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  Japan's self-satisfaction

I have been tackling the project to establish the 'Grand Egyptian Museum' which also tackle the 'ancient Egyptian civilisation history' from the front on an on-going basis. Now, I can not find a way to forward furthermore without grasping the 'African history' in my own way.

The 'Expedition to Egypt' by Napoleon, 'Decipherment of the Rosetta Stone' by Champollion, 'Establishment of the Egyptian Museum' by Auguste Mariette, 'Excavation of the Tutankhamun tomb' and so forth, the 'ancient Egyptian history' has been made clear by France and excavated by Britain, hence so-d=called 'Egyptology' has been developed as 'European Egyptology,' this is the reality. The 'Egyptology by Egyptians' has not yet shown its sign, I dare say so. Almost all Egyptian 'Egyptologists' have acquired their scholarship from the Western academies, isn't it shameful?

 


The 'European's Egyptology' is the one claiming that, as political and moralistic justification for the European civilisation to conquer the world, the world-leading 'legitimate child of the ancient Egyptian civilisation' is the 'modern European civilisation' and the 'wise European civilisation' has an obligation and rights to civilise and lead the world. Well, they could never transact coolly the 'slave trade' which is said the worst in the human history unless they had such self-confidence, pride or innocence.

The 'philosophy of the Enlightenment' or the 'movement for liberal civil rights' fostered in Paris' salons, and a 'joint stock company' or 'journalism' born in London's coffee houses have often been praised, however tea, coffee and sugar which were favoured in the Paris' salons and London's coffee houses, all of them were the products by miserable slave labour.

One of the headstreams of the Nile is from the Victorian Lake. When we talk about the 'ancient Egyptian civilisation' which emerged suddenly in before 5000 years from the present, it is appropriate to call 'suddenly' in an archaeological time span, we need to carefully weave the relations with the 'ancient African history' and the 'drying of Sahara' which started in that time.

And, coming the story back to the subject, while I was studying the African history, I could not help but having thoughts that Japan in the far end of the Far East was quite a self-satisfied country.

Japan has been repeating observing and analysing the history from the far end of the far east in such cases as the 'theory of conquest by nomadic peoples' in the ancient Japanese history, the 'attack of Mongolians' in the medi eval  Japanese history, the 'trade with Holland' in the Edo era, in the early modern Japanese history represented by the 'visit of the black ship' and in the modern Japanese history resulting in the 'Pacific War.' The above fact emerges as a clear reality when we compare them with the African history. In other words, Japan has explained and understood one-sidedly the relation between Japan and the world by observing the favourable matters to Japan from the far end of the Far East through telescopic expansion and even through a high-handed way. And the result of it is the 'diplomacy without any vision and strategy' of today's Japan.

For the western powers that cut the world apart and colonised it, Japan was only the borderland which had less attractiveness geopolitically as well as in its economic value. I don't have any intention at all to look down Japan's brilliant culture or civilisation, however I would like to tell that such cool judge is required if we stand on the viewpoint of the relation with the world.

This fact has never been changed even after Japan has become the 'world-second economic superpower' or the 'world-top-class tourist outgoing country.' Japanese is still a tribe who is weak in overlooking the world through not a telescope but by our own eyes, namely based on our own paradigm.

My favourite historical novelist, Ryotaro Shiba, was not emancipated from this tribal bad habit. The only exception may be one of the works in his last years, 'Dattan Shippu-roku.'


The attached illustration is the 'black ship being at anchor off the Higashi Uraga.' As a large foreign ship coming to Japan was painted in black from the medi eval  era, it was generically called the 'black ship.'


(11/9/2006)
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