Tsuruta’s Blog (February 2024)

Dear All,

How is everyone doing?

A significant earthquake occurred, including in the Noto Peninsula and Niigata Prefecture. I sincerely sympathize with the hardship experienced due to the cold weather. It must have been extremely tough, and I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Although it was a small amount, I have donated a modest sum of condolence money to the people of Ishikawa Prefecture. I pray for a swift recovery of the economy.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has yet to be resolved, and we are starting to worry about when it will end and hope that neighboring countries do not lose their enthusiasm. We hope for a swift conclusion.

The Israeli military has started bombing Gaza in response to the Islamic organization Hamas, causing many Palestinians to lose their lives or suffer. We are worried that wars might break out in various places around the world. Considering countries like North Korea, China, Africa, and the Middle East, it’s unsettling to think that nations that were once peaceful are now on the brink of war as the world becomes increasingly interconnected.

Currently, there is a race to reach the Moon and extract water, which means hydrogen and oxygen can also be produced. Recently, valuable gems and metals have begun to be discovered. A competition between China and the United States for lunar acquisition is starting. About 70 years ago, there were scams involving selling lunar land. It seems they sold well in Japan, considering you could acquire land on the Moon for tens of thousands of yen per 10,000 square meters, especially when Japanese people were relatively poor. However, those discussions have faded away. Japan is also planning to join this race to the Moon, which may lead us into an undesirable era. Humans, being creatures of desire, will not easily let go of their greed. I was thinking about this when I read in the newspaper about the spread of lunar property rights. Advanced nations are presenting ownership claims, and Japan might claim its rights without much effort simply by launching a rocket to the Moon. If we even consider going to Mars, it seems like a daunting task.

The plan is to find water on the Moon, create hydrogen gas, extract new metals, and transport them back to Earth. And there are even plans to go to Mars, which I think is madness. But since it seems to be taken seriously, and it’s unlikely to be achieved within my lifetime, I say, do your best.

Traveling from Earth to Mars would take 250 days using the most fuel-efficient method, and returning would take twice as long. But what happens if someone gets sick, and how will food and living on Mars be managed? It seems like a lot of troublesome issues are piling up, and I wonder if a crew of only men can manage to live well together, not to mention the mental aspects. “I wouldn’t go even if I was paid,” I think to myself. But who knows? People who desire medals and praise exist in abundance. If an era arrives when diamonds can easily be brought back from Mars, what then? Now, I’m discussing such matters at 84 years old.

An interesting article was in the newspaper about India’s space program budget of 250 billion yen, demonstrating incredible capability by landing a satellite on the far side of the Earth, which is only 2% of the United States’ budget of 210 trillion yen. Many countries are asking India to teach them and to cooperate on space projects. Japan’s budget is 6,119 billion yen. Is such a large space budget necessary for Japan?

Yesterday, someone brought in six swords for appraisal. Five out of six were authentic. One was a piece likely from the Shizu area, noted as an important sword in its scabbard note, but since it lacked documentation, I advised looking for it. The estimated price was about 3.5 million yen. Yokoyama Sukeyoshi was authentic, though a bit rusty, which I believe could be remedied for about 40,000 yen. I am still considering Tsukiyama Sadakatsu since it had a good name but there were some doubts. The rest of the swords were undoubtedly authentic. I recommended re-polishing and reshaping the scabbards for those with rust, as they could turn out very well. Old scabbards, being dry, are less prone to warping and can be very good. The cost is around 20,000 yen. It’s good for everyone to have their swords appraised by a trustworthy person. Recently, we found a sword that was questionable as an important sword. Surprisingly, some people own important swords without knowing it, so caution is crucial. Our company offers free valuation and appraisal. If you find a higher offer, please sell it to them.

I wish you all well.

To all grandfathers and grandmothers, please take care and stay healthy. To all mothers and fathers, occasionally take a leisurely visit to shrines and temples, pray for the peace of those who lost their lives in the recent earthquake disaster. Raise your children strictly and simply. They will surely become good children. Kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, and simplicity are often emphasized in the Boy Scouts.

Improving Japan’s Politics Association
Chairman Don Quixote, Kazunari Tsuruta

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Japanese Sword Museum