Leafbox
Leafbox Podcast
Interview: The Kamakura Gardener / Robert Jefferson
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-1:20:52

Interview: The Kamakura Gardener / Robert Jefferson

From The News Desk to Garden Catharsis: An Intimate Journey with Robert Jefferson, the Kamakura Gardener
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Robert Jefferson is an American broadcast news anchor and Air Force veteran, professor of journalism and has had the majority of his career working in Japan.

Jefferson shares an overview of his career and biography, while offering his views on the decline of journalism and the West. He offers advice for those considering life abroad and emphasizes the importance of staying curious, questioning authority, and learning history to navigate the current media landscape. Jefferson also shares his personal health journey and the benefits of gardening and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in this insightful interview.

Connect with The Kamakura Gardener

Support The Kamakura Gardener : patreon.com/TheKamakuraGardener

Subject Time Stamps:

  • (01:26) The Mid-Atlantic Broadcast Accent and Biography

  • (03:25) The Dark Side of Paradise

  • (07:25) Relationship to Social Media

  • (09:25) Work at NHK World TV…

  • (15:58) An Interest in the Foreign

  • (20:24) Moving to Japan

  • (27:19) A Decline in Japanese Media 

  • (34:48) Being a Free Man in Japan

  • (45:07) The Kamakura Gardener / Catharsis 

  • (57:05) Teaching at Temple University

  • (1:02) Critique of being labeled a conspiracy theorist and the importance of seeking truth

  • (1:09) Finding Opportunities Abroad 

  • (1:15) Closure and Where to Connect


Leafbox:

Today I had the pleasure of speaking and learning from Robert Jefferson. Robert is an American 47 year broadcast news anchor, and Air Force veteran. He's a professor of journalism and has had the majority of his career working in Japan. Aside from his broadcast duties, he has a smaller, intimate project known as the Kamakura Gardener. Today we explore his biography, his disenchantment with corporate media, truth finding and sense-making, and his eventual catharsis in finding local content, connecting community to the gardens and surroundings of Kamakura Japan. He shares his experience finding freedom in Japan and offers an analysis of the decline of journalism and of the West. We talk about his brief stint in Hawaii and the mainland, and offer an option for those considering life abroad and paths for finding opportunity. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy. That's one of my first questions. I think my mom, she introduced me to your videos and I think she fell in love with your voice. You definitely have a beautiful broadcaster voice. Where did you actually grow up in the States?

Robert Jefferson:

I was born in Philadelphia, but I grew up in Montgomery County, which is about an hour north of Philadelphia. And I have what's called a Mid-Atlantic Broadcast accent. I was in broadcasting in the military. That was my job information broadcast specialist. I was a TV news announcer in the Air Force. I was lucky. I insisted. I had an FCC license when I joined. I had been studying up to that point, actually. They tried to make me an inventory management specialist, and I said, hell no. Hell no. And I prevailed, and it didn't take long, just a week or so, and I was sent to a technical school, the Defense Information School of Journalism Public Affairs. I know Honolulu well, I knew Honolulu very well back in the mid eighties for KHVH News Radio 99 and KGU Talk Radio 76. The voice of "Hawaii".

Leafbox:

Well, you actually had the perfect Hawaii accent there. That was pretty well done.

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah, most people have no clue what the W is a “V” sound.

Leafbox:

It's not America and it's not Japan. It's in between both. But here in Hawaii, I think we have, there's a strong sense of Aina, of place, of localism, of culture, of being connected to each other. People have

Robert Jefferson:

The benefit of true diversity. You have the Japanese, the Chinese, the Portuguese, and the Polynesians, and then all of the other imports from around the world. So yeah, it's truly diverse. And that's not some just trite word. It truly is. Yeah. And then the local traditions, the first time I was ever called nigger was in Hawaii, in Honolulu. I was walking home one night from a club or somewhere. I was living in Lower Manoa, and I was walking up the hill from Honolulu. And these young, they were Asian kids, they were drunk or something, and they lean out the window, Hey nigger. That was the first and only time. I never felt any racial discrimination or antipathy or anything like that while I was there. And I was like, well, what the hell was that all about?

Leafbox:

What year was this in?

Robert Jefferson:

85, 86. But yeah, that was the only time. And so I would never let that taint my view or my experience in Hawaii. I mean, I was, it's this young, skinny black kid basically who got hired at two of the best radio stations in town. And then ABC News hired me to come back to, I left Japan to go to Hawaii, and then ABC News hired me to come back. So I'm not sure what that was all about, but that was the only time most people were very kind and gracious.

Leafbox:

So how long were you in Hawaii for?

Robert Jefferson:

About two years. And I meant to do this. I had to go back. When you get older, you kind of forget certain things, especially when it was four decades ago, a year and a half to two years that I was there. And I was able to, actually, I think I may have it, if you give me just a quick second here. There was a recreation of a voyage, a Polynesian voyage, the Hokulea, and I was there when they arrived at the beach, sort of like a spiritual leader, Sam Ka’ai. He was there, and yeah, I'll never forget that. They were blowing a co shell and they were doing all kinds of Hawaiian prayers and whatnot. It was absolutely beautiful.

Leafbox:

I didn't know anything about this. And your biographies kind of limited online a lot about your

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah, I used to be on LinkedIn and all that. I erased it all. I got rid of it all. I don't trust LinkedIn, and I don't mind people knowing about me. But yeah, I would just prefer to have control over it.

Leafbox:

I apologize about these people in, but

Robert Jefferson:

Oh, no, no, no, no. You don't have to apologize at all. You have to apologize.

Leafbox:

Well, I mean, the good thing is you saw some of the darkness in Paradise as well, that there's very complex class issues.

Robert Jefferson:

When I was in Lower Manoa, I lived at, it was a house share, actually an old converted garage share. I was sharing with two other guys. One was Filipino American and the other one was from Detroit, a black American. And the owners were Chinese, and they were really sweet, very nice. The old lady, she used to get, she realized how poor we were. So she used to give us our lunches or dinner boxes, whatever. And she would always say "Sek Fan" , she couldn't speak much English. Sek Fan" is Cantonese for Have you Eaten? Which means How are you? But basically, it literally means have you eaten Shan Shan? And yeah, she's very sweet. Her sons were very nice, very nice. So yeah, I mean, I never had any racial issues except for that one night. Luckily it was just that one night. Yeah, you're right. It's good that I did experience a little darkness in paradise

Leafbox:

Talking about darkness. I just was wondering what your concern a few times in the interview with the Black Experience guy, you talked about how you removed your Facebook account and how you just said that you deleted your LinkedIn

Robert Jefferson:

Pretty much at the same time. Yeah, that was like 2016. I had just gotten fed up with big media.

Leafbox:

Well, that's one of my first questions is that you were in big media. Yeah. What shifted that media disenchantment or disgust?

