Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness. – John F. Kennedy
Nuclear threat is imminent. Japan is the only country being nuked, so it’s my imprinted reaction to resist anything nuclear, even for its peaceful use. I’ve been to Hiroshima to visit the A-bomb Dome, confirmed the atrocity depicted in Hadashi-no-Gen. Yet, this isn’t done by the war machines but by the nature. It reminds me how vulnerable human beings are. Not only humans, but also all other living beings, cats, dogs, ducks, flowers, trees, wiped away at once. That is the reality. We’re just awfully powerless. We’re all too human, i.e., all too 3-D.
It was 1995, the earthquake hit Kobe, Japan. The moment I sensed doomsday. I was in Tokyo at that time, yet seismologists were saying the big quake would happen anytime in Tokyo. While Japan had been gloom and doom after the bubble, the Kobe earthquake happened. Moreover, the Tokyo subway terrorist attack in the same year. It was later revealed that the terrorist cult group made an attempt to acquire nukes from Russia. These events had led me to think that I didn’t have tomorrow.
The feeling of insecurity, uncertainty, and unstableness, probably affected my mental composition. I became prone to fall in love much easier, so-called “overly romantic,” yes, in fact love at first sight happened so often. We might die tomorrow, so why not enjoy romantic pleasure now? “The moment is now!” And next year, Neon Genesis Evangelion came out, almost apocalyptic, as if reflecting the zeitgeist of Japan at that time.
In fact, that zeitgeist led me to have an escapist attitude, and eventually to America, a nation of escapists, I mean, of immigrants.
ELT (every little thing) counts
Being escapist, I used to have a j-poptical illusion. I checked j-pop programs like M-Station every single week. I was a j-poptometrist in Japan. Ah, recently cleaning my room, I dug out this CD, Every Little Thing‘s first album, Everlasting. ELT marked their debut in 1996, and the vocal was just awesome, I thought a diva descended from heaven in the middle of apocalyptic Japan, her voice was so charming that had my whole brain cells activated with romantic passion. She surely carried me away to the other dimensions. Darn it, I didn’t realize I brought this CD with me to America!
So, I popped it in my laptop. And then, “Ahhh, so nostalgic!” Objectively, I know these songs are downright crappy, with such boring monotonous riffs programmed by stone age synthesizers. But back in Japan, I thought it was amazing, so wonderful I listened to it everyday, and whenever I listened to it, I fancied about girls I had a crush on. This fossil CD brought me back that feeling, in the age of i-Tunes.
After coming to America as a legal alien, more like a deserter, I never listened to j-pop. I even denied its existence. The music associated with trauma. But, ah, ELT’s Everlasting… Yes, everlasting means “eternal.” That’s right, eternity, eternal youth, symbolized by Seventeen Forever! How many years have passed since the last time I really listened…
Season, ah, melodiously melancholic…I find this particular song so melancholic, its melancholy almost similar to yozuka*’s Kioku no umi (sea of memory), a ED of School Days. My school days, el fracaso, I failed to experience any lovey-dovey, or in a more explicit way, hanky-panky like Makoto. Ahh, this ELT’s tune makes me recall one particular girl, a sexy senpai at work back in Japan. She was like Kitaoji Satsuki from Ichigo 100%. Her hairstyle and dark complexion resembled Kitaoji senpai’s.
What is she doing now? Is she okay? I hope the Tsunami didn’t affect her. Is she married, raising her kids, or working as a career woman, stepping up the ladder of the corporate world? I know she doesn’t remember me. I was just another part-time worker to her. But I still remember her. Moreover, as a matter of fact, I still remember all the girls I fell in love during my adolescent years. But none of them knows I left. I didn’t tell them that I was going to America. For I shed my memories of Japan all together in the Pacific. But now, watching the horrific scenes on the news, I wonder if they are all okay. At least I loved them, some of them secretly, to some of them I confessed.
Therefore, I’ve made a humble donation to the disaster relief. Not only for the sake of humanity, but also…for the sake of Hannah‘s audacity. Yes, Hannah in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima, and Sendai, Hannah is here and everywhere. And I’m certain that our every little contribution, every little thing we do to help, will ignite Hannah’s audacity to hope.
And to look at history and understand that when change takes place it takes place as a result of large, large numbers of people doing little things unbeknownst to one another.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
4 thoughts on “J-poptical illusion, ELT counts”
I believe escapism is a form of human nature, a preservation of hedonistic tendencies. There is the freedom of choice, and I do want to believe that the scenario is probably not as bad as it appears.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, escape is a courageous thing to do. Escape by Moonchild is also one of the songs I listened before coming to America. I also hope the situation won’t get worse.
Nice read as always, very spot on subject, i think that i cannot understand japan with the nuclear energy neither, as being the only nation being bombed with nuclear power, twice as a matter of fact, well the other one will be U.S.A, but that was for testing purposes by Mr Fermi in order to translate his discovery on nuclears reactors torwards bombs,that they have in their territory this kind of treat wihtout any back feelings torward this, if there is one country that should be against it, it should be japan, i compare this with a murderer attempted knife person, that has the house full of knife it doesnt bode to well.
Hey and you know that Fermi, when the first bomb was detonated, trinity was her codename, he missed it, becuase he was throwing little pieces of paper through the air, in order to calculate the power of the blast, it reminds me of that famous 70´s song, dust in the wind, thats what is all left with this power dust in the wind, even mankind.
Thank you very very much for the comment. As always, very informative and insightful.
Japan actually has Three Non-nuclear Principles, don’t possess, don’t produce, and don’t bring in. Yet, 23% of Japan’s electric power is generated from nuke for the nation lacks resources. A nation has to depend on imports. One time America imposed oil embargo on Japan, which led to Pearl Harbor. Too bad, food also. Almost 90% of soybeans in Japan comes from America, especially from the Midwest, using the Ogallala Aquifer. If America imposes soybean embargo on Japan, the Japanese won’t be able to get soy sauce, miso, tofu, nattou, moyashi, edamame, etc. That will lead to the demise of washoku. Japan doesn’t have powerful military for its capability is limited by the Constitution Article 9, so it has to depend on American nuke umbrella to deter Chinese, Russian, and N. Korean nuclear threats. It’s like a mob world. Which mobster is the most demonic (violent)? The one with most demonic power, i.e., nuke. 3-D is far from utopia shown in anime.
Oh yeah, Dr. Fermi was famous for that. Just like Newton calculated gravity from fall of apple. Modern alchemists are nuclear scientists, just like Full Metal Alchemists were used by the war machine. Yeah, dust in the wind, Kansas! Blowing in the wind, or when the wind blows, that British anime by Roger Waters. In Final Cut, Roger sings, “Leaving only charcoals to defend.” Yes, nuke turns everything into dust, ash, charcoal, including mankind.
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