Not familiar with this important historical Japanese terminology?
sakoku 1.0 is the era of isolation between 1603 and 1867.
Make no mistake about the calculated brutality enforcing mandated adherence to strict social hierarchy in order to keep one’s fledgling country in civil order after the extremely brutal sengoku jidai (1467-1568 CE) where it was said:
The rivers of Japan run crimson with blood.
The peace and stability of the Tokugawa period, and the economic development it fostered, set the stage for the rapid modernization that took place after the Meiji Restoration.
Here is another critical historical lesson as to why the Japanese had to open their county after 264 years of self-imposed isolation.
Imperialist American Gunboat Diplomacy.
Commodore Perry came to Japan representing the United States of America, along with a squadron of four vessels.
For a time, Japanese officials refused to speak with Commodore Perry, but under threat of attack they accepted letters from President Millard Fillmore.
After giving Japan time to consider the establishment of external relations, Commodore Perry returned to Tokyo with nine ships in March 1854.
On March 31, he signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening Japan to American trade and permitting the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Japan.
Fundamentally, the Japanese were forced to open to international trade under grave threat of violence and destruction at the hands of the Americans.
Yet, this is genocidal behaviour continues around the globe up until this very day.
This historic event initiated one of the greatest achievements in human history—the industrialization of Japan reflecting the best of Occxie-land, and beyond.
The history books bear witness to the fact that just seven short years after the Meiji period ended, a newly modernized Japan was recognized as one of the “Big Five” powers at the Versailles Peace Conference that ended World War I.
Perhaps Commodore Perry and the myopic Americans were aghast after witnessing what the Japanese are capable of achieving when exposed to ideas that will advance the nation of Japan combined with Form, Order, and Process.
Which brings all to the sakoku 2.0 version of Japan, which started with the Covid virus in March 2020.
Although one may think of viruses as microscopic, viruses take many forms and one must be certain viruses are not surreptitiously infecting one’s own mind, heart or soul.
The unending plagues and conflicts now tormenting our shared planet, is at an all time high and spinning out of control faster and faster, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
This is where another very important Japanese protocol comes into play which is necessary to understand as to why the Japanese nation will probably reject unfettered tourism ever again.
One of the most profound cultural traits of the Japanese is the deeply engrained notion of tatemae and hone.
tatemae: constructed reality to which everyone play lip service
honne: true feelings
What is on display now is farcical theatrics paying lips service to the re-opening of Japan to untethered tourists.
Most regrettably, many long-term resident in the foreign community have built lives around tourism, presenting highly unique experiences for the curious and bold, but now leaves them in a bottomless pit of uncertainty.
Unfortunately, due to the looming Thucydides’s trap, staring directly into Japan’s face, one now has to ponder what exactly will be Japan’s role in the fast-approaching, volatile, and unpredictable geopolitical conundrums, now billowing in, one after another.
In all likelihood, the Japanese will take a wait-and-see approach and implement necessary measures according to the fluidity of the situation.
Remember, it is not the feckless interchangeable faces of the Japanese politicians and their long-suffering secretaries running the show.
It is the faceless bureaucrats who manipulate the levers of power behind the black curtain, and make no mistake about it, these old Japanese men are simply mindless bureaucratic cogs grinding the system of Japan forward.
Japanese bureaucrats are programmed by the deep indoctrination necessary to pass the stringent Japanese government bureaucrat exam, and these people have absolutely no interest in anything expect the advancement of Japan, which at the present time does not include unfettered free-range tourism.
Uncomfortably true, the absence of throngs of tourists selfieing their way through the ancient civilization of Japan is a welcome reprieve for many long-term residents, and indeed most Japanese citizens, who have no vested interest in foreign tourist coming back to Japan again, whatsoever.