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10 September 2013

My city to host 2020 summer olympic games, is it good news?

IOC announced Tokyo will host 2020 summer olympic. This will be second time Tokyo was awarded as host city. First time was 1964.

Many people celebrated this announcement. However, I cannot fully celebrate. I think it was good news but there are some problems related to this event.

Biggest criticism of Tokyo's hosting is that crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants are still leaking contaminated water and no way to stop this is determined. Prime Minister Abe said contaminated water is perfectly blocked within fenced area. That was a lie. It is going beyond that area.

Many people should be worried that if visitors to Tokyo olympic including greate athletes are to be affected by radioactives. Nobody knows what is happening here 7 years later. That means that Japan must deal with this problem very fiercely since the world is watching carefully. We need to solve Fukushima issue very seriously rather than celebrating.

The other thing I do not like is that olympic games have become too commercial. The reason that Tokyo was chosen is that Tokyo has so much money. IOC hopes to get big sponsors' money.

In the old days like Japan hosted first olympic game in 1964, the opening day was October 10 to avoid heat of summer, now it is scheduled to open in July, hottest time of a year. I do not think it is appropriate time for athletes to mark good records. It is to get more viewers in summer than autumn.

Personally as I get older, I cannot enjoy sports events like younger days because I learn athletes are not heroes rather they are livestocks of states or corporations. Or they, themselves are just fake entertainers. Real entertainers are better to me because their job is to act to entertain audience, wheras athletes are supposed to play seriously and fairly which is usually opposite to reality.

Sports games shouldn't be business or too much spotlighted. Sports are just for health improvement and leisure. The only business athletes should make money of is to be a trainer or instructor of sports for players, who are doing this for health and leisure, not for glory, fame and money. No athletes shouldn't be too serious to get steroids in their bodies. Sports are not worth it.  

In fact, for Tokyo and Japan olympic games are not as significant as we hosted first time in 1964 when Japan was aiming to be advanced nation after the defeat of war. Japan has become advanced and rich nation already. Japan hosted olympic 3 times before and the World Cup soccer games in 2002. Not very surprising. It was more like one of big international events. So what? Will this event boost economy? Not likely. After the game is over, business as usual, only that time like what happened after other olympic games. Just small portion of business people in very short period.

I do not care about what is happening in my city 7 years later. I may be moving somewhere else to escape from all the fuss.  

20 June 2013

Attended the Speech meeting of Japan's first openly gay parliament member

Her name is Kanako Otsuji. She is now 38 years old. Last month she obtained the seat for Japan's upper house parliament.

On 18 of June, she made a speech in the meeting titled "Sexuality and Politics" held by Rainbow Action group, at Nakano Zero Hall in Tokyo. Around 60 people including me attended the meeting.

gay, homosexuality, lesbian,

She was a candidate for that position in the election held 5 years and 10 months ago. She was listed in candidate list of nation-wide proportional representation constituency for one of Japan's major political party, Democratic Party of Japan. That was very first time in Japan's history that a major party nominates openly gay person as its candidate. She gathered some votes but could not reach passing border line. However, after more than 5 years, only 2 months left until the end of the term, she got to the position because several members died or resigned from the parliament. Kind of strange incident.

In the speech she talked about profile and how she is doing now. She used to be a member of prefecture congress in Osaka. She came out during that time. She is now actively working as a national parliament member and got involved in many law-making tasks. She recently was invited to and then attended a sexual minority's meeting held in US embassy in Tokyo.

I asked her how Japan can be changed in terms of this issue since Japan is different from western nations in the sense that Japan is not advanced in minority rights issues.

Her reply was, those nations and Japan have things in common that are practicing democracy. Democracy does not necessarily mean majority of people make the rule. Everyone has decision making right. We can make changes by making laws. Japan can change drastically when the time comes. Japan is not very religious like western nations. We are rather concerned about peer pressure matters.

That may be right, I think. According to the Reuter news report, the world-wide survey on ordinary citizens opinion about gay issue revealed Japan is as open-minded as western nations. Especially, younger generations' supporting rate for gays was higher than that of US.

Is it due to the recent gay liberation movement? That may not be a major cause. As she described Japan's morale standard is based on peer pressure. Homosexuality has been considered abnormal in this society but never been considered sin like Christian societies in the West. In fact histricaly Japanese society tolerated gay relationship until premodern time ended. Details in this post.

