Finally a Japanese parliamentary inquiry has concluded that last year’s nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was “a profoundly man-made disaster — that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.” But this isn’t really news for me. It’s just a delayed official confirmation of a bad and inhuman handling by the Japanese government. I still believe that the Japanese government had the knowledge and capacity at the time, when the disaster happened, to do something about it. At least they could have closed the nuclear plant instead of keeping it alive. More about this topic in this video by Democracy Now!.
How did I fall in love with Japan? What made me go to Japan in 1974?
#1Two movies: James Bond’s You Only Live Twice and Akira Kurosawa’s The 7 Samurai. Both movies inspired me to make my own research about this country and its people: about the old and modern Japan of that time. Before watching these movies I had already started to practice Japanese martial arts, such as Judo, Karate and Kendo. At that time Germans and Europeans in general had no interest in Japan. During my school days nobody taught or talked about the country “of the rising sun.”
Thirty years in Japan didn’t teach me what Samurai culture is about. After studying, practising Kendo and becoming a high rank Kendo-ka I found out that there is no Samurai culture in Japanese everyday life. A couple of days ago I heard that Kendo is taught again as a school subject at Japanese public schools. Why I don’t know. Maybe there are some people there who still believe that Kendo could be taught in a democratic fashion and could be an educational tool to make (young) Japanese aware of their roots. Maybe this video could be helpful as well.
“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.
Daniel H. Rosen was recently featured in a Japanese news story about the Earth Day Celebration in Sado (Western Japan), but what makes him particularly interesting is that he is an American who was put in charge of this celebration after years of involvement on the Japanese arts scene. This appointment also coincided with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit in March.
I had never met Daniel H. Rosen when I lived in Japan, but he was there when I was there. Last year in December I got a newsletter from Rosen which made me contact him to find out how he found out about DooBeeDoo. He told me that he found DooBeeDoo via internet just by chance and put us sporadically in the mailing list.