Dogs and Demons highlights

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  • 7/30/2019 Dogs and Demons highlights


    These are the interesting sections I noted from reading the book "Dogs and


    As Karen van Wolfren documented in The Enigma of Japanese Power in Japan's

    political system the actual exercise of power is mostly hidden

    pg 10

    kata from martial arts apply to modern life

    pg 30

    kirei both lovely and neat and clean

    pg 33

    "What's the difference between torturing a bonsai and torturing the landscape?"

    pg 37

    Wakon Yosai -Japanese Spirit, Western Technology

    pg 40

    Ministry of Construction has its own anthem - The Utopia Song. "Asphalt blanketing

    the mountains and valleys ... a splendind Utopia"

    pg 50

    When, towards the end of 1987 black limosines began lining up each afternoon in

    front of Madame Onoe Nui's house in Osaka the neighbours thought little of it. The

    cars disgorged blue-suited men carrying briefcases who dissapeared inside not to

    emerge till the next morning. Nui operated a successful restraunt but she hadn't

    expanded her opening hours. If fact the men from the Industrial Bank of Japan were

    getting stock advice from Nui's toad whose head they pattted. Nui channel the Toad

    who at one point controlled more the $10 billion making it's owner the worlds largest

    individual stock investor (and bank borrower). However it only lost around 10% as it

    issued buy and sellcalls unlike other institutions who lost more like 50-60%.

    pg 78/101

    Misistry of Finance arranged for companies to buy and hold each others shares. The

    average review period for OTC listing in Japan was 5.7 years!

    pg 83

    The Law of No Suprises comes first in my personal Ten Laws of Japanese Life.

  • 7/30/2019 Dogs and Demons highlights


    pg 87

    tatemae(an official stated position) and honne(real intention). True forms are more

    real than reality.

    pg 104

    So common is the staging of fake news reports that it even has its own name yarase

    literally meaning "made to do it".

    Uwasa no Shinso ("The Truth Behind the Rumors") - defunct magazine

    pg 113

    Dorei, the manager of Japan's nuclear power program knew about 70kg of missingplutonium but didn't tell anyone about it. They claim it's gathered in pipes and

    coveyers but claim they don't know where exactly or how to remove it.

    pg 116

    Japanese unemployment rate is a fraud. Would be 2-4% higher if measured like US.

    pg 123

    Japan's Environmental Agency reported spending 11 trillion on anti-global warming

    projects. Most actually went on constructing and maintaining roads about 1/120

    actually spent.

    pg 124

    There is a second Zaitobudget controlled by the MoF which amounts to as much as

    60% of official budget.

    Japanese surgery often requires bribary

    pg 135

    Joho Sakoku(a closed country for information)

    pg 126

    amakudari(decended from heaven)

    pg 133

    To see the reality of today's Kyoto, take the elevator to the top of the Grand Hotel

    near the railway station and look round 360 172

  • 7/30/2019 Dogs and Demons highlights


    kuyoand tsuka(atonement tomestones) for animals and objects that humans had

    thrown away or harshly used.

    pg 174

    Cultural Ministry has restored many temples to perfection but not for living in.

    pg 179

    Rigid Floor Area Ratios (Tokyo average < 2:1) but no zoning or buried cables

    pg 196

    The "Special Snow" school of thought were Japan's trade negotiators in the 1980's

    asserted that "Japanese snow is unsuitable for foreign skis"pg 198

    New Japan does not like trees.

    pg 201

    Singapore: try the drive from Changi Airport into downtown to see the Garden City.

    pg 203

    a "wartime economy operating in peacetime"

    not really a large population density, the problem is land use.

    pg 207

    Contrast places (in Bangkok): wooden latices and tree lined enterance to Sukhotai

    Hotel, gardens of Inter-Continental or Hilton, coffee in the vaults of the Hyatt in

    Bangkok or view skyline in Westin Hotel.

    pg 211

    Only two attractive hotels in Tokyo: Park Hyatt and Four Seasons.

    pg 212

    Orochi loop highway in Yokota, Izumo.

    pg 218

    Rediculous amount of cultural halls and museums and weird buildings and big things

    (there is a list)pg 224/226

  • 7/30/2019 Dogs and Demons highlights


    Ware Tada Take Shiru"I know only what is enough"/"I know the limits and that is


    pg 229

    Theory of Opposite Virtues: People and Nations praise what they lack. GB "fair play",

    Soviet Russia "equality", USA "moral standards", France "l'amour", Canadians

    "being distinct".

    pg 231

    Rythm:jo, ha, kyu, zanshin(introduction, break, rush, full stop)

    pg 232

    63 kilo gold nugget at Tsuna, Hyogo

    pg 237

    Midnight run debt evasion show - "The Midnight Run Shop"

    pg 270

    Universities are backwards

    pg 274

    Takes an average of 30 years to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    pg 275

    Outlying fiefs were almost independant states, Shikoku's Iya Valley not in

    government control until 1920

    pg 283


    pg 287

    Textbooks not allowed to mention pizza by ministry "Pizza is not a set menu for a


    juku(cram schools)

    pg 296

    toho kyokai(refusal to attend school)pg 297

  • 7/30/2019 Dogs and Demons highlights


    Uinversity four years of play

    pg 299

    Toudai is a shambles by European or American standards

    pg 300

    Ikenobo Senno essay on ikebana in 1542

    pg 316

    Dejima Island in Nagasaki Harbour for Duch and Chinese 1600-1869

    pg 344

    Strange Things About the Japanese (TV show) hosted by Beat Takeshi

    pg 350

    Jalpak (Japan's own package holiday)

    pg 369

    zoro-yaku(one after another medicines).

    Japan has two drug inspectors

    pg 373


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