- I thought that I would provide you with some historical
information which involves the US occupation of Japan and the Post WW2
abolition of Industrial Hemp.
- Circa Post WW2: The Dupont's and the Cotton Cartels of
the time wanted Hemp off the map, it was a matter of strategic economic
- "Industrial hemp is just way too much of a ubiquitous
product to be grown by the common man". "It just makes too much
$cents$ for the average farmer" " It would displace pulp towns
and the Cotton clowns" " It would create a paradigm shift"
I know Jeff hates that term, but the big boys don't like change if it doesn't
fall into their pockets!!!!!!!!!!1st
- Just to give your readers an idea on how well regarded
Hemp was in the Japanese culture:
- I'll provide you with the following:
- Hemp was traditionally used by Shinto priests, including
the Japanese emperor himself who acts as a kind of chief priest of Shintoism.
Several hemp fields are cultivated on Shikoku, one of the four main islands
of Japan, to make ceremonial linen clothes for the Imperial family and
for Shinto priests.
- Hemp is also grown in some parts of Nagano prefecture
by farmers with a hemp license and the fibre is used for bell ropes and
noren (ritual curtains) for Shinto shrines as well as in sumo rituals.
- taken from http://www.taima.org/
- The Hemp Control Act
- Hemp cultivation came to a legal halt in the during the
post W.W.II, allied-forces occupation. Allied troops lived in Japan and
helped substantially to rebuild the nation battered by the destruction
and poverty of wartime.
- The foreign troops were certainly surprised at the abundance
of hemp growing both wild and cultivated. In 1948 when American General
of the Army, Douglas Macarthur and his colleagues rewrote the Japanese
constitution, they included the Taima Torishimari Hô, the Hemp Control
- Ironically, it was the Japanese Imperial Army's invasion
of the Philippines a few years earlier that acted as a catalyst for USA's
"Hemp for Victory" campaign to replace the Manila-hemp used by
the armed forces.
- HEMP CULTURE IN JAPAN
- Japan, has long been a land of mystery to outsiders.
Though isolated from the world's progress for thousands of years, Japan
still Managed to import and reinvent the wisest ideas from other lands,
turning them into something all their own. Hemp is no exception.
- Yet the passage of time caught the persistent cannabis
sativa plant in a confusing vise of tradition and modernization, sustainability
and rapid expansion. As Japan begins to realize it's role as a global leader,
hemp again rises from the shadows to greet the future in the Land of the
- Hemp comes to Japan
- Since the Neolithic Jomon period, hemp grew in Japan.
The term Jomon itself means "pattern of ropes, " which were certainly
made of hemp. Archaeological evidence places hemp seeds as a food source
during this Jomon period (10,000 to 300 BC). These hunting and collecting
people lived a civilized, comfortable existence and used hemp for weaving
clothing and basket making. What isn't entirely clear however, is exactly
when and how the seeds arrived in Japan.
- When considering this question, it is often difficult
to distinguish the facts of history from the pervasive creation myths that
make up the Japanese religion of Shinto. Some scholars insist that hemp
was abundant in Japan before contact with China or Korea; however, impartial
analysis suggests that, like much of it's culture, hemp was almost certainly
imported and adapted by the Japanese from China.
- To better determine the journey that those first hemp
seeds took, one can consider the examples of three other prominent imports
which shaped Japanese culture and indeed became standards of Japanese civilization:
Buddhism, wet-field rice and Washi paper. The history of paper is easily
traced because it was written down on paper. The first real paper in known
to have been created in China from hemp rags by a court eunuch, Ts'ai Lun,
from a mix of old hemp rags and mulberry bark in around 100 A.D. Experiments
using silk and bamboo had been ongoing for a few decades, but most writing
was done on small wood panels.
- Paper isn't recorded into the historical record of Japan
until the 7th century A.D., when Korean priests and monks delivered this
new technology to the Imperial palace in 610 A.D., along with Buddhism
and the acceptance of the Chinese writing system.
