Yasukuni shrine

Yasukuni ( 靖国 – “peaceful nation” ) is one of the most famous shrines in Japan because of its political use. I visited it for the first time last week and it was pretty boring, full of emperor seals and some radical groups praying.

The shrine was built dedicated to the spirits of Japanese who died defending the Emperor of Japan. The big problem came when they realized that including all spirits of all the people that died for the Emperor also includes war criminals. Among those war criminals there are 14 Class-A criminals (You have to kill some thousands of people to become Class-A) that are in the list of Yasukuni shrine; Chinese and Korean people are not very happy with that. One of the Class-A criminals was Hideki Tojo, the Japanese prime minister when Pearl Harbor attacked was carried out.

When you visit Yasukuni you quickly realize that the enshrined criminals are not the only rotten fish over there. You can see Japanese Yakuza walking around freely and scaring other people, also other right wing radical groups make Yasukuni shrine their home.


Yakuza praying to Yasukuni Gods.

Attached to the shrine there is a war museum. That is arranged in a way that suggests that Japan has always acted in self defense and in every war they were the victims. The excuse for China, Korean and Asia invasion in general is that they were trying to modernize, expand and built the necessary military in order to confront the ague of western colonial powers. In some panels in the museum it says: “We liberated Asia from Western imperialism”, “None of the soldiers that went to the battlefields with the purpose of invading or killing. They fought for the sake of their families and the state they loved”. The museum also explains carefully why Pearl Harbor was a pre-emptive attack taken in self defense.


An olg japanese moving his hand following the rhythm of an old japanese song that was used in war times.


Second World War plane at Yasukuni´s museum.

I really don’t understand the world we are living in. They discuss during years and years about those war criminals that are already dead but they don’t care a shit about alive criminals who use Yasukuni Shrine to show off their power.

12 Comments
  • lekesan

    January 24, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    Actually, and despite your mistakes in English It is a very good post.. Don’t get mad thought, I’am trying to cheer you up!!!
    Cheers and aurrera

  • kirai

    January 25, 2007 at 12:43 am

    ves diciéndome los fallos y voy corrigiendo 🙂 Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll start improving/correcting.

  • ruben

    January 25, 2007 at 1:12 am

    I stick to lekesan just said.
    Nice initiative, Kirai. Nicely writing article. Congrats!

    Besides: It’s more quite here, without alll the buzz of the spanish version.
    Not trying to be elitist with that opinion, though.

  • […] Read english version>> […]

  • CaDs

    January 25, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Buzz?

  • ruben

    January 25, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Buzz, indeed.
    Don’t you agree?

  • Pierre

    January 25, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Sure it is ! Maybe even more than a buzz since people continue posting a lot. And with this english version, it might increase the tendancy… kamoshirenai
    Eventhough I don’t read a word of spanish… my french helps me to more or less understand your posts until now. Now you made a english version, dear Kirai, it’s just GREAT !
    I like your opening. I guess that when you see the criminality rate i n Japan, politics are more likely to focuss on other matter. And people in Japan are hardly ever confronted to violence or crime so they just prefer talking about the past…

    Koin

  • Harvey

    January 28, 2007 at 5:23 am

    Great post! I have been in Japan for years now and never been there… I need to go!

  • salt

    April 25, 2007 at 9:00 am

    thanks for that great post…
    i do have one question thought, under one of the photos, the caption is ‘yakuza praying to the yasukuni gods’.
    somehow in military garb, they seem more to me like extreme right-wingers than the yakuza.
    maybe i still can’t imagine the yakuza trading their suits for camouflage uniforms and leather boots….

  • […] Wabpilot/Dreadnought/xerxes, Sorry for my intrusion. I think that if you want to debate about the war criminals of Japan, comparing to Yamamoto, there are more evidences to show that the Japanese emperor Hirohito is a true war criminal. Based on Japanese constitution, Hirohito was the supreme commander of Japan’s military. He should be responsible for the war crimes committed by Japanese army. The Imperial General Headquarters was established inside the Imperial Palace at that time. Hirohito directly participated or was informed the plans of all important Japanese military aggression, including invading China, Pearl Harbor and South East China countries. It was him that gave the final

  • shunichi arai

    November 26, 2007 at 9:28 am

    I found an interesting notice at Yasukuni shrine. I had blogged that few years ago.

  • Johnson Marine

    February 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I don