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Hemp In Japanese Culture Essay

3717 words - 15 pages

I thought that I would provide you with some historical information which involves the US occupation of Japan and the Post WW2 abolition of Industrial Hemp.Circa Post WW2: The Dupont's and the Cotton Cartels of the time wanted Hemp off the map, it was a matter of strategic economic importance."Industrial hemp is just way too much of a ubiquitous product to be grown by the common man". "It just makes too much $cents$ for the average farmer" " It would displace pulp towns and the Cotton clowns" " It would create a paradigm shift" I know Jeff hates that term, but the big boys don't like change if it doesn't fall into their pockets!!!!!!!!!!1stJust to give your readers an idea on how well regarded Hemp was in the Japanese culture:I'll provide you with the following:Hemp was traditionally used by Shinto priests, including the Japanese emperor himself who acts as a kind of chief priest of Shintoism. Several hemp fields are cultivated on Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan, to make ceremonial linen clothes for the Imperial family and for Shinto priests.Hemp is also grown in some parts of Nagano prefecture by farmers with a hemp license and the fibre is used for bell ropes and noren (ritual curtains) for Shinto shrines as well as in sumo rituals.The Hemp Control ActHemp cultivation came to a legal halt in the during the post W.W.II, allied-forces occupation. Allied troops lived in Japan and helped substantially to rebuild the nation battered by the destruction and poverty of wartime.The foreign troops were certainly surprised at the abundance of hemp growing both wild and cultivated. In 1948 when American General of the Army, Douglas Macarthur and his colleagues rewrote the Japanese constitution, they included the Taima Torishimari Hô, the Hemp Control Act.Ironically, it was the Japanese Imperial Army's invasion of the Philippines a few years earlier that acted as a catalyst for USA's "Hemp for Victory" campaign to replace the Manila-hemp used by the armed forces.HEMP CULTURE IN JAPANJapan, has long been a land of mystery to outsiders. Though isolated from the world's progress for thousands of years, Japan still Managed to import and reinvent the wisest ideas from other lands, turning them into something all their own. Hemp is no exception.Yet the passage of time caught the persistent cannabis sativa plant in a confusing vise of tradition and modernization, sustainability and rapid expansion. As Japan begins to realize it's role as a global leader, hemp again rises from the shadows to greet the future in the Land of the Rising Sun.Hemp comes to JapanSince the Neolithic Jomon period, hemp grew in Japan. The term Jomon itself means "pattern of ropes, " which were certainly made of hemp. Archaeological evidence places hemp seeds as a food source during this Jomon period (10,000 to 300 BC). These hunting and collecting people lived a civilized, comfortable existence and used hemp for weaving clothing and basket making. What isn't entirely...

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