politics

Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine for war dead

60 Comments
By Teppei Kasai and Chehui Peh

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60 Comments
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I'm trust that the "sword" that gent in the uniform is brandishing is a facsimile, since it is illegal to carry about elongated cutting instruments in public --- even, I assume, at Yasukuni.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Good thing that old guy didn't brandish that weapon in my face.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

A provocative photo

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Seems like they never let the dead rest in Japan!

War dead or anyone else.

I cannot remember how many memorials I have attended for my father in law.

The 3 year do is after one year, 5 year after 2 years - I never understood it thank when he was alive.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Here we go again. People wishing that we were back in the good old days. And we all know how that ended. Koizumi Jr rearing his ugly face. No doubt gearing up to be future PM.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I have no respect to Kenpeis (military police) of that Imperial Japan. They were like Gestapo!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

In Germany, and many countries, it is a criminal offence to wear/display Nazi regalia or to make a Nazi salute.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

So much in common with DT when it comes to please your far right base....expect the wife to visit the shrine as usual....

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Yasukuni and it's supporters remind me of those Confederate Statues and U.S. far right nationalists. Both honor their "glorious" past, and of course, both failed miserably.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Wow, illegal to carry around that sword.... and no one should visit the graves of A class war criminals.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The 3 year do is after one year, 5 year after 2 years - I never understood it thank when he was alive.

Depending upon the location in Japan the traditions vary, but they are based upon Buddhist and Shinto ceremonies.

7 days, 14 days, 21 days, 28 days, 35 days, 42 days, and 49 days, are the start and are the first 7 steps to a recently deceased person becoming a "hotoke-sama"

There is the 1 year, 3 year, 7 year, 13 year, 21 year and final 33 year ceremony as well.

Also the yearly Obon ceremonies too.

Theses ceremonies keep the deceased person "alive" in the hearts of family and loved one's.

Personally speaking it's a heck of a lot better way than just saying a few prayers and burying someone in the ground and leaving those in mourning to suffer in silence.

Family and relatives attend many of these ceremonies, and they help with the adjust of losing a loved one.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Look at his left hand - the glove only has four fingers, and the thumb is conspicuously short. Hmm. What kind of person has a hand like that? (Hint: likely many tats under that uniform.)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Look at his left hand - the glove only has four fingers, and the thumb is conspicuously short.

Yikes, you're right. That means he's a failure.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Whatsoever behind the motivations of politicians, Shinjiro Koizumi is a prime example, they will offer little prospect of peaceful closure to historic grievances or provide any future possibility of cordial friendly relationship with neighbouring Governments .

Shinjiro Koizumi is fanning the flames of discontent, breeding and ingraining hostile confrontation, furthering future demands for retribution. Shinjiro Koizumi arrogant deluded belief that his actions and behavior can be interpreted as having any peaceful implications is a foolish act of conceit.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

"There is the 1 year, 3 year, 7 year, 13 year, 21 year and final 33 year ceremony as well."

Interesting! DH's family is Shingonshu, and it's 1 year, 3 years, 7 years, 13 years, 17 years, 25, 33, and 50.

" Seems like they never let the dead rest in Japan!"

The dead go on a journey. The houji are at major milestones in that journey. As Yubaru said,

" 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, 28 days, 35 days, 42 days, and 49 days, are the start and are the first 7 steps to a recently deceased person becoming a "hotoke-sama".

The every-7-days ceremonies are the 'taiya' (may be called different things in different sects) and are over at 49 days, and in Shingonshu we have one more at 100 days.

The prayers recited at this time are said to be a map of the other world, when you chant you are telling them how to proceed, helping them along in their journey. Keeping the incense burning for the first 49 days, day and night, is lighting their way. The cadence of the prayers mimics sorrowful crying. For example, Number One

Fudaraku ya

Kishi utsu nami wa

Mikumano no

Nachi no oyama ni

Hibiku taki tsuse

On Kannon’s island paradise,

Waves crash upon the shores;

In the sacred land of Kumano,

Down Nachi Mountain,

The thundering waterfall cascades.

Each one describes a temple or the surrounding scenery.

" These ceremonies keep the deceased person "alive" in the hearts of family and loved one's.

Personally speaking it's a heck of a lot better way than just saying a few prayers and burying someone in the ground and leaving those in mourning to suffer in silence."

