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Paying their respects

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Men in Japanese Imperial Army uniform parade at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Monday. Thousands of people visited the shrine to pay their respects to the Japanese war dead, marking the 66th anniversary of the end of the World War II.

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Two blokes all dressed up to commemorate Surrender Day - heading back to their black van.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe they can pretend to hack down a bunch of civilians? Did they surrender their weapons at the end?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

is it really okay to be carrying weapons on the street??? i heard that you can get detained for a simple pocket knife. what`s up with that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These guys remind me of the "South Will Rise Again" Confederate types in America's south. Dreaming about the gold old days of their fallen military history and glossing over all the very negative realities of the time.

Without these militarists in Japan, the war would never have happened and the many Japanese innocents who died in the war would not have suffered and died.

But I guess it is more convenient to be sentimental for a false history than realistic about the true history. Japan should blame her militarist past for all the pain and suffering of that war.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

the gun has a wood shaft in place of a metal barrel, the sword is probably an empty sheath.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Saw a really interesting thing happen at this same event last year ... an elderly and feeble american GI with a returned servicemen's folding cap leaning on a cane who must have been a tourist, bellowed out in English a couple of times "Yeah, and we gotcha Tojo!" "We gotcha!" I had to smile ....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

" "Yeah, and we gotcha Tojo!" "We gotcha!" I had to smile ...."

Gotta love it!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These two represent probably the worst possible way to pay their respects. They seem to be glorifying the militarism that got all those guys killed. Seems quite the opposite of respect to me. Seems more like they would happily get them killed again.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Oracle: " Seems quite the opposite of respect to me."

Agreed, but that's the core of the right-wing; they have some sentimental, nostalgic idea of the emperor and war and think we should return to such ways (without realizing what resulted). Saddest part is, these guys would be the LAST ones out to fight.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Not a good day for westerners to be in Yasukuni

2 ( +6 / -4 )

SmithinJapan. Amen! They would be the very last ones to fight.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe all the foreigners (men, women, children and OAP's) should have laid down with fake blood poured all over them outside the gates of Yasukuni to pay respects to the 100,000's + innocent civilians that were murdered by the Japanese military.

But of course most Japanese believe this aspect never of the war happened because it has been conveniently removed from history text books. They prefer to romanticize heroic action and stories which they believe are the real truth...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Massive police force out today in full riot gear. the black (and white) vans were massed by lunch time. a rather small but well prepared group of "End the Imperial System", "No more Yasukuni" marchers with effigies of, ... I guess it was Tojo's face on the skeleton?... were being protected as they walked their parade route and the right-wingers shouted at all those chosen-jin to get out of Japan!

It was one of the first times I could ever actually pick out the words. The vans were coordinating their noise timing and shouting in turn. They had one good point - about the parade being mostly made up of homeless people. Or at least it sure appeared that way, once it was said. Too bad they are so ill-mannered and annoying in general. No one in their right mind would hear a thing those asshats have to say. Sadly, the otherside was no better.

Dear police force - "Gokorosama!" I'd love to buy each and every one of you a beer!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This photo was all over the news abroad. And these guys don't look so old, in my opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sasoriza - i think you may be right. they were mere tykes at the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To be fair, all of my Japanese friends here think these guys are idiots. They hate the Imperial Japan motif!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dude on the left appears to have three heads.

Anyway, wish I had been there, dressed as MacArthur! I could have told them I am prepared to accept their surrender, so they can kneel now.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sad old men.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the old Imperial Army used tan suede loafers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"This photo was all over the news abroad"

really

must be those different worlds thing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dear police force - "Gokorosama!" I'd love to buy each and every one of you a beer!

Very kind gesture, undoubtedly alcohol sales will be high today.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In related news, it's also Korean Independence Day! Here's a story which links history and Yasukuni to news of today. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-korea-conscript-shrine-20110815,0,6236304.story

0 ( +1 / -1 )

someone has to stand up to the American lap-doggery. Unfortunately there is no single modern institution in Japan can do that. That's why people look to the past.

As far as I know, the final generation of Japanese manhood lies scattered across the countless shallow unmarked graves in the Pacific, none of them acknowledged for their sacrifice by the collaborators, only to remain as fleeting memories of the surviving Taisho relics who themselves are ignored.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Can't imagine ANY policeman would dare to measure their blades to check if they were in excess of 5 cm! That would incite the thugs in the black vans...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A geezer about this age walked up to me in 1997 with the peace sign (my second day in Japan).... days later my boss told me he said...."We owe you two". The ojisan wasn't exactly smiling. The guy wanted to kill me right there. I tried to high five and say peace and he declined. Granddaddy was right.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To be fair, all of my Japanese friends here think these guys are idiots. They hate the Imperial Japan motif!

that's ironic, because modern Japan doesn't have an army to compare!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It`s freedom of expression.

Its a free country, as long as they dont bother me. Everything is ok.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

i hope this is just some sort of fetish or cosplay. I hope they are not telling their grandkids and family. BlahBlahBlah

Japan should have won the war. blah blah blah

Of course their kids and grandkids would make fun of them anyway.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Meanwhile, in Korea it is Independence Day...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My2sense: "The guy wanted to kill me right there."

But he didn't, did he? He's like the guys in the picture above; scared out of their wits and hiding in black vans, all the while proclaiming the person they loathe should be in charge again (the emperor). They are an odd bunch, but logic has never applied to the right wing, nor with the law's inability to deal with these wannabe samurai.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan owes its current way of life to the fact they lost the war, just imagine if these clowns old men had won, what a scary world that wud have been, its bad enough they killed many many millions but if Japan had won the war the far east & asia wud have been a damned scary place to live afterwards.

Losing the war was the best thing that happened to Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

In Japan you will find a general opinion about the war segregated by age. The people under 40 will tell you Japan was foolish and should never had tried to take over Asia, while the older ones will tell you that Japan would have succeeded if the US didn't flatten Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I guess these two dudes in the photo fall into the latter category.

Gotta laugh at the right-wingers that drive around in their Chevy vans and International buses, hey?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Two war heroes to pay their respect for the dead. It is a respectful photo.Same as the foreigner does in USA, china, korea, Australia etc etc. Only because these foreign nation opposition to Japan in a war, it is no reason not to pay respect for the dead. These men are remembring all their country's people who passed away in a too terrible diaster. I am sorry the posters here cant understand how to pay respect and have pride in your nations.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Kentaro75,

I could not agree with you more:

I am sorry the posters here cant understand how to pay respect and have pride in your nations.

There are a number of Americans who would like to build a shrine or memorial of the Enola Gay. I am glad that people in Japan could support the logic behind this.

Kentaro represents a bridge to understanding, and we should not dismiss the Yasukuni Shrine as simply "a place that enshrines Class A War Criminals who --- "

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Kentaro: "Two war heroes to pay their respect for the dead."

These men are war heroes? They're weak old men engaged in cos-play, and that's all. My guess is that when they got through the intersection they rushed to their black vans to play music from 80 years ago through loud speakers.... and of course rolled up the windows.

"Only because these foreign nation opposition to Japan in a war, it is no reason not to pay respect for the dead."

Trust me... dressing up like Hitler would not go well in any nation either. Pay respect, for sure, but don't disrespect as these men are doing.

"These men are remembring all their country's people who passed away in a too terrible diaster."

No, they are paying tribute to something that led this nation into complete devastation -- they are not paying tribute to the dead... they are parading themselves around with the same mind-frame that got Japan destroyed.

"I am sorry the posters here cant understand how to pay respect and have pride in your nations."

I'm sorry you see too much red to realize the facts of the matter. Should everyone who wants to 'show respect' dress up like these clowns and parade around with fake weapons that killed MILLIONS of people across Asia? Again, respect the dead all you want -- making fools of them is something else.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Oracle

Dude on the left appears to have three heads.

Anyway, wish I had been there, dressed as MacArthur! I could have told them I am prepared to accept their surrender, so they can kneel now.

Your post got me: ROFLMAO~~~~ Hahahaahahahahaha!!!!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithinjapan

Trust me... dressing up like Hitler would not go well in any nation either. Pay respect, for sure, but don't disrespect as these men are doing.

