanese? Just between you and me, one of my headaches is that not a few volunteers in my NPO have lost touch with this reality."
I said, "I don't know exactly, but you are right about the Anti-Prostitution Law. It was enacted 57 years ago. And yet, prostitution, now subtly legitimized and highly institutionalized, is still flourishing across the nation. Likewise, Japan still remains at the bottom of the ranking in gender equality among industrialized nations 27 years after the Equal Employment Opportunity Act took effect. In short, discrimination is at the very root of this false statehood. This should mean that the Nationality Law, and rules and procedures related to it, are only part of the problems facing our Stateless Network."
Another friend, who is an American teaching English in my neighborhood, pointed out: "One of the things that drew my attention is that most stateless persons who appeared in the program seemed to have fallen into the trap of the subjunctive mood. It's always if...., if...., if..... And yet they never used the past perfect subjunctive, like 'What if I hadn't settled down in such a shitty country?' Why are they so sure that they would get a decent job only if the Immigration Office gave them nationality? I don't think their assumptions are very realistic."
He went on: "For instance, that guy, who fled his home country in Eastern Europe all by himself because he lost his parents at the height of the civil war, was saying, in what he thought was English, something like this: 'I love Japan. If the Immigration Office changed its mind and gave me the nationality, or at least a work permit, I would be able to teach English or Russian to Japanese kids.'" He added: "As you once pointed out in your blog, practically every Japanese takes it for granted that any Caucasian can teach him English. As you wrote there, this is one of the reasons English proficiency level of the average Japanese still stays at the bottom of the list despite their greatest exposure to the language here among non-English-speaking nations."
The English teacher said the same thing about another stateless job-seeker who insisted to the interviewer that only if the Immigration Office gave him the nationality, he would be given a decent job he has been applying for, to no avail thus far. The stateless person added that the human resource manager at the company said, "We can't employ you because you are not a Japanese national."
I said to the English teacher: "Who knows? We should all take a chance in an uncertain world like this one." In a sense, though, he had a good point. It doesn't seem to have crossed the mind of these stateless persons seeking the nationality and a job that Japan Inc. is already broke.
No sooner had the Liberal Democratic Party come back to power, new Prime Minister announced a "bold" stimulus package to revive the Japanese economy with a drastic quantitative easing, artificial weakening of the currency and beefing up public works projects. The learning-disabled general public once again jumped on the bandwagon of "Abenomics" as if artificially blowing up GDP by boosting business and consumer sentiment this way isn't the surest way to another bubble. You can't expect a different outcome from repeating the same thing you did in the past. Against this backdrop, I suspect the human resource manager might have used the stateless status of the applicant just as a pretext for turning down his application.
In my post titled A big what-if about the years 1853-1868, I wrote that asking a what-if type question sometimes sheds light on the future because what did not happen in the past can be more indicative than what actually happened. Although this holds true only with the fate of a nation, I think I should also be allowed to go hypothetical, at times, about myself.
In her book titled The Fountain of Age, Betty Friedan, anti-sexist bias activist-turned anti-ageist bias advocate, called man's ability of contextual thinking "crystallized intelligence." She explained:
"It seems that 'fluid' and 'crystallized' intelligence show different aging patterns. 'Crystallized' intelligence, which involves experience, meaning, knowledge, professional expertise, wisdom, increases throughout adulthood." (Emphasis mine.)
Friedan wrote this in 1993. This is even more relevant today because "fluid intelligence" is something that the computer is better at than humans.
So I write an application letter to a company in which I say: "My biological age is 77, and I suffer hypertension and some other illnesses. Admittedly I can't do muscle work. But I don't think I'm used up yet. As you can see in the attached resume, my forte lies in contextual thinking. I am sure if you hire me, you can get rid of a couple of empty-headed young employees from your payroll. Remuneration is negotiable, though. Best regards. P.S.: I prefer telecommuting to traveling in the packed train."
A week or so later I get a reply from the company. In essence, it reads: "You must be crazy. Go to hell. Best regards."
I joined a Japanese auto-parts manufacturer in 1959. Since the high-growth era had yet to come, my starting salary was a mere 12,600 yen. Subsequently, I was contributing to Japan Inc. throughout all these pre-bubble, bubble and post-bubble years, at the Japanese subsidiaries of three foreign companies. Aside from my contribution with crystallized intelligence, I paid premiums for the national pension and healthcare programs that totaled at least 100 million at present value. Now the government and the people owe me much more than I owe them.
One of the reasons for their ungratefulness is because they don't keep their books using the double-entry, accrual-based accounting system invented by Luca Pacioli more than 5 centuries ago. In Japan, all government entities at local and state levels are still using the archaic single-entry, cash-based bookkeeping method which was imported from Prussia in 1889. For one thing, they reluctantly give us the asset-side of the data for the national pension program, which is basically contributory type in this country. But they never disclose the liability-side which should represent their fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiaries. They just forgot people are their creditors.
In the last couple of weeks, I was working on an essay under the title of The Pacioli Revolution is long overdue everywhere but in Britain. But now I had an urge to discuss another issue, the chain of discrimination and reverse discrimination, before completing the Pacioli piece.
I am not writing this essay to say ageist bias is a more urgent issue than discrimination inflicted on stateless people. Some of my fellow members in the Stateless Network may think I am departing from the cause of helping the stateless living in Japan. But on the contrary, I'm now committed to it more than ever.
I just wanted them to know that when they work within human and financial resource constraints, it's crucially important to prioritize things, and in doing so, it's equally important to use criteria which reflect the reality, instead of weak hypotheses, that there is no such thing as a case of statelessness which is isolated from other types of discrimination in this country. · read more (19 words)
Wednesday, January 02 2013 @ 08:49 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Flowers of camellia japonica are blooming in my neighborhood with an air of Asian modesty
When I defined my post-retirement project as a "taboo-free web journal," not a few people seemed impressed. They said it was cool. But none of them knew what was cool about breaking taboos. To begin with, they couldn't tell what taboos really are.
By definition, any issue you haven't addressed seriously before is taboo; and any conspiracy that's been "revealed" over and over by self-proclaimed truth-seekers is not.
I knew from the beginning that my blog would become one of the most unpleasant websites around because most taboo issues I would discuss there would be disheartening ones such as our mortality and the emptiness of our lives.
On the contrary, I wasn't really prepared for people's response when it came to potentially exhilarating subjects, such as my proposition about a new sociopolitical model. Only seven "specimens" gave me feedback, online or offline, direct or indirect, from the U.S., Japan and South Korea. I was really shocked to find that with a couple of exceptions, all they gave me were the same old non sequituri (the plural form of non sequitur) or casual by-the-ways. This is an unmistakable sign that in the U.S., and in other countries to a lesser degree, taboo-ridden people have armed themselves with fake ideologies out of fear of change.
Now I belatedly realized that I had been wasting the limited amount of time left for me with the wrong people. I'd intended to give a finishing touch to my entire life. But actually I was spoiling it altogether.
It took me a solid couple of weeks until the panic attack resulting from the nightmarish experience more or less subsided.
As I wrote in the post in question here, ideologies are nothing more than the cinders from the past revolution or war. In the last century, the American people and their government have been scavenging for reusable ideologies along with worn-out religious beliefs with which to conquer the rest of the world.
Guess what, Americans today know only two ideologies. One is to serve the purposes of busybodies as the pretext for intervention in the lives of their fellow citizens and the domestic affairs of foreign countries. The other one serves the purposes of crybabies as the alibi for their inaction against "morally obscene and financially unsustainable" interventionism on the part of their government. In short, these change-phobic people take it for granted that ideologies are the world currency.
Totally fed up with these warm-headed and cold-hearted prisoners of ideologies in the U.S., I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to keep my positive attitude toward life until I go to the other side of heaven, the only thing I would have to do was to get back in close touch with my fellow Northeast Asians. These earthly people may not be ideologically savvy by American standards, but most of them are still equipped with an unclouded wisdom inherent to this part of the world. Don't take me wrong, however. I'm not talking about these Oriental rubbish invented by Hollywood.
My utmost respect especially goes to the Chinese, who are flexible enough to mix up seemingly incongruous ideologies such as Maoism and capitalism, or the solar calendar with the lunar calendar or even the ancient Mayan Calendar. More importantly, they have kept their traditional principles intact all along, unlike the Japanese whose unprincipled way of importing foreign things and ideas has resulted in a "cultural salad" by now.
From my point of view, the beauty of mixing with Northeast Asians lies primarily with the fact that they don't have to be reminded of our mortality and the emptiness of our lives every time we discuss issues. As a result, I can pass as one of the most pleasant persons to be with even in this holiday season.
The Japanese are quite different from other tribes. This archipelago is the cultural crossroad where the East has met the West in the weirdest and the most unfortunate way. The Americans have always been able to expect them to remain the second-class citizens of their evil Empire.
This, however, is not to say the Japanese are all yellow Yankees. Some of them, if not many, still keep the traditional Asian virtues intact, especially in mountainous farmlands and remote islands. When American ideologues talk about the Japanese people, it's just a word that represents faceless vassals and serfs in their Far Eastern fiefdom. But to me, they are all faces I've known in the last 77 years.
Even as for the Japanese living in urban areas, I'm reasonably comfortable talking to them because most of the time we can resonate with each other much more congenially than when I discuss ideologies with the American people.
For one thing, these Manga-loving people never ridicule me as an opium addict when I talk about a brand new sociopolitical model, even though I can't expect them to grasp my argument either in political or technological context. They pay due respect for my proposition simply because they know nothing new comes out of the manifestation of delusions under the guise of an ideology.
They would say: "Maybe it's a pipe-dream. But what's wrong with dreaming? Is there anything more real and creative than wild imagination?"
Lara and part of me at Bonenkai
My neighbor Lara, Chen Tien-shi is an ethnological researcher specializing in such issues as statelessness and the Chinese Diaspora. At the same time, she is a dedicated activist who has set up an NPO named "Stateless Network." Aside from the unparalleled intelligence that allows her to address these issues in all their complexity and subtlety, Lara has a very pleasant personality and an excellent eyesight.
One afternoon in early December, I walked past the Chinese restaurant owned by her parents. As usual she spotted me before I spotted her. She left her computer in the farthest corner of the shop, waving her hand at me as high as if she were a little girl who found her father in the crowd. She rushed out to say: "Can I expect you to attend the annual meeting of the Network?" I said, "I'm afraid not. I was just thinking about sending a proxy statement to the secretariat." "Then why don't you join us in our Bonenkai that follows the annual meeting?"
Bonenkai, literally translated as a forget-the-year party, actually refers to any get-together people have at this time of the year. I hesitated to answer in the affirmative because I wasn't sure if I could socialize nicely with other members of the group. Then I remembered I was badly in need of mixing with ordinary Asians even though most of them are typical Japanese.
Back home, I rehearsed myself for our empty conversation like this:
Me: "Ms. So-and-So, what do you do, I mean, for a living?" Ms. So-and-So: "I'm a school teacher." Me: "Oh, is that so?" Ms. So-and-So: "What about you, Mister ...?" Me: "Yamamoto is my name. I'm jobless." Ms. So-and-So: "!!??" Me: "By the way, this mapo tofu is very nice. Don't you think?" Ms. So-and-So: "Indeed it is"
Now I was sure it would be a cinch to express my opinions on the matters that I can't really relate myself to if I didn't forget the killer phrase. In the past I've practiced a lot with my American audience on when to say, "By the way."
Actually at the Bonenkai, everyone was asked to introduce himself/herself.
When it was my turn to give a self-introduction, I said: "Actually all I have to tell you about myself is that I am the oldest member of the group." Lara quickly cut in. "You are wrong, Mr. Yamamoto." "Who is older than I?" She said, "My father is 90 although he had to skip this gathering for some reason." I said: "Thank you for correcting me, Lara. I'm the second oldest." I went on: "It seems to me there are at least 7 or 8 people among you guys who have Japanese nationality, either acquired or given at birth jus soli or jus sanguinis. Now I want to ask you a small question: 'Do you know what's going on here on this Sunday?'" Nobody but Lara could answer my question.
Lara grinned and said as if to cover for her stupid classmates: "GENERAL ELECTION!" "You bet it is. I just wanted to remind you that Article 15 of the Constitution guarantees 'universal adult suffrage.' You should never fail to cast your ballot. I hear the polling stations are open until 8 PM. For my part, the last time I exercised my voting right was soon after I reached my voting age 57 years ago. But it's a different story."
At that moment, Lara raised her hand to ask me something which sounded like a planted question: "Mr. Yamamoto, why don't you vote yourself?" "Thanks for asking. I don't vote because I'm a de facto stateless person."
NOTE: Later in the day, the election officials announced the voter turnout was a record low 59.32%.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees classifies the stateless into two categories, de jure and de facto, as if it were someone's responsibility to distinguish them from one group to the other. Based on the pointless definitions, UNHCR has been aiming at reducing the stateless population by promoting its 1967 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons as if they were pests.
Unlike their leader Lara, the predominantly Japanese members of Stateless Network are all gullible enough to blindly swallow UNHCR's dogmas which are, in fact, the worst possible combination of two ideologies, one for busybodies and the other for crybabies. They all believe they are supposed to carry out a lofty mission of helping the stateless persons around the world acquire second-class citizenship of the respective nation-states, as if nationalities were alms from heaven.
But thanks to my friend Lara, now I have learned that these local folks, who are cool-headed and warm-hearted relative to the Westerners I know, can help me avoid another midnight fright and recover some sense of reality.
Around the same time, I even resorted to temporarily un-disowning my elder son.
It was just an emergency measure. For 77 years by now, I've lived my life in my own way, always looking for something to live for. Some Americans seem to think I should suffer the consequence. I couldn't care less. But it's a different story when it comes to my own offspring. Who could accept it when your biological son thinks you deserve all this "punishment"?
I just said to him, "Why don't we have small talk over sukiyaki dinner?" He complied right away because there was no particular reason to decline. Since I took a precaution to avoid touchy topics, we just talked this and that about musical instruments (he is a baritone sax player) and the computer.
Earlier in the month, he had invited me to his concert that would be held at a decent hall located at the edge of Yokohama city. I would never have attended it if it hadn't been given jointly with a group of professional jazz musicians who call themselves "Glenn Miller Sound Orchestra."
True, it was fake, but since Japan's top-notch jazz men replicated the Glenn Miller Orchestra (1938-42) to every detail, not only repertory- and arrangement-wise but also presentation style-wise, e.g. two vocalists stayed sitting around on stage even when an instrumental number was being played, I found their performance even more impressive than the real one I can hear only on YouTube.
A schmaltzy old man though I may sound, I was deeply touched when the female singer started to sing:
Why do robins sing in December, Long before the springtime is due? And even though it's snowing, Violets are growing, I know why and so do you
These danceable tunes from the Big Band Era (1935-55) always bring back the memories of fine moments. One year after the Tokyo Olympics, I was briefly living with a former Miss Hokkaido as her live-in boyfriend in a fancy apartment located near the Olympic Stadium. To me she looked to be outshining Monica Vitti starring in the 1962 Italian film "The Eclipse." We spent a night at a Yokohama nightclub named "Moonlight." In the predawn hours. we were alone on the dance floor. Filipino musicians were playing Frankie Carle's "Sunrise Serenade" for us.
Whenever I recall those good old days, I say to myself: "Who could have asked for anything more?"
And also in December I didn't forget to ask for the company of DK, who helped me out of the first round of financial crisis when the tax-collectors at City Hall robbed me of 30% of my pension annuity. Without his aid which totaled 700K yen over the 9-month period from October 2011, I would have been sunk a long time ago. Since then I've been feeling as if I were a composer of classical music who failed to produce a masterpiece to reciprocate the patronage by a music-loving royalty. But he readily booked himself for a dinner together. He gave me a fine treat at a nearby Korean restaurant. Among other things, I loved the braised pork cheek meat served there.
DK isn't a college graduate, but unlike my uneducated sons, he can talk about a wide range of topics from languages, to religions, to literature and to technologies. As always he footed the bill knowing I'm now going through the second round of the constitutional/extralegal battle. When we left the Korean restaurant, he stopped a taxi for me at the sidewalk filled with December festivity and casually handed me two thousand-yen bills for the taxi fare.
Over the yearend, I also owed heartfelt thanks to two doctors, especially the selfless dentist. On New Year's Eve, my decayed tooth started aching intolerably. I knew that in this weird country, all doctors and dentists would close their clinics between December 28 or 29 through January 3 or 4, as if it's prohibited to fall ill during this period. So I sent a mail to the dental practitioner just to ask when he will resume his business. Quite unexpectedly his reply mail hit my in-box in the wee hours of January 1. It said, "I plan to resume business on the 4th, but I don't think you can wait that long. You can come to see me this afternoon." And the dentist in causal attire gave me an emergency treatment and prescription. When I said, "I want you to issue me a bill this time around," he said, "Oh, no, Mr. Yamamoto. It's a New Year's gift from me."
My physical and financial crisis is still far from over. But now that I resumed close contact with some local folks, I think I can prevent myself from being psychologically alienated any further from real life. · read more (20 words)
旅に病んで夢は枯野をかけ廻る - 松尾芭蕉 Stricken on a journey/My dreams go wandering round/Withered fields - A haiku piece of Matsuo Basho totally spoiled by the second-rate translator named Donald Keene.
Bloody May Day of 1952 in front of the Imperial Palace
Anpo uprising of 1959
Relatively honest people surrounding me often say one thing and do quite another. I know this is a fallout of the essentially seamless transition of power from the Shogunate to the Emperor, to MacArthur, and then back to the Emperor now disguised as a mere "symbol of national unity." Each time, the Japanese sang a different tune but all along they have remained practically unchanged. It takes you a lifetime to become used to these sick people.
On May 1, 1952, three days after a nominal sovereignty was returned to Japan in San Francisco, the sheepish people, who had never rebelled against Emperor Hirohito or the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, staged one of the only two major uprisings in modern Japanese history, called the Bloody May Day. True, it was bloody by the Japanese standards, but in fact, it was yet another ritual that signaled a change of the tunes. The new one was to herald the arrival of the Cold War in this country.
Seven years later I graduated from university amid the nationwide turmoil over the Japan-U.S. security treaty, known as Anpo Toso. Needless to say the anti-treaty students joined by some unionized workers were fighting a proxy war as puppets manipulated by the Soviet Union and the new-born China. The distinctive feature of Anpo Toso was that the heads of most factions were future business leaders such as Seiji Tsutsumi, a scion of the Seibu conglomerate.
These guys would later lay the groundwork for the rapid rise of Japan Inc., and more importantly for its ultimate collapse in 1990. It's no accident that Anpo Toso ended up in a total failure. Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, an undercover agent of the CIA, signed the treaty on January 19, 1960 in Washington DC.
Almost 53 years later, I hear the same old blues which now sounds more like a cheap funeral march. With this tune lingering on in my ears as if it's specifically meant for me, now I'm desperately fighting back against the second round of executions of the attachment order to seize 30% of my pension annuities.
Yesterday I had a bitter experience with "AK", the wife of DK who helped me, financially and morally, out of the jam caused by the first round attacks from the city hall. AK is a staff writer at Kanagawa Shimbun. The Yokohama-based newspaper publisher is known for its relatively impartial news coverage despite its close affiliation with mainstream news organizations and its membership in the information cartel known as Nihon Kisha Kurabu or Japan Press Club. I thought it would help me recoup lost ground if AK could influence the editor to take up my case against the municipality. Obviously hardships senior citizens are going through are his favorite topic.
After I updated her on the recent situation, however, she concluded she didn't want to write a cover story on my constitutional battle. The reason she declined my offer was that I am primarily at fault for the mess, after all, because I should have paid on time these income-unrelated taxes since I left the employment of SAP Japan in 2006. Then I would have avoided piling up tax bills this high. She added that several years ago her family of three could somehow get by with her salary, which was as small as my pension (I doubt it), when her husband was temporarily out of work. In short, I deserve all this suffering and all I need is to impose austerity and discipline on myself.
AK really let me down. At the onset of the battle, she was enthusiastically giving me cheers although they somehow sounded noncommittal. Has she changed her mind? Not at all. She remains the same, half-awake and half-honest person I've known for years.
I was too tired to repeat my lecture on the Constitution to the youngish reporter, but my cause all comes down to my commonsense interpretation of Chapter 3 of the fundamental law. Its Article 30 says, "The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law," while Article 25 of the same chapter stipulates, "All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living." My points are that in this chapter the rights and duties of the people are defined purely on a reciprocal basis and that the standards for "cultured living" can't have remained unchanged since 1947 when the now-hollowed-out Constitution was enacted. Those were the days when we were fed with food stuff even the swine wouldn't appreciate very much.
Also I felt insulted when AK treated me like I am an uneducated, unskilled and inexperienced 22-year-old, while in fact I am a 76-year-old with a 50-year-long career behind him. I thought I have lost another friend because now it's evident she is one of those Japanese news reporters who are only good at playing the tune of the time. I only hope this won't affect the friendship between her husband DK and me in any way.
Back on February 21, the day my last girlfriend turned 29, I reluctantly let go of her because her parents had started urging her to get married before she misses the "marriageable" age. I don't care too much if the number of my friends, who wholeheartedly empathize with my way of thinking, living and now dying, remains very small. But I do care if it gets even smaller because in my definition of the words, it's an auditory hallucination if nobody but myself and a couple of others can hear this song about a free Northeast Asia to emerge after the coming collapse of the evil American Empire. · read more (27 words)
Sunday, October 14 2012 @ 11:11 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The uninhabited islets bear two names.
I've been notoriously known for my verbosity especially among American readers. They see lack of discipline in my wordiness because they are so used to brevity they see on other websites. I suspect these bloggers are just too stingy to go beyond 140 characters for free. Their attitude is always like, "Tweet, tweet, you're a moron if you need more words from me, tweet."
The primary reason I don't want to economize on word is because I believe "God is in the details," as Gustave Flaubert observed. (Or is it Mies van der Rohe?) Without a close examination of every detail, you always end up in an ideological delusion. or a delusive ideology.
Lingerie theft is commonplace in this perverted nation.
This is not to say, however, I don't agree to the old saying that goes: "You can't see the wood for the trees." Of course you also end up in a delusion if you are too preoccupied with particular trees to look at the total picture of the forest. But is it so difficult to look at both at the same time?
Actually I tried hard to make my previous post about the unbreakable curse of words as succinct as possible. To that end I had to leave out many related issues.
It was a pleasant surprise to receive an offline feedback to the post from my American friend in which he alerted me to an interesting article about the uninhabited islands named Diaoyu (釣魚) in Chinese and Senkaku (尖閣) in Japanese. The issue the Chinese editor and the Russian veteran discuss in the article is one of the topics I would have touched on had it not been for my consideration for impatient readers.
As my American friend seems to agree, words and letters do us three things. Firstly they help us form and crystallize ideas. Then they convey them. Last but not least, words and letters always deceive us with the cleansing power inherent to them. It is this deceptive nature of words and letters I had in mind when I talked about them as fetishes.
Traditionally people using ideograms are more prone to word-fetishism than those who use a phonogramic system. I hypothesize it's no accident that lingerie theft is so common among these terminally ill people. When it comes to heinous crimes such as homicide and rape, Japanese are still lagging far behind Americans. But there is an incredibly large population of fetishists and voyeurs, called "フェチ" (Fechi) in Jangrish. They habitually steal women's underwear, or like to watch a woman in bra or panties rather than without them. Believe it or not, such a pervert who gets caught red-handed is more often than not a well-educated man such as university professor, company executive or politician.
It is true that in recent years people outside the ideogrammatic cultural sphere are also developing the same trait very quickly presumably because of the flood of videos on the likes of YouTube or other high-resolution images they can see everywhere else. They wouldn't fall into a trance just looking at letters such as "C-h-a-n-g-e," "F-o-r-w-a-r-d," "E-n-d t-h-e F-E-D," but with all these visual aids available to them, now they have started mixing up the real things with virtual reality.
It is true there still is something that Westerners cannot understand about the magical power of ideograms. For one thing an Italian diplomat will never lodge a protest if his English-speaking counterpart refers to his hometown as Florence. Likewise an Austrian will never complain if his American friend calls the capital city of his country Vienna.
But one of the most serious problems resulting from the general trend is that when people talk about the territorial disputes over Senkaku or Diaoyu, Takeshima (竹島) or Dokdo (독도), and even what the Japanese call the Northern Territories or Hoppo Ryodo (北方領土), the last thing that would cross their minds is these are nothing but imaginary issues. More intricate, nastier, more sticking and more slippery issues are always hidden under the thick veil of words and letters. It's about time for them to have realized words alone, let alone 140-characters of them, can't uncover the underlying real issues.
Vasili Ivanov, the Russian veteran interviewed by the Chinese editor, is also having a hallucination when he talks about "militarism on the rise" in Japan and "a resurrection of the samurai" in the wake of the renewed tension in the East China Sea.
Obviously the one Ivanov specifically has in mind is Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara who is widely known for his empty chauvinism. Early on this bastard passed the hat around for the money with which the metropolitan government would buy up the uninhabited islets from some individuals who claim to be the "owners" of 尖閣. Thanks to millions of suckers in his constituency, the donations he collected totaled more than 1.5 billion yen.
Then another idiot named Yoshihiko Noda stepped in presumably in deference to the Chinese government. After talking tete-a-tete with Ishihara, the Prime Minister decided to "nationalize" these islands with taxpayers' money. One of Noda's aides later whispered to reporters that the Prime Minister cited Governor's recklessness as the reason for nationalization. Noda fretted about an unrealistic scenario that Ishihara would tread on the tiger's tail if he went ahead with his plan. According to the aide, the Prime Minister feared the Tokyo Government, on its own, might go to war with China while the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force or the Coast Guard is not under the command of the Tokyo Governor.
Noda is yet another Japanese leader. Like all his predecessors, he lets things drift until it is too late or the problem solves itself. At times he acts, but only symbolically. All along he plays on words, making the most of their magical power. And in the face of a crisis, he instantly freezes into a total inaction like a spider in thanatosis.
Since August 15 when seven activists from Hong Kong landed one of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the Prime Minister has kept saying, "We are a mature nation. We refrain from overreacting. We want China to calm down, too." When he knew his alibi exercise didn't work, he made a big decision to take a leap in the dark. He ordered the Coast Guard to fire water cannons at the Chinese vessels. This was exactly what the Chinese government had expected. Who in his right mind could do more against his most important trade partner?
My former friend Chang claims to be an expert in geopolitical issues for Northeast Asia. He has his fake Chinese name "章家敦" printed on the reverse side of his business card. I don't know how the cheap trick has helped him put on an air of authority. But I know he has more or less succeeded to use faceless peoples in this region for his own interests, without risking his life for the cause of freedom and prosperity of the Northeast Asians.
Chang keeps saying the Xizang Autonomous Region should belong to the Tibetans, while on the other hand, he declares Okinawa is a Japanese territory. The fact of the matter remains, however, Tibet is primarily Tibetans' and their right of self-determination is inviolable. At any rate it's none of Chang's business. Likewise, Okinawa is primarily Okinawans'. It's all up to the 1.4 million islanders whether to become fully assimilated into America's 51st state, or secede from it. The same can be said of the likes of Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Those with an educational background in law, such as Chang or the Kenyan monkey in the White House, always make believe the International Court of Justice in the Hague is still functioning. Most of the time, ICJ's ruling is based on the principle of "First-come, first-served." If you apply the absurd principle to Senkaku/Diaoyu, it's obvious these islands should belong to the Okinawans because they are the descendants of the people of the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879). The only problem is that they are increasingly losing their identity.
Unless you still remain under the spell of the curse of words, you will agree that the only realistic principle is "Last-come, first-served." The same principle should also be applied to uninhabited islands and the surrounding waters. If the brainless and spineless Japanese leader continues to shy away from provoking China, as he actually does, that's it, these islands will finally be named Diaoyu. · read more (149 words)
Thursday, October 11 2012 @ 10:27 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This calligraphy of Kanji reads Kotodama by Japanese pronunciation and means the spirit of words.
Haiku Saijiki is the indispensable handbook for anyone who composes poems in the 17-syllable format.
When I launched this website in 2004, I already knew that my heretical thoughts were not only incommunicable to my fellow countrymen but also untranslatable to any language comprehensible to the Westerners.
I don't particularly like my mother tongue, which is nothing but a "salad" made of what little oral heritage from the prehistoric, preliterate Man'yo era subsequently mixed with heterogeneous words selectively imported from China, Europe and America. But that wasn't the only reason I started blogging in English.
I also knew that man's views are really language-independent. This made me say, "I might as well break up with the language I have used almost for seven decades regardless of whether I am going to debut in the blogosphere." I thought if I wanted to prevent the Japanese language from hindering my creative thinking, that was the right thing to do.
Then in 2008, my attempt to establish myself as an independent writer in the U.S. was thwarted by the American political "analyst" who is too uncivilized to understand the very basics about civilization: thoughts and words are inseparable twins.
Since my desire to have my own voices heard overseas was aborted this way, I have been treated locally as a mere translator. They seem to think, "He is very old and too demanding to take care of someone else's crap, but his multilingual proficiency is first-rate and still remains reusable." Now it looks as though I am an old hooker who is always available for 20 bucks.
As I told you in my previous post, my local friend, who runs a small company that provides translation services, recently offered me an "E2J" gig he'd got from a Japanese consumer electronics giant. Obviously he thought it would help alleviate the financial difficulty facing me to farm out a smaller part of the job. I said I would be more than willing to accept his offer on the premise that I would be allowed to work on it without any restraint except for a minimum adherence to a small lexicon of special terminologies for a proprietary technology his client might have. He said matter-of-factly that there's no such glossary imposed on us. That's why I accepted his offer at a rate slightly higher than what I would earn from toilet cleaning job at the public lavatory in the nearby Chinatown.
But several days later, my friend came back to me, saying: "By the way, Yu, my client sent me an Excel Sheet named 'Kamisama (God) File' to which we are supposed to strictly adhere." Actually there are some 160 words and phrases designated by Kamisama for 200-plus PowerPoint slides, but none of them are associated with any proprietary technology of the consumer electronics company.
Just to mention a few, Kamisma says we should never fail to translate the word "default" as "デフォルト" (deforuto) instead of "初期値" (shokichi), or an initial value. The fussy God also says "customer" should always be translated as お客様" (Okyaku-sama). There are some other generally accepted ways to translate the English word into "Japanese" such as "カスタマ" (Kasutama), "顧客" (Kokyaku, or gu ker in Chinese pronunciation), "客先" (Kyakusaki), etc. But the guardian angel of the words at the consumer electronics company demands an impeccable consistency. Believe it or not, we are supposed to work on a presentation material, not the graphical user interface or a system/user documentation of a computer system.
This leaves you wondering why then the in-house lexicologist wouldn't make the translation of the whole text all by himself. Answer: He had to outsource it simply because he had no such ability. From my past experience I can tell for sure the profile of the monomaniacal shaman. In all likelihood he is a very young graduate of a privileged university in Japan or the U.S. The future of the country is on his shoulders.
The Kamisama worshiped in the Japanese company has brought me back the nightmare I experienced in 1999 with the "Trados" translation management system used in the rotten Japanese subsidiary of German software company SAP AG. The Trados database was considered Gott der Herr while in fact it was full of shit that exactly mirrored the inside of the brains of employees of SAP Japan. As had often been the case with the last half of my career, I was supposed to refrain from making a difference to their way of doing business.
In my reply mail to my friend, I said, "I want to take back my acceptance of your order because I don't want to kiss Kamisama's ass. I suggest you reassign my part to a young translator because he has much more physical strength and much better eyesight with which to do ass-kissing much more efficiently than I. Besides, he doesn't care too much about job satisfaction and self-esteem."
My friend got really upset because to him I was yet another good toransureetaa who wasn't supposed to add any value to what he put his hand on. He insisted: "Yes, I understand your point, Yu. But I must ask you to kiss Kamisama's ass because that's what one of my most important clients tells us to." Finally I agreed to prostitute myself on the condition that my initial assignment be more than halved. But when I was about to get started, I remembered something else.
In October last year, Lara, Chen Tien-shi, up and coming ethnologist, asked me to translate, from Japanese to English, a transcript from a symposium on the issue of statelessness which she had organized. Since the Word document was too voluminous to work on all by myself, I farmed out a good part of it to the same friend who is now reciprocating my favor at that time. All the speeches except Lara's were really incoherent from the beginning, but my subcontractor doubly messed them up simply because the "seasoned" translator lacked professionalism. Obviously he was badly in need of a Kamisama, but unfortunately for him, the brilliant ethnologist hadn't imposed any rule on us. As a result I had to play the role of Kamisama myself. For one thing, he invented the official English representations and transliterations of the names of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Thai organizations and individuals. In the last 48 hours, I had to redo everything from scratch. And yet, I paid him fully because it was my fault to have chosen such a person.
When the trauma of last October came back to me, I said to myself: "Wait a minute. What the hell am I doing here? Wet-nursing these bastards or playing the role of Kamisama for them? I can't take this crap anymore."
This is how I became jobless once again.
Standing on the edge of a precipice, I pondered all anew on the enigmatic language these creepy creatures call their mother tongue. Now let me quickly summarize the basics of Japanese composition for you and myself.
Japanese words are classified into the following three groups:
1. Words imported from China. Although the Japanese don't want to admit it, they came from the continent when their country stayed in China's cultural orbit, and then were phonetically altered to varying degrees.
2. Words imported from the West, especially from America since the colonialist country chose Japan as its suicide partner. Although the Japanese insist they are substituting Japanese transliterations of English words for "Japanese" words, none of these Japanese phonograms (Katakana) sound like English. For one thing. no English-speaking person can understand "デフォルト", which is to be pronounced "deforuto" without accentuating any syllable, means "default."
3. The least important elements such as particles, conjunctions, prepositions and interjections. These auxiliary words are genuinely Japanese. They are shown in another set of phonograms called Hiragana.
You may think it's an arbitrary thing when and how to combine the first two groups using the third element. But you are wrong. It is the hardest part for Japanese learners to know the rigid rule to be applied there. And this is exactly where the Kamisama of words kicks in.
Example: NHK was founded in 1926 essentially as the mouthpiece of the Imperial Army. Especially in the prewar and wartime days, it played a pivotal role, along with "privately-run" media organizations, in duping the hundred million Japanese into believing it was a holy war they were sacrificing their lives for. To that end it always used the magic of words. Its modus operandi still remains essentially unchanged. If there is a difference from the way it used to put its audience under hypnosis, NHK, like other media organizations, thinks Katakana Eigo, funny English transliterations into Japan's phonograms, are more effective than Chinese ideograms.
