Monday, May 14, 2007

Quote of the morning

The Japan Observer has a wonderful summation today:

If Japan is to revise its constitution, it should do so under a prime minister who is capable of soberly assessing the matter, not one who is utterly consumed by the idea of revision as redemption.
You can read the rest of the post here.

I am not sure I would agree with the Observer's characterization of the Chōshu side of the Sat-Chō oligarchy--and clicking through on the link, I am damn sure I would never agree with Okazaki Hisahiko's.

Had I all the time in the world, I would want to produce the definitive biography of Itō Hirobumi and his dream of empire. What a character! What a life! What a death!

It seems to me that following his loss of influence in the Cabinet to Yamagata Aritomo and his protégés, Itō sought redemption of his own in taking on the job of Governor-General of Korea, possibly trying to modernize Korea in line with the vision he has been unable to realize in Japan. In this he was a conservative precursor of the idealistic leftist intellectuals who worked in the research division of the South Manchurian Railway Company because they could not pursue their reform ideals at home.

Drifting back from the 19th century, despite his being the representative for Shimonoseki, Abe Shinzō is not a man of Chōshu. If he is anything, he is a man of Kichijōji.

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