Friday, October 13, 2006

De Re Sakurai Yoshiko

I was trying to determine what it is about Sakurai Yoshiko that drives me up the wall.

I hated the thought that it might be her appearance--that I am creeped out by her choice of foundation (I think it is Shiseidō's "Funereal Beige") and by the mind-boggling amounts of hairspray she must use (if the natural covering on our heads were meant to billow out in an immobile shell like a frozen spinnaker, Amaterasu would have endowed our follicles with little carbon nanotube factories).

I did not want to believe it is her stiff side-to-side head movements.

I would surely be disappointed in myself if it were her alarming voice: a measured, soft and ultimately menacing sibilance that gives Harada Mieko's Lady Kaede a run for her money in the "Yikes!" department.

When I find something distasteful, I do not want it to be simply because of style. I want my unhappines to arise out of a substantive disagreement.

To try to figure out whether I had a real beef with Sakurai's thinking, or whether it was just Sakurai's atmospherics that upset me, I decided to read her writings.

A not very difficult task as the Fuji Sankei Group let her run amok in the pages of Business Sankei every day last week.

So I dutifully photocopied five of her recent essays, and sighed at the prospect of having to pick through her expostulations.

I caught a break yesterday (October 12), however, when I chanced upon Ms. Sakurai's contribution to that day's Sankei Shimbun :

"Abe shushō ni mōsu: Nipponkoku no daisenryaku egake" ("I Tell Prime Minister Abe: Outline the Japanese State's Great Strategy!") [no link]

Boy did that ever sound militant in the English...almost...PRC/DPRK-level militant.

But I digress.

Reading through the pummeling Sakurai-san gives the Chinese government for its fecklessness and the Japanese government for its spinelessness, I realized what it is about her that drives me bananas.

Her consistency.

Her ugly, triumphant glee at wading through the inconsistencies of others, grabbing hold of them and holding them up, wriggling, for all to see.

Paragraph after paragraph of slopping through the reversals, revisions and changes of others, then contrasting them with her (or Japan's, she elides the two sometimes) adamant, unwavering certainty.

It was in that instant I recalled Emerson's dictum:

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
A foolish consistency...an inhuman flaying of others for their failings, contemptuous of the historical context within which those failings occurred, followed by the suggestion of a simple, clear and impossible-to-implement counterproposal whose only purpose is to humiliate.

Now that..that is worthy of my dyspepsia.

Or am I just completely off-base?

Later - Due to exhaustion and anger, the original version of the above included two indefensible accusations. I have since removed them.

2 comments:

Jill said...

MTC:
I have just come across your blog.
Who are you?
Unless that part of the site is down, I can't find your profile or home page
Jill

MTC said...

I am MTC.

I have neither profile nor homepage.

Rather annoying, I'm sure.

My apologies.