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Coming to terms with history

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Re: Coming to terms with history

Postby riversandlakes » Thu, 18 May 2006 11:29 pm

That's right. On and on the Communists whip up public sentiment for their own selfish ends. I read somewhere that current Korean president does the same whenever public approval ratings go downwards...

But who can understand/explain that insistence on worshipping Class-A war criminals in Yasukuni? Worship is the keyword of what people do to those buried within the Shrine.

jpatokal wrote:"In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Sincerely facing these facts of history, I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and also express the feelings of mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, in the war. I am determined not to allow the lessons of that horrible war to erode, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without ever again waging a war."

Who said that? Why, it's the Chinese Antichrist, PM Junichiro Koizumi. :o

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Postby Quasimodo » Fri, 19 May 2006 9:11 am

R&L, let's not make the same mistake that Korea and China make. The Shrine is:
The Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Tokyo that commemorates Japan's war dead.

The shrine was founded in 1869 as Tokyo Shokonsha, and was renamed Yasukuni Shrine in 1879. It was build in order to commemorate and worship those who have died in war for their country and sacrificed their lives to help build the fundament for a peaceful Japan (the meaning of Yasukuni is "peaceful country").

The large torii (entrance gate) of Yasukuni Shrine
The deities of about 2.5 million people who died for Japan in the conflicts accompanying the Meiji Restoration, the Satsuma Rebellion and similar domestic conflicts, the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, the Manchurian Incident, the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War are enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine in form of written records, which note name, origin and date and place of death of everyone enshrined.


2.5 million are enshrined there - of those I believe 8 were tried and convicted as war criminals by allied forces.

To be quite honest, I think it's about time to stop going there constantly, but it has been stated time and time again that honouring those who died for their country is something ALL statesmen do - in the 'west' more than anyywhere else. Never has there ben mention that these 8 are being honoured.

Should the Japanese forget about 2.5 million dead?
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Postby tiki » Fri, 19 May 2006 10:05 am

Patriotism at times can be so intense and almost blinding that it bleeds into something more ugly, Racism.

One can't really explain or justify but then again perhaps it is in the blood that flows through our veins. Like how animals are programmed genetically to always have that instinct no matter how domesticated they have been trained or raised to be.

That is also part of the reason why we have the arms race, tech race and so on. Folks from China,India( I mention them as they are in a way leaders in a lot of R&D fields ) and the like are always striving to achieve something new.

Part of it is for the good of Mankind but there is a bit in there which drives these people in their pursuit. Perhaps history, part Racism.

Do not read what I typed in the wrong light...

sift through and you will get what I mean.

It all boils down to being human and being humane.
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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 19 May 2006 10:22 am

tiki wrote:Patriotism at times can be so intense and almost blinding that it bleeds into something more ugly, Racism.

One can't really explain or justify but then again perhaps it is in the blood that flows through our veins. Like how animals are programmed genetically to always have that instinct no matter how domesticated they have been trained or raised to be.

That is also part of the reason why we have the arms race, tech race and so on. Folks from China,India( I mention them as they are in a way leaders in a lot of R&D fields ) and the like are always striving to achieve something new.

Part of it is for the good of Mankind but there is a bit in there which drives these people in their pursuit. Perhaps history, part Racism.

Do not read what I typed in the wrong light...

sift through and you will get what I mean.

It all boils down to being human and being humane.


Or arguably the basis of every novel ever written: man's inhumanity to man. :-|

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 19 May 2006 6:50 pm

Plavt wrote:I think the problem in part at least is the younger generation does not wish to equate themselves with the past. They cannot be blamed by the actions of people even if they are their descendents.


riversandlakes wrote:Is the son accountable for sins of the father? Why?


i've been thinking about this. to me it's a matter of how much one feels part of something larger than oneself. to the extent that i identify myself with my family i would feel accountable for past wrongs committed by them, not that i am to blame but that i feel a responsibility to make amends in some way. perhaps it is a reflection of the 'me me me' generation SMS talks about that many no longer associate themselves with or take responsibility for their past.

taking this issue of identity to the philosophical extreme i could argue that since i am a different person today from who i was last year, i am not accountable for my actions then. what makes me the 'same' person this year and last? how different is that from what makes the son's generation different from the father's?