The government-run broadcaster retains hordes of self-proclaimed specialists in a wide range of areas of expertise. The other day, someone who claimed to be an expert in gerontology was talking about the common behavioral pattern in the elderly called "self-neglect" which often ends up in solitary death here, either in the form of suicide or auto-mummification. Since he was supposed to talk to an uneducated audience, he kindly referred to the keyword as "自己放棄" (Jiko-hoki). But he never failed to add what he thought was an English word, Serufu-Negurekuto. Why did he bother to say the same thing twice by going partially "bilingual"? Reason: While admitting his fellow countryman are facing the serious problem with 自己放棄 in the elderly, he was also supposed to stress there's no need to worry. We aren't alone; the Americans also face the same problem with self-neglect. (A Wikipedia entry says it's also known as "Diogenes Syndrome.") More importantly, it has proved solvable in their country. Super credulous viewers would all believe in his oracle simply because he is bilingual. The same gimmick is used in every area of expertise in this country, be it politics, business, computer science or medicine.
If you visit Japan for the first time, you will be surprised to know everything from consumer products to office buildings, to apartment buildings, to restaurants and local coffee shops is named in what they think is English, although they sometimes substitute French, German, Spanish or Italian. The same is true of restaurant menus although you've got to be prepared to see at least a couple of menu items misspelled. When it comes to TV commercials, most Japanese marketers have Gaijin (Westerners) endorse their products which are primarily targeted at local consumers. Food stuff makes TV viewers salivate only when it's endorsed by someone with blue eyes.
The idea that words and letters are inhabited by a sacred spirit is not confined to this weird culture. Yet, no other peoples in the industrialized world are obsessed with their fetish the way the "modern" Japanese are with the 1.3-millennium-old superstition.
Their worship has absolutely nothing to do with due respect for words and letters expected from civilized people. Instead, they find a magical power in "言霊" (Kotodama), which literally means the spirit of words. Sometimes the spirit can be an evil one, but it always sanitizes, purifies, disinfects, and thus neutralizes problems facing the Japanese. (If you are interested in knowing the method of purification more in detail, I suggest you take a look at my post about Misogi.) Because the centuries-old Chinese influence has been on the wane since the Pacific War, now English words are considered to have greater power to work their magic.
The Japanese are obsessed with cleanliness. I think you know they take off their shoes at the entrance of their home. But did you know your umbrella should wear a condom when you bring it in a building on a rainy day, be it an office, a restaurant or a local outlet of Starbucks?
Until the Japanese can get over their pathological obsession, they will remain under the spell of Kotodama. Now I'll further elaborate on the symptoms of their germophobia using some more examples below.
Every December a quasi-govermental organization named Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation selects a Chinese ideogram, allegedly by popular vote, that best represents the year as "今年の漢字" (Kotoshi-no kanji). The JKATF, or any other body, doesn't pick the Person of the Year as the TIME magazine does. Reason: In a society where you are mercilessly hammered down if you attempt to stick out, you can be enshrined in the privileged class of celebrities only when you accept the basic rule. The problem with these "Serebu" is that they are influenced too much by others to influence them. That's why the JKATF, instead, solicits people to vote for a Chinese ideogram for the year.
The Kanji chosen for the year 2011 was "絆", or Kizuna, that means "bond." In 1995, the inaugural year of 今年の漢字, Japan experienced the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. People thought some evil spirit of words caused the disaster. That's why they chose "震" (Shin, or a shake) as the Kanji for the year.
But in the wake of the more devastating quake in the Tohoku area, the government and the media wanted the entire population to believe 3/11 brought people together, although the fact of the matter remained the disaster further accelerated the process of disintegration of the Japanese society.
It is noteworthy that in this "high-context" culture, the single-letter word selected by the JKATF is meant to save the Japanese from making a mental effort to discuss exactly what about it. If there is a language which is more dependent on the social context, it's "meow, meow" or "oooooooo, aaaaaaw, oooooo, aaawwwww" which serves the purpose perfectly within the animal world.
The people believe that the shorter the message, the farther it gets through. The bottom line: The ideal way of communication is complete silence which is more than just golden.
In this context, it's also interesting to know the letter "和", (Wa or He in Chinese pronunciation), which signifies "harmony," has never been chosen despite the fact it's the central idea to this monolithic society. That should mean "和" is too sacred a word to be chosen for a particular year.
I'm not interested in what Chinese character will be announced with a lot of fanfare in two months from now. But here's my forecast for 2012. I suspect it can be "鶚", Misago. Very few Japanese have seen this ideogram because it's not on the list of Kanji designated for common use, but it means the fish hawk, better known as the osprey or Osupuray. Throughout the year, the Japanese kept talking about the pros and cons of deploying V-22 Ospreys in Okinawa. Actually it's yet another red herring invented by the government and media to mislead the people to believe what's really at issue is whether or not the tiltrotor aircraft meet the safety standards, or Sefuty Sutandaado. They have never discussed the real issue: what justifies the prolonged occupation of Okinawa by the worst rogue country in history named America. By virtue of the ritual which they call Dibeeto, meaning debate, over Osupuray and Sefuty Sutandaado, they have reached a muddled consensus that the deployment is a necessary evil. Throughout this process of de-poisoning, the media play their role as priests or shamans.
Another possibility is "幹" (Kan or Gan in Chinese pronunciation) which signifies the stem as in IPS cells (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells). I have nothing against the year's Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine awarded to Shinya Yamanaka, except that it will take an eternity until I can afford to have my aged somatic cells "initialized" by the new technology. For now it just drives me crazy to see the entire population unleash misplaced nationalism in the wake of Yamanaka's feat just like they did during the period the summer games were going on in London.
Their burning desire for international recognition is an unmistakable sign that they are terminally ill. But unfortunately for them, their avid longing will remain insatiable until the end of time. What a people.
Actually the Japanese are not alone. On the other side of the Pacific, the epidemic of the same cretinism is spreading like a wildfire, perhaps too a lesser degree. Presumably it's attributable to the influence of voodooism or the dubious cult the chimp in the White House has brought in from Kenya that a single empty word, or pair of words, such as "change," "America first," "forward," "believe in America," "create jobs (out of thin air)" can work a magic on the people with their brains irreparably damaged. Twitter, Inc. might as well lower the limit on the number of characters from 140 to, say, 17.
Haiku and its rule book called "歳時記" (Saijiki) are another case in point here.
In my early-to-mid teens, I loved to read Matsuo Basho's log of his journey titled 奥の細道 (Oku-no Hosomichi or The Narrow Road to the Interior). When Basho (1644-1694), the de facto initiator of the 17-syllable poems, wrote this book, he inserted 77 impressive pieces in it. But the Haiku great thought some prosaic narrative was needed because otherwise his readers would have difficulty understanding the context in which each of these pieces were composed.
On the contrary most of his epigones have thought any explanatory text is superfluous because their pieces stand on their own. This indicates they take it for granted that everyone shares the same way of associating their highly suggestive words with specific thoughts and feelings. Today there are an estimated 5 to 10 million Japanese who claim to be appreciative of Haiku, some of them even composing their own pieces at times. The Saijiki was compiled so these self-styled Haiku poets can familiarize themselves with this universal rules for associations.
The rulebook says every piece should have one 季語, Kigo or a season word, in it. For instance, a tomato should always represent a summer month with its bright red image. There's no penalty involved there, except your entry can't win in a Haiku competition if you violate the rule by describing a tomato as a green fruit or something that represents a winter crop as is the case with the southern hemisphere. If you don't accept these basic premises, you can't share your thoughts or feelings with others in the 17-syllable format. In short you can't break the sacred rule if you aren't ready to shut yourself out of the society where false harmony always prevails. Today tens of millions of Japanese constantly up to chitchat on the web. They have inherited the intellectual heritage which was pauperized after Basho.
Another important fallout of the high-context culture is the disastrous consequence of 英語教育, Eigo Kyoiku or the Japanese way of learning English. As I pointed out eight years ago, their painful efforts to improve English proficiency have never paid off despite their largest exposure to the language in the non-English-speaking countries. TOEFL score-wise and otherwise, the Japanese are permanent cellar dwellers along with the North Koreans. The only conceivable reason behind this trend is because they never understand that English, or any other language for that matter, is nothing but a tool for communication. To English learners in Japan, the language is the goal in itself because they don't have their own thoughts and feelings to share with English-speaking people. or any other group of people.
It will never cross their minds that they should stop acting like suckers with tens of thousands of self-proclaimed English teachers whose qualification hinges solely on their blue eyes. · read more (45 words)
Four years ago a political "analyst" who actually can't analyze a thing thwarted my plan to establish myself in the United States as a professional writer. When I needed some pull, I got a lot of push from him.
That wasn't a big deal, however, except for this destitution that followed the loss of my last chance. I knew that the scum, or anyone else for that matter, couldn't change who I really am. Admittedly, though, I've since had great difficulty explaining what exactly I am to people in the local community.
Am I a nobody who ended up a loser in a fair competition overseas to elevate himself from a mere translator to an independent writer? Nope, nothing is farther from what happened to me.
I have never been a professional translator in my lifetime. Yet, throughout my career I've been deeply involved in translation in one way or the other; not only between two languages but also between two cultures or even two different groups of people in the same culture. In that sense, I think I am better defined as a full-time communicator than a part-time translator.
As I always say, thoughts and words are inseparable twins. This should also mean that contrary to the general perception, man's thoughts are really language-independent.
For that reason, when a translator wants to work on a book, or any other type of literature authored by a first-rate writer, he should keep in mind that his qualification all hinges on the full comprehension of and resonance with the whole idea laid out in the subject material because just converting it from one language into another is not what translation is all about. If an unqualified person dares to do it, he is doomed to destroy everything he puts his hand on.
In fact, I have known very few translators who didn't spoil a great idea they dealt with. Ian Hideo Levy, who has translated dozens of soul-stirring poems from Manyoshu (Ten Thousand Leaves), is one of the very few exceptions that I know of. That's why mindless destruction of invaluable thoughts happens so frequently.
On the contrary, when a first-rate translator somehow feels an urge to work on an intellectual crap just to make his living, it's the translator himself that is subjected to destruction. But this doesn't happen very often because unlike second-rate translators such as Edward Seidensticker, he has an eye to distinguish the real thing from fake, such as Yasunari Kawabata.
Here's a translation trivia: Kawabata was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1968. At that time the Japanese legend of literature gave Seidensticker 50% of the prize money because he thought he had owed the translator that much. I sometimes think the self-deprecating Japanese writer might as well have retained a computer as a translator because that way he would have pocketed every single buck he earned from his literary rubbish.
I don't know if I am a good translator myself, but up until recently I often had to moonlight, and sometimes daylight, on translation of a wide range of materials from computer-related documentation to anthropological essay. Most of the time I was mercenarily motivated, but my customers often appreciated the mentally unrewarding and physically exhausting efforts I made for what I called "value-adding translation."
But for my part, it was always a nightmare.
Back in 1999, then president of the rotten Japanese subsidiary of SAP AG, German software giant, offered me a post-retirement job in the translation department of his company. Until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and moved on to oversee the "University Alliance Program" of the same company, I was working on the E-to-J translation of the GUI (graphical user interface) of SAP's flagship software product and its system/user documentations.
An added difficulty came from "Trados" - a translation management software developed by Trados GmbH. I was always told to ensure consistency between my translation of terminologies and those accumulated in the database from the previous versions. My problem was that most of my fellow translators had an extremely poor understanding of the source language (unorthodox German-English) and the target language (see NOTE below.) And more importantly, their knowledge in the system and its application areas, such as order processing, inventory control, accounting, and finance was also way below standard. As a result, the vast reservoir of terminologies in the Trados database was full of shit.
NOTE: Our target language was supposed to be Japanese. But actually it had to be something else. Apart from the fact that a good part of Japanese words were originally borrowed from Chinese, they are now mixing tens of thousands of Katakana Eigo, i.e. Japanese transliterations of English words into the "Japanese" language. As a result, Toransureetaa at SAP Japan were told to strictly adhere to the standard ways of mixing these different elements depending on the context. Also they were supposed to respect another set of standards for transliterating Ingurisshu words. Examples: Kasutama for customer(s), Benda for vendor(s), Paachesu Ooda for purchase order(s), Inbentori(i) for inventory, etc.
Basically it is true that translators, especially those working on technical literature, should stick with the consistency rule. But there are times when they have to say the right inconsistency is much better than the wrong consistency, as I did to my boss at SAP. But at the end of the day, I was always coerced into conforming to her sacred dung pool in order to preserve Wa, or false harmony.
I hear through the grapevine that even today SAP Japan refuses to listen to the voice of reason from real professionals. This way the company keeps wasting what little resources it has. No wonder it still remains the black sheep within the group of innovative software companies.
Now in dire poverty six years after retirement, I still think I would rather work part-time on the cleaning of the public lavatories in the Yokohama Chinatown where I live than do translation at a slightly higher hourly rate. Thanks to my experience with SAP, I'm so used to handling someone else's crap. But unfortunately, the job opportunity seems to be closed to the ailing 76-year-old.
Last week a local friend offered me an "E2J" gig. He runs a matchbox company that provides translation services along with guitar lessons for wannabe musicians. When he got an order from NEC, he thought it might help alleviate my financial difficulty if he subcontracted a smaller part of the job to me, which he actually did. I wasn't sure if I could meet the October 15 deadline for the 75 slides of the presentation material assigned to me.
But when my friend learned I'm physically too weak and my vision is too impaired to do the tedious job all by myself, he kindly sent me a rough translation he had already made using "ATLAS", a translation software developed by Fujitsu. I know from my past experience that normally I would be much better off without the assistance from the computer than with it. But I thought the ATLAS thing might help because in the narrower context of a specific technology, computerized translation could work a little better than Trados did for my former employer.
POSTSCRIPT October 2: As I said paragraphs earlier, the local fallout of my failure overseas is the huge perception gap about translation between my partners and myself as their contractee or contractor. As I told my audience one year or so ago, I had to farm out to my local friend I just mentioned above a voluminous transcript from a symposium organized by up-and-coming anthropologist Lara, Chen Tien-shi. The quality of the transcript was extremely poor except for Lara's speech. But since my subcontractor at that time doubly messed up the Word document with his lack of professionalism, I had to struggle at the last minute totally redoing his substandard J-to-E translation as if from scratch. Yet I paid him fully. Now I'm supposed to act as his subcontractor. Can I expect him to act like a professional this time around? No way. He had his ATLAS roughly translate the material for me. That's no harm; so far, so good. But yesterday, several days later, he said, "By the way my client (NEC) asks us to strictly adhere to its glossary for about 160 'special' words and phrases. NEC calls the attached Excel sheet the Kamisama (God) file." I replied: "No, I don't want to kiss Kamisama's ass because none of these words are associated with NEC's proprietary technology. You better reassign the job to a younger translator because a young one has much more stamina and a far better eyesight with which to do ass-kissing more efficiently than I. Besides he doesn't care too much about job satisfaction and self-esteem." He doesn't seem to have understood my point. Just one hour ago, he sent me a mail to say, "Yu, yes, please kiss Kamisama's ass as they require us to." It really sickens me to know one of my local friends is another male prostitute, and treats me like yet another.
Despite all the favor my friend did for me, this brought me back to the nightmare I have experienced in the past with computer-assisted translation.
Also I remembered that last October I took up the same topic on this website. At that time, some of my regulars kindly cooperated with me doing reverse-translation of some articles written in English and then translated into Japanese. We had no time to do the opposite (i.e. J-to-E, and then E-to-J) but we found out language translation is almost always doomed to failure, whether or not it's computer-assisted. We also learned it makes little difference whether it's from a high-context language to a low-context one, or the other way around. In short, language conversion works only when both the author and the translator are human beings with an exceptional ability for creative thinking. Those who lightly claim that they are contributing to further transcultural understanding should feel ashamed.
A couple of days ago, I gave another try to the language translation services provided by Google Japan because I wanted to know, for one last time, if the learning curve of the Internet service provider has picked up a little in the last 11 months. But it came as no surprise that the Japanese translation of my most recent post didn't show the slightest sign of improvement. As you can see in the Japanese text pasted at the bottom of this post, it's still much worse than if you give a chimp an E-J dictionary and tell him to translate my essay.
It's unfair to put all the blame on the primate because the disastrous situation with translation, and communication at large, exactly mirrors the inside of the skulls of all the human beings involved in this business. They include software engineers who developed the system filled with logical flaws, executives at Google Japan who gave a green light to the defective translation service, and equally important, customers who still think they are being served, rather than ripped off, by Google.
Nobody seems to have noticed that exactly the same thing is happening to YouTube, Google Analytics and all other services provided by the company. More or less the same thing can be said of the likes of Yahoo! and Microsoft. With a lot of spaghetti stuffed in their brains they have stopped thinking, learning, and communicating altogether. Now all they can do is to deal with the billions of birdies who keep tweeting all the time.
I don't know if the organization named Asia-Pacific Association for Machine Translation is still active today. But according to the chronology given by AAMT, Japan's first prototype machine for automatic translation was unveiled in 1959 when the supercomputer and database management systems were still in the fledgling stage.
Let's face it: the 53 years of the futile efforts are more than enough. It's about time we stopped talking about the progress of humankind through cross-cultural communications, with or without the help of the computer. Simply it's an illusion.
I leave it there because now I'm going to have to go through another ordeal with the PowerPoint file, while at the same time fending off the sadistic attacks by tax collectors from the City Hall. In the meantime I hope you will enjoy the big treat given below by the Google chimpanzee if you are a bilingual, or equipped with a software product for J-to-E conversion. · read more (122 words)
Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 11:28 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
[In some cases] where you can get to depends on where you're coming from, and some destinations you simply cannot get to from here. - Robert D. Putnam on his theory about Japan's path-dependent trajectory.
Japan underwent the baptism of an early- day gunboat diplomacy when the fleet of four "black ships" headed by Commodore Mathew Perry made a surprise port call at Yokohama harbor on July 8, 1853.
A samurai by the name of Zenzaburo Taki was ordered to commit harakiri suicide in the presence of European envoys and generals to settle the 1868 skirmish called the Kobe Incident.
As recently as six years ago, I still thought it was a total waste of time to ask a question using the past perfect subjunctive. Certainly I remained brainwashed into believing in the superstitious notion that what happened has just happened. But when I stumbled on the above-quoted words by Robert D. Putnam, my way of viewing things changed 180 degrees.
My former mentor once scornfully said of Putnam's theory: "It's yet another fatalism." As usual the self-styled political "analyst" who can't do anything but scratch the surface of things proved too ignorant to understand the intricate dynamics governing the real world. History never sticks with a linear path. If you look at current and historical events with unclouded eyes, you will see mixed signals everywhere in their zigzag motions.
Recently I have developed a tendency to indulge in the mental exercise of asking myself hypothetical questions about almost everything. It's true my new pastime makes it much easier for me to kill time. But it's not just a bitter-sweet mea culpa I seek when I look back on what has happened to me or my country of birth.
Over time I have arrived at the conviction that any future vision remains baseless as long as it's little more than an extrapolation from the past and that the best way to keep my crystal ball clear is to constantly pose what-if type questions. Just like the fancy time machine invented by Emmett "Doc" Brown of Back to the Future, this method often gives me a clear perspective about the future, and perhaps a few things more.
Without a doubt, the future mirrors what actually happened in the past, and perhaps vice versa. But it is also true that a future event is a reflection of what did NOT happen. (See Footnote for some examples.) You may wonder where to get a clue to identifying what didn't actually happen in the past and still has profound relevance today. Most of the time I get a good clue from the current state of affairs because the present time is the crossroad at which the past meets the future.
In other words, my time machine is designed to first send me forward to the past, and only then, back to the future. Quite naturally, one of my favorite questions is: "What would have become of Japan if the Civil War hadn't been fought in America in the first half of the 1860s?"
Initially I thought I might come up with an even more interesting answer if I asked what if those court-retained historians hadn't compiled Kojiki 1,300 years ago (712 AD) to seal off the prehistoric truth, entirely and for good. For that purpose I would be able to avail myself of Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) which was compiled in the mid-8th century to metaphorically reveal, under the guise of poetry, the forbidden truth about the days before the Emperors successfully mythified everything about their imperial shithouse. But on second thought, I realized my answer to this question would make little sense because then the country named Japan would have ceased to exist a long time ago.
Another question I posed on this website more often than I do now is
what if General Douglas MacArthur hadn't acquitted the Emperor of his crime of driving 3 million people to death in the unwinnable war. But in the end I realized that this exercise, too, makes little sense simply because the "postwar regime" is not a history yet; it's still there.
These are why I'm more and more inclined to focus on the last 15 years before the Shogun ceded power back to the Emperor.
It would have been a piece of cake for European expansionists to arm-twist poorly-armed samurais whose average height was a mere 5 feet. Hollywood had yet to invent all this myth about samurais' bravery. But as a matter of fact, Britain and France were already realizing they had been way too overstretched. That's why their half-hearted attempts to make inroads into Japan all ended up in local skirmishes breaking out here and there in the mid-1860s. Among other things, it's noteworthy that these incidents were, more often than not, settled in an exotic ceasefire ceremony in which one or more samurais committed ritual suicide by disembowelment in the presence of delegates from Britain and France.
In 1851, U.S. President Millard Fillmore, the last member of the Whig Party, sent Commodore Mathew Perry on an expedition to break this reclusive country open. Perry arrived at Japan only on July 8, 1853 because on his way to the final destination he'd stopped over at the Ryukyu Kingdom, today's Okinawa, and some other places, where he had a lot of fun.
The fallout of the delay was that by the time his 4-ship fleet finally anchored in the harbor of Uraga near Yokohama, Franklin Pierce had succeeded Fillmore as U.S. President. I know nothing about him except that some say the Democrat is one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. For an unknown reason, however, Pierce ordered Perry to refrain from using force to invade Japan.
Actually the Commodore did not have to use force because the Shogun at that time was yet another Japanese leader who, in the face of a crisis, would let things drift until the problem solved itself. And his samurais were equally incompetent. All they could do was to commit harakiri suicide to save their master's face whenever it was necessary. No wonder they were instantly caught in a panic at the sight of the "fireworks" from the Susquehanna, Perry's flagship, to belatedly celebrate the 77th Independence Day. Perry's mission was completed when Japan-U.S. Treaty of Amity and Friendship, also known as the Convention of Kanagawa, was concluded in 1854. Four years later, the U.S. chose to settle for an unequal treaty, known as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which unilaterally stripped Japan of the right to impose import duties on the goods from the U.S.
In subsequent years, there was no new development in the bilateral relations primarily because Abraham Lincoln was preoccupied with the First Civil War.
Because of the combination of these factors, which was largely accidental, America had to shelve its colonialist ambition for almost nine decades. As a result, the occupation of Japan involved much more bloodshed than if America hadn't postponed the implementation of its Japan invasion plan that long.
This always brings me to the most relevant and valid question: "What consequence would have ensued if Lincoln hadn't faced a lot of trouble at home?"
Japan would have been colonized - no doubt about it. Although there might have been sporadic insurgences seeking independence, these movements would never have turned into a fullfledged colonial war. Defeatist-minded rebels must have chosen ritual disembowelment over an all-out confrontation.
With Shogun's incompetence and samurais' cowardice in mind, I can tell for sure that Japan would have followed more or less the same course it actually did, except that more than 3 million lives, including those 225 thousand incinerated in the nuclear fireworks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would have been saved.
Now in the face of the protracted economic doldrums and the deepening political imbroglio, the Japanese are totally at a loss over what to do. But for you to agree to my retroactive forecast, you don't need to closely study the current situation here because there's absolutely nothing new in their endless repetitions of the same follies. Japan has nowhere to go but down. Likewise, it would still have nothing to do but go into pieces if what did not actually happen in the mid-19th century had ever happened.
And what about myself? Should this all mean that my entire life was "much ado about nothing"? Now am I about to die leaving nothing to my posterity?
My answer to the first question: No, not at all. It is true I also fought an unwinnable war throughout my lifetime. But in return I was rewarded with gorgeous prizes. That is more than enough. · read more (264 words)
I'm still hanging around at the waiting room of Grim Reaper's office without knowing exactly when my turn comes along. Aside from household chores, I have nothing in particular on my to-do list, except periodically reviewing the situation with the second round of my legal/extra-legal battle against City Hall, and updating my blood pressure chart and "dose control sheet" to keep the medical cost to an absolute minimum.
Now that I'm gradually getting used to the flood of Sumaho, though still with some difficulty, the only things that really disturb my peace of mind for now are money issues, and this horrible toothache.
The day before yesterday, I went to the nearby eatery I frequent to take a swallow of, rather than a bite at a humble dinner.
As soon as I sat at the table, I said to the wife of the owner-chef: "It seems I ought to visit Sensei (the dentist I mentioned in a recent post) tomorrow if only for the pain relievers and antiphlogistic drugs. Any other dental practitioner would refuse to write a prescription as a stopgap measure, insisting a careful examination and 'causal treatment' are needed, instead."
The woman knew that I couldn't financially afford the removal of a tooth and any dentures to replace it. She assured me that was the right thing to do.
When I was through with my dinner, her husband emerged from the kitchen and offered me something that looked like rolled-up 1,000-yen bills. He mumbled almost inaudibly: "You can use this for the train fare to visit Sensei's clinic." I declined to accept the monetary gift because there was no reason for him to do me such a favor. But he slid it down into my shirt pocket.
Yesterday, I visited the dental office for the first time. It was a 30-minute train ride. I'd just expected the independent-minded dentist, who recently abandoned the membership in the cartel named Japan Dentist Association, to write me a prescription of affordable drugs without any treatment. But the moment he looked at the swollen part of my gum, he said: "Any medication won't work anymore unless you allow me to remove this one." I refuted: "As you already know, I can't simply afford that." His answer: "Of course, it's free of charge. We are regulars at the same restaurant, right?" Actually, he later instructed one of his assistants to make it all free except for a token fee for the initial visit. At the reception desk, I asked her: "How much would it have cost me?" She said, "Something more than 10 thousand."
I really felt grateful to the dentist and the owner of the restaurant for everything they did to me in the last couple of days. But at the same time, I was very uncomfortable.
The generous donation in the amount of 700K yen my close local friend "DK" gave me from October 2011 through June 2012 is a different story. At that time DK said he just wanted to "reciprocate" because he had learned a lot from my way of thinking and living.
On the contrary we don't have common areas of interest among us. It is true that the dental practitioner and I share the same opinion about Japan's medical cartel. But it seems we are not really on the same page because Sensei left Japan Dental Association for a reason that has something to do with a conspiracy theory he believes in. He is a regular at a series of seminars organized by Benjamin Fulford.
And most importantly, they owed me absolutely nothing.
On my way home, I quickly analyzed my ambivalent feelings.
I have already talked a lot about my father's extraordinary education policy. But I haven't talked that much about the DNA and other factors involved in my formative causation. When Rupert Sheldrake hypothesized on "morphic resonance," his main concern was with its physical aspects. But now I want to talk a little about the influence these factors had on my personality.
All I know about the diplomatic career of my maternal grandfather is that he was one of the delegates when the Treaty of Portsmouth was inked at the end of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and that he was the consul general, perhaps stationed in New York, at the time Woodrow Wilson was in office. In all likelihood, he was yet another Japanese diplomat who remained under the influence of the Wakon Yosai mindset. Nobody expected him, or his colleagues, to be competent enough to fend off the imperialist ambitions of Wilson's America.
Genealogy-wise, he was a descendant of a high-ranking samurai serving the Mori clan of Choshu Domain throughout the feudal era.
There is a Japanese proverb that goes: "武士は食わねど高楊枝 " which literally means "A starving samurai should hold his toothpick high." Some say it has the same implication as the old Western adage that says: "The eagle doesn't catch flies." But I suspect their interpretation is wrong because the Japanese saying just refers to feigned stoicism which was considered the single most important virtue of samurai. Apparently I have inherited something to be called "greed deficiency syndrome" from my maternal lineage. Although I don't know whether I have acquired it or it's congenital, that is basically why my post-retirement life has been so poverty-stricken.
A more important influence, however, comes from my paternal bloodline. It traces back to generations of ninjas who belonged to the Kouga school of Ninjutsu. They were to the Tokugawa Shogunate what CIA agents are to U.S. presidents since FDR. Aside from their acrobatic agility and other physical abilities, they had first-rate intellectual faculties such as good analytical mind coupled with keen instinct to identify enemies, and boldness to quickly kill them as the necessity arose.
As to loyalty to the master, my father looked to have been largely mutated. He never concealed his contempt for the Emperor. But it all adds up when I take into account the historical fact that in 1867 the Shogunate ceded power to the Emperor after a fierce battle. Throughout his lifetime, my father remained loyal to his own cause. I think I inherited from him the unwavering inclination to value dignity more than anything else.
These are the attributes I have inherited from, or through, my father. And that's why I would rather be a robber than a beggar.
Usually I am a friendly and compassionate person with a superb sense of humor. That's how my local friends describe me. But at the same time, I am a very dangerous person who always wants you to respect me. If you don't feel like it, you should at least fear me.
In the last several years I've experienced a lot of humiliation from Americans. They are extremely touchy and easy to get hurt. But at the same time, they are too insensitive to notice they are hurting others much more than others hurt them. That's presumably because they think they have special privilege to insult others, especially serfs in the American fiefdom. · read more (55 words)
Saturday, June 09 2012 @ 04:59 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
PRECAUTION: If you don't want to read an essay any longer than 140 characters and written by a Japanese nobody like this blogger, you hit a wrong website. Please Google again.
Top: On August 15, 1945, people went down on their knees in front of the Imperial Palace. Bottom: On September 27, Douglas MacArthur gave an audience to Emperor Hirohito.
Honesty is the only virtue bestowed upon me. Unlike many of you, I just can't cherry-pick things that make me look good or right. It's not because I am an exhibitionist that I constantly talk about my marriages and education of my biological sons which all ended up in failure.
The first feud started between my father and me around the time Japan launched a "surprise" attack on the obsolete Pacific Fleet Franklin Delano Roosevelt had moved to Pearl Harbor from San Diego. I was a 6-year-old kid at that time. The feud lasted until two decades or so later.
The second one started in 1968 when I fathered my first son. By that time I had already gotten over the first one I experienced as my father's eldest son.
I don't want to oversimplify my saga the way I would possibly do by ascribing the failed part of my life to someone else's fault. I think that by doing so, I would discredit myself and my argument that Japan had been a dead country long before I was born.
As I told my audience in the above-linked post, and on some other occasions, my father was obsessed with the idea that the only way to avoid sacrificing his eldest son for Emperor Hirohito, most typically as a Kamikaze pilot, was to make a top-notch scientist out of his dull-witted kid.
I was still 9-years-old when the imperial government accepted the Potsdam Declaration. But the intransigent aeronautical scientist wouldn't change his abnormal principle on which to educate his son, presumably because the imperial institution had still been kept intact, and on top of that, Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, had enthroned himself as the "Second Emperor."
My dad was a born scientist from tip to toe. But I sometimes suspect he was a crazy man.
Every time I look back on my wartime and postwar nightmare, I have this flashback. In those days, the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers (GHQ) often summoned my dad to interrogate him about his wartime research and development activity. At least on one of these occasions, he took me along to the GHQ building that had used to be the head office of Daiichi Life Insurance Company. I don't know why he wanted me to be with him. And I can't recollect where he made me wait inside the building until he was through with the interrogator(s) and what I was doing while awaiting.
But I remember that when crossing the Hibiya Park, which had reduced to a mere green field, diagonally toward the GHQ building, he gave a grudging look at the Imperial Palace which still stood upright in the center of the flattened city just across the moat from GHQ. When people were starving to death, Emperor Hirohito was doing very well although he kept a low profile so he wouldn't be hung upside down in the street like when Benito Mussolini had been executed in Milan a year or two earlier.
Actually the bastard in the Palace didn't have to fret about the possibility of following the same fate as the Italian dictator's. When MacArthur ordered the Japanese to model their Constitution after his country's, he ruled out the idea that the Second Amendment to the U.S. constitution should also be incorporated in the fundamental law. On the other hand, the SCAP thought it would be harmless if his Japanese subjects wanted to have articles equivalent to the First Amendment because it would be a piece of cake for the extra-constitutional general to override the Japanese Constitution whenever he felt like it. Actually the Second Emperor suppressed freedom of speech from GHQ very effectively. I still remember my father showed us incoming letters delivered to him with their envelops already opened, and many words and sentences blacked out.
Things remained essentially unchanged. I think that is why he did not change his education policy with his eldest son long after the war defeat. His principle all came down to this: "Always be different from your friends and never go with the flow because that's the surest way to sacrifice yourself for the Emperor." If I'd had a strong confidence in myself, I would have realized much earlier than I actually did that his principle was a double-edged sword. I would have interpreted his words a little differently and learned to assert myself much harder.
Instead, I simply resorted to weak perverseness and defiance. It never crossed my mind that I had the right to sometimes have fun with my friends a little more than just playing baseball after school hours. As a result, I collapsed in my early teens and never regained my self-confidence until I was in my mid-20s.
To me 1968 was one of the greatest years in my life. I fathered my first son. MacArthur had long been gone, and in the U.S., France and everywhere else in the world, anti-war movements were in full bloom. But nevertheless, the Japanese youths were still acting like their parents and grandparents had. True, they were protesting against the status quo, but only on behalf of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. None of their movements were home-grown. They were just importing irrelevant ideologies from foreign countries which were not governed by a war criminal like Japan's Emperor.
When my first son was born, I said to myself, "Don't repeat my father's mistake by going to extremes as he did to me." But by the time my son became a schoolkid, I realized my guiding principle for educating my son could not be that different from my father's. It's not only his mother (my ex) but also his maternal grandparents, teachers, friends and neighbors that wanted him to be a people person, i.e. conformist.
My ex-father-in-law was a former Tekiya. An English entry to Wikipedia defines a Tekiya as one "who primarily peddled illicit, stolen or shoddy goods" to serve as one of the major sources of funds for a Yakuza syndicate. He once told me proudly that his merchandise had included "Philopon," methamphetamine-based illegal stimulant which had often been used on Kamikaze pilots. It's this former Yakuza who in later years siphoned a good part of my alimony which was primarily meant for the higher-learning tuition for my sons. As a result, my elder son dropped out from the university where his paternal grandfather had taught decades earlier.
