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Kangaroo Notebook, by Kobo Abe. What we talk about when we talk about Nightmares.

Kobo Abe was one of the seminal writers of Post-World War II Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1924, and spending much of his childhood in Manchuria, Abe initially studied medicine at the prestigious Tokyo University, before dropping out to write fiction. His first real literary acknowledgement came in 1951, for his short novel, The Wall: The Crime of S. Karuma, for which he won the Akutagawa Prize, (a prize that comes with a one million yen cash prize and is considered to be Japan’s most sought after literary award).

Eleven years later, his novel Woman of the Dunes, (which won the Yomiuri Prize, another prestigious Japanese literary award, which also comes with a one million yen cash prize), would propel him into international fame. An author’s note from Kangaroo Notebook describes his work as thus: “The typical protagonist of Abe’s stories is an “outsider” who is haunted by a sense of alienation and by anxiety over the fragility of individual identity. He seeks freedom from the oppressiveness of communal reality, yet yearns futilely for emotional connection.”

Kobo Abe is often described as the Japanese Kafka, and he was also an important playwright and essayist who was nominated numerous times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in 1993 at the age of 68. Later, when fellow Japanese author Kenzaburo Oe, (who will likely be a subject of one of my reviews in the near future), was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, Oe said that Abe had deserved the award more than he himself had.

Which brings me to Kangaroo Notebook—originally written in the 1970s, and published shortly after Abe’s death—it is a very difficult work to describe. It takes its title from an idea that the protagonist submits to his company’s “idea-pool” as a joke, namely, a slip of paper with “Kangaroo Notebook” written on it. Much to his surprise, it is picked up as a catchy, marketable product and they ask him to develop it further. Amusingly enough, this section from its Wikipedia page captures it best:

Hooked to a penile catheter and an IV bottle, the narrator begins a harrowing journey on his hospital bed through the underworld that seems to lie beneath the city streets. Here, he seeks health not so much as he seeks simple explanations for what is happening to him and the strange people he meets: abusive ferrymen, waiflike child demons, vampire nurses, and a chiropractor who runs a karate school and works a sideline as a euthanist.

Essentially, the story’s unnamed narrator, wakes up one morning to discover small radishes sprouting on his shins. It should give you a good idea about this novel when I say that this is the normal part of the story. Because after this he goes to the dermatologist, and after that point nothing ever makes sense again. The Doctor, after vomiting his lunch of radishes out, has the narrator put in a bed, and hooked up to a catheter, then declares there is nothing he can do but send him to a strong sulfur spring. With a tag placed at the end of his bed, he’s pushed out onto the nighttime streets.

Irony often fills Abe’s writing, which can be surprisingly funny at times. Such as this passage from shortly after the characters departure onto the streets, (on a psychically powered hospital bed):

This bed was made by the Atlas Company, the number-one manufacturer of hospital equipment in the world, so apparently it’s in a class of its own when it comes to high-performance precision functions. It’s equipped with every feature imaginable—electric, continuous reclining; a sixteen-hour battery that operates during power failures; a wireless alarm system on the head panel; an oxygen mask that’s activated automatically in emergencies…But this is strange; how can I know so much about hospital equipment? Am I just imagining all these things? If not…This is a more dire possibility, but am I actually a medical equipment salesman, and have forgotten this? (Pg. 20)

What is most poignant about Kangaroo Notebook is the eerie sense of verisimilitude that fills each page—wherein lies the nightmare. On the surface appearances seem normal, but as the scene develops the logic disappears. Kobo Abe’s strength, (and weakness to some degree), lies in his sharp, plain description of everything, turning the strange and macabre into the ordinary and mundane. Within the dream world are references to our own; streams of ads, pop culture, bits of history and the like, that serve to make the work that much unsettling, (which made me appreciate these connections much moreso than I do in postmodernist works, like Murakami, where such referencing often appears to be an ends to itself).

However, as I alluded to earlier, Abe’s matter-of-fact attitude is a strength in places, but it also becomes his weakness. Kangaroo Notebook begins to drag underneath its own formula; the narrators lackluster and passive response dulls their effect and after awhile leaves the nightmarish quality lost in the mundanity. The effect of this tendency does make the novel seem to drag in places. For instance, imagine coming across your dead mother, sitting eyeless, and playing a Shamisen with a sharp metal pick, and then watching as she fights off a vampire nurse, and saying, in a slightly more literary fashion, meh.

