Print Edition - 2018-11-01  |  ASIANEWSNETWORK

Musings

- THE DAILY YOMIURI

Nov 1, 2018-

The following is a translation of the Henshu Techo column from The Yomiuri Shimbun’s Oct. 20 issue.

 

* * *

Shuji Terayama is said to 

have imagined the Earth as a place where the sea had 

vanished without a trace. In 

his poem “Umi no Kieta Hi” 

(The day the sea vanished), 

mankind mutters the 

following: “How surprising it is that such a huge amount of water existed without spilling from the Earth.”

What these words make us realize perhaps is the existence of gravity. Usually, we are 

hardly conscious of it, but it envelops our life just like the atmosphere. We hope it stays calm as much as possible and doesn’t knock down things in our room or make them fall down.

It is very unfortunate 

because I was thinking of 

people fighting against this energy that governs all things on Earth, who protect our lives and livelihoods.

I’m talking about a recent scandal in which KYB Corp., a major oil damper maker, and its subsidiary fabricated data for tests concerning seismic 

isolation and vibration control devices. A Nankai trough 

earthquake is coming. An earthquake that directly hits below Tokyo is coming. I wonder how many people are devoting themselves to mitigating the possible damage, thinking that those earthquakes might occur tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. The recently revealed wrongdoing is nothing but a betrayal against such disaster management efforts.

“There is no building that would collapse even if an earthquake of 7 [the maximum on the Japanese seismic intensity scale] hits,” KYB said. Even if we believe that for now, our consciousness of gravity that is inadvertently there might have changed. How serious would it be for people who imagined a world where buildings vanished without a trace?

Published: 01-11-2018 07:29

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