View Full Version : Real Wealth vrs. Tokyo's Parks
2003-07-14, 09:14 AM
In random stark contrast, I was walking through the park one day and thought: JAPAN IS POOR AS ****.
How much real wealth did Japan acquire? Was it not enough to better their parks?
It is really a pathetic scene inside Tokyo's parks today. And to think that the Tokyo Metropolitan Mayor Ishihara has nothing better to do than to rant off nationalistic rhetoric and imitate the US - which he claims Japan no longer need rely upon in his book - by creating casinos in the US fashion in Odaiba. tsk
Is that the only way he can figure out to generate revenue?
Does anybody think that is funny with Japan's supposed accumulated wealth that its parks are in such a shambles?
Donft they realize that there are not enough parks in Tokyo? And that they are the building blocks of society?
or Did Japan even have much money in the first place?
2003-07-14, 11:26 AM
I totally confounded as to how a country that has in theory acquired so much weath(In monetary terms), yet not be able to afford a packet of grass seed for a park.
I joked with someone the other day that reason that Japan get thumped at soccer is that maybe the players needed some more experience playing on grass when they were younger.
I kid you not ,I haved played on Japanese surfaces (Clay with broken Decavita C bottles) and nearly died from shin splints in half a day.
A friend mine come to Australia for a holiday, he could`nt kick a straight low shot to save his life, The real kicker(pun intended) he was picked up to do a J league apprenticeship the next year. Work that one out!
We expats propably take grass for granted, but should`nt everyone.
Schools without grass or trees of even a flowerbed at the front gate is a plain depressing.
As you pointed out parks help weave the social fabric. No wonder Japan is
so socially splintered, if they cant get such a basic thing as a park right what hope is there.
Going to a park for a BBQ or to play Cricket or Baseball(In no particular order) in a right of passage for most westen civilizations.
I have almost given up going looking for a park to take the kid, it`s just too heart breaking. Who is going to have picnic in glorified tarpit with a dilapidated swing set.
The city councils do the very minimum in regards to parks that are not on a
heritage register. Eg most national parks have a user pays system of sorts
that ensures there is money for the grounds up keep, National treasure buildings Ginja etc get Goverment hand outs because the Japanese public demands that everything must be done to preserve it past relics.
So no one cares about the future it seems. But what a pretty cheap option
to provide more parks rather than dealing the social costs of a steadly
increasing and social isolated Japan.
Grass and flowers rock!
2003-07-14, 02:43 PM
Yeah I have noticed lots of what seems to be more spelling errors than the first time I came in 1990 for school.
U know it was the Greeks I believe that started parks, libraries, and other civic/social institutions which became the pillars of society today.
It actually makes society stronger, smarter, and more cohesive - which is why everyone in the west adheres to this.
I have another related idea: Perhaps it is that Japan does not study Western (nor Eastern) philosophy like Aristocracies, Plato, Etc. that is a big lapse in their education.
Ask any Japanese who Plato and Bacon where and what the did. They dint know!
2003-07-14, 04:03 PM
As westen history/politics goes you would be hard pressed to find a Japanese who could tell you was the first man on the moon.
And just to test our theory I asked my boss not ten minutes ago exactly
that. Question one, who was Plato?, Apparently a large ceramic disk!
Question two,Who was the first man on the moon? The closest he got was Apollo thirteen and stopped him before he mentioned Tom Hanks and totally destroyed his office credibility. For Christ sake he lived in Hawaii you would think that something more that Aloha rubbed off on him.
I did`nt asked about Bacon because I was unsure as to if you were referring to Roger or Francis, I gather you meant francis?
Of course the Japanese answer related to swine.
I love ancient history and am constantly stunned at the lack of history that is plumbed into Japanese education.
My wife a music teacher says, In education the idea is as follows.
Is there any chance that the subject in question will appear in the university entrance exam. Yes, okay teach the bare minimum. No, not the teachers responsiblity. The Monbusho thinks that if someone is interested in history then they will study it in university.
While the secondary education system can be congradulated for teaching alot of people to read and write, It could be accused of creating a very insular graduate.
2003-07-14, 04:45 PM
YOUR idea of social institutions is from YOUR cultural frame of reference.
Japan of course has limited useable space. Especially in Tokyo!
buildings are not tall because it is costly to build a tall building that is also earthquake resistant.
most raw materials are actually imported (translation: ____ing expensive)
except concrete. that's readily available.
if you grow up in japan, everything seems normal.