Robert Jefferson:

Well, it was what Facebook and Zuckerberg were doing, prying into people's private affairs, restricting people from doing this, that and the other. I could see it coming, what we have now, the blacklisting, the shadow banning the outright banning of people. I could see that coming. And I said, I don't want to be any part of this. That's why I did sign up for Twitter years ago. I tried to use it a couple of times, and I was like, what the hell is this for? I couldn't really see the purpose. And it turns out it's just a place for people to go and show off or bitch and complain about each other. I don't want to be a part of that. It's something that Americans don't learn in school, and that is Jacobinism, bolshevism, Communism, Marxism. It is exactly what's happening in the United States now.

It's being taken over. You go back and look at the French Revolution, the Jacobins, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, how they destroyed Russia, what happened in Germany during World War ii, the Nazism and all that. And they're doing it here now. Well, here, they're doing it in the United States now, and most people aren't taught about this stuff. They have no clue. They have no clue what's happening, and you can see it. For example, what's his name? The former FBI Director McCabe back in the seventies when he was in college and just getting out of college, he was identified Marxist, a communist. He was a member of the Communist Party, Brenner, the former CIA director, communist.

And the media won't say anything about them. You try to bring it up and they'll deny it. But I mean, their quotes are out there. They don't deny the quotes. And now these people are running government. I mean, the whole Congress just pisses me off. I mean, how do you have somebody making 170,000 between $170,000 and $200,000 a year owning million dollar mansions? What's Maxine Waters in California? She owns a four and a half million dollar house on a $170,000 salary. That's impossible. Nancy Pelosi is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Her husband is worth more.

Leafbox:

Robert, why don't we go back one second, and just for people who don't know about your career and who you are, just a one minute biography for people.

Robert Jefferson:

Currently, I am a broadcast journalist. I work for Japan's public Broadcaster, NHK, at which I am a news writer and an announcer. I worked for two sections of NHK , NHK World tv, and I also work for the domestic service channel one as an announcer. We have what's called here, bilingual news. And the evening news is translated by a huge staff of translators and simultaneous interpreters, and I'm one of the on-Air English language announcers. So on a sub-channel, sub audio channel, how you can tune into either Japanese or English or both. You can split the channels. NHK world TV is internet based. It's for a foreign audience. It's not allowed to be broadcast in Japan, sort of like Voice of America used to be banned from broadcasting in the United States until Barack Obama came along. It was illegal for the United States government to propagandize its citizens, and the Voice of America is considered to be propaganda.

And Barack Obama changed that to allow them to broadcast propaganda to American citizens. But anyway, I digress. So yeah, I've been in broadcasting as a professional. It'd be 50 years in 2026, actually started learning broadcasting in 1974. So next year will be my 50th anniversary as a novice, at least. I started in Philadelphia. I started, I heard it at W-D-A-S-A-M at FM in Philadelphia, if you can see that. I think it says 1977. I actually started in 1976, and I also worked at WRTI in Philadelphia, Temple University's radio station. And that was back in the late mid seventies. And then in 2003, when I went back to the States, I worked at WRTI, Temple University's radio station for a short while, while I was still in Philadelphia. Sorry to be jumping around like this, but right now, yes, I work for NHK right now. I was in high school.

I started studying television production in high school in 1974 as a freshman. And then in 1976, I went to work as an intern, a production assistant at WDAS AM and FM in Philadelphia. People may remember Ed Bradley. He was with 60 Minutes. He got his start at, I don't know, maybe not his start, but he did work at WDAS in Philadelphia for a short time. And I went on and joined. I was enrolled at Temple University after high school in 1978, and I only spent one semester there because I was just sick and tired of sitting in classrooms after having spent 12 years in grade school and already had experience. I even had a federal communications commission's license, a third class radio telephone operators permit, which I still have somewhere around here, the certificate be in the business. I wanted to be, my dream was to be a foreign correspondent, which came true later.

I'll get to that. And I wanted to be a war correspondent, but there were no wars at the time because the Vietnam War had ended, had it continued, I probably would've been drafted, but it ended in 75, and I came of age, well military age in 77. So I decided to join the Air Force. A friend of mine was thinking of joining the Air Force, and he wanted me to come along and basically sit with him and hold his hand while he talked to an Air Force recruiter. And so I went along and listened to him, and after he finished his spiel with my friend Tony, he turned to me and said, well, what about you? And I said, I'm fine. I'm enrolled at Temple University. And yeah, I've been a pursue a broadcasting career. And he said, well, don't you realize that the United States military has the largest network at the time in the world?

And I said, really? Never heard of that? And he said, yeah, I'll come back and I'll bring some pamphlets and show you what we have. So he did, did come back, and there was the promise of being stationed overseas. I wanted to be a foreign correspondent. And so here I had an opportunity to travel the world and be paid for doing something in the United States military, at least that I wanted to do. And it was so enticing that I said, sure, I'll do it. I said, get away from the college classes. That would just totally boring. And to continue doing what I had already been doing for the past couple of years, four years at least. So yeah, I signed up and went to the Defense Information School of Journalism and Public Affairs. Overall, it was about a two year course and my first assignment, I was never stationed stateside. All of my assignments were overseas. My first assignment was in Southern Turkey at Interlink Air Base, just outside the southern Turkish city of Adana, just off the Mediterranean coast, just above Greece and Cyprus, close to the border with Syria and not too far from Lebanon.

Leafbox:

Where did this interest for the foreign come from? Was your family also military family, or where did you have Philadelphia? Why were you concerned with the rest of the world?

Robert Jefferson:

My family wasn't, we weren't traveling military. All of my grandfather was a jet engine mechanic in World War ii. My father was in the Korean War, but he was stationed in Germany. His younger brothers were also in the Korean War. They wanted to take advantage of the GI Bill, which they did. My father went on to study architecture at Drexel University in Philadelphia, but from a very young age, I was very curious about news. My first recollection, well, what I remember most about my childhood, the earliest recollection that I have of my childhood was November 22nd, 1963. I was three years old when John F. Kennedy was shot. And I was wondering, why are all of these adults staring at the television and crying, and why is the TV on all the time? All day long, we had this black and white TV sitting in the living room. We lived in Philadelphia at the time, and I was just fascinated.

I could still remember the cortage of Kennedy's horse-drawn coffin on top of a horse-drawn carriage going down. I guess it was Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House or wherever. I'm pretty sure it was the White House. And ever since that, I was just curious. I would sit when my mother would have her little cocktail parties or whatever, I would sit in the other room and eavesdrop. I was just curious about what they were talking about. I was always curious about news. Back in the sixties, you had the African liberation movements and the assassinations of African leaders. The Vietnam War was in full swing. Well, after Kennedy was assassinated and Johnson came in. Then there was the moon, the space race, how the Soviets were winning the space race, the first country to put a satellite in space, the first country to put an animal in space, the first country to put a man in space, the first country to put a woman in space, the first country to put a person of African descent in space in Americas was being shown up. See, we don't learn this stuff in school, but you could fact check me. Yeah, we had had newspapers galore. We had the Philadelphia Daily Bulletin in the morning and afternoon. We had the Philadelphia Enquirer. They had two papers a day. Of course, there was no internet back then, but people actually read the newspaper and actually talked about it. It was okay to talk about things. The civil rights movement was in full swing. It was quite a heady time to be young and impressionable.

Leafbox:

Robert, did your sister share this interest in media and international, your twin sister, you have?

