Sunday, March 30, 2014

The truth is, we have gotten too used to lying | The Japan Times


The truth is, we have gotten too used to lying

by Michael Hoffman
Special To The Japan Times

Philosophers love truth — that’s a truism. What about the rest of us? Do we love truth or falsehood? Truth, we naturally affirm. So why are we swimming in falsehood?
Last fall, a peculiar scenario played out involving restaurant menus. They weren’t true. You’d read one thing on the menu and be served something quite different. First came the revelation about restaurants run by Hankyu-Hanshin Hotels. Then it snowballed. One prestigious establishment after another came forward with shame-faced mea culpas: We do it too. Hotel restaurants, department store restaurants. The Osaka Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel. The Renaissance Sapporo Hotel. The Hotel Okura. Takashimaya Department Store.
What fools they made of us! How they must have laughed at us, sitting there dressed in our best clothes, smugly ordering the best fare, not even suspecting that the premium “kuruma shrimp” was really commonplace tiger shrimp, the high end “Miyazaki pork” was really middling Iwate pork, the “fresh” fruit juice was really frozen — and so on and so on.
Apologies were profuse but somewhat incoherent. “We never had the intention to deceive,” said Hankyu-Hanshin’s then-president, Hiroshi Desaki. Deception not intended to deceive? Maybe there is such a thing. Desaki resigned shortly afterward.
That comedy had no sooner left the stage than another came on. Title: “Japan’s Beethoven.” There is nothing obviously Beethovenian in composer Mamoru Samuragochi’s music, but Samuragochi, like the German maestro, is deaf. Or is he? Well, no. Hard of hearing, yes, but it’s not quite the same thing. To be “Japan’s Beethoven” you have to be as deaf as Beethoven. You also, presumably, have to be a composer. Is Samuragochi one? Well, no. Did Beethoven have a ghostwriter? Samuragochi did — for 18 years. Then the ghostwriter came out of the closet and once more it was apology time.
First restaurants, then music — what next? Science?
“Any expert should have seen immediately that there was something strange about that person,” Hiroshima University pathologist Koji Nanba tells Shukan Bunshun magazine. “That person” scarcely needs an introduction. She was, briefly, the most famous person in Japan. How many scientific breakthroughs anywhere in the world are this startling? Very few. How many of those very few are led by Japanese women? Very, very few, Japanese research being notoriously male-dominated. And if you go on to ask how many of those few leading female Japanese researchers are as young, pretty, media-savvy and radiant with star quality as Haruko Obokata, you descend to a level of rarity that explains — as the science, though exciting, hardly does — the media frenzy she stirred.
Barely 30 and already turning the world upside down! Stem cells show immense medical promise. Harvesting them from embryos is morally problematic. Producing them in the laboratory is difficult. If only an easy way could be found!
Obokata claimed to have found one. She met with resistance at first. She persisted. She conquered obstacles. Sometimes the going got so tough that “I cried all night.” She’s not only fiercely determined, she’s tender, vulnerable and not ashamed to show it. She wore a traditional Japanese kappogi apron. Suddenly everyone had to have one. She not only was cool, she defined cool.
“The media went crazy over the ‘female science star’ bit, and over the kappogi,” says Nanba. (“We did too,” Shukan Bunshun admits contritely.) “The kappogi itself was a giveaway. With its wide sleeves and loose-fitting back, foreign bodies can easily get into it. It’s not laboratory dress. And the makeup and false eyelashes.” Few journalists, Nanba says, know much about science. But all journalists know about cool.
Apparent holes in the research and presentation somehow went unnoticed by Obokata’s employer, the government-affiliated Riken institute and by Nature, the prestigious British science journal that published the work. Subsequent scrutiny brought them to light — the apparent cribbing from the U.S. National Institute of Health website, the photograph borrowed, without citation, from Obokata’s own doctoral thesis.
“I’m not sure whether or not this was a deliberate attempt at falsification,” said Shunsuke Ishii, head of Riken’s investigative committee.
“If any other incidents of this nature have taken place, it would reflect a change in present-day scientific culture that I find very worrisome indeed,” said Riken Director and Nobel laureate Ryoji Noyori. The investigation continues.
The only comment from Obokata herself, so far, is, “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”
If that’s true, it’s astonishing. A scientist doesn’t think it’s wrong to leave herself wide open to accusations of falsifying her data?
Science originally was inseparable from philosophy, and even now that they are separate disciplines, they remain united, supposedly, in their love of truth. Truth is the goal. If it’s not, it’s not science. That’s not moralism — it’s simple definition.
The question inevitably arises: Who can you trust? If not restaurants to serve what they say they’re serving, if not major artists to create their own work, if not scientists — who? The government?
That sounds like a cheap laugh line. Governments, we all know, have a long history of indifference to truth. And yet it’s important business we trust them with! The government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to restart the nuclear reactors idled in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima meltdowns. Economic recovery, as he sees it, depends on it. Is he above bending the truth, if necessary, to convince the public that nuclear power is safe?
In 1955 a young lawmaker named Yasuhiro Nakasone (who went on to serve as prime minister, 1982-87) declared in a speech to the Diet, “Nuclear power used to be a violent animal, but has now become a farm animal. Japan should increase its national strength through the promotion of nuclear power in an effort to gain a rightful place in the international community.”
Is it possible to succeed in life without lying? If not, are lies superior to truth? If so, what kind of corner have we painted ourselves into?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Caffarra sul Foglio

