New Japanese Prime Minister’s Wife Is All Sorts of Crazy…

The wife of Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s new prime minister, is a nut.

“While my body was sleeping, I think my spirit flew on a triangular-shaped UFO to Venus,” wrote Miyuki Hatoyama. “It was an extremely beautiful place and was very green.”

The space-bound spouse has also been a musical actress, cookbook writer, designer and TV personality — and says that she was friends long ago with Tom Cruise, whom she knew in a previous life when he was Japanese.

“I eat the sun,” Miyuki says, raising her arms as if to tear pieces off an imaginary sun. “Like this: yum, yum, yum. It gives me enormous energy. My husband has recently started doing that too.”

How this wasn’t news before Hatoyama was elected, I don’t know. In America, we would’ve learned this sort of this well before the primaries.

But it raises a question: What would hurt a candidate running for public office more: A spouse who believed in “new age” bullshit, or a spouse who didn’t believe in God?

The answer is obvious in America — the spouse’s atheism would be made public and that would likely doom the candidate. Meanwhile, our elected officials still have problems accepting evolution… the “new age” stuff would be mocked but the candidate could still get elected.

His wife’s crazy beliefs didn’t hurt the new PM in Japan… I don’t know whether atheism would have been better or worse there.

What about other countries?

(Thanks to Wayne for the link!)

  • JulietEcho

    I don’t know… for once, I don’t think those beliefs would fly anymore than atheism does in the US. I mean, there might even be *more* resistance towards someone who’s publicly Wiccan or pagan than towards an atheist. I think in many minds, atheism is bad, in that we don’t believe in God, but we’re not *practicing* anything they consider wicked.

  • mkb

    Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer, Hillary Clinton supposedly had a seance with Eleanor Roosevelt and Sarah Palin was blessed by a witchhunter. Nothing is too wacko for this country except not believing in a god.

  • Heidi

    I think that’s a little crazier than religion, new age or otherwise. She sounds like Drusilla from Buffy/Angel.

  • Chris

    Well the Japanese don’t vote for a PM, whichever party is voted into office usually selects the PM and Hatoyama is the leader of the party that has been voted in, so he will now be PM. They also don’t have 2 year primaries there. They start the campaigning about 3 weeks before elections. But Japan is mostly an atheist country anyways. They have the cultural adherence to Shinto or Buddhist traditions, but most don’t practice or don’t believe. So Hatoyama may be an atheist. On a side note, she is a bit crazy I read about that 2 days ago and thought it was strange that I didn’t hear about it prior, since I currently reside in Japan.

  • mikespeir

    All those probes we sent to Venus that found nothing but a searing, desolate world? Ignore ‘em.

  • Demetrius Of Pharos

    I think mkb covered all the examples I would have brought up – it seems to me that no amount of “new age bullshit” is to much in this country so long as you also claim to be Christian. I also don’t think that “spouse” counts against politicians; Reagan being a perfect example.

    I had no problem with the bit about the spirit going to Venus on a UFO, I’ve had vivid dreams. Then I read the bit about Tom Cruise and began questioning her sanity.

    @Heidi – So you are saying she is bat shit crazy but also wicked hot?

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    Granted, this woman sounds EXTREMELY CRAZY. However, being an Atheist is relatively crazy as well. This story isn’t just about a woman having “new age” beliefs associated with some type of religion…at least not as part of what you said.

    Believing in religions that aren’t true, such as Atheism, is pretty crazy. Being an Atheist is probably the most illogical view of all the various religions.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    It would be nice if Venus was beautiful and green (and habitable for us). But it is anything but. The greenhouse effect alone makes the surface temperature on Venus at around 860 °F. A fate we do not want to let happen here on Earth. Perhaps her spirit visited Venus a long time ago when some speculate that Venus may have actually had oceans (and possibly was green). Perhaps she and Tom Cruise and Leon Hubbard all went there a billion years ago on the triangle-shaped UFO… Either that, or she is nuts. I think 99.999999% probablility of being nuts.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Jon, you wrote:

    “Believing in religions that aren’t true, such as Atheism, is pretty crazy. Being an Atheist is probably the most illogical view of all the various religions.”

    What do you believe?

