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Maybe Article 9 wasn't the only mistake

Apparently the Showa Emperor wasn't too keen on having Class A war criminals memorialized at Yasukuni Shrine, according to a 1988 memorandum written by one of his grand stewards. The article goes on to note that the Showa Emperor did not visit the shrine after the memorialization took place, although he had visited Yasukuni eight times since the end of the war. One wonders, if he had been able to express his opinion more openly as the titular Head of State, would the the controversial memorialization have taken place? It seems significant that it didn't happen while a relative of the Emperor was chief priest there.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
if you know anything about how the japanese work, those
facts (assuming they are true) are a blazing flashing underlined
statement from the emperor - when you can not speak with
words you speak with actions (on inactions). especially in japan,
where you generally can not speak with words in an unlimited
and open sort of way. cool data that I had never heard of before.

Jul. 21st, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
Considering how indirect and euphemistic Japanese are in their communications, it's a wonder they can express any kind of coherent thoughts. Kyoko Mori is just describing the tip of an enormous iceberg.
Jul. 22nd, 2006 09:36 am (UTC)
Of course, this revelation will have no effect on Koizumi's determination to continue visiting the shrine. I hope the next prime minister will care more about relations with the rest of Asia.
Jul. 22nd, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
OTOH, I can understand Koizumi's desire to remember the dead who went to war and committed no crimes. It reminds me of the flap over Reagan's visit to the Bitburg cemetery.
Jul. 22nd, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
There's been talk of a creating a secular war memorial, as one of the issues raised is whether or not the soon-to-be-former prime minister is violating the separation of religion and state by visiting a Shinto shrine in his official government capacity. Maybe this will add more impetus to that.
Jul. 23rd, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
Didn't know they were discussing that - or that they have that kind of legal separation. I knew they just disestablished the Buddhist and Shinto temples after the war as part of democratization, but didn't realize they'd gone so far as to do that.
Jul. 23rd, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah. Their current constitution was actually imposed on them by the U.S. after WWII. I think part of the reason separation of religion and state was included was because prior to that, the emperor was looked upon as divine.

I read the English online Asahi Shimbun on a regular basis, and there have been lawsuits about Koizumi's Yasukuni visits. I think at least once a court ruled that hsi visits were unconstitutional.
Jul. 23rd, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
I was aware that SCAP (MacArthur's office) wrote their constitution for them, and I do recall them stripping the Emperor of his divinity - knowing about the temples being disestablished comes from a brief study of Japanese religion. OTOH, they have a more parliamentary form of government than we do, fundamentally modeled on the German Second Reich and not changed all that much (if at all) by the new constitution, but I could be wrong about that.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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