E' verissimo che il perdono è sempre possibile: lo è per l'assassino, lo è anche per l'adultero. Era già una difficoltà che facevano i fedeli ad Agostino: si perdona l'omicidio , ma nonostante ciò la vittima non risorge. Perché non perdonare il divorzio, questo stato di vita, il nuovo matrimonio, anche se una 'reviviscenza' del primo non è più possibile? La cosa è completamente diversa. Nell'omicidio si perdona una persona che ha odiato un'altra persona, e si chiede il pentimento su questo. La Chiesa in fondo si addolora non perché una vita fisica è terminata, bensì perché nel cuore dell'uomo c'è stato un tale odio da indurre perfino a sopprimere la vita fisica di una persona. Questo è il male, dice la Chiesa. Ti devi pentire di questo e ti perdonerò. Nel caso del divorziato risposato, la Chiesa dice: 'Questo è il male: il rifiuto del dono di Dio, la volontà di spezzare il vincolo messo in atto dal Signore stesso'. La Chiesa perdona, ma a condizione che ci sia il pentimento. Ma il pentimento in questo caso significa tornare al primo matrimonio. Non è serio dire: sono pentito ma resto nello stesso stato che costituisce la rottura del vincolo, della quale mi pento. Spesso – si dice – non è possibile. Ci sono tante circostanze, certo, ma allora in queste condizioni quella persona è in uno stato di vita oggettivamente contrario al dono di Dio. La Familiaris Consortio lo dice esplicitamente. La ragione per cui la Chiesa non ammette i divorziati risposati all'eucaristia non è perché la Chiesa presuma che tutti coloro che vivono in queste condizioni siano in peccato mortale. La condizione soggettiva di queste persone la conosce il Signore, che guarda nella profondità del cuore. Lo dice anche San Paolo, 'non vogliate giudicare prima del tempo'. Ma perché – ed è scritto sempre nella Familiaris Consortio – 'il loro stato e la loro condizione di vita contraddicono oggettivamente a quella unione di amore fra Cristo e la Chiesa significata e attuata dall'eucaristia' (FC 84). La misericordia della Chiesa è quella di Gesù, quella che dice che è stata deturpata la dignità di sposo, il rifiuto del dono di Dio. La misericordia non dice: 'Pazienza, vediamo di rimediare come possiamo'. Questa è la tolleranza essenzialmente diversa dalla misericordia. La tolleranza lascia le cose come sono per ragioni superiori. La misericordia è la potenza di Dio che toglie dallo stato di ingiustizia".