Maybe the idea can work. Similar in form to the Olympics, there could be a "Nationalist Play-off" or something like that for a title, I'll leave the title to the advertising companies. But anyway, the Germans could send Hitler for a bit of something old, the Americans could send Bachmann or Perry for something new, and the Japanese could send the men in the photos for something borrowed (actually I don't know if the Japanese in this photo are copying anyone, but I am guessing they didn't think of it themselves)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kentaro75

Two war heroes to pay their respect for the dead. It is a respectful photo.Same as the foreigner does in USA, china, korea, Australia etc etc. Only because these foreign nation opposition to Japan in a war, it is no reason not to pay respect for the dead. These men are remembring all their country's people who passed away in a too terrible diaster. I am sorry the posters here cant understand how to pay respect and have pride in your nations.

War Heroes? Don't make me laugh!! They are the ones that murdered, tortured and raped tens of millions all over South East Asia. If it wasn't for the Americans, Japan would have been no better than North Korea today. For a country that denies its own horrendous past and lies on textbooks, they sure are brave enough to dress like that and walk around in public. Their mentality is sick and scary. I will never have a pride in my nation for lying about what they did and trying to hide the truth. All lies and deceit. Even now, they keep lying about the radiation. Honestly, since you are local, I would reply to you in japanese, but I'm sure the Mod will remove my post. I can't post in our native language here, because it's an English site, so I understand. But still, this is one of the reasons why I refuse to feel any pride in those people or yasukuni for that matter. They are one of the reasons why I feel so ashamed that I was born here. Sorry but I had to be honest.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Kentaro75Aug. 15, 2011 - 07:57PM JST

Two war heroes to pay their respect for the dead. It is a respectful photo.

Forget the photo! The scene itself is disrespectful. But not nearly as disrespectful as you calling these old fools playing dress-up "war heroes"! They never went to war and they are not heroes. They are dreamers of the war-loving sick variety.

whiskeysourAug. 15, 2011 - 07:35PM JST

It`s freedom of expression.

Sure is. And thanks to it, we do not need to guess who the militaristic ijits are in the crowd! Its them two, right there, expressing their freedom to paint themselves as pro-war, pro-imperialism dingbats.

Those outfits would have been great for Halloween though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Two old men wearing old uniforms to respect their dead friends. Get over it!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If this is what the Imperial Japanese Army looked like - no wonder they ended up surrendering! These fellas look like they'd run a mile.....if there were donuts at the other end.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To all of you speak ill of people who visits Yasukuni to pay respect, is it not possible in your mind to respect the people who pays homage to the servicemen that served and died in service of this country without going beserk automatically labeling them as right wing and/or whatever? Does it ever occur to you that they may be visiting to pay homage to their parents and/or relatives that had served and died for their country and is now enshrined at Yasukuni? Yasukuni is the equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery of the United States. Can't people have at least some courtesy to let these people be.

Does dividing war criminal with other service men enshrined at Yasukuni too much for your mind to handle?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Does it ever occur to you that they may be visiting to pay homage to their parents and/or relatives that had served and died for their country and is now enshrined at Yasukuni?

Good point, according to Japanese school textbooks you have a fair-minded point. Heed these words people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

SamuraiBlue: "Does it ever occur to you that they may be visiting to pay homage to their parents and/or relatives that had served and died for their country and is now enshrined at Yasukuni?"

By wearing costumes that represent the ideals that made said loved ones dead?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I actually think this is an interesting discussion. Both of my grandfathers fought in the Pacific theatre against the Japanese. Both struggled in their own way as a result - one particularly so. I have read one's war diary and it's revealing. They were both just ordinary men who got the call to participate in something extraordinary, and they went. The Japanese war machine was evil, pure and simple, but mostly it was fought by ordinary men who also got a call to do something extraordinary, and under one auspice or another, they too went. Now, being from the opposing side it's easy to paint all Japanese soldiers as sadistic madmen. After all, the very worst of their deeds have become legendary and very well publicised, and rightly so. But I suspect that alot of them were mostly ordinary blokes who were swept up in the madness. So I feel that Japan has the right to pay it's respects to these guys. Not celebrate what they did, but respect the fact that they went, whether they wanted to or not. In my country, war veterans and the National War day is the most sacred day of the year, hands down. But I often feel a bit sad for my wife (Japanese) on the day, as she is keenly aware that Japan can't pay it's respects to it's fallen in the same way. She doesn't like what Japan did in the war, she is ashamed of it, but I know she feels the sadness. I wonder what Germany does? I'd like to know.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

YuriOtani: "Two old men wearing old uniforms to respect their dead friends."

But that's the point, isn't it? Not only did these guys probably not have friends of fighting age while Japan engaged in mass rape and murder across Asia before being bombed with atomic weapons, but they are not respecting anyone -- they are disrespecting. These clowns wearing these uniforms represent not the fallen, but the misplaced ideals they fell for. They therefore not only spit on the memories of those who died in war, but stand proof that history can be repeated.

Look at all the people behind them in this photo -- you have no clue if they also had just visited the shrine, or whether they're just crossing the street with these loons -- and that's the point; a normal person, seriously trying to pay respects wouldn't dress up in such clothes. These men are making a radical political statement, and that's what people take offense to, and rightly so.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tamarama: A very heartfelt comment, thank you.

" In my country, war veterans and the National War day is the most sacred day of the year, hands down."

Veterans probably dress in their military uniforms, adorned with medals. I understand that. How would you feel if a few middle-aged men dressed up in surplus army-wear for the event in a 'show of appreciation'? Imagine if your grandfather -- and both of mine also served and had their stories -- were standing at a cenotaph or similar monument, and some group or right-wingers came dressed up, who have never fought and probably never would, to make a political statement dressed in khakis and carrying fake weapons. I'd be somewhat peeved, to be sure.

"I wonder what Germany does?"

To my knowledge they don't dress like Nazis to 'pay respect'. In fact, the Chancellor tends to apologize for crimes committed by people he probably had no relation to and nothing to do with.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Apologies to the moderator and all those offended by my comments -- I was joking, but joking about serious issues like the topic above is not called for. Again, I would like to say sorry for not walking the line of acceptability in this discussion board.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

samurai:

is it not possible in your mind to respect the people who pays homage to the servicemen that served and died in service of this country without going beserk automatically labeling them as right wing and/or whatever? Does it ever occur to you that they may be visiting to pay homage to their parents and/or relatives that had served and died for their country and is now enshrined at Yasukuni?

What? In order to pay respects to the dead, you have to dress up in some ridiculous garb, hold weapons and pretend to be someone you never were (ie a soldier)? I bet these guys have never even experienced the front lines. If the PM and the Emperor can pay their respects in a dignified way, then anyone can. The rightwingers, shouting out racist rants, belittling your neighbors (who aren't so weak anymore) and acting aggressive do themselves no favors. But these right-wingers can dream on all they like, because the empire will never come back.

As for Tanigaki, well he's just after brownie points. I find the LDP despicable, refusing to cooperate in helping the tsunami victims and arguing with the government just for the sake of it and yet trying to score points by visiting the shrine. Almost as disgusting as the museum right next to it, with its lies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thankfully I couldn't care less, since I no longer have to deal with Japan's inability to truly grasp the horror of its decades of Imperialism anymore. Japan's isolation from reality, and the willful ignorence of much of its population, is just a fleeting memory.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ Disillusioned "Gotta laugh at the right-wingers that drive around in their Chevy vans and International buses, hey?"

thats funny as hell...ha ha ...many thanks....

and the music they play from those vehicles... makes my dog howl and moan...ha ha...lol....

I just hope those clowns dont give birth to an akihabara man type ...or a Shoko Asahara type anytime soon.....cxause the keystones only come after shyt is done...kinda like the street sweepers in Logan's run....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tideofiron: "There's no background on what any of them think or their positions on anything."

There's a lot of background, actually. Look at the other people in the... well... background and contrast them with these to fools.

"Certainly some Japanese did some shameful things during the war but the majority of them were young men who were told to go and fight and did so just like our soldiers did. "

And again, show me some people who dress up like nazis and show up at Auschwitz to commemorate a guard they knew who might have died there.

