Check out this image from the UK’s Daily Mail. It’s from a pretty big protest rally against the American military base situation in Okinawa, but with a distinctly Japanese twist. I’m not interested in the pre-printed cards that were distributed. I am interested in the hand drawn cardboard one on the right side of the frame. It reads as follows.
Fuku wa uchi! Heiwa wa uchi! Kichi wa soto!
Guamu ni Okinawa ni Nihon ni beigun kichi wa isuwaru na! Meiwaku da! Kaette kure!!***
Luck in! Peace in! Military bases out!
American military bases in Guam, Okinawa, and Japan, do not remain! It is troublesome! Go home!!
This is obviously modeled on the customary Setsubun holiday ritual of 豆撒き or mamemaki – throwing soy beans and chasing ogres out of one’s home by yelling 「鬼は外！福は内！」(Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!) or “Demons out! Luck in!”. People have been pretty heated up over the base situation for a long time now. I’m curious about whether it really implies a few things or not, though: that the American military is a bunch of friendly demon ogres (big step up from foreign barbarians if you ask me), that Okinawa is not part of Japan, and that Guam is upset about the military base there? Perhaps the delineation of Okinawa and Japan was kind of like “Okinawa and mainland Japan”? I dunno. But I found this interesting, and thought you might too!