PUNK will NEVER DIE?
Regarding “Akihiro Namba” (Japan Beat, February 18): Punk recycles itself with each generation. Before Namba, everyone was listening to The Blue Hearts. Hi-Standard was the rave for us ’90s punk kids, and this generation has more of an aggressive punk sound, but it hasn’t changed and punk will never die. —nightflesh**
What other nuggets of wisdom does this man give out? “No music, no life”? —combinibento**
I didn’t think that his group was of the caliber of other bands like Foul, Blood Thirsty Butchers, and Copass Grinderz from the Tokyo scene in the ’90s. So it is understandable that he cites bands [that are] somewhat passé—as in banal and innocuous— like Rancid and Green Day (though I have to admit to not having the patience to listen to more than a few bars of music from either of those bands). They represent the “dumbing down” and mass marketing of punk or alternative music, the way I see it, even if they start their own little inbred scenes with corporate sponsors.—ubikwit**
PEOPLE WHO EAT DARKNESS
Regarding “People Who Eat Darkness” (Books, Feb 25): The book is already available as a Kindle download from Amazon. I’m about halfway through at the moment and even though I’ve read a lot about the case over the years, it’s still an interesting, compelling read.
I’m a fan of Richard Lloyd Parry’s writing anyway (sadly, his articles are now hidden behind Murdoch’s pay wall), but I think he’s done a good job of weaving together all the diverse threads into a coherent whole.
I suspect that many of us who have been young, female and fearless in Japan at the time will have taken an interest in the case—one doesn’t have to have been a hostess to think, “There but for the grace of God…” —zaichikNZ**
Google “psychopathy” and you’ll find a virtual picture of Obara. Really, normal people (like me and, I assume, you) cannot even conceive of contemplating the crimes of this man, much less executing them or living with that knowledge thereafter. Or keeping their details in a notebook. Or doing this repeatedly.—Laguna**
[Obara is serving a] life sentence, which in Japan is a minimum of 30 years. He was 48 when he was first arrested in October 2000, so any way you work the figures, he’ll be an old, old man if he ever gets out. His attorneys have been… trying to introduce new evidence, but he’s just about run out of cards to play. —WordStar**
FIT TO BE UNTIED
Regarding “Foreign Intrigue” (The Small Print, Mar 4): I’m no legal expert, but I’m pretty sure that Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution makes no reference anywhere to the “Untied States” [sic]—regardless of how accurate or appropriate that alternative spelling may be. —Sockpuppet*
*via Metropolis online
**via Japan Today
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