Tama-chan: the questions that they tried to bur

Tama-chan has had an overwhelming e-mail response to the exclusive interview he gave to The Japan Times on April 1. This week he shares with us a selection of queries submitted by readers.

Given you are eating food that filters the polluted water you live in, and that your body likely has high concentrations of heavy metals and other nasty residues, how long do you expect to live? Is your slow chemical death worth all the happy faces in Japan? — Jason in Maine

Bearded seals don’t actually annunciate (sic) like that — Jim in la-la land

Are you worried your celebrity status will cause people who resent your popularity and high profile to try to tarnish your reputation? One example is the way in which some sections of the media have suggested that you are to blame for the Columbia shuttle tragedy (see above). — Dave in Mito

Why don’t you start learning a little bit of Japanese. Would be nice if you can speak except Arf! — Yumi in Tokyo

Some critics have claimed that Hegel was one of the chief progenitors of the intellectual and political climate in which Nazism was later to flourish. Surely, Tama-chan, you would agree with Karl Popper that Hegel provided a rationale for the irresistible march of the German God-State on Earth? — Klaus in Hamburg

It is entirely inappropriate for Klaus to read Hegel’s work in such a limited way. Hegel does make some bellicose remarks about war nourishing and cultivating a sense of national spirit. However, through his “end of history” thesis it is clear that Hegel envisaged a time when the ideological conflicts that provide the motor for war would come to an end. — Hazel in Essex

Do you eat natto? — Takako, Eriko, Tomoko, Yukiko, Yumiko, Atsuko, Sadako, Hiroko, Mutsuko, Ritsuko, Kanako, Ayako, Makiko, Satoko, Minako, Akiko, Junko, Michiko, Noriko, Fumiko in Nikko

Toilet paper prices in Tochigi are stable thank you very much — Sayaka in Utsunomiya

Are you afraid your mustache and those of your seal friends will make you a U.S. target of regime change? — Ted in Nakano

Do you do karaoke? I like Del Shannon; who do you like? — Yoriyuki in Tokyo

Do you regard the widespread use of “personal seals” in Japan as tantamount to slavery, and do you think the practice should be abolished? — Len in Yamagata

I lost everything in the Wakayama floods of ’99 — but you would never have helped me if you had been there. You would just have swum off looking for another fish. It’s animals like you, with your “I’m all right Jack” attitude, that have brought this country to its knees. You make me sick. – Jim in Oita

Dear Tama-chan; what do you eat? Do people throw sashimi at you? — Woody in Hawaii

Hello Tama-chan. Do you have girlfriend? — Shiho in Kamogawa

Compiled by Barry Brophy and Cai Evans Contact Tama-chan at: tama_chan20@hotmail.com