Wednesday, July 18, 2007

national anthem and national flag.

At my high school(---that was long time ago, but it was public high school), friends of mine Rock's rolled Kimigayo--that was cool.
Did student care if they sing the national anthem or not at school? They didn't give a damn about singing , or not singing it.
For me, national anthem is the song you sing when you attend athlete competition, and the national flag is the flag you see at Kokugikan, indoor sporting arena.

Discussions always say that many Japanese don’t want to sing it because it is linked with Japan’s militarism and imperialism. Okinawans also link it to mainland Japan’s oppression of Okinawa, so I suppose the same thoughts are expressed by other ethnic minorities in Japan.Beautiful Japan

I don't link it with Japan's militarism nor Imperialism.

Allons enfants de la Patrie Arise, children of the fatherland
Le jour de gloire est arrivé ! The day of glory has arrived!
Contre nous de la tyrannie Against us, the tyranny's
L'étendard sanglant est levé. (bis) [6] Bloody banner is raised. (repeat)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes Do you hear in the fields
Mugir ces féroces soldats ? The howling of these savage soldiers?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras They are coming into your midst
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes ! To cut the throats of your sons, your wives!

Aux armes, citoyens ! To arms, citizens!
Formez vos bataillons ! Form your battalions!
Marchons, marchons ! Let us march, let us march!
Qu'un sang impur May tainted blood
Abreuve nos sillons ! Water our fields!wiki

You could link it with bloody militarism or machonism, but normally people do not.
“May your life (reign) continue for thousands of years until pebbles by age become a mighty rock and moss forms on its surface.”We could say that it’s a song glorifying the penis–may your erection be as hard as a rock and last for thousands of years

Nor do I link it with penis erection.(Such a imagination!)

Then conquer we must
when our cause it is just.
And this be our motto:
"In God is our trust!"

And the star-spangled banner in
triumph shall wave,
O'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave! 世界の国歌

You could link it with the oppression of native Indians and religion in which there is no concept of God and also it might be linked with the oppression of secular people. But normally people do not.

What does the Hinomaru symbolize?

Experts claim the crimson disk symbolizes the rising sun, which represents the Shinto goddess Amaterasu. It’s origin is unknown, but the symbol was commonly used on military flags, in different colors and arrangements, by warlords in the 15th and 16th centuries.

By the same token, many other national flags were used on military flags.

Why have the two symbols caused controversy?....The Tokyo directive added stricter punishments for refusing to abide by the orders, including salary deductions and cancellation of rehiring contracts.

Right--- that is the issue.
In case of Korea

Under a presidential decree dating to 1972, Koreans are required to recite the pledge of allegiance at public gatherings and at the start of each week of classes from elementary through high school: “I pledge, in front of proud Taegeukgi [Korea’s national flag], allegiance to my mother country, to devote my body and soul to the eternal glory of the country and the people.”...“We changed some parts of the pledge of allegiance as they were outdated and sounded a bit oppressive,” said Jung Hyun-kyu, a director at the ministry.
“We inserted ‘liberty’ and ‘justice’ in the new version, as they are the priority values we say we are pursuing in the Constitution. ‘The Republic of Korea’ also sounds less oppressive than ‘mother country.’(Joong Ang Daily July 09, 2007)

Besides they love their national flag
In case of Japan, only public school teachers are required to sing and hoist the flag at the ceremony,

Does it violate the freedom of the thought protected by the article 19 of the constitution? The supreme court said no. I agree.
You have to teach the theory of evolution, even if you firmly believed in anti-evolutionism, you need to hoist the flag at the required ceremony.If you don't teach the subject your salary will deduced, and there is no reason to rehire teacher who do not do the required job. Just like that, as an job obligation, I think teachers at public school are required to sing Kimigaya, and hoist the national flag at a requied ceremony.
Besides , it is not obvious at all that the national flag and anthem symbolize what they say.
A Conscientious objector has alternative of military service. In this sense teacher at public school might want to take the alternative. But even in that case, they can not force their student to sing the anthem of their own making. if people do not like it, they don't actually have to sing;they need to open and shut mouth without singing. However, if she/he is a music teacher, I think she/he needs to play the anthem because that is his/her part of job.

