The Zen of twisted steel: thoughts of Japan

The only country to ever suffer an attack by nuclear weapons might now be facing the worst peacetime nuclear contamination in history. It’s not Chernobyl yet, but Japan is an island nation;  there aren’t a lot of  places to hide.

Japanese serenity garden

In 65 years, the Japanese pretty much became the people they attacked in 1941 and who  dropped atom bombs on them in 1946; they embraced the Western way of life.

Theirs is such an ancient culture –  I wonder if there aren’t some today in Japanese universities or think tanks re-examining all of it, wondering  did they choose the right path?

Westernization has nothing to do with the fact of the earthquake or the tsunami of course –  God laughs when God laughs. But I think the ugliness of the aftermath, the horror of twisted steel and broken infrastructure and now, radiation turned to poison the builders, I think these things offend beauty and serenity, thinks the Japanese have always treasured.

Just a thought.

UPDATE April 4, 2011: A writer I admire, James Howard Kunstler (been perusing his site today) pretty much said the same thing about Japan and it’s esthetic. (He said it six days after me, think he got it here? Heh, fat chance.

8 responses to “The Zen of twisted steel: thoughts of Japan

  1. I was just thinking last night how hideous the nuclear reactor problems must be for the Japanese given this history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is heart breaking to watch.

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  2. Not to make light of a tragedy, but ” God laughs when God laughs. ” I was expecting , when Elvis laughs .

    Anyway I totally disagree with the following, ” In 65 years, the Japanese pretty much became the people they attacked in 1941 and who dropped atom bombs on them in 1946; they embraced the Western way of life. ”

    Japan began ‘ embracing ‘ the Western way of life in 1853 when Commodore Perry brought his ships to Japan . They embraced the militarism that was Western culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    In 1946 having given up the military adventurism needed to supply their large population with food and raw materials, the decisions they made concerning nuclear power, and re-industrialization were the only ones open to them. To suggest that going back to some romanticized past was an option in 1946 is in my humble opinion not valid .

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    • I’m actually saying I’d not be surprised to see a ‘back to the earth’ movement, a ‘back to the traditional culture’ movement. No doubt it would fail.

      But 60 years isn’t a long time – not even a lifetime – it’s pretty close in time ot the ‘old ways’. It’s not forgotten.

      Anyway, it’s pure specultation on my part.

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  3. Pingback: The Zen of twisted steel: thoughts of Japan…Whatever Works - Politicaldog101.Com

  4. Ms. Holland,

    I’m sure Japanese culture has a large rural back to nature component to it . But on a practical measure, Japan just has a far too large population to give up all of it’s evil nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas infrastructure . That is what you guys always fail to recognize.

    In the United States all of this green turn back the clock life style stuff requires us to drastically reduce our population densities . I do not see progressives volunteering to commit mass suicide . Maybe they make up for it with the abortions .

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    • Leave it to you Alan to make this political. And may I add, mean.

      In the US, we have never been ‘of the earth’. We were born on the eve of the Industrial Revolution and we rode that train right to today. We’re a very young country – still quite rough around the edges. Japan is a thousands year old ancient culture. The strength of the traditions and VALUES of those thousands of years must still resonate. They still hold it within them. If you doubt that, just look at the Middle East.

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  5. Ms. Holland,

    ” We’re a very young country – still quite rough around the edges. Japan is a thousands year old ancient culture. The strength of the traditions and VALUES of those thousands of years must still resonate. They still hold it within them. If you doubt that, just look at the Middle East. ”

    I agree. The Japanese are a much more racially and culturally homogeneous nation, while we are a collection of mutts . Our collective history is the history of all the nations that sent us their wretched refuse. The native Americans should have never let that first Pilgrim off of the boat .

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    • We are indeed mutts and they are indeed homogeneous but they’re going to have to allow immigratain pretty soon or there will be no young people left in the country. And that means no future.

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