It Is A Warm Sunday Afternoon...
...and Miwako and I are strolling down the road towards Naga's train stop. We are on our way to the cake shop to have coffee with her classmates. We are laughing and bantering, getting a fair bit of mileage out of the frightening make-up of the jarringly out of place, yama-uba-looking girl we passed a moment earlier.
Miwako, as senpai, is wonderful: instructive without condescension, authoritative without being overbearing, kind and funny and warm. For nigh on two months I have been as a younger brother to her. I feel completely at home.
Off in the distance, towards the mountains that separate Wakayama from Osaka, there is a regular, fast thudding sound. We see a Defense Force helicopter maneuvering in the distance.
The cast of her face utterly transforms from good humor to a hard look of stern disapproval. She is visibly upset.
She and her family are devout Buddhists, very peaceful people. She takes this opportunity to extoll to me the virtues of Article 9, and spends about 10 minutes on an uninterruptable, bitter tear about the increasing militarization of Japan.
The year is 1995.
* * *In the context of Japanese history and society, Koizumi really is as big an asshole as George W. Bush.
I was struck nearly senseless by the news that Japan was considering a preemptive strike against Korea a few weeks ago. I bookmarked it and a few related items for a post, but I don't have a decent context for the surprise and sadness.
But you do. So, good on you.
Can we ever learn?
More importantly, can't we all just get along?
10-15 years ago, any politician in Japan who had suggested a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, kidnapped Japanese notwithstanding, would have been respectfully but firmly required to leave office.
We live in crazy times. And I've met real-life Japanese far-Right wingers, and they are every bit as crazy as ours. Could you imagine a Japan being ruled by these guys (again!)
ag: who are you kidding?
That's the first time in my life time I've ever heard or read "Japanese far-Right wingers"
maybe that's why it's so scary to me
They've quietly been around. Making money and influential friends.
The wheel goes round...
there's enough volatility in that region with the whole china-taiwan situation and north korea's nukes that japan would probably want to re-arm.
however, considering that they pwn the world in most forms of technology, it wouldnt be hard to imagine them going gung-ho with it again.
and AG, we can
all get along, we just don't want
to (it seems)
It's sad to see this change in Japan. Gee, I wonder where a Japanese Right-Winger gets his ideas?
Who has been setting the increasingly insane global tone for 25 years now?
"Who has been setting the increasingly insane global tone for 25 years now?"
Saddam. Clearly it was Saddam. Thank goodness we took him out! Now everything will get better.
Seriously, though, the whole Yasukuni shrine thing is seriously fucked up. He has no business being there. That is not the act of a conscientious and responsible PM.
It would be like a German leader honoring the WWII German soldiers at the site of the Malmedy massacre, or an American president erecting a celebrating the achievements of Lee Harvey Oswald. Like, seriously fucked up.
monument. I meant monument after "erecting." GAh.
I know, AG wanted to give peace a chance one last time before deploying the AG nations...
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