"But you just want to hate Japan because you're frustrated by some of your experiences here rather than accept different viewpoints about things so go ahead and complain, I guess."

A bad guess, and completely wrong. I don't know too many people who live here and hate the place, but I know a number who hate the politics, and the fact that right-wingers like in the picture have apologists. Worst of all is that if you bring up Japan's history said wingers and their supporters call you a hater of Japan or suggest you leave. If everyone who disagreed with Japan's atrocities in war left whom would you have left? The people who agree with them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

smithinjapanAug. 15, 2011 - 09:04PM JST; By wearing costumes that represent the ideals that made said loved ones dead?

I do not think it is my place to question their intentions nor is it any ones. Let them be and have some courtesy.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Who says these fellows were even fighting in the war. They would be well over 80 by now and these fellows don't look that old to me, but what do I know. One of the several people I have spoken to about the war, had to adjust ignition points on Zero plane engines at age 14 and is 83 now. And he, as well as nearly all the people having experienced the war first hand are much more humble about the war than these blokes and the black van nitwits and won't have anything to do with this kind of people. They are not there to reflect on how on earth it was possible for a few misguided people to brainwash the nation in believing they were a superior race, or the Chosen Ones as they liked to call themselves, and go on a murder spree in south east Asia in the name of a little bespectacled "God", bushido and more of that mumbo jumbo. Well, sadly, maybe most Japanese don't, but anyway, they are not there to pay respect to the countless ordinary Japanese folks who fought for their country and perished for nothing because of Tojo and his henchmen. Like the Nazis, they made this stuff up along the way and there was nothing honourable about it and it had nothing to do with bushido either.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I suppose it's too much to think that maybe these two gents were in a unit that wasn't involved in atrocities and therefore they really don't have anything to be ashamed of? We tend to paint an entire army with the actions of specific units when the reality is that a more detailed brush needs to be applied to the painting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

SamuraiBlue: "I do not think it is my place to question their intentions nor is it any ones. Let them be and have some courtesy."

It certainly is, since they go to a shrine enshrined with Class A war criminals dressed just like them to make a political statement (or are they just goofing off with cos-play?)? Once again, if in Europe some kid dressed up with a swastika armband because Grossvater was a member of the Luftwaffe it would not be a sign of respect, it would be an announcement of disgrace. And you know what, they would probably be jailed for it -- and rightly so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I suppose it's too much to think that maybe these two gents were in a unit that wasn't involved in atrocities and therefore they really don't have anything to be ashamed of?

Ummm, have a look at at the picture - I think it is quite clear these two individuals are not in their mid 80s! I don't know about their politics (I'd put my house on them being right-wing extremists however) , but I do see a couple of overweight, middle-aged guys in very crude imitation military uniforms. Any real soldier would have been court-martialled for such a shoddy appearance!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fadamor: "I suppose it's too much to think that maybe these two gents were in a unit that wasn't involved in atrocities and therefore they really don't have anything to be ashamed of?"

I doubt these two men were involved in the war at all -- they seem too young. But they will tell people who actually WERE in the war and are ashamed that they have 'faulty memories' without batting an eye-lash, and demand the textbook are changed to mirror their viewpoints.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smithinjapan, they do look old enough. Stop putting your western body image on people in Japan. They have to be in the mid 80's in the very least. Even if they are younger 2 grandfathers doing dress up bothers you?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

YuriOtani: "smithinjapan, they do look old enough. Stop putting your western body image on people in Japan."

So all Westerners look one way and Japanese another? More racism from YuriOtani... big surprise. Only a few hours ago you were upset that South Koreans have become more logical than Japanese, now you're claiming I apply how people look based on a 'western body image'? A very, very sad defense of these men and what they represent. Not surprised, though.

And unless these men were 5 years old when they fought in the war, and even then, they are too old. If someone was born the day WWII ended in Japan they would be 66. Let's say Japan conscripted ten year olds, then these men would be 76. They are not. They are weak, sad, men in their 60s at best who know nothing about war but romanticize it and dress up in costumes to 'celebrate' it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Stop putting your western body image on people in Japan

ha ha! Dunno about Smith, but I'm very happy with my "Western body image" - whatever that means. If I ever end up with a body image like these two grubs - I give anyone permission to kill me with fake weapons such as the ones they wield!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Once again, if in Europe some kid dressed up with a swastika armband because Grossvater was a member of the Luftwaffe it would not be a sign of respect, it would be an announcement of disgrace. And you know what, they would probably be jailed for it -- and rightly so.

So why wasn't England's Prince Harry arrested in January of 2005? He was "some kid" in "Europe" "dressed up in a swastika armband". He wasn't arrested because all he was showing was poor taste at a costume party, not calling for the return of the Third Reich. Similarly, these gentlemen don't appear to be calling for a return of the Imperial Army, just honoring their comrades at the shrine. You might have an argument if they walked around in thise uniforms year-round, but I'm guessing the uniforms come out only once a year.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Japanese born between 1920-1935 got an extremely thorough brainwashing in state Shinto and ultranationalism, and it would appear that some of them have never really been able to undo all the indoctrination they underwent.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

SamuraiBlue: "Distasteful and vulgar at it's worst."

I agree, their costumes are.

"Can you provide proof that they really have not served in the war and prove without question of doubt that they are younger than 80?"

Better yet, since it wasn't me who brought up the idea that they might not be of age to serve, it's up to YOU to prove they are. But we all know you can't, and we all know it's not likely they did but are just cowards who sit in black trucks when their not romanticizing war. They're probably friends with Tojo's grandaughter -- not that... GRANDAUGHTER, who is now 72 years old (maybe one of the people in the pics is an uncle?). In case I have to define it that means she is now 72, and was only a child while her Class-A war criminal grandpapa was killing heaps of people overseas, which she denies happened. That also means she was 8 when the war ended. Are you suggesting these guys were 8 years old.... or maybe 10 during the war and fought, but are not almost 80 and remembering fallen comrades?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tideofiron: "Your analogy is a bit off. First off, this isn't a site where people were systematically exterminated. "

You're right. Men dressed like this did it in other countries they deemed inferior. Later they came back and changed the textbooks here to say that what they really did was help modernize said nations.

"Unusual, yes, but I can't say what they're thinking or their ultimate reasons or motivations for doing what they're doing."

Gee... I wonder... visiting a controversial war memorial that enshrines class A war criminals on the anniversary of Japan's surrenders. Maybe they were dressed up like that to go dig up turnips somewhere?

"Fair enough, maybe that's not you but it's evident from anyone who visits this site regularly that it's basically turned into a community of disgruntled ex-pats that feed off each others discontent and bitterness."

Actually, while I'm sure there are some that feel the way you labelled those against the how these men gussied themselves up, it's turned into a site of about 10% apologists for things that are outright wrong, and the people who try to rationalize why people think that way. Granted, and I have had my times, we don't all express it in ways that are not 'vulgar/offensive' or 'off topic', but hey... we're still correct in many cases if not all.

" I can't imagine what kind of life that must be to lead but a darn sad one I'm sure of it."

Agreed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You would have thought he'd have taken the time to iron his costume on the one day a year he gets to play out.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Heck German should don SS insignias and break out the swatstikas and parade around Munich and build a chapel to worship.. oh I mean "honor", Hitler and all the dead war heroes... or criminals?? What a farce.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

why in order to pay one's respects, should anyone dress in imperial army WW2 uniforms? what is the logic?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They have every right to pay respects to their war dead and honor their services no different from other countries honoring their war dead.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@YuriOtani

Two old men wearing old uniforms to respect their dead friends. Get over it!

