Sunday, 4 August 2013

Day 226: Vote for me, vote for my party

Tokyo sunset, on the eve of the 21/7 election

Day 226 (20 Jul) Saturday. Today I'm heading out to play citizen journalist. I've made the plan and if everything goes to time then I should get to see four or five different parties and candidate hopefuls. 

Awake at 6.12am
There has been a small earth tremor overnight, not much but a longish shake of about 30 seconds or so. It's gets me up early enough anyway to be checking the plans, the times, calculating the trips from one district to another. The 6.12am pic is another view of the room I'm in, my friends have some quite lovely artefacts around the place. 

Jinko passed on some info about the leader of the Shaminto (formerly the Japan Socialist Party, but a mere shadow of its former self). I have been following Fukushima Mizuho for some years, more recently on twitter and as a female party leader, I have a particular interest for a book I'm planning to write next year. 

The plan, then, as I leave the house is: 

How to get attention:
JCP mascot at Shinjuku
Ginza (outside the Wako building) at 1.00pm to see Fukushima 
Shinjuku (Southeast exit) at 2.00 to see the Midori no Kaze party
Shinjuku (East exit) at 3.00pm to see the JCP
Nakano station (East exit) at 5.00pm to see the LDP, including PM Abe
Shibuya station to see Yamamoto again since I anticipate a large crowd.

I also hope to pick up others along the way, let's see...Jinko has also 'warned' me to leave time between events to rest and drink fluids because it is such a hot day. How kind. 

Part of the crowd,
at seen through the train window,
at 6.12pm
I arrive at the Ginza a little early to find that the right-wing nationalist party of Osaka Governor Hashimoto and former Tokyo Governor Ishibashi, the Ishin no Kai, are at the appointed spot extolling the 'virtues' of their platform. 

They weren't on my list so it is a bit of a bonus to see who is listening. I'm a bit surprised to see their active supporters are all quite young people, a number of twenty-somethings, just like Yamamoto's volunteers. How interesting. I follow a few of them as they parade down one of the Ginza avenues (and briefly contemplate ducking into my favourite music shop, but alas, I'm 'working'); at 1.00pm there is no sign of Fukushima. 

At 1.20pm still no sign, so I check the material Jinko found for me ... and chuckle. Jinko printed off material for the 2007 election campaign without realising it. Ah, we laugh when I get home and tell her. 

The rest of the day goes almost to plan and the bonus plays include seeing a DPJ candidate at Shinjuku and members of the Greens at Nakano. I didn't get to Shibuya again because the prime minister was running rather late at Nakano and I didn't get away until 6.12pm. Too late really to get down to Shibuya for Yamamoto. 

It's been a most exciting day, feels like the trip has been really worth it as I've chatted with people in crowds who are just as interested in a 'crazy gaijin' like me as I am interested in hearing their views. There was also a marvellous sunset on the way seemed fitting. 

The election campaign, with more pics, will be on the other blog, Psephy's~ologies.

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