Thursday, February 14, 2008

Visualizing Terror in Japan -and- A New Semester of Visual Anthro Has Begun!

(Image borrowed from Japan Today, 2/14/08)

Oh you regular readers of VAOJ, I can hear you saying, wow! you sure are posting a lot lately, almost every day! Sugoi deshoo... My response is that a new semester has begun! And my new students seem to have many and varied interests within Visual Anthropology and I am trying to accommodate them... With that in mind, please check out my new students' blogs, located to the left under "Spring 2008 Student Photo-Blogs." I think they are off to a good start. So please read often and leave comments.

You might also notice a few changes in the layout of this blog. Perhaps the most useful change is the addition of labels at the end of each post. These labels allow the reader to access posts of similar content. This is especially useful if one is looking for posts on RESOURCES, METHODS and/or PHOTO ESSAYS. And remember, one can always use the search function at the top of the blog to search for key words and subjects within Visual Anthropology of Japan.

As for the terror...

Japan Today posts a picture everyday with a short caption and invites readers to comment. The above is today's photo, with the caption, "An anti-terror drill is carried out on a bullet train at Tokyo station on Wednesday." My question about this image, does it scare you or make you feel relieved? Does this photo make you have confidence in the Japanese government's response to terrorism?

It is a different kind of image than those they create for the self defense forces (see a previous posting with recruitment videos for the Maritime Self Defense Force by clicking here) - remember seamenship?

Images of the times?

Link to the picture and discussion in Japan Today:

Post Script: More Terror Related News...

We discuss in class about the many security cameras in Britain (an estimated 4.2 million cameras, or one for every 14 people). These cameras are supposedly another response to terrorism, and authorities pointed to the success of security cameras helping in the capturing those responsible for the mass transit bombings in 2005. Other countries and cities have installed their own cameras as a response to terrorism and to deter crime. Now, Okinawa is thinking about doing the same. Who is to be put under surveillance? American soldiers, of course. This is all in response to the recent and supposed rape of a 14 year old Japanese girl by an American soldier stationed in Okinawa.

Read the story in Japan Today:

Is this a good idea? Can you blame Okinawa? Isn't it ironic that the Japanese have an American military presence to protect them from terrorism but at the same time have to take preventative measures to protect themselves from those who are supposed to be protecting them? An anti-terror method to monitor those who are fighting the terrorists?

Aren't things getting a bit out of hand?

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