reply to post by jadedANDcynical
Thank you... I hadn't thought of the loose string anology. It makes sense and I'll have to look into it more. Thank you als for your comments about
what I wrote the other day about the Emperor. You jogged my memory, in fact, because I wrote another piece about the Emperor's speech earlier today
(about 16 hours ago -- it's now 3:45 am and I can't sleep), so I'll paste it in here. Again, it's only my take on things but if any think it's worth
considering then it was worth writing it. Anyway, here it is:
I took another look at what the Emperor said in his unprecedented speech. Two things stood out for me. One was how he stated that all Japanese people
will work together to help those who have suffered and to effect recovery.
There are several layers of meaning here, but not being Japanese myself I certainly don't claim to appreciate all of them. But as the Emperor was, on
the surface, stating the obvious, his primary audience -- the Japanese -- would have immediately begun to consider what he was really
One thing that stands out to me is that while Japan is accepting foreign help, this must not be seen by anyone (in Japan) as an admission of being
unable to cope as a nation in the long term. Implicitly, this is also the Emperor's way of saying that there is no shame in accepting this help. It is
temporary and it's necessary to accept it, just as they offer help to others in time of need. (The Japanese sent trained rescue workers to New Zealand
last month, for example.)
I don't want to get too involved here, but from what I've learned from Japanese people, there is a very delicate balance between offering help, and at
the same time allowing the ones who are in need of it to maintain "face" -- to keep their dignity. This is what I meant by saying there is no shame.
If this all seems rather confusing then don't worry. It is, if we only try to look at the surface. When any official speaks, it's necessary to look
beyond the mere words. And when the Emperor
gives a speech as he did, almost everything he says means a lot more than it appears.
The Emperor used the future tense -- all Japanese people will work together -- implying what is to happen as they go forward. Accepting help
is quite correct and may be done without loss of face, because the lives of the people are more important than anything. The Emperor has
made that clear. But going forward, all Japanese people will
This also sends a very polite message to foreign governments that their help, while gratefully accepted, will not be needed for long.
Now, I wouldn't want anyone to take that the wrong way. The Japanese people are deeply grateful for the aid they are receiving. But they will feel
much better when they know they can move forward and do things on their own.
The second point I'd like to address is much more serious and already, we are seeing the results of it. Because in this case it's essential to have it
word-for-word, I'll quote from one of the many transcripts of this section that are available online:
"I am deeply concerned about the nuclear situation, and hope it will be resolved," he said. "I hope things will take a turn for the better."
First point: "I am deeply concerned about the nuclear situation..." I cannot over-emphasize how crucial this is! If the Emperor is "concerned", then
the situation is bad. But deeply
concerned? Considering how the Emperor is the absolute essence of all that is Japanese, if he
concerned then all his people should be as well.
But why is the Emperor deeply concerned? At the time he made this speech, we were hearing reassurances that everything was either under control or
soon would be. But nothing is that simple. Here's why:
Second point: "...and (I) hope it will be resolved...I hope things will take a turn for the better."
The Emperor used "hope". Not just once, but twice. This is also of great importance. He made certain that no-one who was listening and taking in the
message would miss the significance of that word.
Let me put it this way: if instead of "I hope" the Emperor had substituted a phrase like "I know" or "I have been assured" or even "It is my sincere
belief" (with the latter, being a little more indirect, the more likely phrase), then people would have a reason to breathe a little more easily,
because that would mean that the Emperor's advisors had assured him the situation was in hand and would not get worse.
Even if he had used a conditional form and said, "It is my sincere belief that the situation should soon be better," that would be a fair indicator of
cautious optimism by the experts who advise the people who advise the Emperor.
But no, not even that. The Emperor used this unprecedented speech to let the Japanese people know that not even his best advisors could assure him
this situation was
being brought under control or even that it will
be or should
be soon. All the Emperor could tell them was
that he hoped
it would be, because at the present time, there was no
resolution of this situation.
And I expect that was the signal for the diplomatic missions. This was what they needed to know: has the Emperor been informed that things are under
control at these stricken nuclear power plants? No, he has not
been so informed. He has not even been informed that they will be. His
statements made that utterly clear. If he says "I hope", then it means "at the present time as I speak, nothing is certain
and neither is the
And for the Emperor's people? It was also the signal for people in the potentially affected regions to evacuate with all speed. And according to news
reports, they have been doing so. The evacuation numbers are growing.
And with what we can glean from the news reports, so are the problems with the reactors.
edit on 18/3/11 by JustMike because: typo