I agree! It's a lot of work at times, but in the beginning it keeps you focused on the ceremonies and gets you through the first few weeks, and after that, the houji are a time for getting together and remembering people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Imagine if people visited shrines set up to venerate Hitler or Pol pot, Confederate soldiers?

It's acts like these that reinforce the notion that Japan has not and will not learn from past mistakes. And we all know what happens if we don't learn from history. Shame.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@itsonlyrockandroll

I think Shinjiro Koizumi knows exactly what he's doing. He's not deluded.

The decrepit elders of the LDP will be nodding in approval.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

and no one should visit the graves of A class war criminals.

There are no graves at Yasukuni, it's a shrine, not a cemetery. The criminals you are referring to only have their souls "consecrated" there.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The brave picture of a soldier in imperial army dress at Yasukuni shrine shows the indomitable spirit of Japan to defend country's sovereignty against all dangers coming from any quarter.Japan Today should show more inside and outside pictures of Yasukuni shrine for the benefit of foreign viewers who are interested to see more about such historical monuments of Japan.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Japanese ""sincerity"" on full display, as usual...............

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The brave picture of a soldier in imperial army dress at Yasukuni shrine shows the indomitable spirit of Japan to defend country's sovereignty against all dangers coming from any quarter

Looks more like a rightist nutter having a cosplay day out to me.

Defending the country? It looks like his back has gone. He's probably been standing paralysed in that pose that for hours.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@B.I. Sharma "The brave picture of a soldier in imperial army dress at Yasukuni shrine shows the indomitable spirit of Japan to defend country's sovereignty against all dangers coming from any quarter."

Haha, the same spirit that ran up the white flag 72 years ago today and has been a vassal state of the U.S. ever since? Wow, what a great spirit...lol

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Hi Jimizo, I have never visited either Yasukuni Shrine, or its neighbouring museum. So I am not in a position to understand fully what this Shrine, at least from a spiritual or religious context or the commemorative significance to the souls of war dead.

My Grandfather once offered to accompany me, however I declined after my Father strongly advised at the time against the trip, the neighbouring museum he insisted would be prejudicial to my choosing to settle here.

My Father has always been against my choice of University because of its preserved political bias. He thought I would be ill equipped intellectually to differentiate between the two. Although he didn't suggest so, I can read him sometimes like a book.

Suffice to say I also see that the Diet has cross party support for an unelected cabal whose ideology originates and is enshrined in the Yasukuni museum that extend beyond Shinjiro Koizumi duplicitous prayers for peace in our time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Gonna remind the wife to burn me throw my ashes in the sea and get on with what time she has left.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese ""sincerity"" on full display, as usual...............

No Japanese person around me went to pray for war criminals this obon vacation. I guess I don't have the attitude that every single Japanese person has the same mind, all 150 million of them.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So from what people on here are saying if you offer prayers to the war dead at Yasukuni you are venerating the war criminals... sorry, but that bollox. You're basically saying that a family who go to the shrine to pay respects to a father, grandfather or great grandfather who was killed fighting in the Imperial Army, Air Force or Navy are also venerating war criminals.

Yes you will get nutters going there (as in the photo) but you can't tar everyone with the same brush.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Yasukuni is worth a visit.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A provocative photo

Agree. Wearing such uniform at Yasukuni shouldn't be tolerated.

Imo J leaders/pollies/historians/intellectuals of the last 70 years have failed to 'reclaim' Yasukuni as theirs and let J revisionists & far-rightists own the shrine and use it to spread nationalist propaganda. The same shrine with the 'right' message would have been fine i.e remember those who fought/died for the nation yet strongly condemn/denounce the too many war criminals J produced and vow to never make the same mistakes again.

Instead they played a dangerous game with J nationalists and used them/yasukuni as a thinly-veiled way of inspiring national pride and continuing imperialism. Now it's too late.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Looking at this old man in the photo begging for the "glory days", other freaks like him, and Abe donating to the war criminal shrine, is it any wonder Japan's neighbors continue to demand an HONEST apology?

And tomorrow Japan will be asking why, yet again.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

And tomorrow Japan will be asking why, yet again.

It's called selective amnesia. A classic here in Japan.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Yasukuni and it's supporters remind me of those Confederate Statues and U.S. far right nationalists. 

