Friday, November 08, 2013

So Fake - A Senryu on Abe Shinzo and Fukushima

Every day this past week, yet another domestic retail icon has announced that food outlets under its roof or under its management have been making false claims as to the ingredients in their dishes. The revelations have stuck a carving knife into Japan's service industry's reputation as a place of dedication to providing the customer with only the very best.

Yesterday, it was the Hotel Okura's turn. (Link)

The scandal started with revelations at Hankyu Hotels in Osaka, where the first discrepancies in between what was described on the menus and what actually was in the kitchen came to light. Hankyu president Desaki Hiroshi, in a desperate effort to shield his organization from lawsuits and/or prosecution for fraud, provided the scandal with its catchphrase:
"I do not believes these were misrepresentations (giso). These were mistaken public announcements (gohyoshi). This was not something where the goal was to fool the customers and gain a profit from it."

(Link - J)
No, no, if you list particular ingredients on a menu, and accept money for the food you have served, that substitutions were made without the customer's knowledge could never have been for the purpose of gaining a profit.


One Hakkaku Shurin of Sosa City, Chiba Prefecture, keeping track of the deceptions that really matter, submitted to the Tokyo Shimbun's Saturday topical senryu poetry feature the following 17-syllable gem:
偽装なの *

"Burokku" to iu
gohyoshi mo
giso na no

that mistaken public announcement
was a misrepresentation too
Now who has said anything about something be blocked, recently?
Abe again insists that radioactive water at Fukushima plant is 'completely blocked'
Mainichi Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has again repeated his insistence that radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are being kept within the bay there.

"We are monitoring radiation levels, and they are far below the safety limits for radioactive materials. The effects of the contaminated water are being completely blocked," Abe said on Oct. 22 at the House of Representatives' Budget Committee, denying that radioactive materials are affecting the outside ocean. The remarks were made in response to a question by the Japanese Communist Party's Akira Kasai.

At the International Olympic Committee Session in September, Abe said that "the effects (of the radioactive water) are being completely blocked to inside of the bay" and "the situation is under control." However, in questioning during the Lower House plenary session on Oct. 16, he didn't use the word "completely" and qualified his "under control" statement with "overall," saying, "The effects are blocked to within the bay. Overall the situation is under control."

Oh, yeah, that "burokku" -- oops, his bad!

I wonder whether it is the penumbra of the Imperial House's patronage of poetry, highlighted in a recent presentation at Temple University Japan by Professor Ben-Ami Shillony (Link) that provides the safe harbor allowing senryu to be the acceptable outlet for sarcastic hackdowns of our purported betters...

* Source: Tokyo Shimbun of 2 November 2013, page 5.

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