Saturday, December 31, 2011

"ye have need of these things" - Brief History of Development of Nuclear Energy in Japan

The Year of Dragon Coming Soon...

Brief History of Development of Nuclear Energy in Japan 

In April 1941, a general of the Imperial Army of Japan requested Rikagaku Kenkysuyo (RIKEN) to start research aimed at construction of an atomic bomb.  Rikagaku Kenkyuso had the first Japanese cyclotron.

In January 1943, the head of Rikagaku Kenkyuso submitted a report that it was possible to make an atomic bomb using uranium-235.

In July 1944, Rikagaku Kenkyuso started enrichment of uranium.

In March 1945, they obtained a sample from the uranium enrichment work only to find failure in enrichment.  Japanese scientists involved had no idea of using plutonium.

In August 1945, the Empire of Japan surrendered to the U.S., etc. putting an end to WWII.  The atomic bomb project of the Imperial Military was abandoned.

In April 1952, in the wake of conclusion of a peace treaty with the U.S., etc., a ban on Japan's development of nuclear energy was lifted.

In March 1954, the first budget proposal for nuclear development was submitted to the Japanese parliament called the Diet.

In December 1955, the Atomic Energy Basic Law was passed by the Diet.

In 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission was established in the Japanese Government to formulate Japan's nuclear development policy.

On October 26, 1963, Japan succeeded generation of electricity from a power demonstration reactor built in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture.

In 1966, Japan introduced a modified Calder Hall-type nuclear reactor from Britain to start 166,000 kW operation as the first of its commercial nuclear electricity generation.

In November 1970, Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. completed construction of a pressurized-water reactor (PWR), introduced from US Westinghouse, in the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant, Fukui Prefecture.  It is a type of light-water nuclear reactors.

In March 1971, Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. completed building of a boiling-water reactor (BWR) designed by US GE, which is a type of light-water nuclear reactors, in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Since then, Japan only built a light-water type of nuclear reactors.

In March 2011, an M9.0 earthquake occurred with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean 150 kilometers off Fukushima Daiichi.  It triggered a 15-meter high tsunami which crippled four reactor units among six in Fukushima Daiichi situated 220 km northeast of Tokyo.

(to be continued...)

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Luk 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
Luk 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
Luk 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Luk 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Friday, December 30, 2011

"love the Lord thy God with all thy heart" - Mt. Fuji Today


Mt. Fuji Today

Snow Capped Mt. Fuji (3,776 meters high)
100 Kilometers (60 miles) Far From
Around Tokyo...
And the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower (634 meters high) 30 km far
For Reference, Mt. Fuji Observed from the Middle of Tokyo...December, 2011

*** *** *** ***

(Today, access to this blog is mainly from Russia, the US, Germany, China, France, Poland, Austria, Australia, Canada, etc.)

Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Hear, O Israel" - Review of 2011

The Tokyo Station...

Review of 2011

According to The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper of Japan, the top news stories of 2011 chosen by the Media of developing countries are as follows:

1. Japan's Great Tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi Accident

2. The Arab Spring

3. Removal of Osama bin Laden by US Special Troops

4. Occupy Wall Street Movement

5. European Financial Crisis

6. Bugging Scandal by a UK Media Company

7. Death of Steve Jobs

8. The First Space Docking by China

9. South Africa's Entry into BRICs

10. Global Population Reaching 7 Billion 

It is hard to predict what will happen in 2012 that might shake the world.

But, at the end of 2000, nobody foresaw the 9/11 Terror would be successfully carried out by AlQaeda and Osama bin Laden, while the terrorist group was intensifying their anti-American activities.  At the end of 2007, the foreclosure statistics were indicating an alert level and the oil price was ever increasing, but nobody thought that Wall Street would go on the verge of its ruin with Lehman Brothers disappearing and GM going bankrupt in the fall of 2008.  Yes, after the 2004 Sumatra, Indonesia, tsunami, the 2008 Sichuan, China, earthquake, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2010 Chile mine accident, no Japanese dreamed that an M9.0 earthquake and  once-in-1000-year tsunamis would attack the Fukshima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and coastal areas facing the North Pacific Ocean.  Indeed, people could not see with their eyes every portent the God significantly put before them beforehand.

Any way, in my feeling, pious people will try to be more pious while bad guys will be spurred on into more evil deeds.  So, maybe an important concern must be how both the bright side and the dark side will balance with each other.

