Journalist Report – October 01st

Journalist Report

Yuzo Shibata, Remote Agricultural Advisor

My Mind is Landing on Mars.

By Yuzo Shibata, Remote Agricultural Advisor

I live in Kyoto, Japan. It has about 1.5 million people and lots of universities and colleges. About 10% of the population is said to be students. There are also so many scientists here but this ancient capital filled with old temples and shrines seems to be able to change them into poets. I often discuss Mars exploration with scientists here. However, sometimes, the conclusion rather than scientific becomes poetic which is frustrating because I want to arrive at a scientific conclusion.

Also, we Japanese are a little weird ethinic group personifying everything including space rockets and probes with Manga and trying to communicate with them. For example, you can find some manga images of a little girl with solar panels named “HAYABUSA” (Japanese robotic spacecraft) on the net. Most Japanese people must love space exploration, but they don’t seem enthusiastic about manned exploration. They say, “Our friends, Curiosity and Percy have already lived on Mars. Why do you think you need to go there now?”

However, these thoughts might not be all bad. It may not be necessary to physically go to Mars by scientific and technological means, instead it might be good to take our mind to Mars by Poem and Manga power.

I wasn’t able to go to MDRS due to the pandemic as the GreenHab Officer this time, so I’m joining the mission as the Remote Agricultural Advisor from Kyoto now. From the viewpoint of cultivation, I pored over science papers about the climate of Mars over coffee. However, after I decided to be remote, I started reading science-fiction novels and comics, even reading poetry books such as Haiku (Japanese short form poetry) over tea. That might be because I unconsciously wanted only to take my mind to MDRS and Mars.

First, I read and watched “The Martian” again to get insight. (I’m not sure whether planting potatoes is a good solution, though.) However, this ancient capital filled with dynastic styled literature and beautiful four seasons gradually affects my mind. And now, I’m getting interested in the seasons on Mars rather than how to survive there.

The climate there is really hard to live in, so I can’t imagine how much people there would look forward to the winter solstice that comes once every two years. They must want to celebrate the day even more extravagantly than the Yule festival for the Germanic peoples. What should I plant for the festival? Chinese people eat dumplings and Japanese people take a citron bath. Also, It might be desirable to change the calendar based on earth’s seasons into a new one such as the Darian Calendar. The winter solstice would become New Year’s Day like ancient kingdoms in Mesopotamia and China.

Mars was called “Keikoku” in ancient China. It means “Confusion” in English because the movement and apparent brightness of this planet was unexpected. I’d like you to forgive me for confusing you with my excessive imagination taking my mind to MDRS and Mars. Now I promise to stop imagining and to concentrate on supporting the GreenHab Officer with scientific knowledge as the Remote Agricultural Advisor.