My dear friend, if they could just acknowledge what really happened during ww2 and stop lying in our history textbooks with paragraphs like "comfort women" were really prostitutes, no mentions of unit-731 and those human vivisection, mass murders, mass rapes, etc. If they could acknowledge that, I would go to Yasukuni and pay my respects to those who lost their lives following orders. How many of our people in Okinawa took a granade and blew themselves up because they were ordered to, and those who disobeyed got killed. Remember? I'm just trying to admit to my real history. If Germany came forward and acknowledged the Nazis, why won't we?? Let's stop this BS of hiding and distorting our war history, if we come clean, we have better chances to join the rest of the world in atonement. I am honest, I will go to Yasukuni if necessary, but after our government stop lying and denying what really happened. I hope they can open their eyes someday. By the way, I'm from Ishigakijima... nice to know I'm not the only in here~ (^.^)

5 ( +8 / -3 )

anglootaku: "They have every right to pay respects to their war dead and honor their services no different from other countries honoring their war dead."

So if you dressed up with the SS insignias and swastika armband to honour the dead in Germany and walk around in public with said uniforms on it would be fine?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why all you foreigners to show the lack of repect for two war veteran? These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia, why can you not see we Japanese support our war veterans who made the greatest sacrifices for the nation? Let us pay respect to our war heroes - you can pay respect in foreign nations. Only people like SamuraiBlue has the same feeling and heart as me and can understand the Japanese feeling...

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Does anyone know if there was the usual hijinks of the rightwingers jeering at the Peace Parade and threatening to beat them up though they never do? I went last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY-umRc1nXc but I was wondering if this year considering the earthquake and tsunami was it tamer this year? I had some guy give me a pamphlet about the "true" account of Nanking which the Yasukuni museum passes off as an "incident." Still haven't read it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia,

Kentaro -- really? So Japan was fighting for the "freedom" of all the countries it had occupied? Like China. Korea, Burma, the Philippines, ...? If you truly believe that then you are Exhibbit A in the case against the Japanese education system and whether it teaches an accurate view of Asian history in the first half of the 20th century. So don't expect a lot of support here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't understand why they have to dress up like that... As a Japanese I do appreciate all Japanese innocent civilians who had no choice to serve their lives to the Nation forced by the order from the JP Militarism who took all human rights (ex: freedom of speech) away from them, and millions of innocent civilians died by the air attacks we must never forget. There's no Militarism or such party who controlled Japan same as Nazism in Germany & Fascism in Italy. But this photo seems to me that the two old men "loved" the Age of the Militarism in Japan? Also why do the photographer and the JapanToday editor chose this kind of extreme photo and titled this article as "Paying their respects?" Did they mean to provoke readers to anger?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Kentaro75

Why all you foreigners to show the lack of repect for two war veteran? These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia, why can you not see we Japanese support our war veterans who made the greatest sacrifices for the nation? Let us pay respect to our war heroes - you can pay respect in foreign nations. Only people like SamuraiBlue has the same feeling and heart as me and can understand the Japanese feeling...

You should not assume that everyone here is a Foreign person, there are several Japanese posters like YuriOtani and Taj. Also, there is no need to lie about "Japan fought for freedom in Asia". By murdering millions, torturing and raping millions of women, they did not fight for freedom, they actually lost their honor by doing that. Those are not the teaching of Bushido. The war was not to free us or Asia for that matter. Lying and distorting our history won't change anything. So please, try to be honest and truthful when posting in this forum, because NOT everyone is Foreign. It makes me feel deep shame to see my very own people doing this.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kentaro: "These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia,"

Perhaps "all us foreigners" question people like you who say these men, who in all likelihood did not fight at all, fought for 'freedom'. The freedom of what? to keep their colonies and continue vivisections on people? for the freedom to rape countless women and call it 'comfort'?

what freedoms do you speak of? Japan never became "free" until it was beaten exactly 66 years ago.

"Only people like SamuraiBlue has the same feeling and heart as me and can understand the Japanese feeling..."

It didn't come from me!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@SamuriBlue:

Yasukuni is the equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery of the United States. Can't people have at least some courtesy to let these people be.

No it’s not. The people’s perception has changed since an owner of the shrine—private company—added the 13 names of soldiers classified as Class A war criminals in 1978. Late emperor Hirohito told the owner NOT to honor them because he was well aware that that would change the meaning of war shrine for good. But the shrine ended up adding the names—against his will. He refused to visit the shrine since then. That's a smoking gun. The onwer screwed the shrine, period.

@Kentaro75:

Why all you foreigners to show the lack of repect for two war veteran? These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia, why can you not see we Japanese support our war veterans who made the greatest sacrifices for the nation?

The caption doesn’t say these two men are war veterans. They look way too young in the photo. It’s been 66 years after the war ended. Many veterans are over 80 now.

faught for freedom of Japan and asia,

This is exactly what the right-wingers(or imperial regime sympathizers) say for the justification of war. Pity the vast majority of Japanese people do not see that way. It’s hypocritical to say that Japan fought for freedom of Asia, regarding that they put utmost interests of the emperor/imperial government and invaded many countries in the Pacific.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

**Idealizing any kind of war like costume can be either one or the other, depending on who's wearing what and for what reason. The fact that JAPAN HAS CHOSEN TO REPEAL HER ATROCITIES AGAINST HER OWN PEOPLE IS VERY SAD. I hope that the young people of Japan have had this passed down by their families!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan, you talk about swastikas. A Japanese uniform is not a swastika, it's the equivalent of a WWII German uniform.

You can whine about Yasukini having class A war criminals in there, but that was a decision of a few people. It wasn't done by popular vote. And I don't see why you can't go to a shrine and only honour certain people. War memorials everywhere commemorate THE DEAD not the law-abiding dead.

Let these gents get on with it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is a leap in your logic. It is not advisable to jump to a conclusion on the basis of just one example.

What do you all guys who love to blame on ALL JAPANESE PEOPLE before & during the War about 八田与一 (Yoichi Hatta) in Taiwan, 安達峰一郎 (Mineichiro Adachi) in Holland, 岡田資中将軍 (General Tasuku Okada), 杉原千畝 (Chiune Sugihara), 栗林忠道大将 (General Tadamichi Kuribayashi) ???

Are these people are same "killers" or "rapers" in your shallow point-of-view ???

Why the people in the Palau have loved Japanese people since the time before the WWII ???

Why National Flag of the Republic of Palau is similar to Japanese 日の丸 and they never want to change the flag?

Before blaming Japan for Southeastern Asia before & during the WWII why did Europeans (Great Britain, France, and the United States) needed to invade Southeastern Asia? What did they do Southeastern Asia & India and why Japan had to move there? Have you never imagined who actually requested Japan to eliminate white people out from Asia especially Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Palau, and Philippine?

You all need to study history in your own point of view (not from the typical major mass-media you've been brainwashed by the propaganda). Get rid of your myopic thinking.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

As I pointed out in another thread, the number of war criminals listed in the shrine's Book of Souls only amounts to 0.04% of the names in the book. That means these two guys have only a 0.04% chance that they're going to the shrine to honor a war criminal. I would need a LOT more information than this article provides about why they were going to the shrine before I would start criticizing them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Fadamor

Where is the resource or trustworthy evidence you referred the statistics which proved the "0.04%" ?

What is the total number for "100%" in your research?

Where is your logic comes from?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

They can't be serious!? What a disgrace, they look like shabby beggars. Sorry, but compared to my country's veterans splendidly dressed and proudly displaying their medals on remembrance day, this is just embarrassing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Before blaming Japan for Southeastern Asia before & during the WWII why did Europeans (Great Britain, France, and the United States) needed to invade Southeastern Asia? What did they do Southeastern Asia & India and why Japan had to move there? Have you never imagined who actually requested Japan to eliminate white people out from Asia especially Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Palau, and Philippine?

Wow. Somebody's been well-brainwashed. The Philippines was ceded to the U.S. by Spain as part of the resolution of the Spanish-American war. It wasn't "invaded" by the U.S.

From Wiki:

In 1935, the Philippines was granted Commonwealth status (by the U.S.). Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II when the Japanese Empire invaded and established a puppet government. Many atrocities and war crimes were committed during the war such as the Bataan Death March and the Manila massacre that culminated during the Battle of Manila.[45] Allied troops defeated the Japanese in 1945. By the end of the war it is estimated over a million Filipinos had died.

I'm sure those million dead Filipinos would have cheered on the Japanese incursion. (sarcasm alert!)