On top of the fight against the Yakuza mentality rampant among my former in-laws, I also had to fight a fierce religious war when my ex signed up to Soka Gakkai under the influence of this Tekiya and his wife.
With more than 10 million members in Japan and another 192 million in foreign countries, SG claims to be the most powerful and the only authentic "lay" religious movement within Nichiren Buddhist sect. Its political arm Komei-to is also powerful enough to have been the coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party when the LDP was in power.
In fact, though, SG is nothing but a legitimized cult, which has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Buddha's tenets. In 1995, some
members of Aum Supreme Truth, SG's cousin, released deadly sarin gas in subway trains leaving 13 passengers dead. As a result the group was virtually disbanded. On the contrary, SG has been legitimized quickly and steadfastly
in the last several decades because of, rather than despite the fact that it spreads more poisonous substance: superstition coupled with conformism.
I think I might have tolerated my ex's superstitious belief if she hadn't involved our sons in it when they were still in their preteens. Throughout the 1970's, I had to see every night our sons sit alongside of their mother before Butsudan, the family altar, to chant the abracadabra particular to Soka Gakkai. In 1981, I said to myself, "Enough is enough."
When I call it a religious war, I'm not exaggerating the situation which led to our divorce. Take a look at the official statistics recently compiled by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, MEXT for short. According to the MEXT survey, people who belonged to lawful religious organizations totaled 209 million, more than 1.6 times of the total population of this country, which stands at some 127 million. And we know this is a gross underestimate because MEXT confined its survey to tax-exempt organizations. There are many other non-tax-exempt groups, tens of thousands of them. Deep inside, everyone knows at least 300 million Japanese hold on to religious faiths. This vouches for the observation of Australian journalist Ben Hills that the Japanese embrace the "trilogy of faiths" and do not feel particularly uncomfortable with the religious salad.
Given this climate, if I have to identify the specific group of people I have been at war with, it's none other than the entire population of this country who are enlisted in Tennoist cult (the Emperor cult) at their birth. As shown in the picture embedded at the top of this post, their parents and grandparents went down on their knees and wept on August 15, 1945 at the plaza in front of the Imperial Palace. Believe it or not, they were offering their sincere apologies to the super class-A war criminal for their inability to defend him against the U.S.-led allied powers. Not a single Japanese thought Hirohito "deserved ten thousand deaths" (万死に値する) for driving more than 3 million subjects to death as a human shield for the bastard in the unwinnable war.
Throughout his formative years, my elder son, as well as his younger brother, was brainwashed by my ex-wife to believe in false stories that we broke up because of my incessant womanization, and he had to drop out of university because I was a deadbeat dad. Nothing was farther from truth. But learning a wrong lesson from his father's life which was actually filled with relationships with unforgettable women, he now seems to have chosen to bind himself to one and the only woman who has long been bound to the wheelchair herself. Like all his fellow countrymen, he believes that self-sacrifice is more important than anything else. To him it's an abhorrent crime to pursue personal happiness. I don't think he will someday emancipate himself from the pathological obsession with self-sacrifice. Simply, he never wants to be a free, self-reliant and wholesome man.
Guided by the same spirit of self-denial, he has grown into a perfect people person. His biological dad has almost always been hated or feared by his peers, subordinates and bosses. In stark contrast, my son is liked by everyone he meets. Unfortunately for him, though, he has never been really loved or admired. Who would wholeheartedly trust someone who thinks he can be committed to so many people at a time?
On the surface, my son's philanthropy is extended to his dying father, as well. But I know that deep inside he feels he can't punish me enough for leaving his mother for a brighter and more charming woman when he was a 4th grader. A couple of years ago, he insisted I move to his place to live with him, his wheelchair-bound, CRPS-suffering wife, their dogs and my ex-wife. He promised that he would see to it that my privacy would be fully respected. But I knew there was no such thing as a free lunch between us, and that I was supposed to reciprocate in one way or the other. Now in the wake of the hypertensive crisis I've been going through, he seems to think I'm suffering the well-deserved consequence of refusing the invisible strings attached to his offer.
One day last fall, I mailed to my son to say, "Why don't we visit my dad's burial place the next weekend? It's been a long time since we last went there." Several years earlier, I had parted ways with the Buddhist temple in Tokyo where our family tombs had long been located. At that time I moved the urns that supposedly contained the ashes of my parents to a secular burial place atop a hill in Gunma Prefecture, 70 miles away from Tokyo.
Before I moved the ashes, I was a little better off, financially, than I am today. But now I'm broke because I had to purchase the "permanent" leasehold right on the new burial place, and at the same time, I launched Yamamoto Family Website, Japan's first website of its kind. I've had no intention to have my bones buried in the grave, but these projects cost me more than a fortune. I just thought the virtual and real sites would help bring my family together once again. But actually, my sons, siblings and in-laws did not show enthusiasm to my idea of restoring family bonds.
When I asked my eldest son if he felt like joining my trip, I knew he would comply because that was something he was supposed to do in this society. But at the same time, I knew he would comply only out of a sense of obligation. He even sounded like he was wondering if he still owed me something.
He insisted to give me a car ride. I preferred the train ride because it would be much faster, and more importantly, much safer. When I knew he wouldn't give in, I thought I had to prepare myself for the danger inherent in sitting in a passenger seat when a people person is at the wheel.
The Japanese people are known to be prone to an untimely sleep. The reason is because a people person has too many obligations to fulfill with too many people in a matter of 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The only time he is reminded that he needs some sleep is when sitting in a business meeting, which is nothing but a ritual here, or sitting at the wheel. My role would, therefore, be to keep my son awake during the 5-hour-long roundtrip.
The hardest part was to throw an uninterrupted stream of words at the back of my chauffeur while making sure to carefully weed out a thought-provoking issue such as politics, culture or religions. He wrongly believes that like his paternal grandpa, and unlike his dad, he has a profound insight into technology and science. If I had dared to take up a political issue, he would have said, "Oh no, not again, dad. You know I'm not interested in talking about subjective matters." Actually, not once has he visited his father's website. The reason: "My English proficiency is too poor for that." This is a standard excuse you hear from a Japanese all the time. As a matter of fact, his Japanese proficiency is also very poor. It's just that he doesn't want to use his own brain to THINK in the way a human being in his right mind does. Another tacit rule for the selection of topics is that I have to refrain from bringing up any real and relevant issue. I'm always supposed to talk about false or irrelevant issues.
For instance, I thought the GPS was an ideal topic to take up with my moody driver on our way to the burial place at the mountaintop. On the surface it looked to have a certain relevance to our trip which sometimes had to be guided by Kaanabi, the car navigation system, but actually had nothing, whatsoever, to do with his paternal granddad for whom he was writing off the whole Saturday. I kept talking to his back everything I knew about the GPS. The system needs to have two satellites to gauge a horizontal distance with Pythagorean equation in use; it needs another satellite to know the vertical distance; a fourth satellite is needed to adjust time differences. These pieces of information had been stored somewhere in my brain since I received them from someone else. And now I was just sending them out to the next receiver purely on an ear-to-mouth basis. I might have discussed the same topic with a taxi driver.
My son answered over his shoulders in a drowsy voice: "Dad, I already know all that stuff." His back was asking: "What the hell are you getting at?" Yes, certainly he knows everything, except that to an ordinary citizen, the GPS is nothing more than a nice-to-have. It's a must-have only for the military and perhaps for the police. But I stopped short of telling him what I was really getting at because I wanted to avoid a traffic accident.
Five hours of this was more than enough. I learned all anew that I have nothing to communicate with him, or any other Japanese for that matter, who doesn't see any problem with applying technologies of the 21st century to business practices and personal lives which have all remained unchanged since the 19th century.
The situations I've gone through in my 76-year life are not really atypical of those experienced by the Japanese of my generation. Even so, I suspect a Westerner who is not a resident here has great difficulty clearly visualizing the weird things that have happened to us in those turbulent years. He may say he agrees to my heretical theory about the terminally-ill country where I was born. But he never fails to add, almost in the same breath, that Japan is ahead of industrialized nations in the West in many respects, nonetheless, especially in technological development. I can't but give up. · read more (75 words)
Satoshi Tanaka was sacked as Director-General of the Okinawa Defense Bureau because of his honesty
I know it's useless to repeat the same explanation about Honne and Tatemae to the Americans who have been so used to the superficial and stereotypical
views about the Japanese. Nevertheless, I can't talk about what's going
on here in the last several days without touching on the dilemma inherent
to these dishonest people.
This is especially true with Japanese government officials. They are extremely prone to a slip of the tongue because success in their career
all hinges on their skills in balancing on a tightrope stretched between
Honne and Tatemae.
Empty-headed Westerners tend to think when one speaks out Honne, literally translated as his true feelings, he is telling the truth and
when he does Tatemae argument, he is lying. But nothing is farther from the truth. How can
a born liar tell the truth at times? It's just that there are politically correct
lies and politically incorrect ones. Therefore, when his tongue slips,
everyone gets hurt in one way or the other by the inappropriate lie.
At times, however, a truthful thought slips out of the mouth of a relatively
honest person such as Satoshi Tanaka, Director-General of the Okinawa Defense
Bureau. On the night of November 28, Tanaka was fielding questions about
the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' air station in an unofficial meeting
with reporters. When asked why the Noda government is waffling on the submission
date of Asesumento report, he reportedly answered this way: "Would you say, 'I will
rape you,' before you rape someone?" He was reportedly under the influence
Noda had promised to deliver an environmental assessment report ASAP to
the mayor of Nago, the city where Noda and Leon Panetta are planning to
build a new airbase for V-22 Ospreys. It has a Japanese name (環境影響評価書, or Kankyou Eikyo Hyoka-sho) but they always substitute this Jangrish name when referring to the report because these colonials think anything
named in English sounds truthful and/or authentic.
The dozen or so news reporters present at the meeting were expecting to
hear Honne from the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief whose tongue was getting more slippery
because of alcoholic beverage. Yet, it's only a reporter from the local
newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo that decided the slip was report-worthy. All others thought it would run
counter to the media's mission as the mouthpiece of the governments of
Japan and the United States. But when they learned the story was published
by the local media outlet next morning, they had to follow suit.
In doing so, however, editors of mainstream media had difficulty finding
a good reason for criticizing Tanaka for his careless remark because the
last thing they would allow themselves to say was that the gaffe indicated
the malicious Honne the Ministry of Defense had harbored against the Okinawans. Finally they
came up with the same old trick of citing Tanaka's insensitivity to remind
the islanders of the 1995 incident where three U.S. servicemen raped a
12-year-old local schoolgirl. As usual, the Japanese media wanted to trivialize
the issue with America's illegitimate occupation of Okinawa by exaggerating
the significance of the rape incident. Actually, there have been only 15
sexual offenses committed by GIs stationed in Okinawa in the last 14 years.
Their story about the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief rubbing the people of
Okinawa in the wrong way gathered momentum as another Honne slipped out of the mouth of Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa. When asked
by an opposition lawmaker whether he realized the significance of the "epochal" rape incident of 1995, Ichikawa admitted he didn't have a detailed knowledge
of the particular case. The minister must be an extremely modest person. When he was
appointed by Noda to take charge of nation's defense in September, he famously
said, "I am the right person to ensure the rules of civilian control
because I know nothing about defense."
Now that the censure motion against the Defense Minister is going to pass
the Diet by December 9, the relocation plan for the U.S. Marine Corps to
Henoko, Nago City, will suffer another serious setback, whatever the reason.
It's a matter of time that U.S. government officials and mainstream media
start to find in Noda another loopy Japanese prime minister. They will
never learn that without this loopiness inherent to Japan's leadership, this country would have left America's political and cultural orbit
long time ago. Their inability to learn lessons from past mistakes is most evident in their failure to understand that Honne and Tatemae are two different aspects of the same lie.
Needless to say the Okinawans have benefited from the rape gaffe which all newspapers insist has seriously hurt them. Ironically, though, they are not alone in appreciating Tanaka's "insensitive" remark; Prime Minister Noda also seems to feel grateful
to Tanaka because now he can tell Obama that the setback in the progress of the relocation
plan is not his fault. All in all, the slip of the tongue helps everyone
but Ichikawa and his dotted-line boss in Pentagon.
Incidentally, the same rape analogy is also very true with the nation-dividing discussions over the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership. On the sideline of the APEC 2011 summit meeting, Noda promised Obama
that Japan will participate in TPP, while on the other hand telling his people that he just expressed his willingness to take part in the "preparatory" talks on TPP. Semantics aside, however,
what he has done thus far all amounts to this: he has taken off all his underwear
and slipped into Obama's bed, and yet still keeps saying, "Don't worry,
I'll get out of bed if Obama says he wants to fxxk me." · read more (39 words)
Friday, November 18 2011 @ 09:26 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Every once in a while, I do an intensive video mining. Embedded
below with my brief comments are some of the videos I hit yesterday on the rich vein of YouTube. It will be very much appreciated here if you tell us your take on a video or
videos that you find most relevant to you.
VIDEO 1: "4-Way Toss-up" in Iowa
I don't have interest in how the CIA recidivists have wreaked havoc on the Libyans because
basically it's none of my business whether or not "the second colonization
of Africa" is going on there. But I do have a keen interest in what's going on in the race for the Republican nomination. I'm especially worried to know American voters are talking about the 4-way toss-up in Iowa while in fact Congressman Ron Paul is the only person who could possibly bring about real change; the other three, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and this Herman Cain are idiots who don't have the slightest idea about the real problem facing America.
VIDEO 2: If You Think Carlos Salinas was a Fool, Tell Me What to Call Yoshihiko Noda?
Forced to join the "preparatory" talks on an expanded Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, Bush's plan reactivated by Obama, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is giving the finishing touch to Japan's colonization. Here you can view Part 2 of this cartoon.
VIDEO 3: Dojo Faced a Merciless Attack from the Left
When taking office, Noda dubbed himself Dojo, a loach. A loach is a fish which is only viable in a murky river. In the face of a crisis, he quickly hides underneath the dirt. You don't have to understand the Japanese words Mizuho Fukushima, head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, is speaking here on the eve of Noda's departure for Honolulu because her question is so clear and straightforward. She is simply saying: "The Dojo is still hiding under the dirt so it doesn't hear our voice of protest. But in a matter of hours, you are going to emerge from the dirt to tell Obama your intention to participate in TPP. Who the hell do you think you are? Are you the Prime Minister of the United States, or what?"
VIDEO 4: Noda's Muddled Words Mark the Start of Another Decade-Long Loopy Discussions across the Pacific
On the sideline of the 2011 APEC summit meeting in Honolulu, Yoshihiko Noda told his black boss that he would "put all goods and services on the negotiating table for TPP," according to the press release by U.S. Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest. As any other Japanese leader would have done, he added something to his "Yes": "But ...#$&%□△............." The rest of his mumble was inaudible to Obama. Later on, Japan's Foreign Ministry lodged a weak protest, saying Noda was misquoted by Earnest. But, of course, the spokesman flatly refused to revise his earlier announcement.
VIDEO 5: Dojo was Bombarded by the Right, as Well
Back home, Noda was still half-asleep because of the jet lag and the hungover from kissing the black ass too much in Honolulu when Shoji Nishida, a combative lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party, dropped a lot of bombshells on him. You will find the first 10 minutes of the 15-minute-long video a little boring, but what Nishida is saying to the Dojo in the last third of the video all comes down to this: "Now we all know you and your cabinet members are all unscrupulous swindlers. (Looking to NHK's TV crew) Show the shameless face of this bastard to the audience. The Noda administration has no legitimacy to rule this country." It's a pity, though, Nishida is one of those die-hard Tennoists (members of the Emperor cult) who blindly believe in the delusion that the Imperial institution still has some legitimacy.
VIDEO 6: Unwinnable Wars against TIA
I know there are times you have to launch a war knowing it's unwinnable. So, if you want to fight your enemy to protect your privacy, why don't you just go ahead. There are many state-of-the-art weapons such as the Firefox plug-in named NoScript. On my part, I'm already in the middle of the constitutional battle against the City Hall which prohibits me from opening a new front. Besides, I am a firm believer that I would always play into my enemy's hands if I went for a solution proposed by anyone who claims to be on my side. For one thing, I have uninstalled McAfee AntiVirus and deactivated Microsoft Security Essentials since the time when I realized these anti-malware and firewall products do us more harm than good. It's a matter of commonsense that the likes of McAfee or Symantec are creating and spreading all these viruses themselves. At any rate, I wasn't born to get pushed around by these bandits all the time.
VIDEO 7: Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffmann
VIDEO 8: Stella by Starlight from the 1944 Film The Uninvited
Ron Paul's 82% landslide at the Iowa Straw Poll on October 29 was really an encouraging news. One of the few American friends of mine thinks still we can't
be so optimistic because vote-rigging is commonplace in the U.S. Maybe he is right. But even so, the direction of the wind cannot be rigged, either, at the National Convention to be held in early September in Florida. If I understand it correctly, votes are also counted manually, or semi-manually there.
Once Ron Paul gets nominated as the Republican candidate, I think low-tech things should apply to the rest of the process toward change. If there are signs that the tally and tabulation were manipulated, electronically or not, these street protesters should storm the ballot-counting station, or wherever it is. Or better yet, they should demand, in advance, thorough transparency from every Board of Elections. Only then can they specifically identify the real target of their protests for the first time.
A guy named Doyle McManus wrote: "A successful revolution continues
to be low-tech and still requires people to go into the streets and risk
their lives." I don't know if the Los Angeles Times writer knew what
he was talking about, but it's too soon to give it all up before you shed a single
drop of blood, or sweat a lot.
I still don't believe the American voters are stupid enough to pick one of these apes, let alone reelect the incumbent liar, as
their next leader. Or, am I wrong? · read more (38 words)
Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 09:07 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Which primate is more intelligent?
In the last couple of months, I was working on a J2E, a jargon used among translators to mean a Japanese-to-English translation. The gig had come from my friend Lara, Chen Tien-shi, a brilliant ethnologist specializing in the issues with statelessness and the Chinese Diaspora. I was fully tied up with an all-out legal and extra-legal battle against the City Hall. But I didn't want to decline her offer in part because the remuneration would help make ends meet. More importantly, she is one of the few respectable scholars I know in person.
The ethnic Chinese was born and brought up in Japan and completed her doctorates in the prestigious Tsukuba University. She has an excellent writing skills in Japanese, English, and perhaps in Chinese as well. But this time, the Japanese material given to me for English translation was not her writing, except for the opening speech of a symposium she had organized, inviting many speakers without special academic background from various ethnic groups. Actually it was a massive transcript of the conference. Presumably, most of the presenters hadn't used PowerPoint slides. As a result, the overall quality of the transcript was extremely poor.
I used to claim to be a "value-adding translator" but this time around the time constraints and the deteriorating health would not allow me to add any value. So I farmed it out to two fellow translators living in Yokohama. They are about my age but much more experienced than I as far as language translation goes. But I shouldn't have expected them to send me back good enough "deliverables," another jargon. What I received in a ZIP file when the delivery date was drawing near was more of a disaster. It took me a solid 3 days and 3 nights to straighten out the doubly messed up WORD files.
I somehow managed to survive the ordeal, but this experience has reminded me all anew that you've got to have two different abilities aside from a reasonably functioning body to be able to connect people to each other through translation, be it J2E, E2J, Thai-to-Japanese, Chinese-to-English, and even J4J or E4E, i.e.: - Ability of abstract thinking which Betty Friedan called "fluid intelligence." - Ability of contextual thinking which Friedan named "crystallized intelligence." My physical ability including eyesight keeps deteriorating, and as the women's lib activist-turned-antiageism advocate warned, the progress of decrement of my fluid intelligence seems unstoppable. And now I've started to suspect my crystallized intelligence, alone, can't help much although it still seems to be growing.
Earlier today I tried out Google Japan's automatic translation software,
though not for the first time, to find out how it handles my most recent post titled The American Revolution is No Picnic and an article contributed to the Yomiuri Shimbun daily by Leon Panetta, who
is currently visiting Japan, under the title of The United States and Japan: an Enduring 21st Century Alliance. Maybe I just wanted to restore my sense of superiority over apes.
I think you may want to translate the Japanese texts I am going to copy-paste at the bottom of this piece back into English on the premise that they will not get garbled
on your computer. I don't have any tool to do the Japanese-to-English translation
on my end, but I am sure the Panetta part will still make some sense although
it would be only a little better than if you gave a chimp a J-E dictionary
and told him to do the translation. On the contrary, you will find my essay
totally destroyed by the ape presumably because he got frustrated at his
inability to understand the context in which I wrote this essay. In short, this is really reminiscent of the transcript of Lara's symposium before I put it in order.
Believe it or not, Japanese linguists, knowledge engineers and software engineers have been strenuously working on the development of translation software for almost half a century. And that
is why these idiots at Google Japan put the software to actual use so confidently a decade or so ago. The application may be more or less workable
with the likes of Panetta, but it never works with anyone who, like myself,
doesn't want to swallow a ready-made context. The same is true with Ron Paul,
You may burst into laughter looking at my essay reverse-translated into
English, as I did at its Japanese text, but to me it's not a laughing
matter. The most important thing you should bear in mind is that when a software developer designs a system or writes a program specification for it, the first and the last thing he does is to make the computer emulate his own way of thinking. That means that the merciless destruction of my message about the American Revolution, and the good comprehension by the Google ape of Panetta's remarks, only with minor deformations here and there, should be understood as something that exactly mirrors the inside of the totally impaired brains of the Japanese.
Small wonder practically all Japanese now blindly believe in hogwash that the cross-Pacific alliance should endure until death do them part, or Japan should be treated as the anchor of the arc of freedom and prosperity, while stubbornly refusing to listen to heretical views like mine. My argument against the security treaty hasn't been understood by these mentally-retarded people on either side of the Pacific. I'm afraid it will remain so until the end of time.
Remember the American people are getting Japanized very quickly primarily because of the rotten bilateral alliance. The Americans, now living in a high-context society, are still using English, one of the most low-context languages. As a result of the incongruous mixture of the language and the underlying social context, U.S. Defense Secretary, like most of his fellow countrymen, is now speaking a "no-context" language, so to speak, which is the only language that the chimp retained by Google Japan can understand.
Whether Panetta really meant what he said, or just thought his worn-out rhetoric would be effective enough to anchor the minds of his Japanese counterpart Yasuo Ichikawa and his fellow dupes to the hogwash about "enduring 21st century alliance," we see an unmistakable sign there that the collapse of the United States is at its doorstep. The intellectual decline apparent from the Twitter craze in the U.S. has already confirmed that there's no way back for the Americans. · read more (91 words)
On September 13, Emperor Akihito, Hirohito's son, graced the first Diet session under the Noda administration with his routine appearance at the venue for the pointless deliberations among brainless lawmakers.
The corpse of Mussolini was hung upside down in Milan.
Hitler killed himself in his bunker in Berlin.
Japan is not the only country that has a mythical figure associated with its birth. But if the words "divine nation"
should mean a country where an actual head of state has claimed to be descended
from a deity, no other country qualifies for the characterization. Deep inside, everyone knows it's a
hoax, but that doesn't matter as long as no one would dare to challenge
the 13-century-old myth that Emperor Jinmu, son of the Sun Goddess, founded
Japan on February 11, 2,671 years ago.
The myth about the Sun Goddess has its origin in two fictitious books compiled by court-retained historians in the early 8th century to fabricate
the story about the birth of a homogeneous nation. It was a piece of cake for the professional liars to totally seal off the prehistoric truth because before
them, the writing system imported from China had not taken root in this land yet. With
this job extremely well done, the Emperors could solidify their reign over
the most part of the Japanese archipelago from the ancient city of Nara. Still today, Akihito, incumbent "symbol of national unity," is officially recognized as the 125th Emperor.
In 1967, a prominent anthropologist named Chie Nakane authored a bestselling
book titled Tate-shakai no Ningen Kankei. It also sold well even in the U.S. under the English title Personal Relations in a Vertical Society. Nakane's argument all came down to the notion that for better or for
worse, Japan is a vertically structured hierarchical society. Needless to
say, she was one of those liars. Actually, no other country is structured more horizontally.
For instance, when compared to Britain which is traditionally aligned by distinctive social classes, Japan is essentially a classless society. The Emperor
is a transcendent existence to whom all other beings are faceless subjects. That is basically why Japanese leaders have always demonstrated their total inability to make an important decision, either top-down or bottom-up, until the problem at hand solves itself. Peer pressure always outweighs a strong leadership in this consensus-oriented society.
With their ingenious art of lying, successive Emperors have succeeded to indoctrinate their subjects into
accepting the mercilessly oppressive regime under the guise of an egalitarian society. This is the key ingredient that can explain why and how the world's only divine nation has withstood these turbulent years despite utter incompetence of shoguns and prime ministers.
The tricky recipe has always allowed the national polity centered around the Imperial Institution to metamorphose in the face of a crisis as if it were an insect that is capable of defending itself by "protective mimicry." Small wonder the Japanese had no difficulty quickly transforming
their country into a "democracy," when forced by Gen. Douglas
MacArthur in 1945, while keeping the Imperial Institution intact.
On April 28, 1945, Benito Mussolini was killed by a communist named Walter
Audisio, and the next day his body was hung upside down in the street of
Milan. The day after, Adolf Hitler killed himself in the Fuhrer's bunker
in Berlin. On the contrary, Emperor Hirohito didn't feel obliged to follow
suit in August of the same year. The super Class-A war criminal had an impeccable alibi on which to insist he wasn't really responsible for the loss of 3 million lives; he claimed he was just one of those poor victims
of the Imperial Army.
MacArthur and his boss Harry S. Truman had a good reason to pretend to believe in the lie. By then, they were fully aware that
the 12-century-old myth was still renewable, and that without it there
would be no country for them to occupy in the first place. They didn't hesitate, either, to
reuse the Japan-particular Kisha Kurabu (press club) system which was, and still remains composed of NHK, the
national broadcaster, and mainstream newspaper publishers such as
Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi and Sankei. The Americans thought these institutions would be
instrumental, or even indispensable, because they had had a proven track record for their skills to manipulate people's hearts and minds
on behalf of the Emperor.
These are why the domesticated, submissive
and effete subjects still remain today under the spell of the ingenious trick
invented 13 centuries ago.
Throughout these 66 years since the end of the Pacific War, the Japanese media
have further polished up their art of lying. It now encompasses a wide variety
of methods of lying which range from:
■ telling a straight lie, to
■ not telling the truth, to
■ deceiving themselves by means of self-censorship mechanism called 自主規制 (Jishu Kisei), which literally means self-imposed restrictions, to
■ telling the truth only when it is too late to do so,
■ generalizing things which should not be generalized, to
■ politicizing things which have nothing to do with politics, to
■ turning the causal relationship upside down, to
■ emasculating their audience by mixing up news and entertainment in the Japan-particular Waido-sho (wide show) format.
On the morning of March 12, 2011, radioactive tellurium 132 was detected
in a town sitting 3.7 miles away from the Fukushima No.1 plant of Tokyo
Electric Power Company. This indicated that a melt-through, which would
have more serious consequences than a melt-down, had happened to some reactor(s). For the first 11-plus weeks, then Prime
Minister Naoto Kan and his Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano kept saying
people should calm down because the situation there was not so critical
as to cause an immediate threat to people's health. All along, the members of the press clubs attached physically and collusively to TEPCO and government offices have acted as their faithful mouthpieces.
It was only when the IAEA sent
a fact-finding delegation to Fukushima that Kan confidentially coughed up the critical data about tellurium 132 to chief inspector Mike Weightman. Even
after that, the mainstream media were effectively holding back the whole picture of radioactive contamination from their audiences, until September 2 when Yoshihiko Noda succeeded Kan
as Prime Minister.
Around that time a prominent political "analyst" in the U.S. argued that Washington should embrace Japan under the new leadership as "the anchor of the arc of freedom and prosperity." The political analyst, who has no ability to analyze politics, may not have realized it, but what he was doing for the U.S. government is essentially the same thing the 8th century "historians" whose area of expertise lay somewhere else were doing for the Emperors. The mandate given to both is to fabricate an utterly delusive story about this statehood.
I have nothing against fictions. But it's a different story if one who drew up a fictitious scenario tries to pass it off as real. You may agree to Joseph Goebbels' way of thinking that repeating a same lie hundred times will give it an indisputable credibility, but actually, there is more to it: the constant indoctrination not only makes it look real, but also creates a new reality.
Since taking office, Prime Minister Noda has been trying singlemindedly to dupe the world's most gullible people into swallowing a 11.2 trillion tax hike plan on the pretext that the reconstruction of the areas affected by the quake, tsunami and nuclear accident has made it necessary to boost tax revenues because Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio is even higher than Greece's.
It's as though he doesn't know we are fully aware that damages and losses from the "once-in-a-millennium" natural disaster could have been minimized had it not been for Kan's incompetence and media's lies.
More import, in all likelihood, the Fukushima accident would have been AVOIDED if Kan had acted immediately, heeding the advice given by specialists on the night of March 11.
To make the situation even worse, journalists, pundits and scholars in the West, especially in the U.S., have kept echoing and even amplifying these fallacies. The American political analyst who made the outrageously stupid remark about "the arc of freedom and prosperity" is not alone. Mythomania, also known as pseudologia fantastica, is a highly infectious disease. So it's small wonder that they have contracted the same disease through their addictive attachment to the terminally-ill country in the last 66 years.
As a result, a vast majority of those allegedly "polled" by the mainstream media approved Noda's tax hike plan in principle. To them, the only issue is how far to raise tax rates. Not a single taxpayer has come forward to say, "I refuse to foot the bill because there is no reason I have to suffer the consequences of someone else's fault."
This is yet another confirmation that Japan still remains a divine nation. · read more (32 words)
Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 03:23 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This broad named Fumiko Hayashi recently succeeded an equally crooked guy named Hiroshi Nakada as Yokohama Mayor
The camera-shy double-chinned zombie at the tax collection department wouldn't listen to my tuition-free lecture on the Constitution
Recently I often indulge in retrospection as anyone of my age does, particularly in the light of my typology for pathological liars. When
looking back on thousands of people I've become associated
with throughout my adulthood, I always feel contented that I have encountered
not a few adorable people who have made my life worth living, or at least
more tolerable than it would have been without them.
They were mostly women. This is no accident because it's a universal truth that the oppressed always outshine the oppressors. Although it can never be the other way around anywhere else in the world, this is especially true with this male-dominated country where young women often remain unassimilated.
On the other hand, my contempt toward male liars stems from education I received at home and in
schools during my formative years.
As I have already told my audience, my father's way of educating me was abnormally Spartan. In later years I termed it a double-edged sword. The
reason he had an obsessive idea that his dim-witted son had to grow at any cost into
a topnotch scientist like himself was because he thought that was the only
way to avoid offering his offspring to Emperor Hirohito as one of those millions of sacrifices.
I think he was right; if the war had lasted five more years and
I had failed to meet his expectation, I would most probably have been loaded
into a small plane together with gallons of gasoline and dived into a U.S.
warship for the absurd cause of defending Hirohito against his enemy. Things
did not unfold that way, but just the same, I fell apart years after the war
In the meantime, I attended a private grade school and high schools because
I failed to enter a privileged public school which my father thought was
the first step toward the fast track to the exempt status from the suicide
mission. The name of the schools was Seijo Gakuen. The institution had been founded by a progressive educator named Masataro
Sawayanagi amid the social milieu widely known as Taisho Demokurashii, or Taisho democracy. Dishonest historians in Japan all characterize the Taisho Era (1912-26) as the days when something similar to Western democracy was briefly flourishing.
It's an illusion, however. They cannot but call it that because there is a tacit agreement which strictly prohibits them from mentioning the fact that Emperor Yoshihito was even more insane than his son Hirohito as a result of incestuous marriages practiced for centuries within the
imperial family. The incapacitated demigod wasn't even able to prepare
his subjects for the inevitable war against the West, let alone prevent the rise of the most belligerent elements within the Imperial Army toward the 1930s. The fact remains that the accidental resemblance of the era to democracy was nothing but a fallout from the 15-year hiatus in the imperial reign resulting from the severe mental illness suffered by Yoshihito. In fact, it didn't even bear the faintest similarity to the Weimar Republic because the lunatic on the throne had nothing in common with Paul von Hindenburg.
When founding Seijo Gakuen against this backdrop, Sawayanagi imported a progressive education method
advocated by Helen Parkhurst based on her belief in trinity of truth, virtue
and beauty. It was called the Dalton Plan because the Dalton School in Massachusetts first implemented the method in 1919. Even today, Japanese schools
all aim at nurturing conformists, but the principle being practices in
Seijo Gakuen was to train its students to be different from each other. Spending my
formative years in this institution, I developed my hatred toward conformism.
In short, I was torn between two radically different education methods for almost twelve years. The principles were not only irreconcilable with each other, but also totally incongruous with the norms of the society.
Due to this educational background of mine, I experienced great difficulty throughout my early adulthood dealing with my workplace colleagues and bosses, including expats from Switzerland and some other European countries. My employers were all suffering from complete lack of spontaneity and innovativeness on the part of their employees. All they could do was to comply with commands given from above. Early on, therefore, the typical alumnus of Seijo Gakuen couldn't get along very well with these self-deceptive people. Although I could develop, over time, the art of lying which they called "interpersonal skills" as I grew into a mature corporate manager, I couldn't cultivate lasting relationships with them. Moreover, my attempts to revolutionize the ways of doing business eventually cost me the big promotion to top executive positions.
Now I classify them into Type 1 liars. Since they were too uneducated and/or retarded to
deliberately deceive others, they settled for deceiving themselves. People
say ignorant liars are relatively harmless, but my way of thinking is that on the contrary they are sometimes more harmful than deliberate liars who I classify as Type 2, because they don't know they are lying.
In my second career spent at the Japanese subsidiary of a German software
company, and the subsequent post-retirement years, I started mixing with
a different type of people with different educational and occupational
backgrounds, including prominent "experts" in politics in Northeast
Asia and a small-time literary agent who would later turn down my manuscript on the pretext of minor grammatical inaccuracies and "run-on" sentences involved in it. Most of them were Americans.
