Sunday, 9 December 2012

Day 4: 'Sentaku'

Day 4: I'm beginning to get the hang of this gig now. Quite conscious of what I'm doing each day, and conscious that I live a rather ordinary academic's life...
'Sentaku' approximates a few words in Japanese. One is 選択 for 'choice' and another is   洗濯 for 'laundry', today's 6.12 moments shared aspects of these two words. 

Reading the election data on 6.12pm
When Saturday is 'play day', then Sunday is household chores and back to work. That's the sort of day it's been. One of the things about being an academic is that the lines between research, interests and nerdiness are sometimes terribly blurred. So it was at 6.12pm today I noticed that I was examining the election data on the Asahi Shimbun (Asahi newspaper) website. It is psephologist heaven and there is so much detail, I can find myself getting carried away for hours; problematic when I'm supposed to be writing a commentary piece on the election. The night is still young. 

I'm particularly interested in the area where I stay when I go to Tokyo, Itabashi-ku, the area I've been most closely associated with since I first went to Japan, 29 years ago this month...the last time there was a December election!

The candidate whose data I'm reading here is Shimomura Hakubun and he's been there for as long as I can remember; I suspect if I go back through my photos over the years, I'll have a collection of his posters there as well. He was a young gun back then, he's now 58...age, like sand through the hourglass...hmm. 

This ordinary sentaku:
washing at 6.12am. 
The other point of interest today is that I saw coalition backbenchers in Australia have been asked to refrain from using twitter during the election campaign next year, lest they say something they ought not. Similarly, in Japan, candidates are not supposed to be using twitter, the internet or media advertising during the campaign and yet several candidates are challenging this position. 

A warmish summer's day here in Brisbane with news of fires on North Stradbroke Island and when I last looked on twitter, we were all caught up trying to identify a snake Spencer Howson found in his pool...carpet snake it seems. It's been that sort of day. 

So, 'sentaku'...the Japanese people have their choices coming up next Sunday, election day. I had my 'sentaku' to do today, the laundry, and no doubt, I'll be doing that again next Sunday too. 

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