Thursday, 1 January 2009


Emperor Akihito turned 75 recently amidst a new surge of health problems. In 2003 it was prostate cancer that was treated with hormone therapy, which then lead to an increased risk of brittle-bone disease. This time round it's an irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and stress-related internal bleeding, apparently due to his concerns about the royal succession. Thus his worrying about death draws him closer to dying, which makes him worry about death more. And Crown Princess Masako's depression is getting either worse or better, depending on which news sources you believe.

Some websites claim that the Emperor's health concerns mirror a recent Telegraph article about a survey of workforce health. The article reports that, "As many as three in five Japanese workers complain that they have become ill or unhealthy as a result of workplace grievances", a sentence which means next to nothing. ("As many as" is a leading phrase, the use of "complain" is both leading and simultaneously throws doubt on the survey that it's pushing in a marvellously stupid contradiction, becoming "ill or unhealthy" is ambiguous, as is "workplace grievances".) In fact, the entire Telegraph article is so full of bullshit that to try to deconstruct the whole thing here would take ages and be Unspeakably Depressing. Needless to say, the websites that try to draw links between the two events are also Unspeakably Depressing.

Get well soon Emperor Akihito!