A National Election

We have the vote for the House of Councilors tomorrow. Nevertheless, the mass media won't broadcast programs about it if not nothing. There are a lot of serious problems such as sustainability of the public pension, joining the coalition of the willing in the Mid East, elucidation of numerous scandals by the government and PM Abe himself and so forth. They say, since the ruling parties depend on the organized votes by the workers in the major industries for LDPJ and by the believers of Soka Gakkai for the Komeito, the government has ordered the mass media, especially, TV to restrict political debates in their programs. The government is also characterized by authoritareanism. It has the principle to make people rely on but not to let them know about what is going on.

A few days ago, when PM made election address in Sapporo as well as in Ohtsu, there were a few opponents who shouted against him or held a sign asking PM if he was for restarting the nuclear power plants or not. The police has excluded them out of the place. It is not based on any law. Years ago, the supreme court has decreed that jeering or hooting, so far as they are not too loud, is not obstruction of an election campaign. Excluding the opponents was clearly an abuse of police power. The same incident has occurred at two different places at the same time. It must mean the central police office has ordered that action to the regional police guarding PM making political address. It is a preliminary or the ealiest sign of authoritareanism in politics, isn't it? 

The government is aiming at the constitutional amendment once they get 2/3 of the seats at both Houses after this election. The main issue, so far as I knew from the draft of the constitution the LDPJ has published, is introduction of emegency clause into the constitution. It enables the cabinet issue cabinet orders equivalent to the ordinary laws without diet questioning and answering. The emergency situation is defined quite vaguely. It could be prolinged as long as the cabinet wants. It is comparable to the Enabling Act with which Nazis has destroyed the Weimar constitution most democratic at that time in the world.

The biggest problem in the politics is that young people are not interested in politics or, with superficial knowledge in politics, approve this ultra right government. There must be some different reasons for this issue. I suspect they are in a kind of nihilism for the politics. For example, they often say anything won't  be changed if they vote in the election. They won't believe in any social movement which could develop reformation. In our young days, the youth generation was the front runner in such movement. Political age has gone. It seems there is only nihilism in politics left among young people. No quick solution or prescription for this problem. Maybe, we, the older ones, should go on movement for change in the society and let them, the younger generation, know it is possible.

A bright side of this election campaign is that a new group named Reiwa-Shinsengumi has been founded by a young politician of the House of Councilors. This news from Reuter introduces its movement;here. They have chosen the candidates from those who have struggled at various situations in the society or who have lived as handicapped under stigma. The candidates are all from sites of social issues. Two handicapped are supposed to get the seat prior to the others if they get enough voters in the country. It has amazed me a lot how they selected the candidates. It is a real paradigm shift in selection. The founder, Taroh Yamamoto, says let's make the society where we are allowed to live without any worry about economy etc. That also sounds unique and attractive to me as well as many others who think the present government won't work for us but for only the rich and the major enterprizes.

Almost all of the result of the vote will be determined by midnight tomorrow. I would closely watch what is resulted in from the election.


Utilizing green beans ripened in the farm

Now it is the time when a lot of green beans are growing and harvested. I could hardly find any cooking recipe featuring them except for salad and certain simmered vegetables. They were sometimes abandoned in the past.

Cropping them the other day, the idea to freeze them came out in my mind. Why haven't I realized that? Frozen green beans commercially available is a typical material for cooking. 

Collecting dozens of green beans in the farm, I was going to boil them. Another idea lit in my mind. Green beans and carrots rolled up with pork. I have ever made it in the past and possibly have posted the photo here in the past. I was glad to remember of that recipe. This is it;

Seasoned with sweetened sake, soy sauce and sugar, this tasted pretty good. I could spare green beans being withered now. 

It has been too wet and cool for the past weeks. But, hopefully, it may get hot and fine in a week or two. It will be the beginning of midsummer here. 


My father's 15th anniversary

On the way to the piano trio practice with my niece a couple of days ago, I have heard of her pleasant memories with her grandfather, that is, my father. She has stayed with her grandparents living at a town near Tokyo where she needed making a train ride travel. On Sunday, she attended a sunday bible class at the Salvation Army Hospital my mother had worked.

My father used to visit this place we are living now once in a while and to develop a land for a house. My father must think of spending retirement at this place which had been sold to the other people and was bought back by my father. That project has come true. He has taken niece here on a small truck. She laughingly told me he had served her curry and rice without any material in it. It was a really unforgettable memory for her.

