Heinz, like many of the wealthy of the day, viewed Japan as an exotic curiosity, one that can be at once collected and reformed. He made those remarks at a Sunday School convention in 1902, and they appear far less noble in context: "Japan is the key to the Orient. The work done through this Sunday-school movement and through the missionaries in this ambitious, aggressive, imitative nation, so eager to adopt the methods of the United States, will be looked upon with favor by the neighboring people of Korea and China." Heinz was one of many aristocrats who took an interest in what old, exotic Japan represented to them just as Japan was shunning these traditions in its rush to industrialization and modernity.
Burying "Floating Echo" under the bridge---contrary to the advertisements for it before the festival---weakens the image and defeats the installation's purpose. Furthermore it runs against the artist's own statement: "Through the statue one can see the nature, landscape and architecture around the water. Its subtle presence embraces and reflects the surroundings, both natural and man-made."
Interesting, and papers large and small across the country could regularly do pieces like this because so many recent graduates have gone overseas to teach English, even before the "Great Recession". It's a viable short-term option, especially for people who want to see the world but couldn't afford to study abroad. In recent years, though, the market in Korea has soured for older, experienced teachers who price themselves out of jobs because schools only want to pay young, cheap ones.
This kind of crap is the equivalent of the ubiquitous North Korean propaganda vilifying the United States military. Judging by what we use as "entertainment", maybe they have a case. With all the political ads we just had attacking China, Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, I guess the time is ripe for some pretend war-mongering.
It makes my face hurt a little when the US pretends it's being bullied. What gets ignored in this latest round of economic xenophobia is that the US doesn't have the moral authority or the clean conscience to condemn "cheating on trade agreements, stealing technology, and abusing its people and environment", or large income inequality, or dubious attempts at freedom, or a trigger-happy military, or the other reasons for which Americans love to bash China. Self-awareness is often a little too much to ask.
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