In 1946, the Philippines was granted independence from the U.S. and they didn't even have to fire a shot to get it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Yuri and BlueWitch -

after our government stop lying and denying what really happened

Do you two know who Robert Tuggle, Vernon Tebo, and Warren Loyd are? "Lying and denying" is exactly what the Japanese Army did with the incident involving them. Yuri, if you're truly Okinawan, then your pro-Japan, anti-American fanaticism makes no sense at all. Please study the history of your birthplace from 1609 to 1945, particularly the years up to 1903 when the "head tax" (人頭税) made the ordinary person into a virtual slave.

The Americans were downright benevolent compared to what went on when the Yamato people were running things before 1945.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As I pointed out in another thread, the number of war criminals listed in the shrine's Book of Souls only amounts to 0.04% of the names in the book. That means these two guys have only a 0.04% chance that they're going to the shrine to honor a war criminal. I would need a LOT more information than this article provides about why they were going to the shrine before I would start criticizing them.

Not good with numbers so I'm going to leave that alone.

However, if these two guys intent was to honor just the war criminals, they can do so by going to their respective "Ohaka"お墓.

For instance, Hideki Tojo's ohaka is here

http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index071.html

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Shumatsu_Samurai: "smithinjapan, you talk about swastikas. A Japanese uniform is not a swastika, it's the equivalent of a WWII German uniform."

I'm aware of the differences. I was comparing the mentality, and, no surprise, you don't get the comparison.

"You can whine about Yasukini having class A war criminals in there, but that was a decision of a few people."

Yes, a place that is supposed to be sacred and dedicated to the dead but instead is just any other business. And I don't whine about it, I comment on it, like pointing out the idiot right-wingers in this picture, who had nothing to do with war but glorify it, follow the same thinking that led young men and women (or hell, even old men and women) to be enshrined there. They are shallow, weak men who could better spend their time helping people and working than dressing up in costumes they don't understand and could not stand up in if they actually wanted to.

Nontheless the fact remains that class A war criminals are there, and men like the men in these photos deny their atrocities, and even in some cases claim that the actions helped Asia move forward. Look at the lunatic that is Tojo's granddaughter, or other deniers of the Nanjing massacre or sex-slaves (you need only look to Prime Ministers or lawmakers who are angry and want to go to other nations to express their anger by claiming their land). One of the funniest, in a sad way, things I've seen in terms of this issue was Abe being forced to backtrack on his statements about Imperial troops involvement with sex-slaves after literal proof was given to him. I think it was soon after that he developed his gastric problems and had to resign, no? And wasn't Abe's granddad... or most other JP PMs' granddads, also a war criminal?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just so you can get an idea what constituted a "Class A War Criminal" in 1945, check out this general's fate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomoyuki_Yamashita

His "crime" was that even though he ordered a complete withdrawl out of Manila towards the end of the war, a subordinate disobeyed and remained with over 10,000 troops - resulting in the Manila massacre. This general was executed by hanging not because of something he did or didn't do, but because of something someone ELSE did. The allies did not dispute this and the resulting precedent is considered gravely flawed even today. The prosecution's argument that a general is responsible for anything their subordinates do - even when the subordinate disobeys the general's orders is ludicrous and the proof is in the MeLai Massacre trial during the Vietnam War. During that trial it was the Lt. directly commanding the men who was tried for war crimes, not the commanding general.

This is not to imply that some of the "Class A" criminals aren't completely guilty as charged, just to point out that the allies - in their fervor for "justice" - threw out most of the rules of jurisprudence (that we take for granted) when they put these men on trial. We actually came to realize that after the bloodlust died, which is why anyone convicted of war crimes that was still alive in 1950 was released from prison at that time regardless of sentence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fadamor: "His "crime" was that even though he ordered a complete withdrawl out of Manila towards the end of the war, a subordinate disobeyed and remained with over 10,000 troops - resulting in the Manila massacre."

Awww... the poor guy. Let's take a moment to feel sorry for class-A war criminals. And by the gawds let's dress up like fools while we do it!

"This is not to imply that some of the "Class A" criminals aren't completely guilty as charged,"

Oh... phew... I was about to go out in my Japanese military uniform and do the goose-step! So you defend those charged but proclaim some might have actually been guilty? Interesting stance.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Fadamor: "So why wasn't England's Prince Harry arrested in January of 2005? He was "some kid" in "Europe" "dressed up in a swastika armband". He wasn't arrested because all he was showing was poor taste at a costume party, not calling for the return of the Third Reich."

So, let me get this straight... your analogy of poor taste is in some way to prove a point about these men being in poor taste? I can't see how this possibly negates my point... I can only see how you failed to see the point and then proved it. Good job!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fadamor: "By the end of the war it is estimated over a million Filipinos had died."

That, and 10 million other Asians under Japanese rule. So let's dress up like these guys and show our 'respect'. Heck, while we're at it let's go to a place that houses criminals that killed said 10 million. When they step out in their Imperial troop garb there will always be apologists, so hey.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Unlike most European countries it is not illegal to dress as a Nazi or deny the Holocaust in the United Kingdom.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I have grown to respect and care for the Japanese people deeply. I find that Japan like my county, the US, loves to continually rewrite history. Of course, when you win a war. History looks much different than when you lose. The war was fought for very different reasons than what is represented in this march. Please, please take a good long look at history before writing a long diatribe of renewed hate. It is impossible to understand from history if if you never knew it in the first place. I have been to the Arizona memorial, Yasukuni Shrine, concentration camps in Germany, Anna Franks house in Holland and had a very long conversation with someone that survived the Bataan death march. When does it stop!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Steve: The UK is an exception in that, and that will probably change in the future. In Japan, the exception are people who refuse to stand up during the anthem or recognize the flag, and every year they are starting to be legally penalized for their lack of 'nationalism'. What a brave nation -- that forces you to love it at the will of men like those in this photo. And hey, if you don't love it, or even disagree, you're not an Aigokusha!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ChopriCana

Fadamor

Where is the resource or trustworthy evidence you referred the statistics which proved the "0.04%" ?

What is the total number for "100%" in your research?

Where is your logic comes from?

I'm sorry but did you even bother to read this fellow poster's comment at all?? Allow me to quote him:

FadamorAug. 16, 2011 - 03:55AM JST

As I pointed out in another thread, the number of war criminals listed in the shrine's Book of Souls only amounts to 0.04% of the names in the book. That means these two guys have only a 0.04% chance that they're going to the shrine to honor a war criminal. I would need a LOT more information than this article provides about why they were going to the shrine before I would start criticizing them.

See now?? He wasn't criticizing those two guys in uniform, as a matter of fact. I always thought my English was bad, with all due respect. Let's try to re-read before replying back to posts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

skyserve1: "Of course, when you win a war. History looks much different than when you lose."

True, but Japan lost the war. They just rewrite the textbooks to make themselves the victims while denying any wrong doing. Seriously, look up Abe's humorous stance on sex-slaves and the back-peddling he was forced to do. It is quite funny. Of course, he'll deny it all and suddenly disappear (like when he resigned as PM), but hey.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ThonTaddeo

@Yuri and BlueWitch -

after our government stop lying and denying what really happened

Do you two know who Robert Tuggle, Vernon Tebo, and Warren Loyd are? "Lying and denying" is exactly what the Japanese Army did with the incident involving them. Yuri, if you're truly Okinawan, then your pro-Japan, anti-American fanaticism makes no sense at all. Please study the history of your birthplace from 1609 to 1945, particularly the years up to 1903 when the "head tax" (人頭税) made the ordinary person into a virtual slave.

The Americans were downright benevolent compared to what went on when the Yamato people were running things before 1945.

