The Modern Tokyo Times

International news and neglected issues

Archive for the month “June, 2011”

Ike No Taiga: Japanese artist and a glimpse into the history of Japan

Ike No Taiga: Japanese artist and a glimpse into the history of Japan

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Japanese art is very distinctive and contrasts greatly with classical European art and clearly religious differences, environmental factors, distance, limited social interaction between both poles and other important factors is behind this. Ike No Taiga exemplifies the vast difference in thinking and clearly China was the central of gravity for a major period in the history of Japan.

This article is merely highlighting Ike No Taiga and focusing on the underbelly of culture in Japan and how his life provides glimpses of the reality of Japan in the 18th century. After all, the land of the rising sun was clearly influenced by ideas emanating out of China. Therefore, while thinking was influenced before the Nara period in the 8th century it is clear that the Nara period highlights the interaction of both nations.

It is often claimed that the Edo period is based on isolation but the life of Ike No Taiga (1723-1776) challenges this oversimplification.  The Edo period witnessed the Buddhist inquisition against Christianity whereby all Christians were killed in this period in Japan but outside cultural influence still entered this country.

Therefore, while religious edicts were a reality the isolation of Japan is a different matter because thought patterns emanating from China were still potent.  Therefore, the life of Ike No Taiga is fascinating because of many factors.

Ike No Taiga was born into a relatively poor family and his father died when he was very young.  However, despite this his mother somehow managed to get her son educated by some of the finest minds in Japan in this period.

This in itself shows you that the heavy handed stratification of society was not completely rigid and Ike No Taiga was accepted because he was a man of letters and an artist who provides glimpses of Japan in this period. 

Ike No Taiga was taught classical Japanese and Chinese disciplines during his childhood and the Mampuku-ji Zen temple would remain embedded within his soul. Therefore, irrespective of Japan’s isolation or not; the classical world of China was still potent within the mindset of Japanese high culture and religious thinking from Mampuku-ji Zen temple shaped and influenced Ike No Taiga greatly.

At the tender age of 14 Ike No Taiga had become a professional artist and a calligrapher of high esteem.  However, the encounter he had with Yanagisawa Kien would impact on him greatly. 

Through Yanagisawa Kien the world of bunjin was introduced to him and this world would shape the life of Ike No Taiga.  Yanagisawa Kien was a major artistic figure and social thinker and bunjin was potent within high circles in this period of Japanese history.

Anna Beerens comments that “In 8th-century Japan a few hundred individuals, mostly living in the main towns, such as Kyoto, Osaka and Edo, are considered literati (bunjin). In studying this group as an intellectual and social phenomenon one studies an important part of the history of 18th-century Japanese culture and city life. Also, their literati activities and attitudes are an interesting example of acculturation. For whatever our literati may be, they certainly are a collection of consciously sinophile people, writing Chinese, painting in a variety of Chinese styles, drinking their tea the Chinese way, and otherwise assimilating and disseminating Chinese influences, at the same time changing this heritage in all sorts of subtle ways.”

Ike No Taiga, Kan Tenju and Ko Fuyo were deeply influenced by Yanagisawa Kien and the bunjin world appealed greatly because of the high culture that it provided. However, the social reality of Ike No Taiga meant that the avoidance of commercialism was not possible because if he did not ply his trade then he had no alternative source of income.

Another aspect of bunjin thinking was to set off on important journeys in order to understand the world and to commune with nature.  Also, the journeys would expand the cultural awareness of the individual and by connecting with nature this would then trigger greater artistic imagination. 

Bunjin concepts did enable Ike No Taiga to expand his knowledge and by travelling he learnt about Rangaku (Dutch learning) and Noro Genjo will have provided another important worldview but fused with Japanese cultural influences.

Again, the Edo period and isolationism did not prevent scholars from studying outside concepts.  Therefore, the thought patterns of high culture in both China and the Netherlands would impact on Ike No Taiga.

Throughout much of the life of Ike No Taiga he would travel and connect with nature by mountain climbing and witnessing culture during his travels.  He often was accompanied by fellow bunjin colleagues and collaboration on art projects took place.  Therefore, the philosophy of bunjin reached deep into his soul.

At all times Ike No Taiga was searching and in time he would also become influenced by Hakuin Ekaku.  Therefore, the personal style of Hakuin Ekaku would add to the vast knowledge of Ike No Taiga and he would work with Hakuin’s disciples.

The Japanese government classified some of Ike No Taiga’s work to be National Treasures and this would have pleased him greatly because the man of letters was fully transformed by bunjin thought patterns.

Ike No Taiga may have resided in so-called isolationist Japan but this did not stop him from benefitting from the high culture of China and the Netherlands.  Also, his humble background and stratification in Japan did not hinder him and aspects of the life of Ike No Taiga should be studied in order to deconstruct some myths about Japan in the Edo period.

http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Ike-No-Taiga/Ike-No-Taiga-oil-paintings.html 

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

Ando Hiroshige: a glimpse of Japan and duality! Part 1

 

Ando Hiroshige: a glimpse of Japan and duality!  Part 1  

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ando Hiroshige is deemed to be one of the finest artists to bless the country of Japan and his art influenced famous artists like Van Gogh.  Hiroshige leaves a lasting impression on the imagination and Katsushika Hokusai clearly influenced Hiroshige and was an inspirational figure even if from afar.

Collectively Hiroshige and Hokusai helped to generate great interest in Japanese art albeit if this influence grew after their respective deaths. Of course, many other famous artists have been born in Japan and the rich nature of Japanese art is clear for all to see.

Time, space, nature, color schemes and symbolism fuses together just like Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism fused aspects of Japanese culture in the past alongside the influences of China. However, amidst the serenity you have the backdrop of shunga which was erotic and explicitly sexual and this art form teaches much about the psyche and sexual reality of Japan. 

Within the visions of serenity, sublime nature and stunning landscapes you have multi-dimensional realities which may clash in other cultures, irrespective if “Eastern” or “Western” thought patterns; however, open sexuality and conservatism within the same “inner-self” is based on thought patterns that are difficult to grasp from a non-Japanese point of view.

Therefore, in the last years of Hiroshige’s life he entered into the spiritual plain of Buddhism and the reality of depicting strong sexual images would not appear to be contradictory nor would it be viewed to be openly sexual within the cultural norm of Japan.

This article is not based on giving a deep background of Hiroshige because the images on show express themselves without words.  Therefore, the main theme is based on the duality of Hiroshige and this applies to sublime landscapes and sexual images and the fact that he was born a samurai but died a Buddhism monk. 

