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But what if you don’t want to be a Shinto god?

I am not an expert on Yasukuni Shrine, but I do know that being enshrined there means that you are some sort of deity in the Shinto religion.  Thus, due to doctrinal reasons, one cannot be taken off the list.  Once a god, always a god.  Once on the list, always on the list.  So, from a Shinto doctrinal standpoint, one cannot be de-deified.

Well, for the Korean and Taiwanese members of the Japanese Imperial army that are enshrined there, because they were added after their deaths, it has been their families that have filed protests with Japanese courts to have the names removed.  Every time the Japanese courts have refused to intervene citing a “freedom of religion” rationale.

Well, 86 year old Kim Hui-jong is an odd case where he is still very much alive and five years ago in 2007 he got a Japanese lawyer to ask the courts to get Yasukuni to remove his name.  Late last month the Tokyo courts came up with a decision against Kim’s suit.

Anyways, here’s a little passage from the Yonhap article:

“I don’t know why exactly my name was included on the list of the war dead from the onset, but the Japanese officials concerned said it was just an ‘administrative error,’” he said, adding, “I heard that some 11 South Korean former draftees, together with two Britons, who were not killed during the war, are also enshrined there.”

There are Brits enshrined as Shinto gods too?  I’m guessing that it’s not the same as being buried in Westminster Abbey, right?

Although they won’t remove Kim’s name from their lists, Yasukuni has recognized the clerical error and has been nice enough to put “still alive” next to his entry.  Awww, how thoughtful.

  • enomuseki

    Shinto as religion, is a one big sham.

  • Q

  • Q

    ROK drop wrote about Yushukan museaum at Yasukuni shrine:

    The World War II exhibit was also quite provocative. According to the museum, World War II is known as the Asia Co-prosperity War where the Japanese single handedly liberated one Asian country after another from foreign colonial occupation and the Asian people were all happy to be liberated. No mention of the atrocities committed by the invading Japanese troops. Additionally the museum blames the US for the attack at Pearl Harbor. Since the US implemented a trade embargo on the Japanese, the militarists felt that an attack by the Americans against Japan would only naturally come next. The museum even alleges that the United States even had a plan to attack Japan in the works and would have been executed if Japan had not pre-empted the American attack by conducting the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The American President Franklin Roosevelt was committed to an attack on Japan as a way for the US to escape the Great Depression. One theme I have picked up on at the museum is that every attack the Japanese conducted was only executed because of foreign colonizers threatening Japan and its neighbors. Japan never wanted to colonize any country, they just wanted to liberate Asians from foreigners.

    I thought I was reading about Kim Il-Sung museum in NK. Japan and NK shares many similarity. Japan blames NK about plutonium, but Japan is de facto a nuclear state. Japanese emperor and NK Kim Il-Sung farces has sacrificed numerous innocent lives to the altars of the idolatery. Both NK and right wing Japanese politicians in nature are the same fanatic flocks.

  • bumfromkorea

    Does that mean he gets to go “Bow down before me, for I am your god!” around the streets of Tokyo? Because that’d be pretty awesome.

  • hoihoi

    their families complainment has a nothing to do with Yasukuni.
    all soldiers,they promised to meet at Yasukuni with comrade in arms as a cherry blossom there
    they could not break a promise by today’s condition.

    2:37
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BoozeA5D9g

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    all soldiers,they promised to meet at Yasukuni with comrade in arms as a cherry blossom there
    they could not break a promise by today’s condition.

    Clearly, one soldier did not.

  • bumfromkorea

    Was that promise made before or after they raped 9-year old Chinese girls in Nanking? Because it could’ve just been an after-war-crime adrenaline rush.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    enomuseki@1- As opposed to other religions?

    Q@3 – the Yasakuni museum (interestingly just a 30 minuet walk from my apartment) is a crackpot far right loony tunes museum, meant for crackpot far right loony tunes individuals. It can exists because of Japan’s almost US first amendment like degree of respect for freedom of speech. Same respect for freedom of speech is what allows for the creation of a North Korean school system in Japan going from pre-K to grad school. What is displayed in said museum is NOT taught in schools, and is NOT conventional wisdom, or majority view in Japan. The North Korean schools of Japan probably get about the same amount of support.

    Please further note that the museum, and the shrine are two separate entities.

    Though i live close to the museum, I have never gone, as I would prefer not to get pissed off…

  • Q

    Please further note that the museum, and the shrine are two separate entities.

