Just when Our Man thought he was on the sidelines, the goalposts moved and he found himself back on the field of play. (What are you on about? Since when did you know the first thing about sports? - ed)
Back in April, by a strange twist of fate, Our Man found himself in possession of a ticket to attend a fund-raiser for the right wing Machimura Faction -- if not the beating heart, then the pacemaker of the Liberal Democratic Party which was at the heart of the Japanese political establishment until four years ago. Whether its heart was still beating after the political defeat of 2008, was doubtful. The seismic shock of losing the election to the left-leaning Democratic Party of Japan had sent the right wing toppling off the political stage. Until the earthquake in March 2011 knocked everyone off their stride.
Our Man was one of 3,000 people* at Tokyo Prince Hotel gathered to welcome the new recruits for the various Diet races that would play out that year, but really it felt like they were there to pay their last respects to the faction that had brought us prime ministers Koizumi, Fukoda and Abe. Certainly the smell of institutional stewed vegetables was strong.
Dinosaurs one and all. I thought. We all thought. But it seems one of them has come back to life.
Shinzo Abe just won re-election as President of the LDP. A blue blood of Japanese politics, and a whipper-snapper at 58, he was a prime minister for a year in 2006. His Dad was a pol and his grandad was a prime minister, and former member of the Tojo cabinet. The guy's a legacy pol, with very unpleasant tendencies.
And now he's back in with a shot at being Prime Minister. Again. And here's why it's bad. And here's why it's very bad.
*They were people. But don't think that they were what you and Our Man typically think of as a bunch of people - men, women, boys and girls, young and old, gay, straight, Abikan and non-Abikan, no. This was no representative bunch of people. Around 98% were men. And an even higher percentage were considerably past the retirement age. So it would be more accurate, though cruel, to say it was a mass funeral waiting to happen.