Robert Jefferson:

No, not at all. Not at all. And I've, she recently joined Telegram, and I sent her a little welcome message, and then I tried to send her something newsworthy and she didn't want to hear it. She even said, I don't want to be seeing things like this. I forget exactly what it was. And so I deleted it. And I've never said anything like that. I have an older brother. I have two older sisters who are also twins, and then an older brother, and we used to send each other articles and we used to talk about things. But there's been a huge divide I found in America. A lot of people have joined a team, a tribe, and they don't want to hear anything else, whether it's the cult Covidian or the staunch Democrats or the staunch Republicans, the MAGA country people or whatever, people, a lot of people just don't want to talk anymore. But back in the sixties and seventies, people talked. They argued and they went out and had a barbecue together. There wasn't this vitriol in this division. Now, and this is done on purpose to divide and rule people. This is all being done on purpose. But back to your point, yeah, my sister, she was interested in sports. I wasn't. I became the house announcer at basketball games. I did play in junior high school. I did play football, but that was about it. I never played basketball, never learned the rules, never learned the positions. It just didn't interest me. I saw brothers fighting over basketball games and whatnot, destroying each other's bicycles over, and these were brothers how they went home and solved it, I don't know. But

Leafbox:

Just moving forward a bit in time to Japan, you do the Air Force, they train you to be a journalist or announcer, and then how do you get to Japan?

Robert Jefferson:

Not only that announcer, a writer, a camera operator, a technical operator pressing all the buttons in the control room, ENG, electronic news gathering, the little mini cam on the shoulder thing, everything they taught.

Leafbox:

I mean, this might be a direct question, but you talked about propandandizing the population, being educated as a journalist or person in the Air Force seems, I'm curious how that educational experience is different than maybe how you're teaching a Temple and what the goals of that information management is.

Robert Jefferson:

Well, it is interesting. I dunno if you've seen the movie, Good Morning, Vietnam. Remember the two twins who were censors, the identical twins who were censoring, they would stand in the other room just beyond the glass, staring at the DJ or whatever, making sure they don't say anything wrong or if they're reading the news or something. That's Hollywood. There was never any such censor. We had no one censoring us. We had host nation sensitivities. Here I am in Southern Turkey during the Iran hostage crisis. No one stood over my shoulder censoring me. When I put together a newscast, it was my responsibility, and nobody told me what I couldn't say or what I couldn't say. It was just be respectful. We are in a predominantly Muslim country, Turkey, and so be respectful. And I was actually studying Islam at the time, and so I was one of the few people who could pronounce the names of the people in the news back then, the Iranian Foreign Minister or the Iranian president, the Iranian Foreign Minister.. , and the president's name was..., and I was one of the only people who could even pronounce these names.

And the Saudi Arabian, who was the OPEC oil chief, Ahmed Zaki Yamani. I was studying Arabic at the time. I was studying Turkish and Arabic, and so I could pronounce these names, but we didn't have censorship. We used the wire services, United Press International, UPI and Associated Press AP. And they had some really good broadcast wires and far different than today. They were real journalists. Then.

There may have been some slants pro this or pro that pro Europe, pro-Israel or whatever, but it wasn't as blatant as it is today. I think we were far more objective and neutral back then than what I hear today, especially on the corporate networks, the big American networks, the cable networks and whatnot. We were far more objective and neutral than what people are listening to today. And this was in the Air Force. So the news that I was broadcasting was basically pretty much the same as people heard on the radio while driving to work in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, although I was in Southern Turkey, we tried to recreate the American media atmosphere there as either as DJs or news announcers, because we had all of the same inputs that you would have at a radio and television station back in the state. The obvious slants that you see today, that CNN, for example.

Leafbox:

What about Japan? That's one of my main critiques or questions I have about how the Japanese media is managed and your analysis as an American of how that media consensus is created in Japan. If you have any opinion on that.

Robert Jefferson:

Well, it seems to me, I've noticed, I've worked in Japanese media now for 40 years. It seems to me that now there's been a huge change. Japanese media used to be more curious than they are now. They seem to follow, how should I put it, the status quo, the western status quo. Don't, for example, the war in Ukraine between Russia and Ukraine, they're calling it an unprovoked attack on Ukraine. It was not unprovoked. Hello? There was a coup d'etat instigated by the United States during the aba, the Barack Obama administration, the overthrew, a democratically elected, the first democratically elected president of Ukraine, was overthrown by a US backed coup led by the state department's, Victoria Neuland and John McCain was there, John Kerry was there, Neuland. She was there handing out cookies in Maidan Square, and now they called it an unprovoked invasion. The Ukrainians were killing their own people.

They happened to be ethnic Russians, but they were killing their own people. 14,000 of them were dying in Eastern Ukraine. The Donetsk Lugansk don't question that. To answer your question, the Japanese don't question. They just go along with whatever Reuters is saying, whatever the AP is saying, whatever the Western American corporate TV networks or cable news are saying, it is just blindly following the status quo. And years ago, they didn't do that. They're taking sides because Japan and Russia have some territorial disputes, some four northern islands that Russia invaded and took over in the closing days of World War ii. And Japan and Russia have yet to sign a peace treaty. They have diplomatic relations, but they've yet to sign a peace treaty because the Japanese were upset that the Russians won't vacate those adds and give them back. But there's a lot of untruths being told in Japanese media about what's going on, that the Ukrainians are winning when they're obviously losing, that the Russians committing atrocities. And it's been proven that the Ukrainians military has committed far more atrocities than the Russians have, and on and on.

Leafbox:

Do you think that change in journalistic culture, where does that come from? Is that from just external pressure, the lack of, why do you think? Is that because of the decline of Japan economically, the independence that it's had? I'm just curious where you think that

Robert Jefferson:

There's a lot of them. Yeah, it is the economic decline. It's wanting to feel as though there's a feeling, in my opinion anyway. I sense that there's a feeling among the Japanese leadership that they want to be accepted. They have been accepted in the Western Bloc. That's a full fledged member of the Western Bloc, and they don't want to lose that position. But they sense it's obvious that economically Japan has fallen very far, and basically it's suicide. We had trade representatives, and I still remember some of the names, Charlene Barshefsky, the US Trade representative coming to Japan, forcing Japan to stop being successful economically, forcing their automobile companies and other industries to stop being so goddamn successful. How dare, how dare you produce such wonderful cars that everyone wants to buy, especially from the 1970s when they produced cars with great, great mileage, gasoline mileage.

And here we are watching Japan. It's already slipped from number two to number three behind China, United States. And United States is not the number one economic power anymore. And Western media, American media won't admit that, but America may have more in the way of money or wealth. But when it comes to purchasing power, there's an index called PPP, purchasing Power Parity, and then there's also manufacturing China, far outstrips the United States in manufacturing capacity and purchasing power of parity. So China is number one economically. The United States is number two. Japan is number three, but it's about to lose that spot to Germany, but then Germany is going to lose it to whoever. I mean, Germany economy has been screwed. Again, it's another example of the German economy is another example of how a company is committing suicide. All the EU is basically committing suicide, allowing the United States to blow up the Nord Stream pipeline, and it's like, whoa, we don't know who did it? Who did that? Who did? Okay, well knock it off. Joe Biden ordered that pipeline being destroyed, and we have him on tape saying that if the Russians do this, that pipeline is dead. We have Victoria Neuland saying basically the same thing. We have a Twitter message from someone in the US State Department to, I think it was the Polish leader. The job is done, and she got fired soon after that. I mean, it's all a sick game, a deadly game being played here.