    Hey, Jap’an defender. Read this description.

    The Yūshūkan (遊就館?) is a Japanese military and war museum located within Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda, Tokyo. As a museum maintained by the shrine, which is dedicated to the souls of soldiers who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%ABsh%C5%ABkan

  • Bipolar Mindscrew

    Revisionism is an idea that history as written by the winners may be wrong.

    The West has been very successful revising their own history. History is meant to be revised, studied from different angles… because the truth never really shows through. So 1068 of the 2.5 million gods of Yaksuni Shrine happen to be war criminals… a paltry 0.04%. Yet, most religions have a far higher percentage of gods who should be also be listed as War Criminals, usually for the crime of genocide. Yehweh/Jehovah/Allah attempted at one point to kill the entire human race…

  • slim

    I thought Q was supposed to be a moderated commenter. Still see a lot of totally worthless shit under his name.

  • Pedro the Macanamaqna

    I thought Q was supposed to be a moderated commenter. Still see a lot of totally worthless shit under his name.

    Then ignore anything with a “Q” on top or by it. Simple.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    Q@9 – Again, I live a 30 minute walk from the Shrine and the museum. The museum is NOT inside the shrine. … Wiki citation be darned ;) Both, are however on the same grounds. Both are also run by some of the same wackos.

    By the way does adding an apostrophe between the letters “Jap” and “an” make you feel better about yourself as an individual?

  • Q

    Just visit the website of Yasukuni shrine. http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/

    See the map. http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/precinct/map.html

    And read the description about Yushukan museum.

    Yushukan is a museum to inherit sincerity and records of enshrined divinities of Yasukuni Shrine by displaying their historically important wills and relics.

    Yushukan museum is a part of Yasukuni.

  • cmm

    @1 Shinto as religion, is a one big sham.

    There, fixed it for you.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    My first trip to Japan I stayed very near Yasakuni… had no idea what it was, and the girl manning the desk at the hostel laughed shyly (didn’t know why) as she recommended my buddy and I go check the shrine out. She tried to warn us that something was strange about it, but couldn’t quite express what. We didn’t pay to get into the museum, but picked up on the fact that something was fishy going on there. Speaking of fishy, the most memorable part of the experience was the Koi Pond just behind (but I think connected to) the Shrine. Very serene.

    So anyway, f the Japanese right-wing nutjobs and their agenda.

  • cmm

    + a

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    Q@14, you mean the museum next to the gift shop and the cafeteria? Again… it is not inside THE SHRINE… same grounds, but NOT in the shrine. The museum is NOT the place the politicians visit to pay their respects.

    Nonetheless, as per my comments in another post, I agree with you that the Prime Ministers who have visited the shrine recently are not seeking out “Asian harmony” from their visits, and are not taking actions that will help out Japan’s relations with its neighbors.

    I also agree with cmm @15, “So anyway, f the Japanese right-wing nutjobs and their agenda.”

  • Q

    Yushukan page is a part of the Yasukuni website.

    http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/yushukan/index.html

    They are inside of the same walls. They are inseparable. Yushukan exactly tells what the Yasukuni shrine is. 말 되게 못 알아듣네.

  • tinyflowers

    Again… it is not inside THE SHRINE… same grounds, but NOT in the shrine. The museum is NOT the place the politicians visit to pay their respects.

    So you’re saying it’s not a building inside of a building? No shit Sherlock. No one was claiming that. How disingenuous can you get?

  • dogbertt

    I’ll bet you’ve got a relative in there.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    TF – It isn’t disingenuous . The museum is NOT being visited. The way that the press likes to make the shrine visits look is as if the PM’s walk through the museum, note the warped twist on history, and nod in agreement… way.. not just nod in agreement, but decide to come back every year to do the same.

    The PM’s are NOT going to the museum, which is NOT a holy place or a house of worship in anyone’s book. They are going to the shrine. They are going to a holy place. NOT to a museum. Its like visiting the Vatican, but not going going to St. Peters (or the reverse). Or, like the Meiji Shrine, which I visit often, unlike Yasakuni. The grounds are large. There are more to the grounds than just the shrine. There are garden, and gift shops, and restaurants as well.

  • tinyflowers

    Q wrote:

    ROK drop wrote about Yushukan museaum at Yasukuni shrine

    Japonymous responded:

    Again… it is not inside THE SHRINE… same grounds, but NOT in the shrine.

