‰pŒê‚ŏЉ‚é“ú–{•¶‰»‡U@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 2009”N11ŒŽ13“ú

Lesson 6: Views of Japan from the Washington Post Newsroom 2

(Citation from gViews of Japan from the Washington Post Newsroomh Kodansha International, 1996)

 

ƒAƒƒŠƒJ‚Ì•s“®ŽYŽæˆø‚Å‘¹‚ð‚µ‚½‚Ì‚Í“ú–{@1992”N3ŒŽ21“ú

 

  Just a couple of years ago, Japanfs huge investment in American real(•s) estate(“®ŽY) was portrayed(•`‚­) by some as a threat to American sovereignty(ŽåŒ ) and a blow to U.S. pride. As well(‚¨)-(‹à)heeled(Ž‚¿‚Ì) Japanese bought up such national treasures as Rockefeller Center in New York City, there seemed to be no end in sight.

  But in this desert playground(—V‹»’n) of the rich and famous near Palm Springs, as Well as in Los Angeles, Hawaii, and other centers of the now(¡‚Í)-busted(’ׂꂽ) real estate boom, some Americans are emerging as the wily(‚¸‚é‚¢) horse traders while the Japanese appear to have been snookered(‚¾‚Ü‚·).

  American land owners and developers, it now appears, profited from the Japanese buying spree(•‚‚©‚ê‘›‚¬), unloading(‰Ÿ‚µ‚‚¯‚é) their excess real estate to the Japanese, often at inflated prices.

  gI expected much more out of the Japanese than they in fact showed,h said Christopher Mead, a Phoenix consultant who has tracked(’ǐՒ²¸‚·‚é) Japanese investment in U.S. real estate. gWe thought that because they beat us in one field after another. They were going to win in real estate too. But they didn't. It wasn't the Japanese who took advantage of the Americans; it is the other(‚Ü‚Á) way(‚½‚­) around(‚ ‚ׂ±‚×).h

 

V‹M‘°ŠK‹‰‚ª“ú–{‚ÅŒ`¬‚³‚ê‚é‚̂ł́H@1988”N4ŒŽ10“ú

 

  A new aristocracy(‹M‘°§) appears to be taking shape in Japan, to ancestral(æ‘c‘ãX‚Ì) elite that is replacing the titled(ˆÊ‚ðŽ‚Á‚½) gentry(ã—¬ŠK‹‰) of prewar days and challenging the meritocracy(ŽÀ—ÍŽå‹`ŽÐ‰ï) that has underpinned(Žx‚¦‚é) the nation's postwar success.

  The rising new establishment, like the old, is based on wealth, inherited power, and strategic marriages linking the two. It is most evident in the Diet, or national parliament, where about one-third of ruling(—^) party(“}) members\and almost all the party's youngest legislators\are sons or sons(‹`—)-in(‚Ì)-law(‘§Žq) of former politicians.

@gA new aristocratic class is being formed,h@said Takayoshi Miyagawa, a political consultant. gIf this trend continues, it will be not just a political problem, but a social problem. It will sap(’D‚¤) our social energy.h

  But the emergence of new class structures in any society usually is gradual and relative. Japan remains an overwhelmingly middle-class society, with universal high-quality education, no real underclass, and ample(\•ª‚È) opportunity for individual initiative. In some sectors, notably big business, the trend is away from inherited authority, most observers agree. But in many areas, the egalitarian(•½“™Žå‹`‚Ì), open system created by the U.S. occupation after World War II appears to be constricting(Œ¸‘Þ‚·‚é).

  The phenomenon of power and prominence(–¼º) among the second generation, or nisei, stretches from this seasonfs most popular television show to the field of medicine.

  More and more bureaucrats(Š¯—») in the foreign or finance ministries(È) are sons or sons-in-law of former bureaucrats.

  Kabuki actors train their sons to succeed them; the masters of sumo stables(Œ‹¥‚³‚¹‚é) many their daughters to their strongest wrestlers.

  The gradual concentration of power is such, Jin said, that the families of all but three of Japan's seventeen postwar prime ministers by now have linked themselves to the emperor himself, through marriage.  

@Graduation from Tokyo University's law(–@) faculty(Šw•”) remains a passport into the elite, and entrance into the university has traditionally offered a gnarrow ladderh for smart and hard-working young people with no connections.

  Jin said the emergence of a new aristocracy may indicate that post-war democratic reforms did not fully take root. While zaibatsu families of prewar days never regained(Žæ‚è–ß‚·) their power, he said, a new generation is emerging to replace them\with no protest from the public.

  Others take a less gloomy(ˆÃ‚¢) view, noting that a free press and other essentials(–{Ž¿) of democracy seem irreversibly(•¢‚¹‚È‚¢‚Ù‚Ç) ensconced(’è’…‚·‚é). Second-generation politician Shiina said that, gI think the sense of values is changing. There are more people who don't believe that that is the best way to achieve happiness. They are interested in that closed society. I think it's healthy.h  

 

V”N‚ðŒ}‚¦‚銴Šo‚̈Ⴂ@1996”N1ŒŽ2“ú

 

@New Year's is the most important and widely observed day of the year in Japan. There is no Times Square countdown, no champagne(ƒVƒƒƒ“ƒpƒ“)-(‚Ì)tinged(–¡‚ª‚·‚é) kisses at midnight. It is a quiet family time of reflection and renewal, and a showcase(‚ЂȌ^) of the Japanese emphasis on group behavior.

