As I entered the station to get on the Yamanote Line this evening, there were announcements about there having been a "jinshin-jiko" (passenger action, which generally means suicide by jumping in front of a train), so the Shinjuku - Ikebukuro bound trains were stopped. After a bit of back-tracking and some trouble, I managed to get on a Saikyo Line train in Osaki. It was pretty intensely crowded though, so I got off in Ebisu and hung out there for a bit, before taking the Hibiya (subway) Line to Hibiya Station (near Yurakucho, etc.), finally getting home close to 10:00 p.m.
(2009/01/22) - Then I sat down in front of the computer and barely managed to wrote the above... before falling asleep in my chair in front of the keyboard. Now it's morning and it's time to begin another day. I really hate the way yesterday consumed itself without my having managed to write anything. Either there are too few hours in the day or I'm spending too many of them on the trains and etc.
Okay - all in a rush here, but here's a quote from the the old Japanese book about Japan (NIPPON - A Charted Survey of Japan - 1936) that I picked up recently. Considering the direction the country went in, it seems interesting...:
"It is unfortunate, however, that there has of late years emerged in our midst a number of those who, though extremely small in number, hold views different from what is common to most of our people. The more radical of this group scheme to supplant the existing polity of the country by a system of Communism. The radical movement of Communism, in fact, has been declining since some years ago. In its place there has now sprung forth a group of reactionary minds which propose to enforce under the slogan of nationalist conservatism ideas as radically right as those of the others are left. Nothing surprising to be sure, if a fraction of the 70 million population have turned heretics; but they must be well taken into the hands of the authority because of the possibility of misleading minds which can know no better."
It's so easy for a country or group of people to fall into one extreme or another - and so hard to get things right. Same as for individuals. The thing that makes me stop and think about this, is how one person, or a small group of people, when moving in a constructive direction, is an inspiring thing... but how the same process also works in a negative way. Best for more people to think deeply about the world they live in, and not leave it to chance for a leader to appear in their midst. Such a method is a gamble that leads to great heights at times, and horrible depths at other times....
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon