JAPAN: A Letter from Tokyo

ERISA TAKEDA WRITES: Hi all! My mom tells me that in Japan, it’s a tradition to start a letter by addressing the season.  So: For the past three weeks or so, Japan has been getting warnings of typhoons 9, 10, 11, and the upcoming 12. Do not be fooled; this has not been keeping the weather any cooler. On the bright side, the greenery here is vibrant (don’t mean to rub it in, California), providing us much welcomed relief from the Japanese version of a concrete jungle. Nevertheless, the typhoons are probably making it more humid than usual. In 95 degree weather with 95% humidity, our shirts stick to our backs within 3 minutes of walking.  Luckily, we can pop into the underground and tunnel (aka the metro) to beat the heat. The inescapable condition that is chasing us and irritably sticking to our backs more than anything is the revision of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, also called the Security Policy. It is talked about on every TV channel, social media platform, and, I assume, most households.  It permeates every aspect of our lives, including our work environments. This includes Gaiko, the magazine I’ve been interning at this summer. For those who are unaware, Article 9 was written into Japan’s constitution after WWII and states that “…the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right,” and...

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