You've probably heard by now that the long-reigning LDP has been completely pwned, to use a political science term. I thought I should give a closer insight into one small part of the enormous DPJ wave: Kanazawa City, a.k.a. Ishikawa Prefecture's 1st district.
Japanese politics is sort of like The Bachelor, in that media outlets give a rose to each winner. The runner-up, rather than walk away empty-handed, receives an orange rose(?), so I guess they're a little more generous here. In this result, the top guy is the DPJ challenger to the 2nd guy, the LDP incumbent. Kind of a close race; in fact, Ishikawa was one of the last holdout prefectures where they couldn't call any of its three races for several hours because the results were so close.
The DPJ candidate prevailed, ousting the incumbent LDP member whose prior occupation was listed as "pro wrestler." Not sumo, from what I gather, which is kind of disappointing. The LDP's political philosophy (such as it is) is pretty terrible in its emphasis on a kind of socially conservative, semi-corrupt stagnation, but how cool would it be to be represented in government by a sumo wrestler?
And not to be overlooked in third place was the Japan Communist Party candidate, who eked out a respectable 4 percent. As you might imagine, Kanazawa's kind of a hard place to peg politically.
Speaking of sumo, Andrea and I might have the opportunity to attend a sumo tournament up north in Hakui, which is also Japan's UFO capital. We'll keep you updated, since I'm sure you'll want to know if we see any large men in loincloths getting beamed up into a flying saucer.