With a focus on categories of events, people will naturally check economy or otherwise security. The economic state of the world is so crucial for everybody's life now that the trend of globalization connects every market of each country with one another so tightly. And security matters can also involve hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens as the War on Terror has proved.  Presently the main attention is drawn by Iran due to its nuclear program.  In addition, even one of the poorest country in the world North Korea can be regarded so much by world major players due to its nuclear development venture.  In this context, the nuclear crisis is really a blind spot for all the people in advanced countries as well as developing countries.  The nuclear technology occupies the highest level of weapon systems.  It also symbolizes a cutting-edge state of energy technology applied to real economy.  It is also directly based on the level of science mankind has ever acquired.  Implication of the nuclear accident in Japan is deep and wide.  But, are there any other technological fields that might send a shock wave to the world comparable to that by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident?

In either case, a big or decisive event for mankind might fall on the world from the clear blue sky in 2012 wile everybody is watching it regardlessly.

(to be continued...)

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On a certain beech of the coast lines of Japan attacked by great tsunamis on March 11, there was a pinewood with 70,000 pine trees.

In the samurai era, that is, centuries ago, local people, including wealthy merchants, planted manually nursery pine trees one by one as a means to prevent damage by a tsunami.  But all of them except one were washed away by the 3/11 Great Tsunami.  The remaining one encouraged residents so shocked and overwhelmed by the scale of  the natural disaster they experienced.  But, recently it was found that the great pine tree was also dying due to damage at its root.

Yet, some people picked up seeds from the remnant of the pinewoods to grow them in pots.  Others are trying to graft small branches of the remaining and dying pine tree on other young pine trees.  The spirit of survival and recovery is going to be relayed.

Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"God so clothe the grass" - From Tsushima to Pearl Harbor

Around the Tokyo Station

From Tsushima to Pearl Harbor

After the Empire of Japan defeated the Russian Empire invading Manchuria, Northern China, and the Korean border, some elites of the US Government started to regard the Empire of Japan as a future enemy.

Strangely, when the Empire of Japan was fighting a desperate war with the Russian Empire, the U.K. was on the Japanese side.  Even the U.S. and Germany did not want Russian victory.  France was a reluctant friend of Russia.  Italy even sold a naval ship to the Empire of Japan.  And, all the peoples colonized by Western Powers hoped that the Empire of Japan would give Russians any big blow.  The world was pushing the Empire of Japan to victory, no matter how narrow margin its victory was by.

(This victory of an Asian nation over a European nation really encouraged many Asian people dreaming of their independence from the Western Powers.)

After the Japanese-Russo War (1904-1905), the Imperial Navy of Japan had no matching enemy in East Asia.  The British Navy (with 6 aircraft carriers) could not keep a majority of its fleets in East Asia only to check the Empire of Japan.  The U.S. had to split its naval forces into the Atlantic theater and the Pacific theater.  France and the Netherlands (which colonized oil-producing Indonesia) could not compete with the Empire with their fleets.  China had virtually no navy.  So, the Empire of Japan had no threatening enemy in the Western Pacific.

However, it was apparent that if the US had put its national resources for real into building up its navy, it could have doubled or multiplied several times its naval capability.  Then, the Imperial fleets of Japan would have been forced to take a defensive side.  And actually, after the Japanese-Russo War, the Imperial Navy took a strategy to wait for advancement of US troops and fleets, in case, and take on them like the case of the Battle of Tsushima.  Hence, the Imperial Navy did not plan to invade Hawaii, the East Pacific Ocean, and California.  It was prepared for waiting, hitting, and destroying invading US fleets in case, like in the great naval Battle of Tsushima.

So, after the Japanese-Russo War, some elites of the US started to prepare for a future military collision with the Empire of Japan for the hegemony over the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, and especially China.  On the other hand, the Empire of Japan also continued to strengthen its military forces with an unfavorable expectation of any armed clash in the Pacific Ocean with the US. (At the time, the US colonized the Philippines and the Empire of Japan controlled, occupied, and governed Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria.)  

The most important point is that the Empire of Japan had no plan or strategy to advance to the east, namely, to Hawaii, the East Pacific, and California to occupy any American territories.  Its fleets were not formed and organized for a long-distance attack and a long-term expedition, such as the Pearl Harbor Attack which was actually carried out in December 1941.