    You think a loving god would use a process that allows more than 99% percent of all species which have ever lived to go extinct? A brutal, unceasing competition which results in tremendous levels of pain and suffering?

    And how do you explain the monumental indifference of such a being? If one person survives in a plane crash, it’s a miracle and means some higher power must have interfered…but if thousands die in an earthquake or tsunami, we blame impersonal natural processes.

    Additionally, atheism isn’t even a religion in the first place. Is being bald a hair color? Is not playing chess a hobby?

    What do you believe about the world, and why do you think your view is logical?

  • Chester

    Shinto religion is different from Christianity insofar as it literally underlies every aspect of Japanese life. It’s not like you go to church on Sundays and pray to the mikoshi – every bow, every honorific, every time you interact with another person is a tiny little Shinto ritual. This is why it’s hard to define Shinto religion – when does Shintoism end and simple Japanese custom begin?

    So, I challenged a Japanese person on the fact that none of them seem to know the tenets of their religion and she just said, “We don’t care about it. It just IS.” I understood what she meant, and it’s hard to convey the real meaning of that sentence. Shinto is just life, so…what? That’s how things are.

    Ok, so what I mean is: what we consider “superstition” is quite literally just daily life for the Japanese. My ex-girlfriend was a refined, intelligent Tokyo socialite, yet any time I mentioned the word “ghost,” she’d get scared and tell me to shut up.

    It’s less that their religion tells them angels are real – it’s more like they think ghosts exist, therefore they need a place in their religion.

    There is nothing at all shocking about someone eating the sun.

  • no name please

    Hey, be fair! She knew it was Venus because of the big “Welcome to Venus” signs! What, you’ve never visited?
    Be sure to bring lots of extra money. Earth cash bursts into flame as soon as you take it out of your wallet.

  • DreamDevil

    Jon fails.

  • Sesoron

    Jon, I’m having a hard time believing that you’re serious and not just trolling or parodizing a straw man of the other side, so I’m reluctant to engage your argument. But I do so nevertheless.

    Every religious group in the world — including those that are not Christian — adheres to the belief that their book or their prophets are the correct interpretation of the world, on the basis of what the books or prophets say. When we look at the religious beliefs of people thousands of years ago, we discount those with which we disagree as mythology, just fairy tales that were invented by people who wanted to explain the world but lacked the science to do so. An atheist is somebody who refuses to exempt their own culture’s majority belief system from that same skepticism.

    Atheists believe what the evidence supports, not what they wish to be true. Science is providing rational explanations for more and more things without the need for supernatural agency. If you want to discount the scientific method in the cases where it disagrees with a traditional belief, that means discounting it everywhere else too.

    And I hope you don’t think angels are in your computer, laboring to keep it functioning in the way that the scientists thought their theories would ensure, just to mess with them and test their faith.

  • Delphine

    Atheism won’t be much worse. In fact, atheism won’t be mentioned at all.

    I’m from Taiwan, and I suspect a lot of politicians in Taiwan are atheists or agnostics. They never go to any kind of religious organizations. In Taiwan, most atheists/agnostics go to temples once a year to pay respect anyway (so many of them, you just walk in, it’s really convenient), but some of them you never see them do that either.

    In Taiwan, no one asks what religion you identify with when you run for office, because, NO ONE CARES.

    We joke about candidates hilarious, outrageous religious beliefs, but not lack thereof. One politician once paid a fortune teller a fortune (lol pun intended) to see if he’ll win an election. THAT went all over the news. Some politicians will hire fungsui guys to help them pick out a house or a grave. That’s often all over the news too. Those types of activities don’t hurt their candidacy, as long as the wacky religious beliefs they have don’t influence their decisions.

  • Sven

    Jon, you big troll, you! Feeling hungry again?
    It’s allways fun to read your proud ignorance. Keep it up, you provide great entertainment.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Jon, you are funny. One can’t be crazy for not believing things. One is only crazy for believing crazy things.

    Any atheist would believe “your” things if there was sufficient evidence. Otherwise we see no difference between resurrections, triangular spaceships visiting Venus, and Mohammad riding to heaven on a horse. If there were any evidence for these things (other than dreams or someone writing down some stories a long time ago) then we would believe.