- The paper that the Korean monk, Doncho, produced for
his royal demonstration was made from hemp rags and mulberry bark, as in
the Chinese tradition. The Japanese copied his technique; the skill spread
rapidly throughout Japan, with over 80 subtle varieties of paper being
made throughout Japan within 50 years. This certainly suggests hemp must
have been already long domesticated, to keep up with this rapid growth
of papermaking fuelled by the spread of Buddhism and the new form of written
- Evidence of that vital period of Japanese history is
owned by a Nihonga painter named Haneshi. He possesses a piece of brown
and slightly brittle, pure hemp paper, dated at 770 AD. It is still intact
and he keeps it in a box with a small piece of rare incense. (Hughes, 165)
It is clear that by this point in history, Korea and Japan had had a long
established relationship, since Japan maintained a territorial foothold
on Korea in the fifth and sixth century. Furthermore, there were numerous
ships traveling between China, Korea and Japan exchanging new ideas and
information even before this period.
- Another Japanese staple, wet-field rice, made its way
from the Middle Kingdom to Japan around 300 BC. The seed stock first went
to Korea, then was brought by traders across the narrow but rough channel
to Shimonoseki, Japan's southern island of Kyushu which is the closest
point to the Asian mainland. It is probable that hemp made the same voyage
before or around the same time. There are reports of seeds from prehistoric
periods that have been uncovered on the island of Kyushu which would suggest
this passage definitely took place before the Common Era; yet scientific
dating techniques would have a hard time putting an accurate date on such
a small artefact.
- Hemp in Japanese history
- As time went on, more people arrived on Japanese shores
from China and Korea, some to trade, many to settle, in all taking Japanese
culture on to another period. This Yayoi period produced major changes
in Japan as "foreigners" imported more advanced practices and
quickly made the indigenous Japanese adapt their ways. Most signifant was
the spread of agriculture and clan-like social arrangement.
- The people of these times lived in patriarchal groups
and wore clothes made of hemp and bark, a technique which continued on
for hundreds of years. At this time also the complex Shinto system of multiple
patriarchal deity developed, as numerous clans each adopted a patron saint.
- By that time, hemp had successfully adapted to the Japanese
climate and spread throughout the latitudes. Even on the northern island
of Hokkaido, the indigenous Ainu made their colourful costumes from the
fibber during the Yayoi period around the 3rd century AD.
- Thus, hemp was already a well-established crop in many
parts of Japan by the time written language was commonly used, and the
first "Official" recorded history appears as the Nihon Shoki
(Chronicle of Japan), published by Crown Prince Shotoku in 710 AD (soon
after the introduction of papermaking, Chinese writing and Buddhism).
- Trade and communication between China, Korea and Japan
faded over the next few centuries as each country led it's own secluded
path. Japan did continue for a while to send scholars and students to learn
medicine, agriculture and science from the Chinese and bring the best of
it back home, including the Kampo (Chinese medicine) ancient pharmacopoeia
developed by Lao Tzu. This system of health and treatment utilized many
forms of the hemp plant to treat a variety of illnesses.
- A translated account reads "Hemp preparations are
especially used as a laxative, to treat asthma & poisonous bites, worm
animals, counteract skin ailments and as a general tonic to promote vigour.
- During these centuries of feudal society, a leader emerged
named Hideyoshi Toyotomi. He came from a typical village to unite Japan.
An account of his growing up goes into some detail on daily life in the
1500's.: "The village of Nakamura lies in the rich farming country
of south-western Owari in the delta of the Kiso River. Cotton, hemp and
rice were cultivated there during Hideyoshi's day by a comparatively well-off
community of peasants, many of whom owned their own land."
- During the feudal era, hemp cultivation was encouraged
by the Daimyo (feudal lords) wanting hempen-ware's high resale value from
the wealthy city merchants who favoured hemp for making fine clothing.
This brought economic strength and power to the Daimyo of the area (who
were often in debt to the merchants) (Stearns). The merchants had an interesting
and much maligned position in feudal society. They were ranked near the
bottom of the ladder but by building "unions" and creative marketing,
they were soon the wealthiest class. The Samurai forbid themselves to handle
money as it was unclean and despised and feared the merchants because of
there increasing wealth.
- The merchants again learned the use of money from foreigners.
"Merchants dealt not in rice but in coin, and utilized four metals:
gold (oban, koban, ichibu kin), silver (chogin, mame-ita, monme), copper
(zeni),and iron. They had square holes in the centre based on the Chinese
system, and were carried on strings of hemp." (Hidden Variable) (note:
the 5 yen coins still have a hole in them left over from this practice)
- During this time, Japanese agriculture and social structure
continued to change despite lack of new influence from outside sources.