Carlo Caffarra

Il foglio
15 marzo 2014 - ore 10:30
Da Bologna con amore: fermatevi


Friday, March 14, 2014

3:1 Πιστὸς ὁ λόγος· εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλ

3:1 Πιστὸς ὁ λόγος· εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ. 2 δεῖ οὖν τὸν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι, μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, νηφάλιον, σώφρονα, κόσμιον, φιλόξενον, διδακτικόν, 3 μὴ πάροινον, μὴ ⸀πλήκτην, ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον, ἀφιλάργυρον, 4 τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου καλῶς προϊστάμενον, τέκνα ἔχοντα ἐν ὑποταγῇ μετὰ πάσης σεμνότητος· 5 (εἰ δέ τις τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου προστῆναι οὐκ οἶδεν, πῶς ἐκκλησίας θεοῦ ἐπιμελήσεται;) 6 μὴ νεόφυτον, ἵνα μὴ τυφωθεὶς εἰς κρίμα ἐμπέσῃ τοῦ διαβόλου. 7

1 Questa parola è degna di fede: se uno aspira all'episcopato, desidera un nobile lavoro. 2Bisogna dunque che il vescovo sia irreprensibile, marito di una sola donna, sobrio, prudente, dignitoso, ospitale, capace di insegnare, 3non dedito al vino, non violento ma benevolo, non litigioso, non attaccato al denaro. 4Sappia guidare bene la propria famiglia e abbia figli sottomessi e rispettosi, 5perché, se uno non sa guidare la propria famiglia, come potrà aver cura della Chiesa di Dio? 6Inoltre non sia un convertito da poco tempo, perché, accecato dall'orgoglio, non cada nella stessa condanna del diavolo. 7

1:テモテへの手紙一/ 03章 01節
02節 だから、監督は、非のうちどころがなく、一人の妻の夫であり、節制し、分別があり、礼儀正しく、客を親切にもてなし、よく教えることができなければなりません。
03節 また、酒におぼれず、乱暴でなく、寛容で、争いを好まず、金銭に執着せず、
04節 自分の家庭をよく治め、常に品位を保って子供たちを従順な者に育てている人でなければなりません。
05節 自分の家庭を治めることを知らない者に、どうして神の教会の世話ができるでしょうか。
06節 監督は、信仰に入って間もない人ではいけません。それでは高慢になって悪魔と同じ裁きを受けかねないからです。

Paolo prescrive che il vescovo non sia un neofita, ma evidentemente i burocrati del Vaticano si sentono più sapienti di Paolo. Tra i vescovi giapponesi ce ne sono almeno 4 di cui uno si è ritirato non ancora sessantenne, un altro è diventato emerito all età di 60 anni.

Intanto, nell ultimo rapporto dei vescovi per il Sinodo sulla famiglia, si fanno beffe della legge naturale (se è naturale, perché c'e bisogno di insegnarla?).
Sarei pronto a scommettere che non ce n'è neanche uno che saprebbe spiegar la in modo convincente ai loro fedeli.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

鈴木 貞一 計算の間違い

鈴木 貞一(すずき ていいち、1888年(明治21年)12月16日 - 1989年


開戦1年目 80万トン/96万トン 二年目 60万トン/169万トン 三年目 70万トン/392万トン と
前者の予想を遙かに超えた数字が並ぶ結果になりました。(注 予想/自損害)


昭和16年11月5日 御前会議

原 枢密院議長  >南洋の敵艦の妨害を受けても物資輸送に影響は無いと判断して宜しいか?
永野 軍令部総長 >海上輸送は日本の生命線でありますので、その保護には力を尽くすが損害もある程度あるでしょう。
原 枢密院議長  >米英蘭の海軍に妨害された場合は?
鈴木貞一  企画院総裁 >船舶の損耗数は陸海軍共同の研究の結果であります。

The key was lost and the safe remained locked for 22 years after the 1989 death of its owner, former Lt. Gen. Teiichi Suzuki of the Imperial Japanese Army, who had been the last surviving Class-A war criminal of World War II.

Suzuki, who died at the age of 100 in Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture, was among key Cabinet members when Japan started the Pacific War with the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two years ago, Suzuki's relatives had NHK open the safe. Inside were diaries, notebooks and other documents, including a 16-page typed manuscript that the general had read out in front of Emperor Hirohito and national leaders at an Imperial Conference on Nov. 5, 1941, to detail Japan's logistical strengths.

According to Moriyama, Suzuki apparently adopted an earlier optimistic simulation provided by the navy that assumed that as the war continued, fewer transport ships would be sunk. The simulation was based on outdated World War I ship-loss data and didn't assume any damage from enemy aircraft.

