Every now and then, there is some evidence for the moral progress of mankind. Looking back in time, Wikipedia reports:
One particularly pernicious rumor was that Koreans were taking advantage of the disaster, committing arson and robbery, and were in possession of bombs. In the aftermath of the quake, mass murder of Koreans by brutal mobs occurred in urban Tokyo and Yokohama, fueled by rumors of rebellion and sabotage. About 6,600 Koreans were murdered. Some newspapers reported the rumors as fact, which led to the most deadly rumor of all: that the Koreans were poisoning wells. The numerous fires and cloudy well water, a little-known effect of a large quake, all seemed to confirm the rumors of the panic-stricken survivors who were living amidst the rubble. Vigilante groups set up roadblocks in cities, towns and villages across the region. Because people with Korean accents pronounced “G” or “J” in the beginning of words differently, ? ? (j?-go-en, go-j?-sen) and ????? (gagigugego) were used as a shibboleth. Anyone who failed to pronounce them properly was deemed Korean. Some were told to leave, but many were beaten or killed. Moreover, anyone mistakenly identified as Korean, such as Chinese, Okinawans, and Japanese speakers of some regional dialects, suffered the same fate. About 700 Chinese, mostly from Wenzhou were killed.
On modern-day Japan, Edward Hugh has an excellent post.
I present a post from my old, old, old blog. From the year 2003, the month, 06, and the day 11, combining as 2003-06-11, I present this slice of my former life:
Well today started off pretty crappy. I was driving to work and I heard this loud rumbling noise and I was like “Who’s driving a Sherman tank down Kenedy Road?” until I noticed that the rumbling noise increased when I pressed the gas pedal. *groan* so now I have a nice broken muffler to deal with. At least at Speedy I’m a somebody.
My brilliant party email didn’t include a time or directions. Thank you for all of you who pointed that out to me. The after-email is coming today, and I kept those things out because I hadn’t decided on which time, and I didn’t figured out the way that most people would get there.
Last night I went for a nice walk around my neighborhood, and checked out where the bus lines go in Mississauga. It’s going to take at least an hour to get to work if I take the bus as opposed to driving the Tank. But that would be alright were it not for the tortuous route that the bus takes to actually get to my work. Reading a book on the bus is one thing, but reading a book on the bus while the bus takes you to Port Credit and back is quite another thing.
So if you’re ever going to come over to my place please phone ahead. I’d want to clean it up and everything before you saw it.
Coming from the 403/QEW combination: When the highway branches off into the QEW and 403, take the 403 offramp, and take the 403 East until you come to the Hwy10 exit. Bear right onto the offramp, but don’t turn right or left. Continue straight across Hwy10 onto Sherwoodtowne Road. Round the curve in the road approaching Rathburn Road, and turn left onto Rathburn. Continue on Rathburn until you approach the first set of stoplights. Turn left onto Woodlawn Road (or something like that). Then turn left again at the first road, and you will be on Chalfield road. My apartment is #87, and you can just take the walkway around to the back of the house, down the steps, and knock on the door.
Seven years ago. Yowza. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read this stuff, then or now. (Thanks to the Internet Archive for archiving all kinds of crap!)
Or, check this out: I don’t remember any of the following happening, and I strongly suspect I simply made it up, that I was trying some bizarre fact/fiction blogging thing:
An interesting weekend without internet access lead to me going to Nathan Phillip’s Square in Toronto where it seemed like the entire population had decided to show up and skate slower than me. Thus, the inevitable child skating against the flow, the colision, and the mother who is unable to understand that it actually IS her stupid child’s fault after all.
And then there was the subway. There was this guy that looked exactly (I swear!) like Adam from Earthsuit – check that band out at Earthsuit.com – with the freakout glasses and spazmodic movements and everything. Not to mention the two guys who kept giving eachother money in ascending denominations, or the dude that jumped onto the train as the door was a mere two inches from being closed.
And then there was downtown. The streetperson who got mad at me because I didn’t give him anything (I mean what, I’m going to give a dude with a waxed mustache and Nike Airs any money?). Or the hunched over old guy in Starbucks asking for money… didn’t give him my debit card which was all I had. Coulda given him some coffee, but he probably wanted stimulants of a different and somewhat more potent nature.
Inauguration of new notebook with scribbles and spelling mistakes [ed: all corrected, hopefully] in a New York Starbucks. Life is officially complete with perhaps one exception. Damn, I want to kiss that girl right now. Maybe I can live here one day. That would be grande!
It must be getting close to need, now. I took the wrong train and ended up further into Brooklyn that I’ve ever been. Now I’m at the corner of 7th Av and W 23rd St. Pretty junky. Nowhere to sit, but not too many people. Smoking a cigar, drinking Starbucks coffee. It’s really quite hot here, too. I want to buy a bottle to fill up with water. Anything to drink is boody expensive here.
The subway stations are hotter than most tropical countries, but this train is beautifully cool and not that difficult to write one. A bit jerky. Then again, so am I. Hopefully on the right train this time.
It’s probably around 2pm now. I don’t have a watch. Nick and I are outside some sort of convention centre. A giant glass building filled with cool, cool air. Which is nice, that. It’s a record-breaking heat wave here. Speaking of which, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market seems to have disappeared. Sad, that.
Back at the hostel again — cool air! And even though ti smells vaguely of garbage in here (or is that some sort of sanitizer?), it’s good to be back. The subways were crazy in Manhattan. Weekend, everything closed for construction and such. We saw Ground Zero, which seemed to be in the process of being rebuilt or something. Also saw Staten Island from across the Hudson. A rather interesting thing — water and then suddenly buildings. Wish I could check my email or something, but I could even get to the hotspot I used yesterday. Annoying.