Friday, March 17, 2006

Whitewashing history?(2)

see also on the issue of PM Yasukuni visiting
another Yasukuni?
Protect the freedom of Faith in Christian God
Yasukuni and Thanksgiving
The documents on the photos explains how Japan started the war.
One blogger complains:
My point is merely this–if you’re going to call the place a “peace museum” and use historical displays to promote peace through education, then by all means tell the complete truth about the historyKorea liberator

I am not sure what the complete truth about the history is, but the history should be written in veiw of several perspectives, and I agree, this is not the whole story, and it is victim-oreiented.It needs to shed light on the aspect of Japan as an assailant.

But let's be fair.
This is how explains the U.S troop at Iraqi.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

The following American casualites of the war to free Iraq are being laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
May God Bless them and their loved ones..arlingtoncemetery.netThis is a privately owned and maintained, not-for-profit,

..It portrays the U.S simply as a liberator. I'd say it is the U.S as Hero oriented.It does not tell the whole story.Doesn't it grolify the history?
Few Iraq people would agree this statemens.

The company met no resistance as it assaulted the hamlet, but by noon every living thing in My Lai that the troops could find—men, women, children, and livestock—was

Were they dead? Were the innocent women and children brutally killed?
Forgotten history魚拓

According to the logic of the anti-Yasukuni crowd, that would mean that every time the President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he is an implicit supporter of the South’s system of slavery.

The similarity between this site and the museum in question is that the museum and the site, both of which are run by private citizens, need to be balanced.
The difference is that there is no country which complains about it in the way China and Korea do.

Let's see how Vietnam dealt with the masacarres by Koreans at Vietnam War.

Women, Children and elderly killedAnpontan

``They (the Korean troops) herded people up onto the hill, shot them and threw grenades,'' he said. ``In some cases they tied old men up... until they died. They tore children apart and threw their (limbs) onto trees,'' he said, adding that some Viet Cong were also killed. The Korean troops threw some bodies into an existing 150-200 metre (500-650 ft) long trench, the official said. Survivors later buried most of the rest of the dead.

Let bygones be bygones, says Vietnam

However, when asked for comment and to confirm the alleged killings, Vietnam's Foreign Ministry said it did not want to dwell on the matter.

`South Korean troops committed crimes against Vietnamese people. With humanitarian and peaceful neighbourly traditions, it is Vietnam's policy to close the past...,'Reuters - January 10, 2000

South Korean "conceals" and "covers up" this fact in the history textbook approved by the Korean govenment.

I am not saying that since Arlington, for that matter, Korea and China, whitewash history, the museum in question is justified:it needs to be balanced.
I am not saying that since Vietnam does not complain the way the massacre is ignored by Korean govenmnet, Korea should not complain.My point is that the way China and Korea deal with this issue is wrong;they could complain it through another channels.

Japanese museum needs to mention the brutality that Japan did during the war.
So does American musem, Korean,and Chinese.

It is too easy for politicians to use the past victimhood as a way to fuel nationalism, to gain popular support from the nationals.
It is too easy for politicians to use the past victory as a means to justify the policy they are advocating.
Let's not deceived by politicans' propaganda.

follow up
I visited the museum at Yasukuni the other day for the first time.I copied some of the contents.(It was prohibited to photograph,but the Japanese version is published at the bookstore in the museum)

Sprit of Samurai
More than 2600 years ago an independent nation was formfed on these islands.But many battles were waged before that indepence was assured.When a crisis arose, Japan's first worriors took up the weapons and headed for the front lines.There they fought bravely, defending their homes.their villages and their nation. Yasukuni Shrine was established to honor the courageous solodiers who laid the foundation for modern Japan and to pray for the repose of their souls.
Worshiping the souls of hero at shrine as protectors of our nation is a tradition that reflects the religious beliefs of the Japanese people, past and present.From entries in burial records that read "the sprits of the fallen soldiers shall henceforce be revered as a guadian divinity of this village.

