It’s a given that our world is rapidly shrinking, a phenomenon accelerated by the global spread and reach of the internet and its ability to connect people in far-flung corners of the world. It’s a process that began the moment early humans set off in boats to see what lay beyond the horizon. Each technological advance since then has only increased our ability to move beyond our own borders, either literally (through travel) or figuratively (first over the airwaves and now through cyberspace).
Ironically, while our world has grown smaller, our knowledge has expanded. With exposure to new ideas, philosophies and ways of life a global consciousness has developed, at least for those willing to look beyond their own walls and borders. Sadly, the wealth of collective knowledge we have gained hasn’t stemmed the tide of violence that threatens huge swaths of the earth on a daily basis. Depressingly, it seems that there are those who will cling to old hatreds to the last breath. Equally depressing is the increasing gulf between rich and poor, not only abroad but here at home.
There is still much work to be done to bring about the good that humanity is capable of.
With the arrival off our coast of derelict Japanese fishing vessels, among other debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, we are reminded how just how interconnected our world is, not merely through the internet, but in a very real way. Currents carry boats, floats, bottles and other items thousands of miles across the sea from Japan, just as they once carried early visitors to our shores long before Columbus. The objects that are arriving on coastal beaches remind us of the terrible destruction wrought by the tsunami and earthquake, but they also remind us of our shared proximity to the sea and our shared fishing heritage. After all, it was largely the lure of salmon that brought thousands of immigrants from Wakayama and other areas of Japan, providing the base for the community we belong to today.
In this month’s issue you will find an announcement of the Nikkei Fishermen Families’ Challenge and also coverage of the recent decision by the Canadian Museum of Civilization (soon to be renamed the Canadian Museum of History by the Harper Conservatives) to remove the Nishga Girl from its permanent display and ship it back to the west coast with no consultation.If you feel like this decision is wrong, send a letter to the government.