Typhoon Warning

But, as so often happens in the U.S., it was a false alarm. We got a nice rain last night, but the typhoon stayed out to sea and mainland Japan woke up to a beautiful, sunny day.
During my two weeks in Osaka, I’ve been on the lookout for signs of the anti-Americanism that is alleged to be rife here, as elsewhere around the world. In “official” Japan, it’s certainly present. A few days ago, the Japan Times printed op-eds by two Americans: Ted Rall and Robert Scheer. And the next day, the Times printed no fewer than six editorial cartoons, every one of them anti-American, five(!) of them about Abu Ghraib.
I’ve been working every day at the American consulate here, and today there was an anti-war protest at the consulate at lunchtime. The demonstration will probably get some news coverage, but what struck me was its pathetic size, given the huge population of Osaka. The demonstrators couldn’t have numbered above twenty-five–about the same size as an anti-war “march” I saw last year in Palmer, Alaska, a town of about 2,000.
For what it’s worth, my strictly subjective impression is that anti-Americanism in Japan is pretty much confined to the sort of people who publish newspapers. (Much as it is in America, come to think of it.) In two weeks, no one in our group has had a single encounter that has been less than cordial.
My work has finished up a bit sooner than I expected, and I’ll be home again, and back to regular blogging, Sunday afternoon.


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