AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

No touch

Posted by ampontan on Monday, September 27, 2010

I say a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah pressure gonna drop on you
I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it
Know that you were doing wrong.
– Pressure Drop, Toots and the Maytals (Frederick Hibbert)

THERE IS a class of expressions in the Japanese language known as wasei eigo, or English made in Japan. While the expressions consist entirely of English words, none of them are used by native speakers of English.

Sengoku Yoshito: I know nothingk...

One example is the expression “no touch”, which means “I’m not involved at all”. For example, years ago, when I was an English teacher, some parents would tell me they never checked to see if the children did their homework or kept up with their studies. (They considered that to be the teacher’s responsibility.) They spoke entirely in Japanese, but inserted the wasei eigo, “no touch”, to describe their approach.

As astonishing as it may seem, the government of Japan is claiming that their involvement with the decision to release Zhan Qixiong, the captain of the Chinese fishing vessel arrested by the Coast Guard near the Senkaku islets, is “no touch”.

Prime Minister Kan Naoto and Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji were in New York to attend the UN blabfest, so Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku Yoshito was responsible for handling affairs in Tokyo. (More than a few people in Japan think he’s running the show even when the prime minister is in town.) He held a news conference on the evening of the 24th after it was announced the Chinese captain would be released. He said:

After the prosecutor’s decision, I received word from the Ministry of Justice that the Naha prosecutors would announce the release this afternoon at a news conference. It was a report that (the detained captain) would be released as a result of the prosecutors’ investigation…I understand the comprehensive judgment of the prosecutors.

He then added a phrase for which he and his party are being skinned alive–by all the opposition parties (with the exception of the Social Democrats), some members of his own party, including former Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, and the news media. He said:

The decision was the prosecutor’s alone. I acknowledge that.

Those last three words are the killer. The expression he used in Japanese has the tinge of legalese, which makes it that much worse. The Cabinet’s insistence that they were not involved, and their explanation for it, has stupefied the political class and those who cover it.

One Japanese commentator summed up what seems to be the prevailing sentiment:

You’d have to be a sucker to believe that.

Yet the rest of the government is backing him up. Prime Minister Kan insists that’s exactly what happened. Said Justice Minister Yanagida Minoru:

It is not true that I exercised authority as Justice Minister based on Article 14 of the Public Prosecutor’s Office Act.

Even Foreign Minister Maehara, known to favor a more robust approach to defense and foreign policy, went along with it, though he talks as if he’s trying to avoid the splatter. In New York on the 24th, he said:

The prosecutor disposed of the case in accordance with Japanese law. It’s not for me to say anything about that decision.

(This makes sense if you believe the rumors that Mr. Sengoku promised him he was next in line to be prime minister.)

Sources within the government are leaking a different story, however. Some say it was Mr. Sengoku who directed the effort to find a resolution and called it the “Sengoku Initiative”. Others say that Mr. Sengoku hinted to a few Cabinet members after the Cabinet meeting on the morning of the 24th that the captain would be released later that day. He also held a meeting with Mr. Yanagida at the Kantei before the prosecutor’s announcement.

It gets even worse. Here’s the Naha prosecutor giving his explanation at a news conference:

We could not determine that the act of the captain was planned. (The release) was made in consideration of the effect (of the matter) on the Japanese people and the future of Sino-Japanese relations.

Commenting on the statement later that evening, Mr. Sengoku said:

Based on the comprehensive judgment of the prosecutors, my thoughts on the release (of the detained captain) and the disposition of the case were that this was possible.

...nothingk...

The problem is the prosecutor’s second sentence and Mr. Sengoku’s “acknowledgement” of it. Before the release, the government said it would handle the matter quietly based on Japanese law. But the prosecutor instead cited the effect on the Japanese people and relations with China as the reason for the sudden release. If legal procedures were to be the basis for the determination, why is the prosecutor saying that international diplomacy was a factor in his decision? People expect that to be the business of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.

The Diet will be called into session on Friday. The opposition LDP has already said they will demand the prosecutor be summoned to testify.

