I guess the Shinto gods need to visit the Tokyo streets as much as anyone does. Still, once you’ve lashed the shrine to enormous beams, it’s a lot to carry. It’s like Jesus and the cross, times 40. Being pants-less seems to add intimacy to the camaraderie of group effort.
It’s lovely to see the Crown Prince and Princess visiting the Tohoku refugees who have survived the tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear leakage. Wednesday will be the 2 month anniversary.
Relations stiffen? My morning coffee nearly flew out of my mouth reading the title of this New York Times online article about Obama’s visit to Japan. Normally this blog stays glued to what some might consider the frivolous topic of male vanity in its many many manifestations.
But I could not resist the topic of Japan’s new-found independence in foreign policy after reading this title, with its hautiness and resentment mixed with a “stiffening” attraction. It seems to suggest, “I hate you, and you’re turning me on.”
Apparently the US felt extremely comfortable with the LDP’s nearly 50 years rule and are chafing under new policies brought by current Prime Minister Hatoyama, whose DP won in a landslide last August. Renegotiating what the US calls “the Alliance” may mean Japan no longer accepts military occupation and the assumption that Japan will join each and every US war.
Despite Hatoyama’s clear campaign calls for a more independent Japan, the US government and foreign policy experts claim that the new Japanese government is “inexperienced,” unsure of what it wants, and perhaps not serious about its campaign promises. In fact, I think the US is flipping over Japan’s re-opening Okinawa base discussions, ending the refueling mission in support of the permanent US war effort in Afghanistan, and new overtures to Asia that do not include the US.
There have even been ominous reports of arriving late to a state dinner (the Hatoyamas in Pittsburgh) and skipping a welcome dinner at the Japan Defense Ministry (Robert Gates, US military chief).
It is sad how little change Obama has created. Not so different from Bush’s economic team and his military policies that insist on servile allies and endless foreign wars. But maybe the “stiffening relations” can in the long run reduce some tensions.
On second thought I am not sure this post strayed too far from male vanity. What do you think?
I wonder what Japan’s new First Lady told Michelle Obama? Did she invite her to visit Venus on the UFO together? To eat the sun with her and her husband? Do you think Miyuki-sama’s stockings are too white? Maybe she should have considered platform shoes!
My mom has been visiting Japan for the past 10 days. On our first day in Tokyo, she asked me to take photos of the Harajuko kids near Meiji Jingo. I agreed on the condition that she be in the photo. The kids at first seemed embarrassed when I introduced the foreign woman as my mother, but quickly got into their poses.