All political "leaders" are expressions of the people who elect them. Ultimately, it is the "Many" who enable the "Few". So, the Japanese have only themselves to blame for idiots like Prime Minister Abe. Just as Americans have only themselves to blame for George W Bush, Obama -- and -- next -- probably the Wicked Witch of the White House -- "The Hillary".
In the case of Japan, it appears that there are some people somewhere in the government who do realize --on some primal political level -- that new national symbol should not be a pair of pink panties (used) with Hello Kitty embroidered on them. As a result, also seek to redefine Japanese "Soft Power" in terms of traditional culture.
In this way, the pubescent sexual confusion of ad company manufactured crypto youth culture can be balanced by something that looks boring and mature enough -- and therefore respectable enough for the Box People mentioned in our last blog post.
Yes, tea ceremony....
Now, one tends to forget that Sen no Rikyu saw tea ceremony as a celebration of Death.
People in kimono, sipping green mud and staring and vacant...er...spiritual. One of the points of chanyu is not to think. It's a zen thing. Also a characteristic of zombies.
Yes, I know -- I am shameless cynic.
Tea cermony is just very Japanese, you exclaim. It expresses Mono no aware. Everything has its season --everything is ephemeral. You're right and I need a new smartphone -- every 6 months.
Is modern tea ceremony Japanese or just post industrial? Consumerism insists on ephemerality, too. If your stuff is old, (and it always is) -- don't think -- because you must face the Void...
Don't think -- buy!
Guess why Steve Jobs was into zen.
Thinking raises such awkward questions: like, how we are going to survive the next 20 years? Climate change, famine, war, newer smartphones....
And why are the building gas chambers next to our Potemkin Village?
Zombies are in fashion for a reason: we can identify with the walking dead because we are them...
...which accounts for some of the idiocy of our lives. If you don't use your brain, somebody might as well eat it.
Dead traditions are good for the Walking Dead (us).
Ask the British: who are masters of zombie culture. Is, for example, the Queen really alive?
The Japanese don't really like old things. They like "now" things, so every tradition has to be somehow "trendy". In this sense, there is clearly a tie-in between Japan's uncritical obsession with costume play and immature ritual behavior -- and reinvented Edo period traditions, which require you to wear either kimono or fundoshi.
Somehow the whole nation branding thing just reflects the madness of Japanese civilization -- and ours.