The Bright Light of September
As the autumn insects
chirped merrily in the bushes, the harvest moon shone serenely in the
sky. It was more radiant than ever.
I love the bright light of May and September. Among the four seasons of
the year, these two months seem to be special. For living things, it is
a force propelling evolution, repeating the cycle of appearing most spectacular,
growing, and creating seeds for the next generation. It is the dispensation
In the case of rice plants, seeds sown in the previous year grow into
seedlings, which are then planted in the paddy fields. Around May these
rice plants flower and germinate. Under the bright light of September,
they ripen, and the seeds for the following year are completed. The seeds
are a link in time.
Both May and September are months of flowering and months of fruition.
These months are full of life. Since ancient times people have held festivals
to express gratitude and celebrate the harvest at this time of the year.
It is an eternal custom.
With these thoughts in mind, recently I have been fascinated by the flowers
and seeds of September and enchanted by the skies, clear despite the lingering
heat of summer, and the bright light anticipating the deepening of autumn,
limpid skies, and the gentleness of winter.
Looking at my notebook, I see that at the beginning of the year I wrote,
“Aim for a broad perspective, but start with a narrow one.”
In February I wrote, “It’s okay. Tomorrow a new life will
be born once again.” And “moral law, heaven, earth, commander,
In March it was “Momentum means corralling advantages and controlling
powers.” And then came 3/11: “An unprecedented natural disaster.
All we can do is rescue the victims and take a new step forward. We must
help one another with heartfelt assistance and compassionate action and
speed up recovery by all means.”
“The most serious disaster, however, is the human one. The accidents
at the nuclear power plant are bringing about all kinds of difficulties,
and no progress whatsoever is being made under an incompetent political
administration lacking any policy at all. This is giving rise to groundless
rumors not only in Japan but overseas as well.”
“I was brought up in a rural household engaged in livestock farming.
Without their owners, the beloved cows, pigs, and chicken that families
raised like their own children will die a natural death or be killed.
It pains me to think about what will happen. Politicians should have high
aspirations and firmly implement countermeasures that show the way forward.
There is nothing more miserable than policy-less politics.”
In April I wrote, “It is precisely a crisis that brings out the
In May I wrote, “The hazy twilight / Lights shine in the rose garden
/ Butterflies return / Fluttering wings / Children eat soup with wooden
spoons / They play for a while then sleep / Smiling / I’m by their
Then my notebook becomes blank. My anger at the earthquake, the tsunami,
the nuclear power plant disaster, and the government’s clumsy response,
which went entirely against the grain of humanity, had reached a climax.
As a result of the Kan administration, the pride of the Japanese had been
completely trampled underfoot. For businesspeople too, they were insipid
In August I wrote, “Losing my mind / The world is hell / Beneath
the scorching heat.” There was also this entry: “The realization
of a new plan just requires an indefatigable spirit. If that is so, then
march straight ahead with devotion, vision, pride, and strength.”
And my starting point: “Let’s nurture things that create value
and contribute to the development of the industry.”
The new administration has kicked off by embodying the old Japanese idea
of “harmony should be valued.” The bright light of September
and a new government . . . At the very least, I hope that it eases the
unhappiness of the Japanese people that began with the Koizumi administration.