Green capitalism

A few articles have got me thinking over the past couple of weeks. Ideologically, they have made this year kick off on a slightly “disorienting” foundation. Of particular note have been a long piece on ecology as well as a series on architecture. Yet also polemics on work ethic and class have been pondered long after putting them aside. Herewith a few scribbles.

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Man walking in front of Shimizu HQ, the most eco-friendly office in Japan, so they say…

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Downside scenarios

The violence in the Ukraine leaves me with an incredibly numb feeling in my stomach. To some older folks it may appear like a flashback from the time when the Soviet Union disintegrated amid strife in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Yet this also seems like a slow-motion train crash people feared but never really thought possible. In this it reminded me of another event in the post-Soviet space.

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Painted tanks near the Great Patriotic War Memorial, Kiev 

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Spectacle nation-building: Expo ’70

In the second part of this short series on Japanese post-war nation-building and national identity, I will revisit the 1970 World Exhibition in Osaka, short “Expo ’70″. Just as with the Olympics six years before in Tokyo, the Expo gave a newly confident Japan a stage to present itself to the world and, more importantly, its own citizens.

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View of the Expo grounds, with danchi housing estate in the front

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India elections

As my business partner and I are beginning to plan a trip to India around election time (April/May) I tuned into a recent Asia Society event with great interest. It was all the more interesting as my wife and I explore opportunities of going to India for a longer period of time once we’re done over here in the US.

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The Mausoleum of Itmad-ud-Daulah, Agra, India

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Spectacle nation-building: 1964 Olympics

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1970 Osaka Expo were the two mass events that shaped the world’s view of post-war Japan. Within Japan, they also helped to foster a new sense of national identity. And for all the visual prowess these events commanded and progress they reflected, there was a darker side to them. I will begin by looking at the 1964 Olympics.

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Yoyogi National Gymnasium (Kenzo Tange) – 1964

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Junzo Sakakura (&Associates)

Junzo Sakakura (1901-1969) was one of the fathers of modern Japanese architecture. He left a huge legacy in the built environment of post-war Tokyo, perhaps most notably through his designs for Shinjuku and Shibuya stations.

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Shibuya station seen from the east

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