    Yes, the museum isn’t INSIDE the goddamn building, we get it now. It’s still located within the Yasukuni shrine and run by the same people.

  • tinyflowers

    The museum is NOT being visited. The way that the press likes to make the shrine visits look is as if the PM’s walk through the museum, note the warped twist on history, and nod in agreement

    Typical apologist rhetoric: They don’t nod their head in agreement at the museum. They just bow down to honor convicted class A war criminals at the shrine! See, it’s not the same! The museum is not INSIDE the shrine! So everything’s OK. They’re not so bad! LOL!

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    TF@23- Not apologist rhetoric at all. The press tends to put the two together and I am making a distinction. Honestly, I’ll take it a step further and argue that the fact that the Japanese foreign ministry has failed to make a good will effort to describe the distinction, and to stress that the shrine is meant to honor millions of war dead, and not juts the less than a fraction of 1% of class a war criminals buried there, indicates that the Japanese government just doesn’t care enough to explain the situation to its neighbors. Something which, IMHO, is down right insulting. The Japanese government would be well served to make a good will effort to alleviate the concern of their neighbors, and, other than the current PM, and the socialist PM who briefly served back in the 1990s, no Japanese government has made such a good will effort as far as Yasakuni is concerned.

    Its just that I do not feel that visits to the Yasakuni shrine are an indication of agreement towards the BS in the museum by the Prime Ministers (accept for the first few in the late 1940s), and I think it is spun that way often.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    Hi WG, just wondering, why have my posts been “awaiting moderation” lately? Have I committed some MH faux paux that I am not aware of?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Nope. Just spam guard being fidgety.

  • 조엘

    Honestly, I’ll take it a step further and argue that the fact that the Japanese foreign ministry has failed to make a good will effort to describe the distinction, and to stress that the shrine is meant to honor millions of war dead, and not juts the less than a fraction of 1% of class a war criminals buried there, indicates that the Japanese government just doesn’t care enough to explain the situation to its neighbors.

    They and all of their apologists do explain this. It doesn’t matter if they explain it because it’s still wrong because it’s still housing convicted war criminals. Whether its 1% or .000001 %, there are still war criminals enshrined there. Paying respect to the millions of others can’t be distinguished from paying respect to the war criminals because the Yasukuni people refuse to remove the war criminals and the government refuses to establish a war memorial somewhere else that doesn’t glorify Japanese imperialism. It’s an affront to Japan’s neighbors and current allies because the leader’s visits are designed to appease the incredibly small minority of the extreme right at the expense of truth and justice.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    조엘, if the war criminals were “removed” (I put this in quotes, as a shrine is not a cemetery) would you be ok with the whole thing? Just wondering, as that would seem to be the reasonable thing to do if it helped smooth over some (rightfully) ruffled feathers.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    조엘, and I like your idea of setting up another memorial and/or shrine. I’m just not sure if this (or “dis-enshrining” Tojo, et al) will really solve anything. Regardless, both seem like fine ideas, and both would show a great deal of good will on the part of the Japanese government.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘if the war criminals were “removed” (I put this in quotes, as a shrine is not a cemetery) would you be ok with the whole thing? Just wondering, as that would seem to be the reasonable thing to do if it helped smooth over some (rightfully) ruffled feathers.’

    the issue is not yasukuni, the issue is the housing of class a war criminals.

    &&&&&&

    i like your thinking here because with your train of thought, it would be ok for a german president to visit a war memorial that housed those who brought about the european holocaust.

    &&&&

    why is a white guy in japan coming to this place? could it be a need to antagonize koreans? and how much more will he have to say, yangachi, before you believe what i say about him?

    &&&&

    the shinto religion forgives all your sins after death. that’s why you can have a people who feel absolutely nothing about a man living amongst them who, say, stuck a needle lengthwise into a chinese infant’s finger. the japanese are a people without any sense of remorse. from comfort women, unit 731, the rape of nanjing, toyota and nuclear power plants, the japanese are more interested in denying blame than taking responsibility. that’s their culture.

    the japanese have made a serious blunder in that they bet on the white horse instead of the yellow horse even though they should have bet on both. they thought that korea and china would remain poor and backwards.
    they thought wrong. japan needs to tend to this situation and make amends to it’s neighbors. the ball is in their court. but hey, at least they got manga loving middle eatern guys on their side! that’s all they need, right?

