Planning on visiting Tokyo!? Then visit the Yasukuni!
Column by JB's Editor in Chief - Yujiro Taniyama
We broadcast, you decide. JB is a democratic broadcaster, seeking for the truth from a bilateral, fair perspective.
Today, let's talk about the "controversial" Yasukuni Shrine. Have you ever heard of it?! Well, my fellow Samurai Justin Bieber visited there recently. What's interesting, as Mr Beiber had done, the Yasukuni today is a major "tourist attraction" for many foreign tourists, needless to mention the Chinese. I myself have met dozens of visitors from Shanghai and Beijing. Then why do they visit?! - That's right, to mourn the souls of the war dead who dedicated their lives for their beloved nation.
However, there are heaps of misunderstanding globally regarding this shrine. Of course, Beiber did not have the slightest need to succumb to the anti-Tokyo Chinese-Korean activists and "go down on his knees". I'll explain why.
Western corporate medias as well as Beijing Communist Party mouthpiece "China Daily" and Xinhua today enjoy demonizing the Yasukuni - to meet its political ends, claiming that it is an evil spirited "Spooky Voldemort Castle" where the so called the war criminals are "buried".
Let me emphatically refute this claim. It is more than funny.
1. In Shintoism, you do not "bury" the dead. Instead their souls are ENSHRINED. Tombs do not exist. Foreign correspondents never do their homework unfortunately, and tries to see things from a western stereotype which is pretty much misleading.
2. Why would over five million people (5 million) visit the Yasukuni annually, if the place is "evil" ?! It simply does not make sense. We've got to bear in mind that the Kamikaze fighters were merely 20 years of age during WW2, and that we the Japanese as well as foreign visitors go to the Yasukuni to pay respect for his courage and dedication.
3. Established in 1869, the Yasukuni enshrines the souls of the 2.46 million Japanese, including women who died while serving for the military-volunteer corps (in places such as the bloody battlefield of Okinawa). Heroes of Sino-Japanese war (1894 - 95), Russo - Japanese war (1904), World War 1 (1914 - 1918) as well as WW2 -"Battle of Peleliu" (1944)sleep in peace in the Yasukuni.
It is a universal right for any citizen worldwide to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives for their country. Americans visit the Arlington, the Australians visit the "Australian War Memorial" and the Japanese visit the Yasukuni. And just as a reminder, the shrine is nowhere near a "Dark Evil Voldemort Shrine" often depicted by Chinese state run media- propagandas, but in fact also a jolly place. Yasukuni Shrine Mitama Festival - Way of enjoying guide will tell you why.
Seeing is believing. We the Japanese are peace loving people who's never fired a single bullet since the end of WW2.
I go to the Yasukuni on a Tozai line subway, Kudanshita station to pray for world peace. And so do the others.
Seeing is believing fellas. Don't be duped!
Thank you. Yujiro Taniyama - JB's Editor in Chief