In 2004, I decided to devote the rest of my life to writing, including
blogging. I already knew that I had dared to play the unrewarding role
of the Cretan who insisted all Cretans were liars. But I hadn't known yet
that these highly-educated and well-informed people were essentially no
different from Type 1 liars who had tormented me throughout my 46-year
career. That is why I thought my target audience would have to be Westerners,
On both sides of us, expectations were quite high. As you can see somewhere
on this website, an American writer wrote: "Strong, incisive and definitely
opinionated, Yuichi Yamamoto is where I go to get perspectives on Japan."
But the ensuing exchange of views between us has revealed that he was lying.
Actually he just expected me to say what he and his fellow countrymen wanted
In the last seven years, Type 2 mythomaniacs in the U.S. untiringly flooded
me with these questions:
■ How to cope with the problem with Japan's shrinking and aging population,
■ How to handle the abduction issue with North Korea,
■ How to counter China's provocation in the disputed waters in the East
■ How to realign U.S. military forces in Japan,
■ How to decelerate the whirling of the revolving door of the Prime Minister's
■ Whether or not the Japanese Prime Minister should visit Yasukuni Shrine,
■ Whether or not Japan should be given a permanent seat on the UNSC,
■ Whether or not the Little Boy and the Fat Man can be justified,
■ How soon Japan should phase out its dependence on nuclear power generation,
■ What to make of the ongoing "Arab Spring."
The list of silly questions goes on and on.
As I have repeatedly argued, practically none of these "issues"
are real. If there are some exceptions, these are someone else's headaches or heartaches, certainly not mine. I was taken
aback to know that in America today, even professional analysts have no
ability to analyze things to identify real issues. To borrow Peter F. Drucker's way of saying it, these guys should know that giving a wrong answer to the right question is much better than giving the correct answer to a wrong question,
I might as well have
established a set of FAQs in which every answer would go like this: "Who
knows? And who cares? All these questions you repeatedly raise are red herrings invented by the Japanese media and amplified by Japan 'experts' in the U.S. who are virtually on the payroll of the mainstream
These days political analysts in the U.S. often talk about macro/micro
economy as if to make up for their inability to analyze politics. But of
course, the makeshift financial analysts cannot analyze economy any better
than politics. Even worse, since they have no firsthand experience and knowledge
in any other business than their own monkey business, these self-styled
economists don't have the foggiest idea of what man's economic activities
are all about. By contrast, Japanese businessmen do have some foggy ideas about
that. They are equally ignorant, but not that arrogant.
In total disappointment, we have become increasingly alienated from each other in recent years.
That left me with an even smaller number of people who still remained responsive
to this blog. For a while, I thought they were my last bastion, so to speak.
Unfortunately, though, I soon learned that most of them are yet another
type of dishonest people.
When I mentioned, for the first time, the constitutional, but extralegal
battle I'd launched in April against the municipality of Yokohama over
my refusal to pay income-unrelated residential taxes, they made an
aboutface on me presumably because they thought any person who dares to
put into action what he says is the right thing to do is a psychopath.
The acid test revealed that those who I am inclined to classify as Type
3 are no different from the Japanese whose Honne is always miles apart from their Tatemae.
The Japanese have been known for their trait for 総論賛成・各論反対 (So-Ron Sansei, Kaku-ron Hantai) which literally means agreement in principle
and opposition in specifics. While in business, especially in the bubble
and post-bubble years, I tried hard to convince my subordinates, peers
and bosses that our organization was badly in need of reengineering and
downsizing. No one raised an objection. But when I was handing a pink slip
to any one of them, he never failed to violently resist.
On the contrary, employees of government agencies at all levels have never
faced this dilemma. That makes it all the more difficult for me to convince
these ignorant and arrogant tax collectors. Actually I am on the brink
of surrender with more than 30% of my pension annuity being robbed starting
Initially, I based my protest primarily on the Constitution, particularly
its Articles 14 (equality under law,) 25 (right to maintain the minimum
standards of wholesome and cultured living) and 29 (inviolable property right.) But
it was as though I was talking to a brick wall.
Japan's Constitution, which was virtually promulgated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur
67 years ago, upholds three principles in it: pacifism, egalitarianism
and reciprocity. The first two were superfluous because the Japanese have
long been extremely blood-phobic people who have never risked their lives
to defend their innate right and dignity against anyone at home or from
abroad, and its rulers could perpetuate an oppressive, but classless society
since the early-8th century with their ingenious art of lying. On the contrary,
the reciprocity principle has never taken root in this land.
When it comes to subordinate laws, Japanese lawmakers have all been stupid
enough to model them after the so-called Anglo-American legal system which
tends to leave a lot of leeway for the discretion of people practicing law because of its "enumeration method." On the other hand, the Japanese at large never understand that
people define the law, not the other way around. As a result, the reciprocity
principle supposedly governing relationships between taxpayers and the
state has always remained a Tatemae. Under the circumstances, I don't think I have to tell you how the tax collectors have actually exercised their discretionary power which is way too much for these immature guys.
If I were Fumiko Hayashi who recently succeeded the equally crooked Hiroshi
Nakada as Yokohama Mayor, I would certainly replace the crowd of highly-paid
zombies with a much smaller number of robots whose brains are stuffed with
the articles of local tax law, related ordinances and precedents.
Now that they have finally started to forcibly exercise the order of attachment,
I decided to drop my plan to file a civil lawsuit. Instead, I now think
about filing criminal charges against them, invoking Article 193 of the
Penal Code which goes like this:
When a public officer abuses his or her authority and causes another to
perform an act which the person has no obligation to perform, or hinders
another from exercising such person's right, imprisonment with or without
work for not more than 2 years shall be imposed.
I know I have little chance to win the case because the independence of
the three branches of the government is one of those nominal things pervasive in this Tatemae society. Especially the cozy relations between the judicial and administrative
branches of the government here makes it quite unlikely that I can put
them behind bars. Yet, I can't but go on "until I have my sword broken and arrows exhausted." The crisis I'm going through right now is something that literary poses an existential threat.
Two weeks ago, someone unexpectedly extended me a helping hand. Ironically
enough, though, it's a he, and he is a Japanese. Here I call him "DK."
DK said: "I will make up for the shortfall you are going to suffer because of the robbers in the city hall for the simple reason that I have always empathized with your way
of thinking and living. You should not repay it because it's a grant aid."
DK is a youngish IT engineer and a father of a 5-year-old kid. He and his
wife have not really been responsive to my web essays, either online or offline.
But every time we have a talk over a small lunch or a cup of coffee at
the nearby Starbucks, I can see our wavelengths are very close. Since the
time I first told them I had launched an all-out war against Yokohama city, they have been rooting for me without reservation.
Believe it or not, I was looking for a tovarishch, or two, not a potential benefactor. So I must have declined his generous offer outright if he had said he was doing it
out of sympathy. But this is not to say I have no problem accepting the kind offer he made out of empathy. I am fully aware that DK is not that wealthy. He has to support not only his immediate family, but some aged in-laws. Also, he can't save too much money for rainy days so as not to repeat my mistake.
· read more (127 words)
Left: The only thing Yoshio Hachiro did during his 200-hour stay in office was to sweat. That is what he had promised at his inaugural press conference as any Japanese politician does when he is at a loss over what to do. Center: Hachiro bowed out on September 10. Right: This idiot named Nobuteru Ishihara might have done the same thing if he were a member of the Noda cabinet.
My typology for mythomaniacs places ignorant liars in Type 1. They are too uneducated and/or retarded to deliberately deceive others. So, they normally go to the easiest dupes, i.e. their own selves. It is for this reason that their words and deeds often lack consistency and coherence. In all aspects, Yoshio Hachiro is a typical Type A.
Hachiro stepped down as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
in a matter of less than 200 hours since the Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda appointed him to the post. On the surface, he had to resign because of his insincere attitude toward the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. When he came back to his office from an inane "fact-finding" tour to Ground Zero of the nuclear accident, he rubbed his jacket against a reporter and jokingly said, "I will
But, the real reason he was dismissed was not because the childish joke he cracked on September 8 was found outrageously tasteless. The Prime Minister and the press corps, most of whom are a little closer to Type 2 (deliberate liars,) did not mention the crack, let alone reprimand Hachiro until he uncharacteristically used truthful words hours later. He told the reporters stationed in Kantei Kisha Kurabu, the press club exclusively and collusively attached to the cabinet office, that the neighboring area of the troubled nuclear power plant had looked like 死の町 (Shi-no Machi,) or a town of death - which is exactly what it was.
The neophyte at a high-ranking government post made a serious mistake when it momentarily slipped his mind that although his fellow countrymen are extraordinarily lenient toward liars and never tolerate honesty, they know deep inside that a lie is a lie even when it is told to one's fellow liars. That is why reporters who had shown little reaction to Hachiro's joke the evening before started mercilessly criticizing Hachiro the moment the second "insensitive" words slipped out of his tongue. They were belatedly saying in concert that his gaffes must have hurt the feelings of Fukushima citizens. In fact, though, it's not that the feelings of the people directly affected by the nuclear accident got hurt by the first slip, let alone the second one, but it's reporters themselves who felt humiliated by the truthful words "a town of death."
This is yet another reminder that in this country, an innocuous joke coupled with a fraction of truth almost always costs you a post.
Toward the end of the perpetual monopoly of power by the Liberal Democratic Party, we saw a stream of similar gaffes which were
followed by resignation or suicide. In January 2007, for example, then-health
and labor minister Hakuo Yanagisawa was forced to resign when he said women are birth-giving machines and that he wanted
these machines to produce more.
People knew in their Honne that there was nothing wrong with his machine analogy if ever the constant decline in birthrate was really at issue as they all thought. But further down their minds, these self-deceptive people somehow felt uneasy with the widespread notion that the real problem facing Japan lies with the shrinking number
of people, not their quality. That is why they demanded Yanagisawa's resignation so hysterically on the pretext that his remark was impermissibly tasteless.
You can find Type 1 liars with slippery tongues not only among government officials, but also lawmakers in the opposition camp. On the same September 10, Nobuteru
Ishihara, Secretary-General of the LDP, said in his speech to this effect: when looking at the longtime oppression of the Muslims by the West, it is apparent that 9.11 was 歴史の必然 (Rekishi-no Hitsuzen,) or an inevitable consequence of history.
Later in the day, Ishihara said that
he hadn't meant to justify terrorism. He has inherited the Type 1 blood from his father Tokyo Governor Shintaro
Ishihara. As is true with his retarded father, all the LDP lawmaker can do is to spread around secondhand fallacies without knowing he is just parroting words spoken by the predominantly American Type 2 liars.
His supposedly "witty" remark on the "timely" topic was already a downright lie in itself because as I have repeatedly argued in the past, it's an imperialist delusion that 9.11 has dramatically changed the lives of people including those living outside the U.S. Who said what concerns the Americans should also concern the Japanese?
At the same time, it is true that Ishihara touched on one aspect of the multifaceted truth when he told his audience that the Americans
are now suffering blowback from the Arab world. But actually, he should have talked about the total absence of blowback from the Japanese before
talking about peoples living in faraway lands. He didn't fail to dupe his audience into swallowing his shallow history lecture simply because they were also Type 1. · read more (366 words)
Monday, September 05 2011 @ 08:28 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This is a rewrite of my previous post. I just wanted to further clarify my points.
Left: Yasuo Ichikawa, Defense Minister (Type 1) Center: Yoshio Hachiro, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (Type 1) Right: Jun Azumi, Finance Minister (Type 1)
When former Prime Minister Naoto Kan took office 15 months ago, a prominent pundit in the U.S. promised Japan's bright future under the "first truly new" leadership. It didn't take long, however, until Kan proved yet another incompetent and unscrupulous leader, but the pundit didn't blush for a split second. He didn't even feel obliged to post a correction anywhere on the web. That made the person I used to admire a liar.
Now that Yoshihiko Noda took office as the seventh Prime Minister in five years, the self-styled prophet looks to have resumed circulating a fake picture of Japan's rosy future for - how many times it was he did that. But if he still claims to be a political analyst specializing in Northeast Asia, he should know his job is NOT to count the number of the Prime Ministers who have come and gone through the revolving door, but to analyze the situation to identify the real reason behind the political volatility inherent to this society. On August 27, however, he already wrote that the U.S. government should "stand firmly behind Japan [under the new leadership] to help Tokyo become the anchor of the arc of freedom and prosperity." After all, he has learned nothing from his repeated mispredictions in the last several years. Or, should I say he has learned too much?
On this side of the Pacific, Kan's approval rating had plummeted to 13% before his resignation at the end of August. But in a matter of 24 little hours since Noda took over the premiership, we were told to see a V-shaped turnaround of the cabinet approval rating. According to the mainstream media, it was polled at somewhere between 60-70%. These figures were certainly unaudited and most probably fabricated, but to make the results of their surveys look a little plausible, shameless pollsters didn't forget to add that poll results at this stage were somewhat inflated with pollees' high expectation for the new administration. But of course, it's a lie because expectation is one thing and approval is quite another.
So the question to be asked is why the approval rating shot up so dramatically even before Noda took a single step to rectify the messy situation his predecessor has left behind. The new Prime Minister has so far avoided specifically mentioning any backlog issue because he knows he is one of the primary accomplices in Kan's crime. No sane person would believe he can give a new perspective to these problems unless he officially admitted all the sin he committed as the Finance Minister of the now-defunct Kan administration.
One of his headaches which still hangs in the air is the stunning revelation that the Democratic Party of Japan has had cozy relations with a shady group of Japanese which has covertly fronted the North Korean government for many years. (See FOOTNOTES 1, 2.) In July, some hawkish elements in the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, such as Shoji Nishida, could deliver the final blow to the already-faltering Prime Minister and his cabinet when they brought up to the surface the fact that Kan and his colleagues had "donated" more than 200 million yen to the organization closely connected to the main culprit of the 1970 hijacking of JAL's Yodo-go and one of the perpetrators of the series of "abductions" of Japanese citizens.
When Sakie Yokota, de facto spokeswoman of the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, learned these facts, she reportedly said, "Now I'm totally at a loss over who to trust. I want to vomit."
As I have already told my audience, the aforementioned pundit interviewed Yokota in 2004 at a coffee shop in central Tokyo. Two years later, he wrote: "[Abductee Megumi Yokota's] parents symbolize the transformation of ordinary Japanese citizens from the meek and mild to the assured and assertive." Although the American writer has been playing dumb about the new revelation, the "assured and assertive" woman was dying for a shoulder to cry on. But now that she found someone to trust in the new Prime Minister, Yokota has resumed whining in the way she has been whining for the last 34 years.
The learning disability coupled with extreme mood swing Yokota and other Japanese have shown throughout these turbulent years tells you they are incredibly immature people. After all, Douglas MacArthur was absolutely right. At the same time, these symptoms are an unmistakable evidence that they are suffering an incurable mental illness named self-deception. Of course, this is not to say American people are mentally sound, by contrast.
I became really confused. Who are deceiving whom, how and what for? Now in an attempt to sort this all out, I pondered how to classify these mythomaniacs in a meaningful way. As a result, I have identified three distinctive types (FOOTNOTE 3) as shown below:
Type 1: Ignorant Liars. They are uneducated and/or retarded. So when they lie, they are not aware that they are lying. All they can do is to parrot what they hear from Type 2 liars purely on an ear-to-mouth basis. Their proliferation, especially in Japan, has by far outpaced the growth of the Type 2 population because people all believe - or make believe, to be more precise - in the myth that an ignorant person can never be a villain.
Type 2: Deliberate Liars. Most of them are highly-educated and relatively well-informed professionals, but they only talk about raw facts that
fit into their delusive ideologies. These surface-scratchers never really analyze things because they don't have to.
Type 3: Hypocrites. At times they can tell the truth but never act accordingly. What they do has nothing to do with what they say.
When Yoshihiko Noda was elected to succeed Naoto Kan as Prime Minister, he exquisitely portrayed himself as Dojo, a Japanese loach that prefers murky water around rice paddies to fresh water of limpid streams. Whether it's a loach or a roach, Noda expressly contrasted himself with Kingyo, the showy goldfish. With this analogy, he wanted to say that
he may look ugly and fatuous unlike his predecessor and former boss but
he is a guileless, harmless and unpretentious person. Noda knows very well that deprecating
himself in such a humble way is the best way to dupe the world's most gullible people
into believing he is an honest and reliable person. This way the new Prime Minister has succeeded in impressing himself favorably on predominantly Type 1 people at home and abroad.
Noda was not deliberately lying when he likened himself to Dojo, but he wasn't telling the truth when he implicitly likened his predecessor to Kingyo. Actually, his way of differentiating himself from his predecessor was reminiscent of the way Kan contrasted himself with Ichiro Ozawa to defend his premiership against the challenge from the scandal-tainted rival 12 months ago. It didn't take long, however, until Kan proved as unscrupulous as Ozawa, the central figure in this kleptocracy.
I think Noda should be
classified as Type 1 himself, while Kan is a little closer to Ozawa who should be placed in Type 2.
Mythomaniacs in the media are saying it's too soon to really size up Noda's ability because the new Prime Minister still remains an unknown. It's media's modus operandi to buy time until it is too late. In fact, though, we can already size him up because at least, Noda has named his cabinet members.
As I wrote in my previous post, Noda's appointment to the head of the Democratic
Party of Japan was nothing but a result of the power dynamics currently prevailing
in the party. It's small wonder that he handpicked his cabinet members
based solely on the traditional criteria called 派閥均衡 (Habatsu Kinko, or balancing power among intraparty factions,) under the guise of 適材適所 (Tekizai Tekisho, or the principle of putting the right people to the right positions.)
One of these right people is Yasuo Ichikawa, who was put in charge of the
Defense Ministry. Actually, he has no defense expertise, whatsoever, because he is a former bureaucrat in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. At his inaugural press conference, Ichikawa reportedly said, "To be
honest with you, I'm an amateur. But I think the more you are in the dark about defense, the more you can ensure the adherence to the principle of civilian control." Obviously, the idiot is Type 1. That means he will blindly follow any instruction given by Leon
Panetta even more than his predecessors did. As usual, my sympathy goes to the islanders of Okinawa, Japan's last colony.
Another "right person put in the right place" is Yoshio Hachiro who was appointed to take charge
of economy, trade and industry. Born into a farming family in Hokkaido, Hachiro worked in an agricultural cooperative for many years before getting into politics. Except for the primary sector, therefore, he has no knowledge in the formidable problems deep rooted in Japan's industrial structure.
His first job as head of the METI is to take part in the annual APEC
Leaders Meeting to be held in November in Hawaii. On the sidelines of the
meeting, Hachiro is supposed to talk with Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of U.S. Commerce Department, or whoever his dotted-line
boss will be, over Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Strategic
Economic Partnership (TPP.) He knows deep inside that it's inevitable for him to eventually cave in to the undue demand by the U.S. But his negotiation skills will be evaluated solely in terms of how long he can procrastinate with his muddled words before
patience wears thin on the part of his U.S. counterpart. Hachiro has already
promised farmers in his constituency that he will "sweat a lot."
Japanese politicians at large seem to think "sweat" is a very usable word when they are at a loss over what to do. It's as though they think perspiration serves as an alibi for their inaction in the face of a conflict between two irreconcilable interests. Hachiro is no exception. I think he is self-deceptive enough to be classified as Type 1.
Another Type 1 is Jun Azumi, new Finance Minister. He is a former NHK reporter, which means he is a habitual liar. Worse, Azumi doesn't have
the slightest idea about finance. Just like the Dojo did when he was appointed to the same post by Kan 15 months ago, Azumi will hastily purchase an outdated textbook which tells him the fairy tale that the money markets are basically governed by the economic fundamentals everywhere in the world. As a result, he will always act like a chick surrounded by vultures.
In early August, his predecessor Noda ordered
the Bank of Japan to step into currency markets to stem the further depreciation
of the greenback. To that end, the BOJ bought the U.S. currency worth 4.5
trillion yen. The pointless intervention caused Japan an appraisal loss of 100 billion yen overnight. I'm sure Azumi will repeat the same folly over and over again during his tenure.
In the worst case, the amateur Finance Minister can be duped into granting the debt-ridden
U.S. government a moratorium on $882 billion-worth Treasury securities
held by Japan as of December 2010. · read more (449 words)
Members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have long been discussing whether to include "pseudologia fantastica" in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual as a distinct psychiatric disorder. I suspect that the reason it hasn't been considered a "coherent enough entity" for the inclusion in the DSM thus far is because in America, like in some other countries
including Japan, there are so many pathological liars there that the bible
for psychiatrists would become meaningless if it included the widespread disease.
Yesterday, yet another idiot named Yoshihiko Noda (photo) was installed as Japan's seventh Prime Minister in five years. When his predecessor Naoto Kan took office in June last year, not a few self-proclaimed Japan experts in the mainstream U.S. hailed him as "Japan's first truly new leader."
As usual, it didn't take long until Kan proved not only an idiot but also a scoundrel. That is why these scholars and pundits quickly fell silent about Japan and remained so in the last 15 months. But now that the new one, who likens himself to 泥鰌 (Dojo), a Japanese loach, was going to succeed Kan, mainstream ideologues in
the U.S. all came back to resume disseminating the all-too-familiar delusion about
Japan's bright future.
On the eve of Kan's belated resignation, one of those prominent mythomaniacs
wrote that the U.S. government should "stand firmly behind Japan [under
the new leadership] to help Tokyo become the anchor of the arc of freedom
and prosperity." Once again, we are taken aback at this hogwash.
In the past, many, including myself, assumed that the highly-educated person was well-versed in this country as he claimed. But now we have learned that is not the case. How can one be a Japan expert when he doesn't know that in the last 66 years, especially
during these "lost 20 years," the Japanese have been living in
a dystopia where freedom and prosperity in the real sense of the words
have never prevailed?
We still don't know if he is one of those professional liars or just a learning-disabled person. For instance, doesn't he know how many of the last six Prime Ministers were
chosen by popular vote, if indirectly? The correct answer: NO ONE but Hatoyama.
This is more or less
true with their predecessors. In the first 10 years after the war, practically
all Prime Ministers, including the Class-A war criminal-turned CIA agent
Nobusuke Kishi, were picked by the U.S. government. Even after the rotten
political system was put in place in 1955 by the CIA, the mainstream media have always fixed the poll on behalf of the U.S. intelligence agency. Ian Buruma
once called them political sandmen.
Toward the end of the monopoly of power by the Liberal Democratic Party,
pathological liars in the government and media were disseminating a myth that the dissolution
of 派閥 (Habatsu), intra-party factions inherent to the 1955 System, was underway. Simply, this can't
be true, because Habatsu is the integral part of the system through which to funnel the handsome amount of taxpayers'
money called 政党助成金 (Seito Joseikin) or subsidies appropriated to political parties. Pork-barrel operators use the subsidies as seed money with which to maintain and further beef up their corrupt relations with their electoral and industrial constituencies.
The loach's rise from obscurity at the August 29 general assembly of Diet members of the Democratic Party of Japan was no different from the cases with his predecessors; it was nothing more than the result of the power dynamics currently prevailing between 主流派 (Shuryu-ha) - mainstream factions - headed by the likes of Yoshito Sengoku and Seiji
Maehara and 反主流派 (Han-Shuryu-ha) - anti-mainstream (but most powerful) factions - headed by Ichiro Ozawa
and Yukio Hatoyama.
To put it bluntly, it was Noda's turn to take the helm this time around simply because his faction is small enough for bigger ones to manipulate as they like. Small wonder Noda's first words in his victory speech
were: "Let's call it a no-side." (A no-side means the end of
a Rugby game which is signaled by the referee's whistle.) Even during
the pointless debates among the five contenders, everyone was referring to
Article 1 of the 17-article constitution promulgated by Shotoku Prince in the 7th century. The more empty-headed Maehara was saying the same thing in a more
childish way; he said, "Whatever is the outcome of the election, let's do 全員野球 (Zen-in Yakyu.)" The Japanese word means a ballgame where each player is required to sacrifice himself for the team. The Aug. 29 farce was yet another evidence that constant alignment and realignment of factions are what Japan's volatile politics is all about.
It's totally unimaginable that any one of these thieves can lead the nation's way
out of the "unprecedented" crisis.
Talking of Maehara, self-styled hawk, the same American writer wrote: "At the moment, the front-runner to replace Kan is Seiji Maehara,
the former foreign minister, who resigned in March in the wake of a minor political contribution scandal. He would be a strong friend of the United
States." (Emphasis mine.) This can mean he is completely out
of touch with what's going on here. Or, it's more likely that he is one
of those truth-deniers.
Why on earth does he think the former Foreign Minister quit so readily
when it was revealed he had received a peanut of 0.59 million yen from
a South Korean resident here? It's a matter of commonsense that his quick resignation indicated the particular donation
was just a tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, recent revelations have it that Maehara, Washington's pet, has had cozy relations with North (not a typo) Korea.
Thanks to the big quake of March 11, his boss Kan could survive the
similar revelation that he has had collusive relations with Seoul. But finally, Kan had to step down primarily because in July it came to the surface that he and some other DPJ members
had "donated" more than 200 million yen to a shady group of Japanese
which has fronted the Pyongyang government for many years. This intricate picture
is something that is way beyond comprehension of simple-headed American
All in all, the fact of the matter remains that not a single Japanese administration
has represented, and will never represent the ordinary Japanese people.
American pundits virtually on the payroll of the mainstream media do know how many Prime Ministers have come and gone through the revolving door. But they don't have a good enough analytical mind to tell the reason behind the recent acceleration of the whirling of the door of the Prime Minister's office. These political "analysts" aren't there to analyze things in the first place. Their only job is to spread around fallacies such as the one about Douglas MacArthur's success in building a "democracy" in the Japanese archipelago.
Actually, I couldn't afford to waste my precious time on this bullshit. I should have established by daybreak an important Word document
along with an Excel sheet with which to convince the brain-dead and sadistically ruthless tax collectors at the ward office of the municipality that I have no reason and no money to settle the delinquent citizen
tax bills of 700K yen. I may be on the verge of losing this constitutional, but extralegal battle, yet
I can't lose it because it's literally an existential crisis I've been going through since April.
Despite time constraints I've had at this moment, I got sidetracked once again when I carelessly read the fraudulent essay I came across on the web. It prompted me to quickly write this post, instead. I felt I can't take it anymore. I couldn't care less if American literati keep discrediting themselves this way. But I found the downright lie about "the arc of freedom and prosperity" especially outrageous because it's none other than these liars that keep encouraging my foes at Yokohama City Hall to persecute someone who has fallen behind the imaginary arc. If you think this is a far-fetched argument, you know nothing about the Japanese. · read more (19 words)
Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go
mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
- from Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Scottish journalist Charles McKay (1841)
It's a matter of commonsense that the CIA recidivists are behind these
rebels in the streets of Tripoli. As some experts have observed, the way they fire their
assault rifles from the hip is an unmistakable evidence that they have been recruited by the intelligence agency, and/or they are disguised members of
al-Qaeda. In the video embedded above,
the former Deputy Speaker of the Belgian Parliament puts it in a broader
perspective when he says what the Americans term "the Arab Spring"
is, in fact, the beginning of the "second colonization of Africa."
Believe it or not, though, I couldn't care less whatever is underway 6,580 miles away from Tokyo. Neither do I care at all if that person named Muammar Gaddafi is a psychopath as many Americans call him. He hasn't
inflicted any harm on me or my friends.
Just let me ask you something here: "Have you ever asked yourself
why the hell the American people repeat the same folly over and over again,
learning no lessons from their failures of nation-building in Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan
and Iraq?" Of course you haven't, because you think you already know the answer. Then, why don't you just go ahead and implement the corrective measure you have in mind? Actually, you can't find the answer without first identifying the root problem very specifically. You may be a heretic. In fact, though, your delusion that you can know the correct answer without knowing the real question indicates you are trapped in the huge intellectual vacuum created by mainstream ideologues.
You always put the blame on a growing number of psychopaths for the crimes committed by the U.S.A. in Africa and Asia. But in order to clearly identify the issue at hand, you should first define your terminology very precisely. Previously I wrote that since conspiracies are ubiquitous these days, seeking the truth about a conspiracy without specifically defining what conspiracy you are talking about, and why, will get you nowhere. By the same token, if you name the culprits psychopaths without defining what exactly the word should mean, you will always end up in the endless
shouting contest where you and your opponents are calling each
Of late, the sterile climate has spilled over to this side of the Pacific.
As my predominantly-American audience is becoming more and more aware that
this blogger suffers a mental illness, one of you said a couple of months
ago that I am a "mild" schizophrenic. I have no problem being
labeled that way, except that I find the qualifier a little insulting. I even think I would have really appreciated his frankness if he had been more
specific about the reason he thought I look like a nut by clearly defining the schizophrenic
symptoms he saw in this blogger. That way, he might have diagnosed me as
a case of psychopathy, rather than schizophrenia. According to a vague definition
given by the American Psychiatric Association, psychopathy is "a more
severe form of antisocial personality disorder."
In the late 1970s through '80s, American anthropologist Edward T. Hall
made an extensive research into Japanese culture to find out the real reason
behind the spectacular growth of the Japanese economy. He drew the conclusion
that Japan's success was attributable primarily to the fact that this country
is a "high-context" society where people communicate amongst
each other with a high-context language. In my interpretation, an "HC"
language does not require each word to be defined precisely because the
sender and the receiver of a message supposedly share the same understanding
even before the word is spoken. A 17-syllable Haiku piece or a short text message is still considered long enough here. The
real problem facing the Japanese today, therefore, is the fact that this
success factor identified by the anthropologist more than 20 years ago
is now quickly turning into a failure factor.
On the contrary, English is one of the most low-context languages. But
with this silly thing called Twitter sweeping through America, its people
have started speaking an HC dialect of English. That is basically why they think
just tweeting a word "psycho" is good enough to make a difference
to their psychopathic society which still remains low context.
In my previous post, I called Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara a psycho. On second thought, however, I realized I shouldn't have used such an ill-defined word to describe a guy who is offering athletes from all over the world a big treat of contaminated food in his second bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2020. Not that I think I was too harsh with him. On the contrary, I was too complimentary to the Governor because practically every ordinary Japanese is more or less a psycho today.
As usual, I looked up the word psychopath not only in the dictionary but
also in APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, WHO's
International Classification of Diseases, and some other websites. It was
appalling to know that none of these authoritative documents clearly define
the mental illness.
Take DSM for example. Its fourth edition published in 1994 defines antisocial
personality disorder like this.
A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights
of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of
1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as
indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
2. deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for
personal profit or pleasure;
3. impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights
5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6.consistent irresponsibility, as
indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor
7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing
having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
individual is at least age 18 years.
C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the
course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.
As you may agree, this is real rubbish that indicates even among American shrinks, intellectual faculty is quickly deteriorating. If they think these criteria serve their purposes, they are psychos, too. Small wonder, in 1988, a psychiatrist wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry that since the catch-all definition of psychopathy is little more than a moral judgement masquerading as a clinical diagnosis, it should be scrapped altogether.
Most other related websites are even more biased not only morally but also
ideologically. One of them lists such names as Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, George
W. Bush, John McCain, and Joseph Stalin as "famous sufferers of psychopathy," without giving a single piece of neuroscientific evidence.
There's no website that puts on its list Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton,
Leon Panetta or Ben Bernanke, let alone Japanese names such as Emperor
Hirohito, Hideki Tojo, Shintaro Ishihara and Naoto Kan. In short, they
think anyone they hate is a psycho. This indicates
that these self-styled psychiatrists can also be psychos themselves.
Admittedly, I am equally in the dark about neuroscience. So I don't have the
slightest idea about what kind of abnormality of secretion of neurotransmitters
such as dopamine makes you a nut. And yet, I think I would be able to come
up with a more objective, religion-/ideology-free and actionable set of diagnostic criteria
for psychopathy if I took into account additional attributes such as ability of abstract thinking (NOTE 1) and contextual thinking (NOTE 2), physiognomical features (NOTE 3), ideological/religious tilts, manifested goal of
life, willfulness (NOTE 4) and methodology to attain it, presentability (NOTE 5), propensity toward fanaticism, sexual orientation,
financial condition, etc.
NOTE 1: It's a known fact that in the U.S., psychos' IQ is on the high side. But this is not to say an idiot can't be a psycho. Actually, most Japanese psychos are idiots as is the cases with Tokyo Governor Ishihara, outgoing Prime Minister Kan and contenders for his successor Kaieda and Noda. Current Finance Minister Noda, for one, ordered early this month the Bank of Japan to step into the currency markets to stem the further depreciation of the U.S. dollar. To that end, the central bank bought the U.S. currency worth 4.5 trillion yen. As a result of the pointless intervention, Japan suffered an appraisal loss of 100 billion yen overnight. NOTE 2: Thanks to the HC language they use in the HC environment, Japanese idiots are good at handling "multifaceted" or ill-defined issues. To be more precise, they procrastinate things until the problem defines, and then solves itself. NOTE 3: In the mid-1960s, Ichiro Kawasaki, former Japanese Ambassador to Argentina wrote in his controversial book to the effect that the Japanese are the world's third ugliest people only next to Pygmies and Hottentots. Kawasaki stopped short of mentioning the first-rate meanness lying underneath their ugly physical appearance, but many physiognomists, including Abraham Lincoln, have argued that your face always mirrors your soul. NOTE 4: While American psychos attempt to topple or subvert an institution they are targeting very willfully, their Japanese counterparts attain the same end primarily by "gross negligence" or inaction. NOTE 5: In the U.S. mainstream, there are quite a few psychos who are highly educated and well mannered. But that does not mean a weird-looking and ill-mannered person can't be a psycho.
When you apply these yardsticks to your patients, you will find out that:
● their symptoms are the responses to the particular environments they
● the "Mask of Sanity" they wear varies from country to country, and
● the threshold between normal and abnormal varies accordingly.
This exercise will lead you to conclude that in a terminally-ill country, such as Japan and the U.S., psychopathy
is the norm. In our countries, you can't walk a block without stumbling on a psycho.
You are allowed to hate anyone, or oppose anything. But you don't have
the right to call him a psycho if you can't prove it with your own diagnostic
and statistical manual. Neither do you have the right to do so if you can't prove your sanity in an objective way. · read more (72 words)
Wednesday, August 17 2011 @ 08:43 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
This past Monday 66 years ago, the Pacific War came to an end. Until then, the Japanese had long been treated as subhumans by the Emperors and Shoguns. So it was quite natural that they were deeply perplexed at the new situation when Emperor Hirohito took off his mask of demigod as if the bastard had thought 3.1 million lives sacrificed for him were more than enough. In the course of searching their long-lost identity, they developed a weird tendency to emulate stereotypes created by the Americans as if they discovered their own selves in a mirror.
