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War memories

44 Comments

Japanese veterans and their followers clad in outdated military costumes march to pay respects to the nation's war dead at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Wednesday, the 67th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

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THOSE WHO FORGET HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT........ and there are a lot of people today who are not only forgetting history, they are denying it ever happened. I salute these guys for remembering.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

Riffraff - For all you know they might be remembering and pining for the "good old days" of Japanese aggression and conquest of their neighbors.

13 ( +24 / -12 )

Japanese veterans and their followers clad in outdated military costumes....

military costumes aren't the only outdated thing in Japan these days - the economy and the state of its politics isn;t too crash hot either...probably one big reason why the whole country is taking refuge even more than before in the childish culture of anything that is "kawaii"....

4 ( +10 / -6 )

At the Yasukuni Shrine with A-call war criminals enshrined there? This is the same as people paying respect to hitler...

10 ( +19 / -9 )

I'm curious about the white guy standing at the back, third from right. He's even wearing Japanese geta. Is he part of this or just watching...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

should read a-class

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why are they holding up the Japan Gymnastics Team uniform?

OH, oops, I keep getting those two mixed up...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I have always liked the old flag. But the need to do this stuff baffles me - I guess I must be out of touch.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

More cosplay?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

hoserfella..... does not matter what they are pining for... it did not work, they got their asses handed to them, and that might just be enough to make their descendants think twice about failed ploys.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Just like skinheads dressing up and 'paying respect' to their nazi leaders. People like these guys should not be allowed to enter the grounds -- but wait, it's Yasukuni we're talking about. Out-of-date right wing nationalism is a prerequisite.

7 ( +14 / -8 )

Japanese people don't care about this. Notice the absence of coverage in the press. Japanese think these people are scarry or at least wierd.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Riffraff: " they got their asses handed to them, and that might just be enough to make their descendants think twice about failed ploys."

You would think so, but that would mean acknowledging history -- and not just the parts where you are victim. As it is they seem hell bent on repeating the past, while hiding behind the US military, of course. Look at the clowns in this picture... do they seem be thinking about failed ploys?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The young guys in line, I wonder if they are part of the modern Japanese Sefl Defence Force. If not, why not get into real action instead of pretending to be some Emperial Army cosplay man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

By the looks of this rabble - no wonder they lost the war!

No problem whatsoever with honouring the majority of war dead - in particular innocent women, children and civilians - just not the war criminals. Same deal for all sides of combat.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No fool like an old fool. Wonder if the chubby young fool behind him had to ask his mum to make his costume a little 'roomier'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ayler: "Wonder if the chubby young fool behind him had to ask his mum to make his costume a little 'roomier'."

If not that, he demanded a bento be made before he goes home to hide in his room.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I've seen at least 2 of these old guys before in their costume for this occasion. I'd be interested in what they had to say - their take on what they are doing. In any case, my grandfather would be more than happy to hand their ass to them for a second time if he were anywhere in the vacinity. I'm sure he would not look too favourably on these kinds of shennanigans.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The losers much have their day. Reminds me of the Star n' Bars, the South Shall Rise Again crowd in the U.S.

I can somehow forgive the old guys dressing up in their old uniforms and mourning their miserable lot, but why the young guys have to do this Halloween routine is beyond me.

Yes, Imperial Japan lost the war. Thanks to that these people spent most or all of their lives in a democracy that became an economic powerhouse. Why can't they be thankful for that?

The same people who dump on South Korea and tell them to forget the past go in for this sort of childish crap.

I think they do so because they are losers. Not because Japan lost the war but because they themselves are outcasts from the postwar feast.

Not all vets are right-wing nationalists. A lot of them, some my friends included, went left.

Well, let the losers have their day. "Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed" said Emily Dickinson. Maybe failure is counted sweetest by those who never succeed as well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The war is over a long time ago. Why do they need to wear military uniforms for the memorial service although all people pledged no more war.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I just watched the live action movie 'Battleship Yamato' and the guy with the beard reminded me of the captain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”

Mohandas K. Gandhi: “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves. ”

Mohandas K. Gandhi: “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks to that these people spent most or all of their lives in a democracy that became an economic powerhouse.

an Indian in poverty too enjoys living in a democracy and an economic powerhouse. You make it all sound like it's a reward.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The memorial is for those Who Serve. There were those that served that were monsters. And those that were not. Who do you think The Memorial was for? I would think they remember their comrades that gave their lives in service of Japan. Our Modern viewpoint on it has little relevance to them

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Saul: " I would think they remember their comrades that gave their lives in service of Japan. "

So you think these guys served, eh? The plump little fellows in the back are no more than 40, they could not have served in any war.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

and the old man saluting did not?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've no idea who these people are - the first guy looks old enough to have been in the war, and for all I know, the younger guys are wearing the uniforms of their dead ancestors.

