Speaking in my generation manner, as I had taken world history
as one of the examination subjects at high school, I took my opponent
fairly lightly that I would be able to grasp the world history including
the history of the Middle and Near East somehow.
However being unexpectedly, such historical knowledge acquired through
the examination study was good for nothing at all, more exactly
historical geography or historical geopolitics.
In the education of history and geography after the Meiji Restoration
in Japan, it has been the public concern number one to compare and
confirm the distance, a horizontal connection, and the station, a
vertical connection, between Japan and the West, both temporally and
spatially. Persons who could quickly manage it became a professor
of the imperial universities or an official of the imperial government
and played a big part in Japan's modernization, it is said.
For instance, if we view the yearning Europe at the west end of Eurasia
over the Tsushima Strait or the East China Sea from Japan in the Far
East, the Silk Road, familiar to us with the song 'Moony Desert' being
missing most of the halfway things.
This feeling of the Silk Road is a fairly chancy pitfall and dominant
over a fundamental world view of Japan or Japanese even today, it
is no exaggeration to say so. We only talk about a passage connecting
Japan with the yearning place but have no interest in numerous bloody
fight events or events for living filled with dreams and love which
have occurred along the passage. This is Japanese contemporary foreign
policy itself as it is.
As often as the treasures of Shosoin are introduced on various occasions,
it is emphasized that Japan has kept exchange with Eurasia because
this treasure was brought to Japan from somewhere in Persia or the
western region through the Silk Road. However by placing a special
emphasis on the trade network between Japan and overseas we tend to
lose Japan's identity.
If we can turn our thoughts toward Eurasian feeling a little bit more
seriously, the Silk Road once introduced by NHK with Kitaro's sound
should appear to be how unrealistic it is. In modern Jordan as well,
it is fraught with danger which can bring about the corruption of
the nation itself how to navigate treatment of Bedouin, for instance
how to treat their honorable crime. The honorable crime is the traditional
law from the age of Arabian Peninsula, before Islam, by which some
family member, male, may not be punished even he kills his unmarried
sister for her pregnancy.
Putting back the subject, in order to grasp the history of the Middle
and Near East, it is absolutely indispensable to dynamically soak
up, along temporal and spatial axes, the routes around the Caspian
Sea or the Black Sea as well as the geographic situations of the surrounding
areas, or to check and fumble their delicate senses of touch.
We studied history according to such geographical segmentation as
Europe, being furthermore classified into the Western, Central or
Eastern Europe, the Middle and Near East, Africa, America, India,
China, Japan and so on. Such study may be useful for the examination
history in some way but useless at all for actually living in the
The Hittites who freely maneuvered ironware and horse riding, the
Mongolian who sent shockwaves around Eurasia, the ottoman Turk who
aimed their simultaneous domination over Asia and Europe bridging
the Bosporus and further dramas of various Persian dynasties, Alexander
the Great and Cleopatra can not be understood without grasping geographic
sense from the Tenshan Mountains to the Caucasian Mountains or the
Yellow River to Tigris River.
The Germanic migration also started from this area, ones transmigrated
in the west rustled as barbarians who pulled down the Roman Empire
and then has established the European Union in these days, while ones
transmigrated to the east has been reigning on the top of the caste
in South Asia until today.
In Amman as well there are a lot of young women seeking work from
Ukraine or Kyrgiz, who are vaguely called 'Russian' by foreigners,
they may feel that they have just come over to Amman crossing the
Black Sea or the Caucasian Mountains easily, probably the same feeling
as that of Taiwanese or Chinese migrating to Japan.
The existence of the Arab Peninsula is one of the key issues related
to the order of space in this region. This matter will be comprehensively
touched on in the next time.