Hope Vampires

Now that Tokyo Yamanote line train cars have replaced most of the ad poster spaces with display screens showing endlessly looping silent video commercials, catchy slogans are more important than ever. Most of the ads seem to be plastic surgery for gals and body hair removal for guys. There are also spring seasonal ads serving up companies enticing new university grads to come work and create a future that finally puts to rest the ‘lost 30 years’. Maybe it’s a black joke playing off a cultural trope but the context it references isn’t funny.

Excuse me but the so called Japanese ‘lost decade’ turned into the ‘lost 20 years’, and is now the ‘lost 30 years’. 20 years from now Japan will be dismissed as the country of that ‘lost 50 years’ with no future. Excuse me again for saying this is all bullshit, created and sustained by the media because it’s catchy copy for whatever Japan story they want to write.

Having lived and experienced the Japanese bubble economy firsthand, it was incredibly destructive of culture values. Everything went out the window in the pursuit of money. And when the money went poof, what was destroyed couldn’t be rebuilt. Anybody who thinks the Japanese bubble era is the high bar that Japan can never live down if it can’t live up to that surreal standard…is out of their mind.

So ask yourself something: who benefits when the people of Japan are never allowed to feel good about themselves, their country, or their future, living in a constant barrage of western media messaging, amplified by the domestic media, that says, “you are a nation of has beens”?

It’s a form of mind control that Japanese who fought in the war and witnessed how the game of defeat played out in the postwar world order put in place the GHQ, were intimately familiar with: Japan must be destroyed from the inside so that the people never have the confidence to claim forbidden subjects like the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are war crimes against humanity that the United States must compensate the people of Japan for.

That will never happen of course. The United States is like my older brothers: they never say sorry. More importantly even when they say sorry, they never do sorry. And while the ‘lost XX years’ cultural trope that media uses to define Japan may not appear to be on that level, it is worse: it robs younger generations of hope. To me that’s not only a sin, it’s also self defeating. Like a curse that rebounds and goes back to originator, hope denied in others is denied in you. One of the central teachings of Nichiren Shonin is that if you want peace and prosperity for yourself, you must pray for the peace and prosperity for others first. That’s another way of saying, if others around you are full of hope, hope comes to you too.