This contradictory factor is often missed by outsiders but within the cultural norms of Japan it is very different and clearly understandable.

Therefore, the Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido Road, the Eight Views of Lake Biwa, and the Hundred Views of Edo remain firmly entrenched when thinking about the genius of Hiroshige. However, when you delve deeper into other aspects of Hiroshige’s work then just like Hokusai you can envisage the sexual nature and cultural norms of Japan.

http://www.hiroshige.org.uk/hiroshige/main/main.htm 

http://library.thinkquest.org/trio/TTQ05064/Templates/hiroshige.htm

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

This article is dedicated to Chikako, Kimiko, Toshiko, and Yoshihiro, who reside in Ikebukuro or have a business in Ikebukuro.  Over the years our interaction and talks about important issues opened up different aspects of Japanese culture in the environment of Tokyo. 

In my article I state that “This contradictory factor is often missed by outsiders but within the cultural norms of Japan it is very different and clearly understandable.”

The above quote is based on their thinking and while you can read books and study the truth is that open cultural interaction makes you understand much more deeply.

Thank you!

Lee Jay

Osaka fashion: Namba and its independent spirit

Osaka fashion: Namba and its independent spirit

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The magic of the Kansai region is the huge diversity which can be found throughout this part of Japan.  This applies to the high octane nature of Osaka with huge skyscrapers, buzzing fashion and a city which is a powerhouse in its own right.  Alternatively, you have the high culture of Nara within a short distance of time and for visitors to Kansai or locals who like to travel; then you are clearly spoilt for choice.

Osaka is full of life and in Namba you can feel the vibrancy of Osaka culture and this applies to fashion, entertainment and manzai. I often find aspects of Tokyo life easy because the comfort zone reality applies but in Namba you can feel a real “edge” and “vibrancy” which is hard to find in Tokyo.

Namba also ticks for 24 hours and the night time aspect of Namba applies to the sexual nature of the Dotonbori area and other forms of entertainment where people can unwind and forget about the seriousness of life.

During the day Namba is awash with different types of activities and the fashion scene is extremely vibrant. Added to this is manzai which is a unique comedy style and the famous Yoshimotokougyo School is located in this part of Osaka.  Therefore, you will often see many young students practicing outside in one part of Namba and it is refreshing to see the younger generation so happy and not worrying about what others think.

Fashion is also buzzing and Namba ladies have their own distinct fashion and style. This also applies to the different thought pattern because the confidence factor and more outgoing style seems more natural.  Often in Tokyo, you can feel a more timid way of life outside certain notorious areas but Osaka culture on the whole is more open and energetic.

In Namba you have trendy and fashionable areas like Amerikamura and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade.  Also, electronic areas and manga can be found and Nipponbashi Den Den Town is popular.  Meanwhile, the Dotonbori district is famous for entertainment and the innocence and vibrancy of manzai can be felt alongside trendy fashion areas and the seedier nature of nighttime.

This part of Osaka is also blessed with a nice waterway system and it is a nice place to relax and sit out and you will see many tourist boats on busy days.  This also latches on to the genuine buzz of Namba. Therefore, even if you are by yourself you feel that you belong because of the ambient atmosphere.

Fashion in the Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and adjacent area surrounding this shopping complex is awash with fashion stores and you have a huge choice.  Also, true to the nature of Namba, it is also a fusion of trendy boutiques with an independent spirit alongside well-known chain retail stores.

Fashion is really fascinating in Namba because of the options which are available.  This applies to the high fashion of expensive department stores and influential brands alongside trendy boutiques which have a more independent feel.  The combination compliments each other and for this reason you will see many different styles and the more you venture, then the more you will see the alternative side of fashion in Namba.  

In the area called Amerikamura you have a reported 3,000 shops to pick from and the choice is really diverse and clearly you need time out to wander and find stores which have that special feel which each individual person is looking for.  The youthful nature and buzz of this part of Osaka can be felt and domestic boutiques like Urban Research, Ships, Anna Sui, Stussy, and countless others, can be found in this vibrant and fashionable area.

Other places to visit in Namba are Namba Parks, National Bunraku Theater, Hozenji Yokocho Alley, Kuromon Ichiba Market (Emmeiji Market) and Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum. Also, for pure energy then the Dotonbori area is a must and it is nice to relax along the river and this applies to shopping, entertainment and many food outlets.

At night Dotonbori changes because the area is awash with stunning ladies and a different Namba comes into being during the night time and early hours of the morning.

Overall, Namba is a must place to visit in Osaka because of fantastic fashion and the natural raw energy which can be felt. 

Osaka certainly is not in the shadow of any other major city in the world because it is a huge and highly developed city.  Osaka is extremely vibrant and in Namba you will feel the raw energy and atmosphere of a place which is alive at all times during the day.

 

http://www.infomapjapan.com/sight_Namba.phtml  (Info about Namba)

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/travel/osaka_namba.htm

http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5160.html (Namba Walk info)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

photo from http://www.flickr.com  

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com please visit

 

 

Katsushika Hokusai and Nobuyoshi Araki: Who is the more erotic? Part 3 of Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai and Nobuyoshi Araki: Who is the more erotic?  Part 3 of Hokusai

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Katsushika Hokusai was born in 1760 and Nobuyoshi Araki was born in 1940 and today Araki still continues to take photo images. Hokusai is famously known throughout the world for The Great Wave off Kanagawa and his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. However, Araki is known for his sexual images and the unique erotic styles that he often takes but Araki is much more diverse than this because his work involves many different forms of photography.

Hokusai and Araki were born in different Japan’s but sexual artistic flair can be witnessed by both individuals because sexual images and erotic art forms belong to aspects of their respective work. 

Both individuals were born in Tokyo and while Hokusai is famous for non-erotic forms of art to most lay people the same can’t be said about Araki because Tokyo Lucky Hole is either extremely erotic or pornographic depending on your viewpoint. 

Irrespective if we use the word “erotic” or “pornographic” because people have different sensibilities the fact remains that Araki is extremely gifted and creative.  Like all photographers the artist will either appeal or not appeal. However, Araki is clearly showing a sexual and seedy side of Tokyo which not only exists but is quite prevalent in many main areas in modern day Tokyo.

Their different art forms can’t be compared because both were born in very different societies and technology, thought patterns, environmental differences and countless other factors, means that it is unfair to compare and counterproductive.