    The only real belief I maintain is an optimism for the future.

  • Tom

    It seems as if she is suffering from some mild psychosis. Many hallucinations that occur during sleep are akin to psychosis suffered by people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar.

  • Richard Wade

    What would hurt a candidate running for public office more: A spouse who believed in “new age” bullshit, or a spouse who didn’t believe in God?

    Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers regularly to schedule all of her husband’s important meetings and activities, and who knows what other important decisions. Ronnie Baby went along with it, bless his heart.

    This was revealed after he was elected President, but while it brought some ridicule, if it had come out before, I don’t think it would have cost him the election.

    Americans are very tolerant of superstitious people as long as they also believe in a big ghost with big magic.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    Frankly, I don’t see anything unusual about eating the sun. Happens in comic books all the time.

  • Kaylya

    If it was just the stuff about eating the sun I might be inclined to think that she was referring to some sort of meditative or yoga type practice and it came out weird in translation.

    I still think that might be partially the case – that sort of stuff does happen, where one English news source picks something up and rips it out of context and other English sources copy from that rather than going back to the Japanese source. (Like the story about Sheep being passed off as poodles)

  • cypressgreen

    I gave up on eating bits of the sun. It gave me heartburn.

  • http://photoofthemoment.wordpress.com Sidi

    In India, 18 of the 79 ministers in the cabinet of the new government that got elected this year are either agnostic or atheist.

    Proof? The did NOT take their oath to office in the name of god.

  • http://nullprogram.com Chris Wellons

    “Believing in religions that aren’t true, such as Atheism, is pretty crazy. Being an Atheist is probably the most illogical view of all the various religions.”

    Says the guy who believes in unicorns.

  • mikespeir

    Jon seems to think atheism is a religion. I assume, then, that his religion is theism. He shares this religion with Christians, many Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians…. All members of one big happy religion, that lot.

  • http://virtualityforreal.blogspot.com Allytude

    Atheism does not seem to matter much in electing public officials in India- the Home Minister is an atheist( did not take the oath of office on a holy boo, any holy book). Nehru, the first PM was an atheist. But it is a superstitious nation.

  • CatBallou

    My experiences in Japan are admittedly not as recent as others’ (it’s been 20 years since I lived there), my impression was that religion is definitely a cultural phenomenon, and very rarely a matter of actual belief or faith. Additionally, the wives of politicians–wives in general–were simply props to indicate social stability, rather than personalities in their own right.

  • ennui

    It doesn’t seem to be that big a deal in the UK either. Clement Attlee, Alaistar Campbell and James Callaghan were atheists, as is Leo Blair, the father of Tony Blair..

  • Miko

    One can’t be crazy for not believing things.

    Sure you can. “Crazy” in a colloquial sense refers to holding beliefs in contrary to strong evidence to the contrary. If someone were to argue, for example, that they didn’t believe that the letter “e” was part of the alphabet, they’d most likely be crazy. It doesn’t matter whether the belief-contra-reality is positive or negative.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    @sven

    Jon, you big troll, you! Feeling hungry again?
    It’s allways fun to read your proud ignorance. Keep it up, you provide great entertainment

    I am SO offended by your comment. You’ve convinced me that I should never comment again.

    LOL.

  • Hughes

    Australia’s had an openly atheist PM – Bob Hawke. Gough Whitlam probably was too but I’m not sure if he was “out” at the time or not. No-one cares.

    Whitlam was once quoted as saying, about a political rival:

    “The man is a paranoiac, he’s a fanatic, and he’s a bigot. What makes it all the more nauseating is, of course, that Bjelke-Peterson is such a Bible-bashing bastard.”

    Can you imagine Obama saying that?

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Is no one here familiar with the idea of not feeding trolls?

  • Takma’rierah

    Is no one here familiar with the idea of not feeding trolls?

    But it’s just so gosh-darn fun! I treat it more like a writing exercise than anything else, really. It’s weird but I actually sort of enjoy blathering prettily at a brick wall for hours on end.

