The Rising Sun
The Sun in Many Cultures
The Rising Sun
Before its collapse the Roman Empire was seen as not only too vast but also having too many religions, too many gods. One experiment made to attempt to get everyone in the empire in tune with everyone else was to have only one official religion. The first attempt made the belief in Sol Invictus, a sun god the official religion of the Romans. This didn't work.
The next emperor tried making Christianity the official religion. This also didn't work. But Christianity continued to exist long after the empire had ended.
One of American novelist Ernest Hemingway's best known novels is titled The Sun Also Rises. First published in 1926, it is a reflection of his years in Europe. There is the lure of Paris and also the decadence of bullfighting in Spain.
In 1969 The Beatles released the song Here comes The Sun. It is a song of hope
The symbol of the rising sun is the symbol of the Japanese people. It appears on their flag.
The rising sun is also the symbol of the Australian army and appears on Australian army badges. The latest ad for the Australian army claims that: 'Australians shine under a rising sun'.
Many Japanese love their gardens and so do many Australians. Unfortunately for many Japanese they are rather restricted as to what they can grow. Rock and sand gardens are popular in Japan.
Both countries have, over the past twenty years, produced some great conservationists and some great scientists concerned with the environment.
Australians were at one time into whaling but now much prefer whale watching. There are Japanese who wish to make the transition from a nation of whale killers to whale watchers but, unfortunately, there are still Japanese keen on butchering whales. Hopefully the Japanese who prefer whale watching will soon win out over those who do not.
Both the Australian and the Japanese government have invested time and money into developing alternate sources of energy to get away from the continuing use of fossil fuel.
Japan has limited resources when it comes to raw materials. Even food would be a real problem if the Japanese could not import a lot of their needs from other countries. Strangely enough, there is not enough rice grown in Japan to satisfy the requirements of her population.
Australia too has limits when it comes to natural resources but those limits are only now being recognized by enough people in power for there to be hope for the future.
Following the Sun
The Japanese have a great reverence for the sun. This reverence was part of their make up long before Buddhism turned up and most definitely before anyone Japanese had ever heard of Christianity.
Ordinary Australians feel a strong connection with the sun. Certainly our summers would not be so celebrated without those hazy, lazy days many of us spend at the beach. Then there are the golfing and fishing enthusiasts to consider.
Summer 2005 saw violence on Australian beaches caused by Muslim youth wanting to take the freedom of ordinary Australians away by pushing for a strict dress code. They did not succeed but they did cause a lot of trouble and had a lot of trouble directed at them.
Summer 2011 was not a good year for sun baking (with some caution because of the possibility of skin cancer), swimming, or surfing in many seaside parts of Australia because of all the rain. Even so, glorying in summer, with the hope of plenty of sun on the weekend, is very much a part of what being an Australian is all about.
Summer 2014 was excellent for sun baking, swimming and surfing in Australia. The winter 2014 was bitterly cold.
Summer 2015 was also excellent for sun baking, swimming and surfing in Australia.
THE SAMURAI AND THE NINJA
Relations between Australia and Japan have not always been smooth sailing. Yes, Australians fought Japanese during the 2nd Word War.
Among other things the Japanese bombed Darwin and did some damage to Sydney harbor with their mini-subs.
Australian forces, after much fierce fighting, drove them out of Port Moresby, New Guinea.
The cruelty of the Japanese toward prisoners of war, including Australians, has become legend.
The war against the Japanese ended when the Americans used two atomic bombs to destroy two Japanese cities - Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In the 1950s Japanese goods were generally thought of as low quality rubbish. By the 1970s, however, this had all changed.
Nowadays Japanese goods, especially electronic goods, are highly regarded and sort after. In the 1950s Australia did well with the wool trade. By the 1980s, however, wool was in trouble and today the country is buoyed up largely by the mining sector.
In the 1960s television shows from Japan made it to Australia via the USA. Shows such as The Samurai, Phantom Agents, Astro boy, Gigantor, and Kimba the white lion were very popular.
Today Japanese shows still make it to Australian television but either direct from Japan or via Great Britain.
New South Wales and Queensland
Many electronic products from Japan such as television screens make it onto Australian shelves. Japanese cars are popular. A good portion of the tourists coming to Australia come from Japan.
The Japanese seem to enjoy Australian beaches, gardens, national parks and golf courses.
There are a number of fine Japanese restaurants to be found in Sydney. There is also a Sumo salad bar. Sushi has become very popular and some of the best sushi restaurants and eateries can nowadays be found in Hurstville and Cronulla.
Both Hurstville and Cronulla are south of Sydney. Cronulla is known also for its wonderful beaches, friendly people and live theater.
Queensland is the favorite destination for visiting Japanese but New South Wales definitely catching up.
The Japanese are represented in a number of ways in my new novel, Desk Job. There are the Japanese of the 2nd World War that terrorized South-East Asia including Australia.
There are the Japanese who had to come to terms with their defeat in 1945. There are the Japanese who found a way to bring pride back to Japan with industry and economics.
In the 1960s there's the Japan of Astroboy,Gigantor, Shintaro the Samurai, and the Phantom Agents. There are ultimately the traditional Japanese standing alongside the innovative.
In my novel, Desk Job, there is a wind witch who originally came from Japan. We at first see her bad points but, as we dig further into her past, we also see her good points. She starts out as an out and out villain but becomes, well before its conclusion, just another human being with certain faults but also with counterbalancing merits. What she sees as beautiful we can understand as being beautiful. What she sees as corrupt we come to understand as being corrupt.
Throughout the story political correctness in the office where she works doesn't do her any favors. For a start, it has people afraid of her and this fear leads to her death. Things that should have been sorted out with dialogue and good management early on inevitably escalate, leading to murder.
There is condemnation in Desk Job but not for the Japanese. It is aimed at a strange form of sexism and racism. It is aimed at political correctness of the mid-1990s in Australia taken to its ultimate insane conclusion when administered by those who lack a certain humanity.
All things considered, Desk Job is hopefully a book that will make people smile in places, laugh in others and maybe think deep thoughts over certain passages.
More by this Author
Islamic State, milk and honey, Australia, the USA, the UK, mini-skirts, bikinis, slavery, Gandhi, French Revolution, Karl Marx, Holland, starvation, Ancient Rome, Robin Hood, World War One, Syria.
The Jazz Age, Josephine Baker, Ken Burns, The League of Nations, radio, the gramophone, Kangaroo, Ragtime, Ku Klux Klan, Elvis Presley, World War One, The Saint, The Great Gatsby, Pollyanna, Paris.
Bullying in the USA, Australia and France. School boy bullies. Nations throwing out democracy for dictatorship because of bullying. Religious bullies. Computer bullies. Fighting against bullying.