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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


The Spirit of Poverty 貧乏神

The Spirit of Poverty 貧乏神 by timtak
The Spirit of Poverty 貧乏神, a photo by timtak on Flickr.

The Spirit of Poverty is a Japanese diety that, though she tries to help, brings poverty upon those around her. She is generally represented as an old woman but, people may be called a "spirit of poverty" if they are thought to bring bad luck to those around them.

The fall of the Nikkei Stock Index almost conicides with my arrival in Japan. I came just before the bubble burst, when Japan was the land of milk and honey. Twenty some years later people are still wondering what went wrong.

My own theory is that the Japanese lost their way due to their incessant importantion of things Western; they became too Westernized for their own good. If I were clever, or a ponce - I try - I'd say they went the way of the Subaltern.

Put simply the trouble is, it seems to me, that they did not only import Western technology, but also Western ways of thinking which weaken their own. I think that they need to throw the Western, logo-centric, individualistic, moralistic, feel-good, idealism out of their houses, and shake the dust off their feet, but then I may be a bimbogami.

What appears to be sure is that something is ailing the Japanese economic spirit and something needs to be done about it.

Image copyright Yahoo Finance.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.