Leafbox:

As a journalist and as a thinker about media information management, how do you think you are seeing through it? How are you seeing through the untruths? Why does writers at the New York Times differ? Is it because you're a foreigner in Japan that you think you have that, or where do you get that independent spark from?

Robert Jefferson:

I've got nearly 50 years of experience in news in international news as a foreign correspondent with ABC news here in Japan. I was also the Tokyo correspondent for the West German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle Radio at the same time that I was working with ABC. And at that time, I was also an announcer at Tokyo Broadcasting System. It was a weekend anchor at Japan able television. I did some radio programs and entertainment program music programs here in Japan. I've been around the world, not all everywhere. I haven't been to Africa, I haven't been to South America, but Europe and Asia and Pacific I've been to and covered stories. I can see how the news coverage has changed. It's very obvious to me. I can see right through it. I stopped watching television. I've got a television here. I've got one downstairs, big TVs. I don't even watch them anymore. I may hook them up to my computer and watch something online on my TVs, but I don't watch CNN. I don't watch Fox News. I'll watch little snippets of it online.

And one of my heroes was Peter Jennings, someone I really looked up to. He was with ABC. He started at ABC back in the sixties when he was 26 years old. He was an anchor for ABC's World News tonight. It may not have been called World News tonight then, but ABC's Evening News, whatever it was called back then. His father was a Canadian. He's Canadian. Well, he naturalized as an American citizen eventually, but his father was a news executive in Canada and Peter Jennings, I mean, he was a high school dropout. He never went to college, but he was absolutely brilliant. He was an autodidact. And yeah, I think he was quite brilliant. He didn't need such diplomas and degrees and things, but he felt that he needed to leave the anchor role and go and hone his skills as a journalist, which he did.

And he stayed with ABC, and he became the chief international correspondent based in London. And back in the early eighties, there was a tripartite anchor team, Frank Reynolds in Washington, max Robinson, the first black network news anchor in the United States. He was based in Chicago, and Peter Jennings was based in London. They had a wonderful, wonderful, and the ABC Evening News back then was absolutely wonderful. They actually told you what was going on around the world, but you could learn the names of countries and cities and leaders and places and people, and now you've got people on these networks now who can't even pronounce names correctly. Even people who are foreign correspondents can't even find places on maps. It's just, it's sad to see how low journalism has fallen and trust in journalism has really fallen. I mean, it's in the single digits now, which is sad.

So yeah, I can see through, I mean, the whole situation that erupted in February of 2022 in Ukraine, people like unprovoked attack by Russia. Russia wants to take over Europe. No, they don't. They simply want to be left alone. The United States under Bill Clinton tried to rob Russia, tried to go in there and steal Russian industry, the Soviet industry, basically to use the oligarchs who basically swooped in and scooped up all of these industries and made billions of dollars who were trying to persuade born Yeltsin who was suffering from alcoholism to basically sell out his country. He wasn't stupid, but he did have an alcohol problem, and he turned to Vladimir Putin and told him basically, dude, you got to help save Russia. A lot of Americans don't know the history between Russia and the United States, that Russia supported the American Revolution, that Russia parked some of its armada, naval armada off the coast of New York Harbor and told the French and off the coast of I think the Carolinas, and told the British and the French, don't you dare interfere in the American Civil War. The French and the British were trying to help the South and against the north, and the Russians, the Russian empires said, no, no, don't you dare.

Leafbox:

In one of the interviews you had with the, I forget the host of the name, but you said that you feel free in Japan. I forget the exact quote. You said, maybe like I'm a free black man in Japan.

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah.

Leafbox:

How does that connotate to how you analyze the world? I mean, do you think if you had been 40 year career in the States, you'd have this lens?

Robert Jefferson:

I have been back to the States once the first time to Hawaii for two years, and then when I was in 2000, I was turning, I think by the time I went back, yeah, well, that year, 2000, I turned 40. So I have been back to the states, and I had no desire to work for corporate media. I went back and went to work for WHYY in Philadelphia, which is an NPR and PBS affiliate, and I actually was an NPR correspondent. I was their Philadelphia correspondent. While I was there covering expressly presidential visits, whenever a George Bush would come to town, president Bush would come to town, I would join the White House press pool at the airport and ride in the presidential motorcade into the city and follow the president around. I was a pool reporter, and then I left WHYY and went out west.

I wanted to challenge myself and do more. So I went into media management and worked at a community radio station in Portland, Oregon. And then I went to another community radio station owned by Bellevue Community College, just outside of Seattle, Washington, and went into a management there as assistant general manager and program director at a radio station there. And it was wonderful to work at a nonprofit media organization teaching people how to do news. And when I was there, Portland, Oregon was voted year after year as the most livable city in America. Look at it now, a shithole, a shithole of left-wing people who've just destroyed the city. And I'd always consider myself left. But at 63 years old, now I'm conservative, not a Republican conservative. No, I'm just conservative of hopefully someone who's got a little bit of wisdom and who would like to conserve decency and morality and people's right to practice whatever religion they want to and to say what they want to look at, how free speech is being eroded in the United States.

Now, some of the things, I'm talking to you now, I'd be criticized or banished from saying, and this is by people on the left. We never heard anybody on the right saying banished them. And I remember when I was in Hawaii at KHVH News Radio, rush Limbaugh was getting his start. He was on KHVH. Larry King was on KHVH, and we allowed people to say what they wanted to say, Limbaugh. He would take the word liberal and say liberal. He would just vomit it out. But you had another voice on there, Larry King and other voices, left, right, center, whatever. And now look at how polarized and divided America is today. It is sad. It's very sad. But yeah, it is not like I'm here in Japan in a bubble. I can see everything. You see, I don't watch television, so I'm not watching KION or what, I forget what the other stations are. I wouldn't watch them. But if something is newsworthy, I can go online and see what's happening in Lahaina or Lana, as most of the journalists these days call it. They don't even do your research, learn the pronunciation, and they even put up a transliteration on the screen, L-A-H-H-A-Y-nah. It's not Laina, it's Lahaina.

It's just laziness. A lot of journalism today is just laziness going along to get along, being part of the team. And this is what I didn't like about sports growing up, just seeing brothers fighting over a goddamn ball game. And here we have that now, this sports mentality, this tribal mentality of wearing colors and painting your face colors of your team, and it's bled into our politics. Now. I remember the house speaker Tip O'Neill, he would say something, oh, my friend across the aisle, now it's that terrorist across the aisle or that oph file across the aisle or something. America has really devolved, and as someone who grew up at a time when in the sixties, up until the early to mid seventies, we didn't lock our doors. There were no home invasions. What happened in Lewiston, Maine yesterday, 22 people being shot. We didn't have kids going into school, shooting up each other. We had kids walking down the street with a shotgun over their shoulder. They were going to hunt some squirrels or deer hunting or something, and they did it right. They registered their guns, they wore the orange stuff, and what the hell happened? What happened to families? What happened to mother and father? Now you've got single women raising kids, fathers, making babies, and walking away, what the hell happened to America? And it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

Leafbox:

Going back to Japan, I'm just curious, Japan has a history of political violence and disagreement.

