Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Empty Capital
In the lunar calendar, the Tenth Month of the year was Kannazuki (神無月) the "month without kami" -- when all the kami of this blessed would leave their shrines, rocks, trees or wherever it was they were residing for a month-long mega-convocation in Izumo...
[I could start on a shaggy dog story about how Izumo is the hometown of Iwakuni Tetsundo, the member of parliament who in 2009 asked the Aso Cabinet for a clarification on the pronunciation of this blessed land's name, and how Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1577 refused to grant the Green Breeze party's Secretary General Kamei Akiko's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Korenori's request for control of Izumo, promising him instead, in a letter written on a fan, to make him lord over Ryukyus, and how Korenori's attempt to capitalize on this promise provoked the Shimazu of Satsuma, who had control of half of the island chain stretching from Kyushu to Taiwan, to assert greater control over the entire Ryukyuan kingdom -- modern day Okinawa Prefecture -- which...but that would be just too me.]
The Golden Week holidays, which begin today and will last until May 5, might as well be called Seijikanashu - the "week without politicians" -- as everybody who is anybody is leaving town. The prime minister will be on a tour of Russia, Turkey and the Gulf. The rest of the Cabinet will be scattered all over the globe:
Finance Minister Aso Taro: India, Sri Lanka
General Affairs Minister Shindo Yoshitaka: Indonesia
Foreign Affairs Minister Kishida Fumio: Mexico, Peru, Panama, U.S.
Education Minister Shimomura Hakubun: U.S., Ireland, Great Britain
Agriculture Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa: Vietnam, Indonesia
Economics and Trade Minister Motegi Toshimitsu: U.S., Colombia, Brazil
Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori: U.S.
Reconstruction Minister Nemoto Takumi: Ukraine (!)
Public Safety Commissioner Furuya Keiji: U.S.
Frontiers* Minister: Yamamoto Ichita: U.S.
Admistrative Reform Minister Amari Akira: Vietnam, Singapore
(Link - J)
Me, myself? I will be visiting with an old and dear friend, a guardian and preserver of the arts of her hometown. We nearly lost her this winter.
Shisaku will be on extended hiatus.
* No, "Frontiers Minister" is not Yamamoto's formal title. But it should be, given that he is:
Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy
Minister of State for Space Policy
Minister in charge of Information Technology Policy
Minister in charge of Ocean Policy and Territorial Issues