Monkey Mountain I have visited Japan several times on business trips.

As a student of history I was struck by the seeming dichotomy between the excessive scripted courtesy and ritual of the interactions with them. So very polite at all times. Never any show of distaste or anger. I wondered how to reconcile that with the atrocities committed by the Japanese in World War II. On my first trip over from New York where I was a VP for a public high tech company one of our marketing guys who had lived in Japan for five years gave me a tutorial on the rituals for dealing with the Japanese businessmen I would be meeting with in ³after work, social settings.´ I learned on the 15 hour direct flight from Kennedy to Narita that the Japanese put great store in the proper forms of behavior during such meetings. And since a big part of my trip was to support the marketing or our semiconductor process equipment to Japanese companies like Hitachi, it was important that I mind my ³P¶s and Q¶s.´ During dinners the rituals were rigid and very formal. You eat the raw fish or offend your hosts, so you eat the raw fish. This isn¶t sushi. It is platters of all sorts of fish served so fresh that it is still quivering. After dinner the scene changed. They took us to a fancy bar and each person in the party was ³provided´ with a bargirl. The one they assigned me was Japanese but had lived in Hawaii growing up and spoke American English and had a taste for American food. She told me she was a magazine model and later on the trip I saw the magazine in the airport newsstand she had mentioned and saw she was indeed in the latest issue. The bar experience was less structured and our hosts did seem to drink a lot and smoke like chimneys. After a couple of hours at the bar, my hostess asked if I wanted to ³get out of here´ and go to her apartment for some American food. I had wondered about this part of the evening and had been assured by my marketing tutor that I would not shame the hosts if I refused as this was a very big expense for them if I accepted. So I refused. I had a very early flight to Oita, Kyushu the next morning and it had been a long day. I was also still a little bit jet-lagged. Before attending the big dinner described above I had managed while in Tokyo to carve out half a day to go to Kyoto and Osaka. The company provided one of their sales office girls who spoke English as a guide. It was a

very pleasant time and I saw a lot of the historic core of the country. The gardens, the Buddhist temple, the historic castles of wood. The trip to Kyushu was to visit our manufacturing plant there as I was responsible for giving direction to it and providing support from our home plant in New York. Kyushu is the large southern Island with Nagasaki on the west shore. Our plant was at Oita on the east shore. In fact the plant was set only a few hundred yards from the beach and very close to a popular honeymoon resort next to it. There were no developments between them and the beach. Our plant manager wanted me to experience one of the traditional Japanese inns in the area. When we arrived there the first thing was to leave your shoes at the door and put on the wooden sandals they had for visitors. My big feet hung over the back of the sandals by about 3 inches. Glad I didn¶t have to walk far in them. The inn was a wooden structure with large beams and obvious craftsmanship in its construction. We were escorted to my room by the Geisha and once there she performed the tea ceremony for us. Graceful, elegant and very structured. We were served green tea which the plant manager assured me was very good for my health. We sat on pillows on a thick tatami matt (about 12 inches thick) with a low table. She did her serving on her knees mostly. After my host left, the geisha asked me if I wanted a bath, implying that it was expected. The inn had its own hot spring. I had been told that the baths have etiquette as well. You wash yourself before entering the bath. Most baths except those for the ³poor masses´ are segregated by sex. She escorted me to the bath and I was the only person there as I had checked in late after dinner. I took my bath adjusting the valve the geisha had made me understand with sign language was for changing the temperature of the bath. It was amazing to me that you could adjust it fairly quickly even though the bath was about 15 feet by 25 feet in size. When I returned from my bath I found that my room had been transformed for sleeping. The low table was propped against one side of the room and a bed of feather ticking and down covers had been laid out on the tatami matt. There was no worry of hurting yourself by falling out of bed. I slept well and the plant manager picked me up early to go to the plant. I spent the rest of the time there in the honeymoon hotel with the small (one inch) sand crabs that were seemingly everywhere.

An experience that became the most memorable for me was the morning that the plant manager took me to see Monkey Mountain Park. It is truly located on the slopes of a mountain with lush vegetation everywhere. There is a very high chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire surrounding it. When you enter through the gate they offer you a bamboo stick about 1.5 inches in diameter and 5 to 6 feet long. I asked my host why. He said, ³In case the monkeys get too close.´ With that cheery information we began our trek up the trail. There were lots of Japanese walking the same path. Most were couples and many were what you would call senior citizens. Ahead you could see a clearing in the jungle-like vegetation. There were a horde of very large monkeys assembled there. They were loud and raucous, milling about. Soon a pair of men dressed in protective clothing of the type you see in the films of samurai training where they use sticks instead of swords. The suits were made of thick padded off-white material. They were protected from head to toe. Each one carried a large (we would call them 5 gallon) bucket in each hand filled with raw meat. They went to the center of the open area among the monkeys and emptied the buckets on the ground. The scene was horrible as the monkeys who must have been fed too little tore into each other to get what food they could. There was blood and gore everywhere from monkeys attacking each other over the food. A word about these monkeys, I don¶t know the name of the species but I would bet on one of them versus the meanest Rottweiler you could find ten times out of ten in a fight. The carnage was disgusting especially as it was staged for the benefit of the spectators. The horrific part though was to look at the old Japanese couples with big grins on their faces as they watched the spectacle. This experience provided a very real link it seemed to me to the atrocities of World War II. The society in Japan is very structured and when the structure is removed temporarily you see the brutality that can be released. Of course, in Europe during the feudal age and shortly thereafter you would see atrocities of similar types. Japan¶s Meiji Revolution ended the feudal era much closer to modern times than happened in Europe. In summary, there are many beautiful things to see in Japan but I wouldn¶t recommend Monkey Mountain for first priority on your ³to do´ list. Paul Richardson 2010

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