Some 30 years later, the American people, too, started to face identity crisis presumably because of their country's miserable loss in Vietnam. The self-complacent Americans had already lost the ability to do serious soul-searching, something which distinguishes human beings from apes. As a result, they have picked up the same habit of looking into a mirror to find their lost identity. Ironically, though, it's the other side of the same mirror the Japanese are looking into. Therefore, they always see their Japanese clones there in the dim light of the twilight years of the American century, instead of their true selves they are looking for. The real implication of the words "Japanization of America" is that most Americans today think the Japanese can be their role models. This is basically why they are
so prone to overrate the Japanese at large.
Harvard professor Joseph Nye, for one, still keeps saying he admires the
Japanese people for their unparalleled innovativeness. But actually, what he wants to say is that his fellow countrymen are equally, or a little more innovative. Of
course, this is a delusion. Deep inside, he knows that if he agreed to the heretical notion that the Japanese
are terminally ill, that would amount to admitting the Americans are also heading for ruin.
A week or so ago, Naoto Kan announced for the first time that he will step
down as Prime Minister by the end of this month. I know self-proclaimed
Japan experts in the U.S., who are virtually on the payroll of the mainstream
media, will once again resume tweeting about a bright future for Japan
under the new Prime Minister. In fact, though, Kan's belated resignation
will not make a bit of difference to the dead-end situation facing the
Japanese people. As Ron Paul reminds us in one of the YouTube videos I
mentioned in my previous post, the government is a mere reflection of the
people, not the other way around.
In the middle of the lingering heat and steam, I'll still be spending the
last days of my life surrounded by brain-dead people who remind me of the
old adage that goes: "死んだ魚は目で分る (You can tell when the fish
is dead just by seeing its eyes.)" You can expect absolutely nothing from the dead. All I can do in the meantime, therefore, is to tell my firsthand account of the desolate landscape where 100 million zombies are roaming around.
I write these essays without any particular purpose in mind except that writing always helps me organize my thoughts in preparation for Noriko's next visit. The 27-year-old is one of the few friends of mine who remain loyal to this social outcast. We still care for each other romantically, but these days she often asks me to tell my story about Japanese history, especially its war chapter, even though even her parents didn't experience the Pacific War. She isn't a college graduate, and yet it's always amazing to know that with her astute comprehension and fine sensibility, she really eclipses highly-educated American ignoramuses who can't do anything more than shuffling secondhand information and ideas. I think that is because she hasn't been brainwashed by stupid professors and she knows firsthand what it is really like to be a Japanese without losing one's identity as an individual.
Truth-evading Americans always act like ostriches that stick their heads in the sand to avoid vomiting at their own ugly faces in the mirror. So they will never think about buying a language translation
software to understand what Keiji Furuya, lawmaker of the main opposition Liberal
Democratic Party, is saying in this video. Actually, he is mercilessly grilling the Prime Minister over the cozy relation Kan has had with a shady group of Japanese based in Tokyo. The group has been covertly fronting the North Korean government for many years.
It is true that Furuya, along with some other truth-seeking lawmakers of the LDP, could deliver a final blow
to the already-faltering Prime Minister at long last, although
the mainstream media have by and large ignored the stunning revelations. But that is far from enough. A real truth-seeker
should address any conspiracy with the dragonfly's eyes, so to speak. As I wrote in my previous post, conspiracies are ubiquitous, multifaceted, and know no borders. With a parochial approach like Furuya's, a truth-seeker
will never be able to uncover the total picture of the plot against people. For that reason, he should have dropped his treason angle altogether.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Furuya is not a mainstreamer in the LDP. I say fortunately because he is a diehard
Tennoist (cultist-like believer in the Imperial Institution.) On the one hand, the right-wing nut uncovered DPJ's connection with North Korea, but on the other, he was covering up other conspiracies, or the other part of the conspiracy, which certainly involve equally or more unscrupulous criminals at home, such as the Emperor, yakuza, mainstream media, opposition lawmakers and bureaucrats, and foreign intelligence agencies in South (not a typo) Korea, China and the U.S.
On the other hand, it is unfortunate because the party leadership is now eying a "grand coalition" with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, which is now
on the brink of falling apart. To clear their way toward tying up with the DPJ, the party cadres need to overpower antimainstream factions such as one in which Furuya belongs.
In the last decade or two, the media have
been using an absurd rhetoric about a "modern two-party system."
But it's actually a twin-party system that's been in place here since LDP-spinoffs, including Kan, founded the
DPJ. Up until recently, DPJ cadres thought the twin-party system disguised as a two-party system was the only way to perpetuate the same rotten political framework
called the 1955 System. But now, it's been dawning on them that the gimmick won't work anymore, either. That's why the DPJ leadership is also
seeking an incestuous marriage that will certainly send this rotten regime back to where it started 56 years ago, or well beyond.
Whine No More, You Weepy Bag
Kan is concurrently heading the special task force which is supposedly trying to solve so-called abduction issue. Time and again in the last 7 years, I have argued that
the issue is practically nonexistent for many obvious reasons. At least, I think Kim Jong-il
was right when he unilaterally declared the case closed several years ago. But no one has ever taken me seriously. Most Japanese, and Americans alike, kept abetting these dupes in the Association
of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea in protesting the "unforgivable state
When Sakie Yokota, de facto spokeswoman of the AFVKN, learned the news, which was nothing new to sane people such as myself, she reportedly said, "Now I'm totally at
a loss over who to trust. I want to vomit." Actually, the weepy, old dupe should have learned by now that one can, and should, live without
trusting anyone in the world filled with conspiracies.
In 2004, a prominent American writer interviewed Yokota at a coffee shop in central Tokyo. Two years later, he wrote in his book: "[Abductee Megumi Yokota's] parents symbolize the
transformation of ordinary Japanese citizens from the meek and mild to
the assured and assertive." Now in the wake of the revelation, the
author fell silent in order to get away with the fake issue he and his colleagues on both sides of the Pacific had played up in the last seven years. He will remain silent until the "assured and assertive" woman resumes sobbing, and then vomiting again, before yet another "Japan's first truly new" Prime Minister. I know that many other mainstream ideologues in the U.S. have also developed similar models for lucrative monkey business in recent years. Now they are all enjoying an affluent life. But these racketeers should know they are already MORALLY BANKRUPT.
Flip-Flop in Energy Policy
As recently as October 2010 in Hanoi, Kan and then-Foreign Minister Seiji
Maehara were all smiles in a photo session. Kan had just signed an agreement with his Vietnamese counterpart in which for Japan
to provide Vietnam with technological assistance and fissile materials needed for the first nuclear power plant in the country.
But now the outgoing Prime Minister has started to say Japan should phase
out all its nuclear facilities as quickly as possible. It's as though he
thinks the devil is in the nuclear technology itself whereas the fact of
the matter remains that it dwells in his empty head.
It's commonplace all over the world that policymakers politicize what should not be politicized
at all. But in this shamanist country, politicization always means ritualization. As usual, when the priest disguised as Prime Minister announced the policy
change out of the blue, it delighted the world's most suggestible people.
It instantly refueled the all-too-familiar anti-nuke hysteria across the
nation, especially in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the 66th anniversaries
there, both mayors parroted Kan's new policy. These learning-disabled guys
still make believe you can reset what was done 66 years ago just by chanting
the same old incantation for a nuclear-free world. By the same token, they think Kan's mishandling of the situation is reparable. Let bygones be bygones.
Actually, Kan is still wavering because his impromptu denuclearization policy has backfired especially
from the business circles. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri
Kaieda, for one, has voiced his displeasure with Kan's unprincipled and
incoherent way of handling the touchy issue. It's against this backdrop that Kaieda
made a scene in the Diet, as I already told you in my previous post.
In this relation, it may interest you to know that as of writing this post, Kaieda and Maehara are among the most promising contenders for the next Prime Minister of Japan. Yesterday, Kaieda told reporters that the guiding philosophy of his administration would be that harmony should be put before anything else. He was referring to the 17-Article Constitution promulgated by Shotoku Prince in the 7th century.
Nadeshiko Soccer Players Addicted to Cultural Steroid
I used to love playing baseball, golf and some other sports. Even after I knew I had grown too old to do sports, I was having fun watching sporting events on TV for some more years. But recently, I've stopped watching, too, with the only exception when an LPGA tournament is televised from the U.S. Actually, I am an ardent fan of Ai Miyazato because from her sparkling eyes, I can tell she is driven solely by her enthusiasm to excel, which is what any sport should be all about. Although you may have difficulty understanding me, money is always a different issue.
On the surface, Miyazato looks to have been assimilated more or less into the nation of dead fish, and yet it's no accident the top-ranked golfer is an Okinawa native. This year she was slumping until she won the Evian Masters last month. I'm expecting more to come until the end of this season.
Other Japanese athletes, especially male macaques such as those in the Samurai soccer team, are motivated by a very different thing. They are heavily dependent on what I call "cultural steroid." The performance enhancing agent most commonly used by these mediocre athletes is, needless to say, Hinomaru, Japan's national flag. With the help of this particular kind of steroid, even second-rate athletes can sometimes win. One example is the Nadeshiko women's soccer team which won the final against the U.S.A. that took place in Frankfurt last month.
The reason the Japanese go over the top in politicizing a sporting event is because it can easily create a
false sense of unity. To create the sense of
oneness this way, they don't necessarily have to outperform their opponents because
to them, win or lose doesn't really matter. As is evident from the suicide mission performed by Kamikaze pilots toward the end of the Pacific War, the Japanese are all defeatists.
That means losing the game is sometimes more politically effective than
winning it. In this context, the Nadeshiko soccer team needn't necessarily have won
the title to "encourage the disaster-stricken people."
But on that V-A Day, an unusual thing happened across the Pacific. Judging
from the way New York Times and many other U.S. newspapers reported the
result of the final match, quite a few Americans celebrated Japan's victory
as if it were their own feat. At least, no one expressed a sense of humiliation.
The American people used to hate losing the game, but not anymore. In recent years they are getting more and more used to being defeated. As a result, the American people today are all defeatists like the Japanese.
This once again reminded me of the April 16, 1951 editorial of the Asahi
Shimbun. On the morning of the last day of Douglas MacArthur's Japan assignment,
Japan's leading daily wrote: "It was General MacArthur who taught
us the merit of democracy and pacifism and guided us with kindness along
this bright path. As if pleased with his own children growing up, he took
pleasure in the Japanese people, yesterday's enemy, walking step by step
toward democracy." So the Nadeshiko's victory is MacArthur's dreams
It goes without saying that the first thing the Nadeshiko women did after returning home, aside from the drinking binge they'd had the night before, was to pay a courtesy call on the drug dealer at the Prime Minister's office. Kan reportedly told Nadeshiko members that learning the precious
lesson from their come-from-behind win in Frankfurt, he had renewed his resolve to stick
at his job regardless of the cabinet approval rating that kept sinking well below 20%.
Tokyo Governor is Offering a Big Treat of Contaminated Food to International Athletes
Shintaro Ishihara, who is in his fourth term as Tokyo Governor, has come back to Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, with his second bid to host the summer games in 2020. You can't rule out the possibility that in 2013 the corrupt IOC members vote in favor of Ishihara's bid, but I think before doing so, they should look at this video.
If they don't comprehend what Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama, head of Radioisotope Center attached to Tokyo University, is talking about in a Diet testimony of July 27, they should at least look at this article on the Wall Street Journal.
The government, TEPCO and media have exerted every effort to cover up the enormity of the radioactive contamination caused by their gross negligence. But the fact of the matter remains that the radiation dose equivalent to that of 29.6 atomic bombs of the Little Boy type has been spread around well beyond the designated evacuation zones and a good part of the food chain is now getting seriously polluted, according to Professor Kodama. That is why he and his team have visited Fukushima Prefecture every weekend to take "extralegal" measures for decontamination. And that is why the professor "lambasted" lawmakers for their incompetence and inaction.
IOC members should also note that most seismologists are saying the probability of an earthquake of 6-minus or higher by the JMA Seismic Intensity Scale hitting Kanto area that includes Tokyo in the next 30 years is as high as 87%.
In short, Ishihara is a downright psycho as this blogger has repeatedly warned.
Shame on Tokyo citizens who have elected this bastard, dubbed a "social Neanderthal" by Australian journalist Ben Hills, to the cushy position at the metropolitan government - already four times since 1999.
Media Hype for Setsuden
It's not a legal requirement but every Japanese is willingly cooperating
with the government's calls for Setsuden (power saving) by strictly adhering to arbitrarily self-imposed quotas. Nobody voices a complaint that there is no reason ordinary citizens should foot the bill for government's mishandling of the Fukushima accident. This is reminiscent of the wartime slogan that went: "欲しがりません勝つまでは
(We don't ask for food and clothing until Japan defeats America.)"
Once again, the mainstream media are fulfilling exactly the same mandate given to NHK and major newspapers such as Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi, Sankei in the 1930s through the first half of the '40s.
In the above photo, Monta Mino, the single most popular host of Waido-sho (Japan-particular format in which for more than half-a-dozen idiots to present news, sports and entertainment in a total jumble,) is saying, "The most effective way to save power is to turn off the TV." He thinks he is joking. But he is wrong, joking or not. The helplessly retarded guy can't see the very simple fact that it would be most effective if the government ordered all but one TV stations to close down and made the last channel concentrate solely on weather reports and earthquake/tsunami forecasts. I'm serious.
In the last several years, a conspiracy was going on between TV broadcasters and consumer electronics makers to switch to the digital broadcasting. At 12 noon, July 24, all the analog transmissions came to an end. The conspirators had been saying, day and night, that no household should be left behind as if watching wide show programs around the clock is the indispensable part of our life, and as if the digitalized wide shows can be any different from analog wide shows. According to recent surveys, some 100,000 households were actually left behind. They call them 地デジ難民 (Chideji Nanmin, or refugees denied access to the digital terrestrial broadcasts.)
Of course, I opted to join them in part because I couldn't afford to buy new equipment. But more importantly, I thought idiocy like Mino's is a highly infectious disease. Now I think I made the right decision. Am I increasing my dependency on the Internet? Not quite. There's no reason to believe alternative media are more reliable than their counterparts in the mainstream. To tell the truth, I could still watch wide shows on my computer, but that's what I wouldn't normally do.
Then came Kan's tax hike plans to raise 13 trillion yen needed for the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas. It's somewhat sickening to see these generous suckers once again becoming ready to swallow undue burdens. Now the only headache for the government is how to talk the opposition LDP into accepting the tax hike bills. Primarily to that very end, the DPJ is now seeking the unholy alliance with the LDP.
Here's a tip for the black swindler in the White House. If I were him, I would certainly tell his underlings in Tokyo to grant his debt-ridden country a moratorium on $882 billion-worth Treasury securities. As of December 2010, China's U.S. debt holding was $1,168 billion. But the Chinese would never write off or reschedule a single buck of it because that is the last thing sane people would do. · read more (36 words)
As usual you guys don't want to believe me, but I think practically everything you
say or do can fit into the dictionary definition of the word "conspiracy" which normally goes like this: "A conspiracy is an agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful,
or subversive act." To empty-headed and self-righteous Americans, this is clear enough, but outside the U.S., no one can be so sure that he is rightfully doing what he is doing because right or wrong is purely a subjective matter.
Here's my way of defining the word: "A conspiracy is an agreement to perform together a counter-revolutionary act to preserve the status quo." In other words, you better
stop talking about conspiracies unless you are fully committed to a specific
plan to revolutionize your country, your friends and kin, and most importantly yourself. As I will tell you paragraphs later, you can't change anything just by tweeting at your computer.
On the eve of the "historic" agreement reached in Washington
to raise the constitutional debt ceiling, I was mining for YouTube videos
about Ron Paul because I wanted to know how the U.S. Congressman from Texas
views the ongoing conspiracy that has gone totally unchecked by now. To me he is neither a truth-seeker nor truth-evader. Instead I would call him a truth-doer. I hit quite a few interesting videos there.
Embedded below is one of them.
Here you will know that to Ron Paul, 2012 is not the year of the farce
called Presidential Elections, but the starting point of an American Revolution.
Know-it-all cynics are saying, "The old daydreamer would never be
able to bring about change even if he won the race." But, then, who
else could stop the bloated Federal government from further "defaulting
on the average American" and block "the road to serfdom"?
I'm not sure because I am not in prediction business, but the early indications
from "straw polls" and a growing number of young, bright people
rallying behind him seem to tell that it's not really a pipe dream to see
Mr. Paul becoming the oldest-ever President of the United States. Unfortunately,
though, I'm reasonably sure that if he wins, either on the Republican ticket
or Libertarian's, it is quite likely that he is doomed to fall victim to the biggest
conspiracy since 11/22/1963. On "one glorious morning" in 2088, your grandchild who now looks very much like a zombie may walk into the National Archives to find out the truth about the assassination of Ron Paul. But what good would it do?
In another video titled Government is a Reflection of the People, he stresses that real change comes from the people, but realistically
speaking, the rotten society won't change overnight.
This brings us to the question: "Who should take the blame for the
intellectual decline of the American people?" Without doubt, it's
those scholars and pundits who are virtually on the payroll of the mainstream
media that have brainwashed their audiences so effectively. Now, most Americans
are conditioned to see what is actually nonexistent. For one thing, they
have seen a series of revolutions in Arab countries. These delusive people
have been taught to take it for granted that the popular uprising in Tunisia,
Egypt and Libya is a spontaneous response to the longtime oppression
by authoritarian regimes. To this end, mainstream pundits are untiringly spreading the
absurd myth about "digital wildfire" that has supposedly led to "Twitter
It is true that relatively sober-minded journalists
in the U.S. view things a little differently. Doyle McManus of Los Angeles
Times, for one, argued in January that although "social media may
sometimes serve as an accelerant, a successful revolution continues to
be low tech and still requires people to go into the streets and risk their
lives." Even so, McManus stopped short of mentioning a possible conspiracy by CIA recidivists.
Mainstream ideologues in the U.S. have created a huge intellectual vacuum in the
brains of American people by disseminating quick answers based on unsubstantiated premises to self-planted and poorly-identified questions. For one thing, they have just
swallowed National Institute of Standards and Technology's official story
about 9/11 which, in fact, has a lot of flaws and holes. The niche resulting from this is exactly where a horde of "fringe" theorists have been spawned from every corner of the world since the turn
of the century. And this is what these truth-seekers owe truth-evaders.
Needless to say, there are some, if not many, truth-seeking folks who are
by far more intelligent, serious and conscientious than crooks in the mainstream. Dr. Judy Wood, the brilliant author of Where Did the Towers Go?, is a good example.
Unfortunately, though, a greater number of conspiracy
theorists have one important thing in common with mainstream crisis-mongers. On the surface,
mainstremers categorically brush aside heretical theories as unsubstantiated
although their own arguments are equally, or even more, groundless. In
fact, though, orthodox ideologues feel grateful to heretics because they
are willing to abide by the tacit rule that prohibits both sides from questioning what I call the imperialist assumption for the rigged debates. It almost looks as though there is a tacit agreement
between the two camps which calls for a reciprocity principle.
You may take it for granted that what is important to America should also be important
to the rest of the world. If that is the case with you, I'm afraid your brain is already irreparably damaged. Once upon a time, the world was revolving around the U.S.A., but not anymore.
In this respect, it is noteworthy that a good part of conspiracy theorists make believe that 9/11 has changed not only America, but also the entire world, completely
and for good. Their ridiculous notion has really delighted mainstream ideologues
because that is exactly what they are commissioned to propagandize by their employers in Washington. But saner people in Asian and Arab nations doubt the spectacular event in 2001 was that special. It always puzzles them why on earth
the American people at large tend to single out 9/11, or 11/22 for that
matter. It's only the world's most gullible and suggestible Japanese who
readily swallow the absurd idea that truth is a universal thing. But the
fact of the matter remains that TRUTH VARIES FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY - or even from an individual to another.
Now let me ask you this question: "Has it ever crossed your mind that from the Japanese point of view, such dates as 8/6, 8/9, and 1/19 by far outweigh 9/11?" If you
don't know what happened on January 19, 1960, The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was signed on that day between Dwight Eisenhower and the CIA undercover
agent Nobusuke Kishi, disguised as Japanese Prime Minister at that time. I'm certain that your answer to my question is in the negative.
Much less is it likely that you know the very foundation
of this country in the early-8th century was a huge conspiracy in itself. In the subsequent 13 centuries, conspiracies have always been a norm here. If you bother to study the Japanese history more in-depth than you surface-scratchers normally do, you will learn how stupid it is to talk too much about 9/11 and the so-called war on terror it ignited.
I am an avowed Buddhism fundamentalist. By now I'm aware very few Americans understand
me because all they have learned about Buddha's tenets is largely distorted
with a lot of exoticism, oversimplification and ridiculous mythification. Actually, the key to understanding Buddhism lies with the Sanskrit word "Satya" which just means looking at truth as it is. My interpretation of
Gautama Buddha's words about Satya can be summarized this way:
DO NOT SEEK TRUTH OUTWARD BECAUSE THEN YOU ARE EVADING INNER TRUTH.
That is why the real Buddhism knows no god, no ideology and no fanaticism
or extremism. It is only radical about truth in the real sense of the word.
During my long absence from the blogosphere, I was waging a fierce war
against my Parkinson's disease, its complications (see NOTE below), and some other ailments such as cholecystitis, hepatitis and severe cataracts. At the same time I was at war with
the City Hall on the constitutional, but extralegal battleground. Who
could have done anything more amid the monsoonal heat
(90-95 degrees F) and steam (80-85%.)?
NOTE: As some of you have kindly pointed out, the complications of my PD include mental illnesses such as a "mild" schizophrenia and serious depression.
In the meantime, I was just looking on as the people in my country of birth are wallowing in the dead-end situation as if it were a result of 3/11. Those
under the heavy influence of mainstream ideologues in America are still chitchatting
a lot about the Tsuittaa Kakumei (Twitter Revolutions) in Arab countries, but I see absolutely no signs of popular uprising on the Japanese horizon. It can't be helped because in this country there has been no tradition of revolting against the ruling class at least in the last 13 centuries. Now I'm inclined
to call them Japanese macaques. I know I shouldn't expect these apes to evolve into human beings someday. · read more (251 words)
Thursday, May 26 2011 @ 05:17 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
When any particular organized system ceases to exist, as when an atom splits, a snowflake melts, an animal dies, its organized field disappears from that place. But in another sense, morphic fields do not disappear: they are potential organizing patterns of influence, and can appear again physically in other times and places, wherever and whenever the physical conditions are appropriate. When they do so, they contain within themselves a memory of their previous physical existences. - Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past (1988)
The issue with the life-or-death of an individual, or a group of individuals such as a nation-state,
is not a laughing matter. It is for this simple reason that I have always
refrained from talking about the fate of a foreign country, except when
retaliating against arrogant American busybodies. They think they have special privilege to make their living by peddling their armchair prophecies about the future of foreign countries. That is why these guys predict so lightly that China or any other country they don't like is doomed to failure by such and such date, or that Japan or any other country they
are fond of will survive formidable difficulties facing it by "reinventing" itself over
and over again.
Thus far they have succeeded to dupe America's super-credulous audiences into believing in their opportunistic diagnoses of Japan. But I will never retract mine because if I changed my diagnosis, my entire
75-year life mostly spent here would turn into "much ado about nothing," retroactively. My dignity as a man is at stake in these statements I have deliberately made.
I have long defined Japan as a Culture of Apologies, but now I'm inclined to call America a Culture of Quotations. These self-styled scholars and pundits have long made it a rule to cherry-pick this idea
here, that idea there, without really internalizing them. They jump at any idea that fits comfortably into their cheap ideologies. For one thing, they often compare communism against democracy, but they haven't read a single book written by Karl Marx, let alone Friedrich Hegel who had a profound influence on Marx's
thoughts. As a result, they've got something
that looks very much like spaghetti inside their skulls. It is true that in some areas of expertise such as computer science, web-based technologies, musical art, business administration, and quite understandably, psychiatry, America remains the world leader. But these are exceptions to the Culture of Quotations.
Also, I know some exceptions at an individual level. My American friend who has been known on this website by his handle "Diogenes" is one of them.
Last week, Diogenes sent me another gift. It was a book
titled The Presence of the Past. I hadn't known its author even by name while many
Japanese acquaintances of mine could tell who they thought Ruper Sheldrake was. According
to these superstitious people, Sheldrake is a guy who developed a theory
that scientifically explains the psychic power the likes of Uri Geller
claim to have. Of course, that's not what the British biochemist actually is.
This post is not meant to be a book review, but I thought author's thought-provoking hypothesis of "formative causation" through "morphic resonance" on "morphic fields" was worth mentioning here. Sheldrake presents it in comparison with conventional ideas such as Newtonian inertia and Darwinian assumption of survival of the fittest.
When I was on the book, Plato's "recollection" and Kierkegaard's "repetition" were always on my mind. I don't claim to have delved into the history of European philosophy extensively. Yet, I am confident that unlike the average American, I have learned from some European thinkers, Plato and Kierkegaard in particular, to think things over very systematically and conduct my life very methodically. So, let me summarize their thoughts below here.
Plato was one of the disciples of Socrates. I think Socrates can be a good
role model for American "thinkers" because he famously said,
"All I know is that I know nothing." But Plato did not really
agree to his teacher's agnosticism because his epistemology all boiled
down to the idea that learning is nothing but recollection of what you
have already known deep inside. 22 centuries later, Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard thought backward recollection is not enough to cope with difficulties
facing modern man living in an uncertain world. In this context he came up with the idea that forward
recollection is crucially important in real life. He named it repetition.
He warned, however, that
if you try to repeat something without recollecting what exactly you have
to repeat, you will end up in a life that is nothing but a fuss over nothing. To Kierkegaard, faith in God was the guiding light, but to atheists
like myself, too, there is something that can help avoid a chaotic life.
We call it intuition.
It's no accident that the media in the U.S. are single-mindedly
targeting intuition on the part of their audience, just like Joseph Goebbels
did as Hitler's propaganda minister. Goebbels not only believed but also proved that repeating a same lie over and over again will give it an indisputable credibility. As a
result, the American people have now had their intuitive faculties, as well as abilities to learn, or even think, seriously damaged. Small wonder their first, and
last response to my theory about the unviable Japan is that it's totally counter-intuitive.
Admittedly Sheldrake's hypothesis is so extensive and have so far-reaching implications in many areas that they can't be fully proved in a matter of decades. That is why it still remains a hypothesis.
On the contrary, it's relatively easy to vouch my heretical theory. In fact, it has already worked itself out at least four times in the last 150 years. If I have to specifically name these epochal events one last time, they are 1) Commodore Perry's port calls in the 1850s, 2) the war defeat (or the launch of the unwinnable war) in the 1940s, 3) the burst of the bubble economy in 1990 and 4) the man-made disaster of 3/11/2011. What else do I have to have to substantiate my hypothesis?
Sheldrake's hypothesis has also helped me deepen my understanding of two other important theories.
One of them is Dr. Frank W. Putnam's clinical analysis of cases with child abuse. According to him, most of those who had been abused, sexually or otherwise, in their childhood, started to feel, typically in their adolescence, that something remained unsettled deep inside. This sense of uneasiness almost always led them to a compulsive urge to be re-victimized over and over again. Putnam could have said the same thing if he had learned the modern history of Japan.
The other one is Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam's theory about path-dependent trajectories. He said: "Where you can get to depends on where you're coming from, and some destinations you simply cannot get to from here." This also explains why Japan's insatiable aspiration for Westernization in the last 150 years has taken a fatal toll on this country. When I first quoted Putnam, one of my former American friends said he didn't like his "determinism," which is not exactly what it is, as if like or dislike of someone's thought was all that matters in his brain-dead country. Obviously he was badly in need of good education.
The Japanese disease is no longer remediable. If we still want to see a new and viable organism emerging in this archipelago, it will be born only out of the ruins of the nation-state named Japan.
To this end, I have repeatedly argued that the United States should pull the plug on the life-support system called the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Japan. It's quite unlikely that this country would survive the termination of the 50-year-old security treaty, but that is the only way for Japan to possibly "appear again physically in other times and places, wherever and whenever the physical conditions are appropriate."
And this is the only way for America to possibly break its addiction to recidivism. · read more (103 words)
In 2004, Kyoji Mitarai, then Sasebo Bureau chief of the Mainichi Shimbun daily, lost his daughter in the box- cutter murder case. His childish "open letter" was telling everything about the terminally-ill nation.
In August 2004, I launched this website. At that time many people gave me a big hand. They grinned knowingly at me and said they especially liked my slogan that said TokyoFreePress was a taboo-free online journal. They were wrong, though; they took my slogan as yet another Tatemae statement. To put it bluntly, they should have known that I was a crazy person by their standards.
Seven years later, it started dawning on these people that I really meant it when I launched an all-out attack on the city hall of Yokohama, defying the old wisdom that "you can't fight the city hall." I won the first stage of the battle out of court because with my 46-year-long experience in business, it was relatively easy to outmaneuver the zombies at the municipal office. They had to admit, without explicitly saying so, my complaint that the order of attachment would be unconstitutional was irrefutable.
To me that is enough for now. My ultimate goal is somewhere else. I have
no reason to broadcast how exactly I could win because it would be useless to tell my story more in detail to those who will never fight the city hall in their lifetime.
Besides, that might constitute a breach of the ceasefire agreement very
tacitly reached between us.
All along, some, if not many, of my friends extended their wholehearted support to me. I really appreciate their encouraging words because without them, I might have lost my case against the municipal government.
But on the other hand, those who were not perceptive enough to know the taboo-free slogan was the manifestation of my Honne, seemed to be subtly disappointed. Some of them even sounded as though they had become indignant at the news. I think there are two reasons.
Firstly, despite the lip service they gave me at the initial stage, these ostriches thought, in their Honne, that my battle against the local government should never be won. Secondly,
deep inside they have harbored jealousy over justice. To them, justice
is something authoritative figures such as themselves have the exclusive
right to mercifully hand down upon unprivileged others. That's why they found it outrageous to have to see an obscure blogger win it.
Quite unexpectedly, this case served as an acid test. Now I can tell who are willing to discuss issues in their
Honne, and who are not.
Among my supporters, there is an exceptionally intelligent American whose handle on this website is Diogenes. I have learned
quite a lot from his perceptive and relevant feedbacks to my pieces. Especially,
it was a pleasant surprise when he brought up the issue with Japanese
children suffering refractory mental illnesses in response to my essay
about the MacArthur Constitution. Before him, no one had found a link between the two issues.
In the last 48 hours, we discussed offline the same issues to follow up
our online discussions. I'm posting below here three reply mails to show
you what I really meant in August 2004 when I said I was launching a taboo-free web journal.
May 20, 3:30 JST
Title: Unbreakable Chain of Oppression
I’m so glad that the exchange of views between us has been immensely productive
that I now understand why you said I wasn't straying from my main task.
Among other things, I have especially appreciated your online and offline
comments on the constitution(s). As a matter of fact, it always sickens
me to read self-pitiful accounts by victims of rape, child-abuse or other
types of domestic violence. But when one of my young friends, who had once
attempted suicide, almost successfully, recommended to me Torey Hayden's One Child, I learned not every abuse survivor is self-pitiful. Sheila fought back
against the chain of oppression when she was a 6-year-old toddler by tying
a 3-year-old boy to a tree in a nearby woodlot. She had to do so because
there was no other way out for the 6-year-old than burning a 3-year-old
You were absolutely right when you pointed out vengeance does not solve
the problem. Instead it surely exacerbates it. However, it takes mental,
if not physical, strength, to regain one's self from the chain of oppression.
As you have already noticed the Japanese chain of oppression is quite different
from America’s. On its top, there always is the Emperor, and at its bottom
there are social outcasts who are abused in many different ways, including
kids suffering from autism (360,000-1,200,000 of them), 5 million suicide
wannabes, and innumerable prostitutes disguised as something else. In this
unique society, the top of the chain has been tightly fastened to the other
end so it forms a closed loop. The inventor of this mechanism is Shotoku Prince of the 7th century. MacArthur reinvented it 64 years ago. Given this ingenious arrangement,
nobody can tell who are abusing whom, and who are being exploited by whom.
That is why I always argue in this country, prostitution, for one, is subtly
legitimized and highly institutionalized.
Under the circumstances, very few victims dare to fight back, primarily
because they can’t tell who to direct their attack. At times, they do
fight back, as the 12-year-old boxcutter murderer did here 7 years ago.
But they always attack the wrong people. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional
Intelligence, quotes Aristotle as saying: “Anyone can become angry - that
is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at
the right time, for the right purposes, and in the right way - this is
The single most devastating outcome of the Japan-particular Chain of Oppression
is the fact that people are really used to being abused. Frank W. Putnam,
MD, once observed that many (most in case of Japan) survivors of child
abuse start to feel in their adolescence that something remains unsettled
deep inside. When you talked about a “repetition compulsion,” I think
you were talking about the abused becoming abusers in later years. But
in Japan, most of them feel an obsessive-compulsive urge to be abused again
and again. That’s what Putnam calls “revictimization.” I think this
explains everything about Ijime, Hikikomori and Jisatsu and social response to them.
In the last 13 centuries, or in the last 150 years, or at least in the
last 64 years, this country has remained stuck in the same addiction-like
desire for being revictimized, while on the other side of the Pacific,
America has remained addicted to recidivism. The striking remembrance in
symptoms between poor kids and this nation always bring me to what another
Putnam (public policy professor Robert D. Putnam) calls the “path-dependent
trajectory.” This Putnam says: “Where you can get to depends on where
you’re coming from, and some destinations you simply cannot get to from
May 21, 1:40 JST
Title: RE: Unbreakable Chain of Oppression
I think this is one of the most important mails I have received to this
day. There’s very little to add to your analysis except for the attached
JPEG file. One of my young friends secretly passed it to me. I’m afraid "Nevada" no longer looks like this because most probably she has been
REFORMED by now into yet another domesticated zombie.
In the last 6, 7 years, the mainstream media have been untiringly calling
for more and more legislative measures to stem the surge of “Internet
crime” and “juvenile crime.” As usual they are lying. To begin with,
the Internet has nothing to do with juvenile crime, or any other crime
for that matter. (This really reminds me of American mythomaniacs who keep
saying what’s going on in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the like, or what
may or may not happen in China should be called “Twitter revolutions.”)
One would kill, whether or not there was the Internet, as long as he or
she has the reason to kill.
