Japan: A Reek of Cement In Fuji's Shadow

This abode of mine Adjoins a pine grove, Sitting on the blue sea. And from its humble eaves Commands a view of soaring Fuji.

—A Samurai's Waka (A.D. 1460)

On wintry mornings, when the sun burns off the pearl and filthy mist, Fuji still soars beyond the freeway. And every week a dozen tank cars rumble through the pine grove of the Imperial Palace, hosing dust and soot from the drooping needles. The harbor itself, and the once limpid Sumida River where warrior-poets repaired, are now thick with wastes—both human and...

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