Robert Jefferson:

Last year we had the assassination of a former Prime minister.

Leafbox:

Correct. So I think

Robert Jefferson:

The attempt assassination this year of another one, it's successor.

Leafbox:

So I'm just curious how you contrast that to the us or if you do, or I always feel like information in Japan is actually more free

If you look for it.

Robert Jefferson:

YouTube channel, well, not used, but websites aren't banned here in Japan as they are in the eu. They don't have these draconian measures like the EU does. And the United States would love to impose information flows freely here in Japan, if you know where to look for it. If you want it, you can look for it. You can get a VPN and disguise your location and find out more information. But yeah, political violence, there's a long history of it here. I mean, going back thousands of years, I mean, Kamakura, the city I live in here, there's a monument and the graveside of a guy named Hino who had his head lopped off because he disobeyed a Shogun. And just this morning I walked past his little, this little graveside. It is like, wow. And I looked into the history of it. He got beheaded because he disagreed or the win against a local warlord or Shogun, the leader of, well, Japan wasn't unified then, but it was becoming unified.

But yeah, Japan was extremely fascistic at the turn of the last century, the 20th century, prime ministers were assassinated. The military took over, got Japan involved in World War ii. Yeah, yeah. But it's been very peaceful here, post World War ii, there are lots of heinous crimes that are committed every day, seemingly ordinary people. People you wouldn't expect to fathers against sons, sons against fathers or against mothers. It happens here. Japan is not a paradise here, but it is. I do lock my doors here, but no one has ever bothered me here at my home. No one's bothered my car. People are very decent. There's decency here that is disappearing fast, disappearing in the United States. Neighbors who won't talk to you in the United States, I know my neighbors here. One reason I moved out of Tokyo is because neighbors, you lived in an apartment building. You get on an elevator, you're like, well, who are you? I wanted to know who you are.

I'm Robert. I live on the sixth floor. Who are you? I demanded people to know who people were. But here, people are curious. They want to know, well, who's this black guy who moved here when I moved here 17 years ago, and now everybody knows me. The police know who I am. They come by and check on me. They have a registration that you fill out so that they know who's who. But yeah, I've never bothered by the police. I don't fear going to the police station. I laugh and joke with him. One policeman came on his motorbike years ago when I first moved here a few years after I moved here. And he was just doing his patrols. And he slipped and fell, and he had some mud on his boots and up his pant leg. And so I helped him wash it off and whatnot. And we had a good laugh about that. Yeah, I mean, it is, I don't have to put up with foolishness, and I'll look at things on Twitter or X as it's called now, of black, especially youth running amuck in the states, going into convenience stores or department stores and just going crazy, acting crazy in fast food joints, tearing the place up, throwing chairs and tables and stuff. It's like, what the hell? I never experienced that when I lived in the United States. And everybody thinks it's normal now.

That happens. Something terrible is going on in the United States, as you say. It's happened in Venezuelas, it's happened in Colombia, it's happened in Mexico, it's happening in Europe. Now. The chickens are coming home to roost. I don't know, but something is afoot, and I'm simply saying, not today, Satan. Not here, not with me.

Leafbox:

So maybe we can go to your gardening project, Robert, because that sounds like a, to me, it feels like a counter to all that negative energy. You have this personal space, and you have such a wonderful voice and broadcast history, but now you're producing this content that offers an alternative. So I'd love to know where that comes from and why you're doing it.

Robert Jefferson:

It's catharsis, it's healing. Nearly 50 years of covering wars and murder and mayhem and thievery, and just, I'll admit it, it's still exciting when news happens. It's exciting to see. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be the first to know and the first to tell. I wasn't a snitch. No. But that's what attracted me to journalism was being the first to know and the first to spread the word for me. Now, after all these years, five, six decades of reporting the news, I'm tired. Some or so that I gave up drinking three years ago. I gave up alcohol, completely, cold Turkey in one day, April 30th, May 1st next day, Mayday, mayday, mayday. I was alcohol free. And I had been since then, desire, I even had still a few bottles left in the fridge and here and there, and I gave them away.

I had no desire to drink anymore. So my gardening, I've been doing that pretty much all of my life with some breaks in between. I grew up gardening, helping a neighbor, particularly with her garden. And then as a teenager, when I was also working at the radio station, and on weekends, during the week, especially in the summertime, during summer break, I worked for a landscaper, a guy in my town. He had a landscaping business. And I love working with plants, either cutting them down or helping them grow. Yeah, it is just beautiful for me. This is very cathartic, the gardening. And then something said, well, I've been doing this for years and I'm not, I thought about YouTube years ago, and it's like, nah, it is the alcohol that made me so lazy. I didn't even want to do it. And then finally, oh, about 2016 or so, 2016 I think it was, I made one video, and if you go back and you can see my very first video, it's featured my two dogs at the time, my band spunky and just showing my garden.

And then three years ago when I quit drinking, I needed something to do with my time because I'm an independent contractor, so I don't have a set schedule, schedule changes, and sometimes I'm busy and sometimes I'm not back. Three years ago, I was not very busy at all, and now I'm extremely busy and I love it. But yeah, it was a chance to channel my energies into something productive and to give something back to the world. Instead of talking about how many people got murdered in Lewiston, Maine yesterday, how to take this little seed, sprout it, grow it into a tree that's taller than me now, and to give something back. A lot of my subscribers and viewers, as you say, they mentioned how calming my videos are. And I think now that you've heard me talk for a while, you can see why I do what I do.

I've got a lot in me that's just screaming to get out, and it's not all negative, but there's a lot of negativity out there. And instead of joining that bandwagon, I decide to put this energy into something that can hopefully, even if people don't want to get into gardening or they can't because they live in an apartment. Someone just sent me a message the other day saying, I mentioned growing stuff. If you have a balcony, and they said, no, I live in an apartment. I don't have a balcony. Then I thought about, yeah, there's a lot of people who don't even have balconies, but if they can't do gardening, at least I can bring them some sort of enjoyment or peace of mind for the 15 or 20 minutes that they're watching my channel.

Leafbox:

Well, that's why I enjoy it. I think you're offering kind of like, yeah, just a counter to that negative informational, and also being in Japan, you're creating, as an American, you're offering this alternative Look, you can live in this calm way. You can go to the gardening store and be polite. You don't have to rob the store. You don't have to get in a fight. You can share this space. And you met this British guy, and he's doing the natural farming. Another form,

Robert Jefferson:

Actually, he's Dutch.

Leafbox:

Oh, Dutch, sorry.

Robert Jefferson:

He studied in Britain. He went to Oxford. And yeah.

Leafbox:

Anyway, it's just nice to see you building this community. I mean, you have the community of foreign correspondents and Japanese broadcasters, so it's nice to see you go very local, but now you're sort to, you can feel the layers building you're building.

