Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Then and Now

I am neither blind nor indifferent to Japan's faults, as some may have inferred from the previous post.  One of these, as I see things, is a frequently displayed indifference to the plight of structures of cultural or historic value.  Case in point: this photo shows a Meiji era estate in Niigata City, its extensive grounds an oasis of  green in the drab city center, its spreading trees the favored roost every evening of hundreds of birds.  The stone marker informs us that the Meiji Emperor rested at the residence in 1878 during a tour of northern Japan.  Deserving of preservation, surely.  Alas, no.  I passed by the other day, and the above is what I saw.  Everything reduced to rubble, bagged, and ready to be carted away.  Mottainai.      

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