Some members of the DPJ are as stunned as everyone else. Said Yamaguchi Tsuyoshi, formerly of the foreign ministry and the vice chair of the party’s Policy Research Committee (and an Ozawa Ichiro supporter):

The release doesn’t make any sense.

The doubters also include Mr. Kan’s predecessor as prime minister, Hatoyama Yukio:

Some suspicions remain about the release among the public. The government has the responsibility to tell the people the truth, including whether they made any overtures (to the Chinese).

Okada Katsuya, who was foreign minister when the arrest was made earlier this month, but was shifted to the position of party secretary-general after Mr. Kan’s reelection as party president, was pilloried as he defended the process during a discussion on a Sunday TV program. Here’s how some of the dialogue went:

Okada:
It was the prosecutor’s decision to release the captain. Those who have the misunderstanding that it was done by the government are completely mistaken. President Tanigaki Sadakazu of the LDP said he (the captain) should have been sent home earlier, but would that really have been a good idea? Should we have twisted the law and returned the captain (in the middle of the process)? Japan has done absolutely nothing wrong. Of course it is not necessary to pay reparations or make an apology.

Eda Kenji, Your Party secretary-general:
(The government) said that the release (was made) by the prosecutor for political considerations without making a disposition. This is a suicidal act. You said that the government did not intervene, but verification of that is required. This is an actual crime, and not merely a problem of unlawful entry.

Ishihara Nobuteru, LDP secretary-general:
This is just casuistry. This began with the DPJ’s tone deaf diplomacy. The party was conducting a presidential election (at the time of the incident). You were the foreign minister. This primitive diplomacy made the matter worse.

Okada:
For the government to intervene and create the impression that the (handling) of the captain was divorced from legal procedures would harm the national interest.

Ishihara:
Diplomatic and political strength are exactly the way to handle this. It was a mistake for Mr. Sengoku to say that he “acknowledges” the prosecutor’s political judgment and release.

Eda:
This was absolutely impossible with the judgment of the prosecutor alone. This is an issue in which the moral position is 100% in Japan’s favor, but after a Chinese victory of 100 to 0 there must be sincere remorse on your part. It is a fact that you have created the impression that the Senkakus are a territorial issue.

True or false?

The government has gotten itself in a rare political mess. They have demonstrated extraordinary incompetence regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth. If they are lying, as most people think, it comes off as an unwillingness to accept responsibility for an extremely unpopular act with serious international consequences.

The word gutless also comes to mind.

And what if they’re telling the truth? That makes the decision to leave the resolution of the matter to the Okinawan prosecutor an act of sheer stupidity. One Foreign Ministry official called this the most serious diplomatic crisis for Japan of the past 20 years (and that’s probably a conservative estimate). The affair involves an immense neighbor with whom they have extensive economic ties, that admits of no one’s rules other than their own, that has nuclear weapons and military forces 10 times the size of the Japanese, and which is both petulant and very unhappy.

And the government allowed it to be resolved by a minor public official in a provincial city. No touch.

If they are telling the truth, the idea was probably a dull spark from Mr. Sengoku, a University of Tokyo-educated attorney in a country that doesn’t care much for legal hair-splitting. (There’s a reason for the Japanese expression herikutsu, or “fart logic”.)

At the minimum, it is a severe political miscalculation. Schoolteachers used to make their pupils stay after school and write “I will not dip Sally’s pigtails in the inkwell” on the blackboard 100 times. In this case, the government should be forced to examine newspaper articles from the world’s press and see if they can find any story that begins with the sentence, “Today, Naha prosecutors released the captain of a Chinese trawler…”

The Chinese pressure drop

If they thought releasing the captain would resolve the situation and buy them goodwill from the Chinese…really, one can only shake one’s head.

From the Jiji news agency:

The Global Times, affiliated with the People’s Daily, the organ of the Chinese Communist Party, said in an editorial on the 25th that while the Japanese released the captain, “An early return to the status quo ante will not be possible.”