However, it is abundantly clear that the “erotic” side of aspects of their work is a uniting factor and both are famous sons of Tokyo. Yet, in the image of most art lovers both clearly have a distinctive connotation and mystery and while the “erotic” and seedy side of Tokyo creates image of Araki in the mind; it is clear that for most people Hokusai is deemed to be “a classical artist” and one of the most famous artists that graced the soil of Japan. 

Indeed the word “artist” and “contemporary artist” is also subjective because while Hokusai will smoothly fit into the word “artist” you will have different opinions towards Araki.  This applies to stating that Araki is a “contemporary artist” but for conservative individuals Araki will be tainted by the word “pornography.” Also, the vagueness of “contemporary artist” means that it is difficult to define in the absolute sense because different thought patterns view the world differently.  

The first time I ever saw work by Araki was in Manchester, England, when I viewed Tokyo Lucky Hole when I was around 19 years old.  My first impression, and coming from a non-artist background at the time, was “wow” and these ladies look “so hot” therefore for myself I viewed this to be pornographic when I was young but I did find it in the art section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the more you view aspects of Araki’s work then it does become abundantly clear that in his field he is extremely talented and not everything is what it seems. 

In my article called “Nobuyoshi Araki shows the cultural side of Tokyo in the flesh” I state that Araki “…goes much further because this famous photographer opens up a Tokyo which is often neglected or not imagined.  He also fuses his photography with the landscape of Tokyo amidst naked bodies or ladies being tied up and his imagery is clearly powerful.”

“Therefore, Nobuyoshi Araki is also focusing on the emptiness of entertainment districts and the sex industry; albeit from an erotic human form and the energy and visual nature of his photography expresses many emotions.”

“Like any artist; people will see different things within his photography and while some people will gain from his works others may reject him on various grounds.  However, if you look deeper into his work then Nobuyoshi Araki is providing a real glimpse into a Tokyo which exists and not only this, he does this by creating a rare energy within simplistic and complex themes.”

Hokusai is in reverse because my first contact with the work of Hokusai was when I viewed The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Fuji in Clear Weather and this was followed by the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Immediately I liked Hokusai because the sheer power of The Great Wave off Kanagawa was striking.  I therefore believed that Hokusai was similar to John Constable (a classical artist from England who was born in 1776) who painted The Hay Wain and Dedham Vale and many other classic paintings.

Yet, many years later I viewed the The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife by Hokusai and other images from Kinoe No Komatsu which is a collection of shunga.  I was shocked because I never understood this side of Hokusai and The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is not only erotic but it mind boggling because of the perverse nature of what is happening.  

In my article called “Katsushika Hokusai and erotic art: The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (Part 2 of Hokusai)” I comment that “The image shows a lady who was deemed to be a shell diver (ama) with her legs wide apart while the fully grown octopus performs cunnilingus.  She is fully naked and her breasts and hairy pussy are clearly visible and her body is clearly welcoming both the fully grown octopus and the small and younger octopus.”

“The eyes of the fully grown octopus are really striking because while performing cunnilingus on the lady it is clear that the eyes are fully focused on her face and pleasure and satisfaction belong to both.”

“It is suggested that the small octopus may be the son and if so then this makes the sexual experience even more erotic to some or alternatively “on the edge” for others.  Either way, only Hokusai really knows the role of the small octopus but it is clear that the lady is enjoying the power of the fully grown octopus and the magical touch of the younger octopus which is fondling her nipple and mouth.”

“Her face depicts complete sexual bliss and in the image it appears that nature and humans are one and the same.  Yes, visually different; however, enjoying the sexual experience together.”                                                                                  

“The image which is graphic is also based on consent, pleasure, joy, and bliss.”

Other images by Hokusai are also extremely sexual and graphic between people having sex and maybe just like Araki showing the seedy side of modern Tokyo it could be said that Hokusai was also doing the same.  However, the image where a woman is happily spreading her pussy so that she can feel the pleasure of an octopus and clearly feeling orgasmic; then for myself this image is not only mind boggling it is mysterious, perverse, erotic and showing images of pleasure all into one image. 

The scholar Danielle Talerico desires to put this image into the context of the Princess Tamatori story which was well-known in the Edo period. However, Hokusai may have played on this in order to create something else because in the Princess Tamatori story she dies from her wounds.  However, in Hokusai’s work it is clear that sexual pleasure and mutual gratification is taking place and the image does not show fear.

This is getting away from the point of Hokusai and Araki and the question of who is the more erotic.  Of course, people will have different opinions and again time, environment and other factors will make the judgment difficult.

Also, because of the very nature of art and different thought patterns then some may deem Hokusai to be “a master artist” or “a perverted artist” when it came to shunga. The same applies to Araki because to some people his work is “erotic art” but to others it is “pornography” and not artistic. Also, can aspects of pornography be deemed to be artistic?

This minefield does not belong to this article and despite all the sexual images by Araki I believe that Hokusai’s work was more erotic and this applies to many images from his Kinoe No Komatsu collection.  More to the point, the image of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is in a different dimension to anything that Araki created.

Obviously both individuals have created their work within themselves and their respective work is not based on competition with anyone.  However, the point is that while Hokusai remains within the fold of “classical artist” it is clear that Araki “is on the edge” and either he is well liked or disregarded. 

Yet, if Araki is disregarded based on his subject matter then clearly the same does not apply to Hokusai.  Both individual have opened up a door to “a hidden Japan” which is “not so hidden” for people who reside in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. 

However, when it comes to erotic images then The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife by Hokusai takes some beating and the power of this image remains today.

 

http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/hokusai/launch.htm   (Hokusai)

http://www.hokusai-kan.com/treasure01.htm  (Hokusai)

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/05/31/katsushika-hokusai-japanese-artist-with-a-rich-legacy-part-one/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/06/03/katsushika-hokusai-and-erotic-art-the-dream-of-the-fisherman%e2%80%99s-wife-part-2-of-hokusai/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/04/02/nobuyoshi-araki-shows-the-cultural-side-of-tokyo-in-the-flesh/

http://fantomatik75.blogspot.com/2010/02/les-cordes-nobuyashi-araki.html (images taken from this website when applies to Araki but photos remain within the search engine but problems with modern website)

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi follows Islamic utopia and Jihad but it eludes him!

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi follows Islamic utopia and Jihad but it eludes him!

