At the Inuyama Festival during the first weekend of April,  I watched the procession of the three tiered floats along the narrow streets in the old castle town district. For some reason, the efforts of the men reminded me of my first visit to Japan in 1965. The nation at that time was in the middle of its Income Doubling Economic Plan. Japanese  worked hard to fulfil the plan’s goals. The entire nation appeared committed to achieving membership in the ranks of the middle class. 
Today’s Japanese owe their comfortable lives in large part to the hard work of their grandparents. The challenges they face have become more complex and varied. Many seem to be wandering in a wilderness without a compass.
Watching the men in Inuyama straining under the weight of elephantine floats, I admired their perseverance. When the festival ends and the floats are stored away, they will have to face problems that purely physical effort will not be able to overcome.
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