Indeed as the merchants and daimyo feuded, the farmers started to "unionize
to sell their hemp directly to the markets in Edo (old Tokyo). "Cotton
was not grown much before the Muromachi period and then it seems to have
been confined to mainly to Eastern Japan where growing conditions were
not particularly favourable. Toward the end of the 16th century, however
cotton found its natural habitat in the Kinai, thereafter the production
of raw cotton very rapidly increased . . . The hemp cloth industry of Uonuma
county in Echigo Province provides an example of a different kind. This
industry dated back to at least the Nara period, when taxes were party
paid by the cloth. But the industry here achieved no considerable growth
until certain innovations in bleaching and weaving were made toward the
end of the seventeenth century. After that the output of hemp cloth increased
from about five thousand rolls to about two hundred thousand roll annually
until the end of the eighteenth century. By this time, local sources of
raw material were no longer adequate to supply producers and hemp had to
be imported from Aizu and Yonezawa."
- While the farmers were supposedly given rights and privilege
by the Samurai, they were in fact kept poor, busy and occupied with the
agricultural process which was very labour-intensive in low-tech rural
Japan. Even then, space was at a premium and the farmers began terracing
- Hemp (along with silk for the wealthy Samurai class)
was the primary source of clothing fibber until the 17th century when cotton
was introduced. Cotton began to replace hemp as the fibber crop for the
new urban working class because of high yields by heavy fertilizer use
and development of mass processing methods.
- Hemp continued to be used for a variety of specialized
purposes, including the straps of geta (high wooden sandals), long-line
eel fishing lines and packaging ropes (Mayuzumi), to name few. After short
periods of limited trade with some European countries (primarily Holland
but only on an off-shore trading zone) in the early 17th century, Japan
once again closed the bamboo curtain solidly to the west.
- In 1853, American Commodore Perry and a fleet of black
gunboats pried open the ports for trade and began a new era of change,
trade and conflict.
- Inside, a still feudal, warring nation scrambled to take
stock of the impact and learn the secrets of these strange "bearded
barbarians". Realizing they had been caught in a very vulnerable position,
Japan embarked on an intense, rapid industrialization. In the ensuing chaos,
the young Emperor Meiji was restored and the Samurai class dissolved. Massive,
sudden change occurred in a short time, and a nation was restarted.
- This new Meiji era sparked a period of mutual bewilderment
and competitive fascination, an awkward dance between the East and West
that begat wonderful exchanges of arts, medicine and humanity, and the
brutality of war and racism.
- Japan quickly engineered trains, steamships, silk factories
and mining operations, surpassing in a few decades the growth of industry
that had taken Europe and America close to a century. Shortly after their
hasty ushering onto the world stage, Japan sent its first diplomatic mission
to USA, sailing across the Pacific only four years after first seeing a
ocean going vessel. Among the crew, serving as the Captain Kimura's personal
servant and translator, was Yukichi Fukuzawa. He tells in his account of
the journey about the crew all receiving a pair of hemp sandals to make
the passage. He goes on to say that some crewmen were a bit embarrassed
when they arrived in San Francisco and saw how different their footwear
and customs were:
- "All of us wore the usual pair of swords at our
sides and the hemp sandals. So attired we were taken to the modern hotel.
. . Here the carpet was laid over an entire room and upon this costly fabric,
walked our hosts wearing the shoes they had come in from the streets! We
followed in our hemp sandals." (Fukuzawa)
- Young Fukuzawa went on to found Kieo University and inspire
Japan's new educational system. His face is now on Japan's 10,000 Yen bill.
Regardless of the fact that Japan had become a member of the world community,
the country's farmers still bore the brunt of the labour, working long
days in treacherous conditions to supply essentials for an increasing urban
population. From the humid summers to the freezing winters, hemp provided
rugged and functional clothing.
- In the Meiji and Taisho eras (19th century), country-people
continued an ancient technique, combining hemp fiber with other plants
like seaweed and broom-straw to make circular, pointed hats which the wet
mountain snow would slide right off of. (Seattle Asian Arts)
- These hats are really more of a solid helmet of hemp
fibber intertwined with seaweed, perhaps to let the snow slide off the
sloping, conical peak. The farmers also utilized similar materials in making
pack-like, back support pads for hauling heavy loads down steep mountainsides.
The crafting skill of the traditional artisans endures; the term for this
is You no Bi. (Seattle Asian Arts) This tactile feeling of "beauty
in utility" evokes a sense of the rugged simplicity and deliberate,
elegant workmanship that blends so well with the hemp aesthetic.