Lee Jay Walker

Global Security News

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi is a convert to Islam and the schizophrenia nature of his sermons and spreading the faith in mainly non-Muslim nations sums him up precisely.  After all, note how he does not want to reside in beautiful nations like Afghanistan whereby he can witness women being herded like cattle or in Somalia where he could watch converts to Christianity being beheaded. 

Instead Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, just like all hypocrites desires to Islamize from within but not only this; he is somehow turning Mohammed into a prophet of humanity despite his prophet having sex with concubines, supporting jihad, stealing wealth from others and introducing thinking which would enslave non-Muslims.  Therefore, he is not only involved in Islamic kitman but he mocks himself and should take up comedy.

In his latest sermon he states “There is war in Libya and in Afghanistan. Muslims there are being daily slaughtered on an authority from the political class, men who wage war by proxy and at a safe distance.”

Note the complete manipulation of language once more because Libya is an internal dispute and Muslims are killing each other.  I also do not support the bombing of Libya but on the grounds that Arab Muslim elites are slaughtering non-Muslim Africans in Southern Sudan and continue to slaughter African Muslims.  After all, in Sudan the enslavement of Africans goes hand in hand and of course Mohammed owned slaves, enslaved, and had sex with slaves.  Therefore, Western intervention should be focused on Darfur in Sudan and the current crisis near the border of Southern Sudan and Sudan.

Secondly, Muslims are also slaughtering each other in Afghanistan and he knows full well that Shia Muslims were massacred in the tens of thousands under The Taliban and Al Qaeda (Al Qaida) alliance.   However, it must be stated that the white convert Ian Dallas, yes, Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi; hates the Shia and he states this in his sermons and even makes it clear that they should pay jizya in Bahrain just like Christians should.

The egalitarian Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi is not so egalitarian but he forgets about his own hypocrisy just like he forgets about the reality of Mohammed.  After all, he talks about the need to eradicate the money system based on interest but says little about Mohammed supporting jizya, the right to enslave during war and taking the wealth of the vanquished.

Yes, you have many white converts to Islam who reside in cloud cuckoo land but this “cuckoo” is dangerous because he is spreading his false message to vulnerable individuals who also hate what they once were. 

If Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi aka Ian Dallas does not know that Pakistan is involved in the carnage in Afghanistan and that Shia Muslims now have much greater freedom.  Then what does he understand? 

Or does Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi desire to see women shot to death for adultery or stoned to death in accordance with Islamic Sharia law?  Where does he see Muslims being victims in Afghanistan when it is tribal, ethnic and sectarian Muslim hatred which is destroying this once Buddhist-Hindu land?

More double-talk from Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi because he states “…not one kafir intellectual has grasped that the mechanism of their disaster is not a breakdown of a system, but the logical and mathematically inevitable completion of its programme. It is a process of expropriation, seizing lands, commodities and peoples. The expropriators are an oligarchic class comprising bankers, media and corporation chiefs, its servants are the under-class of politicians.”

I wonder where he got this language from in the Koran because he sounds rather Marxist but Mohammed wasn’t Karl Marx.  Communism in power may have exploited and created a system of power control and power concentration but Marx did not support a system where individuals were deemed inferior based on religion, ethnicity or sexuality.

Now, let us look at Mohammed the not so utopian who did not support equality or equal distribution amongst all people.  After all, Mohammed stated the following:

The Koran: 8:12 “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

Koran: 5:33 “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter…”

Koran: 9:5 “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem.”

Koran 9:29 “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

These verses alone and you have so much hatred within other verses and in many Hadiths, means that Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi is not only a hypocrite but he is involved in Islamic kitman at the highest.  He knows the real message but gullible converts are not listening to quotes from the Koran but instead they are listening to his message based on utopian Marxist concepts. 

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi states “It is a process of expropriation, seizing lands, commodities and peoples.” Note how Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi is condemning this but he supports Mohammed when he states “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem…….Koran 9:5 and in Koran 9:29…. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

It is abundantly clear that Mohammed is not only ordering the slaughter of non-Muslims but he is also supporting non-Muslims to be completely subdued and to pay jizya to the ruling Muslims.  If non-Muslims refuse, then they would face either death or slavery.

However, Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi the hypocrite condemns the West on the one hand but says nothing about the enslavement, redistribution of wealth and power in the hands of the Muslims and the enslavement or massacres of non-Muslims who happen to support equality or religious freedom. 

This dangerous hypocrite is also spreading stealth jihad in non-Muslim nations in the full knowledge that Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and all non-Muslims have no equality or freedom in the land of Mecca and Medina. The Shia also face massive discrimination at the hands of Sunni Islamic zealots and Ahmadiyya Muslims are not allowed to even set foot in Saudi Arabia.

However, the gullible who hate their own past culture are listening to an individual who can easily be shown for what he is – a hypocrite and deceiver because he supports utopia and the slave master at the same time and his words can’t hold because the Koran and Hadiths contradict him.

Also, note how Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi appears to be putting himself above Mohammed because his sermons are based on the Western liberal background he came from and tinged with Marxist rhetoric.  He therefore is not preaching the Koran or Hadiths in his main message but only at the end.

It is essential that stealth Islamic jihadists who are spreading the faith in democratic nations are rebuked for the deceivers they are and because they desire to spread Islam by abusing the freedoms that they have in mainly non-Muslim nations.

Liberal democracy and liberal non-Muslim religious leaders alongside politicians understand the reality of Saudi Arabia. However, they believe that if they appease then Islam will become more moderate but this will not happen.

Also, stealth jihadists like Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi will continue to build a structure from within in order to Islamize and fellow hypocrites like Ahmad Thomson are clearly dangerous.

Ahmad Thomson, another white convert to Islam, is being listened to by people in power in the United Kingdom and he is using law in order to obtain so-called equal rights for Muslims in the United Kingdom via Islamic Sharia law.   However, the hypocrite, just like Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, knows full well that apostates face death in Islam and that non-Muslim males who marry Muslim women face death in accordance with Islamic Sharia law.

However, this does not concern Ahmad Thomson because like Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi he believes that Muslims should be treated special in non-Muslim nations.  Yet they know the reality of non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia where apostates can be killed and so forth and in full accordance with Islamic Sharia law. 

Neither can pick and choose which parts of Sharia Islamic law that they support and they know that Islamic Sharia law supports killing people by stoning people to death for adultery; killing people for freely changing their faith; killing non-Muslims for marrying Muslim women; and other draconian laws like killing homosexuals and cross amputation.

