politics

Abe visits Shinto holy site before G-7 summit

10 Comments
By Toru Hanai

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10 Comments
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I would rather he visit a Shinto holy site than go to Yasukuni.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He must be going to warn the gods their home will be contaminated for a bit by foreigners but it is all in a good cause.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Wakarimasen:Write the name of shrine you recommend. What do you mean holy?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Creepy. I'd much prefer it if Cameron stayed away.

In what kind of religion are "ordinary people" only allowed to look at the rooftops?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

so much for the separation of church and state

1 ( +3 / -2 )

sf2k, you are absolutely right to recognize that the separation of church and state has been challenged by PM Abe and his government. In fact, the invalidation of the constitutional prohibition against favoring a particular religion has been a priority of Abe and his cabinet.

Shinzo Abe is Head of General Affairs for 神道政治連盟国会議員懇談会 (Shintou seiji renmei kokkai giin kondankai ­– Shinto Political Alliance Diet Member’s Roundtable).

Further reading from 2013, still relevant: http://apjjf.org/-Matthew-Penney/4747/article.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"has said the grounds are a good place to get a sense of the true Japanese spirit and culture"

Except that most Japanese are NOT Shinto, and of the ones that are almost no one actually believes in it, so they're not really getting a sense of "the true Japanese spirit and culture" at all. It is am important part of culture, for sure, and in that I think it's just fine and dandy that they visit, but Abe has to be careful not to push what HE sees is this or that on them, or else the people will indeed walk away thinking all of Japan is a certain way (and not good if they make the association with nationalism and militarism). If they can keep religion out of it, it is a beautiful place to see, without a doubt, and an important asset.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Toshiko

"Holy" often means "sacred" or "spiritual" or "religious". It does not particularly mean anything more than "special" to one's heart or soul.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How is this any different from visiting national cemeteries, honoring the names on the plaques of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their life for what they believed in and protected?

Names on walls, spirits in shrines, what is the difference? Just a cultural one.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Masaki Komine: "How is this any different from visiting national cemeteries, honoring the names on the plaques of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their life for what they believed in and protected?"

Easy: war criminals are not honored in other nations. Next.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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