Neither is it true that crime has anything
to do with age, because it’s ridiculous to believe a 19-year-old is more
prone to commit a crime than a 20-year-old. (In Japan people under 20 are
treated as minors although now they are talking about lowering the threshold.)
Intellectually lazy people never understand they should always address
these issues both from cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives.
More importantly, the boxcutter murder case of 2004, for one, showed that the real problem with "juvenile crimes" always lies with neotenized parents, teachers and other adults.
Laws, or lack of them, have nothing to do with crime, either. People, the Japanese in particular, are duped into believing laws change
people, whereas it’s always the other way around. It’s people that change
laws. For instance, lawmakers at all levels of the government have been
imposing stricter control on kids' access to Yugai Saito (websites considered hazardous to minors.) This is also a laugh because there cannot be any logical reason to believe Yugai Saito are Mugai (harmless) to adults. To me all these moves are nothing but an alibi exercise.
In this terminally-ill country, minors are strictly prohibited to smoke or drink by Tatemae laws. That means to these law-abiding zombies, it is quite OK for a 19-year-and-364-day-and-23-hour-and-59-minute-old person to buy a pack of cigarettes if he is ready to wait one more minute.
I’m really getting suffocated.
May 21, 5:37 JST
Title: RE: Unbreakable Chain of Oppression
Thanks for the painting and the poem. Maybe you are right; all you can
do is to pray to the god. But actually I haven’t launched TokyoFreePress
just to post prayers for these poor souls. And I have wanted to write
a book to ask my American audience to join forces with me. What I expect
from them is very simple: they should press their President and Congressmen
to terminate the U.S.-Japanese security treaty right away just by invoking
its Article 10 that calls for a 1-year prior notice. They needn't do us any favor. Actually this would be the only thing they could possibly do to
save THEIR OWN COUNTRY, if at the cost of its Far Eastern ally. In other
words, it’s about time for the Americans to stop acting like busybodies overseas as if they do not have serious problems back home.
Talking of prayers, my favorite one is the serenity prayer of Alcoholics
Anonymous, which I stumbled on when I read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse
- Five. It may be a superfluous quotation for you, but just in case, it
goes like this: · read more (25 words)
Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 06:35 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The waitress puts a plate in front of me with a piece of chalky Camembert
on it. I glance round the room and a feeling of violent disgust comes over
me. What am I doing here? What are these people doing here? Why are they
- Jean-Paul Sartre
I have been living alone for a decade by now. Since I don't like to cook,
I always eat out. The places I can barely afford to frequent for my meal are all
small eateries in this neighborhood. That means I am always forced to eat junk food, while hearing other diners dishing the dirt at the nearby tables although I have no intention to eavesdrop
at all. Information these brain-dead people are shuffling around among themselves purely on an ear-to-mouth basis reminds me of a female monster I got associated with in 1989. I have encountered many women who were gifted
with both charms and intellect. So this extraordinary person was the only speck on my 75-year life.
On the eve of the burst of the bubble economy of 1990, I was a senior manager
at the Japanese subsidiary of a rotten Swiss trading company named Siber
Hegner. And I was living alone just like I am today. Toward the end of the 1980s a
Japanese executive named Akihiro Sumitomo had started insinuating me into hiring this woman, named Keiko Inoue, as
a manager in my shop. The tricky and pushy executive assured me that she had proved an exceptionally
competent IT manager when she was his direct report in an American company he was from.
The bastard added that she also had very good skills in communicating in English. I
was skeptical because it was quite likely that he was setting a honey trap for me on behalf of the Swiss CEO by the name of Kurt E. Sieber who was dying for a good reason to get rid of me. I was the only manager around who was not a sycophant.
But I said to myself: "Why don't I just take her as my IT manager? If the broad turns out little more than good boobs, still this could be the last harvest I could reap from my hard work during the high-growth era which is coming to a screeching halt now." Actually it didn't
take me a month until I realized Sumitomo had been lying about the bitch.
One day, Inoue came to my office and said: "Mr. Yamamoto, I heard
you are currently living alone. I really sympathize with you because you must have great difficulty working from early morning till midnight and traveling
around all the time, without a mate who personally looks after you." Soon we made
love. A week or so later, Inoue came to my office to tell she had filed
for divorce to become my mate. She added: "I will bring my older son
with me. I hope you get along with him and he likes you as well."
This is how I became her live-in boyfriend and stayed with her and her
son until 1997. These were the post-bubble days I was struggling to reform
our organization which was already swimming in the pool of red ink.
Actually, she was yet another idiot; she had no computer-literacy, business-literacy or English-literacy.
And yet, she didn't have to study hard to improve because now she had a
good personal coach in those areas. She didn't even have to pay tuition
because it was me that was supposed to pay something for all this arrangement. This way I was exploited financially, sexually, and linguistically in the next seven years. She kept drinking all along.
In a sense, the Inoue broad was an exceptionally honest person in that
she was quite sachlich. Especially she was explicit when it came to sex and excrement. In the
morning, at least once a week, she would tell me to do shopping on my
way home for foodstuff to feed the three of us. To be more specific. she
"Why don't you bother to buy us our fecal material at the supermarket this evening?"
Over time, she found herself in an awkward situation because of her relationship with her boss. So she decided to move on to the Japanese subsidiary of
Siemens AG. I had to write her application letter and resume in English as well as a prompt for the anticipated questions by the English-speaking German interviewer. Siemens bought her because I exerted every effort to hype the empty-headed applicant. After her personal coach walked away, she had to further move on to the consulting arm of IBM Japan, my
alma mater, presumably because IBM has a tradition to allow its subsidiaries
to stick to local languages in intracompany communications.
Sumitomo was always willing to prostitute himself for the expat. Initially he must have thought he would be able to ruin the entire career of Sieber's archenemy, or at least neutralize him. But when I left the bitch the way I did, he knew he had failed. Since then he made every effort, from different angles, to make my retirement as disgraceful as he could. Finally the born con man, as his former colleagues at the American company called Sumitomo, fled the drowning Swiss company when Diethelm Keller Holding, Ltd. acquired it at a fire-sale price.
A couple of weeks ago, I ran into the bitch in Yokohama Chinatown. The
alcoholic, now in her late 50s, said her career as an IBM consultant is on a roll. I am sure she is teaching her Japanese clients how effectively
to produce shit.
On the surface, the IBM consultant is not like any other Japanese woman. Aside from her
exceptional explicitness and self-assertiveness, however, she is a typical Japanese.
About the time the bubble economy finally burst, it started to dawn on me that the gulf between me and my fellow countrymen was unbridgeable. And by the time the "boobs" burst, I realized that my conversation with any Japanese, especially male, almost always went round in circles like this:
Me: "Why do you work?"
Japanese: "Because I have to eat."
Me: "Why do you eat?"
Japanese: "You can't live without food."
Me: "What do you live for?"
Japanese:" We must feed our children."
Me: "Why do they have to be fed?"
Japanese: "They can't grow without food - and perhaps a good education."
Me: "Why do they have to grow in the first place?"
Japanese: "You are an impossible nutter." · read more (36 words)
I don't think I was clear enough when I first took up this topic seven years ago. So let me try to clarify my point once again.
In November 1997, President Shohei Nozawa of the now defunct Yamaichi Securities Company burst into tears.
In April 2011, TEPCO executives went down on their knees before the evacuees and press corps.
In May 2011, sumo wrestlers were lined up on the Dohyo ring to offer their sincere apologies to the spectators.
For the last 13 years since Yamaichi Securities Co., Ltd. went
under, practically not a single day has passed without seeing a weepy person
offer sincere apologies before TV cameras. If you are one of those intellectually
lazy Westerners, you will say: "Japan still remains an unfathomable
nation. Yet, I can't resist the mystic charms of its people." Oh, is that so? To me these Westerners are equally mysterious, but much less charming.
Actually the Japanese have a good reason to keep apologizing.
In the post-bubble Japan, more often than not things go wrong. One of the most important reasons is the fact that the real culprit for a failure always goes unpunished. How can this society be so lenient to wrongdoers and incompetents?
There is a prescribed proceeding called Shazai Kaiken (a press conference for apologies) where someone who was not really at fault is supposed to appear in place of the real culprit to bow from the waste. When the misstep or wrongdoing has resulted in an extraordinarily serious consequence, the proxy should burst into tears and/or get down on his knees.
You never know what exactly the proxy is offering his apologies for and
to whom, but that doesn't matter because it's part of the ritual. Every
Japanese knows how to proceed with the ceremony and how to avoid unnecessarily humiliating the crying proxy. For one thing, it's not the right thing to do to ask him: "Are you really at fault for what you are apologizing for?" Simply, that would be impermissibly
Only a small number of us know who should actually take the blame. You just
have to track back the 13-year history of these televised rituals. Then you will realize that not once have the Emperor, executives of media organizations or yakuza
syndicates and high-ranking government officials offered their apologies in the way these scapegoats have. This way you can pin down the bandits.
Leaving the real culprits at large forever is what the
culture of apologies is all about. No self-purification mechanism is at work there. Small wonder gallons of tears they have shed haven't done any good to this country. Criminal prosecution may be a different story, but you can never expect justice from corrupt prosecutors, judges and "Justice" Minister overseeing them.
As recently as late last months, the Japanese saw executives of the troubled Tokyo Electric Power Company apologize in the traditional Dogeza (prostration) position before the evacuees and press corps. But now, sumo
wrestlers have started apologizing for a spate of scandals involving
many in the game. I am not very sure, but most probably these guys, including
the Yokozuna Champion from Mongolia, two Ozeki (the second-highest rank) from Bulgaria and Estonia, who were lined up on
the Dohyo ring, are not directly involved in the widespread irregularities. But they were told
to do the bowing anyhow.
Actually there are two culprits in this case. Needless to say, they are NHK and yakuza.
At the outbreak of the series of scandals,
NHK made every effort to localize the problem because the government-owned
broadcaster is the biggest sponsor of Kokugi (the national sport.) It was solely focusing on illegal betting on the
games of Puro Yakyu (professional baseball) by sumo wrestlers. The broadcaster even suspended
its generous sponsorship until some small fish were barred from the sport
along with some underground bookmakers in yakuza syndicates. Anyone in
his right mind could already tell, it was a gimmick to cover up more deep-rooted
Soon after the suspension was lifted, it was somehow revealed that many
sumo wrestlers had also been up to match-fixing among themselves. Once
again NHK suspended its sponsorship with a completely innocent face. It
is against this backdrop that on Sunday these big guys offered sincere
apologies to sumo fans.
I know this is not the end of the story because it's a matter of commonsense
that it takes two, if you exclude yakuza mobsters who act as intermediaries
between the two, to make the gambling business profitable. Sooner or later,
it will be baseball players' turn to apologize. · read more (94 words)
Naoto Kan has long been out of his mind. The headline simply reads: "The Prime Minister is Nuts." For an obvious reason, the daily failed to point out those who voted for him are nuts, too.
As I have written a dozen times since 3/11, there always are people who
can turn a disaster into a blessing for themselves by causing others an added
suffering. Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan is a good example. According
to the independent journal Nikkan Gendai, an unconfirmed report has it that on the day the quake and tsunami hit
this country, Kan said to one of his close aides: "Hot dog! I can
stay in office for two more years."
On April 20, the same daily wrote that when Kan took a secular pilgrimage
several years ago to get purified of his political sin, his brain must
have already been badly impaired. I think you will agree if you look at
the surreal photo of this person. The obvious lesson to be learned here is that one has got to
be a nutter, if he wants to benefit from a national crisis such as 3/11.
The reason the Japanese people haven't shown signs that they will revolt
against the government anytime soon is quite simple: they have been so
used to having such a leader in the last one and a half century. Just for one thing,
in 1945, they had to endure twin disasters when a couple hundreds of thousands
of innocent citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incinerated while the
bastard who had started the war from his palace was going to be acquitted
of his responsibility.
All in all, 3/11 was the final confirmation that Japan is a dead country.
On the other side of the Pacific, the American people still make believe
that despite their mounting frustration over Japanese ways of dealing with
them, Japan is a nation that has unparalleled ability to "reinvent"
itself over and over again as the stupid Harvard professor named Joseph
Nye put it a little more than 3 months ago.
Masataka Shimizu, TEPCO's president, went down on his knees before the evacuees and press corps in Fukushima Prefecture
Today the president of TEPCO, the power company whose sales totaled US$60 billion in 2010, visited one of the evacuation centers in Fukushima Prefecture and offered a tearful apology in the traditional dogeza position. Believe it or not, the on-site ritual tacitly staged by the media will certainly pave the way for the government to make up for the consequences of its mishandling of the crisis with taxpayers' money.
If many Americans still remain believers in Japan's viability after
viewing this image, their country is also terminally ill, and most probably
doomed to failure very soon.
They should know these zombies exactly mirror the way they will be tomorrow, if not today.
As to the massive relief operation by the U.S., code-named Tomodachi (friendship), the vast majority of people on both sides of the Pacific
think it's a touching display of genuine altruism. It's nothing new to note Japanese dupes haven't learned that there is no such thing as a free lunch despite the fact in the last 150 years, they have repeatedly fallen victim to America's fatherly imperialism. But now even in the U.S., only a small number of people
know that in reality, any country, or any individual for that matter, can't
be that selfless.
There are several speculations. Some are saying, Washington
will, in return, ask Tokyo to write off part of its holding in U.S. Treasury
Bonds (roughly $5.7 trillion) because the Republicans are currently blocking
the Obama administration from raising the ceiling on sovereign debt. Perhaps
they are right, but I still believe Okinawa is one of the reasons behind
As any sane person can tell, it was the surest way to ruin for an ailing
country such as the U.S. to have grown this dependent on a failing country
such as Japan.
In recent years I have lost one American friend after another over my harsh
words against them. It can't be helped because today's Americans are too
arrogant and self-complacent to accept the fact that there is no such thing as a truth that
does not hurt. But I still hope their country is not yet done for, as long
as there are some, if not many, Americans who are sober enough to see my
points, which are nothing more than a matter of commonsense.
A couple of days ago I came across an American on my website. His user
name is Diogenes. By this unusual handle, he means the Greek philosopher known as "Diogenes of Sinope" (412 or 404-323 BCE). He wrote
to me, offline, like this:
"Diogenes wandered around with a lantern during the day, looking for
one honest man. It looks like I can extinguish my lantern now because I've
found one in Japan."
Although I don't think I really deserve his compliment, it was very heartening to know there still are a small number of Americans who value commonsense and honesty more than anything else. He relit my hope for the resilience of America.
But I think the American people have thus far seemed to be flunking the
acid test given by the catastrophe of 3/11.
Even in my private life, I have realized through my acid tests that some
of my kin and local friends are not really kin or friends. For one thing, my
elder son didn't ask his 75-year-old dad if he was OK when the big quake
hit the northern half of Japan's coastal area facing the Pacific. We will remain friends because I don't
have any grudge toward him. The guy had to care more about his wheelchair-bound
wife, his mother (my ex), and his colleagues working for him. If you are a people person like my son, you don't have to be committed to everybody simply because, lip service aside, that is impossible. This is especially true in the face of a crisis. Needless to say, though, it's a different story if you are the leader of a country. · read more (76 words)
Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 07:41 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
These tasteless guys and broad are all smiles. You will find out why in this article.
The task to draw one had long been overdue because a roadmap is something
you need to have at the onset of the journey. But after all these stopgap measures taken
by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company in an extremely haphazard
way, any roadmap was useless because they had already strayed deep into the forest.
But of course, in this unviable nation, ritual significance always outweighs practical usefulness by far. Prime Minister
Naoto Kan thought he would have to show a disaster recovery plan to Hillary
Clinton on her brief stopover in Tokyo on her way home from Seoul. That
is why on the same day, Chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Tsunehisa
Kawamata unveiled what he called a detailed blueprint to end the crisis hastily concocted over night by his men.
The members of the TEPCO press club and their fellow reporters in the mainstream media are making believe TEPCO's roadmap is something that is worth a serious examination. But I haven't studied it, and will never, because it is yet another rubbish which shows the power company and the government have learned nothing from their initial flop.
At a glance I can tell it has nothing in common with what this retired
businessman would call an action plan. I would rather term it "Kamikaze Roadmap" because it looks like a war plan for an unwinnable war. To begin with, there is no goal that has
a solid foundation. TEPCO says its goal is to bring all the reactors of
the Fukushima No. 1 Plant to "cold shutdowns." But it does not
say on what grounds the "Chernobyl solution" has been ruled out.
(The government of the Soviet Union decommissioned the power station by
putting the entire facility in a "sarcophagus.") In other words,
the goal stated there is nothing more than the outcome of the constant
politicization of the issue.
Moreover, there are too many what-ifs left unanswered in the false roadmap. No
risk factors are identified and no alternative or contingency plans are provided.
TEPCO says it wishes to achieve its goal of cold shutdown in 6 to 9 months. But it doesn't say a word about the possible recurrence of a major earthquake and tsunami within this period. The power company just crosses its fingers about that.
the entire plan is based on wishful thinking.
In this connection, it's interesting to know the widespread myth about
Japan's supremacy in robotics has fallen apart in the meantime. Toyota,
for one, has developed a robot who can play the violin. Instead of buying a fiddling robot from the automaker, TEPCO yesterday rented out a couple of "Wheelbarrows" from the U.S. belatedly
to have a look at the inside of the crippled reactors. These robots gathered
radioactive and some other relevant data which indicated assumptions for
TEPCO's roadmap were way too optimistic. As some independent journal puts
it, the roadmap turned out a joke on Day 1 of its life.
It's no coincidence that Clinton's brief visit here coincided with Kawamata's announcement of the unactionable action plan. It's no accident, either, that U.S. Secretary of State brought along U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue. It's quite obvious from the picture embedded above that they are celebrating something in the middle of the nuclear nightmare.
An old Japanese proverb goes, "[You can always] turn a bad luck into
a good one." Prime Minister Kan has learned how. His immediate predecessor
Yukio Hatoyama, his grandfather Ichiro Hatoyama and Kan's archrival Ichiro
Ozawa all had a bad luck simply because they were not really pro-Washington.
Now Kan was effectively kissing the filthy asses of Clinton and Donohue
when he handed them the unworkable roadmap, hastily translated into English,
which ruled out the Chernobyl option for no solid reason. In return, these
guys from Washington assured the Japanese Prime Minister that he can stay
in power until the relocation plan of the U.S. Marine Corps' airbase to
Henoko is implemented.
On the part of these guys from Washington, too, the bad luck has brought a good luck because the relocation plan will be carried out despite the fierce protests by the Okinawans, and GE, Westinghouse, and other major players in U.S. nuclear industry can rest assured of their sustainable prosperity. I am not sure, however, that Clinton and Donohue are maliciously intended. Another Japanese adage goes: "The more the child is poorly-made, the more the parent dotes on him." That can be the case here because the Americans have traditionally had a tendency toward necromania. Let's be reminded that back in the late-'60s, some of them were already saying, "Only a dead Viet Cong is a good Viet Cong."
To these guys, the good thing always offsets against the bad thing. But
to other people, that simply means twin disasters.
The April 17 deal struck under the table will certainly bring an undue suffering to the people of Okinawa, Japan's last colony. And what is the implication of the mishandled crisis for taxpayers? It certainly means an added suffering across the nation. · read more (151 words)
Thursday, April 07 2011 @ 06:05 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The faded photo of Hibiya Park and its surrounding area was taken by a GI in November 1945
When the U.S. government offered a massive relief operation involving 18,000
troops, the Japanese government jumped at it and named it "Operation
Tomodachi." To be more precise, it should have been named
Operation Yujo because Yujo means friendship whereas Tomodachi just means a friend, or friends. Semantics aside, however, most Japanese
have really appreciated the friendship demonstrated by the Americans because they are really fed up with their government which has constantly mishandled the post-quake situation.
My take on the operation is miles apart from theirs. I suspect there's something fishy about it. To begin with, Prime
Minister Naoto Kan had already dispatched an unprecedented 100,000 military
personnel of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to these areas afflicted by
the March 11 quake and tsunami. What the heck are they doing out there?
Japan's defense budget for fiscal 2010 was 4,682.6 billion yen, or approximately
US$56.4 billion if you exclude what they call omoiyari yosan, "sympathy" budget, voluntarily allocated to the U.S. armed forces stationed in Japan. Despite the huge expenditure, Japan's disguised military has refused to engage in actual combat in the last six decades on the pretext that the Constitution prohibits "forever" the Japanese people from threatening or using "force as means of settling international disputes." Thanks to the war-renouncing clause, the Japanese can still boast that not a single drop of their blood, nor their enemy's, has been shed in actual warfare. To them, it can't be helped if the lives of American youth sometimes have to be put at risk.
Yet, they should admit that Article 9 of the Constitution does not prohibit
these toy soldiers from fighting a disaster. So, there is no reason to
think the 100,000 troops are doing fairly well in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima
Prefectures. Actually all they have been doing there is to recover a small
number of corpses here, remove a tiny amount of debris there and haphazardly pour
a bucketful seawater onto the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. It
seems as though they are deliberately doing their jobs so poorly as to
prove Operation Tomodachi is as needed as in fighting an imaginary enemy force.
I remember walking side by side with my father on a clear day in the fall
of 1945. We were crossing Hibiya Koen park diagonally toward the General
Headquarters of the Allied Powers because someone in the GHQ had wanted
to ask my father about his wartime activities as a leading scientist in
aeronautics. He had somehow wanted to bring me along. You may wonder why
we could cross the park diagonally. The reason we could do so is because
the park and the surrounding area had been almost flattened out leaving only a handful of structures such as the GHQ building and the
Imperial Palace across the moat from it.
There were dozens of GIs playing softball there. When we were walking behind a center fielder, a batter hit a long ball. It directly hit me, perhaps on the shoulder. The slugging GI dashed a long way from the plate toward us. He said in English something like, "I'm awfully sorry. Are you OK?" Since I didn't understand English, my dad smiled and answered on my behalf: "No problem. He's quite OK."
This was my first encounter with an American. Ever since, I thought ordinary
Americans were all friendly people like the GI. I admired them for their
positive attitude toward life and straightforward way of thinking. Even
though I didn't particularly admire those bastards named Harry S. Truman
and Dwight Eisenhower, in later years I got really turned off by the likes of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama
because these crooked guys have absolutely nothing in common with the GI.
Now I think it is noteworthy that there are many soldiers participating
in Operation Tomodachi from the bases in Okinawa. U.S. Navy Admiral Robert F. Willard has already
told reporters to the effect that he hopes that the Japanese will now understand
what for the U.S. has deployed so many soldiers in Okinawa. Most recent reports have it that Hillary Clinton is now planning to come over to Japan
in a week or so. · read more (124 words)
Saturday, April 02 2011 @ 05:12 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Fishing boats driven ashore by tsunami
At 2.46 p.m., March 11, it hit the northern half of Japan's coastal area
facing the Pacific Ocean. Since the rundown apartment building I live in is 30-something-years-old, it is unlikely that the architect assumed a huge quake such as this one.
Yet the elevator is a little more modern. So I knew it had automatically
stopped the moment it sensed the jolt.
Also I knew that with my legs crippled
by Parkinson's, I wouldn't be able to climb down the fire escape any faster
than a snail. So I remained indoors. But even inside my 172 sq.ft. micro-apartment, I had nothing but to sit at the computer, my longtime friend, because I thought it wouldn't do any good to move
around in the usable space of no more than 95 square feet. I was just watching
absentmindedly the walls, the window, the ceiling, and the beams which
were supposedly supporting the entire structure, all warping like hell.
It was as though Buddha was enjoying the pendulum motion of the Frisbee
at Disneyland - if you can see what I mean by this.
Around the same time, one of my grown-up sons was trying hard from his
workplace to reach his wheelchair-bound wife confined to their home and
his old mother (my ex) who lives in their neighborhood, according to what
he told me a couple of days later. Maybe he also tried to find out, on
behalf of his mate, if his in-laws were all OK. They live, or at
least lived, in Miyagi, the nearest prefecture to the epicenter. It turned
out not OK because for one thing, his wife's uncle was swallowed by tsunami.
It didn't cross his mind to call or mail his dad, as he told me in a little
apologetic tone. I told him that it's quite OK with me because I'm so used to it living in this rotten country for 75 years. Actually I think he did
the right things in the right priority. I could have been crushed under
the rubble if the quake had lasted another minute. Yet, I would never have
His personality is diagonally different from mine. The guy is so likable a person that he could be a role model for the Japanese who all want to be people persons. No sensible woman would fall in love with such a guy who becomes committed with everyone, but he couldn't care less.
From my point of view, the only problem with the guy was that
he didn't know he couldn't be nice to everyone, especially in the face of a crisis. But now thanks to the devastating quake, he seems to have realized that in reality, the number of adults he could save in an emergency situation would be no more than 2 to 3.
Actually he was learning the basics of preventive risk management and post-fact crisis management amid the March 11 tremor. He tried to find out, in a very short period of time, what he could do, and couldn't do, under the constraint of time and other resources. I suspect that the same constraint was experienced across the board and at all levels. Policymakers were no exceptions.
In fact, though, the likes of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano learned absolutely nothing from the pinch. Although most Japanese and some observers in the West disagree, the fact of the matter remains that the natural calamity quickly turned into a man-made catastrophe.
I am inclined to attribute the fiasco primarily to the incompetence of the makeshift crisis management team virtually headed by Edano. And I think he had to fail because of his utter ignorance of the basics of crisis management. He and his boss Kan thought the most important thing when trying to effectively counter the crisis was to create a monolithic social milieu and a conciliatory political climate. To that end, they have been trying hard to instill a sense of unity into people's minds, through the mainstream media. TV commercials they run around the clock are really reminiscent of the prewar and wartime slogan propagated by NHK as the mouthpiece of
Daihon-ei, the Imperial Army Headquarters. It went like this: "Ichioku hinotama-to nare" or "One hundred million hearts should beat as one."
Actually it was a piece of cake even for the incompetent guys in the Kan administration to create a monolith because even in the normal situation, a false sense of oneness always prevails in this country. Even the major opposition Liberal
Democratic Party has now started to show a keen interest in forming a grand coalition as proposed by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.
I wouldn't be surprised if a Taisei Yokusankai-like regime comes into being in a matter of weeks. In October 1940, on the eve of the oil embargoes
imposed against Japan by the U.S., the U.K., China and the Netherlands, a grand coalition was formed to prepare Japan for all-out war. The only condition for the unholy alliance to materialize is that Kan yields his position as Prime Minister to Sadakazu Tanigaki, head of the LDP.
Now with all the cracks from the "lost 20 years" buried deep underneath, the Japanese are all in the same boat. No one is supposed to left out or unattended.
In the wake of the financial crisis of the early-1990s, we businesspeople, perhaps with some exceptions such as I, were using the same-boat analogy. But there always were two major problems with it.
Firstly, as I have already said, it can never be true that the life boat has enough room to accommodate everyone. Does it have enough
space for social outcasts and dissidents such as those who keep busy with their looting business in the afflicted areas, those who are just panicking over the free fall in the stock price of Tokyo Electric Power Company, those who have difficulty
footing the tax bills to fund the government's emergency relief programs,
or those in Okinawa who badly want the U.S. Marine Corps to get out of their island
more than anything else?
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, what good would it do to remain
in the boat which is doomed to wreck?
In those turbulent years, we were doing what we called the SWOT analysis all the time. The abbreviation stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The real implication of the exercise is that because of resource constraints everywhere, it is crucially important to optimize the use of time, money and people, especially in the face of a crisis.
Businesspeople were increasingly becoming aware that there was no such thing as an opportunity that did not entail a threat, and vice versa. We thought a good manager should be able to identify the SWOT involved there and find the best trade-off between costs and benefits, or opportunities and risks. To him, opportunities often meant smaller risks. Total elimination of risks or total avoidance of costs was out of the question.
Now Edano, et al, were mistaken when they thought bringing people together the way they did was what crisis management was all about. Actually, this formula is not only useless, but also harmful as was proved in the first half of the 1940s. What was really needed was professionalism.
With these in mind, let us take a quick look at TEPCO's part of the story. The electricity company which runs the now crippled Fukushima power station has kept suppressing critical data since Day 1 of the crisis. When it released a piece of data, almost always belatedly, it was, more often than not, fabricated, and its interpretation was distorted by childish tricks such as comparisons between apples and oranges. And every second day, the TEPCO spokesman corrected a reading on the dosimeter or particle detector which he had released previously.
At least, these manipulations of information had lasted until TEPCO realized its traditional modus operandi wouldn't work any more when the U.S. military started flying its Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over the power plant.
The brainless guy overseeing activities of the crisis control center kept saying, "Stay calm, because things out there are basically under control now," as if it wasn't a race against time. While Edano was stalling for time to allow the criminals in TEPCO to recidivate, the situation arising from the force majeure of March 11 quickly went out of control.
Why did that happen when 128-million hearts were supposedly beating as one to fight the crisis? As you can tell if you have read my post titled Honne and Tatemae, the reason is twofold as described below:
■ As the virtual head of the crisis management team, Edano thought the single most important quality of a leader is to trust his people unconditionally in the nation where the world's most credulous people think it's not a big deal to deceive each other. TEPCO knew that very well. ■ On the other hand, Edano knew that he could shift the blame onto TEPCO when things went wrong. Needless to the say, though, the government should be held more, or at least no less, responsible for the constant aggravation of the situation no matter whether someone else is found at fault. (Refer to the footnotes added on April 6 for some examples of mishandling of the situation on the part of the government.)
This is the most serious fallout of the same-boat mindset. If this had happened somewhere else, say in China, we must have seen massive riots, or at least, people must have refused to pay their electricity bills.
And now that things went helplessly wrong, Edano was in a position also to have to invite emergency relief teams from foreign
countries on board his sinking ship.
It is true that nuclear scientists and engineers in these foreign crews are more competent than their Japanese counterparts who have too much vested interests in the nuclear industry to reveal the truth. But, it's a different story when it comes to foreign experts in crisis management. While the basics of crisis management apply universally, its actual practices are pretty much culture-dependent. Simply it is impossible for them to make any contribution in the culture totally different from theirs.
Here again, the Japanese government neglected to do a SWOT analysis for
its diplomatic risk management. It should have known that there is no such
thing as a free lunch, as we businesspeople used to be saying. For one
thing, the U.S. government did not send in for nothing 450 military and nonmilitary personnel together with
a bunch of equipment. As any sane person can tell, Washington
is now fishing in troubled waters where antibase Okinawans who have been
thrown out of the boat are already drowning.
In short, the stupid Kan, Edano and their mouthpieces in the media have chosen the surest way to fail. Now they might as well put the entire country in a "sarcophagus," just like the Soviet Union did Chernobyl 25 years ago. Even in that case, they should exclude Japan's last colony - Okinawa - because it does not deserve to be treated like that.
The worst thing about the haphazard way of crisis management particular to the Japanese culture is the fact that this way people will learn absolutely nothing
from their failure.
They have already had a similar problem with Kashiwazaki
Nuclear Power Plant located in Niigata Prefecture. Three and a half years
have past since some reactors there were damaged by an earthquake of Magnitude 6.8. But as of now, they still remain unrecovered.
Also, there is yet another problematic reactor dubbed "Monju" in the power station located in Fukui Prefecture. Monju is one of the few "fast breeder reactors" around which generate more
"MOX" fuel than it consumes. In 1995, it suffered a serious accident
when several hundred kilograms of sodium leaked out. In May 2010, the quasi-governmental
Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which runs the power plant, announced that
its fast breeder reactor had now been restarted. But in a matter of 3 months
from the restart, JAEA got into another serious trouble when replacing
the fuel rod. According to the independent daily Nikkan Gendai, the problem has not yet been fixed as of today.
· read more (534 words)
Simple arithmetic aside, my sympathy goes more to a greater number of people
who get killed by others or kill selves every year than to those identified or presumed as dead in the once-in-a-millennium calamity of March 11. It is true that the weak should take the blame for their weakness, but it is also true that the leader of the country should be held responsible for their plight that has weakened them.
As I wrote in my post titled For Whom Kamikaze Blows, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is among those who benefited most from the earthquake
of Magnitude 9.0 and 33-foot tsunami that followed it. As if to make sure that
he can make the most of the windfall disaster, Kan has been exacerbating the situation by mishandling the constant drain of radioactive
contaminants from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. At least, that's what
he looks to be doing through his right-hand man Yukio Edano.
Inauguration of Taisei Yokusankai on October 21, 1940
Drowsy-eyed Ministers at the Diet session of March 29, 2011
As a result, we are now witnessing a social milieu, which has a striking
resemblance to 大政翼賛会 (Taisei Yokusankai). Taisei Yokusankai is the grand coalition formed for the cause of 国体維持 (Kokutai Iji or preserving the polity centered around the Divine Emperor) on the eve of the oil embargoes imposed against Japan. If there is any difference between Taisei Yokusankai and Kan's virtual coalition that even includes the Japanese Communist Party,
you can find it in these pictures. In the Diet session of March 29, where
lawmakers supposedly discussed the source of the emergency relief fund,
most Cabinet members, including Kan, were intermittently taking a nap.
They would say it couldn't be helped because they were so exhausted from
working hard since March 11, but I am sure I've worked much harder and
longer on a very demanding gig only to make ends meet despite the difficulty
caused by Parkinson's Disease. Actually, these highly-paid bastards looked
so dozy because they rest assured that the Kan administration, which had
been on the verge of falling apart before the quake, is now getting a boost
from the newly emerging monolithic political climate.
But everything else is an exact replay of Taisei Yokusankai. The mainstream media, especially reporters in 官邸記者クラブ (Kantei Kisha Kurabu or press club exclusively and collusively attached to the Prime Minister's
office,) have been doing a good job just like their forerunners did in the early-1940s. Now Yukio Edano, the Cabinet spokesman, owes them a lot for their wholehearted
cooperation with his 大本営発表 (Daihon-ei Happyo or press releases by the Imperial Army Headquarters.)
You may ask: "Is Kan alone in leveraging the disaster?" Good
question. Actually there are many others who are taking advantage of the
This climate is really reminiscent of the wartime slogan "一億火の玉となって"
(Ichioku Hinotama to Natte, or One Hundred Million Hearts Beat as One.) On TV we watch an endless stream of supposedly touching stories about selfless deeds. But in reality, other types of crimes than those by policymakers are now rampant across the nation, especially in the afflicted areas. Among
other things, looting and charity-swindling are widespread more than ever
although the media have hushed them all up.