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah, you're absolutely right. This is one reason why I wanted to come back to Japan. I went back to the States, and I was there for five years. Even though the people here is a majority Japanese country, it's not as homogeneous as you think it is because the foreign communities are growing here, especially other Asians, Vietnamese and Chinese and Koreans. The article in the newspaper just yesterday that I saw that the numbers are increasing quite a bit, but it's a place to come and meet people from all over the world. Hendrick, my neighbor here, I walked past this house every morning and I'm like, this is Hendrick. This is interesting. And then one afternoon I walked past and I see, oh, this is your place. And he looked at me like, who are you? Like, well, who are you? Why are you half naked out here in somebody's front yard and it's his front yard?

And I said, dude, we sat and talked for an hour and a half, and then I came back with the camera. I said, if you don't mind, I'd like you to give me a garden tour and whatnot. He just sent me an email this morning. He's going back to Shizuoka, which is south of here. He's got some land there. Him and his son are going down for the weekend to do some work on the land they just bought. They don't have a structure on the land yet, but they're just working the land. Yeah, it's a chance to meet people from all over the world. And I found that when I was in the States, there's this closed mindedness, this closed mentality. You in Honolulu, you've got a lot more, as we were saying earlier, there's a lot more diversity, cultural diversity, ethnic diversity, and that makes a living in Hawaii so nice is that diversity.

It's not just all the same types of people or people. They had their enclaves here and there, but there's more of in the United States, I mean even in places like New York or even the larger cities, people are separated in different enclaves. Here, there's a lot more melding in, well, it wouldn't make sense for all Americans to live in this section or all the Chinese to live in that section. But I mean, you do like an ost, there's a preponderance. There's a lot more people of Korean descent than in other cities. And in Yokohama, a lot more people of Chinese descent. But you don't have these ghettos that you see, these ethnic ghettos that you see in the States. So here, it's, it's a place to be, place to be yourself, to be oneself, to be who you are. A lot of people, especially when they're young, they come here and they do this.

If, I dunno if you remember that song, turning Japanese, I forget who, a Divo or somebody turning Japanese. Oh, yes, I'm turning Japanese. Oh, yes, I think so. I forget who did the song. And people play that little thing. Everybody goes through that. We're in kimono and going to the Matsui, the festivals and stuff. Everybody goes through that. Then you've kind of had enough of that. But it's a place to, because I don't care. Even if you get Japanese citizenship, you're never going to be Japanese. So it's a chance to come and find out who you are. I don't have to speak like a brother from the hood, and I really can't do it anyway, so I better not even try. I don't have to act black. You may see in some of my speech patterns and mannerisms and whatnot, but I can just be me. We were talking, you were trying to figure out my accent. Earlier. When I was in high school and junior high school, I used to be ridiculed by other black kids. Bobby talked like he white because, well, if you notice, most children speak very clearly. They don't have black accents or this accent or that they speak very clearly. It's not until they get into puberty and beyond that, they start adopting these speech mannerisms of black or Asian or whatever.

Leafbox:

Do you think Japanese have the same freedom when they come to the US or when they leave Japan?

Robert Jefferson:

Yes. Yes. Because Japanese are under extraordinary pressures to fit in, to join a company, to fit into society, to not break the rules. It's a very rules-based society. And that's why you see such rebellion. And a lot of it, it may be superficial. A young Japanese kid with dreadlocks or now since the nineties, the big fat is to bleach blonde your hair, bleach your hair blonde. It's such a, and they're trying. Even still, there's a debate going on for high schoolers about the length of hair. They have to keep their hair at a certain length. The girls can't perm their hair. In many of the schools, the boys, if they have curly hair, they have to straighten it. And now you've got kids of mixed heritage. And there was a kid who's part black and part Japanese, and he was trying to wear cornrows at his graduation ceremony and couldn't attend. They banned it from attending and things like that. But see, I didn't grow up that way. I didn't grow up here for one. But yeah, there's a huge pressure. There's a lot of pressure, tremendous pressure for Japanese to conform, and they leave a lot of 'em still. There's a huge desire, oh, I want to go to the States, because they can finally explore who they are, who they want to become.

And I had many students when I was teaching at Temple for 13 years, they said, yeah, next semester I'll be going to the main campus. And my advice was, be careful, make good friends and be very careful. But I said, go and explore. I mean, you're going to meet some wonderful people there, and you'll meet some horrible people. Some of them will be white, some of them will be black, some of them will be fellow Asians. You're going to have good times and bad times, but just take care. Be careful. Watch your back.

Leafbox:

Robert, talking about your classes at Temple, I think you were teaching ethics. What were you teaching? Ethics. I taught Journalism. I taught journalism. I started teaching media management and organization. That was my first course. Then I taught writing courses. And then at the end, I was teaching, the last four years or so, five years maybe. I was teaching ethics in journalism and the history of journalism. They were separate courses. So I taught history one semester, ethics, the next history, the ethics, the next, or over the summer I teach one or the other. So the history of journalism and ethical issues in journalism. Yeah.

Well, I was just curious about what topics you were particularly interested in the ethics of journalism.

Robert Jefferson:

A lot of it dealt with hypocrisy in the media and using clips from media showing the hypocrisy and the outright lies, showing how, for example, CNN, there's a CNN correspondent in London, staging a demonstration. They went and got a group of people from a particular group. They were Muslims, and I forget exactly what they were protesting against, but they were actually telling people where to stand and how to stand. And the cameraman only framed these people in the shot to make it look like it was a huge crowd, but it was only about 10 or 12 people. I don't know why they recorded the whole thing, but I showed them the clip of the correspondent and the producers telling people what to do, when to hold up their signs. And then suddenly, oh, we're live now in London and it's all fake. And I played a lot of them. Have you seen the clip of the news catches like a montage of clips of newscasters all across the United States. We're concerned about our democracy. And they're all saying the same thing.

Leafbox:

Yes, it's troubling. I played

Robert Jefferson:

That years ago, three, four years ago to my classes. And that was from Sinclair Broadcasting. They had all of their affiliates around the country read the same script, and somebody got ahold of all of them and put them all together in this montage. And that was three years ago. And look what we have now, people being canceled for saying the wrong thing. And these news organizations claiming to want to protect democracy. No, no, no. This is what communists do. And in America, we don't learn about the communist Ong. In China, the cultural revolution back in the 1970s, it wasn't that long ago, just 50 years ago, of students going after their professors, putting paint on their faces, making them wear dunk caps and stuff. And what's the guy's name? Weinstein in Oregon, who was raked over the coals by his student.

