Tarot of the Day #2 Japan

Due to a backlog of work, these daily tarot sessions are bound to be more sporadic as I’m too busy with grad school, writing, and clients to do unsolicited questions. This one I did about a week ago and have hesitated to publicize due to its grim nature.

Japan. Northeastern Japan. Fukushima, Japan. I must say that I have a very strong soft spot for this country, an unexpected pleasure in January 2010 when I visited. I expected it to be just like South Korea: angry energy, bumping, aggression, concrete, perhaps shallow, pop culture. In Tokyo or Osaka, perhaps the pop culture and population density creates all that, but I went to Kyushu where Nagasaki and a volcanic town called Kagoshima made for a nice, short vacation at New Year’s. Perhaps it is the belief in kami, or Zen philosophy, but this is a very special spiritual location with very deep sensitivity for surroundings. Some of my Korean friends said that they were not surprised for that reaction, as “it’s so haunted there [in Japan].” I even had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a lovely musical couple, the wife Cuban-American and the husband Japanese, through tarot at the Starbucks in downtown Nagasaki.

So on March 9 and 10, 2011, I was in a horrible mood of dread and doldrums for no reason. On the night of March 10th in Vancouver, at the University of British Columbia at West Point Grey my library management course was about disaster planning and we were talking for about two hours about retrofitting buildings for earthquakes. We left and when I got home at 9:30 p.m., my Facebook was blown up with prayers for Japan, and the tragedy was revealed.

When the nuclear dangers were coming to light a day later, I said to my roommate, “I hate to say this, but they’re going to explode.” No one was believing this, and I can’t say I was certain either, but I was in suspense and expecting it. It happened. Three or four times.

“One need only look at the US population to see the damage of nuclear experimenting in the past. Fried thyroids, scars across the throat, and weight problems.”

Though there is not enough radiation hitting western North America to kill anyone, I am certain we are contaminated to an extent. I feared this and at the same time forgot the danger after a few days. However, on Friday, March 18th, I was outside in the rain and my throat “caught” if you know the feeling, and I knew that some contaminants were here. I think for the time being it is all rained out, but alterations have happened. One need only look at the US population to see the damage of nuclear experimenting in the past. Fried thyroids, scars across the throat, and weight problems.

So the question is:

What is to become of Japan in this nuclear situation?

Past and present: Ace of Pentacles, rev.; XIV Temperance, rev.

Pentacles are the card of material reward, professionalism, skill, success, cash, and having control of a situation. The Ace is meant to typify this, to be the ultimate in this area. To have this in reverse speaks to Japan’s compromised state of the last 20 years. It has shamed the Japanese to lose competitiveness and also to have compromised so much in order to keep up with the west. People there also see this disaster as the manifestation of greed and the consequences of being complicit with it (though individuals have little choice).

Temperance again reawakens this concept of being at odds with two dichotomies. This is like a business deal gone bad. Furthermore, behind the scenes, I suspect this conflict means that there is some very unfortunate reality that has to be faced. I do not know anything about nuclear physics, but I am guessing that they are going to have to detonate some of the materials in some way – that is the only meaning I can get from this card. This is what they are contemplating now – how to release whatever inevitable pressure there is while minimizing the damage and keeping the world from turning against them.

Future, Answer: Four of Rods; Knight of Rods

Very prominent and positive rods here. Rods are masculine, risk-taking, energetic, passionate, and can be irrational. There can also be magic implied. Four of Rods promises prosperity, and in my Aquarian deck, shows a castle framed by an arbor which has roses growing on it. The Knight of Rods is fiery, macho, daring, confident. Against my logic, common sense, and gut instinct even, these cards tell me of two possible extremes: this either means that there are very insane men running this show and will hope against all doubts. The more likely extreme meaning is that this will push Japan into seeking its fortune elsewhere again, and all the emergency stimulus money circulating in the economy is going to push a more entrepreneurial spirit there for the next five years. While all data and reports indicate a more isolationist Japan, the cards say a very exciting, ambitious, fight back is coming.

What is Japan’s place in the world now?

Future: Two of Rods, rev.; Three of Rods, rev.

A time of unknown twists and turns, but they are on their own. They will carve their own way, and without too much help from the rest of the world. The new Maverick!

– John Lett (Readings), Author, Value$: A Mixed Economy

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2 Responses to Tarot of the Day #2 Japan

  1. Dorcusac says:

    Hi, John. I enjoyed reading your blog, it’s actually first time to read a complete post .
    From a Japanese perspective, you have very good insight that makes me think of my country, again. Japan’s metropolitan cities are filled with pop-culture, haunted in a countryside, losing to compete with western world and becoming new maverick. I have never thought the land has spiritually strange in some region because of where I grow up.
    You made a interesting point saying that Japan will lose competitiveness over others. I believe that what you are saying is absoluty right. We don’t need competitiveness any longer with others in order to sell products and all the things to make money for a company. The truth is that we come to realize that that’s endless story , at least me, producing a bunch of craps and export to make someone consume it, we have kept doing that since post-WW2. It is time to change now, we do it for a purpose for not only expanding a business across the world or in the nation. The new era we will have is to do something with warm heart and passion. not competitiveness.

    • I totally agree with what you say in addition to the cards. While nationalism is generally bad, in this case, I think people in Japan are tired of having western culture forced on them since 1868. The changes that have happened with Fukushima will bring out new leadership outside of the official government. I think the two places that will really change the most in the next few years are the the UK and Japan, and I wish I had the time to be there to see both.

      Everyone see this 1980s anime about Japanese wartime orphans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvFShM7fVuk “Grave of the Fireflies”

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