According to the Japanese Constitution, I live in a country that's supposed to be a democracy. By the way, watch this:
What do you think? Doesn't matter if you don't understand the language. Just watch.
Who's right and who's wrong? For better or worse, there's no middle ground. Make up your mind and do it quickly.
Oh, the cell phone is ringing. Who's that? Let me take it to find it out.
?: Hi there. How's it going?
Me: Why do you ask me that? I don't even know who you are.
?: OK. Perhaps it's about time to reveal the identity of myself.
Me: Wait. I remember that line. You are Brad Pitt, aren't you? I liked that movie, but personally, I'd prefer your wife. Could you put her on the line? I'd like to have a chat about her latest work with Clint.
?: I don't have a wife.
Me: Do you have a husband, then?
Me: Who do you love most then, at least?
?: I'm indifferent. I'm impartial. I'm supposed to be. I treat everyone equally.
Me: So what are you?
?: I am the Constitution of Japan.
Constitution: And you are a Japanese citizen. I gave you an order more than half a century ago. Why are you not following it?
Me: Wait. First, I apologize for my earlier misunderstanding. My dear Constitution, I love you. You created me. I thank you for that.
Constitution: Very well. So why are you against me?
Me: But I'm for you. Last time they asked me on a survey, I answered I supported you. I mean, I don't like the Emperor thing, and I have some other problems, but on the whole, I think I'm on your side.
Constitution: Did you actually read me? I did not just talk about justice; I demanded your commitment; I created you to fight against injustice. Now, I saw that video above. What's wrong with you?
Me: Exactly. That's what I've been complaining about. This is unjust, the labor issues and everything else. And you saw the video. Great. This is so unacceptable. I object. It's clear who's right and who's wrong. The bad guys are doing bad things. I accuse them. Could you be so kind as to intervene and remove the bad guys?
Constitution: It is now clear that you didn't do your homework. Here's what I said, read me: http://www.sangiin.go.jp/eng/law/index.htm
Me: ... Ah, actually, I...
We, the Japanese people: sovereign power resides with the people and we do firmly establish this Constitution.
Me: Oh, hello, We, the Japanese people. Nice to meet you. So you are the good guy, right? Could you, Mrs. We, the Japanese people, do something about the current situation in Kyoto and everywhere else in your territory? I asked a law student, and she says it's unconstitutional. So I was expecting Constitution to do something about it. But he seems busy at the moment. But if you, We, the Japanese people, are the one to back him up, I think you are the one to act.
We, the people of Japan: So now we agree. I'm glad we had this conversation; it's been productive. The final question for you: what are you and what's your responsibility?
Me: Me? I'm just a citizen. I have a Japanese passport. I'm...
We, the people of Japan: Well then? What am We waiting for?
So that was the phone call. And now I'm watching the video again. I see several human beings acting responsibly in Kyoto, this country, nay, in the world. It doesn't matter if they have a passport, or what passport they may have. Constitution says he's indifferent to such things; he just demands justice from the people he created. The people and the Constitution, they are in a kind of which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg relationship. That's right, it's dialectical materialism, and the Japanese Constitution is another Marxist manifesto. So what am I waiting for?
Yujiro Tsuneno, Tokyo
p.s. Here's an answer to the question I assume you might pose. Yes, you only see several revolutionaries. You might find all this relatively minor, especially after you saw what you saw at and around NYU, New School, Greece, everywhere else. But this is Japan. This is a nation in which even "radical" intellectuals compete with each other very hard to suppress activism. I ask you to see the video again. How much courage did this require? This was an event, an event as the French defined it. I just got another phone call. It's not over yet. It's still happening. It's happening indefinitely. There are people making it take place in ways I'd never imagined. I'm ashamed. I'm afraid. I'm anxious. What if I acted like them tomorrow? Or in three seconds from now?
Please note: I'm not (yet) involved with 京都大学時間雇用職員組合 Union Extasy. I'm still too afraid to join. If you want to know more about them, this is not the place you should be at, as they've got an official blog of their own. They are providing updates. Here's the link: