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Mar 31, 2011


Hi, Mr. YL

Thanks for very useful knowledge.
And, you are welcome. You never wrote too much.

先日も書いたのですが、またお邪魔させて頂いました… (汗)

Although this may be a comment on a comment on a comment :-) but I saw two interesting items on your Vocabulary list. I hope you accept my apologies…

The Western usage of the word "proletariat" has changed and the definitions given by the dictionaries do not reflect the contemporary parlance any more. While in the past "proletariat" meant "propertyless working class", today it refers to "poorly educated people with very basic interests and lifestyles". American journalism often refers to them as "Joe Six-pack", depicting someone who spends his evenings in front of the TV finishing six packs of beer. A similarly descriptive journalistic expression is "the Great Unwashed". In other words, today "proletariat" seems to be more of a sociocultural term than a socioeconomic one. In Japan, however, this may be very different.

The expression "[something] is offered on a silver tray" is sometimes used in the following sense: "Although a valuable benefit—truth, freedom, opportunity, etc.—was presented to a person, he refused it [against his best interest]". In English it sounds like「錦の風呂敷に包んだ宝物を断る」. I wonder if there is a Japanese expression like this.

書き過ぎがちな YL (男)

Sorry to be late for reply, Mr/Ms YL

My work has been hectic in the past several weeks.

I was surprised to know that you knew Mr. Tamogami and Mr. Kou Bun'yuu (黄文雄). I'm thinking of writing an entry about them.

Dear Kumo先生、

Thank you very much for reflecting on my comment. Inazo Nitobe's book has been one of my favorites. It is indeed a fundamental work for anyone who wishes to understand Japan. I have also been familiar with the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact (a few months ago I read Gen. Toshio Tamonaga's essay "Was Japan an Aggressor Nation?" in which he referred to another essay by Kō Bunyu (黄文雄), which, in turn, led me to the Society's website). But I have even more serious concerns about our countries:
•Since the First World War the living standards of the proletariat have significantly increased worldwide. Along with their increasing purchasing power increased their political and cultural power. The growing political power is manifested in leftist governments that represent the international proletariat instead of their own nation. The growing cultural power is manifested in the pop culture that spews from our televisions and media. They do not want facts, they want power. You can offer them all the historical facts on a silver tray, they will reject them or twist them until they support their own ideology.
•The moral and intellectual stature of the politicians has been rapidly declining worldwide. Since the masses inherently distrust anything that is above the least common denominator, they tend to elect populist lightweights whose intellect is sufficient for class demagoguery but not for national statecraft. Importantly, the very concept of nation has come under attack in the process.
•In this environment serious thinkers have become isolated in their own countries and been practically excluded from the national and international government level dialogs. Any independent school of thought seeking better understanding between nations is promptly discredited as nationalist or revisionist. In the absence of statesmen of true stature the present intergovernmental dialogs have been reduced to mere propaganda.
•The uniqueness of Japan is hysterically denied by the left. (If I may venture the opinion, anyone who questions Japan's uniqueness is totally ignorant of your culture, or his own or, most often, both). The problem with denying Japan's distinctive character is that it is a key factor in any effort to reach mutual understanding and harmony with other nations.

Sorry for the impossibly long comment...

YL (Mr)

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