“The Kan administration is inaccurate in its judgment of conditions in Asia, and they lack the discernment to protect the mutual benefits of China and Japan…To the current Japanese government, which has so little experience in governing a nation, we should drive home the point that China is not a country that can be opposed so carelessly.”

In other words, the Chinese are going to take their time about lifting some of their sanctions and they’ll continue to rub the Japanese face in it in the meantime.

From the Mainichi Shimbun:

In addition to stopping rare earth shipments, China halted the shipment of construction materials and semiconductors to Japan on the 26th. Government and trading companies are scrambling to discover the details.

Sources say that customs at the port of Xiamen performed a complete inspection of all freight bound for Japan and stopped shipment of construction materials. The local JETRO office reported it was the first time a shipment to Japan had been subject to a full inspection.

Diplomatic sources familiar with China said:

Did they really only verbally ask for an apology and compensation, or did they hit Japan with even stronger demands? This has to be looked at carefully. It is very possible that China will delay lifting their measures even with the announcement of Japan’s rejection.

The Asahi quotes another Global Times article:

Japan’s claims are the logic of an outright criminal, and are ridiculous. It is not possible that the Chinese government will accept them.

They add:

Chinese sources say the Foreign Ministry got the paper to run the articles to apply pressure to Japan.

From the Yomiuri Shimbun:

Foreign Ministry sources think the Chinese believe if they apply relentless diplomatic pressure, the Kan government will lose its nerve and concede even more. They didn’t expect Japan to apologize or pay reparations. But if Japan, which denies there is a territorial issue, responds to a demand to discuss an apology or reparations, they will be a de facto admission there is a territorial issue. That alone would be a benefit.

Eda Kenji puts it all together:

People who do not know the fundamentals of the state and the ABCs of politics are in charge of the government. I can only say that this sudden release of the ship’s captain shows the Democratic Party is fundamentally lacking in the education that all policy makers should strive to attain, that the judicial system is independent of (matters of) territory or sovereignty, and, by extension, diplomacy.

During a recent news conference after the BOJ’s market intervention, Mr. Sengoku was asked if the government’s line of defense was 82 yen, and he said yes. In the worst-case scenario, that statement would result in the intervention going right down the drain. He doesn’t even realize there’s a problem with that.

Even I didn’t think they were this bad. The problem is not limited to their bureaucracy-led politics. The problem is with mistaken politics, with the conduct of politics as if they were children playing house. Their response was even worse than the childish Chinese challenges. If we do not press to have the Diet dissolved immediately and a general election held, and the DPJ government is not replaced, this country is finished.

Japan’s most serious foreign policy crisis in at least a generation is being handled by the people least capable of doing so.

UPDATE: On his Japanese-language blog, Kibashiri Masamizu cites reports that Mr. Sengoku didn’t even want to arrest the Chinese trawler captain to begin with, but had to be talked into it by Mr. Okada and Mr. Maehara. Mr. Kibashiri also wonders about Prime Minister Kan’s seeming abdication of any leadership role, putting him in the “no touch” group as well. He summarizes it this way: Japan has not had a prime minister during the month of September.

Also:

Regardless of any diplomatic determination, the government’s decision to release the Chinese suspect without a formal disposition was indeed above the law. In short, it was a supra-legal measure. The timing makes it unavoidable that it will be seen overseas as the capitulation of the Japanese government to Chinese government pressure.

More details on the decision from the Asahi in English, including this, presumably from a Foreign Ministry official:

“It’s a farce to say prosecutors made the decision,” a senior ministry official said. “(The government) is irresponsible.”

The article claims that the Naha prosecutors wanted to indict, but were overruled. It also mentions an “agitated” Kan Naoto, which I’ll have more on later.

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28 Responses to “No touch”

  1. […] all, if we are to believe the likes of Eda Kenji from Your Party,  the DPJ’s is all about “bureaucracy-led politics” and it seems to have suspiciously failed them after 55 odd years of careful, almost […]

  2. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Oh, Toots Hibbert’s great songs. Including Monkey Man. I dedicate it to Mr. Sengoku.
    —–
    2csm: I liked Toots at his peak even better than Bob Marley.

