Monday, February 25, 2013

Just Two More

As regards the Abe-Obama meeting of minds over the weekend, I failed to recommend the look-behind-the-scenes of the run up to the summit provided by Peter Ennis:

"Obama to embrace Japan, not Abe"

My mistake.

The post reveals the quiet but quite obvious desperation of the Abe camp, which needed the summit to counter domestic inertia on number of issues including the Futenma Replacement Facility, Japan's participation in negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership and Japan's becoming a signatory to the Hague Treaty on child abduction (if I see another essay uncritically accepting accusations of domestic violence as sufficient grounds for dismissing the crime of child abduction, my head will explode -- not that it has not already exploded in response to the public debate over the appropriateness of corporal punishment).

On what can be seen as the other side of the ledger, I was waiting for a commentary on the passing of Donald Richie that confronted the issues of power, knowledge, cultural transmission and sexuality he embodied.

Out of respect for the dead, no such commentary appeared.

It was left to the excrutiatingly humble Richard Lloyd Parry to fill in the void, through a Facebook link to his scintitilating 2006 examination of Richie's The Japan Journals. (Link)

A laudatory, yet damning obituary, published six years before the fact.

If you should read but a single piece of writing about Japan today, let it be Parry's essay.

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