Fwd: New issue of Japan Echo

Ono Seiko and Aaron Gerow onogerow
Sun Oct 19 03:18:53 EDT 1997

A crosspost from H-JAPAN.  The new issue of Japan Echo includes an article
by Suo Masayuki on _Shall We Dance?_.




New issue of Japan Echo available on the Web

A new issue of the electronic journal _Japan Echo_ is now available on the
Web at http://www.japanecho.co.jp

This is what you will find in the new issue:

Vol. 24, No. 4, October 1997
CHRONOLOGY (July-August 1997)
Japanese Society and the Psychopath (TAKAMURA Kaoru, NODA Masaaki)
        A mystery writer and a psychiatric expert discuss the meaning of the
horrific murder of an 11-year-old schoolboy this May, his severed head found
with a taunting note deposited outside the gate of the school attended by the
14-year-old murderer, who seems to have enjoyed the very act of playing with
human life.

Violence in Virtual Reality (MASUZOE YUichi)
        Tamagotchi fever has swept Japan and is now sweeping the world. The
little creature may be cute, but of course it is not alive. The 14-year-old
who has confessed to the Kobe murder grew up playing video games where pain
and death are virtual and thus liable to become trivial. Children must be
kept in touch with the real world.

Thoughts on the Child Murder Suspect (ODA Susumu)
        Teachers and counselors in Japan are too lenient with problem
children. Often they make things worse by recommending that parents take a
hands-off approach. Also, the legal system is excessively soft on juvenile
offenders, for whom the maximum punishment is usually two years in a
reformatory. A stricter approach is required to prevent the loss of more
innocent lives.

How the British "Lost" Hong Kong (IT? Kiyoshi)
        Though the lease on the so-called New Territories expired this year,
Britain's title to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula was permanent. But
when the British confronted China with the issue of the expiring lease in
1979, the surprised Chinese saw no option but to demand return of the entire
colony. Five years later, the British gave in, agreeing to reversion in
return for China's promise to preserve the territory's existing systems.

Prospects for Post-Reversion Hong Kong and China (Richard KOO, Ronald A.
MORSE, Byron S. J. WENG, WATANABE Toshio, IT? Kiyoshi)

        At a symposium a week before Hong Kong's reversion, American, Chinese,
and Japanese commentators trade thoughts on the territory's future and on the
ramifications of reversion for Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.

End of the Line for Japan's Corporate Feudalism (TAKEUCHI Yasuo)
        Japan's corporate samurai have been willing to break the law in the
service of their companies, since refusing to do so could mean loss of their
jobs and financial security. They have made an excessive virtue of serving
the organization, allowing themselves to be overcome by the power of the
group. They must reestablish their individuality, and companies must learn to
deal with a market where laws and contracts hold sway.

Rethinking the Japanese-Style System (IMAI Ken'ichi)
        Japan cannot get ahead just by imitating foreign models. It must
design a society where "young people with aged eyes" and "aged people with
young hearts" can work productively together. And as they construct the
platform for the industries of the twenty-first century, the Japanese should
learn from the example of their ancestors, who showed creativity while
working within the limits of established molds.

Clash of Civilizations or Cross-Fertilization of Civilizations? (SAT?

        Samuel Huntington, advancing the "clash of civilizations" as the
defining element of the post-cold-war world, makes the mistake of reducing
systematic differences between industrial countries to intercivilizational
conflicts. Under the proper circumstances, civilizations can benefit mutually
>from their contacts.

When Rules Meet Reality (TAKASHINA Sh ji)
        Mike Di Muro, an American umpire who came to Japan this year to work
in the Central League, left after just three months, appalled by the lack of
respect for the umpire's decisions in Japanese baseball. This case reveals a
cultural gap that both Japanese and Americans must work to bridge if they
hope to play together successfully.

What the Di Muro Case Reveals (IKEI Masaru)
        In Japan, as in the United States, the umpire's call is supposed to
be final. But Japanese umpires frequently give in when challenged, and their
authority has become eroded. They also lack the professional training of
their American counterparts. Their competence and status need to be raised.

Dancing into America's Heart (SUO Masayuki)
        The director of the hit film _Shall We Dance?_ relates his
experiences in having his work released in the United States. The American
approach to promotion caused him culture shock, but audience reactions were
gratifyingly favorable.

The Opera _Ch shingura_ and Japanese Emotionalism (SAEGUSA Shigeaki)
        A kabuki classic, based on a true story of loyalty and vengeance in
eighteenth-century Japan, has become an opera. The composer explains his
effort to present Japanese sentiment on a Western base so as to share it with
the world.

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