Nanjin incident
After Japanese surrounded Nanking in December 1937.Gen.Matsui Iwane distributed maps to his man with foreign settlerments and the Safty Zone marked in red ink.Matsui told them that they were to observe military rules to the letters and that nayone committing unlawful acts would be severely punished. He also warned Chinese troops to surrender, but Commander Chief Tang Shenzhi ignored the warning. Instead , he ordered his men to defent Nanking to the death, and tehn abondoned them.The Chinese were soundly defeated , suffering hard casualities.Inside the city, residents were once again able to live thier lives in peace.

When Presindent Franklin.D.Roosevel first took office,the U.S. was in the throes of the Great Depression:the economy still //anticipated a major conflict. In 1939, he had resolved to join Great Britain in the war against Germany,but was hampared by American public opinion,which was strongly anti-war.The only option open to Roosevlelt,who had been moving toward his "Plan Victory",was to use embargos to force resource-poor japan into war.The U.S economy madea complete recovery once the Americans entered the war.

Probably they are not false stament,but it does not tell the other side of the story.
Notice that the aggressor probably use the same kind of logic to justify the massacre.Compare what Yasukuni says about Nanjin Massacre with what Hiroshima atomic bomb admires.
In a nutshell, they say:
The leader warned the enemy to surrender,but the enemy rejected.
The attack was necessary in veiw of the strategy, to bring the peace to the enemy land.

Mlitary museum in German and in the United State
In case of Korea.
the Geoje Island POW Camp
Anyway, I wonder what the curators at the camp museum would have to say about this, especially after all their efforts to inform the public that all prisoners were treated in a humane manner (from the NYT review):

I don't mean to suggest that the novel is not conventionally realistic; on the contrary, it's a painfully detailed picture of nearly unendurable physical conditions, of sadistic treatment of the prisoners by their American and South Korean guards and military administrators, and of violent struggles for power and control among the prisoners themselves. As in any prison, especially a military one, the political conflicts of the outside world — in Asia in the early 1950's, they're between the Chinese Communists and Nationalists, the Chinese and the North Koreans, the North and South Koreans, and the Americans and everyone else — are expressed inside the prison walls with murderous brutality and cruel precision.

I know, I know…it's just fiction, eh?
Asia pages

offering booze to a Deity in Kowloon

A criminals after tokyo trialGrandson of Hirota

Angels and Pinheads in East Asia/foreign dispatches

Reagan visit controversy

On April 11, 1985, it was announced that then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan would visit the Kolmeshöhe Cemetery near Bitburg, at the suggestion of Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany, to pay respects to the soldiers interred there. The White House staff was under the impression that those interred included both American and German soldiers. The visit was intended to be symbolic of the goodwill between the two countries, but unbeknownst to Reagan and deputy chief of staff Michael Deaver, 49 of the graves contained the remains of men who had served in the Waffen-SS. The cemetery also contained remains of about 2000 other German soldiers who had died in both World Wars, but no Americans. On top of this, Reagan had no plans to visit a concentration camp during his tour of Western Europe in connection with the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the end of war.

This planned visit caused a great deal of anger, mainly on the part of Jews and former World War II soldiers. Many prominent government officials, U.S. Army officers, and celebrities, protested the planned visit. Concentration camp survivor and author Elie Wiesel spoke out on the topic at an unrelated White House ceremony, saying, "I ... implore you to do something else, to find another way, another site. That place, Mr. President, is not your place." 53 senators (including 11 Republicans), signed a letter asking the president to cancel, and 257 representatives (including 84 Republicans) signed a letter urging Chancellor Kohl to withdraw the invitation. The Ramones recorded the song "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)," which alludes to Bedtime for Bonzo and Bonzo Goes to College, two movies from Reagan's film career that co-starred a chimpanzee, and Frank Zappa recorded "Reagan At Bitburg".

Chancellor Kohl responded that he and the West Germans would be insulted if Reagan didn't go ahead with the visit, and it was shown in a poll that more than half of West Germans were in favor of the visit. Reagan defended himself by saying that "I think that there's nothing wrong with visiting that cemetery where those young men are victims of Nazism also, even though they were fighting in the German uniform, drafted into service to carry out the hateful wishes of the Nazis. They were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps." Reagan was criticized for this statement by opponents of the visit.