    – A.

  3. mac said

    Japan ought to be secretly sucking all the oil and gas out from under those islands right now before anyone notices because otherwise it is going to lose.

    No doubt China has seen how successful South Korea has been exploiting the Liancourt Rocks debacle and wants a bit of the action too.

    But … China is to Japan what Japan is to the ‘Land of Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace’. Japan is to the ‘Land of Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace’ what China is to Japan.

    Is it surprising how Japan hits civil protesters so hard, even its own civil protesters, with punitive detention and ‘chilling effect’ judgments … but then adopts a submissive position to the big, fat bully on the block?

  4. […] sanctions over an issue in which they were probably in the wrong to start with, and then follow it up by gloating, more threats and patronizing rhetoric. The lesson, I think, is clear: if you play soft with Beijing, be sure to bring the K-Y Jelly. What […]

  5. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20100927-00000540-san-pol

  6. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/policy/100927/plc1009270258003-n1.htm

    Interesting.

  7. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Ampontan: same here, loved Toots very much. Funky Kingston, Monnkey Man, In The Dark, Reggae Got Soul….great albums. Loved his solo, Toots in Memphis also. His rendition of Otis Redding song is awesome.

  8. Roual Deetlefs said

    Ampontan.

    I can’t say I enjoy posting this but here goes :

    According to Kennedy, Japan was akin to the EC. Like the EC it was mighty in economics, puny in politics. Japan had prospered since 1945 behind an American military shield. Tokyo had been able to spend even less on defence than the Europeans and had generally taken a low profile in international affairs: “For the past quarter-century…Japan has been able to enjoy all of the advantages of evolving into a global economic giant, but without any of the political responsibilities and territorial disadvantages that have, historically, followed from such a growth.” But Kennedy argued that such political escapism was unlikely to last. What if a second Korean war broke out? What if an overextended America began withdrawing from the Far East? What if a “declining and nervous” USSR began behaving aggressively? Would Japan be able to find the political will to meet such challenges? Kennedy was doubtful.

    And no one less than Henry Kissinger said this :

    Recently, I made a speech in China in which I said, “The rise of China is inevitable.” And that is true. We must get used to that proposition. There is nothing we can do to prevent China from continuing to grow. Nevertheless, I received some letters after my speech asking, “Are you implying that America is on the decline?” My answer is, “No, I am not saying America is on the decline, but the outcome of the rise of China depends importantly on how we handle international affairs from here on in …. At the same time, the influence of the Chinese, because of their economic capacity, their political skill and their growing military strength in the surrounding countries is going to grow. It is a twofold challenge for Western strategy: one, to remain engaged in Asia; two, to see whether the generation of Chinese that is now growing up can develop a sense that the United States and the Western world are potential partners rather than permanent adversaries. That will determine how China will use its strengths in ten or fifteen years from now. It is also the fundamental challenge that we face in that relationship.

    Whatever his failings, this Japanese leadership had better learn some statesmanship from the most able Japanese head of state after World War II : Alberto Fujimori.

    The son of Japanese immigrants overcame poverty and prejudice to become the president of Peru. The country’s economy was in a state of collapse. Even worse, Peru was in the midst of a guerrilla war and seemed destined to fall into the hands of the Sendero Luminoso and the MRTA terrorist movements.

    Fujimori turned out to be an energetic ruler and against all expectations he defeated the terrorists, stopped hyperinflation in its tracks and transformed the economy. When a war with Ecuador seemed likely, Fujimori settled a centuries old dispute and made a permanent peace.

    ——-
    RD: Thanks for the note.

    1. It’s not “political escapism” when another country writes a pacifist Constitution for you and that document is then used as the basis for classroom instructon.

    2. Picky, but here goes: Mr. Fujimori is not “Japanese”. He is Peruvian.

    – A.

  9. Roual Deetlefs said

    Ampontan.

    1. It’s not “political escapism” when another country writes a pacifist Constitution for you and that document is then used as the basis for classroom instructon.