Another person whose reading level is (apparently) significantly below his capacity, unfortunately. Have you ever read any of my posts?? The last thing I am, in this forum, is an Anti-American, Pro-Japan Fanatic. The fact that I was born in Okinawa does NOT make me such type of person. In fact, I've been highly criticized and literally stomped down because I refuse to accept our government's lies and deceit. I am someone who calls our government CORRUPT and SHAMELESS

There is NO way I would respect such people. The government that refuses to acknowledge the truth about ww2 and keeps lying on our history textbooks. And if so many people are gonna hate me (Japanese and Foreign alike) then let them be. I have the given right to criticize my own country whenever I feel like. Sorry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just so you can get an idea what constituted a "Class A War Criminal" in 1945, check out this general's fate:

He wasn't charged with "A" (Crimes Against Peace)

One of ChopriCana's point that you (among others) miss is that there is a perceived notion that "A" is the most heinous of the crimes when the punishment corresponding to the charges say otherwise.

http://www2b.biglobe.ne.jp/~yorozu/sub13.html

You will notice that those who are convicted of "A" only did not get the death sentence. In addition, Matsui Iwane wasn't even convicted on "A" charges but were handed a death sentence for B/C crimes.

Hence, the so-called "controversy" is not the "enshrinment of A-class criminals" as western media points out but the enshrinment of the 14 "Martyrs of Showa at the Tokyo Tribunals".

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

smithinjapan Please reread my post. I do not think you understood .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Two war heroes to pay their respect for the dead.

War heroes? Those guys could've been no more than babies when WW2 popped off.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

BlueWitch, actually you misunderstand me. I know there were a lot of Japanese war criminals. What they did to my family and people of Okinawa would be enough. I chose a long time ago to forgive them. Then add the comfort girls, the rape of Nanking, the death marches, the murder of civilians and it is a long list have to stop! Then there were a lot of people who were not war criminals. The "enshrinement" of the war criminals was done after the fact and am not sure if any of their remains are on site. The monks who run the place did it and without consent of the families of the non class A war criminals. If my last post offended you please excuse me it did not come out right. I meant to say they look like old men to me. So 2 old men wore old uniforms, I just do not see the big deal. They must have a lot of spare time in retirement.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

nigelboy: "Hence, the so-called "controversy" is not the "enshrinment of A-class criminals" as western media points out but the enshrinment of the 14 "Martyrs of Showa at the Tokyo Tribunals"."

The controversy here is two idiots in poorly ironed costumes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Only America was SANE during WW2! Other powers were NOT.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Japan continues to look at themselves as a victim. Few people realize that the U.S. had a secret deal with the Japanese that sold out the Chinese victims and even American veterans of WWII. During the war, Japanese doctors performed live medical experiments, but after 1945 the U.S. government not only failed to punish these doctors but exonerated them in exchange for their medical data. The American government also exempted the Japanese royal family from war crimes trials, permitted Emperor Hirohito to stay on the throne and even encouraged many officials of the Japanese wartime government to return to power.

One of the greatest ironies of the Rape of Nanking is that the Japanese squelched efforts to heal the victims of the massacre. The group of conservative Japanese academics not only called Rape of Naking "the most outrageous, world-class lie" but denied that it even happened. China blasted the Japanese government when the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. denounced as "erroneous," "one-sided" and filled with historical inaccuracies — an allegation that the ambassador was not able to support with a single good example. One reason why Japanese soldiers found it so easy to commit atrocities is that they were brought up in a military environment that held in contempt all human life, even their own. But there are clear, established laws of war laws set by the Hague Convention and ostensibly recognized by most civilized nations which Japan ignored entirely.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thankfully, Japan will never, every become a military power again and for that the world can feel at ease. Yes, losing is tough but the problem here is the same as it's always been; collective amnesia. Once there is a full recognition of the horror perpetrated by the Imperial Army et. al. we can move on. Germany did it, so can Japan. It's the only way left as Japan slowly lumbers in the sleepwalk to oblivion that Its now on. Rich and irrelevant, just like Switzerland. So the old GI I saw in suit, veteran's cap and can who shouted out "We gotcha, Tojo yer f****r!" at this same event one year ago can rest old wounds and we can truly as they say: all move on.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithinjapan

How would you feel if a few middle-aged men dressed up in surplus army-wear for the event in a 'show of appreciation'

Yeah, I know what you are saying, and I'm not really referring to the Cosplay ojis with my comment. I was reflecting in a more general way, because, as you can see from this board, there are many people who simply want to shout down any right Japan might have to honour it's fallen from WW2. I'm not comfortable with that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The two men dressed in front are survivors of the Atomic bomb. They've witnessed things you cannot even imagine. They are paying their respect to the dead, and to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save others.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@YuriOtani

BlueWitch, actually you misunderstand me. I know there were a lot of Japanese war criminals. What they did to my family and people of Okinawa would be enough. I chose a long time ago to forgive them. Then add the comfort girls, the rape of Nanking, the death marches, the murder of civilians and it is a long list have to stop! Then there were a lot of people who were not war criminals. The "enshrinement" of the war criminals was done after the fact and am not sure if any of their remains are on site.The monks who run the place did it and without consent of the families of the non class A war criminals. If my last post offended you please excuse me it did not come out right. I meant to say they look like old men to me. So 2 old men wore old uniforms, I just do not see the big deal. They must have a lot of spare time in retirement.

No worries about it, I took no offense at all. But there are some folk in here trying to classify me as a Pro-Japan fanatic 「右翼」, blah blah, when most of the time I would just criticize our government over stuff like this and more. And what's more, I'm still loyal to the idea that the mainland should just let us go and stop bothering us with their BS. They came here and got rid of Ryukyu and implemented their government. Made us a prefecture!! There are just so many factors that that list would just go on and on...And yes, there were a lot of people who were NOT war criminals indeed. How many teenagers forced to kill themselves as long as they would destroy「神風」a target, in complete disregard for their young lives, our common folk to hold grenades and blow themselves up, women who would jump off cliffs, etc. We became part of this war because of the mainland. It's time for them to take responsibility. Anyway, I agree with you in many points, especially this:

They must have a lot of spare time in retirement.

LOL they do indeed....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The man on the left is Thomas Takashi Tanemori. THIS IS NOT COSPLAY.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Summary of picture

2 clueless idiots who believe the best way to honor their country is by glorifying the same terrible act that resulted in millions of dead Japanese through war, famine, disease and nuclear fire.

I don't understand these people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Now, Kentaro, you said,"These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia," and I'm wondering, how old do they look to you? I'm thinking they might be at Yasukuni to honour their father(s), rather than their own fallen commrades.

And I don't personally see anything wrong with honouring the war dead on the memorial day of the end of war. My father and uncle would dress up in their Legion uniforms on November 11th in honour of their father. Not much difference. (Just to be clear, I'm Canadian by birth. Japanese by choice. Said Granpappy was fighting with the Brits in WW1 & 2)

These fellows don't appear to be doing anything to intimidate or annoy - which is my big huge beef with the guys in the speaker vans. Them, I'd like to look in a small room with some very loud music blasting them deaf. (But of course I wouldn't actually do that. Just a fantasy.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

kentaro75

Why all you foreigners to show the lack of repect for two war veteran? These two heros faught for freedom of Japan and asia, why can you not see we Japanese support our war veterans who made the greatest sacrifices for the nation?

If they were really fighting for freedom then they would have to have been fighting against Tojo etc, because in case you didnt know, no one in Japan in the 1930-40s HAD ANY FREEDOM!

Your freedom & the rest of Japans/Japanese FREEDOM came when the war was over, when Japan was defeated, surrendered & NOT BEFORE. It preposterous to say Japan was trying to free anything 66+yrs ago, in fact it was more the opposite, enslave China, Korea, SE Asia etc.

YOUR FREEDOM WAS GIVEN TO YOU BY THE ALLIES, PRIMARILY THE YANKS! Something you should be grateful for otherwise Japan would have continued to be an aweful place to live like it was back in the early 1900s for many decades onwards but fortunately Japan was stopped.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bluewitch,

Just wanted to thank you for MANY great posts on tis thread! Clearly you are a very proud person & rightfully so!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@GW

Bluewitch,

Just wanted to thank you for MANY great posts on tis thread! Clearly you are a very proud person & rightfully so!

