JAPAN "THEN and NOW" -- All in One Shot! (FORTUNE TELLERS IN ALL COUNTRIES KNOW "THERE'S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE")
There must be thousands of these guys in Japan, all claiming to have supernatural gifts and abilities to predict the future. However (and quite mysteriously) NOT ONE OF THEM were able to predict the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami that wiped out large portions of Japan northeastern coast. In fact, about the best they can do is predict things like "....you will need to go to the bathroom sometime during the next few days.....".
In spite of the obvious failure of these charlatans to produce any record of verifiable success in their generalized "predictions", the gullible Japanese who can't connect the dots continue to line up and pay good money to hear their own futures predicted by these scam artists.
The above T. ENAMI photograph is a good shot of one of these "Blind leading The Blind" episodes of Japanese life. Time has certainly had no effect on the superstitious nature of the "educated" Japanese. Fortune telling is as big a business today as it was then.
All major Hi-Tech and Industrial Giants have their little shrines in the company headquarters, with one of the staff duly appointed to take care of the "Gods of Business". About the only thing we would change in the above picture is the MALE customer. In his place we would put a long line of 18 to 28-year-old women wanting to know what the future holds for their romantic prospects.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE USA AND EUROPE, THE FLOOD OF PSYCHIC HOT-LINES ON TV, AND A PALM-READER IN EVERY TOWN SOMETIMES MAKES JAPAN LOOK TAME.
So....What's the Difference ?
My Japanese wife would put it this way : ".....JAPANESE AND WESTERNERS BOTH HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF SUPERSTITIONS. JAPANESE MORE OFTEN TAKE THEIR OWN SUPERSTITIONS SERIOUSLY. WESTERNERS, ON THE OTHER HAND, MORE OFTEN TAKE THEIR OWN SUPERSTITIONS AS A JOKE....."
From a Lantern-slide by T. ENAMI of Yokohama. Ca.1915-20. For more on the Life and Times of Enami see : www.t-enami.org/