  • Kimpatsu

    Atheism is not a big issue here in Japan, so an atheist candidate would get elected just fine. Miyuki Hatoyama is batshit insane, but she isn’t viewed as a liability to her husband’s political career because she hasn’t said anything regarding the status of US forces in Japan or relations with neighbouring China or North Korea. Voicing an opinion on those touchy subjects really would be crazy.

  • http://www.thomaswebb.net Thomas J. Webb

    I haven’t gotten around to uploading it to youtube yet (mostly because most of the footage isn’t usable) but I went around recording me asking Japanese people stuff about politics (using my crappy Japanese) and not a single one knew that their PM was Catholic! Japanese firstly don’t care about what religion their politicians are and, as already mentioned, don’t vote for the PM directly anyway.

  • sven

    @jon

    LOL

  • Fastthumbs

    @Jon,

    Trolling on an atheist blog…tsk tsk tsk.

    What IS crazy and illogical is basing one’s worldview on this (Christianity summed up under 125 words to keep it short and concise so even Jon won’t lose focus):

    “The belief a walking dead Jewish deity who was his own father although he always existed, commits suicide by cop, although he didn’t really die, in order to give himself permission not to send you to an eternal place of torture he created for you, but instead to make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh, drink his blood, and telepathically promise him you accept him as your master, so he can cleanse you of an evil force that is present in mankind because a rib-woman and a mud-man were convinced by a talking snake to eat fruit from a magical tree. Yeah, the whole thing would make Jesus die laughing, if he wasn’t already dead, and assuming he ever existed.”

  • Jeffrey

    There was an article posted here some time ago about a college theology course that gave credit for posting on atheist websites. Clearly that is where Jon comes from, there’s no point in engaging him for reasonable discourse, he won’t return for legitmate debate.

    Teleprompter was the first to ask some good questions, but they were very basic, the common questions to begin with in this sort of discussion. DreamDevil summed it up best, but Sesoron kept the reasoning line open, so that we could all hope to see what Jon had to say next. Several other comments followed before we finally had a new response from “Jon”, whose avatar is apparently always the anonymous one, so really ANYONE could post as “Jon”. This posting came off as much more sarcastic as usual, suggesting that he might not post anymore, and then LOL. Where are the serious responses to people like Teleprompter and Sesoron? We’re seeing classic avatar impersonation.

    We’re not really seeing Jon’s replies, and we won’t. He goes to a school where they get credit for making incendiary posts on atheist blogs, and he was probably homeschooled just like in another previous article. Where do the oxens’s childrens’s noiseses comes froms, Jon?

    It’s good that what is posted gets us talking, but it’s too bad that there isn’t actually an xtian that’s willing to listen and debate rationally and intelligently. The most we can hope is that Jon and others like him (or her?) will come away from the postings he left feeling dirty, and eventually will realize that it is because he knew the truth all along, that believing in crazy things and pretending that they’re not is a lie.

  • http://twitter.com/garyd Just Some Guy

    I really haven’t looked into this and I imagine it would be very difficult to do so without reading Japanese, but…

    I don’t think this is a new age thing: It sounds alarming Falun Gong-ish to me, with Shintoism tossed in perhaps. The eating the sun stuff sounds right out of Li Hongzhi’s playbook.

  • happy

    I can swallow the ufo/venus bit, but anyone wanting to be in a movie with Uncle Tom has got to be bonkers.

  • Alex

    The Japanese don’t elect the prime minister, they elect a party, whose leader then automatically becomes the head of the government. Hence Miyuki Hatoyama’s beliefs were never a factor in her husband’s attaining office.

  • Alex

    No matter how cookie her statements, I think she gets a lot of credit for actually having opinions and a career of her own, which is already leagues ahead of the dutiful elegant house wife image that politicians’ spouses have had until now in Japan.

  • Maverick

    “How this wasn’t news before Hatoyama was elected, I don’t know. In America, we would’ve learned this sort of this well before the primaries.”

    really! do you want to talk about bush for a while? :D lol

  • sober

    mainstram science and medicine is about status quo ; they are notoriously covering up for unexplained pfenomena. I am bored by their theories that we are alone and/or we need chemical pills and vaccination to survive. finally someone has gots to tell it how it is. u r my hero woman, in states no one would do that except for kucinich maybe. America for the most part is mentally retarted and still in middle ages


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