Thursday 26 March 2015

Kita Ikki [北 一輝] and the Origins of Democracy in Japan.

The 1936 uprising in historical photographs.
The 1936 uprising in cinema: 1962's 二・二六事件 脱出 & 1989's 226.
At a time when Article 9 of the Japanese constitution is being re-examined, Kita Ikki ( 一輝) provides a political philosophy of military domination that is as blunt and direct as Thomas Hobbes or Machiavelli --and yet (unlike Hobbes or Machiavelli) his objectives were to create and maintain a "citizen state" of "social democracy". (Wilson, 1966, p. 91)  Kita's combination of militarism, socialism, and democracy (with an expansive view of Japan's leadership for the rest of Asia) is, perhaps, more salient to 21st century Japanese politics than anyone would like to admit.

Thursday 19 March 2015

協, Kanji of the Week

If you're interested in politics, you see the symbol 協 quite a lot, in both Japanese and Chinese.

In Japanese, 協 is a rare example of a character in common use that has just one sound (consistently): kyō (きょう).

Vegan Politics (Real Talk)

The unadorned monologue, Youtube in its purest form:

Sunday 8 March 2015

Lil B, Not Yet Vegan

In a career pinioned (verb) by the audience's apprehension that anything (and everything) the artist says is likely to be an act of self-parody, Lil B's support for veganism is a grey area within a grey area.  When he says he's gay, you know he's not really gay --and, let's not forget, CNN covered this as news.  When he finally comes out and says he's vegan, presumably he'll find some way to switch it up and score a newspaper headline.  Hey, even if he never follows through with it, Lil B > Nelly's vegan credentials.