Tuesday, October 17, 2006

L'Age d'Or

The other day...ok, Friday...I went completely off the rails in a rant about right wing heroine Sakurai Yoshiko, commentator ordinaire.

I know that Ms. Sakurai, bless her hair, is not worthy of a moment of my time.

However, today, to torment me, she unleashed, upon the back page of the Fuji Sankei Groups's business paper Business i an op-ed so damned scary I was left shaking.

While it is uncouth to post entire articles of copyrighted material, even to a site such as mine that boasts no ads, I have feel the common weal requires a broad dissemination of this material.

Out of cussedness or good sense, the online version of Business i does not carry the op-ed. The pseudo-blogsite http://blog.yoshiko-sakurai.jp/, where the posts all seem to be reproductions of her magazine articles, has neither the text nor a link to it.

(Whether blog.yoshiko-sakurai.jp is a fan site or a real Sakurai Office production, I do not know)

Anyway, in the interests of exploring the places where the New Nationalist brain can wander when set loose out of sight of the major dailies and magazines, I append the ninth installment of her series Kagiri naku aishii kono kuni ("Oh, this country! How I love it without bound!):

"Nintokutei no chisei"
("The Reign of the Emperor Nintoku")

Courtesy: Business i
Click on the image to open in a large printable format

Forgive me for being blunt--but any public figure who

1) accepts the depictions of the emperors in the Nihon Shoki as basically factual

2) believes the Kofun Era to have been a time of enlightened rule where the good emperors thought deeply about the happiness of the little people and

3) believes that the construction of the kofun came about in a sort of mass celebration of civic mindedness and plucky volunteerism (Not for us the slaves who built the pyramids of Giza, no!)

that--dare I say it--that person a threat to Japan's collective sanity.

Even as a metaphor, the Kofun Era is a hideous choice.

The entire classical narrative--which is all we have to go on-- is a misrepresentation, where the commonfolk have no voice of their own, only the lines assigned them by the court scribes.

I invite your critical or not-so-critical judgment of Ms. Sakurai's essay.

Later - This post has been edited for greater clarity.

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