"Whether Japan would be able to continue the war depended on how much (shipping) we would lose," Gen. Kenryo Sato, the army's military affairs chief in the 1940s, wrote in a memoir published in 1976.

"In reality, the estimated amount turned out to be far off the mark. This was the biggest cause of our defeat" in the Pacific War, Sato wrote.

Suzuki was well aware of the huge gap between the industrial strength of the U.S. and that of Japan, and was among a few members who initially openly argued against a war with the United States.


Papers that pushed for Pacific War revisited | The Japan Times

Papers that pushed for Pacific War revisited | The Japan Times

Suzuki Teiichi

Friday, March 07, 2014






新法王 アジアにも旋風?    上野 景文

What would that "Asian" mean? For reference, let us turn to the discussion that took place during the Asian Synod held in Rome in 1998. At the conference, many Asian participants complained that Catholicism has remained incompatible with Asian cultures, signifying a lack of inculturation. For example, the Archbishop of Osaka pointed out that Christianity nurtured in the West is characterized by an excessively paternal, black-white dualistic tendency, whereas Asians seek an all-embracing maternal deity. This comment from a Jesuit Archbishop resonates with the thoughts of a seminary student and protagonist in "Deep River," a novel by Catholic author Endo Shusaku. In the story, the student points out that (European) Catholicism is characterized by excessive clarity, logic and disregard of nature that are unfamiliar to the Japanese. However, such opinions raised by Asia in 1998 have been deliberately ignored by the Vatican to date. Pope Francis has expressed his intentions of giving priority to visiting Asia this year and the next. How he will respond to the unaddressed voices of Asian discontent is an issue that evokes infinite interest from a civilizational perspective.

Kagefumi Ueno is a civilizational essayist and former Ambassador to the Holy See..

Will Pope Francis Bring His Winds of Change to Asia?
March 5, 2014


「レクイエム(死者の為のミサ曲)」 「Dies irae(怒りの日)」歌詞対訳 G・ヴェルディー作曲

Dies irae(怒りの日)」歌詞対訳   G・ヴェルディー作曲


Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sibylla.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando judex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!
Tuba, mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulcra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum. 
Mors stupebit, et natura,
Cum resurget creatura,
Judicanti responsura.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
Unde mundus judicetur.  
Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet, apparebit:
Nil inultum remanebit.
Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sibylla.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem pattonum rogaturus,
Cum vix justus sit securus? 
Rex tremendae majestatis
Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
Salva me, fons pietatis.
Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae:
Ne me perdas illa die.  
Quaerens me, sebisti lassus:
Redemisti crucem passus:
Tantus labor non sit cassus.  
Justus judex ultionis,
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis.  
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
Culpa rubet vultus meus:
Supplicanti parce, Deus.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Et latronem exaudisti,
Mihi quoque spem dedisti.  
Preces meae non sunt dignae:
Sed tu bonus fac benigne,
Ne perenni cremer igne.  
Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextra.  
Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acridus addictis:
Voca me cum benedictis.  
Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis:
Gere curam mei finis.  
Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sibylla.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus:
Huic ergo parce, Deus.
Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem.
(合唱)(Time 00:00) 
(合唱)(Time 01:52) 
(合唱)(Time 02:18)
(バス独唱)(Time 04:30) 
(メッゾ・ソプラノ、合唱)(Time 05:45)
(合唱)(Time 09:27) 
(Time 10:17)  
(ソプラノ、メッゾ・ソプラノ、テノール、バス、合唱)(Time 13:47)  
(ソプラノ、メッゾ・ソプラノ)(Time 17:19)  
(テノール独唱)(Time 21:20) 
右に立たしめ給え。(テノール独唱)(Time 21:52)   
我が終わりを計らい給え。(バス独唱)(Time 24:34)  
(合唱)(Time 28:16)  
(ソプラノ、メッゾ・ソプラノ、テノール、バス、合唱)(Time 29:42)
(ソプラノ、メッゾ・ソプラノ、テノール、バス、合唱)(Time 32:36)


[1] 古今、多くの音楽家がレクイエムを作曲している。中でも、モーツァルト、ヴェルディ、フォーレのそれは三大レクイエムと呼ばれる。それぞれレクイエム (モーツァルト)、レクイエム (ヴェルディ)、レクイエム (フォーレ)を参照。