The nurse, (the same who serviced him at the dermatologist), is a member of the Dracula Society, (based in Romania, where, according to her, Count Dracula the VII is attempting to take over the government since the fall of the Ceausescu regime), and happens to be living with an American studying the prospects of population control through traffic signals, (and the operator of the aforementioned Karate School/Chiropractic Center, whose name, by the way, is Master Hammer Killer).

The problem with these is that when the same formula repeats itself over and over again it becomes boring. The narrator’s passivity becomes boring, with it, at the worst moments, turning him into a literary vehicle that is there just to make phantasmal observations. At some point, the work begins to lose its focus. I would say that this occurs after he leaves the demon-children, (the aforementioned Wikipedia "waifs"), who sing for tourists visiting the River Sai. Their song, in classical Japanese 5-7-5 Prosody, is one of the most memorable moments of the book:

This is the tale of the Riverbank of Sai
The lonely limbo for children’s souls,
Nestled beneath the mountains in the netherworld.
Just to hear it wrings the ear.
Youngsters of two and three, four and five,
Little ones, all under ten,
Gather on the Riverbank of Sai.
‘How I miss you, Father! How I miss you, Mother!’
The voices wailing these laments
Are voices from another world
Whose sadness pierces flesh and bone.
The task these children must perform
Is collecting stones on the riverbank
And building memorial towers.
‘I set down the first stone for my father,
I set down the second stone for my mother.
I set down the third stone in memory of
My brothers and sisters in my hometown.
During the day I can play alone,
But around the time when twilight nears,
Suddenly a demon from hell appears.’
‘What are you kids doing?’ he growls.
‘The father and mother you left in the world
Don’t perform rites for your repose.
From morning to night they only moan
Of cruelty, grief, and misery.
Your parent’s laments are your punishment.
Don’t blame me!’ The demon swings his iron club
And topples the children’s little towers.
Just then the stones on the shore turn red;
The flowing river bursts into flames
That burn all creatures to the bone.” (Pg. 67-68).

After this point things seem to be falling into a rut of formulaic surreal interactions, however, as the short novel approaches its end, it regains its posture to large degree. While the work still suffers from its lack of focus and active engagement, it is salvaged enough at the end to still warrant a Four Star rating, (out of five of course). I’m particularly fond of these two interactions:

“I understand your research topic is ‘Accidental Death.’”
“That’s right.” Killer smiled. His eyes drooped slightly and he looked positively ecstatic. “In short, ‘Accidental Death’ is the supreme symbolic expression of contemporary death. ‘Accidental Death’ is obviously suicide, and at the same time, it is obviously murder. The assailant and the victim are intimates. To delay death by hastening death is to balance the bankbook that we call ‘civilization.’” (Pg. 129)

Or this one, between the narrator and a young student, still scarred from the murder of an old man in the hospital whose wheezing had kept him from sleeping:

Suddenly his voice rose to a shrill pitch. “But I’m not ordinary anymore. Because I’m a murderer.”
“I told you to forget it. That was a group decision; you weren’t the only one who wanted to kill him.”
“What’s the point of human life.”
“We’re alive because we’re alive. There’s no particular purpose.”
“That can’t be. There has to be some meaning.”
“Even if there’s no meaning, people eagerly pile up life insurance. We’re alive because we don’t want to die.
“That’s awful, that way of thinking…” His voice caught and he sniffled noisily. “Once a person dies, he can’t die again.”
“Obviously. If you could commit suicide in hell, it wouldn’t be hell.” (Pg. 169-170, bolding done by me).

In the final pages, the nightmare reaches it crescendo. The very end of Kangaroo Notebook is one of the scariest things I have read. It’s a moment of illogical fear, an unnerving sentiment, that nothing Stephen King has ever written can come close to matching. With a chorus of other children singing along, (with the chorus, “Help me, help me, help me, please. Please, please, won’t you help me, please.”), the lone girl whose manifestation, in some form or another, has haunted him throughout the story, begins singing as well:

Long ago kidnappers hunted for children,
But every maze was marked with a number
And there was nowhere left to hide them.
So now all the kidnappers have retired
and children roam in search of them.
Now children hunt for kidnappers. (Pg. 180-181).

[…]

Beneath the little window facing north,
At the base of the bridge,
At the foot of the mountain path,

Afterwards,
The kidnapper who arrived too late,
The kidnapper I could not meet,
The kidnapper I loved.

The kidnapper who arrived too late,
The kidnapper I could not meet,
The kidnapper I loved. (Pg. 182).

