Cape Hyuga and Umagase 宮崎

Umagase is a must see for any visitors to Kyushu and any nature lovers who happen to be anywhere near Miyazaki prefecture. Feel free to Follow my Instagram @redheadkid

The Drive 

I packed up my international drivers license, a big bottle of water and a couple onigiris to head off and explore this beautiful jewel nestled off the cliffs in Hyuga. I started in Beppu, Oita so I had to take the toll roads which ended up costing me about 3000yen (27$) total. The toll roads make for a safer and faster drive but can end up being quite costly. However, if you take the regular roads you’ll end up having to go over some pretty gnarly mountain passes. These roads are supposed to be two ways but THEY AIN’T. I always am afraid I’m gonna get in a head on collision with a speed demon Ojisan.

I passed through Utsuki and Saki cities both of which were fairly prominent locations for the Otomo Samurai clan see my other posts hereHistory of Japan: Christians in Oita and Nagasaki for information about Otomo. I also couldn’t help but to wonder how the heck samurais used to march armies around up all these dang mountainous! Miyazaki’s geography is situated so that every town is basically sitting on an inlet/bay between two huge mountains on either side. This also happens to make for very picturesque scenery I’m sure it makes the local fishermen’s lives more convenient as well. The way the cities and villages blend in to the mountains and blue water are really quite serene.

 

 

The Cape

if your looking for Hawaii in Japan you’ve found it! This area also really reminded me of Okinawa but it has it’s own unique personality. The scenery suddenly changes from pine trees to a more tropical feel. You can park your car at the top of Umagase overlook (馬ケがせ) which means horse rocks. You then go for a quick 10 minute hike to be stunned by the magnificent views. This is also the highest “precipitous cliffs in Japan” meaning cliffs that fall in the ocean. The sign read “this place reminds visitors that the earth is spherical”. I wasn’t quite sure what they meant by that, but when I looked off in the distance into the vast expanse of the Pacific ocean I could almost see the curve of the earth. You can see and hear the powerful bright blue waves pounding away at the volcanic rocks. I highly recommend this spot if you need to clear your head and need some natural zen. Or maybe you are more into the thrill of seeing stunning landscapes either way Cape Hyuga is an unforgettable experience. BTW On the way back you can hike up to the white lighthouse for an even better view! I had a smile on my face as soon as I saw the beautiful water and felt the fresh air. there is also a little souvenir shop near the parking lot where you can pick up omiyages and a delicious vanilla ice cream.

If your looking for pristine beaches I also think Miyazaki is a great prefecture it can be a-little chilly but the water quality, wave quality and sand quality can even surpass Okinawa (in my opinion).  ぜひヒュが行きって下さい!

Media in War

The importance of Media in War

Media and the public perception of wars is what allows societies to determine whether a war is virtuous or unjustified. In the twentieth century, Western countries had fought wars that easily portrayed them as the “good guys”. When the United States went over to Europe it was in the name of stopping the tyranny and fascism of the Third Reich. When the U.S. dropped the horrible power of atomic bombs in Japan, they did it to stop the advancement of a barbaric imperialist system that swallowed up smaller countries and enslaved its peoples. These wars were easily displayed as necessary and justified. One could even say that there were a clear goals in mind and adequate illustrations of how the war would come to an end. However, in the period following WWII the reasons for going to war would become increasingly muddled. The German military theorist Karl von Clausewitz stated that the ultimate goal of war is the subjugation of the enemy and “bending them to your will”. For the concept of old physical warfare the idea is brawn over brains but in new wars that are fought between superpowers and small countries media and perception is key.

The Cold War

The proxy wars of the Cold War era were no longer as easily justified as the goal of stopping Fascism or Imperialism but instead enlisted the flawed domino theory. The domino theory was used to justify the Vietnam and Korean conflicts by stating that if one country falls to communism surrounding nations will follow. It added a justification as to why a nation such as the United States could interfere in civil conflicts within countries such as Vietnam. Presidents such as Kennedy and Johnson would reiterate the idea that by keeping communism out of Vietnam or Korea the United States was in effect protecting all of its Asian Allies along with itself. At the beginning of the war in Vietnam victory seemed assured for the United States. Surely the United States had the resources, power, money and advanced technologies to take over a poor unindustrialized country like Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh and the North Vietnamese knew very well that they were outmatched so changed the Strategy from all previous wars that came before. They focused on psychological manipulation and the influence of people rather than physical warfare. They wanted to make the war impossible for the U.S. to justify and prolong the conflict as long as possible. Once the U.S. started the draft they had already lost in the hearts and minds of its people. Vietnam was in a far-flung part of Asia that most people hadn’t heard of until the war started. The fact that the power of Vietnam did not pose an existential threat to the U.S. increased the difficulty of how to justify a proxy war to the public.

 

The Gulf War

“The Gulf War Did Not Take Place” as written by Jean Baudrillard expressed how important perceptions of war have actually become. Baudrillard described how the U.S. and other Western countries were fed pictures and news reels of slick tomahawk missiles and advanced fighter jets gracefully striking their targets. Western audiences were sparred gruesome images from the effect of these bombing but instead saw inhuman infer red images of Iraqi soldiers being struck by “smart” bombs. The U.S. knew that the public was still reeling from the experience of the Vietnam war and needed convincing propaganda to send people into feelings of war fervor. One such now infamous event was the “weapons of mass destruction” campaign launched in the U.S. to portray Saddam Hussein as being in possession of WMD’s. While whether WMD’s were present or not, intelligence agencies have admitted that evidence was not conclusive. Another lessor known event was when a fake news story spread about premature babies being removed from incubators in Kuwait by Iraqi invaders. It is clear that on the hierarchy of victim’s premature babies are by far the most defenseless. The Events of the Gulf War display how the U.S. had learned from its mistakes in Vietnam and made sure to make the war palette-able for the American public. America accomplishes this through concepts of “risk free” warfare, war fervor propaganda, and intense reiteration of justification for the war. Risk Free warfare refers to the images of soldiers safely piloting unmanned weapons in locations relatively far away from the battlefield. In effect the Gulf War was sanitized for the consumption of Western audiences.

If I have learned anything in University it is to question all media sources including the ones you trust. The Military industrial complex is real and every source of media is biased. Everything is said a certain way… to make you think a certain way.

The purpose of this post was just to write down some of my thoughts from my War and Media class. I hope you found my thoughts about the correlation between war and media usage interesting.