Despite the harsh reality of Islamic Sharia law and the un-utopian nature of Mohammed both Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi and Ahmad Thomson, and a host of other white converts like Abdur-Raheem Green; are intent on stealth jihad and while non-Muslims have freedom it is essential to challenge them in order to show their falsehood and Islamic kitman for what it is.

In my article called “United Kingdom: Ahmad Thomson, Islamic hypocrisy and sharia law” I stated that “Despite the rampant inequality of Islamic Sharia law and barbaric laws which support killing non-Muslims for merely marrying Muslim females; Ahmad Thomson and Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi still peddle their Islamic kitman.”

“Both individuals know that non-Muslims are unequal in Islamic Sharia law and when they visited Saudi Arabia they witnessed a nation which even imprisons Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims, for merely talking openly about their faith.”

“These two hypocrites openly proselytize in mainly non-Muslim nations in order to spread the Islamic faith and they do this in the full knowledge that non-Muslims face the death penalty if they try to convert Muslims in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, The Maldives, Yemen, and a few other nations.”

“However, Ahmad Thomson in the United Kingdom is in the vanguard for changing laws in this nation and his voice is being listened to in important circles. 

Ahmad Thomson cries human rights in the United Kingdom but what about the human rights of non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Islamic Sharia law?”

Non-Muslims in Islamic Sharia law based nations like Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, The Maldives, and a host of other nations; do not have equality and freedom but despite this stealth jihadists, Islamic kitman leaders and others still desire to spread their doctrines in democratic nations.  

Either individuals fight back against this tyranny or one day this tyranny will be unleashed against us and our civil liberties will be crushed.

 

http://www.shaykhabdalqadir.com

http://www.shaykhabdalqadir.com/content/articles/Art122_22062011.php

http://www.islamsgreen.org/

http://www.wynnechambers.co.uk/  

http://global-security-news.com

Tokyo: Chinzan-so garden and exquisite restaurants

Tokyo: Chinzan-so garden and exquisite restaurants  

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Chinzan-so Garden is not only visually stunning but the unique surroundings and history of this garden means that it is not only a highly desirable tourist attraction, but it is a fantastic place to enjoy the splendid restaurants and to stay at a lovely hotel in this lovely part of Tokyo.

The history of Chinzan-so is fascinating because you have many historic remains and you feel like you are entering a different world.  This applies to the pre-Meiji period and the Meiji period when Japan developed rapidly. However, in Chinzan-so this is where history makers enjoyed the opulent wealth and natural beauty of this exquisite garden. Therefore, it is clear that old Japan survived in Tokyo within highly cultural places like Chinzan-so.

The well-known statesman in the early Meiji period, Prince Aritomo Yamagata, built his splendid mansion and the name Chinzan-so means “House of Camellia.” Obviously the name refers to the many types of camellia in this exquisite and historical garden.

The prestige of Prince Aritomo Yamagata and his importance and how Chinzan-so is viewed can be seen by the fact that the Emperor Meiji held many important meetings, in order to plan the future with dignitaries who held important seats of power.  Therefore, it is abundantly clear that the stunning environment, remote settings where seclusion could be found from prying eyes and the cultural aspect of Chinzan-so meant that it was an ideal setting.

Much of the historical legacy today which can be viewed must be credited to Baron Heitaro Fujita because he utilized the stunning grounds and topography.  This applies to adding important historical monuments and many of these came from Kyoto and Toba. However, the stunning pagoda which is very beautiful was relocated from Hiroshima.

Throughout your visit to Chinzan-so garden you will see many Taoist images and being Japan you will also see many Buddhist images because religious and philosophical fusions go hand in hand along with Shintoism.  These images and the numerous stone lanterns add to the charm and mystery of Chinzan-so.  The settings of this garden with the quaint pond, stunning pagoda, waterfall, lanterns, and images of Taoism and Buddhism, all adds to the exquisite nature of this lovely garden.

You also have a sacred 500 year old tree and Chinzan-so is clearly not just a garden because it is a place full of history and splendor.

Chinzan-so is also a great place to enjoy scrumptious food and enjoy the lovely surroundings.  “Kinsui” is a traditional restaurant and is located in a delightful area and the kaiseki cuisine is sure to please alongside other genuine and delicious Japanese dishes.  Also, you have a casual dining area located in “Kinsui” called “Hanaguruma” and this restaurant is also a great place to eat and relax.

“Mokushundo” is another fabulous place to eat fondue, traditional box lunches and barbecue which is cooked in a traditional Japanese style.  “Mokushundo” is five dining rooms which are detached and the tranquil and blissful garden setting means that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

“Chuu-an” restaurant is also set in amazing surroundings and the backdrop of the pond amidst the stunning view means that luxury and the scrumptious Edomae sushi is a rare treasure.  Indeed, the food quality on offer is extremely delicious and this is matched by stunning beauty and you certainly feel like you have entered another world.

If you really like Japanese soba then you will clearly enjoy “Mucha-an” restaurant. This applies to the unique “Kaiseki” taste with scrumptious soba noodles.  Again, your walk to this restaurant is so pleasing and for Japanese soba noodle lovers then it is a most enjoyable place to eat.

Restaurant “Camellia” is famous for its French cuisine and for over 50 years this top notch restaurant continues to win acclaim.  The view is majestic and more spacious and if you are a connoisseur of the best of French cuisine then restaurant “Camellia” is the right place to visit and to enjoy sublime food.

“Café Foresta” is very relaxing and also the setting is very spacious and if you are lucky to sit by the window then you can see the stunning pagoda.  This café provides delicious cakes, sandwiches and you have a nice choice of coffee and tea.  It is a lovely place to relax and to enjoy your stay in Chinzan-so and adds to the variety of choice.

http://www.chinzanso.com/english/restaurant.html  

http://www.chinzanso.com/english/

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

Golf: Ryo Ishikawa should learn from Rory McIlroy the new U.S. Open Champion

 

Golf: Ryo Ishikawa should learn from Rory McIlroy the new U.S. Open Champion

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ryo Ishikawa is a very likeable golfer from Japan and his heart is in the right place but something seems amiss at the moment.  Ishikawa himself stated “I came to painfully realize just how big of a gap there is between me and the best in the world,” Ishikawa commented after the 2011 U.S. Open. He continued by stating with regards to Rory McIlroy that “He’s close to me in age so it’s been incredibly motivating. I hope I can get to that level myself one day.”

