Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
Daniel H. Rosen response to my article of To D.H. Rosen’s Kodo’s Earth Celebration (Japan) PR: is Japan really OK? (03/11/2011)
“Last month I posted a video of a Niigata Television news report that featured my involvement with a live-streaming project at Earth Celebration 2011. I then received a response from Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi from the “DooBeeDooBeeDoo” blog who took issue with my suggestion that “Japan is OK.” Mr. Ladjevardi makes some important points so I thought I would share his blog entry in my newsletter. However, I would also like to explain my intention was only to show the world that Japan is still a vibrant place where life is celebrated (as opposed to being a nuclear wasteland), not that everything is rosy and the dangers aren’t real. Yes, Japan has a lot to learn from past mistakes and the nuclear issue is very serious, but when I said “Japan is OK,” I meant it in the context that the piece was intended– i.e. that it is OK for tourists to come back, which I do believe to be true. For those of us that actually live here, the long-term affects of elevated radiation may very well be a health risk, but the idea that people outside of Japan have a better understanding of the situation than those of us on the ground is ridiculous if not infuriating. Peace out!”
This commentary appeared in Rosen’s “TokyoDex Newsletter １１月号” which I subscribe to. Good to know that he read my article and thought about it. Unfortunately he didn’t respond to me or to DooBeeDooBeeDoo directly, although I had emailed him directly to inform him about my post. So I guess he didn’t want to speak with me directly. Nonetheless,…at least I got some response from him.
His arguing proved that people like Rosen, i.e. Japanese and foreigners living in Japan who are involved or active in media work, don’t want to understand whatever they do: they are journalists and do journalist work. Rosen wrote above”… my intention was only to show the world that Japan is still a vibrant place where life is celebrated (as opposed to being a nuclear wasteland), not that everything is rosy and the dangers aren’t real.” Sorry I didn’t get this message when I watched the documentary.
In fact, and on the contrary, why wasn’t the tsunami disaster and its victims mentioned in the documentary and your statements? You and your festival should have demonstrated and stated that you want the government to kill the nuclear plants immediately, clean up the Fukushima area from the waste, and protect people from contaminated food. You should have invited scientists to speak about the radiation leaks and current plant conditions at public panels. You should have invited famous Japanese musicians, artists, activists and the mayor of Minami Soma City to let them speak what went wrong in this country. And I am sure, if all these VIPs love their country, they would have done this for free. Major TV channels would have also come to broadcast these panels. If not, then you would know that they work with the government. After these social-political activities and demonstrations and heated discussions, music and other arts could have been used as a way to relax and rest for the next fight.
You guys really missed a big chance to celebrate Japan and the Earth. I think with this kind of concept and PR more Japanese and foreigners would have come. A good example is Occupy Wall Street here in NY. Politics and music go hand in hand. And this was missing at your festival Mr. Rosen!
And one more mentioning: “… but the idea that people outside of Japan have a better understanding of the situation than those of us on the ground is ridiculous if not infuriating.” Well a couple of days ago I met a Japanese couple from Tokyo who got lost in the NY subway. After helping them out, my wife and I talked to them about the present situation in Japan. When my wife asked them how Japan’s doing the husband responded, saying: “Tokyo is OK and nothing to worry.” I was shocked when he said this. He talked about himself and his fuckin’ town Tokyo rather than about the Fukushima victims, ignoring that Tokyo is still polluted. When I asked him about Japan’s management by the present government and the ruling party, he only laughed and said nothing. Mr. Rosen, are you telling me that this couple really knows what has been happening in Japan? And if they know, are they ignorant and selfish people? Do they belong to “those of us on the ground”?
Something else I know is that there are some famous and not famous people who had the guts to tell in public how they feel about the mess in their country, risking their lives and jobs. And I dedicate this post to them, and especially to the mayor of Minami Soma City.
I recommend Mr. Rosen to watch the following videos (http://youtu.be/Yi57pdpFugk and http://youtu.be/70ZHQ–cK40) to make him understand that his festival missed a big chance to speak for and about the Japanese people.
And here is my music contribution to this post.