    I think the author meant it as a result and not a process. And Japan has tried very hard to be a good world citizen, but never received its due recognition as you have written countless times. In Afrikaans there is a saying that goes : Allemansvriend is Allemansgek (pr: ah+luh+munz+freend is ah+luh+munz+chek where the ch is like the ch in the German word Achtung) It basically means trying to be a friend to everybody leaves you vulnerable to contempt.

    2. Picky, but here goes: Mr. Fujimori is not “Japanese”. He is Peruvian.

    How do you explain the discrimination that Japanese Americans suffered in the first half of the 20’th century. They were “Japanese” enough for the authorities there. Also note that Fujimori’s detractors loved to cast doubt on his true country of birth.
    ———-
    Just because Americans were racist doesn’t mean the Japanese-Americans weren’t American.

    – A.

  10. bender said

    Robert:
    What does “gek” mean? Any cognates in English or German?

  11. Roual Deetlefs said

    Ampontan.

    Just because Americans were racist doesn’t mean the Japanese-Americans weren’t American.

    – A.

    Touché. But Fujimori is Japanese enough for me. And as such I will still think that the best Japanese Head of State post WWII was Alberto Fujimori. No matter how “Peruvian” my reasoning. I doubt if he would have had similar success in Japan, due to the Soap Opera that is Japanese Politics. Quite an indictment methinks. Ability also requires opportunity … of which Japan is sadly lacking.

  12. Roual Deetlefs said

    @Bender.

    I can’t find a good Afrikaans to English dictionary for this. However this word is of Dutch origin, and the meaning is given here.

    Or :

    English
    A peculiar, mad, crazy, crack-brained, insane, lunatic, loony, moonstruck, fool, foolish, queer, batty, daft, daffy, dippy, potty, cockscomb, doting, hipped, ridiculous, berserk, baresark
    ADV foolishly, queer
    ID head: off one’s head, nut: off one’s nuts
    N fool, madman, cowl, bedlamite, josser, nut

  13. James A said

    Okay Roual, I really have a problem with you calling Fujimori the “best” post-war Japanese politician because…

    1. He was ousted from office due to abuse of power and human rights abuses. He may have liberalized Peru’s economy and put down the Shining Path, but he followed in the tradition of many South American “caudillos”.

    2. He may have been Japanese in ancestry, but he was leader of PERU. Therefore, he was a Peruvian politician. Would you call Barak Obama the best Kenyan head of state?

  14. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Japanese government found that Fujimori has retained Japanese citizenship. Ampontan, sorry to quote from Wikipedia.

    「フジモリは日系人であり、ペルーと日本の二重国籍者である。日本政府はフジモリが日本人夫婦の元に生まれ、出生時に日本国籍を留保していることを理由に彼が現在も日本国籍を保有していることを認めており、フジモリの二重国籍を事実上容認している(1984年以前から日本国籍と外国籍の双方を保持している者は1985年1月1日の改正国籍法施行の日に外国籍を取得したものと見なされるので、成人の場合2年以内(1986年12月31日まで)に国籍の選択をしなければ自動的に日本国籍の選択の宣言をしたとみなされる。

    ただ、「一国の国家元首が二重国籍者であることを隠していた」という点は大きな批判の対象になった。そもそも、ペルーの法律は二重国籍者が大統領になることを禁じており(スペインの植民地であったことからスペインとの二重であれば容認される)、フジモリは大統領選挙運動中に「日本国籍を持っていない」と宣言していた。」

    I do not have time to translate, but in sum he (his parents) reserved Japanese nationality upon his birth and continued the reservation, which made Japanese government to admit he is a Japanese national – dual nationality. Fujimori made false statement in Peru for his candidacy for president effectively.

    Sorry, I do not want Fujimori to represent Japan at any rate, though his die-hard resolution of the Tupak Amaru’s assault on Japanese embassy in Lima (when was it?) worked. Then again, Fujimori went to Washington to get ok from US government beforehand, but never talked with Japanese government on the plan.

  15. Roual Deetlefs said

    @ James A.