Not me. I would be reminded if one of the Confederate Statues was regularly visited by US Presidents and other top-ranking members of the US government to show their respect, and if the statue bore plaques honoring prominent slave traders and owners and describing Confederate soldiers who died trying to preserve slavery in heroic terms.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Looking at this old man in the photo begging for the "glory days", other freaks like him

Reading minds again smith, tut tut.

No-one else's business really. Japan is peaceful despite those which try to suggest otherwise and as long as Japan remains peaceful, I think the rest of the world should mind their own business. Honoring war dead is every country's right. Just because 14 were deemed criminals it should not reflect badly on those that are honoring their relatives. One of the founders of Sony was in the war, I would be willing to bet many were more like him than like the 14.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

They beautify and justify WW2,have learned nothing from history,

oh really, do please explain that

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I agree with Thunderbird2 on this one.

Yasukuni is one of very few opportunities the Japanese have to pay their respects to some of their War dead; be they family members, whatever. I think it's worth noting that many, many men had no choice and were conscripted into the Army whether they liked it or not - and there are a LOT of those souls enshrined at Yasukuni. By 1943, all men over 20 were subject to conscription.

That does not in any way excuse the aims, or behaviour of the IJA, and the 1000 odd war criminals included does sully the waters of Yakukuni considerably, but I think their ancestors and other people of Japan have the right to pay their respects to these men and their ultimate sacrifice for their country. After all, most were just ordinary young man caught in an extraordinary set of circumstances.

My country has a National Holiday for it's war veterans and dead, and their deeds have been mythologised, retold and the reality of what they did in certain places completely rewritten. Some were hopeless soldiers, deserters and some most certainly war criminals. But all that is sort of lost in this incredible reverence the nation has for it's soldiers, where each family often knows exactly who served where, for how long under what circumstances etc. It's often struck me that Japan never really gets to acknowledge this.

My wife's family have no knowledge at all of what their WW2 veterans did, or even where they were - it's just a conspicuous blank. I find it weird.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Awesome post Tamarama, couldn't agree more (especially the 3rd paragraph).

Re J ppl not knowing much about their own ww2 war vets, what/where grandpas did/were etc, perhaps they simply don't want to know? (as they were on the 'wrong' side in the eyes of the world)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Every country commemorates there war dead, those that made a supreme sacrifice. The fact that the People of Japan have stored such value in a true pacifist constitution, the only nation to faithfully value peace in the face of current extreme provocation renders accusation of any person or family entering the Yasukuni Shrine as a glorification Japan’s war of aggression fallacious.

It is the undue publicity given to a number of senior politicians whose visits are or could be construed as a statement or belief that the international war crimes tribunals that effectively found and subsequently executed many as war criminals a inconsistent selective form of politically expedient justice to a country ravaged by total war.

Allowing the Governments of South Korea and China to latch on and continually demand future generation atone for crimes they cannot be remotely held accountable for.            

The message and resonance of genuine contrition is clear in Emperor Akihito words today, "reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated," that rises above the body politic.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

One question not asked so far, if this guy is such an "imperialist" what is he doing with a sword, and his head still attached to his shoulders?

Pictures like this should be dismissed for what they are, propaganda, and not given the time of day. Publishing them is just another stirring of the pot.

If there was no press or media coverage, no one would know, and these folks would stop going too!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Look at his left hand - the glove only has four fingers, and the thumb is conspicuously short. Hmm. What kind of person has a hand like that? (Hint: likely many tats under that uniform.)

looks to me like that which you suggest is his thumb is actually his index finger curled around the scabbard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That’s a disgusting image, you can essentially picture the act of beheading taking place, that which the Imperial forces liked to do for punishment, terror, even “sport”. How is that allowed? It’s against decency, and damn right against the law to be carrying that katana around, never mind unsheathing it.

@Laguna et al, that is the way the saya is held to ensure a quick and effective removal of the katana, his thumb is on the other side, the index finger on the viewed side, it angles and steadies the saya.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

How Germany commemorates the war:

http://www.aicgs.org/11953-2/

A universe apart, in many ways, from the approach to what has been achieved with former enemies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have ZERO issues with individuals going to yasukuni to pray for their lost family/friends etc.

Its the politicians who go, I bet if there were no war criminals in yasukuni than few if any would bother showing up, THAT is the problem/issue with yasukuni. And the BS it spews as facts is rather bad.....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Gogogo:

".... and no one should visit the graves of A class war criminals."

