JAPAN: The Days Gone By

The flower banquet of the lofty castle in spring,

The moon shining down on the wine cup making the rounds,

Shining through the branches of the pine trees a thousand generations old—

Where is the light of the days gone by?

Because U.S. headquarters takes a dim view of all feudalistic imagery, no matter how lofty the castle, this and four equally affecting stanzas were banned in Japan last week. The news was likely to be calamitous only among Japanese schoolgirls, who favor the special love and lavender of Kojo no Tsuki ("Moonlight on the Ruined Castle") above all other popular songs.

The sensitive...

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