Saturday, 20 December 2014

Here’s your mandate

Our Man reckons his latest is a pretty good likeness of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s highest up bar one, except the colours are far too warm. Back to the drawing board. Carry on.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Shrine a light

It's nearly time to enter into the season of top 10 lists of the year when journos the world over get to re-run a year's worth of yesterday's news as insightful analysis. Our Man doesn't begrudge them their fun. Our Man has had a good year a all things considered. As shitty as the news has been for many this year, and there has been a heavy load for a good deal of folks this year, a little perspective is in order. A century ago our higher-ups embarked on a little blood-letting through Europe that they have still to remove the stains from their consciences. So?
What I'm saying is: it could be worse. But here's hoping 2015 is a lot better.

Link via agent provocateur Dan Ryan.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Japan Decides, 2014: The view from Abiko

Japan decides today. Well, just over 50 percent of the nation decides today, given expected voter turnout. Actually, just over half of eligible voters decide. Probably. Well, the ruling party cannot lose tomorrow as there aren't enough opposition candidates running to beat the ruling party. But this state of affairs, where around 17 percent of the population actively chooses the leaders it gets will be hailed as a decisive mandate by the victors who can then do whatever chaps do when they have a mandate. Mandate by the way is the name of a gay dating magazine from the 70s. Google it, Our Man doesn't want that in his NSA file.

Anyway, thought he'd show you the view from Abiko. Sakurada, the ruling party pol, will win. Ota, the former Ozawa gal, will come a distant second and Onozato of the Japan Communist Party, will get the wooden spoon. Sigh.

Here's a good piece by bunker favourite Richard Smart on why folks should care about the election. Here's a good piece in the Guardian about issues and such, arranged in blog- and Moses-friendly Top 10 format, but here's Our Man's take:

If predominant political trends in Europe and the US can be explained as socially left wing, financially right (well, kinda), in Japan it's largely the opposite: the LDP is socially right wing but financially left. Kinda. But that's a characterisation with as sloppy brushstrokes and inaccurate detailing as Our Man's caricatures. Viewer discretion advised.

Want proper Japan political analysis? Go to Shisaku.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Say it with flowers

Our Man was going to post something incisive or at least just "about" the election on Sunday, but really, what needs to be said? Japan has reverted to the one-party rule that's been operating since the war and the outcome is not in any doubt. So just thought Our Man would say it with flowers, but the florists on Route 356 (opposite the ryokan that he painted the last time) was shut. Possibly symbolic, but mostly just true. 

So he sketched it instead. Here it is. Carry on.