Sunday, May 06, 2012

Missed Something Here

Those in the know, whoever you are, could you explain when koi became, in the words of Yuri Kageyama of AP:
Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation's 50 nuclear reactors Saturday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol.

Except for the coincidental occurrence of the shutdown of the Tomari #3 reactor on the Tango no Sekku holiday, is there some other reason heretofore not widely stated for carp streamers or the giant images of any other fish being "potent anti-nuclear" symbols? Please let me know in comments.

Furthermore, is it not a wee bit misleading to refer to a crowd of 5,500 in Tokyo as "thousands of Japanese"? A crowd of 5,500 is less than five Odakyu express trains pulling into Shinjuku.

By the way, this week's heavy rains wiped out the display of Japan's largest koi nobori (J), trimmed parades and eliminated numerous scheduled outdoor celebrations of spring (J) -- as well as a hacking out an unhealthy chunk of the seasonal revenues of major tourist sites.

Later - Here are some anti-nuclear protest/celebration crowd figures from other major cities:

Sapporo: 450
Nagoya: 250
Osaka: 600
Fukuoka: 50


Jan Moren said...

5500 _is_ "thousands of Japanese". five and a half thousands to be precise.

I get as riled up as anybody when journalists use numbers purely as a way to add emphasis. Had they written "hundreds of thousands" or "millions" or "uncountable" I'd be upset. Had they written "hundreds" I'd be equally miffed.

But I can see no reason at all to be anything but happy and grateful when a journalist manages - possibly by accident - to use a numerical expression absolutely correctly.

panÓptiko said...

LOL! What a Koi opportunist.

Thanks, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Unless the koi looked like Blinky the three eyed fish, it must be the coincidence of holidays.


MTC said...

Herr Morén -

You are correct: the statement is technically true.

However, my brain craves balance, a paragraph on the order of "Yet while public opinion polls show a majority of Japanese supporting the continued shutdown of the Japan's reactors and the Tokyo anti-nuclear gathering attracted a significant number of participants, activism as a whole remains low-key. Fewer than 10,000 persons in total chose to participate in rallies held nationwide."

Anonymous said...

A little late, as a symbol could be a throwback to post WWII anti-nuclear protests. After the Bikini atoll nuclear test, concern about irradiated fish was one of the big motivators for grassroots anti-nuclear protests. (Although I don't think fish were ever used as a symbol in protests)

...but in that context, koi wouldn't make much sense. So it could just be a coincidence.