Of course it could use some improvements, but priorities are priorities.
japan doesn't invest in beautification projects usually.
some cities do, but usually far from tokyo.
even national heritage sites are desperate for maintenance funding!
even famous temples in kyoto are starving for cash.
parks are not high on the agenda.
i too would like to see japan make itself beautiful outdoors again, but don't hold your breath.
you don't even find dirt in most cities.
it's all paved with stones, tiles, asphalt, or concrete.
2003-07-14, 06:46 PM
This is not anybody's interpretation nor cultural frame of reference. These are hard facts based in history and research. I mean what makes Japan better than China and Korea???? Do you know?
Ask a Japanese they will tell you! They have arogant ideas of their own as to why!
...and let me tell you they are right!
Both Korea and China are an even deeper moral vacuum.
> if you grow up in japan, everything seems normal.
Ignorance may be bliss but it is not normal. Nor is it acceptable
When the US calls Japan on its infrasture they don't even attempt to listen.
- Thanks to Ishihara
I have to agreee with wetsan, the notion that the lack of green space in Japan is due to some sort of cultural difference is absurd.
This country is awash in money, but it is all wasted. The government will gladly spend billions of yen on building another useless dam or highway off-ramp leading to nowhere, but when it comes to simply spending a relatively modest sum to plant some trees? No way, not interested. If none of the politician's buddies in the construction industry benefit, then it ain't getting done.
One thing I've noticed is that when you go through a really ugly neighborhood that is full of mismatched buildings, power lines, concrete rivers, etc. it will almost inevitably have either a big statue, a monument of some sort or a 'park' that is full of ugly concrete and steel structures but no trees. You can kind of piece together the sequence of events that led to it becoming like that.
1. What was once a nice town was overrun by unscrupulous developers and excessive public works projects.
2. The people in the town got fed up and demanded that their political leaders do something about the problem.
3. The politicians wanted to be seen to be doing something, but were either unwilling or unable to do something useful to alleviate the problem like passing building regulations or planting trees.
4. So, the politicians did the only thing they know how, took a chunk of their annual construction budget and built some totally useless piece of contrived 'art' in a pathetic attempt to make the neighborhood look better.
End result: the neighborhood is still ugly, but now it has an ugly monument to go with it.
In my neighborhood this is exactly what happened. There is a stream near my house that has been totally covered with concrete and is full of garbage. It is horrible now, but it could be of real benefit to the community because it is a habitat for many turtles, ducks, fish and other forms of wildlife. Simply cleaning it up and making it a bit more green would really improve the area. But instead of spending money to plant some trees or remove the garbage, the city spent millions of yen on a bunch of absolutely hideous concrete and steel modern art statues and put them around the stream in a 'park' that is entirely paved and lacks any shade whatsoever. This is their idea of improving the neighborhood.
Lesson: municipal governments are a complete farce.
2003-07-14, 11:05 PM
> End result: the neighborhood is still ugly, but now it has an ugly monument to go with it.
I say the reason is cronyism.
I have a friend who's dad is in the upperhouse..
He has the whole family wrapped up into his political cronyism in Hachiouji.
U know how the politicians are paying staff salaries to family menbers that was on the news till late... that is what my friend was getting while studying abroad.
Now that well has dried up he has gotten a position w/in Setagaya's upper house!
I dont know about dealings with contractors and the creation of these aborational monuments but I suspect that is highly likely.
I'm a little bit familiar with things too, my father in law is a prefectural assemblyman.
You are right about the cronyism, there are a whole web of transactions that go into these construction projects, a lot of them involve outright bribery. Mind you, that happens in all countries, not just Japan. Here though, it seems things have been taken to a new level. In a lot of projects they don't even keep up the pretense that something useful is being built, its quite openly a make work project but nobody complains because a lot of people benefit from the money that is being thrown around. It is a horrendous waste.
2003-07-15, 12:41 AM
Have him put you on the payroll :D >>snicker<<
U seen the Finnish guy that acquired Japanese citizenship and represents some district in one of the houses. Being a gaijin face might get you some votes... along with being a crony!! ahahahaha
2003-07-15, 12:50 AM
Yeah, I suppose it would be nice to get on the political gravy train, but I don't think I'm slimy enough for it. Not that that should be taken as a dig against the father in law or anything.
I've heard about that Finnish guy, but don't know much about him. Hope he is taking on the system!