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Tokyo, Japan
The Hon. Dr. Hideyasu M. R. "Hide" Sasaki is a computer scientist working in Gov't of Japan for Big Data Initiative and Catholic lawyer admitted to practice in New York, the United States.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A shrine in Tokyo has been shed a spotlight since the end of last year; people often call it, War Shrine". Actually, the meaning of its name is contrary to such a nasty name. Yasu-Kuni means Peace for the Nation in Chinese character. Most ones believe that the Shrine is built for victims of wars that are related to Japan. It is wrong. The Shrine was built for memorializing all the diseased in the political turmoil in the transition of administration in 1860s. One of famous ones who are first memorialized is Takayoshi KIDO, who diseased due to lung disease. Another is Toshimichi OKUBO, who was assassinated in the contemporary. The Shrine's character had changed just between the first and the second world war. Many soldiers and sailors were killed and memorialized by army and navy there. Actually, generals and admirals were memorialized in other places separately, such as Admiral Tohgou has his own smaller shrine near the Shrine.

Fortunately, my family does not have any victim in kinship in wars; my paternal grand-grand father was an army high officer, but he has never been called. I have no idea the reason at all. My maternal grand-grand father was an army warrant officer, but he just served Emperor to show his skill of gun. He went to China, but he cooked and didn't show up on battle fields. I have no reason to go to the Shrine so far.

But, not a small number of Buddhist and Shintoist families in Japan lost their members or relatives during the war as soldiers or sailors. They surely have reason to go there yearly. Nobody can stop such religious worship. Shrine is not dedicated for any worship of God; it is a memorial place for their family or relative. If you have those people, you may go there; otherwise, you have no reason to do that. I have no idea that Mr. Abe has such a relative in his kinship. If he has somebody being memorialized, he may visit there. Otherwise, there is no reason to do so. Any newspaper has not discussed this simple rule yet.

I'm happy to have no reason for visiting there.

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