- During this same era when country people fashioned rugged
work wear, the textile artist continued using hemp to a different end.
The skill of the Japanese textile makers is seen in hemp kimono (traditional
clothing) worn especially in the summer. Hemp became a somewhat exclusive
fabric used for special garments and upper classes.
- Hemp's durability allowed the same fibbers to be reused
several times for recycled clothing, rags and finally paper. As class structure
made labor-intensive hemp unreachable for many, they tried to imitate the
properties with cotton. Before the introduction of cotton to Japan, hemp
fiber had already long been in use for the weaving of cloth. (Hughes, 77)
In fact, the summer cotton kimono, the Yucatan, was the common person's
adaptation of the yukatabira (absorbent hemp bathrobes) the wealthy wore
to and after soaking in the hot springs.
- Hemp in Religion
- In the vast journey from India to China, the teachings
of the Buddha were altered considerably, although on the trip from China
to Korea and then on to Japan, the tenets remained undiluted. However,
upon receiving this wisdom, the Japanese adapted and intertwined Buddhism
with the traditional mythological religion of Shinto.
- Shinto is the ancient "way of the gods." A
ritualistic expression of profound respect for the kami (the intrinsic
god-like spirit) in nature. Plants, animals, rocks, trees all possess a
sort of spirit or reverence which can be terrifying or peaceful. In Shinto,
humans are always searching towards purity and responsibility which transcends
the traditional religious sense and into day-to-day society.
- Shinto's creation stories tell of the islands that would
become Japan rising from volcanoes and hot springs. God/dess figures descended
to people the country with their direct descendants who are more cherished
than any other on Earth. Purity and fertility are paramount concepts and
from the beginning to the present, hemp is an essential symbol of both.
- In Kojiki (the Record of Ancient Matters) the story relates:
After creating the country the primal pair consulted together saying, "We
have now produced the great eight island country, with the mountains, rivers,
herbs and trees. Why should we not produce someone who shall be lord of
- This first pair then begat the founding goddess-figure,
Amaterasu Omi kami (Sun Goddess). She is enshrined at the holiest of place,
the Ise Jinja (shrine) along with the ancient sacred mirror Ameratsu gave
to her grandson when he descended from above to reign over the eight island
- At that shrine on the Ise penisula, the special prayer
given for the founding Goddess of Japan is called Taima (cannabis). Further,
hemp, salt and rice are the sacred staples that are used as part of all
the rites at the shrine. (Yamada) Indeed hemp and mulberry fibber and cloth,
and paper made from them, as well as salt, sake, and rice are offered to
the gods at the Shinto shrines.
- This element of purity is stressed again as undyed hemp
was an important part for the household of the new bride. This undyed hemp
came to symbolize the womanly virtues of faithfulness, chastity and obedience.
Like the undyed cloth, an old saying goes, the woman must allow herself
to be dyed any colour her husband chooses. (Hughes, 49)
- In a shrine ritual, a Shinto priest shakes a short wand
with hemp attached called a gohei over the head of patrons in a cleansing
- Originally the actual hemp and mulberry fibbers were
attached to a stick but eventually paper made from the same and cut into
distinctive zig-zag strips and attached to a sakaki branch became standard.
The priests dressed in robes made of a sort of starched hemp paper so as
to be pure to perform these purification rites.
- Another Shinto tale tells that every October, all the
deities from around Japan gather at a sacred site in rural Shimane prefecture
(Sea of Japan side of Honshu, south of Tottori) at Japan's largest jinja
(shrine) called Iizumo taisha. During this month, the rest of the nation
is left unprotected from calamity while the Gods hold a harvest and match-making
ritual celebration. (JNTO) Shimane-ken is far out of the way of any urban
centre and, besides being "Home of the Gods," it was the home
to bounteous hemp harvests up until about 50 years ago.
- Although initially widely accepted, Buddhism faded and
didn't really gain widespread acceptance again until an enterprising royal
adjusted it significantly to make it more inviting to the masses by combining
the search for enlightenment a sense with Zen asceticism (again borrowed
from the Chinese).
- At Shinto Jinja (shrine), and Buddhist Tear (temple)
certain objects are symbolically made from hemp. For example, the leg-thick
bell ropes must be hempen, as is the Noreen (a short curtain), which acts
as a symbolic purification "veil", meant to cause evil spirits
to flee from the body as the head brushes lightly under the short curtain.