They may be the loons who insist that Japan was a victim of Western agression, or they may be remembering their dead comrades/relatives. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. 0.004% of the 'souls' in Yasukuni were convicted of war crimes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Edit: 0.04%

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They look like dead soldiers marching forever tormenting the emperor for their lost young days. As depicted in Kurosawa's film "Yume" or Mizuki Shigeru's manga.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Saul: "and the old man saluting did not?"

So your admitting the latter did not and could not have. The old man with the fake beard might have in his time, but who knows? Probably not, if he marches to the site of a shrine with war criminals who led him into murdering and butchering millions. Who would ever revere such monsters if they actually had anything to do with what happened? Nah, my guess is this guy was too young to go into battle and romanticizes it like he's told to do by the powers that be. Maybe his pops was a war criminal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Kabukalover There is nothing wrong about honoring the past, as I do for the Star's n Bar's, I'm sorry you don't have a past to be honored...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Peace is only for those that have given up control to others, freedom is when you refuse to be controlled. Simplified.. peace is what you have when you die, freedom is what have if you chose to live.. Quoted by me...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The way I see it, they are honoring ancestors. plain and simple. In the US we also honor our war dead, some of which were war criminals (though not convicted) every military has war criminals, its which side that wins that gets to pick and choose what is 'patriotism' and what is a 'war crime'. So please stop making a mountain out of a mole hill and show some respect for the dead(whichever group of dead you ignorantly think is 100% righteous and just, or just acknowledge that there are bright spots and dark spots in EVERY group and respect them all).

PS. I am not saying the Japanese Imperial military during WWII did not commit a tremendous amount of atrocities (my grandfather survived the Bataan Death March and forced labour for years(and ended up dyeing some 20 years later due to complications from radiation exposure when his group was forced there to clean up immediately following the bomb) and these examples are a somewhat minor cases in the grand scale of atrocities, but I also realize that we as humans need to move on (though I think japan still has not shown remorse for many of their actions, its a normal thing countries do, I can give dozens of examples about the US doing the morally/ethically wrong thing and never apologizing either), its just something we hope will change one day while we move on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only 6 people in the photo are dressed up. So what? Hardly as significant group size.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this capitulation day of Japan, or that day of the end of the WW2?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ugh! That imperial flag again. This is offensive to the Americans that died in Pearl Harbor!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If this picture is an accurate representation, we see one old guy with a white beard and a lot of chubby young guys is quasi-military uniforms and that flag. On second thought, this seems to have little to do with mourning and lot to with ultra-nationalists holding a demonstration. They are Japan's version of the neo-Nazis in Germany, but more tolerated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is offensive to the Americans that died in Pearl Harbor!

Difficult to offend a dead person.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

History has been forgotten and it will be repeated as long as Japanese remain silent in political apathy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ globalwatcher

History has been forgotten and it will be repeated as long as Japanese remain silent in political apathy.

Exactly, Some posters on JT think that every country should be the same way as Japan. Korea, China and Taiwan for instance I read comments to the effect those said countries should forget and get over the past like the countries who were trespassed on,violated and controlled thought it was great fun. Not...... Also as a child I was always told that the truth hurts more than any lie. Didn't understand that at first, but I grew to understand the meaning of those words.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At the Yasukuni Shrine with A-call war criminals enshrined there? This is the same as people paying respect to hitler...

Grow up, why not look to see when Yasakuni shrine was built for a change? It goes back well before WW2 and was built in 1869. Do the math and understand why they can go there when ever they want. Soldiers are victims too (of their governments choices), some were required to give up their lives for stupid causes because they were commanded to by their superiors or due to social pressure. Not every Japanese soldier commited a war crime, they just did what they were commanded to do, and you know what could have happened to those that didn't obey.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

History has been forgotten and it will be repeated as long as Japanese remain silent in political apathy.

Care to explain what this means, assuming you were actually trying to say something as opposed to sprouting knee-jerk cliches?

Chipzala and HonestDictator, good points. I hope these guys are not pining for the good ol' days of empire, but showing respect to those who died. Both sides (Allies and Axis) have the right to do so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That imperial flag again. This is offensive to the Americans that died in Pearl Harbor!

It is still the current Japanese Navel flag.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like a picture from 1937

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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