December 15, 2014

TOKYO : Memories of Summer


Yasukuni Shrine - 靖國神社

Daiichi Torii (Great Gate) 社号標・大鳥居

* As far as I issue on this topic, it is no concern of my politics, religions, and ideology.

Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社 or 靖國神社 Yasukuni Jinja) is a Shinto shrine in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It was founded by Emperor Meiji and commemorates anyone who had died in service of the Empire of Japan, which existed from the Meiji Restoration of 1868 until the nation was renamed during the Allied occupation in 1947. The shrine's purpose has been expanded over the years to include those who died in the wars involving Japan spanning from the entire Meiji and Taisho period, and lesser part of the Showa period.

Great Gate and flag of Japan at half-staffon on August 15, Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo 

 The shrine now lists the names, origins, birthdates, and places of death of 2,466,532 men, women and children, including 1,068 war criminals; 14 of which are considered A-Class, leading to extreme controversies. The Honden shrine commemorates anyone who died on behalf of the empire, including not only soldiers, relief workers, factory workers, and other citizens, but also those not of Japanese ethnicity such as Taiwanese and Koreans who served Japan.

Foundation for the dead in the Boshin War and Meiji Restoration

We will continue to march to fit the trumpet
The site for the Yasukuni Shrine, originally named Tokyo Shokonsha (東京招魂社 "shrine to summon the souls"?), was chosen by order of the Meiji Emperor. The shrine was established in 1869, in the wake of the Boshin War, in order to honor the souls of those who died fighting for the Emperor. It initially served as the "apex" of a network of similar shrines throughout Japan that had originally been established for the souls of various feudal lords' retainers, and which continued to enshrine local individuals who died in the Emperor's service. Following the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, the Emperor had 6,959 souls of war dead enshrined at Tokyo Shokonsha. In 1879, the shrine was renamed Yasukuni Jinja. The name Yasukuni, quoted from the phrase 「吾以靖国也」 in the classical-era Chinese text Zuo Zhuan (Scroll 6, 23rd Year of Duke Xi), literally means "Pacifying the Nation" and was chosen by the Meiji Emperor. The name is formally written as 靖國神社, using obsolete (pre-war) ky?jitai character forms.

* Although Saigo Takamori, Eto Shinpei, and Maebara Issei made a contribution to the Meiji Restoration, they were   not enshrined because they revolted against the Meiji government after that.

* Among the enshrined are Yoshida Shoin, Sakamoto Ryoma, Takasugi Shinsaku, Nakaoka Shintaro, Takechi Hanpeita,   Sanai Hashimoto, and Omura Masujiro, who contributed to the Tokugawa shogunate's overthrow and the Meiji   Restoration during the Bakumatsu period in Japan. In contrast, the shrine does not enshrine the war dead of   shogunate retainers such as soldiers of the former Shogunate forces, Ouetsu-reppan alliance, Shinsengumi, and   Shogitai.

During World War II and the GHQ occupation period

Memorial event of war dead and old man
participating in the Yasukuni Shrine, August 15
By the 1930s, the military government sought centralized state control over memorialization of the war dead, giving Yasukuni a more central role. Enshrinements at Yasukuni were originally announced in the government's Official Gazette so that the souls could be treated as national heroes, but this practice ended in April 1944, and the identities of the spirits were subsequently concealed from the general public. The shrine had a critical role in military and civilian morale during the war era as a symbol of dedication to the Emperor. Enshrinement at Yasukuni signified meaning and nobility to those who died for their country. During the final days of the war, it was common for soldiers sent on kamikaze suicide missions to say that they would "meet again at Yasukuni" following their death. After World War II, the US-led Occupation Authorities issued the Shinto Directive, which ordered the separation of church and state and forced Yasukuni Shrine to become either a secular government institution or a religious institution independent from the Japanese government. Yasukuni Shrine has been privately funded and operated since 1946, when it was elected to become an individual religious corporation independent of the Association of Shinto Shrines. The GHQ planned to burn down the Yasukuni Shrine and build a dog race course in its place. However, Fathers Bruno Bitter of the Roman Curia and Fathers Patrick Byrne of Maryknoll insisted to GHQ that honoring their war dead is the right and duty of citizens everywhere, and GHQ decided not to destroy the Yasukuni shrine. Moreover, the Roman Curia reaffirmed the Instruction Pluries Instanterque in 1951.

Veterans and Yasukuni Shrine

Memories of Summer 

Yasukuni Shrine - 靖國神社



創建 : 1869年(明治2年)

3-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo 
102-8246, Japan

Founded June 1869

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