Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shots in the cold wind

Last night I braved the cold wind and the snow and I strutted up to the pachinko district on the 102 in Hirosaki. I gave it a new name along the way actually; inspiration brought about largely by talking to myself. Come to think of it, that's how most of my inspiration is generated - through talking to myself. Anyway, I now call it the 'Horrendous waste of electric on the 102'.

Walking along I tried to constitute an argument against pachinko in terms, not of cultural decay, but of environmental monstrosity. All that electric for what? Some interesting photos maybe?

Sometimes, and this isn't just in Japan, I feel people cling to their wasteful habits and customs just to savour or invoke the feeling of being filthy rich, like they were back in the 80s. It is a common impression in Japan, but also in other nations where arrogance is rife, Britain included.

What I just wrote above might have been brought on by a discussion I had with Bigboy sensei this morning. The things he said to me about the Chinese and the Koreans got a little bit too childish earlier today, and it left me with a bad tone in my ears. After that I made the mistake of reading excerpts from Motoori Norinaga and Hirata Atsutane, two Edo period scholars who were outright racists, especially in their opinions of the Chinese. All this led to an outburst of wishing that Japanese people would just grow up and see further than their noses.

I really thought I'd be suffering from a cold today because last night's snow was wet, and it dampened my clothes as I walked. I felt cold, and this morning when I awoke I could feel that symptomatic snitch in the back of my throat. Anyhow, as the day has progressed that snitch has disappeared and I feel fine now.

This is what I really like about Aomori ken. 'Do Not Dump Your Snow Here!' Now there's an idea. Surely there must be a way to harness energy from the colossal snowfalls in this region. I might just spend the rest of my life figuring out how.