Not even family members? If my dad or brother was killed in a war, no matter how bad they were, I'm sure I would visit their grave. And its not just class A war criminals in Yasukuni. I'm sure there are at least, what modern society would call, class A war criminals in Arlington national cemetery. Doesn't stop the US presidents though from honouring their war dead.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Thunderbird2Today  03:34 pm JST

So from what people on here are saying if you offer prayers to the war dead at Yasukuni you are venerating the war criminals... sorry, but that bollox. You're basically saying that a family who go to the shrine to pay respects to a father, grandfather or great grandfather who was killed fighting in the Imperial Army, Air Force or Navy are also venerating war criminals.

It doesn't bother me in the least how private citizens choose how to remember relatives they lost in the War. If they want to venerate war criminals that's between them and their conscience, it's nothing to do with me. I don't think what's what ordinary people go to Yasukuni for, though: I think their motives are sincere and innocent.

Politicians, on the other hand, who always make sure they get their faces seen in the media when they turn up there, getting out of big black cars in their best dark suits... they just want the votes and cash from war veterans and relatives, and they are very keen to court the favour of the kinds of people that had the war criminals enshrined.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

China and Korea should just stop living in the past

...said by somebody wearing an Imperial Japanese uniform, wielding a sword, and paying respects to past war criminals.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

".... and no one should visit the graves of A class war criminals."

There is no graves of A class war criminals at Yasukuni.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There is no graves of A class war criminals at Yasukuni. No but the class A war criminals were enshrined there as part of a political ideology of the head priest and nothing to do with the religion he was suppose to represent, which is why Japans neighbors resent any J politician going there. they go there to gain political points from the right wing nutters and disguise it as paying respects for the war dead. http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A statue of a Korean 'Comfort Woman' should be displayed inside Yasukuni Shrine and be venerated to symbolize Japan's sincere effort for peace and rapprochement once and for all.

No dollar signs can replace such a gesture.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The day Class A's were put on the list was the day Japan's future was forever ruined

3 ( +5 / -2 )

7 days, 14 days, 21 days, 28 days, 35 days, 42 days, and 49 days, are the start and are the first 7 steps to a recently deceased person becoming a "hotoke-sama"

There is the 1 year, 3 year, 7 year, 13 year, 21 year and final 33 year ceremony as well.

This is a huge long-term money making scheme for the priests involved. I can't believe how much my mother-in-law has to pay out for this every year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The old man in the photo looks like when he pulled his sword he sharted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One thing some people have to understand is shrine is not graveyard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Laguna et al, that is the way the saya is held to ensure a quick and effective removal of the katana, his thumb is on the other side, the index finger on the viewed side, it angles and steadies the saya.

Come on, this logical explanation takes away from the conspiracy theorists that want to see something that isn't there, and get everyone else to believe it too!

This is a huge long-term money making scheme for the priests involved. I can't believe how much my mother-in-law has to pay out for this every year.

No, not necessarily, there are NOT priests involved in all these ceremonies, and most times the money goes to the family, who also gives a small present in return, not to mention providing a light meal and drinks, so it ends up "chara" or the family spending more than it makes. The offerings are also a way to defer the costs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

i think germany doesn't have a church for hitler.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

sf2kToday  01:46 am JST

The day Class A's were put on the list was the day Japan's future was forever ruined

Eloquence par excellence!

The late Emperor Hirohito knew about this and was allegedly against the move by the shrine.

The present Emperor should make a strong statement is this is still the case.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The picture f fake soldier. Katana case at his hip will be broke if he tries to place his katana in. Needs too go to a toy store to get sample of one toy katana.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When people want to give a present to shrine, they don't give money. Several branches of Sakaki plants. Then, if you visit shrine, you throw some coins in a big box that has lined holes. Saison bako. If You try to push a paper money, an adult busybody scold a child but I think paper money is accepted now. Japan is superstitious country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@oodluck:Japan does not have a church for Generals, either. Satisfied?????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ritual Offering means offered a branch of Sakai tree. Not cash nor check.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After war,, GHQ had a plan to demolish Yasukuni to create horse racing arena. Vatican strongly opposed. Plan was scrapped.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well done Japan. Let the wailing whining. Go Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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