Prologue to Part IV

An-Yi:   Why does the author bother mentioning Japan? Hasn't that nation become largely inconsequential?
Bhäraté:   I'm not sure. In terms of the world's total population, it might be – but it in some other ways Japan is a still force to be reckoned with.
Daiki:   As the world's economy becomes increasingly integrated, won't nations themselves will be essentially irrelevant? Powerful multinational companies are already control more than people generally realize.
Bhäraté:   In an economic sense, that's true. However, "citizenship" exists on many levels. Doesn't religion and lanugage define our groupings more than economics?
Chariya:   At any rate, since the author spent over half his life in Japan, that's worth exploring.
Bhäraté:   Okay, but it isn't it arrogant for anyone to write about places they don't fully understand?
Chariya:   We need to get over the myth of "complete understanding". Nobody ever fully understands anything. Places change, as do people. Human understanding is like footsteps on sand. However, it's still worth taking the journey of exploration.