Is there anyone else who is cashing in on the catastrophe? You bet there
is: the United States of America. If Obama and his people weren't terminally ill as the Japanese are, they would have thought it's about time to pull the plug on Japan, the nation
now proving unviable for the fourth time in its modern history. In fact,
though, the U.S. is now sending in 450 military and non-military
with two "barges," SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters aboard USS Ronald Reagan and a "military robot" of the type used for bomb disposal in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This robot developed by a defense contractor named QinetiQ North America surprised me because until now I thought Japan is a leader in robotics. Now I have learned Japanese robots are only good at playing the violin as the one developed by Toyota or playing the role of a pet as the one manufactured by Nintendo. This is yet another confirmation that Japan's technological supremacy is nothing but a myth.
Other countries such as Israel, France, Germany and China are also lending a helping hand, but in a more modest way. Though off the subject, it was interesting to know the initial reaction of Edano, the licensed shyster, to foreign medical teams. He reportedly insisted that they should be prohibited from treating patients on the grounds that they are not licensed for medical practice here.
Japanese people who were at a loss over what to do are now exulting at the sight of foreign rescue teams arriving one after another. Especially the one from the U.S. have really heartened them. But with my longtime experience with American people, I would call their massive relief operation "fishing in troubled waters." There's no other way to explain it.
As I have already written on this website, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert
Gates, on February 16 in Okinawa, said: "My hope is that we will get
resolution, particularly on the configuration of the airfield or the runways
perhaps later this spring. And that would then allow us to go forward with
our planning [to realign military forces in the region based on the agreement
reached in 2006.]" The coded directive to Kan can be deciphered like
this: "We can no longer tolerate your inaction and irresoluteness beyond the end of April."
Given the unexpected seismic activity, Gates's order may have to be changed,
but only slightly. I am sure that the U.S. will go ahead with its plan
against the will of the Okinawans before the dust settles in Miyagi, the
prefecture hardest-hit by the natural calamity, and in Fukushima, the prefecture
hardest-hit by the manmade disaster. Until then, the Japanese won't give
a damn to what happens in Okinawa Prefecture.
This reminds me of one of my friends with quotation marks. (These days I
have many foreign friends who I've had to refer to with quotation marks for an obvious reason.) His
name is Benjamin Fulford. I know self-styled conservatives in America have
developed allergy to "truth-seekers" like Fulford. Some of them
have even hysterically warned me that my association with such a nutter
will tarnish my credibility, but I don't care.
Quite expectedly, the Canadian conspiracy theorist based in Tokyo now theorizes
that the devastating quake was caused by HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral
Research Program) based in Nevada or New Mexico, just like the Niigata
Earthquake of 2007 which also caused a serious damage to the nuclear power
plant located near the epicenter. I don't know if his theory is fully substantiated.
Neither do I want to know. But I wouldn't be surprised if Fulford proved to be right, because it isn't hard to see the fingerprint of the CIA there.
Whether or not there was a conspiracy, I am only concerned about what's coming next
from the recidivists in Washington, rather than rogues stationed in Nevada or New Mexico. · read more (144 words)
Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 03:31 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
At the beginning of the year, a stupid Harvard professor named Joseph Nye told the Yomiuri Shimbun daily that he was sure that the Japanese people
will overcome the current economic doldrums and political imbroglio. He assured the Yomiuri editor that with their proven track record of innovativeness, resilience and diligence, the Japanese people will reinvent their nation as they did twice in the past. I found his flattery not only sickening but also insulting.
In a matter of two-plus months, the M-9.0 quake and 33-foot seismic tidal
waves hit the country as if to test Nye's intellect. Indications thus far
is that the professor is flunking.
But just in case, let's take a look at how some salient political figures are trying to lead the country out of the ongoing crisis. If you find them way too incompetent to do their job, then the rest of the Japanese are unviable too, because after all, they have chosen these guys to represent them. In other words, the nation is done for - totally and for good.
Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary
The nuclear power plant located in Fukushima Prefecture, 124 miles north- east of Tokyo, is possibly turning into another Chernobyl now.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has assigned his right-hand man to head his makeshift
crisis management team. Edano is a wrong choice primarily because he is a licensed shyster. Not that, though, equally incompetent Prime Minister could have handpicked any other person who is qualified for the task from among his cronies.
You can never expect anyone with legal background to go extralegal whereas
there is no such thing as an emergency measure that can be implemented within
the existing legal framework. Worse, he knows absolutely nothing about the basics
of risk management, such as:
■ strictly avoid wishful thinking,
■ always be prepared for the worst case scenario,
■ never distort facts or cover up what went wrong,
■ act a little faster than a snail,
■ be professional,
■ be systematic.
With the help extended by 官邸記者クラブ (Kantei Kisha Kurabu, or press club collusively attached to the Prime Minister's office), he
has intended to manipulate people's hearts and minds, exactly in the same
way 大本営 (Daihon-ei or Imperial Army Headquarters) did in the mid-1940s. For one thing, Edano
and his friends in Kisha Kurabu have completely hushed up over the worst case scenario in which the trouble-stricken
nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture is buried in a "sarcophagus"
made of sand and concrete as the entire facility of Chernobyl was 25 years ago.
this connection, they have also buttoned their lips over the fate of the
50 employees of Tokyo Electric Power Company who are still staying in the premises, according to the information reimported from Western media.
Because of his complete ignorance about the methodologies of professional crisis management, he had let things drift, while keep saying, "Don't panic because there's no immediate threat at this moment." In the meantime, TEPCO engineers indulged in fabricating data about radioactive contamination.
No wonder the natural calamity has quickly turned into a manmade catastrophe which is way beyond control. Now the "Chernobyl solution" seems to be the most likely scenario as many foreign experts have suggested.
Yet, very few Japanese are aware of the severity of the situation in part because they have learned too much about irrelevant things such as the lengths of half-life of cesium or iodine from self-proclaimed experts in nuclear engineering and atomic physics. These guys have never uttered the word "bury" because they have too much vested interests in the nuclear industry.
It is true that even in the U.S., there are some who dare to say the situation in Fukushima is even more benign than that of Three Mile Island. William Tucker, for one, says, "The containment structures appear to be working [in Fukushima]." But has he visited the site himself? Obviously, he is one of those guys who have sold their souls to the nuclear industry.
As I always argue, the single most important issue when talking about technologies is the human element entailed in them. Given Edano's utter ignorance of the basics of crisis management, the March 11 natural calamity has quickly turned into a manmade catastrophe which is far beyond
Renho was a bikini model
In the wake of the acute power shortage, the Taiwan-born member of Kan's Cabinet came up
with an absurd countermeasure called 計画停電 (Keikaku Teiden or cuts in power supply scheduled in rotation among arbitrarily determined 5 blocks within TEPCO's service area.)
Previously she was spearheading the program called 事業仕分け (Jigyo Shiwake or budget cutback exercise as the Minister in Charge of Administrative Reforms.
Already at that time, the former model for cheesecake magazines thought she could squeeze trillions of yen out of her targets, mostly quasi-governmental organizations. She had been misled by Kan and Edano to believe that would be a piece of cake because all she would have to do is to shriek. And shrieking is her only forte. But of course, the single most important thing she should have to do was to prioritize things. And to prioritize, she should have had a clear vision of how things are organized at present and how they should be reorganized in the future.
As you have already known, she failed to bring about the expected result. Needless to say, it didn't cross her mind to strip the Imperial Family and its servants of US$213 million appropriated to them every year despite her initial pledge for a reform leaving no sacred cow.
Renho didn't staggered at all because the idiot thought Jigyo Shiwake was a success. Now she went on to implement a rationing system for power supply.
Once again, the single most important thing she doesn't have the slightest idea about
is how people are interconnected among each other in an industrialized
country such as Japan. For one thing she doesn't have the foggiest idea about what we businesspeople call "supply chain management system." She hasn't even heard the words often abbreviated as SCM.
I think you know
what SCM is all about, but just in case, I will briefly explain it here.
A simplified illustration of Supply Chain workflow
Your company is headquartered in Tokyo. The main application servers are installed in the
headquarters building. Stationed in Osaka Branch, you get an inquiry for
a product from a customer in Kyoto. He wants to know how soon it is delivered
to his place. (We call it an event.)Then you make your inquiry at your PC or on a mobile
device to find out the availability of the product for an immediate delivery.
The database on the server is always brought up-to-the-minute as to the
stock information at the several distribution centers. Unfortunately, you
learn that none is available for an immediate shipment. Now you have to
know how soon your Fukushima Plant can manufacture the product, again from the database on the server. Then someone in the Production Planning Department has to ask
his friend working at the Parts Storage Department for the availability
of necessary parts. And finally, if some parts and components are found not in stock,
he has to place orders with subcontractors located in Chiba and Miyagi
Prefectures - and so on.
It should be noted that all these event-driven exchanges of
information have to be done in a matter of minutes through the Internet
and the "Intranet."
With her empty head, Renho thought her Keikaku Teiden program will somehow work out. But actually it will never. The broad might
as well have thought about implementing total blackouts for the entire
service area of TEPCO at a time.
At any rate, one thing is for sure: the Japanese industries which were
allegedly in the recuperation stage before March 11 will screech to a halt
once again. This is what the Kan administration is empowering the bikini model to do.
Postscript 1: Mitsumaru Kumagai, the Chief Economist at Daiwa Institute of Research, estimates the effect of the cuts in power supply on the Japanese economy at 15 trillion yen, or $185 billion, per year which translates into 2.8% of GDP. This means nothing because Kumagai has based his estimate on an absurd assumption that the supply cuts by rotation is the only possible way to counter the situation. Postscript 2: One of my sons, who is a little more electricity-literate, told me that he doubts scheduled blackouts for the entire service area of TEPCO, at a time rather than by rotation, would help minimize the loss of industrial outputs because electricity is not practically retrievable like gas or water. Yet, he agrees there must be a much smarter way to optimize the use of available resources. More importantly, it's Renho's responsibility and TEPCO's - not ours - to try hard to come up with a workable solution. The former bikini model, however, just keeps saying, "You guys should just tolerate. It's an emergency." They might tolerate on certain conditions: 1) she should give them specific plans to bring the power supply back to normalcy, and 2) she should tell the Imperial Family that they are no longer exempt.
Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo Governor
With his face frowning, Shintaro Ishihara could barely empty the glass to secure another term for the cushy position
Another case in point is Tokyo Governor Ishihara who is now seeking his third term as if the annual
income of 50 million yen for 8 years and "retirement" allowances
of 500 million yen he has received twice were not enough. Amazingly enough,
the bum is still one of the most popular political figures in Japan, especially
in the capital.
On March 24, it was learned that water in the metropolitan reservoirs was
contaminated with radioactive materials from the Fukushima power plant.
Although he has been critical about the DPJ government, Ishihara thought
he had to assure extremely gullible Tokyoite that they are still OK despite the alarming revelation.
Yesterday, he dared to drink a glass of water before the press corps, saying,
"Tokyo no mizu wa anzen dakara kodomo ni nomasete mo daijoubu dayo - imanotokoro
wa ne (Water in Tokyo is not so contaminated. You can let your children drink
it - for the time being, that is.)"
Then, it somehow occurred to the brainless governor that he had to translate his message into English to make his water-drinking show more convincing. (This is a typical way of thinking here in this "docile satellite" of the American Empire.) He is an alumnus of the privileged Hitotsubashi University who always brags about having many influential friends in Washington. But unfortunately for him, he was unable to express his idea in a simple English sentence. So he tried to translate the last phrase of his message which was identical to Edano's favorite qualifier. (The Cabinet spokesman uses it a dozen times everyday.)
Ishihara said: "To put my words in English, we are basically OK 'so
far as being time.'" Nobody present there blushed at Ishihara's English
lecture. Small wonder the Japanese people have always respected him as
an exceptionally highbrow person.
I hope you can imagine what it is like to get pushed around all the time by these idiots, at the expense of we taxpayers.
Thanks to the natural calamity aggravated by a manmade disaster, a political truce has been implemented here. Now this country is
a real monolith where there is no place for a small number of sane people who have long been forgotten. We used
to call this climate 大政翼賛会的風土 (Taisei Yokusankai teki Fudo) which has already proved the surest way to ruin.
Under the circumstances, we are now fed around the clock with an endless stream of supposedly touching stories about people coming together with the spirit of mutual aid. According to the March 25 edition of Tribune de Geneva, even yakuza criminals sent a fleet of trucks to the afflicted areas to provide food and other daily necessities to the survivors of the disaster, while some of the 100,000 soldiers from the Self-Defense Forces were just looking on.
In reality, though, quite a few swindlers are actively collecting monetary "donations" while supermarkets are running out of food, beverages, and other essential merchandises because of the panic buying.
The same thing is happening to Japan's international relations. With all the diplomatic
rifts shelved, temporarily or not, millions of good folks around the world
are extending a helping hand to the Japanese. Jacky Cheung and Vladimir
Putin are not alone.
But hold on a second. Do you still think that Kan, Edano, Renho, Ishihara,
et al. were not as incompetent before March 11? Actually, our suffering
had started decades before the quake and tsunami came along, with tens
of thousands of Japanese killing each other and selves every year. If you
look at the following figures, you will understand the ongoing disaster is
not a big deal. It just revealed something that had already been there.
Identified as Dead as of March 27
Identified as Missing as of March 27
Total Fatality Toll from the Quake and Tsunami as of March 27
See NOTE 1
Homicides in 2010
See NOTE 2
Traffic Fatality in 2010
Suicides in 2010
Total Death Toll from Homicides, Traffic Accidents and Suicides in 2010
NOTE 1: The final death toll can top 30,000 because sometimes nobody could
have filed a missing-person report with the authority when an entire family
was swallowed by the tsunami.
NOTE 2: Roughly 1 million people die every year, but because of the lack
of a coroner system here, 15% of the corpses are buried without going through
an autopsy. On an educated guess basis, most of them are victims of murder.
That would mean the number of homicide cases here is a gross understatement.
My estimate is that there are at least several thousand victims of homicide. · read more (66 words)
Tuesday, March 15 2011 @ 07:16 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Now Cabinet spokesman Yukio Edano is a household name. But the former shyster is a crisis management novice who only can say, "Calm down, we are basically OK." No wonder the natural calamity turned into a man-made catastrophe in a matter of 48 hours. Now he has reduced himself to a Shinto priest who conducts press conferences as if they are a series of rituals.
Most educated Westerners think they are familiar with the etymology of
the Japanese word 神風, kamikaze or divine wind. But actually they aren't; they have never looked
at the other side of the half-factual, half-fictitious events that supposedly
took place in 1274 and 1281. Each time Mongol invaders attempted to land
in Kyushu island of Japan, a ferocious typhoon blew their fleet against the rocks.
Ever since kamikaze has been considered a savior by Shoguns and Emperors.
But of course, that does not mean their subjects have always viewed it in the same way. As is true with any other country, perhaps to a lesser degree, Japan is a nation where a handful of people have always prospered at the cost of all others.
In the last days of the Pacific War, kamikaze failed to deal a blow to the warships
or bombers of the Allied Powers. So the Imperial Army headquarters had to resort to the idea of substituting young men for typhoons. That's how thousands of kamikaze pilots lost their lives for the absurd cause of protecting Emperor Hirohito from ruin which none other than the bastard had invited himself. Your history teacher have taught you that the ingenious tactic ended up in failure when the A-bombs were detonated over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But once again, you surface-scratching Westerners have overlooked the other side of the coin.
On March 15, the son of the super- Class-A war criminal made a rare TV appearance in an attempt to help Edano bring calm to his subjects. Many appreciated it because the bastard has been known for his absenteeism from the anniversaries of the apocalypses of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Thanks in part to
MacArthur's generosity, but more importantly to the blind loyalty of the Japanese who wanted to save the demigod at the cost of their lives, it was a piece of cake for Hirohito to survive the war defeat and subsequently duck the responsibility to have started the unwinnable war. Sixty-five
years later his son is still enjoying an easy life at his extensive estate located in central
Tokyo without being affected by 計画停電 (keikaku teiden or scheduled cuts in power supply.)
Then came the M-9.0 quake late last week which was followed by a series of 33-foot seismic tidal waves. Who was it intended to save this time around?
Without a doubt, it's Prime Minister Naoto Kan who benefited most from the deadly windfall. The initial
jolt of the March 11 earthquake rocked the Diet Building just when he
was being grilled by the opposition lawmakers over the illegal donations
he had received from a Korean resident in Japan. Actually, the particular irregularity
that had just surfaced was not making a big difference to the suffering already inflicted on the people because by then Kan had proved much too incompetent to turn around the serious situation facing them. His approval rating had already sunk
Despite all this adversity, Kan was still poised to stay in power as of March 11 primarily because the opposition camp led by the Liberal Democratic Party had thought it's not the right time to oust him. The LDP wanted him to carry through with the unpopular plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' "helicopter" unit from Futenma to Henoko against the will of the Okinawans. As I pointed out in my previous post, Robert Gates hinted on February 16, Washington, too, was expecting Kan to do this dirty job while he is in office. Match-fixing is not confined to Sumo wrestling in this rotten nation.
Even so, the Prime Minister had been on the verge of nervous
breakdown when the quake of an unprecedented magnitude hit his nation.
No wonder that Kan thought the divine wind had started to blow to save
him from the cul-de-sac he was in. He took a French leave from the Diet floor to
hurriedly set up a crisis control center.
Needless to say, his team had to be staffed so poorly that the only thing it has done
so far is to exacerbate the situation.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, now concurrently serving as the spokesman of the crisis management team, is a former shyster. In junior high, he must have learned that 1 milli-Sievert equals 1,000 micro-Sieverts. Also he knows Hydrogen explodes when it is mixed with Oxygen under a certain condition. But it is evident that he knows absolutely nothing about the basics of risk management.
If I were Kan, I would never have dreamed of picking Edano as the virtual head of the team, because you can never expect anyone with legal background to go extralegal. And there is no such thing as an effective emergency plan that is laid out within the existing legal framework.
To make it worse, the unqualified head of a crisis management team as he is, Edano allows his men to ignore the basic rules such as:
■ Strictly avoid wishful thinking,
■ Always be prepared for the worst case scenario,
■ Never distort facts or cover up what went wrong,
■ Act a little faster than a snail,
■ Be professional,
■ Be systematic,
Traditionally, a Japanese who is put in charge of crisis management tends to think his primary responsibility is to calm down people who are extremely prone to panic. To prevent them from panicking, he always tries to immunize them for an inevitable eventuality by feeding critical information only little by little. He admits to the whole truth only when
it is too late.
That is exactly what Edano is doing right now. Yesterday he assured Japanese people that they were basically OK for the time being and today he says they still remain OK for the time being, though to a lesser degree, and so on.
Obviously, the fact that Edano uses this qualifier "for the time being" (差し当たって or sashiatatte) so frequently indicates that he has learned the wrong idea from Confucianism. Some 2,500 years ago, the Chinese philosopher said to this effect: "Make the people rely on you, and to that end, never let them know what underlies your decision."
While Edano kept telling people not to be swayed by groundless rumors about the series of explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant located 124 miles away from the capital, the natural disaster quickly turned into a man-made crisis.
Aside from the lessons to be learned from the consequences of his mishandling of the situation, this is also yet another confirmation that the human element is the single most important factor when addressing nuclear, seismological, meteorological, or medical issues. In other words, Japan's technological/scientific superiority is nothing but a myth.
In the last couple of days I have discussed the matter with Mr. Gordon G. Chang.
He asked me if I thought the relief for Kan is only temporary. To my regret, I had to answer in the negative.
It is true that as things have worsened, a growing number of political analysts and laypeople, who are not affiliated with the mainstream media, have been calling for a "national
salvation government" to immediately replace the Kan administration. They say nobody can expect the leader who has proved totally incompetent even under the normal situation to lead the way out of the unprecedented emergency. But as a matter of fact there are very few candidates for the next Prime Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary who would outdo Kan and Edano. More importantly, the people here are so used to seeing their leaders become paralyzed, like a spider in thanatosis, in the face of a crisis, that they do not think it would make any difference whoever is at the helm.
During the wartime NHK served as the mouthpiece of the Imperial Army
The way Edano conducts those press conferences is more than just reminiscent of
大本営発表 (Daihon-ei Happyo or press releases by the headquarters of Japan's Imperial Army broadcast
by NHK.) Good news was always exaggerated while bad news was always hushed up until the very last day of the Pacific War.
I remember listening to the NHK announcer in the last week of
the Pacific War. He was saying something like this:
"Calm down and never be swayed by groundless rumors about the new
weapon our enemy used in Hiroshima. As long as you remain fully determined
to use your 大和魂 (yamato damashii or dauntless Japanese spirit) to exterminate our enemy, we will still be OK. Thus, our Divine Empire is invincible."
NHK was telling the truth, as it does today; in August 1945, the Japanese people found out that the imperial family was really imperishable.
· read more (362 words)
Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 03:02 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Several years ago Kan took a secular pilgrimage to get purified of his political sin - apparently to no avail
Of course not, because what I foresaw here happened on February 15 in an anticlimactic way
when head of Democratic Party of Japan Naoto Kan decided, after months
of hesitation, to suspend Ichiro Ozawa's party membership. Kan had been fully prepared for a devastating counterattack, but his go-for-broke decision instantly triggered
an avalanche within his party. Just for one thing, 16 Diet members declared
independence from the party leadership although these rebels stopped short of leaving
the DPJ because Ozawa still intends to subvert it from within.
Then came Seiji Maehara's resignation as Foreign Minister late last
week when illegal donations he had received from a South Korean resident
in Japan somehow surfaced. The fact that Hillary Clinton's pet decided to step down so quickly is an unmistakable evidence that the small amount of money from the owner of a Korean barbecue restaurant in Kyoto was just the tip of the iceberg. He is a small-time thief when compared
to Ozawa, but as every big thief readily admits to the smallest part of
his crime to save the rest of his loot, Maehara said when announcing
his resignation that he would return the money in question to the Korean
woman. Without a doubt, he must have received millions of dollars from organizations
affiliated with yakuza syndicates that often front the CIA.
At any rate all this dealt a fatal blow to Kan whose approval rating had
already plummeted to 18%. So it's a miracle that he still stands on his
feet. Actually it's a foot that is still supported by the major opposition
Liberal Democratic Party which is, for obvious reasons (see Note below,) not enthusiastic
about toppling the administration by a gentle touch with a fingertip.
NOTE: The most important among other reasons is the Futenma relocation plan. The LDP knows it wouldn't be able to implement the plan, either, if it could get back in power tomorrow. Match-fixing is not confined to sumo in this rotten nation.
Another crutch is being offered by the CIA.
On February 16 in Okinawa, Robert Gates said: "My hope is that we will get resolution, particularly on the configuration of the airfield or the runways perhaps later this spring. And that would then allow us to go forward with our planning [to realign military forces in the region based on the agreement reached in 2006.]"
When in business I was working on risk management for many years. Especially
through my first-hand experience with credit checking of prospective business
partners, I learned a lot about corporate behaviors. In general, recidivism rate is in the neighborhood of 50%, but it is much higher when it comes to special types of crime such as drug abuse or rape. But now
as a blogger who has delved into the history of modern Japan since retirement, I have a conviction that it's even harder to prevent a CIA type of crime from being recidivated. It's almost an unbreakable addiction.
Gates is currently in a position to kiss the dirty ass of Obama as Defense
Secretary, but he was a Director of the CIA from 1991 through 1993. If
you look at his Feb. 16 statement with this in mind, you can decipher his
coded directive meant for Kan's government. If I should fully spell out my interpretation of Gates's remark, here it is:
Kishi vowed, as an undercover agent of the CIA, Japan would remain America's loyal partner until its demise Koizumi was frolicking before George W. Bush, singing Rub Me Tenda at Graceland
"As the Japanese Prime Minister, you should bulldoze our plan to relocate
the U.S. Marine Corps' Air Station from Futenma to Henoko no later than
April so we can replace the conventional gunships with Ospreys no matter
how the Okinawans protest against the deployment of the widow-making machines. It must be a piece of cake to neutralize the Okinawa governor because he is an unprincipled opportunist. As for Ozawa, you have done a good job, but you have yet to put the final nail in his coffin. In November Hu Jintao invited him to a Yokohama hotel where he was staying during the APEC summit 2010 to have a clandestine meeting. We won't tolerate it if this happens once again. In order to carry through with our plan at any cost, you may also have to sack some more
people even within your own camp. For example, our Secretary of State is in
love with that punk named Maehara, but don't hesitate to kick him out if it is really necessary
for our cause. To make your life easier, my old buddies in the CIA will take care of the Japanese
media and public prosecutors capitalizing on our cozy relationship with
"Eventually, you will have to step down prematurely but that's only after you
accomplished something that really gladdens Obama. Remember none of your
predecessors who did what our presidents wanted them to do were labeled traitors afterward.
"In 1955, American taxpayers had the CIA fund the launch of your alma mater Liberal Democratic Party through Yoshio Kodama who had reigned over Japanese underworld since wartime. To reciprocate our generosity, Nobusuke Kishi, Kodama's cell mate as Class-A war criminal, signed the revision of the security treaty in 1960, weeks before he was forced to step down. But his exit was not too disgraceful.
In 2005 Junichiro Koizumi bulldozed the postal privatization bill in compliance
with Bush's demand based on the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition
Policy Initiative and he has even been remembered as a reformer since he fled
political world to avoid his responsibility for the disastrous consequence of the privatization. I hope that at least your name, too, will be on our list of patriots."
Given my theory about recidivism, which is nothing more than a commonsense matter, there is no other way to decode Gates's statement.
When the symbolic double-suicide took place, I was fully tied up with other things which were much more rewarding than talking to brain-dead Americans who claim to be Japan experts, but it wouldn't have made any difference to their stupidity and arrogance if I had had some time to spare for them. U.S. scholars and pundits are much too shallow to figure out what is really going on in this "docile satellite" of the American Empire.
Since these bastards have, by now, completely lost the thread of the kabuki
play which was all started by the CIA, they will remain
ignorant, forever, about how the recidivists in the CIA are manipulating
the hearts and minds of the Japanese macaques. Now in the face of the increasingly
intricate plot of Act 5 of the kabuki farce, they give an implausible excuse
that goes like this: "After all, we are too preoccupied with other areas
of the globe such as the Mideast to be really concerned about Japan."
But be concerned, because Japan is, in fact, the 51st state of the U.S.
whereas Arab countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Jordan and
Saudi Arabia are not the part of America. Self-respecting people in these
countries are now waking up to the reality that unless they stand up against
the dying Empire right now, they will be taken along to the bottom of hell.
They don't really care whether or not they should seek for a first-ever
homegrown "democracy" in the East.
Stupid ideologues in the U.S. are untiringly disseminating the same old fallacies
about "digital wildfires" and "Twitter revolutions."
But these are NOT what's going on in the Middle East, let alone in the
People's Republic of China. People outside of the U.S. are simply fed up
with America. To them even al-Qaeda is better than America.
As a 75-year-old Asian citizen I also think I have had more than enough from the Americans.
Up until weeks ago, I had a longtime American friend of Egyptian origin.
When I wrote on this website that Obama should not meddle in the Egyptian
Revolution because it's none of America's business whether or not the Muslim
Brotherhood will win the internationally-"monitored" (i.e. tampered) elections, I carelessly mentioned her name because she is the only ethnic Egyptian I know in person.
The woman uncharacteristically exploded. She wrote: "I think
Obama is one of the greatest presidents of the United States. History will
prove it. The U.S. did not really meddle in the revolution except it may
have pressured Mubarak to leave sooner than he was going to. (snip) I don't
want to be part of your anti-Obama campaign." So I deleted my post. · read more (140 words)
A famous scene from the 18th century Kabuki classic, The Love Suicides at Amijima (心中天網島)
In June last year, then-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama committed double
suicide with his party's Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa. It was a symbolic one, but in this morbid culture of inaction, a symbolic act sometimes has more real implication than does the real action it's supposed to be substituted for.
At that time self-styled
Japan experts in the U.S. thought that Naoto Kan, the incoming Prime Minister, would be able to pull this nation out of the economic doldrums
and political imbroglio.
Presumably these highly-educated American scholars and pundits had seen too many Hollywood films backstage to comprehend the intricacy and subtlety involved in Japanese dramas. That is why they invariably failed to understand that the double resignation was just part of the traditional misogi ritual.
Now the Japanese are going to see another double suicide in a matter of
months, or even weeks.
Last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kan announced that Japan will decide by June on whether it will join talks
for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on free trade. He had to blow his horn because he was so desperate to stop Obama from pulling
the plug on his already precarious government. Even though Kan is an extremely dull-witted person, it's now dawning on him that without
the support from Washington, his administration wouldn't last a single day.
It's small wonder that right after Kan's muddled pledge in Davos, Obama announced he would postpone the talks with Kan previously scheduled for
early May. Obviously the U.S. President wanted to wait until after June to see if his Japanese
subordinate would uncharacteristically keep his word.
Unlike an FTA or EPA which is basically a bilateral and reciprocal arrangement, TPP is a multilateral trade framework
dominated by the U.S. Once you get involved in it, you will be forced to
do whatever Washington tells you to do, be it the reduction of import duties, or the removal of non-tariff barriers, in 24 sectors and sub-sectors of your economy. That is why sound
countries in this region, such as Canada and South Korea, have decided
not to participate. That has left nine economies, most of them small developing countries such as Vietnam and Brunei.
As usual the Japanese media extended a helping hand to the drowning Kan by oversimplifying
the TPP issue. They say it's just a matter of tradeoff between benefits some non-agricultural sectors can expect from the TPP membership and prohibitive costs to be incurred to the agricultural
sector. All they want to say is that the issue is worth serious discussion anyway. But the fact of the matter remains that it's simply suicidal to sign up for it because the U.S. is a doomed country now.
Given the fact that both countries are in the same sinking boat now, you may think the Japanese Prime Minister will pick Obama as the partner of double suicide. But I think that is unlikely.
In that respect, I previously quoted Doyle McManus of Los Angeles Times. In his January
23 op-ed titled Did Tweeting Topple Tunisia?, McManus argued that "'digital wildfire' spreading across the repressive wasteland of the Arab world" is an illusion. He went on to say: "[Social media can sometimes be an accelerant for incipient
revolutionary movements.] In the end, though, the most important steps
in promoting democracy and securing human rights will continue to be low
By stark contrast with "low-tech" citizens in Tunis or Cairo, the American people have gone too hi-tech - relative to the quality of life they seek leveraging these web-based technologies.
It is said that in the U.S., more than 65 million tweets are posted every day on the Twittering website. And as you know, these brainless and spineless birdies are chirping, day in, day out, about the faded American Fairy Tale. In short, they are too chicken-hearted and self-complacent to kill their leader, either politically or physically.
As a result, the bastard in the White House can rest assured that nobody will force him out until the next time his country goes through the absurd ritual called Presidential Elections.
It is true that the Japanese are even more inert. And yet, it looks as though Kan is digging his own grave now. That's why I don't think he will last long enough to take along Obama on his journey to hell.
This leaves the Prime Minister only with one eligible candidate for his suicide partner. · read more (164 words)
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
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.
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. · read more (248 words)
Friday, January 21 2011 @ 09:56 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Yesterday I received this mail from Facebook. Its title read like this: Reminder
- John Carmichael invited you to join Facebook.
John is one of my American buddies currently living in Kanagawa, the prefecture where I live. Over the
yearend he has been saying, "Why don't you sign up to Facebook? It's
fun." I was just temporizing.
When I was going to delete the mail, I gave it a final glance and realized
six pictures were embedded there under the text that went: "Other
people you may know on Facebook:"
And yes, I know five faces out of
the six. They included Jack, my close American friend living in Montana,
Benjamin Fulford, not-too-close Canadian friend living in Tokyo, and the
wife of my estranged brother living in Chicago. This made me feel uneasy
because none of them can have mentioned my name, let alone my mail address,
on their Facebook pages.
I asked Jack where he thought Facebook got the idea that I "may know"
these faces. In response, the Montanan told me that Facebook is doing "a
large-scale analysis of e-mail traffic" all over the world and around
the clock. He added that I should not worry too much because this is an
"automatic process." He wanted to say although there have been
technologies enabling web traffic analysis for quite some time now, no
one in Facebook is abusing them. Despite his valuable tips, I couldn't
totally wipe out my sense of uneasiness. There's something which is fundamentally
wrong with the reminder of John's casual invitation.
Not that I'm eager to make sure my privacy is fully secured.
By now I have become so used to living a life like East Germans' before
the Berlin Wall was torn down, that I don't give a damn about the idea
that someone at a Stasi-like organization in the U.S. such as CIA, a vendor
of firewall products or a social networking service provider may put my
web behavior under 24-hour surveillance. As a poverty-stricken pensioner on the brink of going homeless,
I have nothing to lose by being subjected to their analysis unless someone
skims my credit card numbers and passwords associated with them. Besides,
my intellectual property has proved worthless in the communist country
named the United States of America because it's nothing more than an undistorted truth that the American people do not want to know.
What really worries me about the mail from "the Facebook Team"
is the fact that Mark Zuckerberg, TIME's Person of the Year 2010, who was
just one of those empty-headed punks at the Harvard campus, has now successfully
mesmerized more than 100 million American adults into accepting the absurd
idea that there should always be a common denominator among the people
in the U.S. and its "docile satellites" such as Japan.
Based on this false assumption, Facebook, Inc. thought I might want to
reestablish contact on its website with my estranged brother and sister-in-law
or my Canadian friend with whom I've been divided over his fraudulent conspiracy
Facebook is not alone in assuming anyone can share his idea with anyone
else only by joining the network. Twitter, Inc. also thinks it is facilitating
communication among different groups of people. This holds true only where
ideas to be shared among millions of participants are something that can
be expressed in insipid and shallow ideological notions. But what if you
want to communicate more intricate thoughts with others?
The Twitter website always reminds me of the Haiku mentality that dominates the Japanese culture in every nook and cranny. Once again, the basic premise on which the Japanese interact with each other is that there always is a homogenized and standardized understanding of things between the sender and the
receiver of a message. If that assumption is false, you can never share an idea or feeling in a 17-syllable
format. By the same token, the twitterers have to assume that from the beginning, they share the identical frame of mind with the readers of their "microblogs" so they can tweet within the limit of 140 characters. · read more (163 words)
Saturday, January 15 2011 @ 03:39 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The dictionary definition of the intransitive verb "progress"
normally goes like this: "To advance toward a higher or better stage,
as in technologies." This is too ambiguous to answer the question about how exactly mankind evolves - or devolves for that matter.
