Tsuruta’s Blog (May 2024)

Are you all well? The cherry blossoms, often regarded as a symbol of spring, have finished blooming, and now the azaleas are displaying their vibrant flowers. Soon, hydrangeas will bloom around June, with a symbolic meaning of enduring love, tolerance, and earnest affection.

At the end of last month, war broke out between Iran and Israel. Israel, once known as the Jewish people, suffered greatly in concentration camps before the war. Due to their diligence and abilities, they were granted land as Israel in the aftermath of the war. They rapidly expanded their territory in the Middle East through finance and trade, surrounding themselves with barbed wire fences, highlighting their superior capabilities. Eventually, they began attacking the entire Middle East.

Wars between Russia and Ukraine, Islam and Israel, have claimed many lives. The United States has announced that it will not provide aid or rescue to warring parties. In the past, Japan was protected under America’s umbrella, but now we must fend for ourselves. The issues of the United States will inevitably affect Japan, so Japanese people must think carefully. We must plan and act now for potential conflicts involving North Korea, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and others. Waiting until it’s too late is not an option. Japan will face significant expenses due to a weak yen, requiring substantial funds for warfare. We’ll need to purchase state-of-the-art aircraft and defense systems from the US, meaning payments in dollars. A weaker yen will make things tough for Japan, especially if there’s a conflict in the Middle East, causing oil prices to rise. Japanese people may feel the pinch with increased prices for meals, imported goods like fruits, and rising wheat prices affecting bread. The quality Japanese swords are becoming scarcer as foreign buyers come to Japan to purchase them, potentially leading to their disappearance from Japan gradually. Indeed, the times are changing rapidly.

Regarding the maintenance of Japanese swords, as they are made of iron, some rusting is inevitable. However, with careful maintenance three times a year, it’s possible to prevent rust effectively. First, before maintenance, remove any oil from the sword by wiping it with 100% alcohol or benzine-soaked tissue, pulling it out of its scabbard. You’ll be surprised how effectively the oil is removed in one go. After admiring the sword, wipe the blade thoroughly with a tissue mixed with sewing machine oil or high-quality machine oil. Pay particular attention to the tip of the blade, the cutting edge, and the upper part of the tang. Then, lightly remove excess oil with a dry tissue. Additionally, lightly apply machine oil to the tang, especially to the signature part. Some sword enthusiasts may disagree with applying oil to the tang, but for new swords prone to rust and quick deterioration, it’s essential. While old swords naturally rust and form a rust layer between the lower iron and upper iron, creating a vacuum-like space that prevents rust, modern swords are harder, making it difficult to create a vacuum, leading to rust formation. Therefore, I lightly rub machine oil on the entire tang with a tissue. There are tools available for opening. Please consult a swordsmith for advice.

Recently, only nine out of fifteen employees who were present when I joined the company still remain in the department. We had a pleasant time at a meal in Shinbashi. Although we’ve aged since our youthful days, it’s delightful that nine of us can still meet and talk. It’s a common concern as we age, reminiscing about the lively days of youth and facing the reality of aging.

In today’s newspaper, it’s reported that the Liberal Democratic Party lost in all the by-elections for the House of Representatives. I was surprised to learn that female participation is increasing compared to males, likely due to relatively fairer elections. The issue of party tickets has been seen as a significant humiliation for the nation. In the past, when the Liberal Democratic Party was defeated, the opposition took power as the people grew tired of the party. However, the opposition was also fragmented, leading to the return of the Liberal Democratic Party, which vowed to govern earnestly. However, subsequent issues such as party ticket problems and the issues with former Prime Minister Abe have arisen one after another. I don’t consider the Kishida administration to be that bad. I believe that the lack of support from LDP members is the issue. It’s crucial for everyone to unite and support Prime Minister Kishida.

Greetings to everyone. To grandparents, I hope you’re doing well every day. As for me, I’m a bit unsteady now. Please enjoy yourselves while listening to the nightingale’s song and viewing the azaleas in the nearby park. Couples, please enjoy a relaxing time together at the nearby hot springs. Children, be kind, lively, and live modestly. Avoid luxury as much as possible; becoming accustomed to it can lead to troublesome illnesses. While times may be tough during financial hardships, they can also teach invaluable lessons. Living the Boy Scout lifestyle, pitching tents and waking up in nature, can be enjoyable. Additionally, drawing fresh water from the nearby fields and using it to cook rice can be a pleasant experience. Studying is essential, but spending time leisurely in the river, refreshing your mind with fresh water, is also important. Farewell, everyone. Encourage children with brightness and modesty, explaining motivations well.

Don Quixote, Chairman, Tsuruta Kazushige, Japan Political Improvement Society

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