コラム

Cities in silence, resuscitation of nature

Exotic Grammar Vol.69-1

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The stupid choice by human beings and its consequences rendered in 
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke.

The natural world holds the cyclic relation that detoxifies and purifies harmful substance generated from the process of producing and consuming by soil, mosses, algae, and decomposers like bacteria or mushrooms. Human society also used to put important positions to the functions of detoxifying and purifying by Matsuri (festival) and Geino (folk entertainment), but gradually the idea preferring the production and the consumption has been introduced, and it forced the function of decomposition into a tighter corner. And I consider that giving the comprehensible illustrations of the whole image of these relations are the world rendered in the Ghibli works employing old mossy trees, spirits like fairies, and Princess Mononoke. It was precisely the end of medieval period plotted in the Princess Mononoke, the beginning of critical turn of the world that this repression begun. Since human obtained the fire, the “explosives” were invented through seven energy revolutions, and human beings had come to be able to create the explosive energy by humans’ own hands. This invention lead us to steam engines, internal-combustion engines, electricities, and nuclear power. When humans commence the artificial explosion, the field of economy also has set out its expansion by explosive merger and reaction. In this period, capitalism that manages and administrates huge capital by monetizing the credit, has germinated. And global trade has begun together with practical use of the explosives. And the negative by-product of this global commerce is such pandemic as plague whatsoever. Until the achievement to extract energy from nuclear power, the mankind has put the decomposers steadily into a tighter corner, and thrust to built the artificial world based only on the production and the consumption. As its inevitable consequence, wars, famine, and plague have recurred. This immediately links to people’s attitudes which exclude the music of the clubs and the venues as its “unnecessaries” for the society. Suppose that Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind represents stupid consequences caused by human beings in the form of myth, it might have been its beginning that Princess Mononoke represents.

After the period plotted in Mononoke Princess, Japan opened the door of battles thrusting into the age of Provincial Wars. It may be surprising to know that the forest in Japan is said to have been in the critical state from then to the Edo period. The illustrations on travel journals from Edo tell how thin the forest of Higashiyama in Kyoto were. If we consider such a crisis of the forest happened after a few generations from Princess Mononoke, the history begines to tell whole another context.