(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Valley of the Dolls

“Emigration, forced or chosen, across national frontiers or from village to metropolis, is the quintessential experience of our time”*…


Nagoro is a remote village, tucked into the valleys of Shikoku Island in Japan.  It was once hosted a thriving company, supporting hundreds of inhabitants.  But its younger residents moved to bigger cities over the years in search of better jobs, abandoning the village permanently.  The company is long gone, and Nagaro’s population is dwindling as the older villagers, left behind, continue to die.  

Artist Ayano Tsukimi was one of those who left.  She returned 11 years ago, to find her home much changed: the population had shrunk to under 40.  So Tsukimi decided to repopulate the place herself – with handmade dolls. These dolls can be seen across the village on benches, in the street, outside her home, working in farms, and even lounging about the abandoned school compound.  Over the last decade, she has sewn around 350 life-size dolls, each one representing a former villager…

Read more at “Japan’s Valley of the Dolls“; and see more in this video:

email readers, click here for video

* John Berger


As we channel Chucky, we might recall that it was on this date in 1932 that an attempted coup was launched in Japan by reactionary members of the Imperial Navy, in league with what was left of the ultra nationalist League of Blood.  They were reacting to the Japanese government’s ratification of the London Naval Treaty, limiting the size of the Imperial Japanese Navy.  In what has become known as “the May 15 Incident,” eleven young naval officers assassinated Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi.  The rebellion was put down, and the eleven conspirators quickly arrested.

In that trial that followed, strong popular support for the rebels– sympathizers sent the court a petition for leniency signed, in blood, by 350,000– led to light sentences, which in turn led to further erosion of rule of law and democratic process, laying the base for the explosive expansion of nationalism and militarism in Japan that tipped the nation toward World War II.

Osaka Mainichi Shimbun describing the May 15 Incident



Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 15, 2014 at 1:01 am

What we have here is a failure to communicate…

Summer’s ending, and with it, the Summer Reading Season…  So, as readers shift back into gear, and think back over the books that occupied their breaks, Dan Wilbur offers Better Book Titles, where one will find such clarifying emendations as:

AKA, Guns, Germs, and Steel: Jared Diamond

AKA, The Symposium: Plato

AKA, The DaVinci Code: Dan Brown

AKA, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo: Stieg Larsson

One can find many, many more– and submit one’s own– here.

As we vacuum the sand from our volumes, we might wish a happy birthday to author Jacqueline Susann; she was born on this date in 1921.  Having been disappointed by her luck as an actress and a model, Ms. Susann turned to the typewriter.  Her first novel, Every Night, Josephine (or as Better Book Titles might have it, My Poodle and Me), was a best-seller.  Her second, Valley of the Dolls (or, a la BBT, Booze, Babes, and Pills) was the best-seller:  it topped the chart for 22 weeks, and by the time of Susann’s death in 1974, had sold over 17 million copies, making it the best-selling novel of all time.  According to The Internet Public Library, it’s still Number One, with current cumulative sales of 30 million (two million copies ahead of runner-up Gone With the Wind).

Jacqueline Susann (source)

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