Leafbox:

Oh, Brett Weinstein. Yes. Weinstein. That was before Covid

Robert Jefferson:

Out of his university. Him and his wife. Yeah. Yeah. And I was being, they didn't have the balls. My core supervisor, temple University didn't have the balls to confront me. He wouldn't even have, we never once sat down and have a conversation. How about anything? He's one of these probably Marxists. I mean, they were marching up and down the streets supporting George Floyd, who just recently this news came out when he died, that he was not killed by the police officer. And this is what I was trying to tell my students. He died of a fentanyl and not fentanyl. It's fentanyl. Look at how the word spell you idiots. NYL is nil. Tylenol, fentanyl. And you got broadcasters who don't even know the difference, can't even pronounce the word correctly. But he died of a drug overdose. Fentanyl was in his system. Alcohol was in his system, cocaine was in his system. And what was he doing when he got arrested? He was trying to steal from a shop owner by passing counterfeit bills. And he and the police officer were bouncers at a nightclub. They knew each other, they knew each other. But that was hushed. This whole thing was hushed and cities burned. Milwaukee burned. Five police officers in Dallas were killed. Shot in their cars or on the street or wherever. Five of 'em just murdered by B bbl, M and Antifa.

Leafbox:

And what was your relationship with the Temple professor? You were saying?

Robert Jefferson:

He was my core supervisor and he was talking behind my back, calling me a conspiracy theorist. Journalist should be conspiracy theorists. That's why we had, I have Stone and Jack Anderson and Seymour Hirsch, who's still alive. And Glenn Greenwald. All journalists should be conspiracy theorists. We have to theorize about conspiracies because our government carries them out. The Nord streaming bombing was a conspiracy to tell Germany and the rest of Europe stay in line. The Gulf of Tonkin incident, it was a conspiracy to get America more involved. The Vietnam War, the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a conspiracy not only of the Japanese, but Theodore Roosevelt, not Theodore Roosevelt. Franklin Roosevelt, FDR, to get America involved in World War ii, and he blamed it on Commanders of the Pacific fleets. There we should always be conspiracy. And this is what I was trying to teach my students to always ask questions. When I was a news director at the radio station at Portland, I was news and public affairs director, and I would put little reminders on the wall. Stay curious. Always stay here when somebody crossed out the C and put an F. Stay furious.

And yeah, this is what I was trying to teach my students to question authority. Our job as journalists is to give voice to the voiceless and to question those in power. Not to just power what they say. I mean, this whole Covid thing, especially Black people who were complaining about systemic racism, they ran out to get the man's poison injected into them multiple times. And now we're learning just how dangerous that shit is. People dying of myocarditis, sports, people first and now just regular people, children, they injected the shit into children. My own twin sister, she got injected and now she doesn't want to talk much about her medical problems. I mean, this is what the media has done to the United States in particular. It's happened here too.

Leafbox:

Robert, do you know what post-truth is, meaning the sense that we're moving into a media empire state, that it's almost impossible to know what's real or what's true AI like you're talking about the CNN,

Robert Jefferson:

It's Orwellian

Leafbox:

Generating narratives. What are some tools?

Robert Jefferson:

We have AI news announcers now. Yeah,

Leafbox:

I know, but how do you try to stay sane in a world where it's like a Philip k Dick universe in the sense that everything is unreal and unreal at the same time? So how do you navigate this post-truth? Reality?

Robert Jefferson:

You have to have a good knowledge base. You have to have lifelong learning. When you see that link in something online or whatever, click that link. Go deeper. When you see that word you don't know, click on it and look up that word. Broaden your knowledge base, read history. Go onto YouTube and look at some of the historical documentaries. And one, some of it, it's bullshit, but the more knowledge you have read books. Who's reading books anymore? Not many people, whether it's an audio book, but you can listen to it, or if it's an ebook. Read study history. That's why I was telling you about the history between Russia and the United States. Most of us Americans have no freaking clue that Russia and the United States were once so very close. That's why Russia sold us Alaska for pennies on the dollar, and it was so far away. They hadn't even explored much of their far east. But yeah, and most people don't know that Russia and the United States, that Soviet Union were allies in World War ii. It was that Russia did most of the heavy killing in World War II to defeat the Germans. We're not taught that.

The whole thing with a Russiagate, you remember that? It was totally bogus. I was trying to tell my students then that this is bullshit. It was all bullshit, and I was proven right. I'm not there anymore. I tell the truth, but I was right. And those students will hopefully realize that their professor was trying to tell them the truth, and my superiors were trying to undermine me, and it is just sickening to see that whole Hillary Clinton cooked up that whole Russiagate thing and the FBI went along the FBI should be disbanded. The CIA was involved in overthrowing a duly elected president. And if it happens to Trump, I don't care what you think about Trump, I'm not. Are you a Trump supporter? No, I'm not a Trump supporter. I'm a truth supporter, and I would say this in class. I'd be the honest, do you support Trump?

No, I don't support, I didn't support Barack Obama either. Here's this obscure, skinny Black dude from Chicago who's elevated to the presidency, first to the Senate, and then the presidency. This is all bullshit. It's all bullshit. He's fake. I'm sorry, but yeah, the key is, is to become an autodidact, mean someone who learns on their own. Yeah. See, and a lot, Al Robert, you're just a conspirator theorist. It's like grow up. I've had enough, I tried to warn people about the Covid injections. It is totally bogus, and most people don't realize that the whole thing was a Department of Defense project. Most Americans had no clue. That was all DOD working with the Chinese. Anthony Fauci sent millions of dollars because of gain of function. It has been banned in the United States, but they did it anyway, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. So they farmed it out to the Chinese and then blamed it on them. Isn't that some nasty shit?

Leafbox:

I mean, that's one theory. There's also the Chinese theory, so there's so many theories and alternative theories, and that's why I,

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah, the Chinese theory is like, okay, okay, we're not stupid, so we're going to weaponize this thing against you. The art of war. That's another thing people need to study. People like Sun Tzu, study Confucius.

Leafbox:

One of my last questions, Robert. I have a lot of friends in America who are concerned about collapse in the US and the West, and they're all dreaming about either moving to Japan or moving to Alaska or doing the homesteading kind of thing. I lived in South America and we had a hyperinflation situation when I was young, so I've seen it firsthand.

Robert Jefferson:

Where were you?

Leafbox:

In Brazil when I was like 13. We had hyperinflation. Yeah. And so I'm just curious how you feel being in Japan. Are you going to retire? I mean, do you plan on staying the rest of your life in Japan, or what's your, do you want to return to the states or who knows what the so is?

Robert Jefferson:

I have no desire to return to the States. I did twice. And when I went back, was it 23 years ago, middle age, I could see then the downward spiral of American society. America's a beautiful country. I drove from Pennsylvania all the way across the country to the West coast, to Oregon, three and a half days. It took me, it's a beautiful country. They're beautiful people in America. I'm not anti-America. There's beautiful people there. Our governments, local, state, national, are basically ripping us off America's in debt. They've been talking about 33 trillion in debt. No, no, no. It's more than that. We're talking about quadrillions. If you can imagine trillions of quadrillions of dollars in debt, the pension plans are broke. There's no money there. Social security. There's no money there either. Remember Al Gore talking back in the 2000 election about the social security lockbox? People, Social security is gone. They'd spent all that money, and this is why they had to take us to war. To war. And there's going to be, I'm watching. I'm hearing a number of different voices. We're going to war on a global scale, world War iii. It's going to happen. They have to because most governments are broke. America's broke. Japan is broke. The European Union is broke, but Japan has been around for thousands of years. It still has cohesion.