  American New Year's celebrations fade quickly after mid-night, but that is when things get started here.

  Red(–j)-(‚ð)cheeked(g‚­‚µ‚½) and bubbling(`‚Å‚¢‚Á‚Ï‚¢) with a ten-year-old childfs energy, Yoji Otsubo stood before the altar(Õ’d), tossed a few coins, and clapped his hands. Then he energetically bowed, his hands together in front of his Donald Duck ski hat.

 gThis is fun,h he said.

 gEvery year, the cycle is repeated,h said Tomoharu Fukunaga, the shrine's chief priest, watching the old and the young together to mark the new year. gThere's some sense of eternity there.h   

 

ƒ”ƒ@[ƒWƒ“Eƒ[ƒh‚͉pŒê‚Å‚Í‚È‚¢@1993”N2ŒŽ25“ú

 

@Rather, the Christian wedding has caught(—¬s) on(‚·‚é) here for the same reason so many other aspects of American culture have been absorbed into Japanese life: If it's Western, it's cool. It's glamorous. It's romantic.

@The aisle(’ʘH) of a Christian church\or, for that matter, of a hotel meeting room designed to look like a church\is known n Japan as gthe Virgin Roadh (a term people here think they learned from Americans!).

 

‹Á‚­‚ׂ«“ú–{‚ÌATM‚Ì‹@”\@1994”N11ŒŽ17“ú

 

@The latest technology from Japan: money laundering(ôò).

@Newly installed bank automated(Œ»‹à) teller(Ž©“®) machines(Žx•¥‹@) here sanitize(‰q¶“I‚É‚·‚é) and press bills before customers withdraw funds. The gClean ATMs,h as they are known, dispense(•ª”z‚·‚é) yen notes that, while not quite as crisp(‚Ï‚è‚Ï‚è‚Ì) as newly minted(’’‘¢‚³‚ꂽ) ones, are nearly wrinkle(‚µ‚í)-(‚ª)free(‚È‚¢). Customers can even insert bills and get them back laundered. In certain ways, Japan is obsessed(‚Æ‚è‚‚©‚ê‚Ä) with(‚¢‚é) cleanliness.

  Japanese are known for scrubbing(‚±‚·‚Á‚Đô‚¤) their bodies two or three times during their daily hot bath ritual(ŠµK). Young women keep kits in their office restrooms stocked with cosmetics, lotions, and toothbrushes. There are bathroom ceramics said to fight bacteria, as well as germ(R)-combating(‹Û‚Ì) socks and slippers.

 

“ú–{‚ÌŽq‹Ÿ‚½‚¿‚Í‚Ç‚±‚ō©’ŽÌW‚ð‚·‚é‚Ì‚©@1988”N9ŒŽ29“ú

 

  Bug museums, bug zoos, bug exhibits(“W——‰ï) in department stores, street-corner vendors(”Ì”„‹@) selling crawling(”‡‚¤), flying and creeping(”‡‚¢‚Ü‚í‚é) creatures: Much of Japan may have been paved(•Ü‘•‚·‚é) over, but the Japanese retain a special fondness in their hearts for the insects of yesteryear(‰”N).

  These days, Japanese schools still often assign summer homework to collect a certain number of beetles or butterfly species. But Tokyo children often do their collecting at the nearest department store.

 

“ú–{‚̐l¶‘Š’k‚Ì“Á’¥@1992”N11ŒŽ19“ú

 

Mrs. T. became so upset(‚낤‚΂¢‚·‚é) that she recently wrote a letter about her problem to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper's Jinsei Annai (Guide to Life) column\Japan's version of Ann Landers. But the answer she got was hardly in the Ann Landers style.

  gPlease, be patient with your husband,h the newspaper replied.

  The most common piece of advice offered to the long-suffering questioners is that they practice the stoic virtue(”ü“¿) Japan Does must: gaman, a word that means endurance, tolerance, and bearing pain without complaint.

 

“ú–{‚É‚àƒz[ƒ€ƒŒƒX‚ª1985”N1ŒŽ20“ú

 

  Japan has tackled(Žæ‚è‘g‚Þ) crime, illiteracy(•¶Žš‚ª“Ç‚ß‚È‚¢), unemployment, and other social ills with a success envied(‚¤‚ç‚â‚Þ) in the rest of the non-Communist world. Yet homeless people, their possessions bundled into shopping bags, still walk its streets, a reminder(Žv‚¢o‚³‚¹‚él) that in some cases, Japan is as impotent(–³”\‚È) as other nations.

  Some older people see them as proof that the ethics(—Ï—) that made Japan great are on the decline.

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