It was my father's 15th anniversary yesterday. Recalling that, I have talked on him with my niece. This has reminded me of an aspect of his life I didn't know. It was almost 40 years ago when I had started residency at a med school hospital nearby here. I thought, as children always do, I had grown up by myself and had become independent from my parents. I had not spent much attention to how they lived and thought of things those days. Hearing stories from niece, I knew there had been the other aspects of his life which had been unknown to us. I told my niece she and her brother, still very young those days, had been a great comfort to my parents at that time.

As already written elsewhere in this blog, my father has met my mother at the sanatorium for tuberculosis patients which had been managed by our aunt on the Christianity belief at the very same place as we live right now. On the same day when I met my niece, my sister sent me a postal mail. She has told on her memory of our father for the anniversary and has mentioned of a small note book. My father has made it when he was deployed to the WWII. It included the extracts of the words from the Bible, some hymns and the farewell greetings by his Christianity friends and a leader. My mother, his fiancee at that time, has quoted the Psalm 46th in her short farewell sentences. Of course, he could not bring a bible with him to the war. This small notebook must have been a comfort during military service where he has experienced cruelty for himself, the other soldiers and the people in China. My sister told me he had repeatedly told what he had done and had been done there. That experience has lead him to, throughout his life, consider what caused that war and who was responsible for that. We were even bored hearing that story while he was alive. Looking back of his life since those days, I am sure we should take over his thorough consciousness of the problem and his wish for peace for the generation upcoming. Even if it would be gone away when family members remebering of him pass away.

Our parents used to attend to the hospital in their senile days wherever I worked for. I was surprised at that. Raising their children for workers of medical service, I realized recently, they seemed to want, even without saying that to us, to be cared for by us for medical problems especially in the last days of their lives. I have become a pediatrician and younger brother a psychiatrist. We could not do that by ourselves. I still regretfully remember of my father's last days. Oftener, I should have gone to his bed side and have listened what he thought, worried and hoped those days.

In the last part of his life, he could spend peaceful days surrounded by his grandchildren in Tokyo and later here. It is the only relief to me that I could help him living here with us while having much support from him and mother as well.

Even though he was not educated so much as he had hoped for or was not a perfect person with some bias of his character, he was sure an irreplaceable and respectable father for me and for my family.

I have spent the day of anniversary working in the garden farm as he used to do. 
My sister wrote that the epitaph of our tomb is a quote of the Psalm 46th, a choice by father. I could hardly believe it was just a coincidence.

A snap of my father with his grandchildren, that is, my niece and nephew. Almost 40 years ago. After cruel and disastrous years of life, he finally could spend peaceful time with them.


Garden farm and chamber music

We have had a storm with torrential rain since last night. Hard wind was blowing. I found some of the corn plants were leaned in the farm. They were going to bear corn very soon. I have given some soil at the root of the corn leaned by the wind. I have not dared to straighten them up since it might damage the roots. Anyway, keeping something living is like this.

Looking at the corn farm of the neighbor professional farmer, I found very few were damaged by the storm. Maybe, I should have covered the roots with more soil or should have given more nutrients to accelerate their growth. I still have many things to learn about farming.

While it was drizzling a bit, I was pulling and cutting the weeds in the yard. I fould some apricots were fallen on the ground under an apricot tree. 

Not so many but a few were grown on the tree. Maybe, some of them could be harvested soon.

I have cooked potatoes home grown with beef. Seasoned with soy sauce and sweetened sake. Not bad.

In 4 days, I will have a practice of piano trio with my niece and a friend of mine who have let me enjoy chamber music for the past 2 decades. I am planning bringing chestnut rice for the lunch at my friend's home. It wil be a fun. 


A bubble is going on

The prices of land adjoining the major roads have been increased by 20 or even 30% per a year in Japan. The authority explains this rise with the increased inbound. It could hardly explain it. Or even if could partially explain this rise, the inbound demand would end soon, especially after the Tokyo Olympic Games. Only quantitative easing is the main cause. The money released by easing is heading to investment to the properties.

It is an economical bubble. The banks, especially local ones, are in very hard financial condition right now due to the historically low interest rate. Bubbles are destined to be ruptured sooner or later. It is the beginning of the economical/financial collapse in our country. Our central bank, BOJ, could do little for such a situation because of its too much commitment in quantitative easing and monetization of the debt.

Now the public pension is questioned as for its sustainablity. However, it is not the only problem but the national finance is in danger of bankruptcy.

Modern monetary theory, which both right and left depend on, won't save us. It would prove there is no free lunch in the world.

I haven't expected to live in such a situation for the retirement.