They seem to be committing suicide. Young people don't want to have children. Businesses, when I first came to Japan, there were clear societal roles, familial roles. The father went out to work and he worked hard, and he worked for his company for a lifetime, whatever, and that's all gone now. Young people can't even find jobs or they're getting part-time jobs or whatever.

Everybody should first of all know where their food comes from. Where's the chicken come from? The supermarket not done. People should know where their food comes from. They should know how to grow food. They should start growing little things like herbs and tomatoes and potatoes. They're the easiest thing to grow. Go to the supermarket, buy some potatoes, wash them really good, and then put 'em in a brown paper bag. When they start sprouting, put 'em outside. Or if you have some old potatoes that start sprouting, put'em outside in a bag, I use grow bags, buckets will work.

Just have some drainage in them. People need to grow, need to know where their food comes from, and they need to start learning how to grow their own food and just like their ancestors did. Not that many generations ago when I was growing up in the sixties, I had friends whose parents could barely speak English. They're from Germany, they're from Italy. They were from Hungary or Ukraine. They left their countries for a better life. Americans of today may have to lead the United States for a better life. Don't just sit in the same place going through the same. I tried to tell my elder brother, how about Mexico? Oh, man, Mexico is dangerous. Dangerous. There are some wonderful places in Mexico, Probably. He's five years older than me. He's 68. He could live very well on social security there. People don't want to take the chance.

I always get on an airplane. Boom, I'm gone. I couldn't wait to get on an airplane, go somewhere else. Will I stay here in Japan? Yeah, I'll probably, but I'm keeping, I've got the corner of my eye on a side escape route. I'm not sure where. But like I just said, I can live on a retirement very cheaply somewhere. It could be, I don't know, Cambodia. It could be Vietnam. There's no major wars going on there right now. And the people there still, they still know how to smile. I do get asked this quite often, keep your eyes wide open, Japan. Not unless there's a major war. And it seems as though the leadership here, the political leadership, are just itching to get into a fight with someone and Japan's military, and they do have, it's called the Self-Defense Forces, but it's a military, but they have no practical experience fighting.

They'll get massacred. They don't understand guerrilla warfare. They don't understand urban warfare. Japan should just stay pacifist. I'd be glad to see American military bases. It leaves Japan. I mean, it's how I got here is through the military, but there's no need. Japan can defend itself, and actually it shouldn't be any need. Japan, Korea needs to stop fighting over some dumb shit that happened a long time ago. So much of their culture has come from China and India and elsewhere through Buddhist connections and contacts. But yeah, Japan should stop trying to ape the west. Stop trying to imitate the West and be Japanese. Be Asian for once. Yeah, I mean, Japan and Korea should not be arguing the way they still are and China as well. But then these are global forces trying to divide and rule to keep the Korean peninsula separated. That's ridiculous that the Korean peninsula is still separated.

The same people still quarreling over some dumb shit over some ideology from Europe, communism or capitalism, whatever the ism is, things are going to get tough. And this is why I walk five and a half kilometers every morning, an hour, an hour and a half. I don't drink anymore. I practice intermittent fasting, which is basically, for me, it means, and I do this every day, not just once a month or so. Every day. I stop eating at 5:00 PM I don't eat again until after nine o'clock the next morning. Then I'll have a large breakfast between then and five o'clock in the afternoon. I'll have some snacks, some fruit, some nuts, some baked goods that I make, homemade cookies or zucchini bread or something like that. I don't eat dinner anymore. Basically it's one meal a day, maybe two, but I never eat in the evening.

So between, I go to bed at eight o'clock every night. I'm asleep. I go to the bedroom at about 6:30, 7 o'clock, and I'm asleep by eight. I wake up at 3:30, 4 o'clock every morning, go out for my walk. And yeah, because at 63 years old, I'm only getting older. I'm not getting younger. So I need the stamina. I need the strength. A sports club. It's really unnecessary. I mean, just walking is plenty. I reversed pre-diabetes. I reversed hypertension, high blood pressure. I had fatty liver disease, so I reversed renal disease by quitting alcohol. I reversed hepatic disease, pre-diabetes and heart disease. 

Get your life in order. Get your health in order. And if it's not working out where you are, think about getting up and going somewhere else. People are afraid to do that. Sometimes the boiling frog syndrome, you can sit in that pot of water, and that's not really true on the way, but it does make sense. If you sit into a pot of water, you don't really notice the heat rising until it's too late. And

Leafbox:

Then Robert, what's the best way for people to find you on the Kamakura Gardener Channel or any other way?

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah I'm on Patron. I spread it out. I'm on Patreon, patreon.com where people can actually support with a very small $3 a month patronage up to, what is it? I think my highest is $25 a month. That's A VIP patron. I'm on locals. Are you familiar with locals?

Leafbox:

Yes.

Robert Jefferson:

Yeah. So I'm on locals. I'm on Telegram Rumble, Odyssey and Bright Eon. Brighteon

Leafbox:

And obviously YouTube...

Robert Jefferson:

And YouTube.

And here in Japan. I'm online as well, so I do post my YouTube channel online as well. Things are going to start changing rapidly. I think the United States will see the end of Biden very soon. I don't know exactly when or how it'll happen, but Biden will not be president for very long. I think we're going to see something very, very shocking. Even more so than September 11th, 2001. The whole world is going to go through some cataclysms here, and what I'm simply trying to do is keep a clear head and stay clear of political parties and social movements, BLM or Antifa and all that silliness. Now, seek out like-minded people. Get in contact with them. I mean, there's a lot of good stuff on YouTube. YouTube, there's a lot of shitty things that the company does, but there's a lot of good people on there. It's a wonderful place to go and learn something.

Leafbox:

Well, that's why going back to your local work, I appreciate you reconnecting to the ground and grounding yourself in this local community of the plants and the Kakuta community. I think that's healthy.

Robert Jefferson:

We all need to go back and develop community. There will be chaos in Japan, but it won't be long lasting. Just after World War II, it was extremely chaotic. A lot of people were homeless. The black markets was terrible, but they coalesced into a nice group once again, within 10 years. Yeah, I'm in the winter of my life. I guess I'm transitioning from autumn into the winter of my life. I've just felt more at home overseas. That's why I told Renzo on Black Experience Japan, that I feel like a free Black man here. I don't have to act black. I don't have to say, oh, that's my tribe. I can just be me and I can have my own views, and I'm not afraid to express them. Conspiracy theorist. Well, up. Yours too, buddy. So what? I don't care because what's the difference between a conspiracy theorist and the truth? Well, about six months really. All of the stuff that I was accused of in conspiracy theorist about it turned out I was right. Not that I was right, it was right. The topic was Russiagate, this, that, and the other. All of this stuff. Just give it time and the truth will out.

Leafbox:

Robert, I don't want to take more of your time. Be well.

Learn More @

TKG on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@TheKamakuraGardener/about

TKG ON PATREON: patreon.com/TheKamakuraGardener

TKG ON ODYSEE: odysee.com/$/latest/@TheKamakuraGardener

TKG ON RUMBLE: rumble.com/c/c-1708335

TKG ON BRIGHTEON: brighteon.com/channels/robert619

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