  • Arghaeri

    why is a white guy in japan coming to this place? could it be a need to antagonize koreans?

    Why is a yellow guy in America coming to this place? Could it be a need to antagonist foreign residents in korea.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    Pawi, though i can think of a few reasons to visit Yasakuni, I have never done so, as they all involve me getting pissed off at the end. I have visited many, many shrines in Japan, and though I live but a 30 minute walk from Yasakuni, I really have no desire to visit.

    And, what thinking are you referring to, i was agreeing with 조엘 (and interestingly, Hirohito – one of your favorite guys, I know) in that I think that removing the class A war criminals form the mix would be a great idea.

  • http://www.japonymous.com Japonymous

    and just to make it clear again Pawii, if, as you say, “the issue is not yasukuni, the issue is the housing of class a war criminals.” then I’m with you 100% on this one… get Tojo, et al out of their, or do what 조엘 suggested and open a new war memorial sans war criminals.

    I am no fan of Yasakuni. My main points were:

    - though the media sometimes confuses the two the museum is not the shrine

    - PM visits to said shrine is not an indication that Japan is not repentant for the wars and occupations, or that Japan is run by a bunch of far right lunatics (though I agree that it is just plain dumb on an international relations front – good will shown toward neighbor should (hopefully) go a long way.

  • Q

    Japonymous wrote:

    the media sometimes confuses the two the museum is not the shrine

    It is thee who art confused. Yushukan is a part of Yasukuni. You try to limit the Yasukuni to the temple, the actual worship place, in the shrine. But the shrine has both worship place, museum, cafeteria, and 똥 누는 곳, etc.

    All of them are parts of Yasukuni shrine. The museum is inside the same walls with the shrine temple. Yushukan is run by the same pepople who run the Yasukuni. Don’t try to trick people about the fact.

  • bumfromkorea

    As I understand it, removing the assholes from the Yasukuni directly conflicts with one of the temple’s rules (probably something akin to “once a god, always a god” thing). I think a much better way of going about it would be to build a separate, generic memorial for the war dead (preferably without a ‘museum’ filled to the brim with neo-imperialist propaganda) – Yasukuni is just too much trouble.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    PM visits to said shrine is not an indication that Japan is not repentant for the wars and occupations, or that Japan is run by a bunch of far right lunatics…

    Given your views that you explained, I still don’t understand how you can subscribe to this point. The Prime Ministers are bowing to the Class A war criminals. (Which is by no means the only issue, but the most salient one here.) How can this NOT be a sign that Japan is not repentant for wars and occupations?

  • yuna

    I’m getting sick of flogging this dead horse. Who cares? Why can the Japanese not decide for themselves who they house in the War Shrine or who they bow to? Why do Koreans have to make it their business what their PM can visit or not visit?
    It’s not the right wing nut jobs that are the problem. It’s the perceived hostility by the ordinary Japanese that Koreans have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Japan. If we want to get along, the blame and the silly hate has just got to stop from both sides.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Who cares? Why can the Japanese not decide for themselves who they house in the War Shrine or who they bow to? Why do Koreans have to make it their business what their PM can visit or not visit?

    I can spit in your face and ask the same questions — why can I not decide for myself where I deposit my bodily fluids? Why do you have to make it your business what I do with my saliva?

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I like one of the comments by a JapanProbe reader:

    “This man’s clearly not dead. Therefore it’s his choice. His freedom of religion. Freedom from their religion. He should not have his name associated with them if he wishes it so.”

    Bold emphasis mine.

  • yuna

    I like people who surprise from time to time.

    How can this NOT be a sign that Japan is not repentant for wars and occupations?

    That sentence can be de-constructed so much that I would never be able to say it like that.. Who is Japan? what is sign? what is the state of “to be repentant”? Is it a time-evolutionary function? Does it get passed on?
    I just don’t feel the spit. I know that non-Japanese friends, non-Korean who visited that place have told me that it’s pretty full-on disgusting empire-harking tone they have in their displays.. but somehow I just don’t feel like objecting to Koizumi or whoever comes next visiting. It’s their business. Pity for them if they keep electing people the same old bozos for whatever reason who cannot do soul searching.

  • yuna

    I like people who surprise from time to time.

    I forgot to take out that sentence, which was just subconscious said out aloud. By that I meant, me.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    You type what you subconsciously think? Interesting.