I would define the word
this way: "To improve quality of life in a way which is measurable
against one's specific sense of values." Who said, for instance, the amount of industrial rubbish churned out by hundred million apes can serve as a primary indicator of the progress they have made?
No matter how you define the word, you can't deny Kan Tsutagawa, Managing Editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun, is in the same developmental stage as Japanese monkey's. Defamation is not my
favorite pastime in particular, but I think I would be able to defend myself if
the ape dared to sue me for libel.
American vultures flocking around Japan's carcass
To mark the turn of the year "amid a political imbroglio and diplomatic
rifts," Tsutagawa placed an interview piece atop the front page of the year's first edition of the daily. The interviewee, James L. Huffman, professor
emeritus at Wittenberg University, said, as he was supposed to say, that
the Japanese still show "innovativeness" and "entrepreneurial
spirit" because of, not despite, the fact that their leaders are so inept and incompetent. Just in order to cajole the braindead folks in this country, the shameless guy went as far as to do a stunt of logical acrobatism.
The Managing Editor certainly knows that the only way to assure the world's most gullible Japanese, including himself, that this country is not really done yet is to seek advice from Westerners, especially American scholars and pundits. To follow up Huffman's gibberish, Tsutagawa has now started running a series of interview pieces under the title of "Reformation of Japan."
For its first instalment, he picked Joseph Nye. The Harvard professor gave
a sickening flattery about Japan's future. At the beginning of the interview,
Nye said: "Japan is an amazing society that reinvented itself in the
Meiji Restoration, and became the first Asian power to deal with globalization.
After 1945, it did it again and became the second largest economy in the
world. I remember [International Court of Justice President Hisashi Owada]
saying [around 2000] that it was time for the third reinvention."
As usual nobody wondered if the self-proclaimed Japan "expert"
is suffering senile dementia. But I am quite sure that is the case.
I have quickly prepared the following chronology to help you refresh your
knowledge about the modern history of Japan.
Centralized feudal system collapses
Triggered by Commodore Perry's surprise visit
Meiji Restoration - 1st year of Reinvention 1
Imperial Japan collapses
Emperor survives the collapse
Japan regains its nominal sovereignty - 1st year of Reinvention 2
Through the San Francisco Treaty of 1951
Japan becomes world's 2nd largest economy
Bubble economy collapses
China overtakes Japan as No. 2
Japan to overtake China once again - 1st year of Reinvention 3
Predictions by Gordon G. Chang, et al.
NOTE: The word "Reinvention" is Nye's, not mine.
What do you make of this?
The fatal outcome of the first Reinvention
Nye's first Reinvention started with Japan's aspiration for 富国強兵 (Wealthy
Nation and Strong Army.) To that end the Meiji Emperor and his government
instilled in their subjects an idea that this goal could only be achieved
by the 和魂洋才 (Japanese Spirit and Western Learning) mindset.
Toward the early-1940s, these slogans were supplanted by a more belligerent
one that went: 一億火の玉となって ([Let's beat America and Britain with] one hundred million hearts beating as one.)
This way the grandson of the Meiji Emperor drove tens of millions of his
subjects into the unwinnable war - until it proved the spectacular headway
attained that way wouldn't last long.
For an obvious reason, however, nobody has ever asked why the recipe for modernization since the Meiji Restoration could not secure an sustainable progress. Actually the
reason is quite simple.
As I have said many times before, technological development follows a linear
path whereas nontechnological aspects of life advance along nonlinear paths.
But to be more precise, the human element of technologies, which I call
humanware, does not always go in tandem with the other two elements of technologies - hardware and software. And that is precisely why the "Japanese
spirit and Western learning" mentality eventually aborted Japan's
For one thing, user feedback is something technologists can't live without
for long. My father, for one, found himself totally useless in the last
days of the Pacific War. In those days, aeronautical engineers were told
to concentrate on the suicide machines which did not have to fly high,
fast or long.
So the bottomline of the first round of the Reinvention of Japan is that
the purpose of life and the tools to pursue it were fatally cut off from
Double-edged sword reinvented in the postwar period
From 1945 through 1951, Douglas MacArthur reigned as the "Second Emperor" although he looked more like the first Emperor himself.
At the same time he also played the role of the Second Perry. As a result,
we saw the country being rebuilt essentially on the same concept of the
Meiji Restoration. Although the old prescription had already been tested
unworkable, the Japanese made believe it would succeed this time around
because the new Constitution categorically renounces war as means of settling
international disputes, and the Emperor had been demoted to a mere symbol
of national unity.
Against this backdrop, you can easily imagine what happened to Japan's
value-creating chain when the country was granted a nominal sovereign power
by the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951.
The ends and the means still remained cut off from each other. But now
in the absence of the purpose of life, the Japanese have started substituting
growth-enabling technologies for the values which they should be living
for. It is none other than this inversion of the ends and the means that
made this country the world's second largest economy in a matter of 23
years after the war defeat.
But exactly for the same reason, Japan failed once again in a matter of
two decades since the American idiot named Herman Kahn announced the opening
of the Japanese Century.
Yet, nobody has learned the lesson that the progress made by thinking-disabled people such as
the Japanese can never be sustainable. At the height of the bubble economy
of the '80s, Japan's media kept saying 一億総白痴化 ([the country can keep growing only when] one hundred million are ready to become idiots.) The new slogan tells all the truth about
the second round of Japan's Reinvention.
Now the cute robot developed by Toyota can play the violin for you and
tens of millions of Japanese from 2 to 92 are burogu-ing and tsuittar-ing on the Web, but nobody can tell what for. Japan's Self-Defense Forces are equipped with pricey, state-of-the-art weapons made in the U.S.A, but nobody can tell where to use them without killing their enemy, either.
Third Time Lucky?
With an eye clouded with an obsolete ideology and vested interests
he has in Japan, Nye keeps disseminating the funny idea that the country
has magical power with which to defy the Newton Dynamics. According to
the dementia-suffering Harvard professor, the unique way the Japanese progress
is to take two steps forward, then one step backward, and repeat this spasm-like
pattern over and over. Fortunately for Tsutagawa and his fellow editors,
Nye is not alone. He is a mainstreamer; there are quite a few like-minded
scholars and pundits on both sides of the Pacific.
To me it's a matter of commonsense that you can't do the same thing for
the third time and expect a different outcome. The fact of the matter remains
that Japan has sunk and will never come back to the surface to stay there for years.
On September 9 last year, Mr. Gordon G. Chang, influential China expert,
wrote on Forbes.com that China's will be the shortest-ever century because Japan will overtake China by 2013. When Nikkei.com published the Japanese
translation of Chang's post, his prophecy really ecstasized the Japanese.
They must have thought, "In Japan the one hundred million hearts of the world's most docile people can beat as one when it is necessary, whereas in China the 1.3 billion hearts of these unruly people can never." This unrealistic way of thinking is exactly what made their parents and grandparents underestimate American power in 1942. They thought that the nation of individualism was a sitting duck and it would be a surefire to win the war against it.
· read more (478 words)
Sunday, January 02 2011 @ 06:03 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
With Japan's "lost 20 years" being extended into another decade, the
Japanese are dying for assurances and reassurances from America that their
country is not really done yet. And that's where self-proclaimed Japan
experts in the U.S. swoop down one after another like a flock of starved
It takes a firstrate chutzpah to rope people into believing Japan still shows vital signs without the help of a life-support system, but actually not
a few American pundits and scholars have that impudence.
James L. Huffman,
professor emeritus at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio (photo)
is one of them. Like many others, the professor is ready to do whatever
it takes to feed on the dead meat.
The Commentary page of the January 1 edition of the Daily Yomiuri features a breathtakingly ridiculous interview piece under the title of "Incompetent leaders no hindrance to progress." The caption summarizes the comments Huffman made in response to the phony questions raised by Cameron McLauchlan, DY staff writer, on behalf of Japanese suckers.
At the beginning, McLauchlan asked: "Japanese governments over the years have often been described as weak and leaderless. So where has the energy that developed Japan into a major power come from?" So the entire interview was conducted based on the false assumption that this country still remains a major power after all these lost 20 years.
They made believe Japan's international competitiveness has not fallen
from No. 1 in 1990 to No. 27 in 2010, and that the accelerated exodus of
top-notch scientists and engineers to China is an imaginary thing. This
was only to allow the fraudulent professor to resort to his special skills in acrobatic logic to make absurd argumentation such as this:
"The Japanese people have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. They
have always been highly innovative. That spirit may spring partly from
the fact that government control has been lacking, or at least highly ineffective,
in some periods."
But at the end of the interview, the interviewer and interviewee betrayed
their transparent sophism. McLauchlan asked: "As a historian, what
advice would you give to Japanese leaders today?"
Huffman should have answered, "As I said, the ineffectiveness on the
part of the government fosters, rather than hinders, the innovativeness
on the part of the people. In that sense, Naoto Kan is an ideal prime minister and needs no advice from me." Instead, however, the American historian had the nerve to say matter-of-factly that Kan should
learn from the early-Meiji politicians such as Hirobumi Ito or Aritomo Yamagata
who were driven by national prosperity and strength.
This indicates that the old Japan expert has lost touch with the subject country. Actually, Kan has learned too much from the early days of Japan's aspiration for a modern nation-state to learn how it ended up in failure in 1945. · read more (70 words)
Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 03:25 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The tiger looks unwilling to step aside for the rabbit
This is how I look back on the year 2010.
Just Awaiting My Turn
Time flies, indeed. Two years ago my health started to deteriorate dramatically. Initially I thought I had to take specific actions to prepare myself to say goodbye to all in a decent way. On second thought, however, I realized that it doesn't make any difference whether or not my I exit looks graceful. I just perish, and that's it.
Now my only problem is that the progress of the constant worsening of my incurable ailments is too slow to tolerate. As a result, I have grown impatient more than ever with things and people, especially when they waste my limited time.
Even when in business I was always irritated by my Japanese colleagues
who were invariably dull-witted as fluorescent lamps. One day I blamed one of my direct reports for his goof, though in a roundabout way. The
next morning, he showed up in my office and said, "Your criticism
is something like a time bomb. It always hits me only when I go to bed.
As usual it dawned on me that you had told me to change my way of doing
things only before I fell asleep last night." It always takes time like this in this country.
The talking ATMs are also an irritant. Five years ago I told you how talkative
ATMs were in this country. Today they still remain intolerably verbose.
Especially the taped female voices always get on my nerves. When withdrawing
a small amount of money from my bank account, I normally press the "English
Conversation" button just because the voices of English speaking women
are less syrupy. Yet, at the end of my transaction, we close our conversation
Me: Yes, I'm 120% sure I have everything.
ATM: Are you sure you have everything? (Everything means the card I inserted
in her, money I withdrew from her and the voucher for the transaction.)
Me: You're welcome in advance.
ATM: Thanks for using me. I hope you'll come back soon.
Hate to See Dat Evening Sun Go Down
In a way it's saddening to find myself barking at Americans throughout
the year because it's their parents and grandparents who taught me always
to play it straight and honest.
Perhaps it's another fallout from the further worsening of my health that
I now view things unfolding on this side of heaven as if from the other
side. I'm quite confident that I am unbiased when I say Japan is a dead
nation and that America is also heading for ruin. Not that I haven't had to correct myself at times, but I'm not like those American pundits who have to
correct themselves every second day.
In December 1948 Douglas MacArthur ordered the release of Nobusuke Kishi,
one of the Class-A war criminals, from Tokyo's Sugamo Prison without giving
any explanation for the pardon. Actually, the general and his boss in Washington
intended to make Kishi pay for what he'd done in wartime with another unpardonable
crime. The CIA employed him as its undercover agent who was to serve concurrently
as Japan's Prime Minister. Just like the Shogun who was forced to swallow
the unequal Convention of Kanagawa in 1854, Kishi signed the 1960 revision
of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States
Forty-nine years later, a small group of independent journalists filed
a class action lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court, complaining the entire
security arrangement was unlawful. But judges flatly turned down the accusation while the media were determined to shut their mouths even about the mere fact that the litigation was underway. Across the Pacific,
the American people were also playing dumb. Or perhaps, they were all dumb in fact.
They have blacklisted countries such as Iran and North Korea as rogue states. I am at
a loss over where, then, to classify the United States. My vocabulary of pejorative
is too poor to describe such a shameless nation and its people who have lost self-esteem completely.
This past Christmas Day I turned 75, but it's heartening to know that there
still are some young ladies who think of me on the morning of December
25. Lara is one of them.
Over the yearend, she is staying in Los Angeles, accompanied by her husband and son, to attend a conference
being held there. On my birthday,
Lara sent me a mail in which she wrote: "The first thing that popped
up in my mind when I woke up this morning was that it's your birthday today."
Lara and I share the same wavelength because both of us are stateless at heart. We are Japanese, but only technically. It's true that we are greatly divided over how far to stress
the positive side of statelessness, but that doesn't affect our friendship
at all because we value differences and take each other very seriously.
What fosters our mutual respect is the fact that we don't give a damn about
geographical or ideological boundaries. I don't know, or don't want to
know, what political platform she subscribes to. All I know is the fact that
Lara has the sensitivity and compassion of Japanese women at their best
combined with realistic attitude toward life particular to Chinese women.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Throughout the year, the Japanese have remained stranded in the same insoluble
dilemma between the firstrate idiots named Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan
and the topnotch bandit named Ichiro Ozawa. One year ago I suggested in this blog that someone
should take Ozawa's life, or I would have volunteered to kill the villain
myself if I'd possessed a firearm. · read more (326 words)
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tim Weiner is one of those informative but worthless books you never want to read again. It would be a total waste of time to reread such a fraudulent book.
The very first leaf of the extraordinarily voluminous book is almost blank
only with a brief quote printed in the center as if it were an insurmountable oracle. It reads:
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.
- Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
I don't think Weiner had read or saw the French play that is said to depict
historical episodes about the Roman Empire. But that doesn't matter. What
matters is the fact that he thought he could help "time" unearth the whole truths just by mining for the newest crop of declassified documents
at the U.S. National Archives. After all, Weiner is just one of those stupid
and arrogant American pundits who don't notice there is a fundamental flaw of logic involved in the line from the French drama - something even a kindergarten kid may detect.
The author should have known who have suffered the most the consequences of these
crimes committed by the CIA in the last six decades. It's not Harry S. Truman who signed the National Security Act of 1947 on which
the intelligence agency was founded, Dwight D. Eisenhower who thought
intelligence was "a distasteful but vital necessity," or Tim
Weiner who revealed dark secrets about what successive directors of the
agency did only to win yet another award.
It's us non-American citizens who have really suffered. Certainly "the docile
satellite of the United States," as Chalmers Johnson called Japan, is
one of the most affected nations.
For one thing, we were told in the book, officially for the first time, that Nobusuke
Kishi, Japan's Prime Minister (1957-60,) was an undercover agent of the
CIA when he signed the revision of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and
Security between the United States and Japan.
With their long-held doubt
about the lawfulness of the treaty finally confirmed, a small group of
independent journalists filed a class action lawsuit with the Tokyo District
Court in February last year. But it was a piece of cake for the judges
to brush aside their complaint. This was yet another reminder that the judicial branch of the Japanese government is not an independent
entity as the Constitution calls for, just like the government itself is a puppet of Washington.
More importantly, the poor plaintiffs woke up too late, as usual. Once missed, the right timing will never visit you once again.
The reason Weiner failed to make a bit of difference to the rotten relationship
between the two countries is because he based his research work on a false
assumption that the whole truth will come to the surface sooner or later
as Racine may or may not have thought.
This brings me to Bertrand Russell, British philosopher and
mathematician (1872-1970.) He was widely acknowledged as a dedicated anti-war activist,
which is what he actually was after losing his unrivaled intellect. But
very few know that Russell was also a realistic thinker when he was younger. In his
book on education (I forgot its title) he wrote to this effect:
"People always say, 'A real talent should come into bloom on its own no matter what adversity is in its way.' But this is something like
arguing there cannot be a perfect crime."
Before Weiner, we had already heard a lot of bullshit from "truth seekers" who found a lucrative business opportunity in the niche created by those mainstream ideologues and demagogues. It's these conspiracy theorists who first detoxified revelations of truth.
Now the mainstream media are rife with leaks of innumerable classified
documents by WikiLeaks. Although similar whistleblowing sites are mushrooming
on the web, the media don't really look upset. From their previous experiences,
they know for sure that at the end of the day they can neutralize these whistleblowers, and even in the worst case, make their world's most gullible audiences dismiss the new herd of cyber-warriors as nerds or oddballs.
The only thing that explains all this ado about nothing is the fact that,
as Russell exquisitely pointed out, there are perfect crimes, a lot of them.
A perfect crime does not necessarily have to be carried out in an artful way.
Actually the words only refer to a crime whereof no victim notices he has been victimized, or a more cognizant victim is not vocal enough to be heard by
Needless to say, Japan's Emperors have perpetually committed unnoticed
crimes in the last thirteen centuries. They have always succeeded despite
the fact that the imperial lineage has been filled with mentally retarded bastards primarily because of repeated incestuous marriages. The only reason
behind their success stories is because their subjects have been equally
In his 2006 book titled Princess Masako - Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, Australian writer Ben Hills revealed part of the dark secrets about Japan's
imperial family. Unlike Legacy of Ashes, Princess Masako was instantly banned here simply because Hills' revelations were considered much more harmful.
Yet Japanese could have purchased a copy of Princess Masako through the likes of Amazon.com. By 2006, Japan's Internet Penetration Rate had already topped 80%. But as usual what I term the "Glass Firewall" which is far more unpenetrative than China's Great Firewall could keep the poisonous truths at bay. · read more (112 words)
Inmy previous post, I updated you on the approval rating of the Kan administration
which had nosedived from the vicinity of 65% to 27.8% in a matter of two months according to Jiji
Press. The reason behind the sharp decline was because even the world's
most credulous people had become too used to "legal" red herrings to be
put further away off the scent of the real issue.
Although the approval rating further dipped over the weekend to 21.8% according to Fuji News Network, Akikan, or the Empty Can, as Naoto Kan is dubbed lately, still hangs on to the
revolving door of the Prime Minister's office. There are two reasons he
is barely able to stay afloat.
Yanagida keeps aplogizing
On November 14, one of his cabinet members Minoru Yanagida was with his
supporters in his Hiroshima constituency to belatedly celebrate his appointment
as Justice Minister two months ago. At that time, the head of nation's corrupt judicial system confided to
the local congregation that actually it's a cinch to carry out his responsibility
as Justice Minister because the only thing he is supposed to say when answering touchy questions in the Diet is to automatically repeat the following phrases
1) I can't comment on the specific issue.
2) We are dealing with the matter based on the law and available evidence.
Actually he had used these sentences 33 times since he was appointed by
Naoto Kan to the position.
The moment the news got out, the opposition camp started to screech, saying
Yanagida's remarks were totally impermissible because these words constituted
a contempt of the Diet. The entire nation instantly turned into a madhouse.
As usual the media got extremely nitpicky about the semantics of the harmless
gaffe and replayed the video footage at issue over and over again - more frequently than Yanagida had repeated his taped answers in the Diet.
The Justice Minister offered sincere apology to everyone, automatically
repeating the same excuse that although he hadn't intended to make light
of Diet deliberations, he felt too much at home, surrounded by his Hiroshima
supporters. He added that he was under the heavy influence of alcohol at
This was yet another reminder of what I call the Culture of Apology, the peculiar climate where an unlucky person apologizes for something
he is not particularly responsible for.
But the Liberal Democratic Party and other opposition parties wouldn't
listen in part because this was just part of the predetermined misogi ritual and in part because there was nothing else to nag Kan about at that moment.
On Monday the Prime Minister had to sack Yanagida.
This always happens when it becomes too evident that something is fundamentally
wrong with this nation. Last prime ministers of the LDP administration
and the first prime minister of the DPJ administration invariably dug their
own graves because of a slip of the tongue.
In June I told my audience what the misogi ritual is all about when Yukio Hatoyama stepped down as prime minister.
But nobody seemed to understand. Some Japan experts in the U.S. went as
far as to promise Hatoyama's successor would lead the way to a new Japan.
They were mistaken once again although none of them blushed for a split
If you still don't think my explanation is good enough to convince you
why the bastard had to lose his cushy job because of a casual slip of the
tongue, you may want to turn to these Japan experts in the U.S. who boldly
claim to have more unbiased and clearer views of Japan than this humble
blogger who has lived these turbulent years in this country since 1935.
Better yet, though, you can expect the best answer from those in the same
occupation with Yanagida. In particular I recommend you contact Nobuteru
Ishihara, Secretary General of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party.
He is a son of the equally retarded Tokyo Governor who was once named a "Social
Neanderthal" by Australian journalist Ben Hills. Also he is known
to be a senior member of Sukyo Mahikari, a cult somewhat akin to the world renowned Aum Supreme Truth.
I can't guarantee you that he is reachable right now. But if you have the
luck to ask him your question, keep this in mind: you should pitch a nasty
curveball to the Secretary General of the LDP in order to get a meaningful
answer. You should perhaps word your question like this:
What's wrong with an idiot telling his fellow idiots a stupid thing like this?
Of course, the moron wouldn't be able to utter a word in response to your tricky question. But be assured, that is the best answer.
Then came the November 23 "surprise" attack by North Korea on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. It took Japan's commander-in-chief as long as seven hours to issue a rubberstamp statement that said:
■ We strongly condemn the attack.
■ We will do our best to gather and analyze information.
■ We will work together ever more closely with South Korea and the U.S.
■ At this moment we don't think the North Korean attack will directly
affect Japanese citizens. But just in case, we should be prepared for a worst case scenario. · read more (403 words)
Friday, November 19 2010 @ 01:05 AM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Akikan's days are numbered
Sengoku, the former ambulance chaser, is now in defense of China
A little more than two months ago, the presidency of the Democratic Party of Japan as well as nation's premiership was being contested between the double-dyed villain by the name of Ichiro Ozawa and the firstrate idiot named Naoto Kan. At that time I told my audience that the country was getting stuck "in between the devil and the deep blue sea" as the old American song goes.
As usual most of you thought I was exaggerating or just analogizing the
situation the Japanese are in. But I wasn't. What I meant to say was that
Japan is already a dead nation. The country still shows weak vital signs, but that is only because it is on an artificial respiration system.
Since the burst of the bubble economy in 1990, mythomaniacs
in Japan's media organizations have acted like they are mandated to invent one false contention after another to dupe their credulous audiences into believing
there still are valid alternatives to choose from.
Among other tactics to put people off the scent of real issues, it is especially noteworthy that they make believe every problem has its roots in laws, and thus, can be solved by new legislation, or amendment to an existing one. Along these lines, they always cite a law which is actually irrelevant to the issue at hand, or focus on the wrong article of a relevant one.
Take the Constitution for example. They always talk about whether to amend its war-renouncing Article 9, whereas you can't even get to Chapter II which includes the particular article before getting stuck with Chapter I that defines the role of the Emperor in such a way that eviscerates Chapter III which supposedly defines the "rights and duties of the people." The fundamental law of a nation serves as the master agreement between an individual citizen and the country where he lives. That is why I have recently terminated my contract with this failed country.
Another example is the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan. In the last half century, not a single pundit who was not under the influence of communism has discussed the invocation of Article 10 of the treaty which provides for the procedure for its termination. To sidetrack people from the real issue, media obscurantists are untiringly talking about other clauses such as Article 5 or auxiliary pacts such as Japan Status of Forces Agreement in order to instill in people the absurd delusion that in an emergency, the Americans will come to the rescue of the Japanese even at the cost of their own lives.
Since early September, the Japanese have heard of yet another bunch of laws. When voters in and outside the DPJ faced the insoluble dilemma between
Kan and Ozawa, Yoshito Sengoku, Chief Cabinet Secretary and Ozawa's
archrival, got the press corps in Kantei Kisha Kurabu, or the press club collusively attached to the Cabinet Office, to focus
solely on Ozawa's violation of the Political Funds Control Law. Sengoku thought he could gloss over the ineptness of the Kan administration just by scapegoating the former Secretary General of his party.
It was as if the DPJ could have gained power from the Liberal Democratic Party last year without Ozawa's unparalleled skills in pork-barreling. Also it was as if Sengoku and Kan had proved morally stainless. The matter of the fact remains that they are just petty thieves when compared to the unrivaled master of robbery.
Ironically, though, a series of criminal cases broke out around that time where small fish such as a manager at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare were found to have been framed by public prosecutors and judges to save a little bigger ones close to the DPJ administration. Since it was obvious that these exonerees were just the tip of the iceberg, the entire judicial system of the nation could have discredited itself.
But once again the media kicked in; this time it was Kensatsu Kisha Kurabu, the press club attached to the Public Prosecutors Office, that artfully localized the implication of false accusations as if they were isolated cases. As a result, Ozawa has still remained Public Enemy No. 1.
That is how the Chief Cabinet Secretary could help Kan retain Japan's premiership. The cabinet
approval rating shot up to 70% despite the fact that the incompetent Prime Minister had delivered, or would deliver, absolutely nothing on his promise about "Least Unhappy Society."
If you are not familiar with Sengoku, here's his bio. The bastard was one of those empty-headed campus activists before
he dropped out of Tokyo University's Faculty of Law in 1968. Until he got into politics
in 1990, he was a left-leaning courtroom lawyer. That is why he sounds so confident when talking about laws.
On September 7, a tiny Chinese trawler gave a soft pat on two patrol ships of Japan Coast Guard in the "disputed" waters off the Senkaku Islands, Diaoyutai in Chinese. The incident gave another legal challenge to the former lawyer. This time it was something about the United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea and Japan's Code of Criminal Procedure.
To make a long story short, his expertise in laws didn't help him a bit in handling the Senkaku incident. While he is totally unable to look beyond laws, the Chinese don't give a damn to the international law simply because it meant absolutely nothing in the twilight years of Pax Americana where the Law of the Jungle prevails everywhere. Who could have resisted temptation when it was something like taking a candy from a baby to brush aside Japan's sheepish territorial claim and demand the immediate release of the skipper of the trawler?
As an old proverb goes, the cock is bold on his own dunghill. Now the former ambulance chaser started acting like an attorney retained by the Chinese accident faker. Emboldened by dull-wittedness and docility of his fellow countrymen, Sengoku started giving them lectures on Article 248 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that says in certain circumstances, it's left to the prosecutor's discretion whether to indict a suspect. Unlike with the Chinese, it was a piece of cake for Sengoku to insinuate the Japanese into believing the specific circumstance, where the Chinese captain declared, after his release, that he would do the same thing in the future, justified the invocation of Article 248.
In the meantime, it was slowly dawning on these retarded people that it was about time to have seen, with their own eyes, the video footages which were said to show how the Chinese ship rammed into the patrol ships of Japan Coast guard.
As I have repeatedly said, the right time to act in international relations is before your opponent acts, or at latest, immediately after that. But the Japanese have never learned that the right time, once missed, will never come back. That is basically why I'm inclined to call them unviable creatures.
Totally unaware it was too late to effectively respond to the provocation by the Chinese, the opposition camp led by the LDP and the general public blindfolded by the media started voicing their desire to take a peek at what had really happened in the East China Sea on September 7.
Now amid the outcry for the disclosure of the videos, Sengoku had to turn to Article 47 of the same Code of Criminal Procedure; he kept saying it would run counter to that article to make public the touchy videos.
To be more precise, however, Article 47 prohibits, in principle, the disclosure of evidence prior to the opening of trial. But never mind, nobody has bothered to question Sengoku's distorted interpretation of the law because he is an oracle, after all, who passed the highly competitive bar exam many years ago, and the reporters stationed in Kantei Kisha Kurabu were still enthusiastic about covering up the transparent trick behind Sengoku's alibi exercise.
Then, on the night of November 4, someone uploaded some video footages on YouTube that showed unspectacular scenes of the Battle of the East China Sea.
Now Sengoku faced, or thought he was facing, another legal issue. Typical of Japanese men of his age, he is totally in the dark about the way information flows in the era of WikiLeaks. And yet, the dolt didn't realize he was barking up the wrong tree when he proclaimed that the leak constituted a crime in the light of Article 100 of the National Civil Service Law that stipulates the "obligation to preserve secrecy."
This was yet another false issue because nobody but the Chinese should get hurt looking at the videos and any information that had been accessible to all employees of the JCG and dozens of lawmakers before the "leak" could not be considered classified. But dozens of lawyers, ex-prosecutors and law professors appeared on TV waido sho ("wide shows") day and night to chitchat about the "issue."
Wide shows are run by all TV stations with nationwide network exactly in the identical format, and boast highest viewer ratings in this brain-dead nation. Since these programs deal, at a time, with a wide variety of topics ranging from failed relationships between untalented tarento (TV personalities) to bizarre criminal cases, to Prince William's engagement, to politics, these self-proclaimed pundits can only scratch the surface of "serious" topics such as the video leak.
On November 13, a 43-year-old Second Navigation Officer of the JCG turned himself in, saying he had thought the Japanese had the right to know the truth and that he was prepared for any punishment. On November 16, the public prosecutors dropped the charge against the whistleblower in the face of the public outcry for his release. He may have lost his job, but the same contention is still going on in the Diet and on TV as of my writing this post.
At the beginning of this 2-plus-month-long ado about nothing, Kan owed Sengoku a lot for his initial advance which was so striking that some American pundits hailed him as a savior of the ailing country.
But after all this legal gibberish, his approval rating nosedived from somewhere around 70% to an astounding 27.8% according to Jiji Press.
Now we have seen hundreds of people rallying here and there to demand the reinstatement of the Devil. In a sense, they have a point. At least Ozawa wouldn't have begged Hu Jintao on his knees to set aside at least 25 minutes on the sidelines of the APEC Summit Meeting for a bilateral talk. Akikan or the Empty Can, as the Japanese dub Kan lately, desperately asked Hu's
mercy to save him from losing the right half of his face. At the ASEM Summit Meeting held in Brussels last month, Akikan had already lost the left half when Wen Jiabao gave him 25 minutes in a hallway.
At the last minute, Hu agreed to give Kan just 25 minutes on the condition that he not un-shelve the touchy Senkaku issue. In 1978 Deng Xiaoping forced his Japanese counterpart to swallow the idea of shelving it practically for good.
Not all those who were disappointed by the Kan administration think that trying to live with the Devil is a little better than jumping into the deep blue sea. So some of them have now started to talk about the Grand Coalition between the DPJ (minus Ozawa's faction) and the LDP. But they have learned no lessons from the past either. And there still is the public discourse about seikai saihensei (political realignment) lingering on. But it has long tested unworkable, too.
Throughout my 46-year career and 75-year life, I have studied various laws including Commercial Code, Civil Code, Securities Exchange Act, tax laws, antimonopoly legislation and Labor Standards Law as necessity arose. But I have never thought about becoming a law practitioner or doctor of juridical "science" myself. Here's the reason:
I have known in person not a single man with legal background who understands the very basics of a legal system. People tend to think laws govern their lives and thoughts, but actually it's the other way around; it's them that write, abide by, defy or rewrite laws.
In the U.S., the situation is a little different because America, unlike Japan, has a great Constitution that embodies the founding principles of the nation. But as I observe, most American lawyers are there only to stymie their clients' attempt to look beyond state and federal laws which are unconstitutional to varying degrees. As a result, now you can see a striking resemblance in behaviors between the U.S. administration headed by the alumnus of Harvard Law School and the Japanese government practically run by the dropout of Tokyo University's Faculty of Law.
Small wonder that America is quickly getting Japanized these days although it will take some time until the American people understand they are getting nowhere if they remain stuck between liberals and conservatives. · read more (102 words)
Capitalizing, directly or indirectly, on the blessings of the Internet, political analysts have
been proliferating all over the world. In America, alone, there are millions
of them if you include self-styled pundits.
You can classify them into two types: weather forecasters and Monday morning
quarterbacks. It's a known fact that there always is a cozy relationship
between the two groups. Unless pundits who specialize in predictions are
so prone to misread clues to future events, MMQBs are out of work. And
if MMQBs have a good command of sophism to convince their audience that
they are not just secondguessing, prophets lose their jobs.
In between the two categories, you sometimes come across amphibians who
have the guts to play the two different roles all by themselves. By doing so,
they effectively hedge against the risk of losing jobs.
It's some of these amphibious pundits who foresaw the emergence of a new
and viable Japan in June when Naoto Kan and Katsuya Okada succeeded Yukio
Hatoyama and Ichiro Ozawa as prime minister and secretary general of the
Democratic Party of Japan, respectively.
In fact, though, signs of the total collapse of the country have since been felt, rather than just imagined, around the clock and on every corner of the Japanese archipelago. Those who have good ears even hear the entire edifice crashing down.
Five months after the misogi-like transition of power, even these zombie-like people can tell the Kan administration will fall apart in a matter of months.
When it comes to foreign relations, the Tokyo government is now in total
gridlock because Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang are steadfastly closing
in on the doomed nation. I'm inclined to term it the MBP strangulation
regimen after the ABCD alliance against Japan in 1941.
Kan and his foreign minister Seiji Maehara are counting even more on their
American counterparts for help. They know that if the Republicans are to regain lost ground toward 2012, that won't make a bit of difference
to the absurd security arrangement between the two nations, one dead and
the other dying.
This is yet another confirmation of Douglas MacArthur's testimony at a
joint committee of the Senate. On May 5, 1951, the general exquisitely
said: "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, [the Japanese
would be like boys] of twelve, as compared with [Americans' and Germans']
development of 45 years."
MacArthur was so foresighted that he also knew by 2010, all Americans would look like 104-year-olds.
So, are amphibious pundits in America blushing or scratching their empty
heads these days?
No, that's what they will never do. As usual, they have a good excuse, particularly in
this November. "Currently we are too preoccupied with the midterm
election to be really concerned about Japan. Maybe we were a little too
optimistic when we said the country was getting back on the right track.
But so what?"
It's in this intellectual vacuum that a growing number of political analysts in the U.S. have started twittering. The eagles have lost their piercing eyes to identify their targets
and sharp claws to cut out enemies' hearts. So all they can do is just to keep chirping.
It's true that they can't outdo the Japanese who are very good
at compressing ideas into the traditional 17-syllable format. But that doesn't really matter; Haiku poetry and tweets are basically the same thing. · read more (88 words)