TOTD 2018/5/8: Ambassadorial Wisdom

As some of you all know, I lived in Japan as a young child.  During the mid-to-late 1970s, my father was a U.S. Customs representative assigned to the embassy in Tokyo and my mother taught Spanish at an all-girls Catholic school.  My dad’s first boss during his tenure was Ambassador James Day Hodgson, who before being appointed to that position by Gerald Ford, had served as Secretary of Labor under Richard Nixon.

In 1992, Hodgson published a book titled American Senryu: Verses by a Former Ambassador.  I purchased a copy in 1993 on a visit to Tokyo, and the tome remains one of my most valued possessions, for the wisdom contained therein is timeless.

For those unfamiliar with the Japanese literary art form of senryu, click here.

Apropos of recent events elsewhere, I was reminded of the good ambassador’s verse about pettiness, found on page 53 of his book:

A melange of evil
Swims noisily in the small mind
Before subsiding.

Hodgson explains:

“About all that can be said on behalf of the mean-spirited is that their fulminations are rarely rewarded. Most of their spiteful scheming sputters and peters out in pathetic ineptitude.”

Sou desu ne.

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10 thoughts on “TOTD 2018/5/8: Ambassadorial Wisdom”

  1. So you came to Japan and did even stop by and say hello, Mike. I am hurt. You could have come from Tokyo and I  would have met you half way in Osaka  since I like in Kobe. I am that kind of guy. Oh well next time.

    I looked up this book on Amazon Japan it is about $60. That is 62 cents a page at 96 pages. Was it that expensive back then?

    I like the verse you quoted. Evil plays a good first quarter but rarely goes into overtime.

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  2. 10 Cents:
    So you came to Japan and did even stop by and say hello, Mike. I am hurt. You could have come from Tokyo and I  would have met you half way in Osaka  since I like in Kobe. I am that kind of guy. Oh well next time.

     

    Ha! Should time travel become a reality, I will correct that mistake posthaste.

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  3. 10 Cents:I looked up this book on Amazon Japan it is about $60. That is 62 cents a page at 96 pages. Was it that expensive back then?

    As it happens, the original price tag is still on my copy of the book. In 1993, I paid ¥1942, which at the present exchange rate is $17.83.

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  4. “About all that can be said on behalf of the mean-spirited is that their fulminations are rarely rewarded. Most of their spiteful scheming sputters and peters out in pathetic ineptitude.”

    You tricked me! I didn’t think this was a political post but I notice you indirectly referred to Pelosi, Schumer, and the Clintons. Not to mention the last Marxist who lived in the WH!

    I’ll admit it; I’m an “eye for an eye” type so I sincerely hope Hodgson knows of what he speaks.

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  5. Mike LaRoche:

    10 Cents:
    So you came to Japan and did even stop by and say hello, Mike. I am hurt. You could have come from Tokyo and I  would have met you half way in Osaka  since I like in Kobe. I am that kind of guy. Oh well next time.

    Ha! Should time travel become a reality, I will correct that mistake posthaste.

    I think you mean prehaste.

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  6. EThompson:
    “About all that can be said on behalf of the mean-spirited is that their fulminations are rarely rewarded. Most of their spiteful scheming sputters and peters out in pathetic ineptitude.”

    You tricked me! I didn’t think this was a political post but I notice you indirectly referred to Pelosi, Schumer, and the Clintons. Not to mention the last Marxist who lived in the WH!

    I’ll admit it; I’m an “eye for an eye” type so I sincerely hope Hodgson knows of what he speaks.

    I actually had a certain legacy website in mind rather than Pelosi, Schumer, and company, but if the shoe fits… 😎

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  7. Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:
    “About all that can be said on behalf of the mean-spirited is that their fulminations are rarely rewarded. Most of their spiteful scheming sputters and peters out in pathetic ineptitude.”

    You tricked me! I didn’t think this was a political post but I notice you indirectly referred to Pelosi, Schumer, and the Clintons. Not to mention the last Marxist who lived in the WH!

    I’ll admit it; I’m an “eye for an eye” type so I sincerely hope Hodgson knows of what he speaks.

    I actually had a certain legacy website in mind rather than Pelosi, Schumer, and company, but if the shoe fits… 😎

    I know but couldn’t resist.

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