Despite urgings from his wife Nancy and many prominent figures in government and entertainment, Reagan went ahead with the visit on May 5, saying that, "This visit has stirred many emotions in the American and German people too. Some old wounds have been reopened, and this I regret very much, because this should be a time of healing." In an effort to placate the protesters, he added a visit to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to his itinerary, giving a speech there that was regarded as "skillful exercise in both the art of eulogy and political damage control" by TIME magazine, in which Reagan famously said, "...we can and must pledge: Never again."


This does not mean that the Japanese people have made no efforts to come to terms with Japan's war record. The opposite is the case: in the face of obstacles associated with US policies and Japanese nationalism, significant numbers of Japanese, particularly those of the wartime generation, absorbed important lessons concerning Japan's disastrous wartime epoch and sought to make amends to its victims, not least by rejecting the wartime ideology of emperor, colonialism and kokutai. For example, many Japanese scholars have displayed dedication, resourcefulness and courage in researching and analyzing Japanese war crimes and atrocities and mounting vigorous critiques of government policy on Yasukuni and related issues.

The American Shrine to war nationalism, our Yasukuni Shrine if you will, is Arlington National Cemetery, the repository of official celebration of American wars. It boasts no less than 260,000 grave markers in a site that is administered by the US Army. By contrast, Yasukuni provides no individual markers, but the records of each of the deceased, including not only Japanese but also 50,000 Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean soldiers of the Japanese imperial armed forces, are preserved as central to the enshrinement process. Indeed, whereas American war nationalism requires the tracking down and recovery of the dead from US combat zones, a process that continues in Korea and Vietnam decades after the end of the war, as Utsumi Aiko points out, more than one million Japanese bodies remain unrecovered and unsought after throughout the battlefields of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. What the two sites share are war narratives emphasizing each nation's just and heroic combat in all of its wars. One can search in vain at Arlington, for example, for any self-critical reflection on American wars, above all any understanding of the plight of the victims of those wars, still less of atrocities or war crimes committed by American forces.

War memorials almost everywhere (Okinawa being a rare exception) celebrate the war-making prowess of the state. War memorials link the military, the nation and people in a perfect union against a common foe. The problem of nationalism becomes acute, however, when the failure to come to terms with the dark side of aggressive and expansionist wars either paves the way for new military adventures, as in the US military record since World War II, or when symbolic state acts antagonize the victims of former wars, impede reconciliation, or create conditions conducive to a new cycle of wars, as in contemporary Japan. In fact, as we have shown, American and Japanese war nationalisms are intertwined as a result of US occupation policies and the subsequent forging of the US-Japan military alliance. Yet charges of neonationalism have centered almost exclusively on Japan, perhaps because it is the more vulnerable of the two, despite the fact that the US replaced Japan as the nation involved in a nearly unbroken succession of wars beyond its borders in the wake of World

Nationalism, Historical Memory and Contemporary Conflicts in the Asia Pacific:
the Yasukuni Phenomenon, Japan, and the United States
by Mark Selden
August 27, 2006


Yasukuni and the relation with China
Koizumi's Shrine Game

August 14, 2006

Japanese rightist reason to worship Tojou-----he was hanged dead in place of/for the emperor.


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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Broad perspective on Yasukuni


I am named for my uncle, who was killed fighting Imperial Japan in the Philippines in May 1945. So, as would be expected, I am sensitive to the ambiguities at Yasukuni Shrine (the memorial to Japan's war dead), which I have visited several times, concerning the history of that ghastly war.

My advice to the Chinese would be to stop excoriating the Japanese for something to which every people has a right: sanctifying the memory of their dead. In particular, I would note that, in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, you will find, attended by guards of honor and visited daily by thousands of Chinese, a shrine containing the embalmed body of Mao Zedong, one of the greatest murderers of the last century, comparable to Stalin and Hitler; a man who killed far more Chinese than the Imperial Japanese Army. Yet of these crimes we hear not a word in China, and Mao is still officially praised by the Chinese government.

On my last visit to Yasukuni, I bought a clear plastic block containing cherry blossoms, which was for sale there. I placed it next to my uncle's portrait, as a reminder of how much we all suffered -- Chinese, Japanese, Americans and many others -- in the war. Perhaps the Chinese might adopt a similar attitude.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
Japan Times

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