Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Getting ready to give speech. The guy next to my is Jun Maki who played the producer of the photo shoot in Lost in Translation
Tomorrow is the general election for the Japanese parliament's Lower House. Mizuka and I joined the Governor of Nagano, Yasuo Tanaka, Shigeaki Saegusa (the conductor), Jun Maki (the copywriter who appears in Lost in Translation as the producer of the photo shoot), Yoichiro Kawaguchi (computer graphics professor), Hajime Takano (journalist) and many others in a two hour march through Ginza urging people go and vote tomorrow. It was called the senkyo ni ikouzei! movement. Our march was a nonpartisan effort to get people to vote regardless of their politics. We handed out leaflets, waved flags and made speeches on street corners. I made a speech about how most Japanese believe something needs to change yet do not feel they have any impact. I argued that Yasuo Tanaka showed that politicians can cause change and that voters can elect such officials. I stressed that you get the politicians you deserve and that if we wanted a democracy in Japan, people were going to have to vote.

It was a hot day, but people were very receptive. It was clear they were happy to see Yasuo Tanaka and unlike the time we were handing out leaflets protesting the National ID, the percentage of people willing to take them from you was much higher.

Also, the opposition party of Japan, the Democratic Party of Japan has announced a "shadow cabinet" appointing Yasuo Tanaka the minister in charge of decentralization. Ishihara, the mayor of Tokyo has spoken out against this.

Here is a 11.3MB Quicktime Movie of Mizuka and I trying to hand out flyers.


Joi, your leafletting ability is surprising poor--in your Infoseek days I would think you'd have had a lot of practice doing this at Makuhari Messe trade shows. I have one tip: lose the black shirt. You look like one of those dandies at the train stations trying to recruit homely women to be "models." And Mizuka looks like a Unification Church recruiter trying to interest passersby in free palm reading sessions. What you guys need to do is wear white gloves.

I need to introduce you to my wife, she rarely votes. Granted, she voted this year and maybe twice in the '90s, but that is a poor track record.

One good thing about this general election is that it allowed us to get rid of both Suzuki Muneo -- he didn't run -- and Matsunami Kenshirou -- the ex pony-tailed Osaka wrestler with Yakuza connections.

As for urging people to vote, I'm all for it, of course. But then again, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that more than 500 votes have been declared void in Hokkaido; these voters had written e.g. "Muneo" on their ballots, despite the fact that Suzuki wasn't even a candidate...

This general election had apparently a dismal voter turnout :-(

You political activists dressed in sinister black bear part of the responsibility, I guess ;-)

Next time, wear more bright and engaging colors, hire some kawaii ladies, and don't forget these F*****G WHITE GLOVES ;-)

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明日9日は、衆議院議員総選挙の日。最近の投票率を見るとかなり落ち込んでいる。明日は必ず投票に行って、この国の今後の方向性を決める人達を、自分の手で選んで来たいと思ってい... Read More

明日9日は、衆議院議員総選挙の日。最近の投票率を見るとかなり落ち込んでいる。明日は必ず投票に行って、この国の今後の方向性を決める人達を、自分の手で選んで来たいと思ってい... Read More