Friday, July 21, 2006


Historians have always wondered why Hirohito, Japan's wartime emperor, seldom visited Yasukuni Shrine after the conflict, and stopped visiting completely after 1975. He never visited the Shrine annually, like so many rightist-supported politicians do today despite (or perhaps because of) the political foment such visits generate throughout Asia, where Japanese wartime atrocities will never be forgotten as long as Japan keeps poking at the wounds this way. It turns out, though, that Hirohito expressed "strong displeasure" at the fact that Yasukuni had enshrined 14 Class-A war criminals in 1978, and that's why he never again visited the war memorial.

This revelation is a severe embarrassment to Prime Minister Koizumi, who has been visiting the Shrine every year since he first became PM, for what he calls an "issue of the heart." As we all know, some hearts are smaller than others. Koizumi’s noisy nationalist supporters have been pulling his strings calling on him to visit the shrine one last time before he leaves office, and thereby set a precedent for visits by future prime ministers on the road to the righteous conflict the nationalists would love to have again one day to justify their uniforms, but Showa (Hirohito's posthumous name), their Shinto deity, has spoken.

We'll soon find out whether anybody around here listens to gods anymore.


Zen said...

Wonderful photo!

Zen said...

BTW: Good Show Hirihito!