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    Thanks to everyone who’s written to make sure things are okay. It’s flattering to have smart, interesting people say they miss your writing. Unfortunately, extra-blog life is still pretty busy at the moment, and I’m still mentally kind of tired; so while I’ve been posting about things as they’ve caught my attention, I fear my recent output, such as it is, has been lame and distracted.

    One thing I expected to be more interested in blathering about was the upcoming LDP election, but the twists and turns have turned out not to be particuarly interesting or revelatory. It’s still looking like Abe. Maybe my dullness of mind is making me miss telling little allusions or suggestive turns of phrase, but it all sounds like bland campaign-speak to me. Abe wants to make Japan a great land for men, women, children, and the elderly, to live prosperous, healthy lives. Relations with the US, China, and the Koreas will be good. The pension system will be easy to understand. Birdies will sing and crocuses bloom in the mild sunshine. Daisies will spontaneously weave themselves into nosegays. Adorable fawns will munch on tender young leaves by the babbling brook, in the clear water of which you will see minnows playing merrily and blah blah blah.

    No, I’m not really getting cynical. I’m just kind of tired, and I’m only following this stuff to the degree I am because that’s what a responsible citizen resident does. Well, that and I’m a news junkie even on auto-pilot.

    In any case, posts should become more frequent and (I hope) sharper within the next few weeks. In the interim, I was directed to a site called Japan for the Uninvited last week, which those who have a casual interest in Japan may find entertaining. The front page makes it look sex-obsessed, but there’s actually quite a bit on a variety of cultural topics, little of it exhaustive but most of it delivered without that irksome ain’t-these-Yamato-folks-weird? tone that you get from a lot of writing on Japan.

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