Life Studies Blog (Old)

August 19, 2005

Huge mall and painless civilization (by M)

The other day I went to Rinku-town, a vast suburban area near Osaka Bay, south to Sakai-city, to visit AEON Sennan shopping center. This is an American style huge mall, like Kahala Mall I visitied this June at Honolulu. I have never seen such a big shopping mall before in Japan. It is a brand-new building with a variety of equipments for disabled people and senior citizens.

It was a really hot day, but the inside was perfectly air-conditioned, so I was comfortable throughout the day. I thought this was another good example of "painless civilization" that is gradually spreading around Japan and other countries. The inside was very clean and neat; no dust on the floor, no graffiti on the wall. This is like a shopping mall in a huge hospital. I remember a passage from my book,
Painless Civilization.

"Aren’t the activities of contemporary civilization nothing but to create, on a social scale, this kind of human being sleeping peacefully in intensive care units? Isn’t contemporary civilization systematically trying to create humans, in the intensive care units named cities, the humans who look at first sight to be working cheerfully and playing merrily, but in fact just sleeping peacefully in the deep layer of their life? If that should be the case, then, who set the trap? Why has civilization progressed in this direction?" (Painless Civilization, p.4.)

I got out of the mall and went to the beach. There I saw a beautiful sunset. A lot of jellyfish were on the sea, and I could see a big fish jumping from the water. People were jogging along the seashore. Everything was fine and peaceful. But if you take a close look at the seashore, it was clear that this area was artificially created by sand and stones brought in from the outside. I found traces of construction here and there.

What is nature? What is technology and civilization? And what is the relation between them? I think I have to translate Painless Civilization as soon as possible (I don't know how many times I repeated this on this blog.......). This book was published in Japan in 2003, and keeps on influencing Japanese philosophy and sociology. I would like you to read it, too.

Photo: Ryukoku University, Kyoto

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  • Dear Mr. Morioka,
    I hope I will be able to read about "painless civilization" in the near future !
    I would like to thank you very much for your online contributions (studies)about transplantation ethics. I have quoted them in my Blog, I hope you will not object to this ! Here's the link :

    I am from France (Paris) and I'm trying to investigate about brain dead donor ethics. In France, for the time being, transplantation specialists defend the point of view that it is just out of the question to mention that brain death could be a questionable concept, especially when they are being asked this question by somebody from the public (closed-door medicine syndrom still striking in France, and Doctors are suffering from it!). I'd say 99% of French transplantation specialists claim that a brain dead donor IS dead since brain death IS death. There are no other alternatives in their opinion. I am currently trying to develop a Blog to question again this opinion.
    My aim is to show that in other countries, like Japan, Germany, Denmark, a long-lasting debate has been involving the whole society for a long time, and in these countries it is acknowledged that brain death concept has been plagued with some serious philosophical and biological inconsistencies. How is the situation in Japan now ? Does the law still allow people to choose between brain death and traditional death ? I found this information very interesting, and I would like to thank you so much for all the information, analysis and updates provided by your studies. Indeed, Japan is an example, and France should listen to the lesson. Unfortunately, for the time being, we cannot seem to see this happening in France ! Again thank you so much !
    With my best personal regards.
    Link to my Blog :

    By Blogger Catherine, at 3:37 PM, August 24, 2005  

  • Dear Catherine, Thank you for your quotation at your blog. I hope that you will put a link from your blog page to the original page of my webiste. In Japan the revision of the current law is still going on very slowly. Probably, three revision bills wil be proposed to the Diet within this year: (1) one basically based on Machino proposal, (2) one based on Morioka&Sugimoto proposal, and (3) one that insists brain death is not human death. I don't know which will pass the Diet. In Japan we have more than 200 popular & academic books on brain death alone. If you count books on transplantation there are many more. If you read Japanese you will be able to study why there are so many objections to brain death in this country. Information that have been translated into English are very few. Have you read Dr.Shewmon's works? You should show his articles to doctors and politicians in your country and ask what do they think about it.

    And we have a French website, in which you can read the translations of some of my works on brain death and painless civilization. Please visit:
    and contact the administrator.

    Best wishes.

    By Blogger Masahiro_Morioka, at 4:07 PM, August 24, 2005  

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