Firstly, it must be remembered that Rory McIlroy who comes from Northern Ireland is a rare talent and one that only emerges every decade or so.  Not only did he blow Ishikawa away but he destroyed the entire field and Tiger Woods in his glory days could not surpass the score that McIlroy achieved at the same tournament.

Prior to McIlroy winning the U.S. Open he had started fantastically in other major tournaments but then he could not hold it together.  However, McIlroy is only 22 years of age and after the last day of the Masters this year, it was clear that he had learnt something.  Therefore, when he created a commanding lead in the U.S. Open he not only held the lead but he never allowed anyone to get even close to him.

If we look at the mindset of both Ishikawa and McIlroy then clearly they are different and this is notable when they talk about Tiger Woods.  Ishikawa stills talks admirably about Tiger Woods but McIlroy is more honest and states that he is no longer to be feared like he once was. 

Last year McIlroy stated about Tiger Woods that “Unless his game rapidly improves in the next month or so, I think anyone in the European team would fancy his chances against him.”

This comment may have been blown up out of all proportion but it does tell us about the mindset of McIlroy.  Also, it was not a brash comment at the time because it was factual and while it may have been a little blunt it showed that McIlroy is already moving on irrespective if Tiger Woods bounces back from time to time.

McIlroy clearly knows that Tiger Woods was a great player at his peak but in recent times it is clear that others have caught up with him and younger players don’t fear him.  Therefore, while the record of Tiger Woods speaks for itself and without a question of a doubt we are talking about one of the greatest players to ever play golf; it is time for Ishikawa to find the right attitude and not to feel second best.

Only a few players in the history of golf like Jack Nicklaus can be named alongside Tiger Woods and clearly Tiger Woods will still have many great tournaments in the future. Therefore, you can’t write him off because when he is in the zone then he is very special indeed and a joy to watch.  However, McIlroy and the young Matteo Manassero from Italy, and a few other young players like Rickie Fowler (USA) and Jason Day (Australia), are emerging rapidly.

Manassero looks to be a future champion in the making and he and McIlroy will clearly have great duels in the future and of course other players out of the pack will emerge. Therefore, Ishikawa’s generation and players under the age of 25 look to be a high level bunch to say the least because you have so many other young players like Danny Lee (New Zealand), Peter Uihlein (USA), Yuta Ikeda (Japan) and Kyung Tae-Kim (South Korea).

It also must be stated that Martin Kaymer (Germany), Dustin Johnson (USA) and Gary Woodland (USA) are only just over 25 years of age.  The list could be added but the point is clear because Ishikawa is one of many highly talented players who are very young.

McIlroy is already destined for great things because the U.S Open was waiting for him but with his first major under his belt, then surely the numbers will continue to add up in the future.  McIlroy is rare and he learns quickly and you can feel something special when you watch him play golf.

Ishikawa should not be too despondent or negative because nobody could get close to McIlroy in the U.S. Open. More important, he made the cut in the Masters this year and while other lesser tournaments have been rather negative; the same can’t be said about the way he played in the Masters and the U.S. Open.

I question why Ishikawa is focusing on the Japanese PGA so much because surely the European PGA or USA PGA should be his target?  He obviously does not think so but ironically Ishikawa seems to be in a little trap because clearly he can win in Japan but maybe he can no longer find the same motivation? 

Also, other players from Japan and who play on the Japanese PGA aim themselves at him because he is the star, even if it isn’t showing at the moment.  Surely, with Ishikawa reaching 20 years of age in September then a fresh start should push him on or at least level up his game.

At the moment the number one player in the world is debatable but McIlroy looks poised to take over this mantle.  However, nothing is certain in sport or life and while McIlroy looks destined for great things it is still true to comment that many young players are developing rapidly.

Tiger Woods in recent times was beset with family problems and this was followed by health problems.  He will surely challenge in the near future but not with the same consistency but a potent force nevertheless and the old guard isn’t finished yet.

For now the focus is on McIlroy because of not just winning but absolutely destroying the field at the U.S. Open.

Therefore, Ishikawa needs a clear direction in order to utilize his natural talent and maybe the commercial side should be reduced a little because while he is treated like a star and golf great in Japan; the same can’t be said about his international performances.

Yes, Ishikawa is a fantastic player and he is still very young and learning but what can he learn from playing against the same players in Japan? 

This is not taking anything away from golfers in Japan because some players are of the highest quality but collectively the Japanese tour is weak overall but it is a great to nurture talent.  Therefore, Yuta Ikeda (Japan), Kyung Tae-Kim (South Korea) and other good young players are learning the trade and then doing well in stronger fields outside of Japan.

However, for Ishikawa the Japan tour was all too easy from day one and it soon became apparent that winning in Japan would come often for Ishikawa but this year is a bit of a damp squib at the moment.  In saying that, he often finds form from out of the blue and then goes on a run where he is very consistent. 

Next year will be very important for Ishikawa because with so many good young players around and with McIlroy looking so strong; then Ishikawa needs to improve his game to a higher level.  After all, the talent is clearly visible in Ishikawa but advisors close to him must be questioned because he seems to be a little stuck at the moment and “too nice” for his own good.

Also, Ishikawa can’t rest in Japan because Hideki Matsuyama who is 19 years old and other young players have a lot of promise.  Therefore, the remainder of this year will be interesting and next year will tell us more about the place of Ishikawa amongst the rising stars of golf.

That saying, Ishikawa is still very young and clearly time is on his side.

However, with McIlroy being so strong and Manassero being blessed with so much talent then it isn’t going to be easy for Ishikawa to move to the next stage.  Also, younger players in Japan like Hideki Matsuyama and Yuta Ikeda are highly talented and Masamichi Ito who is only 15 years old should make the grade within a few years.

Therefore, the road lane is getting jammed packed and while McIlroy is out in front it is difficult to see who will join him over the next 15 years with the possible exception being Manassero.

Yes, these are great days for golf lovers and Ishikawa should not become despondent or give out too many platitudes. Instead, he needs to nurture the talent that he is blessed with and maybe a fresh change or change of management will enable him to move on to the next level?

http://www.rorymcilroy.com/

http://ryo.panasonic.co.jp/eng/

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

Kichijoji in Tokyo: great for fashion, relaxing and a lovely park

Kichijoji in Tokyo: great for fashion, relaxing and a lovely park

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kichijoji is a very desirable place to reside in Tokyo and just like Jiyugaoka, Shimo-Kitazawa and Nakano each place attracts many people because of the trendy feel to each area.  Fashion is more independent and you have smaller companies to search out and many places to relax for coffee, wine or a nice meal. 