I read this section late at night, by myself, and it left me too disturbed to move on for some time. Everything, to the final line “It was dreadful. Pg. 182.”, are all too disturbing and original. Abe’s brilliance truly shined through in his ability to transcribe such an unusual novel, with such a discombobulating and surreal ending that inspires terror in the reader. And to insert, as an epilogue, a newspaper clipping…which makes us wonder how much of the story is actually real, he hits the perfect note.

Kangaroo Notebook is an ambiguous story, and one with tremendous power. I’m not sure what idea Abe is exploring here, and I don’t think that there necessarily has to be a specific undercurrent of thought in his novel. I will resist the urge to over-analyze, that flaw that dooms most of Academia these days. For me, the story is a vague and powerful pondering of death and reality, and, I suspect, capitalism, (Abe was a devout Marxist, in still very traditional Post-World War II Japan). It’s a work that rivals anything of Kafka’s in its alienation and both its humor and eerie terror make it well worth reading. Four Stars, (my little symbols aren't working here unfortunately).

P.S. This is my eternal tag for diaries, but I am fond of knowing my readership. It's not a like a blog with a built in counter on the sidebar, (at least not one that I'm aware of), so if you read this, please take a moment to vote in the poll so I can get a feel for what kind of outreach I'm getting.

Originally posted to ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers, Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter, and Community Spotlight.

Poll

Have you read much Japanese Literature?

37%16 votes
32%14 votes
18%8 votes
2%1 votes
9%4 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

    by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:16:40 PM PDT

  •  So, what do you guys think (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, Powered Grace, Matt Z

    of the book? Any people interested in reading it? Any people who have already read it and have a differing opinion or things they'd like to add?

    Consider this thread an open thread for the discussion of Japanese literature in general. I'm interested to talk it out with you guys.

    "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

    by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:18:12 PM PDT

  •  WHilst I have never read any (5+ / 0-)

    of his works, I can recognise an extremely good review when I read one :)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:31:14 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, Larsstephens, Powered Grace, Matt Z

      It's a bit different than normal for me, as normally I have far less textual quotes and far more analysis and summation. But in this situation, I thought it would be pointless to try to sum up the plot, and it was very difficult to describe the emotional sense of the work without using lots of quotes.

      I'm glad you feel I gave a good representation of the work. I hope it piques people's interests and brings them to want to read it.

      "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

      by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:34:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A question (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArkDem14, Larsstephens, Matt Z, Limelite

        Would you respond to comment requests for further "analysis"

        I like to read Book Reviews, they introduce me to unknown authors ... I also like to read about the Reviewers "take" on various aspects of the books :)

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:37:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could try (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg, Larsstephens, Matt Z, Limelite

          I tend to do my best to avoid strict textual analysis. My mind and personality in general tend to lack focus and more than anything I just prefer dealing with the bigger picture. It seems like in Academia, everyone's a Particle Physicist; not many astronomers like me, (which is why I don't think I'll pursue higher degrees in Literature).

          But if people were curious, I could try and talk a bit more about.

          But what can you say about a work where, when the narrator is asked, "Don't you have a philosophy?" He responds, "I have a bit of an interest in Kangaroos, but when it comes to having a philosophy..."

          "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

          by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:46:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm Sending You an Invite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArkDem14, cfk

        to become an R&BLers Contributor.  I hope you'll consider publishing your next review (Kenzaburo Oe) to our Group.

        Thanks for this!  Japanese and Chines (especially) contemporary) fiction are favorites with me.

        Japanese literature in translation intrigues me, and I've read several novels by various authors.  Haruki Murakami, Yasunari Kawabata, and I'm looking forward to reading The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

        And of course, Kazuro Ishiguro, who writes in English.

        Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

        by Limelite on Fri May 13, 2011 at 10:27:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm really sorry about the poll (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, Matt Z

    I hate it that we still can't edit the wording after it's been published. I meant to write, "No, but I want to get more acquainted with it." As an option, but for some reason only wrote 'was'. :(

    "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

    by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:40:29 PM PDT

  •  I will republish you to Readers & Book Lovers (7+ / 0-)

    right now which will put you in 500+ streams.

    and add our tags.

    Please check your diary, tomorrow, too, for comments as people on the East Coast come on line.  :)

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:10:13 PM PDT

    •  ooops, see you have one of our tags (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, Larsstephens, twigg, Matt Z, Limelite

      good!  will add the short form, too.

