Exclusive Report: Prime Minister Noda’s True Colors (2)

Sakai: Why were you walking the Tokaido Road? Were you one of the Edo Shogunate?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Me? No, that’s a difficult question. Don’t ask me that… No, that’s a difficult one too. I can’t talk about that… Hey, how much can I embellish my story?

Sakai: Don’t. Embellishing would only become a problem after meeting Noda himself in the other world.

Ayaori: Were you a key figure in the Edo Shogunate?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Um, that’s a bit of a tough one. Is that what is said? No, am I the finance minister? (As this was the day before he was appointed Prime Minister, Noda was the finance minister). You two may not know this, but there was already an exchange rate in the Edo period. Because rice was the market commodity, there was a market where you could make and lose money. I think it may have been present day Dojima in Osaka. There was a market there and there was also speculation, but I did a bit of financial management for the bakufu.

Ayaori: (smiling wryly) If you understand the rice market, then you basically understand economics, don’t you?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Yes, I do. I know all about it…

Ayaori: None of that economic sense has been passed onto Noda. Why is that?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Oh, the secret’s out. Well, “working the market” was a lie, but it was related to that.

Sakai: How was it related?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Because it was a rice granary guarding job.

Sakai: You guarded it so the rice wouldn’t get stolen?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Yes, that’s right.

Sakai, Ayaori: I see!

Noda’s guardian spirit: In terms of what I did with the bakufu's rice, I kept the books and managed it…

Ayaori: So you managed it so that the tax revenue, or the land tax, was properly collected, right?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Well, I was an official. A rice official.

Sakai: So you don’t understand the market then?

Noda’s guardian spirit: The market was something the merchants did.

Sakai: So it was a job where you looked at the actual rice and checked whether it was there or not, right?

Noda’s guardian spirit: Ah, so I was a rice granary manager. It was a shame I wasn’t a Shogun.
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Exclusive Report: Prime Minister Noda’s True Colors (2)
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