Nonetheless, the Imperial Navy had built and operated 10 aircraft carriers as of December 1941 while the US had only 8 aircraft carriers at the time.  In addition, the Empire was building 3 more aircraft carriers while the US was making 5 more.  However, as the US had GDP 10 times more than that of the Empire of Japan at the time, it was also apparent that this balance of the numbers of aircraft carriers was just provisional.  The US would have manufactured 100 more aircraft carriers in a short period of time if a war had started.  So, if the provisional balance of the numbers of aircraft carriers was in favor of the Empire as of 1941, it was still a defensive measure for the Empire of Japan against industrially 10-times larger America.  

So, in this context, it is unthinkable that the Empire of Japan would first pull the trigger to start a war against the US.  If the Empire had had such an intention, it must have been based on a well formulated and polished plan (which the Empire did not have actually).

But, an unthinkable thing happened.  The Imperial Navy attacked US military bases on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941, mobilizing 6 aircraft carriers.  This is an opposite strategy to that for the Battle of Tsushima against the Imperial Navy of Russia.  The Imperial Navy started to sail into a long voyage with ever decreasing fuel oil but without any support from the world except almost nominal Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy.

(The real beneficiaries of the advancement of the Imperial military into South East Asia after Pearl Harbor were South East Asians who achieved independence from Western Powers after WWII, since Japanese troops had already defeated and drove Western forces out of South East Asia during WWII, though they tried to reestablish their colonial rule in the region after WWII in vain.)

(to be continued...)

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Luk 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Now is my soul troubled" - Review of the Battle of Tsushima


Review of the Battle of Tsushima

[Updated on Dec. 29, 2011]

One of the biggest events for Japan in the 20th century was the Battle of Tsushima which was fought by the Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire in 1905.

The Battle of Tsushima, commonly known as the “Sea of Japan Naval Battle” in Japan and the “Battle of Tsushima Strait”, was the major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War.
Date27–28 May 1905
LocationStraits of Tsushima
34°33.977′N 130°9.056′ECoordinates34°33.977′N 130°9.056′E
ResultDecisive Japanese victory

Naval Ensign of the Empire of Japan

Naval Ensign of Russia

total: 89 ships
4 battleships
27 cruisers
21 destroyers
37 torpedo boats plus gunboats, and auxiliary vessels
total: 28 ships
8 battleships
3 coastal battleships
8 cruisers
9 destroyers
Casualties and losses
117 dead
583 injured
3 torpedo boats sunk
4,380 dead
5,917 captured
21 ships sunk
 (7 battleships)
7 captured
6 disarmed

This battle was not only one of the greatest events for Japan but also for peoples in the world at the start of the 20th century.  It was when China had virtually no central government and Korea was even under control of such China.  South East Asia was being colonized by the Western Powers, and great India, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, was occupied by Britain for long periods of time.  Part of the Middle East was under control of Turkey, but Turkey was losing traction against the Western Powers. Africa was completely colonized.  There was no hope for non-European/Christian people to get independence to prosper, because they had no money, industry, weapons, and so on comparable to the Western civilization.

But, the Empire of Japan defeated the Russian Empire.  It was the second war, following the 1894/95 Japan-Sino War, for the Japanese since they put an end to the samurai era in 1867 to modernize and westernize the nation. And, the tide of this War was decided in the Battle of Tsushima.

The Empire of Japan used several cruisers built in Japan for this Battle, but it mostly relied on 12 major battle ships and cruisers built in England, Italy, France, and Germany.  The Empire had enough money to purchase these naval ships from Europe even at the time (Japan was once the largest producer of silver in the world).  But after this battle, the Empire started for real to build all the necessary naval ships, including battle ships and even aircraft carriers, all by itself.

Yet, it does not mean that Japanese unique technology did not contribute to  the Battle of Tsushima.

1. Ijyuin Blasting Fuse
Japanese admiral Goro Ijyuin invented a new type of blasting fuses.  It is an instantaneous detonator with high sensitivity.

2. Shimose Powder
Japanese naval chemist Shimose Masachika invented powerful powder. Shimose applied Picric acid discovered in Germany to a new powder. Though today's TNT powder has detonation velocity of 6900 meters/sec, the Shimose powder explodes at 7350 meters/sec.
3. Type 36 Wireless Application
With relay devices made by German Siemens and induction coils made in Japan, this communication device had ability to communicate over 200 nautical miles.  A Japanese reconnaissance ship informed approach of the Russian fleets to the Japanese fleets and the headquarters in Tokyo, using this new type of radiotelegraph.