      If you let me know by message when you are going to publish a diary...evenings, or Limelite, days...we could schedule them for you.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:11:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tags look like this to get into our streams (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArkDem14, Larsstephens, Matt Z, Limelite

        Readers & Book Lovers, R & BLers

        Best wishes!

        Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:14:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, I'm still not used to (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, Larsstephens, Matt Z, Limelite

          the new tagging system. But I'm really glad to get in a bigger stream. I really enjoyed the work, and it was memorable even when it dragged, so I'm hoping to introduce more people to Abe and his work, as he, and modern Japanese writers not named Mishima and Murakami, are quite underrepresented in the West.

          And don't worry, I keep tabs on my diaries and try to be polite and involved with my responses to people.

          It's good to see you're still doing Bookflurries. I envy how much you read. T'is incredible.

          "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

          by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:44:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am retired...that helps :) (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ArkDem14, Larsstephens, Matt Z

            You will have read more, I believe, by the time you are my ancient age.

            I always enjoy hearing what you are reading.

            Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

            by cfk on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:47:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Even when I have time (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larsstephens, cfk, Matt Z

              I tend to waste it. I read an absurd amount of manga this semester. Even during Winter Break, I read a ton of manga. Granted that during Winter Break I was also rereading Macbeth and reading the collect poems of Dylan Thomas and W.H. Auden, but still...

              Yeah, all my literary friends think I'm weird. Me and my Japanese pop culture obsessions. I'm back to writing though, (on my latest project), and beyond trying to keep working on my German this summer, (I'm going to try finishing Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone in German, as well as Der Kleine Prinz and Erich Kastner). And read through my textbook. And hopefully take in a part-time job. So hopefully I'll be productive.

              There are several books I really want to read in English, not the least of which is Christopher R. R. Martin's highly recommended fantasy series.

              "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

              by ArkDem14 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:59:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good Luck with this! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ArkDem14, cfk, Matt Z

                The german translations of Harry Potter are done all right in general, apart from minor quibbles as translating Hermiones name into Hermine (as Hermine is a traditional, though today totally old-fashioned name in german, while about nobody knows who the greek Hermine was), before another character actually called Hermine appeared in a later novel (bad translator's luck).

                And Erich Kästner is such a witty author, anyway. Good luck with your studying german!

                •  You wouldn't, perchance (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cfk

                  happen to be a native speaker would you? I'm always looking for penpals to look at my poor grammar, and shake their heads sadly. I'm minoring in it actually. Next Spring I'll probably be studying in Jena or Freiburg.

                  "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

                  by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:02:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  My first German novels were Hermann Hesse's (0+ / 0-)

                Demian and Narziß und Goldmund. I'd recommend them for beginning German learners (not too hard to read) and for younger people in general.

                Y'en a pas un sur cent et pourtant ils existent / La plupart Espagnols allez savoir pourquoi / Faut croire qu'en Espagne on ne les comprend pas / Les anarchistes -- Leo Ferré

                by Anak on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:45:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've already read (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Anak

                  Steppenwolf in English, and one short of Hesse's in German, which was a bit of challenge and made me feel that waiting a while longer on him was most likely wise.

                  Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

                  by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:50:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, I was going to add: (0+ / 0-)

                    "I don't recommend Steppenwolf, cause that one IS hard to read" ;)
                    I dunno. I didn't really like that novel too much. I think I liked Demian best.

                    Y'en a pas un sur cent et pourtant ils existent / La plupart Espagnols allez savoir pourquoi / Faut croire qu'en Espagne on ne les comprend pas / Les anarchistes -- Leo Ferré

                    by Anak on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:53:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Steppenwolf is one of my favorite (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Anak

                      Novels of all time. The Magic Theater is what I consider the greatest and most beautiful expression of the possibility and freedom found in art ever written.

                      Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

                      by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:54:46 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Btw, it would ge nice if you (0+ / 0-)

                        rec comments made to your diaries. Otherwise it might seem like you don't give a shit about what people say.

                        Y'en a pas un sur cent et pourtant ils existent / La plupart Espagnols allez savoir pourquoi / Faut croire qu'en Espagne on ne les comprend pas / Les anarchistes -- Leo Ferré

                        by Anak on Tue May 17, 2011 at 12:18:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  His Plays. I do love his plays. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, Anak, Matt Z, Limelite

    I first was exposed to Abe through the film production of Woman in the Dunes.    Strange.    Etherial bit of film-making.   Par

    Woman in Dunes however haunted me, and I have re-read it twice.   It remains on my shelf today.

