Japanese rastas


A small but devoted Rasta community developed in Japan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rasta shops selling natural foods, Reggae recordings, and other Rasta-related items sprang up in Tokyo, Osaka, and other cities. For several years, “Japan Splashes” or open-air Reggae concerts were held in various locations throughout Japan. For a review by two sociologists of how the Japanese Rasta movement can be explained in the context of modern Japanese society, see Dean W. Collinwood and Osamu Kusatsu, “Japanese Rastafarians: Non-Conformity in Modern Japan,” The Study of International Relations, No. 26, Tokyo: Tsuda College, March 2000 (research conducted in 1986 and 1987).

Where are these Japanese rastas today?

The “Rosebud” moment

Now that Fidel Castro is finally resigning, just think of all the decades of trouble that could have avoided if President Roosevelt had just sent him that ten dollars he wanted back in 1940.

President of the United States.
If you like, give me a ten dollar bill green american, in the letter, because never I have not seen a ten dollar bill green american and I would like to have one of them.

My address is:
Sr. Fidel Castro
Colegio de Bolover
Santiago de Cuba
Oriente, Cuba

I don’t know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don’t know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.

Thank you very much, Good by. Your friend, Fidel Castro

If you want iron to make your ships I will show you the bigest mines of iron of the land. They are in Mayori, Oriente Cuba.

The actual letter is preserved in the US National Archives.

Fishing with poison

Upon seeing the photo Joe posted of a sign prohibiting kinds of fishing that no one should ever engage in, I was somewhat skeptical at the prospect that anyone might actually try and catch fish using poison. Well, I was wrong. The NYT today has a rather distressing account of Jamaicans catching shrimp in just this manner.

And in the Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains here, people go fishing by dumping poison in the Rio Grande.

Any toxin will do. Some favor the pesticide used to keep insects off the coffee plants. Others use the potent solution used to rid cows of ticks. When subjected to the poison, the shrimp — large and small — float right to the top. So do the fish. Catching them is as easy as scooping them up before the river washes them and the poison away.

“You have to put all morals and conscience aside, and then you throw a toxic pesticide in the river,” said Kimberly John of the Nature Conservancy, which is leading an effort to stop what it considers the principal threat to the ecosystem. “It’s a very cold, hard reality to put poison in the river, and whatever jumps out, you catch.”

If I read many more articles like this, I may have to start reconsidering eating food at all.