4. Underwater Cables 
Prior to the Battle of Tsushima, the Imperial Government of Japan laid submarine cables between Kyusyu (one of the four major islands of the Japanese Archipelago) and Taiwan.  The cables were then connected to British marine cables covering India and Africa.  Using this communication line, Tokyo could obtain information about locations and states of the approaching Russian fleets around the globe.

5. Miyahara Boiler
Japanese navy engineer Jiro Miyahara invented an effective boiler.  This invention was a big surprise for people concerned in the world at the time.  It was efficient, compact and manufactured at a lower price.  This boiler contributed to speeding up of Imperial fleets.

6. Higher Literacy Rate
At the time or around 1900, the literacy rate of the Japanese people was about 75%, which was higher that those in Western countries.  Accordingly, Japanese sailors could read manuals of modern weapons and systems to master them efficiently.  They could be more systematically trained than Russian sailors.

7. Rice Cooked with Barley
The Imperial Navy of Japan had a health problem; many sailors developed beriberi.  So, the Navy introduced rice cooked with barley as foods for sailors.  Then, drastically the situation was improved.  Before the Battle of Tsushima, physical conditions of Japanese sailors were good while there were many scorbutic patients among Russian sailors due to the lack of vegetables (Vitamin C).
So, behind the scene of the greatest naval battle ever fought, there were seven wonders on the Japanese side.

The Imperial Combined Fleet in the Battle of Tsushima in 1905,

(to be continued...)

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Joh 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"if any man serve me" - EEE-4-Axis Analaysis Method


EEE-4-Axis Analaysis Method

Japan and the US have made smart use of cheap labor force in China.

But, it has an adverse effect on both Japan and the US.  It has taken a form of explicit deflation in Japan but big unemployment and deterioration of social/economic status of the lower middle class in America.

With advanced science, technology, and management systems, Japan and the US in the late 20th century looked like having no problems well into the 21st century.  But, global competition was intensified.  It was partly due to rivalry between businesses of Japan and the US or among themselves.  But it was also partly driven by unregulated greedy of capitalism that requested more profits and more returns.

A Japanese company had to compete with other Japanese companies so that they opted for using cheaper labor force in China rather than building more factories in Japan and hiring more Japanese workers.  A US company, sch as Wal-Mart, was requested to increase profitability more by stake holders and  equity holders in Wall Street.  They opted for importing cheap products and material from China rather than using products and material made in the US.  This trend has resulted in explicit long-term deflation in Japan and in sudden increase in unemployment and deterioration of status of lower-middle-class Americans after the 2008 Financial Crisis which took away false credit capability of ordinary American households.  

As a result, as the above figure shows, though both Japan and the US have strong advantage in international competition, their levels of sate of national finance and people's living standard have received the downward force from the China factor.  Of course, as counteraction, hundreds of millions of Chinese have been pulled up from the poverty line.  Ironically, due to the greedy strategy of the Japanese industry and Wall Street players to use cheap labor force in China, those who manage the Japanese industry and Wall Street business get richer but ordinary people get poorer in Japan and the US while many Chinese get rich though Chinese economy lacks solid foundation.  

This is one example of applying the EEE-Anaysis Method using four axes.

If you have two items to study and you can find two factors that have an influence on these items, you can use the above EEE-Analysis Method where the two factors are divided into a positive factor and a negative factor for the targeted items.

Now let's check a little different relationship between the four axes.
If a credit ceiling for each consumer is set at a higher level, consumers will be able to buy more and businesses will be able to sell more.  Many new jobs will be created, and a need for finance will increase to make Wall Street make good deals.  But, on the other hand, global competition penetrates into the American market.  Business will have to cut human costs and reduce the number of employees while securing enough profits for corporate management and investors in Wall Street.  So, politics will have to set this balance.  At present, the 2008 Financial Crisis broke this balance, lowering the ceiling level of credit while the international competition among businesses is all the more intensified claiming more cost cuts.  

(to be continued...)

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Today it snowed in various parts of Japan, including Kyoto.

