Only one of the national dailies had a political cartoon today...and boy is it tightly wound.
OK, to understand this cartoon, you might need to know that
1) in the recent earthquakes in Niigata, damage was greatest where sandy soils underwent liquification
2) the national high school baseball tournament started today
3) former Education Minister Kosaka Kenji said on Tuesday that in the people's judgment, Prime Minister Abe is the pitcher who served up a home run and now has to take a trip to the showers
4) "harden" (katameru) is used both for physical hardening and "tightening up support" within a political party
5) Abe's rise to the presidency of the LDP was led by the youth wing of the LDP
6) "younger hands" (wakate) is a shorthand used both to describe youthful members of the Diet (wakate giin) and young members of a sport team (chiimu no wakate)
7) the deep spiritual experience associated with gathering and shaping dirt with one's hands on the sacred grounds of Kōshien Stadium
(Oh, I wish I was kidding about that last one. Sometimes one has to wonder whether or not the summer high school baseball tournament is really all about young men crying and picking up handfuls of dirt)
8) younger members of the House of Representatives, many of whom face an electoral Sekigahara (Waterloo, Dien Bien Phu) if Abe stays on as PM, have been among those making the loudest calls for Abe to stand down
...which seems to be demanding a heck of a lot of cultural fluff between one's ears in order to understand a cartoon.
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