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04 January 2010

Saw Our Majesty

On 2nd of January, 2010, I went to the imperial palace to see annual new year greeting by the Emperor Akihito and his family members.

That was the day usually closed area of the palace becomes open to public. People with Rising Sun flags entered the palace and saw the emperor on the palace balcony covered by glass from the ground. He said "I am glad to have new year with all of you."

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I am usually asked what the emperor means to us. Well, the answer is nothing. We are told that the emperor is symbol of the State.

But generally, he is far away from us. We know he does exist but we are not interested in him and his family.

I do think I have to appreciate his existence because the emperor functions great deal of our society.

Some claims the imperial system suceeded by bloodline should be abolished but I disagree. The system benefits our nation.

Under the emperor, we are all unified as Japanese. That's a good thing.

The emperor works as great diplomatic tool when it comes to dealing with big nations like China and the U.S.

Last month the emperor met with China's No.2 politician regardless earlier appointment than usual.

That gave a signal to the U.S. that Japan is placing more importance on China than ever.

The U.S. and Japan have a quarrel recently. China has now become a big card for us.

 

Anyway, I am glad we have such a great imperial system. Imperial system is a tradition of over 1000 years.

A Happy New Year with the Emperor!

24 December 2009

Novel "Kokoro" by Natsume Soseki

The story was written by Japan's infamous novelist, Natsume Soseki. The novel was released in early 20th century. The novel starts with the sentence "I always called him "Sensei (Sir)." It is a memoir of a man who met a cool older guy on the beach. When the two guys first met, they both wore swim suits like this.

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He was attracted to this Sensei. He actually fell in love with him. Sounds like gay love.
But Sensei was married. He said he cannot accept the main character's love because he had bad record in the past.
 
The past is that he betrayed his best friend in order to get his current wife. His friend then committed suicide by his action.
The main character learnt that after Sensei committed suicide.
 
I first knew this story by theatre play. That was really good. Then I read the book. That was good as well.
 
I always want to be a novelist like Soseki. I write novels on this blog and my Japanese blog.
 
Is it bad to live as novelist? "Novelist" is my dream job.
 
I've never got any chance of becoming one.
 
Next year, I hope I can make it. So, please, somebody give me the chance!!

14:49 Posted in Books, Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: gay, literature

01 October 2009

French film "Coco Avant Chanel" Sad Story

The film featured early life of the founder of world's most famous fashion brand, Chanel.

The film started with her life as an orphan and later she became a singer in the bar. She found a patron, a rich peer man but she fell in love with a rich English businessman who later supported her avant-garde fashion business.

 

It seemed like Chanel was a whore rather than an independent lady who invented very liberated forms of women's clothes.

But she had no choice just like other women in those days. Women did not have rights to vote. Women did not have their own named bank accounts. They had to wear heavy clothes with so many accessaries, long skirts that bottoms should be on the ground.  

The film was overall very boring but the message was kind of strong that her successful career came from her painful life experience.

 

I guess we had to know this side of her story to know life is not easy. The below photo is what I accidentally found on the street in Tokyo's shopping district. The lady in the photo secretly depicted Chanel's painful life experience before she got successful career.

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22:06 Posted in Culture, Film, France | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: fashion, feminism

14 September 2009

Comic Version of "Mein Kampf"

Recently controversial Manga (Comic) book was published in Japan. The comic was digest version of what is written on original thick book, "Mein Kampf (My Struggle)."

Left one is comic and right one is Japanese complete translated version.

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As you know it was written by Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi-Germany, the book described his biography from when he was childhood until imprisonment after Munich rebel in 1923. It contains so much of Anti-semitism.

The pictures of the book reminds me of CBS Minis-Series "Hitler, The Rise of Evil." Surely the book and the drama should somewhat overlap because both are at least partially based on the same book.

In Germany publication of the book is banned. Actually the book wasn't very popular one at the time it was published.

This comic version is one of the series of classic literature including "Crime and Punishment," and "Faust."

I am recently very interested in Hitler and Nazi-Germany. How he got on the top and why such atrocities happened.

Recently Japan experienced similar phenomenon, an Air Force Chief was fired because of his provocative essay released in public which contradicts Japan's position of war responsibility and justified what Japan did to neighboring nations such as occupation and colonization.

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His statement to the government's treatment was really similar "Strangely I was fired because I've made good statements for the nation."

After he left defense ministry, he became an icon among right-wing people. He published several books and made speeches all over the nation. I am sure he will run candidancy for next coming election. Strangely I, not so conservative person have been very much attracted to him since his public appearance. I bought one of his books. I went to his speeches and shook hands with him. Please read this if you want to know more about my passion for him. That is why I am feared. He has charisma and intelligence to lead people.

So that is why I am studying things about Hitler and Nazi-Germany.

I am now writing a novel which the story takes place in 1930's Germany on this blog. The theme of the novel is Nazism versus liberalism such as Bauhaus art. Please read "Bauhausler" if you are intereted.