Frankly speaking, I think all this talk about the national flag and anthem is crazy, And it shows an crazy aspect of Japanese society in which so many people are fervent anti-militarism to such a extent that people bother to make up virtual militarism to oppose. (Sometimes some of them even look anarchist.)


Anonymous said...

"Just like that, as an job obligation, I think teachers at public school are required to sing Kimigaya, and hoist the national flag at a requied ceremony."

But, who said that teachers must do those things, and at what authority? Do people support such order by anonymous bureaucrat without public debate?

I think the Prime Minister Obuchi cleraly said, at the Diet, that nobody is ordered to sing Kimigayo even after the song became national anthem by law.

zero said...

According to the wiki artilce it was order from the principal. And obviously it was at the authority of the principal. And it is safe to say the order was within the decretion of the prinpcipal.

Nobody is ordered to sing. As I wrote you mihgt just repeat moving
the mouth.Or you can be just silent. But if you are the music teacher, you need to play the piano for the anthem as
a job just as teachers have to teach evolution even if they personally do not believe in it.

Anonymous said...

You say it is Principal's order.
The people, parents and students in Japan have no control over what is done and taught at school.

Are there any way that Japanese citizens influence principals as to what is done at school? I see no democratic control there.

zero said...

First there are many ways for parents and students not to sing national anthem.
They can choose private schools where they don't sing the national anthem.
At public school I don't think it is unreasoble to have student sing the national anthem and pay respect
the national flag.
If they don't like it,they can just sit or they don't attend the ceremony in which people are singing the national anthem.
They can deal with the principal so that the school have the ceremony without singing the national anthem.
I don't how many times school have the ceremony, but maybe once or twice a year.
Does that matter?
At the ceremony like Olimpic, they play the national anthem (which you can interprete too patriositic, militalistic, or oppressive)
But it is not unusual for the ceremony in which people sing the national anthem.
Only for this skewed teachers who interpret Kimigayo in skewed
way---like it symbolize the erected penis!, it might be offensive. but that's their problem.People are free to interpret anyting in whatever way they want, but they have no right to impose their skewed interpretation on anybody.
Suppose this Japanese olimpic champion had this peculiar thought about Kimigayo, What shold he do when he win the first place? He does not have to sing, he does not have to pay respect to the national
Do you think American people have to listen to people, for instance, who oppose their national flag because, according to them, it symbolizes American expansionism ?

Anonymous said...

I am afraid you are missing my point. I am not agaist the Flag or the Anthem itself, but I am against the process how the decision was made that students and teachers must sing the Anthem and bow to the Flag at public school ceremony.

There was no public debate, no Diet resolution or no Cabinet order, but some anonymous bureaucrats at Ministry of Education issued "Kyouiku Shido Yoryo" which demands students and teachers to sing the Anthem and bow to the Flag at school ceremony.

Bureaucrats decide, people obey.

Do you think this is a desirable way of settling an issue as controversial as this one? Do you believe in democracy?

zero said...

thank Anonymous for the comment.
Okay, I thought you were against national flag and anthem.
Now as for the process...

When Bureaucrats guided the principals, there was no legal obligation for the principal to obey.And in fact there were many schools which didn't hoist the flag, because there were debates over it among teachers. In the process the tragedy happened; the principal committed a suicide pressured by the leftist teachers .
And that is one reason why the law was enacted by the diet in which people hotly disussed.
And it is education boad that issues the order. The members of the committe were appointed by the head of the local government.
It was in accordance with democratic process, I guess.

If you are suggesting that members should be elected by itizens, I have no objection.

Back to the topic, frankly I think to interpret the flag and anthem as a symbolo of militarism and penis erection is crazy, and this is probable uniquely Japanese phenomena. No other country interpret them that way even when they have expanstionist, imperialistic history.

Dr.Atwater Dr.Baldwin said...

A non-erect penis usually measures between 8.5cm and 10.5cm (3-4 inches) from tip to base. The average figure is about 9.5cm (3.75 inches), but this kind of precise measurement is rather valueless. Many factors can cause a temporary shrinkage of two inches or more, for instance cold weather or swimming, so you needn't worry if you happen to fall short of the average figure.