    You have a point. Fujimori should have quit while the going was good. But as Enoch Powell once said : ” All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.”

    But you cannot fault him for a lack of foresight or courage can you ? I don’t think Obama will prove to be a great head of state. Be that as Kenyan or otherwise. Had he made his presidential bid later this decade, he would have done better. The sorry state of the US economy will trump anything he tries to do. But if he does prove successful, I will credit him with both.

    @ 21 CSM.

    Thank you for the info. I see Obama has some problems with dual nationality as well. Have you considered that Fujimori didn’t talk to the Japanese Government because they would have tried to soften his die-hard stance ? Once again my thanks for the info.
    ———-

    Had he made his presidential bid later this decade, he would have done better.

    Most people think he would have done just as poorly, but the decline would have taken a bit longer. He’s arrogant, thin-skinned, conceited, has poor people and political skills, and lacks presidential demeanor. He pisses people off unnecessarily. People now suspect that he doesn’t really want to do the job of president (not that he’s capable of it with his paper-thin background) but just play one on television. He doesn’t even do that very well, either–he’s now complaining that the voters whine too much. He still blames the other party after two years, despite having a huge majority in both houses of Congress, and now all his top aides are leaving, very early relatively speaking, while the leaving is good. He also has no leadership skills to speak of.

    And there is no question that what passes for his economic policy has made the American economy much worse.

    It would be worthwhile to contrast his behavior with that of both Reagan and Thatcher, who both took office during difficult economic times. Unlike Obama, they made things better. You could even contrast his economic policies with those of Germany, for example. They ignored him when he called for more stimulus, and their economy got back on track quicker.

    His real citizenship problem, by the way, is not with Kenya, but with Indonesia. His mother’s second husband was an Indonesian and he went to live there for awhile. I’m pretty sure the Indonesian man adopted him. The reason he refuses to release his detailed birth certificate records is most likely not that he was born in Kenya, but because of what might have happened to his American citizenship during his Indonesian period.

    When no politician of his party up for reelection in November–none, as of today–wants him to come to their district and campaign for them, the reason is not because of the economy.

    – A.

  16. Roual Deetlefs said

    Ampontan.

    OK OK OK OK OK … I’m getting roasted again … mea culpa … mea culpa … mea culpa … I’ll go and buy the dark chocolate too 😦

    As for the Obama Administration I thought this was good :

    Let me get this straight.

    1. We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don’t.

    2. Written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it,

    3. passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it and

    4. whose Speaker states we will pass it to see what it says, and

    5. by a Congress that exempts themselves from it,

    6. to be signed by a President who also smokes,

    7. with funding administered by a Treasury Chief who didn’t pay his taxes,

    8. to be overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and

    9. financed by a country that is broke.

    What the hell could possibly go wrong?

    I just hope the next president is no incarnation of Huey Long.
    —-
    RD: You forgot a couple.

    1. The president doesn’t know what’s in it either, and told his party in Congress just to pass something.

    2. The two houses of Congress passed different bills, and they have to pass the same bill, so they had to work something out between them. That was going to be difficult, so the Democrats used a procedural maneuver to allow one of the two chambers not to vote on the final bill. They tricked it through.

    3. Obama and the other Democrat leaders promised that everyone would love the bill once it got passed and everyone found out what was in it, and they would be able to run on it as an accomplishment. Polls show a majority of the public has always been opposed, and that majority has grown bigger with the passage of time. No Democrat is now campaigning for reelection by saying that they voted for the bill.

    4. Certain provisions of it might be unconstitutional (I think they are, but you never know with the Supreme Court) and it could still be struck down.

    – A.

  17. Roual Deetlefs said

    Ampontan.

    OK OK OK OK OK OK !!! I get it … I get it … I get it !!! Now please stop … this is death-by-a-thousand-facts I tell you 😦

  18. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://www.iza.ne.jp/news/newsarticle/politics/politicsit/446288/

    Such a shame.

  19. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://www.iza.ne.jp/news/newsarticle/politics/politicsit/446083/

    Return of such a shame.

