Saturday, November 15, 2008

Too Clever By Half

This cartoon has too much going for it. Not posting it would be criminal.

Prime Minister Asō Tarō, dressed in an outlandish military uniform, gets plunked on the head by a fragment falling out of kūji - the unofficial nickname of the Air Self Defense Forces ( jieitai) which is, appropriately, floating in the sky. Unfortunately, without the missing piece, the characters now read kūhaku meaning "vacuum" -- highlighting the utter absence of oversight and authority over the officers of the Air Self Defense Forces exposed by the Tamogami Affair. Indeed, the piece of the kūji that has fallen out is labeled bunmintōsei -- "civilian control of the military."

"Oh!" cries the citizen in the tower, "Supreme Commander and Oversight Officer of the Cabinet. The protector of the skies (sora no mamori - i.e., the Air Self Defense Forces) has..."

At the bottom, just to add to the surfeit of references, is the caption:

The Seiji (Politics) , ji (ASDF), haku (Vacuum) Dominoes."

The word play seemingly being the shared characters tumbling from one word into the other like falling dominoes.

I know, it is too clever by half.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun, morning edition, November 11, 2008

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, one these days, I want to learn japanese so I could make these insane puns.