- It is in death that Shinto and Buddhism mix into a braid.
The relatives continue to visit the graves leaving offerings and praying
in the Buddhist way. Yet at home, a family shrine with the departed picture
and memorabilia is tended in the Shinto tradition with claps, incense and
worshiping the kaki within.
- The Japanese wound paths around their country as they
traveled long distances for salt, enlightenment and pilgrimages. In olden
times, these wandering pilgrims and traveling believers were obliged to
leave an offering of rice and hemp leaves to the path-side phallic-fertility
statues of the She no Kari (protective deities) before embarking on a journey.
- "These deities were represented by phalli, often
of gigantic size, which were set up along highways and especially at cross-roads
to bar the passage against malignant beings who sought to pass . . . Standing
as they did on the roadside and at cross-roads, these gods became the protectors
of the wayfarers; travelers prayed to them before setting out on a journey
and made a little offering of hemp leaves and rice to each one they passed."
- In another old tradition, rooms of worship were purified
by burning hemp leaves by the entrance. This would invite the spirits of
the departed, purify the room and encourage people to dance.
- An account of this event states:
- "On the first evening fires of hemp leaves are lighted
before the entrance of the house, and incense strewed on the coals, as
an invitation to the spirits. At the end of the three days the food that
has been set out for the spirits is wrapped up in mats and thrown into
a river. Dances of a peculiar kind are a conspicuous feature of the celebration,
which is evidently an old Japanese custom."
- This seems to coincide with a Buddhist "giving respect
and making amends with departed ancestors" holy day. The current tradition
at this August "O bon" festival involves the similar practice
of first, traveling to the family plot, and then leaving offerings of the
departed favorite foods on the grave, perhaps to purify or satisfy the
restless soul. At some point, the same hemp leaves were probably part of
- Partly as a political power move, Buddhism was assigned
as the official religion of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the period (from1600
-1868). During this time, all citizens were obligated to register as members
with one of the three main branches of the sect. (Religions of Japan, Monk)
- As time went on, various sects developed, chopping up
and combining doctrines as they chose. In later years, the battle for reinstallment
of the Shinto tradition and Emperor figure-head sparked a manic revolution
that overthrew Ieyasu Tokugawa's descendants.
- Zen and the Martial Arts
- Zen, the meditative, Taoist influenced branch of Buddhism
was also influenced by hemp. Samurai (elite level of society, often warriors)
and scholars who followed the subtle tenets express hemp's inspiration
in arts like Haiku (short poems), Aikido (a martial art), Kyudo (archery)
and Chanoyu (Tea ceremony).
- In these Haiku, the feeling of hemp is as clear as today,
- The wandering poet Issa Kobayashi writes:
- The grass around my hut also has suffered From summer
- Just when I hear The sundown bell, The flower of this
- Basho the Haiku Master writes:
- The grass- How wonderful it is! The summer drawing room.
Trees and stones, just as they are
- Ah, how glorious! The young leaves, the green leaves
Glittering in the sunshine!
- and one more (author unknown); When all things are hushed,
suddenly a bird's song arouses a deep sense of stillness. When all the
flowers are departed, suddenly a single flower is seen, and we feel the
infinity of life. (All Poems quoted from Drake)
- Note about the Haiku translation: these poems were extracted
already translated into English from the original Japanese. While they
seem to be an accurate representation of hemp, this author has not seen
the original Japanese texts to determine the actual Kanji characters used.)
- A well-known children's adventure story tells about a
technique used by ninja (stealthy assassins) to improve jumping skills.
The learning ninja plants a batch of hemp when he begins training and endeavours
to leap over it everyday. At first this is no challenge, but the hemp grows
quickly everyday and so does the diligent ninja's jumping ability. By the
end of the season, the warrior can allegedly clear the full gorwn stand
of hemp. (Mayuzumi, Masuda) This certainly attests as much for hemp's vitality
as the ninja's leaping ability.
- From the southern islands of Okinawa which are culturally
mixed of Japanese and South Pacific island culture, the skill of Karate
emerged. In the Karate-do Kyohan (the book of the way of the empty hand)
it relates the feats obtainable by the Karate master:
- "A miraculous and mysterious martial art has come
down to us from the past. It is said that one who masters its techniques
can defend himself readily without resort to weapons and can perform remarkable
feats: the breaking of several thick boards with his fist. With his sword
hand he can kill a bull with a single stroke; he can pierce the flank of
a horse with his open hand; he can shear a hemp rope with a twist or gouge
soft rock with his hands . . ."