Thank You, I'm just expressing my true feelings the best way I can. I know everyone is different and not many people will agree with my views but I think I have the right to expose the corruption and dirt of our government when necessary. I am not your typical local folk who would just shrug and say: しょうがないなーぁ Like I stated before, when they come clean and admit to the truth, then I will go pay my respects to those that died following orders, because NOT everyone in Yasukuni is a war criminal. NOT EVERYONE!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You also need to remember, the majority of men back then were forced to enter military service, having no idea what they will do, where they will go, due to the fact of the emperors command. Where as the nazi's knew what they were doing and the soldiers were brainwashed with propaganda to realize where they were going

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So a person knowing their objective and not knowing are two different things for any soldier..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes most of the soldiers had known their objectives in the Japanese army, but in this case I am referring to the entry level ranking soldiers, the everyday men not the higher ranked soldiers..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

All wars even recent wars is usually about two things, commodities being oil, gas, etc or land grabs, a lot of companies had their fair share of colonial land grabs, so I think no major power is innocent..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Companies-Countries

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that's the ugliest uniform ever conceived by the human race...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@BlueWitch - Hold on a minute. The second half of my post was addressed to Yuri; I didn't accuse you of anything!

With you being from Ishigaki, I thought you might know about the incident in which those three American POWs were tortured and killed and then the Japanese Army ordered people to never talk about it. Not until 1947, when a Japanese soldier wrote an anonymous letter to MacArthur, did it come to light. (GHQ initially wanted to execute all 47 perpetrators, but eventually only the ringleader faced punishment.)

The average person doesn't know about it, though; I mentioned it as an example of the cover-ups that went on during the war.

Photos here if you're interested:

http://blog.ishigaki.fm/toita/237747-comment.html

The following parts of my post were directed at Yuri, who despite being from mainland Okinawa seems to have a blind spot about the evils of the Imperial Japanese Army (such as the Tebo/Tuggle/Loyd torture) and instead reserves her hatred for the postwar US occupation and is willing to forgive people who do not deserve forgiveness. I find this to be an inconsistent position that whitewashes history.

I probably should have inserted a paragraph break before switching to that part to make the distinction more clear; sorry about that!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ThonTaddeo

@BlueWitch - Hold on a minute. The second half of my post was addressed to Yuri; I didn't accuse you of anything!

With you being from Ishigaki, I thought you might know about the incident in which those three American POWs were tortured and killed and then the Japanese Army ordered people to never talk about it. Not until 1947, when a Japanese soldier wrote an anonymous letter to MacArthur, did it come to light. (GHQ initially wanted to execute all 47 perpetrators, but eventually only the ringleader faced punishment.)

The average person doesn't know about it, though; I mentioned it as an example of the cover-ups that went on during the war.

Photos here if you're interested:

http://blog.ishigaki.fm/toita/237747-comment.html

The following parts of my post were directed at Yuri, who despite being from mainland Okinawa seems to have a blind spot about the evils of the Imperial Japanese Army (such as the Tebo/Tuggle/Loyd torture) and instead reserves her hatred for the postwar US occupation and is willing to forgive people who do not deserve forgiveness. I find this to be an inconsistent position that whitewashes history.

I probably should have inserted a paragraph break before switching to that part to make the distinction more clear; sorry about that!

Thank You for replying to my post, I'll be reading this in more detail, you should know I'm a human sponge and I really love when people like yourself come with info/data/links for me to read and study. I deeply appreciate it, because I do not care about people's nationalities as long as they come up with the truth. Honestly, If I'm some Anti-something, then I'm definitely an ANTI-RIGHTWING. RIGHT WING ULTRA-NATIONALISTS make me sick to the stomach, whenever they come from.

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@BlueWitch

They are one of the reasons why I feel so ashamed that I was born here.

I m very sad to read such a comment. Because as my opinion the world is praising Japan for many many many good qualities. For me personally, I m also very much in love with Japan. What I understand is, you are very disappointed with the way govt handled nuclear crisis. I don't know the actual situation, but spreading some worst news may cause panic in the public and eventually no one could control the situation. This is just my assumption, and I not trying to justify the govt action. Most of all, there is no saintly politician in the present day politics :). About WW2, it happened. None of the war should be praised, but war dead (I call them heroes) should be respected. No one died for himself, he did it for others. None of them wanted to fight, but they fought because unfortunately they born and lived at the time of war. Once a war is began, only way is to fight. If it is war today, most of us will be fighting :( No one can blame on those heroes. They are just victims of war. Only thing people can do is spread the peace and love each other. Love is the only solution :) So war heroes should be respected, because they put group interest ahead of their personal interest. That is what a country/society expects from its people. I believe Japanese still hold such an attitude. That's the reason I love this country and its people... :)

Watashi wa nihonjin de wa nai yo, soredemo watashi wa Nippon ga daisuki desu :)

@BlueWitch, Be proud to be a Japanese and roar against all corruption in the same way as you do now :) I registered in JT just for adding this post. Now I think I can do more posts from now on. So thank you for bringing me in :) BTW, Do you really think there is a radiation risk? I became more concerned after watching youtube link that you shared in some other post (from Mr Tatsuhiko Kodama)

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@JKats

@BlueWitch, Be proud to be a Japanese and roar against all corruption in the same way as you do now :) I registered in JT just for adding this post. Now I think I can do more posts from now on. So thank you for bringing me in :) BTW, Do you really think there is a radiation risk? I became more concerned after watching youtube link that you shared in some other post (from Mr Tatsuhiko Kodama)

Thank You so much for replying to my post. There are many many beautiful things, traditions and customs about Japan that makes me proud, of course. But then there is that dark side that makes me cringe in frustration because our government insist in siding with these right-wing nationalists, keeping draconian laws and putting money over people's lives.

They could have decontaminated large areas back there in Fukushima and evacuate more people but to them that means more MONEY to spend.

Still, The right-wings in this country are very powerful, even more than the police. My husband has a childhood friend who is member of one of those right-wing groups and he says what they do has nothing to do with real Japanese spirit. It's shameful to be driving around in black vans, shouting unspeakable to Foreign persons and promoting hatred and racism.

Anyway, I'm glad you have joined us and WELCOME to JT, my friend~~~~ (^.^)

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@ChopriCana

Fadamor

Where is the resource or trustworthy evidence you referred the statistics which proved the "0.04%" ?

What is the total number for "100%" in your research?

Where is your logic comes from?

Basic math skills. There are 2,466,532 names in the Yasukuni Shrine's Book of Souls. Of those, 1,082 names are individuals convicted of either class A, B, or C war crimes in the military tribunals after WWII. 1,082 / 2,466,532 = .04386725978012853674714133041858% (OK, not so basic. I used the Windows calculator)

Source for all the above data is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine

As for the logic, I was simply pointing out that because there are a statistically insignificant number of war criminals named at the shrine, the odds that these two guys are going there to honor war criminals is also statistically insignificant. There are 2,133,915 names enshrined from WWII and the majority of them served in the Japanese military. Subtract the 1,082 convicted war criminals and you're left with 2,132,833 people that these guys could be at the shrine for that were NOT war criminals.

Source for the above data is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasukuni_Shrine.

I hope I've answered your questions.

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@BlueWitch - I actually thought you might have been referring to that exact incident when you mentioned cover-ups and then said that you were from Ishigaki. If you have relatives over about 70, ask them if they know about it.

If it weren't for that one conscientious person who reported it, the ringleaders of this disgrace would still be revered as good soldiers. While I sympathize with the other soldiers who were ordered to participate, I can't help but wonder how many other atrocities have been hidden from the public.

Go see the monument if you have a chance - it's on the southwest coast of the island, near Makira (?) beach; if you reach the Mine Kobo craft place you've gone too far. It's a small monument but it had me, who had never heard of the incident, staring at it for quite a long time, and hoping that the world never sees anything like WWII again.

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This is so very frustrating! I support the right for these people to come out and public and express their views. I have never said I support them or their wacky right wing views. Also we need to honor our ancestors, only a very few were war criminals. You like a lot of people blame the entire country for the deeds of the few. During the war you either did what you were told at once or faced torture and death. I see the soldiers of the second war as being brainwashed and tormented into doing these crimes. This does not excuse those who committed war crime but explains it. It has been 66 years since the end of the war and yet the Japanese people are not forgiven. About the right wingers, well as long as they are peaceful and law abiding the government can not stop them. This is the entire part about being a "free" nation. The shrine is a private concern and the government can not interfere by the constitution or is it a person is free to speak out only if the majority approves? Again I do not support these groups or the actions of the shrine. Am not Shinto but come from a long line of hiding Christians.

