Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Japanese hostage executed

I notice that the news says that Iraqi have killed the Japanese hostage they took. Well, duh. These people are just stupid if they think the Japanese would respond by doing what they say, because there is a lot more "face" involved in the culture than there is in the West. Even if someone capitulated, the poor guy would be shamed forever and made a societal pariah. In another era, the hostage would have probably killed himself to avoid bringing conflict down through his actions. But I found myself reflecting on how, for those of the Japanese who are still in touch with their cultural history, a beheading would play out. Taking heads/beheadings have an odd place in Japanese culture. In the earlier eras, it was common for samurai to take the heads of their enemies, and in honorable deaths from seppuku, a second would behead you so you didn't suffer too much, etc. People gave an odd significance to heads. It gives me a creepy shiver as playing a little too much into a cultural tradition...

But of course, if this were the old days, the Japanese would lay low for a long time, and then strike at the heart of those responsible, making sure they knew as they died exactly WHOM they were dealing with, and why. One could only hope for a modern equivalent...

We're hitting patterns that go back into elder societal traditions, and it's giving me gooseflesh.

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