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.