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@YuriOtani

This is so very frustrating! I support the right for these people to come out and public and express their views. I have never said I support them or their wacky right wing views. Also we need to honor our ancestors, only a very few were war criminals. You like a lot of people blame the entire country for the deeds of the few. During the war you either did what you were told at once or faced torture and death. I see the soldiers of the second war as being brainwashed and tormented into doing these crimes. This does not excuse those who committed war crime but explains it. It has been 66 years since the end of the war and yet the Japanese people are not forgiven. About the right wingers, well as long as they are peaceful and law abiding the government can not stop them. This is the entire part about being a "free" nation. The shrine is a private concern and the government can not interfere by the constitution or is it a person is free to speak out only if the majority approves? Again I do not support these groups or the actions of the shrine. Am not Shinto but come from a long line of hiding Christians.

I understand how you feel, believe me. Fighting against both sides most of my life and being criticized and stomped down by both sides as well. It's sooo frustrating. The WW2 atrocities happened even when this messed up draconian government insist to lie and deceit the common folk about it by re-writing history in our textbooks, but then there are certain people that at the same time, blame us as a whole country, deliberately, for what happened in WW2, I'd like to tell those people: "Hey, I AM NOT, in any way, responsible for what happened more than 66 years ago, you hear? I wasn't even born here yet. Do not try to make me feel like I was involved in those crimes. It's very pitiful that some people still trying such low tactics against common folk of the new generation. I'm not 70 or 80 years old, It's impossible that I was somehow involved in.

It's that "screw it, blame everybody" attitude from some people that will perpetuate such behavior like burning our flag and harass us just because our nationalities. I find it despicable to travel to South Korea or China and being called derogatory names just because what some old people did, I'm 30, I didn't kill anybody so why trying to make me feel like I have to atone for such war criminals, blame the government, but not us, our new generation. My children are not responsible for what happened in WW2. I am devoted to expose our REAL history and update history books that are deliberately kept from teaching the truth by this "government" of ours. But there's no reason for people to call me names like: "war criminal jap" and such. My family is innocent, so is my husband and children, and the baby growing inside me. Period!

About your last statement, how would you feel if I told you that there were "wise women" in my family lineage? you seem when you are born and raised in such a small village, keeping certain things "hidden" is a must in order to co-exist with the rest. Sad but true. Remember what happened to those "wise women" all over Europe? Better safe than sorry. (^.^)

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@Thon Taddeo

@BlueWitch - I actually thought you might have been referring to that exact incident when you mentioned cover-ups and then said that you were from Ishigaki. If you have relatives over about 70, ask them if they know about it.

If it weren't for that one conscientious person who reported it, the ringleaders of this disgrace would still be revered as good soldiers. While I sympathize with the other soldiers who were ordered to participate, I can't help but wonder how many other atrocities have been hidden from the public.

Go see the monument if you have a chance - it's on the southwest coast of the island, near Makira (?) beach; if you reach the Mine Kobo craft place you've gone too far. It's a small monument but it had me, who had never heard of the incident, staring at it for quite a long time, and hoping that the world never sees anything like WWII again.

I read something about it on a site, along with several other cases of public lynchings of POW's. You won't find these cases on your normal history books in here. You're more likely to find how people with falling skin were walking all over the place after the Atom-B's were dropped than finding about some POW tided up to a fence and being beaten up to death by a bunch of village people. But yes, I have read of these gruesome cases.

I have no inhibition in showing my pain for the tens of thousands of innocent civilians that were burnt to ashes when those 2 Atom bombs were dropped on them. Note that the majority of victims were not even related to those working in the military factories for that matter. And on the other hand, you have our feudal-like government, who deliberately tries to keep our new generation blind and uneducated about the realities of WW2. They insist to teach whatever doesn't seem too incriminating for them, but apparently for these corrupted bureaucrats, Hiroshima/Nagasaki are the 70% of WW2 in Japanese history. So what happened in our neighbor countries such as The Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, China, there were just "incidents". They were trying to "save them". how convenient. Still, our new generation has nothing to do with what our ancestors did, exclude Okinawan/Ryukyu Ancestors of course. It's terrible that many people around the world try to blame me and the new generation for what happened. Wanna blame someone? Blame our government, harass them until the update the history books with the truth.

I'll find out about the Monument you mentioned, but for now I am literally for to rest at home as I'm carrying a 10 month belly that could go "off" at any moment now, if you know what I mean. Rest is a must.

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BlueWitch:

It's terrible that many people around the world try to blame me and the new generation for what happened.

Would you mind recounting some of these experiences? I know the Chinese still hold grudges, fanned by their government to distract from its own abuses, and that the Korean left bashes Japan to establish their credentials as patriots whenever they are accused of treason for cuddling North Korea. I am aware of the phenomenon, but I thought it was confined to east asia.

This is just out of curiosity, I am not calling you a liar or anything.

Wanna blame someone? Blame our government, harass them until the update the history books with the truth.

Japan is a democracy, so its people are somewhat accountable for the actions of its government. Not individually of course, but in aggregate they do elect the people who set education policy.

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I am glad that my GranFather did not have to sacrifice his life to a Kook of a Imperial dictator back in WWII, even though he was severly injured and wished at the time that he wanted to die with his comrades at this time in his life. What a waste of life trampled under foot by our countries army, so many wonderful people murdered for what..what was so good of a reason to destroy life, how much sarrow is needed before we have had enough. My beautiful GranFather was a Hero to me, I wept with him many times as he told us of the old days when ALL men had to go along with what ever order was given or they them selves would face death, if they killed or murdered or raped or destroyed they all were one team of destruction with no mercey. I respect the real Men who new that what they were doing was wrong and would rather die then partake in total annihilation of others. this war was before my time where men paid a horrific price, what a waste of beautiful Japanese men so young, and smart who had Mom's and Dad's and girl friends who loved and were loved, all gone now all gone. where did it take us.... we are subservant to all the nations that we destroyed and raped. How I love this country where my family through the ages has come and gone and fought for her. I want to fight to bring back the patriotism and the love that our country has but the fight will not be with hate or war but with compassion and love for my brother's of all nations. But it seems there is a stigma in so many people's eye's still today that we who live now have to still carry the burden of what happened so many years ago.

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I'll find out about the Monument you mentioned, but for now I am literally for to rest at home as I'm carrying a 10 month belly that could go "off" at any moment now,

Haha; no worries! Go see it after your little faa (子供?) is born and you have some energy!

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Blah, blah, blah to all of you. Japan got what it deserved in WW2; maybe Tokyo and HIM Hirohito should have been nuked too. Should I elaborate: Rape of Nanjing (explain away all you want) but the Japanese army did by hand work more than the results of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Hong Kong (Canadian and British soldiers bayonetted in hospitals etc.); Singapore, etc.; in general IJA turning tropical paradises into living hell-holes under the general rubric of liberating Asians from the Colonial West into a so-called Greater Asian Co-Properity Sphere; slave use of Allied prisoners -walking skeletons, forced labour; Unit 731 - need I go on you monsters; Bataan death march; bizarre war crimes such as widespread cannibalism justified by IJA high command in China and against Allied forces, etc. etc. Japan is still arrogant and pushy, and maybe the Americans are pussies now, but China won't let you ever get away with it again...

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These two guys kind of remind me vietnam vets - they fought an unpopular and unwinnable war, returned home to national shame and scorn. It's true Japan committed uncountable wartime atrocities, including rank and file servicemen. It's also true that many good men also died while fighting for their country.

This was the last major war that Japan fought and the scars of the former military vets have also not healed - ostracized by society - swept under the rug - this is precisely what happened to the US vets of the vietnam war.

Japan must come to terms with its past and put it to rest both for its own sake and for peace and harmony with its neighbors. Currently Japan uses the USA as a military buffer between N Korea and China - but it's largely un-necessary for all parties concerned. Both China and Japan are the two largest stakeholders in US debt - so in essence, all three are tied together.

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