  • yuna

    Of course. Usually I type what my rambling thoughts tell me and then I elaborate or take things out but do a cannot-be-bothered quick job of it which is why there is always one or two weird mistakes, and some of yous object to so much.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    I just don’t feel the spit.

    If that’s the case, Japanese politicians are not the only ones who need soul-searching.

  • yuna

    I don’t think one can ever be in a position to ask another to search their souls.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Here’s an interesting analogy that may help some readers from a Catholic background.

    What if a priest molested you as a child and you feel rather sore about it (short-term and long-term) and thus you become rather anti-Catholic. Then for some strange reason the Catholic church canonizes you as a saint. However, since you don’t particularly care of the Catholic church and are no longer Catholic yourself, you ask the church to take your name off the list of saints, but they refuse.

    How would that make you feel? Wouldn’t it make you feel like you are being fucked twice?

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    if the japanese want to honor people who killed other japanese, that’s fine and their right. however, if the japanese want to honor people who killed koreans and chinese, that ain’t fine and it ain’t just THEIR business.

  • slim

    It’s no coincidence that the most nationalistic commenters at TMH are also the lamest and dumbest. (“This is your brain. This is your brain on nationalism”)

    What surprises me is that Q, pawi, tinyflowers and JK aren’t taking this issue as a chance to (in their minds) one-up Japan by noting that a Korean is turning down a promotion to deity in Japan.

    “Here’s your fuckin’ godhood, rightwing muthafuckas.” We all could get behind that sentiment.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    slim’s wife is japanese.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    It’s no coincidence that the most nationalistic commenters at TMH are also the lamest and dumbest. (“This is your brain. This is your brain on nationalism”) What surprises me is that Q, pawi, tinyflowers and JK aren’t taking this issue…

    I resent that. I am more nationalistic than all four of them.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #47,

    I second #49 – he ain’t lame and he ain’t dumb, and he’s also quite funny, too. So there. But your last line – that’s good, really good.

  • Charles Tilly

    What surprises me is that Q, pawi, tinyflowers and JK….

    Let me lay out my preferences here from worst to best:

    JK: Totally and fucking pathetic. ‘Nuff said.

    Q: Clearly retarded. But a retard who has his flashes of brilliance (unintended mostly).

    tinyflowers: Actually, I have no opinion on him.

    Pawi: He’s clearly the best of the lot. Clearly a piece of shit but his Gerry posters are pretty damn good. I liked the “Doktor Dokdo” one especially.

    It’s no coincidence that the most nationalistic commenters at TMH are also the lamest and dumbest.

    I guess. But by that same token, the Korean nationalist’s doppelgängers here at TMH are pretty lame and dumb as well (You guy’s know who your are).

  • JK

    Charles Tilly, you’re a dumb*ss, plain and simple.

    Slim, exactly who here is being nationalistic? For a person of Korean ethnic descent (but of American nationality) to have an opinion that goes counter to many right-wing Japanese and some white ex-pats who may be unfairly critical of Korea does not make someone like me “nationalistic.”

  • JK

    BTW, Charles Tilly, tinyflowers is a girl.

    You idiot.

  • 조엘

    @Japonymous –

    If they removed the war criminals and they removed the content from the museum that glorifies Japanese imperialism then I don’t know what people would have to complain about. But Yasukuni is not a state-owned shrine and the shrine organization has resisted attempts to remove anyone’s name or any content from the museum in the past. Hence the only alternative is to establish a war monument / national cemetery for those who died in the defense of Japan somewhere else and make it a state-run operation completely separate from Shinto and the implications of the imperial family.

    Actually I thought it might be an opportune time to do it now in honor of those self-defense/rescue workers/nuclear power plant employees who did and will pay the ultimate price for Japan, particularly those whose bodies were never recovered in a sort of tomb of the unknown soldier like way.

    But the way things are now, Yasukuni is not only an affront to the Koreans and Chinese, but also the Dutch, British, Canadians, US, Australian forces that suffered as a result of the Japanese war machine and jointly named those individuals war criminals in the first place. The US likely bites its tongue because of a-bomb guilt and the deemed necessity of having Japan on our side in East Asia, but I’m not sure why everyone else sits idly by and says nothing.

  • Q

    Q: Clearly retarded. But a retard who has his flashes of brilliance (unintended mostly).

    I know I am not brilliant. I think I admitted repeatedly before. The criteria of brilliance of Charles Tilly are drastically based on Pressian and New York Times, it seemeth though.