These places are outside of the main central Tokyo hub and the more famous places like Ebisu, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno and other parts of Tokyo may hog the limelight; however, Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, and Shimo-Kitazawa have their own special feel and they add to the power of Tokyo which is awash with fashionable places to visit.

Therefore, when you visit places like Kichijoji and Shimo-Kitazawa you can walk around many shopping streets and alleyways and often you will find somewhere new which attracts your eye. 

The boutiques and other shopping stores have a more independent feel and this attracts the younger generation and this is the beauty of places like Kichijoji. After all, it is nice to have exquisite fashion, fancy restaurants, coffee shops and a lovely park to relax in.

Also, the pace of life is more soothing than the high octane nature of Shinjuku and other main areas in Tokyo which are all fantastic places to visit but in Kichijoji you can find that extra breathing space within minutes of leaving the main area.  Therefore, the younger generation and all generations can make the most of this ambient part of Tokyo and Kichijoji is a very desirable place to move to and relocate if you reside in Tokyo.  

Inokashira Koen (park) adds to the quaint alleyways and independent stores which sell unique products and trendy clothing.  This park is a lovely place to visit and unwind from the stresses of life and it adds to your visit to Kichijoji. 

Another appealing nature of this part of Tokyo is live house, blues bars, jazz kissa (jazz coffee shops) and many a young band began in this environment.  Therefore, the musical nature of Kichijoji appeals to the younger generation and avid music fan.

Therefore, if you want to experience another part of Tokyo then Kichijoji is a great place to visit and relax and the stunning park means that you can have a most enjoyable day.

All in all, Kichijoji is great for fashion because of department stores and more importantly, elegant and independent boutiques can be found in abundance.  The area is very busy in the central location but the streets and alleyways enable you to relax. Therefore, the environment changes quickly and the park and architecture comes together and expands the richness of this upmarket and trendy part of Tokyo.

The music scene is also vibrant and you can feel the energy of the next generation and this aspect means that it is a magnet for the younger generation.

Kichijoji is a lovely part of Tokyo!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99514369@N00/sets/72057594127875514/ 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

http://flickr.com 

 

6% DOKIDOKI: Sebastian Masuda and “real punk” within its own unique style

6% DOKIDOKI: Sebastian Masuda and “real punk” within its own unique style

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

6%DOKIDOKI is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda and through the fashion of this company you can not only feel Harajuku and the vibrant nature of Tokyo fashion but the color schemes and nature of kawaii culture also comes alive.  This applies to the raw energy, creativity and stunning fashion clothes and accessories which are produced by 6%DOKIDOKI.

In the United Kingdom the punk era was vibrant and new fashion styles popped up alongside the music.  Famous groups like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Damned, and countless others started a period of raw energy but each group had its own style and sound.

The fashion of 6%DOKIDOKI is unique because decora and kawaii roots are firmly interwoven within this company but Sebastian Masuda is a designer of many talents and the company keeps on creating new styles and designs.  Therefore, 6%DOKIDOKI is a fashion company which fuses the energy of “the real streets of Harajuku” and in return the fashion conscious youth also fuse their energy within the company.

6%DOKIDOKI clearly have their own unique brand and if you view their website at http://www.dokidoki6.com/ then you can see that creativity and innovation is part and parcel of this fashion company. 

Sebastian Masuda states on the website of 6%DOKIDOKI that “I think it is pretty natural and also punk for us who live in Harajuku, Tokyo, in the twentry-first century, to make an appeal to the world strongly that we need Peace, Happiness and Cuteness.

Sebastian Masuda also comments that “We love vivid colors and strange toys or funny accessories and stuff.” 

These comments allude to the culture of Harajuku which is a very trendy environment and a place of safety.  Harajuku is about fashion, freedom, passion and raw energy and the vivid colors and accessories point in the direction of peace, happiness and cuteness.

This is in stark contrast to the punk scene because in the United Kingdom you had unemployment, decay, drugs, and other negatives within the inner city of most major cities.  Therefore, while punk from the top under Malcolm Maclaren had a veneer of upper-class and middle class control mechanisms the reality of “real punk” belonged to individuals who were inspired by political movements.

“Real punk” is like “real fashion” at 6%DOKIDOKI but for completely different reasons which are linked to the environment of both energies.  The terminology of “real punk” means the anti-authoritarian and political movement of groups which “espoused anarchism” or sang lyrics based on critical thinking and challenging the status quo.

Sex Pistols under Malcolm Maclaren was about money and “fakeness” but in the subculture of the United Kingdom other punk groups emerged and they meant everything to a minority of the youth in this period because of the political nature of the lyrics.

6%DOKIDOKI also responds to the environment of Harajuku and clearly Sebastian Masuda is worried about aspects of fast retail fashion companies because this type of fashion is a far cry from the “real Harajuku.”  Also, Sebastian Masuda was in the forefront of the Mighty Harajuku Project after the devastating March 11 earthquake which unleashed the potent tsunami and created the radiation crisis in Fukushima.

Of course 6%DOKIDOKI is about fashion and intriguing accessories and this company is loved in many parts of the world because of its mixture of uniqueness, stunning colors, creativity, raw energy, individualistic designs, and vivid colors which are striking visually.

However, if you read the words of Sebastian Masuda in an article published by LA Weekly and written by Liz Ohanesian. Then it becomes apparent that the energy of 6%DOKIDOKI is fused within the creativity of design, the environment of Harajuku and a raw passion for fashion which is not just about what the eye can see.

In the above mentioned article it states “Masuda, though, added layers of cultural context that we would undoubtedly miss by simply flipping through the pages of magazines like Fruits. Fashion is fun, but it can also say something significant.”

I would say that “real punk” belonged to the heart of its time and while the music scene bit the dust and remains a dream within older individuals who refuse to let go of their youth.  The “real punk” of the heart remains within many individuals even if the mutations are diverse and belong to many different thought patterns.

The fashion scene in Harajuku is not linked to any powerful music scene unlike the fashion era of punk which relied on music. However, the linkage with 6%DOKIDOKI with “real punk” is “the heart” and this is witnessed by the wonderfully creative Sebastian Masuda.

6%DOKIDOKI create fabulous fashion designs and stunning color schemes and the same applies to accessories.  This creativity is maintained because “the heart” is strong and like Sebastian Masuda stated in the article in the LA Weekly; “Fashion is fun, but it can also say something significant.” 

