Book review: Fresh Currents
Spike Japan | 2012/11/09
[Fresh Currents: Japan's flow from a nuclear past to a renewable future can be downloaded for free and quickly here. It is also available from good bookstores, priced ¥2,000.]
...The Gold, the undisputed gold <in the errors made in this book>, though, goes to a chart (on p46) that purports to delineate the contemporary Connections between Media & The Nuclear Industry. It begins like this:
. . . NHK [Japan’s BBC]
. . . Management Issue Committee, Gaishi Hiraiwa
. . . (is also President of Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.)
. . . and then moves on to the most powerful private-sector TV station:
. . . NTV
. . . Owner of Yomiuri Newspaper, Matsutaro Shoriki
. . . (is also Chairman of Japan Atomic Energy Commission)
“That’s odd,” I thought, “I don’t remember any Hiraiwa serving as president of Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) in recent years. What’s the source for this chart?” It turned out to be an URL, which turned out to be a BBS, Expat Café (“A home for displaced souls”) where gaijin can gripe to their drunken hearts’ content about the miseries of their exile lives. You can see the original post here. “Hmm,” I thought, “Should books with ambitions to stake a place in a serious debate stoop to sourcing material from paralytic idiots? And where did this chart come from originally?” A moment rootling around the Interwebs turns up the book that looks to be the source, Dangerous Talk by Takashi Hirose, published in…1987. But it gets worse, for even back in 1987 this was a *historical* chart, as while Gaishi Hiraiwa (1914-2007) served as chairman of TEPCO (the above “president” is a mistranslation on the part of the Fresh Currents folks) from 1984 to 1993, Matsutaro Shoriki (1885-1969) was chair of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission for less than a year, that year being…1956. If wrong were a star, this chart would be a red supergiant.
Hammer wrote:We also get called "paralytic idiots," and accused of living miserable lives.
Hammer wrote:Anyone know who's behind Spike Japan?
Or do I need to put the research department to work.
Hugh Jørgen wrote:Turns out he's not really anonymous - named both in another blog and in a newspaper piece:
Hammer wrote:Hugh Jørgen wrote:Turns out he's not really anonymous - named both in another blog and in a newspaper piece:
Looks like you nailed it (damn, you're good).
British translator (current) and teacher (former) in Japan.
Once, in my criminal lawyering days
vanpa wrote:And previously (from the Spike Japan article)Once, in my criminal lawyering days
Hammer wrote:vanpa wrote:And previously (from the Spike Japan article)Once, in my criminal lawyering days
Why on earth would anyone in their right mind go from being a lawyer to a translator?
Expat Café (“A home for displaced souls”) where gaijin can gripe to their drunken hearts’ content about the miseries of their exile lives.
Russell wrote:Well, if a lawyer is found to be criminal, he will be banned from the profession, wouldn't he?
Russell wrote:BTW, very impressed with your research department, Hammer!
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