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Postby Kats_ » Fri, 19 May 2006 7:33 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
taking this issue of identity to the philosophical extreme i could argue that since i am a different person today from who i was last year, i am not accountable for my actions then.


That came to me as if it were some wake up call. I have indeed changed so much over the years - my attitude, values everything has changed.

Then again, yesterday was what shaped me into what I am today. It is probably easy to forget the past in this fast paced world, but everything we do today; the choices we make is a reflection of our past.

This in my opinion is limited to a person's life-span and the individual himself/herself. I dont know if this can be extended to communities....the group dynamics might not have similar effect...

Why?

(an extract ..)

For a functioning group to attempt to add new members in a casual way is a certain prescription for failure, loss of efficiency, or disorganization. The number of functioning members in a group can be reasonably flexible between five and ten, and a long-standing cohesive group may be able to tolerate a few hangers on. The key concept is that the value and success of a group is obtained by each member maintaining a distinct, functioning identity in the minds of each of the members. The cognitive limit to this span of attention in individuals is often set at seven. Rapid shifting of attention can push the limit to about ten. After ten, subgroups will inevitably start to form with the attendant loss of purpose, dominance order, and individuality, with confusion of roles and rules. The standard classroom with twenty to forty pupils and one teacher is a rueful example of one supposed leader juggling a number of subgroups.

More... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_(sociology)

(interesting read on it own, which explains a lot of unanswered questions ...one of them being ignoring of new comers by old members in the forum )

Anyways, so, when it comes to having a larger community, its sense of past (maybe) vanishes ...we do have annual events/celebrations like Independence day, Poppy day etc that remind us of the gory past but in general I am not too sure if individual's participation (current generation's) is proactive there..and slowly this group of fresh blood will forget the past and their actions as a group might not reflect what happened to their community/tribe in the past.

Immigration, and movement of people across the globe only complicates this further more ...as there is so much diversity in each individual's ancestoral community history...

So....I wouldnt blame people to let go of thier past and move on.

I know, I am all over the place....needs editing but thought might post the draft ;)
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Postby riversandlakes » Fri, 19 May 2006 10:25 pm

It wasn't an honest mistake, but a very shameful political ploy by the leaders of both of those countries - the punch-bag diplomacy.

Well who am I to say what they should do, but if my Church honors Adolf Hitler for some strange reason I would be the first to object to that incredible joke. Let alone having the PM worshipping there?!
Class-A war criminals are not much different that the Reich.

Nobody thought of exhuming those 8 that do not belong there? Actually I have read somewhere on Reuters that every of those honored in the Yasukuni Shrine are actually being worshipped.

Quasimodo wrote:R&L, let's not make the same mistake that Korea and China make. The Shrine is:
The Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Tokyo that commemorates Japan's war dead.

The shrine was founded in 1869 as Tokyo Shokonsha, and was renamed Yasukuni Shrine in 1879. It was build in order to commemorate and worship those who have died in war for their country and sacrificed their lives to help build the fundament for a peaceful Japan (the meaning of Yasukuni is "peaceful country").

The large torii (entrance gate) of Yasukuni Shrine
The deities of about 2.5 million people who died for Japan in the conflicts accompanying the Meiji Restoration, the Satsuma Rebellion and similar domestic conflicts, the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, the Manchurian Incident, the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific War are enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine in form of written records, which note name, origin and date and place of death of everyone enshrined.


2.5 million are enshrined there - of those I believe 8 were tried and convicted as war criminals by allied forces.

To be quite honest, I think it's about time to stop going there constantly, but it has been stated time and time again that honouring those who died for their country is something ALL statesmen do - in the 'west' more than anyywhere else. Never has there ben mention that these 8 are being honoured.

