Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Checking Up On The Humanization Of Hashimoto Toru

For all those who believed that Osaka City mayor Hashimoto Toru would take the punch to the gut of the revelation of a 2006-08 affair with a bar hostess with scarcely a break in his stride, it is now been eight full days since the Opinionated One has tweeted on his Twitter account.

Today we have news of the notoriously judgmental Hashimoto will be giving those whom he previously disparaged a second chance.

In 2008, during his term as governor of Osaka Prefecture, Hashimoto, Osaka native though he is, attended his first bunraku performance.

His response to viewing this cultural treasure, kept alive by generations of musicians, joruri chanters and master puppeteers:
"I will not go a second time. If the performers don't change and start responding to the demands of the audience, I cannot accept (the Bunraku Kyokai's application for public support)."
And freeze public funding for the association he did, when he became Osaka City's mayor.

However, yesterday, Hashimoto let out that he will be attending a second performance of the bunraku tomorrow (July 26) -- on the grounds that he had heard that the bunraku artists had made significant efforts to promote the art form and increase attendance, such as standing outside of railway stations inviting commuters to become patrons.

It seems that for the new, more humble Hashimoto, a solid effort to do better is good enough to make him break a vow.

The performance he will be attending on Thursday? The war horse of the repertoire, what La Bohéme is to opera and Romeo and Juliet is to know what is coming...wait for it...The Love Suicides At Sonezaki (Sonezaki shinju). (J)

I do not expect...but heck, there is always hope...that the giri versus ninjo conflict therein gets him thinking about his own situation in a new light.

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