  20. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://www.iza.ne.jp/news/newsarticle/world/china/445438/

    Yet more such a shame.

  21. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20101001-00000003-mai-pol

    Whatever it is, it’s a shame.

    “It’s a shame (shame)
    The way you mess around with your man
    It’s a shame (shame), the way you play with my emotions
    It’s a shame (shame)
    The way you mess around with your man
    You’re like a child at play on a sunny day
    First you play with love, and then you throw it away

    Why do you use me, try to confuse me
    How can you stand to be so cruel
    Why don’t you free me from this prison
    Where I serve my time as your fool”
    ——
    Thanks for these. I’m working on a post on the Japanese government’s response now.

    And I’m a big Spinners fan too. I’ll Be Around, Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, and, probably in my all time top 10 favorite song list, Mighty Love…There’s no sign in the sky to follow…

    – A

  22. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    ampontan, here is another bad news.

    http://www.milesdavis.com/us/news/president-barack-obama-says-he-listens-miles-davis
    ————-
    I wonder what era Miles Davis? He says his childhood, so that’s probably the late 60s / 70s Miles, which I don’t listen to much. I like 50s early 60s Miles. One exception is Live Around The World.

    – A.

  23. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Ampontan: My fav about Miles is two extremes: Prestige marathon session including Cookin’ and Relaxin’ and then Agartha, the die-hard avan-garde funk. You love the former. I love both. And I do not like Obama liking either of them. Yes I am biased. Sorry Barrak, blame it on me.

  24. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    yet another consecutive post

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20101001-00000999-yom-pol

    now I sing the band I refer to by my handle – King Crimson, Starless, and chorus part from Epitaph.

    Sundown dazzling day
    Gold through my eyes
    But my eyes turned within
    Only see
    Starless and bible black

    Ice blue silver sky
    Fades into grey
    To a grey hope that oh years to be
    Starless and bible black

    Old friend charity cruel twisted smile
    And the smile signals emptiness for me
    Starless and bible black

    Confusion will be my epitaph.
    As I crawl a cracked and broken path
    If we make it we can all sit back
    and laugh.
    But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,
    Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying.

  25. Roual Deetlefs said

    @21 CSM

    Comsider these lyrics :

    Would you pay life’s pleasures to see me
    Does it hurt for I want you to remain
    I run your hair through in another decade
    Summerland holds me in sumerian haze

    Pain in places where the lovers mourn
    Arranging the play things up and down the hall

    Forever remain for every day
    My honour remains
    Forever remain

    Between the spaces along the wall
    Appearing faces that disappear at dawn
    We’re getting closer I can see the door
    Closer and closer Kthulhu calls

    Forever remain
    Forever remain

    You’ll seek it it’ll take a while
    You’ll seek this if it’s a thousand miles
    Take what fate brings eternal and desire
    I’ll change those faces then I take their smile

    We’re getting close to you I can see the door
    Closer and closer or is it there at all

    Forever remain
    Forever remain

    This could be my last regress
    Last exit for the lost
    This could be my last regress
    Last exit for the lost
    This could be my last regress
    Precious for the lost

    The video is here.

    Why this band never got the recognition it deserved, I’ll never know.

    If there is a finer seduction to nihilism than this, let me know.

  26. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    RD: Thank you for letting me know about this band. Very beautifully executed. I have not been fan of gothic rock, but this music has a taste. Use of saxophone and arrangement of guitar part are excellent, creating very pleasant sonic landscape. About seduction to nihilism, I am not prepared to compare.

    Although I chose my handle from the seminal King Crimson song, in fact I am not a big fan (I respect their music very much, have three albums, but my areas of interest in music are mainly jazz/early rhythm & blues/soul/latin/folk field). I just chose my handle by looking “Links of Interest” section of this site, and by finding something 21st century there, on the spot.

  27. Roual Deetlefs said

    @21 CSM.

    My pleasure.

  28. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    RM: I forgot to tell you that I once was big fan of H.P. Lovecraft (when I was in high-teen), and have had his complete works translated into Japanese. I should not turn this site into fan/hobby site though.

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