If you are a visitor to Tokyo or you are using the medium of the internet then a visit in person or via the internet will open up your eyes to a vibrant fashion company in the heart of Harajuku.

 

http://www.dokidoki6.com/  (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/  (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)

http://6girls.jugem.jp/

http://www.lov-lab.com/

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/  (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)

http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/2010/09/6_dokidoki_sebastian_masuda.php

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Sada Abe: an image of reality? From Mecca, Srebrenica, Malcolm X and Tibet

Sada Abe: an image of reality?  From Mecca, Srebrenica, Malcolm X and Tibet

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

If you know nothing about Sada Abe then this image will seem to be just another typical photo where you see a young lady smiling.  The young lady is in fact Sada Abe and clearly the men in the photo look like people in power.  However, for people who know nothing about Sada Abe then can you imagine the reality of why people seem so happy and cheerful?

Maybe by asking the question then some people will be thinking that something is amiss because why ask if the photo is innocent?  This is the problem because by itself it is just a photo and like life many people see what they desire to see.

The façade on the outside is just a mirage because within all humans you have mystery, a passion that may or may not burn and a truth which is never spoken or is spoken in order to hide another reality.

Political propagandists will certainly feel at home by the photo which is shown where you see a young lady smiling with men.  What could be more innocent?  A blissful public unaware of the real reality or an opposing thought pattern which is deemed to be very dangerous.

How many communists were slaughtered in Indonesia?  It is hard to count after more than a million, isn’t it?  Therefore, was Vietnam “a mirage” for the real threat in Indonesia? 

This may be veering off topic but the same can be said of Srebrenica. This applies to images of innocent Muslims being killed by Christian Serbs but what about the 3,500 innocent Christian Serbs who were slaughtered around Srebrenica?

Also, what about past history in this part of the Balkans because Christian Serbs had been enslaved and suffered dhimmitude and eldest sons were taken and converted to Islam.  Does this mean nothing?

The same applies to Muslim SS units which were loyal to Hitler in World War Two and in more recent times thousands of international Islamic jihadists bypassed the Western media in the 1990s and beheaded at random; should all this be ignored? 

Can we view reality through images and how do you judge history? 

A photo, an image, an ideology, all can be played and manipulated and in this image we have to remember the atrocities in China and Korea by imperial Japanese forces.  After all, something sinister is hiding behind the image of Sada Abe.

Sada Abe was born in 1905 and the photo was taken in 1936 and this was a period of heightened political divisions in Japan.  Nationalism and socialism were both powerful and militarists would sway the course of Japanese history in this period.

However, the life of Sada Abe appears to be more embedded within aspects of Japanese culture.  After all, the image of conservative Japan and high morals is a distortion just like it is a distortion in other cultures but of course not all distortions are carried out to the same degree.

After all, in this period Arab Muslims in Mecca and Medina could still buy their African female concubines and do how they pleased because slavery was still going strong in this part of the world. 

Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam also missed the connection and left one faith and joined another.  However, slavery was still a reality in the land of Mecca and Medina throughout the 1950s. Therefore, you have a man who declared that he was “throwing of his slave master” but who then converted to a faith which sanctions slavery.

Also, during his conversion slavery was part and parcel of society in Saudi Arabia and of course the majority of slaves will have been African.

Similarly, Tibetan priests were no moral and innocent guardians of virtue in this period and many a child was sexually abused.  Indeed, the image of peaceful Buddhism in Tibet is just a façade because until 1913 the punishment system was barbaric.

Under the Sakya school which was embedded in the Tibetan legal code it was legal to punish by gouging out of eyes, cross amputation and other gruesome punishments.  Indeed, two years before the photo of Sada Abe a Tibetan official called Lungshar had his eyes gouged out by “untouchables” in utopian Tibet in 1934 and slavery under the feudal system was common in Old Tibet.

All this may seem like a far cry from the topic but the photo represents a façade which exists under every utopian or conservative culture.  Therefore, the image of Sada Abe does tell us much about the reality of propaganda and turning to Japan itself; then the image shows us something more sinister and the same applies to cultural norms of the day.

Sada Abe, the smiling young lady who is joking and at ease, had just been arrested for the brutal murder of her lover, Kichizo Ishida.  Not only had she murdered Kichizo Ishida but she also mutilated his body and carried with her his penis and testicles which she had chopped off.

If this is not bad enough it is also stated that after killing him and mutilating his body she would also behave sexually to the dismembered penis.  This applies to entering the penis of Kichizo Ishida into her mouth and trying to enter it into her body and using it like a sexual toy to pleasure herself. 

However, in her worldview she was claiming that she killed out of love and clearly she caught the imagination of Japan.

In the photo it is clear that she was viewed somewhat exotically and a lady of mystery and astonishingly she was only given 6 years for this brutal murder.  Not that she served the six years because she was released early.

Therefore, not only does the image by itself distort the most ghastly of deeds but the most shocking aspect of the case may not even belong to the murder?

I am not implying that this gruesome murder wasn’t brutal and the sexual acts that she performed on herself weren’t on the borders of insanity. However, the real shock may belong to two other revealing factors depending on your thinking.

Firstly, Sada’s sister, Teruko, had several lovers therefore her father punished her in not such an unusual way within Japan during this period.  Yes, he punished his daughter by sending her to a brothel and this also did not hinder her marriage after shortly leaving the brothel when her father reclaimed her.

Yet, this factor tells us much about aspects of Japanese culture because it would seem rather extreme in most cultures to send your daughter to a brothel.  However, it was not uncommon and clearly men often married ladies who were punished like this.

The second telling factor is that artists, philosophers, novelists, and the film industry have turned everything upside down and given her a mysterious billing.  Also, a book was written about her and then she decided on her own memoirs.

Therefore, within 11 years of this brutal murder and of playing with a chopped off penis in her mouth she emerges to be widely respected. In 1947 The Erotic Confessions of Abe Sada sold over 100,000 copies and became a best-seller.

Given this, the photo tells us nothing by itself and if we view history then how many distortions and unrealities do you have in this world?  Or is it that unreality and reality belong together because each individual will see things differently based on culture, time, history, individualism, environment, political beliefs, religion, personal factors, and so forth?

However, while the photo may distort things the same can’t be said for what happened to Sada’s sister, Teruko.  Maybe the real story is not Sada Abe but how punishments were handed out in Japan in this period and this applies to government and family punishments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sada_Abe

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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