- Kyudo (Zen Archery) has been practiced as a martial art
since the early part of the millennium. Like other arts, its was imbued
with Zen concepts and confusion principles of training and discipline.
"the Japanese developed a bow that was much longer and stronger than
those seen in Asia and Europe. It is recorded that a warrior who who happened
to catch the enemy in ranks was able to kill three of them with the same
arrow shot, go great was it's penetrating power." (De Mente) Not coincidently,
the bow's string is specifically made of hemp. (Mayuzumi, Marui) which
reflects a connection with the meditative practice of Zen as well as verifying
hemp's toughness as a fibber.
- During an elaborate pre-bout ceremony called dohyo-iri,
in Sumo (wrestling), the reigning Yokuzuma (grand champion) carries a giant
hempen rope around his ample girth to purify the ring and exorcise the
evil spirits. From the front of the belt hang zig-zag strips of white paper
which are common religious symbol in Japan found hanging at Shinto shrines
and in the small "shelf" shrines at home. (sumo guide) This purification
continues even today, the 25-35 pound hempen belt being worn by Hawaiian-born
sumo champion, Akebono. (JW) It is interesting to note the use of salt
in as a purifying agent in the ring as well which relates to Amatseru's
shrine at Ise in which hemp and salt go together in purification rites.
- Japan relied on both domestic and Southeast Asian hemp
crops to make uniforms, helmet linings and other war accessories for their
Imperialist campaigns until WW2.
- With continued control, Western companies seized this
new post-war market and offered new synthetic products to replace the traditional
and the hemp plant was almost completely eradicated. Thousands of years
of growth and breeding greatly diminished under an avalanche of post-war
- Despite the intents of the centralized government, hemp
was still cultivated and growing wild in cities, especially along railways,
until the mid-50's. (Mayuzumi) As was the case in other countries, most
farmers had no idea that this outlawed plant "hemp," was the
familiar crop they used for everything from birdseed to fine woven cloths.
- "First, you have to remember that most Japanese
still believe that cannabis is a narcotic, and do not realize that it is
the same plant as hemp, which was once as much a part of Japanese culture
as rice. In a mere half century, McArthur, with the Marijuana Regulation
Law (Hemp Control Act), managed to totally wipe away even the memories
of hemp culture, which endured for several thousand years after its beginnings
in the Jomon Period." (Yamada)
- Asa still has a familiar sound to the Japanese people,
most of whom just assume that it has just been replaced by new, better
fibber. Fortunately, much information survives in art, books and stories.
- In the 1991, 4th edition of Japan's major encyclopaedia,
Kojien, the entry of Hemp (Asa) states;
- ". Ropes, nets, sails and textile for clothes and
shoes are made from it. Annual plant of the mulberry family. Introduced
from Central Asia . . . . Leaves are long and 5-9 fingered. . . .Also,
along with benihana (a type of ginger preparation) and ai (indigo) they
make the "sanso" (three plants). Since olden times it has been
cultivated all around the world. Hashish and marijuana are made from Indian
Hemp from India." (Kojien, JW)
- Hemp continues to grow in abundance as a weed in some
areas where it was once cultivated as a fibber crop. Written and oral reports
of expansive, wild and semi-cultivated crops of cannabis in the vast rolling
hills on the cold northern island of Hokkaido have been substantiated for
years, often by young city folk who try to harvest the rugged fibber for
personal smoking use with little success and often legal problems. (Hiro,
- In the current days, the police still place marijuana
arrests as a high priority and especially target foreigners who bring hemp
in from other lands. In fact the Japanese jailed Paul McCartney for 2 Oz.
in the early seventies and it was only with diplomatic pressure that he
- Hemp in the Japanese Language
- In Japan's beautiful and bewildering language, hemp is
expressed by a kanji (ideogram) character, also adapted from Chinese, and
pronounced asa. Since the decline of cannabis hemp production, this term
has become a sort-of catch-all term for replacement fibber crops such as
Jute, Sisal, Flax Linen, as well as true Hemp making it a bit confusing.
However in any dictionary or other language resource, it is unmistakable
that this as a character means cannabis.