Top 4 Brilliantly Novel Uses of Concrete, Concrete, and More Concrete (Notes from Under the Tatami Mats–16 … My Adventures in Japan)

in #japan3 years ago (edited)

“Hmm, maybe there's a connection between the ownership of the companies and the tons and tons of concrete.”

All in the family

It’s a known fact that more than a few major (and very successful) concrete companies throughout Japan are owned by brothers, cousins, uncles, or other relatives of powerful politicians and bureaucrats.

Of course, I aint saying that there’s any connection between the ownership of those lucrative companies and the tons and tons of concrete throughout the nation. I’m just stating that fact; you connect the dots. 

   (Image source)                                                                   (Image source)

A losing battle

Several years ago, I was told by a friend of mine (who had spent his entire career working with fishery cooperatives) that the Japanese development agency would line long stretches of riverbanks with concrete and would build huge dams – for no clear reason, and over the vehement opposition of the fisherman.

The fishermen always lost the battles. So did the fish.

Another seaside view

Of course, it's not all concrete, and there are plenty of beautiful waterside scenes. Here's one to add a bit of color to this post.    (Image source)

   Introduction to – “Notes from Under the Tatami Mats”  (right-click on title)

Top 3 Ineffective Anti-Terrorism Measures
Top 3 Dirty Politicians and Bureaucrats
Top 11 Stars I’ve Been Told that I Look Like
... and more

Links to my Other Series …

      Introduction – "Intro to Vocab-ability"   (right-click on title)
      Guide – "Guide to Entries"   (right-click on title)
      Index– "Index" to all Chapters and Sections   (right-click on title)

      Lou Reed – "Anthology of Memorable Lyrics, Part 1"   (right-click on title)
      Lou Reed – "Anthology of Memorable Lyrics, Part 2"   (right-click on title)

Images sourced from Google Images, unless otherwise indicated or unless my own.


'Sand Wars', a documentary about the aggregrate industry, reveals that around 40% of the aggregrate used in concrete is mined illegally by the 'sand mafia'.

Might be why concrete moguls are so connected to government. Government is mostly gangsters, IMHO.

Just out of curiosity, have you read "Dogs and Demons" by Alex Kerr?

Yes, I read that book just after it came out. And I refer to it in the future "Notes ... TatMats #41."

It's one of the excellent books on Japan that taught me more about the country than I really wanted to know. Nevertheless, it provided essential knowledge to understand how the country is run.

I recall that Kerr stated how radically different Tokyo was from Hong Kong or Singapore. About 7 years after I left Japan, I moved to Singapore, and realized how true his statement was.

I like the layout of your post

Thanks. I try to create good content and present it in a attractive layout. And I appreciate your comment.

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so innovative!

nice photography....great writing

Great topic and a nice photography at the end of your post. I like most the way of tour writing. You have good writing power.

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sadly Concrete, Concrete, and More Concrete will remove the natural beauty of the scene like you show in the second picture.

Hi @majes.tytyty you have used a nice layout on your post.

If most of the concrete companies belong to powerful politicians then it is really no wonder why there is so much concrete throughout Japan.

India has a lot of petrol pumps in cities, and similar to the concrete companies in Japan, most of the pumps are owned by relatives of successful politicians. The petrol prices in India are always high and is one of the highest in the world. They have levied different kinds of taxes on petrol here and noone really understands why the prices are so high. I sometimes wonder if it is a curse to reside in a democratic country with the largest parliament. There are politicians in every nook and corner here.

I really pity the fisherman, with all the concrete being used for no reason at all, it will really hamper the fishing business. I hope their fight does not go on deaf ears and soon someone will support them.

The fishermen always lost the battles. So did the fish.

Another yet powerful line. This goes to show how the selfish actions of the contractors affect both humans and animals. But then again, once the fishermen are oppressed, who are the fishes to complain? Hahaha.

I look forward to more of these beautiful writings and the ethnography of Japan.


Your post is beautiful and well coordinated. I hope you learn that.