Should the Japanese forget about 2.5 million dead?
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 20 May 2006 12:44 am

R&L,

Couple of questions for you.

There is Flanders Field, Arlington National Cemetary, The war memorial at Tripoli recently celebrated by ANZAC, The Vietnam Wall, The Kranji War Memorial, The Yasukuni Shrine and many other war memorials around the world for war dead. Do you suppose for a minute that each and every one of the shrines is completely free from War Criminals?

Or it doesn't count unless the are convicted in a court of law?

Have you ever fired a gun? Have you ever fired a gun in a war? Have you ever followed the order of your superiors? Have you ever done something without the approval of your superiors? Do you supposed the US managed to try ALL the soldiers responsible for the rampage at Mai Lai? Or, in your opinion is Lt. Calley the only Criminal? How about the ones that were killed before going to court? They were not convicted in absentia. But you can bet their names are on the wall along with the other 50,000 dead americans.

You bring up Adolf again and the church. Would you then condemn the pope as the supreme leader of the Catholic Church during the Rape and Pillage of South & Central America wiping out entire tribes of people because they were "Heathens". And poxing the rest? Are the ones who actually pull the triggers, or their leaders, the criminals?

Just who is a war criminal? Only if convicted? Food for though eh.........

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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 20 May 2006 8:35 am

I do get tired of the Sino-Japanese fiasco over WWII. I feel it is time they move on and try to reach an amicable solution with each other.

I think China continues to rake up the past as they feel that the Japanese are insincere. Chinese interpreted the Japanese apologies as being given out grudgingly and when they are put under pressure. The use of vague terms like “fukai hansei”

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Postby Vaucluse » Sat, 20 May 2006 3:28 pm

Very nice post, earthfriendly . . . you nver disappoint in bringing forth a good viewpoint. :)

Wikipedia - I wouldn't rate that very highly as a reputable source of information, but ok - let's just believe that what is written there is acceptable to our discussion.

Japan, Korea and China will NEVER reach an amiable solution to their arguments simply because it is in China and Korea's interest to not do so. Have you ever looked at Korean or Chinese textbooks - you would be surprised at their view of the world.
As soon as China gives up Tibet and apologises for their annexation and mass murders and forced sterilisations (among many many other things) then I will have sympathy for their claims towards Japan. This is the present as opposed to the past.

What we find so often is history by the victors. Judge, jury and executioners all in one corner of the .

We are so indignant about the comfort women (rightly so), Nanking (rightly so) etc . . . that we gloss over the fact that
a) this happened over 60 years ago (two to generations ago)
b) anyone under the age of 75 has no recollection of the times
c) everyone under the age of 75 and not a person in power at the time is still being judged and painted wit the 'guilt' scar.
d) everyone who pays taxes is still paying for their great grandparents governments sins

No apology given will ever be good enough - China and Korea will always find something to criticise. I am only glad that Germany and Austria had better neighbours than these rabid nationalistic hypocrites.
'The Diet hasn't apologised', 'They didn't use these exact words', 'they didn't apologise for taking my grandparent's chickens' . . .

Enough already.

Not so sure about comparing crimes, but I think gassing millions of people pretty much ranks up there as the height of extermination.
Have you ever heard of Mengele? Nasty bastard.
You speak of soldiers laughing at the torture of civilians and imply that this is a Japanese trait. Please look at the history of war, every nation has its animals - China leads the way in many areas.

Speaking of medical experiments by the Japanese and Germans. Where did the results of these experiments end up? Where did the scientists end up?
Try the good old US of A . . . (The best ones anway. Lesser ones went to the USSR, UK and France)

A lot of the stories about textbooks are old and incorrect. What happens is that several textbooks are submitted for the Dept of Education to buy and use. It is among these that you will find a Japanese 'perspective' of the war.
As for Nagasaki and Hiroshima museums - why should they be an indictment of Japan's role in the war? The murder of hundreds of thousands of people by these two instances is considered a war crime by many - not only Japanese. This and the carpet-bombing of German cities are atrocities that are an indictment of the Allied war machine.

