Published: July 24, 2016
Every culture is unique and most, if not all, contain appealing elements and characteristics. No one more than Japan, however. The gentle, quiet and often innovative beauty of Japanese art, music, and craft is peerless.
Several years ago in seeking to acquire a simple teacup for a more pleasing consumption of my white tea, it quickly became clear that, by far, Japanese-designed cups were the most striking in their beauty, innovation, creativity, and manifold number.
However, did I purchase a Japanese teacup, or would I? No, unfortunately I did not; nor, at present, would I. Why? In a word--Fukashima. How can I be assured that products manufactured in Japan, or containing even one component manufactured therein, are not contaminated with radiation? Adding insult to injury, to my knowledge neither the Japanese government nor any Japanese industrial trade association, in view of Fukashima, has designed and implemented a system of product safety ratings.
Thus, I presently drink my tea in a gaiwan designed and manufactured elsewhere, likely China or Taiwan. The short explanation is Fukashima, but the larger and ultimately more potent explanation is that the Japanese government, thought leaders, and maybe even some segment of the Japanese people themselves don't fully appreciate the singularly unique, wonderful, and irreplaceable character of their society and culture.
Of course, Japan elected for nuclear power as it attempted to provide itself energy, and the options for power were, and remain, defined, as everything else, by the framework of capitalism. Japan, as all nations, can only select from the energy options available at the time of its choosing, and those available today were selected and developed yesterday because they were understood as both profitable and technically feasible. To preserve Japan, however, it must begin to employ wisdom in its energy and indeed all other choices. To do so, however, to pick wisely, the available choices must themselves embody wisdom--which can only happen when the socio-existential choices available to every nation, in other words the choices regarding energy and indeed every dimension of life, are finally freed from the profit constraints of capitalism. This is the only realistic long-term solution to save Japan, and indeed the world.
With this knowledge, let us preserve the beauty and wonder of Japanese society and culture. I will have my Japanese teacup.
Toward Wisdom & Love in our Global Society