Furthermore, when we acquire new things, we can change very rapidly like late 19th century's industrialization or reconstrution after the second world war.

Ms. Otsuji said even after entry of parliament, she never experienced any harrassment by other people in the house. People are friendly and trusting her very well.

Thanks to her, her outing of what she is helps our nation progress further, to more democratic and civilized. She is the proof of our democracy, freedom and flexible culture. I am proud of her. We all should be proud of her.

10 March 2013

Real Patriots MUST oppose nuclear energy

2 year on after 311 Fukushima nuclear disastor along with the earthquake and tsunami. nuclear power,

In Tokyo, on 10 of March Sunday, tens of thousands of people gathered in Hibiya Park located near the parliament and government buildings and then marched on streets calling for halt of re-operation of any more nuke plants. Now only 2 of 50 plants are operated since all the plants were shut down last May.

nuclear power,

As Patriot, I joined the march to show my will of no-nuclear policy. 

Nuclear energy is no longer efficient considering cost of safety measures and wastes disposal. Nuclear generation does cause severe accident, which no nation can perfectly prevent. It did happen like in Chernobyl and Fukushima and it will in future.

Surely we have to think alternative but nuke generation is no longer a choice for us.  

Because I love my country, its land and its people. I can never let nukes pollute our land and people any more. I can never let my beloved nation depend on such inefficient and dangerous energy.  

That is what a real patriot think. I wish other people in the world follow suit. Be patriot for your country and society.

13 February 2013

Learning Japanese heritage from a Canadian

I went to Kyoto last weekend holidays. The main purpose of the trip was to meet a foreign instructor of Japanese Sado. Do you know what Sado is? Sa means tea, Do means way, meaning "Way of tea." You can learn how to serve tea and sweets to guests and how to be served as guests.

Some people not only foreiners but even Japanese claim that it is too much of formality. I always thought that way. But my encounter with this Sado instructor changed my view.

His name is Randy-san. He manages a cafe in Kyoto. He is a Canadian man who has lived in Japan for more than 20 years. He first came to Japan to learn martial arts but later found out he had to be skillful for both martial arts and academic things. Then he chose Sado.

I joined his cafe's tea ceremony lesson for beginners. 6 students including me attended the lesson. His Japanese is excellent. He wore a very suitable kimono for tea ceremony. Only I wore kimono among 6 Japanese attendees. Actually my kimono was not suitable for tea ceremony.

 

He could explain every detail of Sado such as how to prepare and proceed.  

Then each student was instructed to perfom how to do each act of pouring hot water, mix with tea powder and then serve guests and how to be served. It is precisely ruled like social dances. No free form on your own. You have to memorize each act and perform that in public to be a good host and guest. That is kind of a hard thing to do. Interesting those things should be taught by a Japanese instructor but this time the other way around. I, Japanese was a student and Randy-san, Canadian was an instructor.

kyoto,kimono, tea ceremony,

He said "up, pull, cover" when I try to bring up hot water from the pot. I had to repeat that 3 times. Weird, just for bringing up, you have to know how to do each act. But that is the way of tea ceremony.

I asked him why we should follow so many rules just for tea ceremony.

He answered that we should not consider them rules rather these are manners. It is fun to have meals and drinks without manners in casual clothes relaxing at home. But you can also enjoy formal dinner at high class restaurant wearing formal clothes. Just like that. You can enjoy such formality.

He said significance of Sado is like significance of life.

Wow, it seems a foreinger, westerner had a better view on Japanese culture because he sees things objectively.

Maybe that is a dilenma we, Japanese including me have had for a long time. He just seemed to solve that instantly.

It is like how I learnt why Geisha girls put thick white make-ups on their faces by a Hollywood film "Memoirs of a Geisha." In the old days party rooms were so dark without strong lights that Geishas needed such make-ups to shine their faces to be recognized. Japanese films don't usually show indoor darkness of the old days. Without knowing darkness of that period, you can never learn how the old time people live and see the world. Hollywood did a better job in that sense.

Ironically Randy-san got me more interest in one of my country's heritage. Similar thing happened in sports field recently. Judo has been criticized for causing scandals such as harrassment and violent instruction to female athletes. International Judo organization denouced that scandal saying that violent instruction is against original philosophy established by a founder of Judo, Kano Jigoro.

We, Japanese are forgetting what we really are. We have to bring it back!