The reason that holocaust victims could move on is due to the all-out effort of the German to address and admit to their mistakes. German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt before the monument of the Warsaw Ghetto to express atonement for Nazis wrongdoing.

Many holocaust victims could not move on - how can one after such a tragedy. War is a tragedy - irrespective of who was killed when, where or how. China and Korea are the two countries that are not allowing for the healing process to take place - they are the ones who fan the flames of nationalism and hatred time and again for their own selfish gains. Germany made huge war reparations and admitted it's mistakes far less often than the Japanese, but there must come a time to stop.

How would you explain to a 20-year old man or woman, just entering the jobfront why a portion of their taxes go to war reparations - NOW!? These people were born in the late 1980's, a full 40!!! years after the war ceased. I think it's time to stop.
Likewise what will it achieve if 20-year old Japanese see their emperors and Prime Minsters apologise again and again to a belligerent China and ludicrously nationalistic Korea (where the importation of Japanese cars was banned until just a short while ago) on their behalf? huh, on their behalf? Why should these 20-year olds feel bad about what happened so long again?

[i]Kishi was the founding father of the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party and his grandson, Abe Shinzo, is considered the front runner to replace Koizumi Junichiro as prime minister later this year.”
......................................................

'nuff said Image

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Postby riversandlakes » Sat, 20 May 2006 11:32 pm

All that needs to be said has been said. A great thread, this is :D
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Postby jpatokal » Sun, 21 May 2006 9:38 pm

One thing about Yasukuni is worth mentioning though: what originally ignited the controversy is not that Tojo & co are enscribed in the big book, but that the 14 "Class A" war criminals convicted by the allied tribunal were awarded the title of "Martyr of Showa". This I, personally, find pretty disgusting and to his credit, Emperor Hirohito -- who should and would also have been hanged if not for MacArthur going out of his way to save him -- stopped his shrine visits after this.
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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 22 May 2006 5:47 am

Vaucluse wrote:b) anyone under the age of 75 has no recollection of the times
.


My mom is in her early 70's. When I was young, my mom and grandma told us stories of brutalities that took place during WWII in SG. I wonder how many households pass down such stories to the young.

China suffered greater casualty than SG. One story that appeared in the news was an 80-year old woman who brought her grievance to the Japanese court but was striked down within minutes. All these years, she had suffered physically from a mishapen body and head due to heavy equipment placed on her during war. There are people like her who want to make their voices heard and bring awareness to this issue before they hit their graves. I can understand the decision of the court for ignoring WWII cases since they don't want to be flooded with more lawsuites. However, it is also hard to ignore and not feel the pain of these victims when one hears their stories.

I do agree that China is playing out WWII for nationalistic reasons. However, isn't the Japanese govt. doing the same by hush-hushing the issue?

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Postby Plavt » Mon, 22 May 2006 7:07 am

Earthfriendly,
I understand what you are trying to say and do not for a moment dispute it but let me read you a quote from the late Alistair Cooke, 'Where soldiers are concerned in war there will always be rape and pillage' (not the exact words but as well as I remember). Few people outside Japan know that when Japanese people learned just how hated there armies were ordinary civilians spat at the troops upon their return to Japan (read 'The Japanese' by the late Edwin O' Reischauer).

There are similar problems with military Juntas in South America, Cyprus and Burma. My point is; it is the military who are so often behind the mistreatment of a nation and not the populace of a country who most often are not interested in indulging in a conflict with another race.

Plavt.

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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 22 May 2006 8:52 am

Plavt, agree with you.

If you read both my posts, I specifically pointed out the Japanese govt. and militaristic leaders and not the Japanese citizens themselves.

However, there's a trickling down effect. This is especially true for the Japanese society since unquestioning loyalty to their leaders is an important cultural trait.


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