    But it's his plays.   Abe writing may be  best known for his novels, but his plays are stunning.   The Beast.  A Man who Turned into a Stick.   Wishful/Awake.

    Brilliant.

    •  Did he not write the (0+ / 0-)

      script for Face of Another as well? Another classic Japanese film. I would like to see performances of the plays you mentioned, (I hate reading plays).

      Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

      by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 06:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Haven't read any Abe, saw movie of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, Anak, Limelite

    Woman in the Dunes.
    Did read A Personal Matter by Oe, which resonated with me.
    Also The River Ki by Sawako Arioshi.  Well executed novel.
    I believe I read some Mishima years ago, and at least one novel by Kawabata.

    Of course, I've read Tale of Genji, and a fair amount of haiku.

    All in all, not very well versed in Japanese literature.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Fri May 13, 2011 at 05:33:44 AM PDT

    •  Looks like you're on par with me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aravir

      Just in different areas. I think you get 10 points automatically for reading Tale of Genji, hehe. I'll doing a piece soon on Oe's first work, Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids which is one of my favorite novels. How long it takes will depend if I decide to reread it before rewriting and expanding an old review of it I did for AP English.

      I read The Master of Go by Yasunari, and was quite impressed by it.

      Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

      by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 06:08:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most Japanese write about dark subjects (0+ / 0-)

    You  rarely get  anything uplifting in their  manga or  anime ,the last complete book i read about Japanese society was Memoirs of a  Geisha ,it was about the daily lives of being a Geisha, Japanese put great emphasis only preserving Japanese culture and society ,now that thier core foundation of being Japanese are being tested by the event following March 11,  

    •  I don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      The Japanese Literary tradition is certainly more morbid, but there are plenty of bright, comedic shounen and shoujo mangas out there that are very popular.

      What Japanese emphasize is maintaining kokutai, which you can take to mean national heritage, and the national heritage of Japan is very flexible; the definition of kokutai has changed in the past, (after Perry and the defeat of WWII), and changed so as to make Japan stronger. It's not common to wear a yukata anymore, except maybe to lounge in your own home or to special cultural festivals. To a large degree even Japan's cultural differences have decreased.

      I wonder what the reaction to the March 11th events will be. I fear that it will accelerate Naoto Kan and his party's departure, which is a shame because Japanese politics really needed the fresh ideas. Hopefully that earthquake was a once in a thousand years fluke, as human technology is not at the point where the devastation wouldn't be unimaginable if it hit Tokyo.

      Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

      by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •   I think Japan is on the brink (0+ / 0-)

        Of a catastrophy ,if no new ideas are not  implemented soon ,with  the world using every reason to punish Japanese for thier past policies and  by using radiation as an excuse  too do it, Japanese  has let China out do them internationally ,it do not mean China is smarter  than Japan , but China do not use culture as an excuse too do business with people of other races

        •  I'm having trouble (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          following your comments, and even more following your logic. I haven't seen anyone punish Japan lately, in fact I've mostly seen aid packages and condolences. Neither does Japan use culture as an excuse not  to business with people of other races, (as I  think you were implying). It's expected that China would surpass Japan; they have 5 times the population and a vastly larger geographic base for economic production, not to mention immense natural resources. The fact that they weren't was more a sign of their extreme underdeveloped-ness.

          Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

          by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:21:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It obvious you have not seen (0+ / 0-)

            All the Japanese official begging others country that thier product are safe and  Japan is having problem meeting it energy need ,Major corporation such as Toyota auto production has reached rock bottom ,which no guaranteed  solution in the near future, i listen to NHk everyday and news is very grim everyday

            •  NHK? (0+ / 0-)

              Isn't that the Chinese state media program or am I confusing it with something else?

              I don't get what you're saying, it's filled with so much blatant economic propaganda I don't know where to start. Toyota has slipped a little, but that's to be expected; the country just got hit with the largest earthquake in it's modern history. Even now, Toyota is still pulling out a profit, just smaller than it previously was. The amount of radiation released by this plant is still at around .001% that released by the two atomic bombs; in other words ridiculously small. I don't think any other countries have legitimate concerns about Japanese products being tainted with radiation. Though that reactor is becoming a major headache in getting it cleaned long term.

              In a few months, due to the rebuilding, Japan's economy should actually see a significant boost and a lot of renovation being done.

              Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

              by ArkDem14 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:42:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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