One of the best winter scenes in Japan is the Kinkaku-ji (the golden Buddhist temple) which is otherwise called Rokuon-ji (the deer garden temple), built in 1397.

As Kyoto City is situated in a basin separated from Osaka Bay (connected to the Pacific Ocean) and the Sea of Japan, it is very cold in winter.  But Tokyo faces the Pacific Ocean directly over Tokyo Bay, so that only several times it snows in Tokyo in the winter.  Anyway there are many Japanese who really want to take a picture of the Kinkaku-ji surrounded by snow covered trees.  It really invokes the sense of wabi and sabi of the winter version.

Joh 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"when the Pharisees heard it" - What Happened in 2011

Mt. Fuji viewed from Tokyo...

What Happened in 2011

According to The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper of Japan, the ranking of world news stories in 2011 chosen by Japanese subscribers is as follows:

1. Thai Flooding
There are more than 3000 Japanese businesses now operating in Thailand.  Among them, more than 480 companies suffer the big floods this year.

2. Death of Osama bin Laden

3. Arab Spring

4. The Big Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand
About 250 people died for the earthquake in February 2011.  Among them 28 were Japanese.

5. The Euro Crisis

6. The High-Speed Train Accident in China

7. Apple's Steve Jobs

8. The World Population Exceeding 7 Billion

9. China's GDP

However, the death of Kin Jong-Il must be chosen by many if his death had been reported earlier.

EEE-Reporter's News Item Ranking of 2011:

1. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident

2. Anti-Authoritarian Regime Movement in Islamic Nations

3. Death of Osama bin Laden

4. Euro Crisis

5. Occupy Wall Street Movement

6. Apple's Business Success

7. Thai Flooding

8. Unrest on Streets and Factories in China Intensified

9. Unfulfilled Democracy in Russia

As I wrote before, the Second Advent of Christ Jesus has started around 2010.  Let's review how it was calculated so.
Newton focused on  the year 800 when he calculated the year of the Second Advent, finally obtaining 2060 (= 800 + 1260).

Yet, from a global point of view, it is not 800 but 750 that should be the starting year of Newton's calculation. So, the Second Advent of Christ Jesus already started around 2010 (= 1260 + 750). 
Under the Abbasids, Islamic civilization flourished in the "Islamic Golden Age" (c. 750 CE - c. 1258 CE), with its capital at the cosmopolitan city of Baghdad.  
Although the city (Pella in Palestine where early Christians fled) was still inhabited as late as the tenth Century CE, it was the deadly earthquake of CE 747 that ended its long history as a city of major influence in the region 
 720 - The second oldest exisiting imperial chronicle and myth of Japan called Nihon Shoki (Record of Japan) was compiled following an imperial order. This book has become one of major documentary resources for shintoism. 
752 - The world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha, called "Daibutsu" in Japanese, was built in Heijyo-kyo (Nara City), following an imperial order.
"(Islamic) Golden Age" (750–1258)
The Battle of Talas (or Battle of Artlakh in 751 AD between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang Dynasty, resulting in transfer of paper production technology from China to Europe.
In a wider scope, a prologue really started in 2001 with the 9/11 Terror Attack.  It must have been the last chance for the US to take the initiative in peace of the world.  But, President Mr. W. Bush reluctantly pursued Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and launched an unnecessary war in Iraq for the sake of Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Another prologue was set off, on December 26, 2004, off Sumatra Island, Indonesia, with an M9.1 earthquake and big tsunamis that attacked the Indian Ocean coast lines taking 220,000 lives.  As Indonesia is the world largest Islamic nation, this could be regraded as a grave warning to Islamic nations and Muslims.

Then, in 2008, the US triggered the world financial crisis, which has become a major underlying factor of the 2011 Euro Crisis, from Wall Street.  The subprime loan crisis symbolized the general atmosphere in the American society so much contaminated by the false American Dream.  As the situation was so bad as even GM went bankrupt, the US voters, including swing ones among European Americans, opted for Mr. Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election.

Finally, in 2010, Haiti, so close to New York and Washington DC in a global scope, suffered a great earthquake in its capital Port-au-Prince immediately taking on 50,000 lives and subsequently claiming 250,000 more lives.    

Accordingly, on March 11, 2011, an M9.0 earthquake occurred off the northeast part of Honsyu Island, Japan, or in the North Pacific Ocean 350km northeast of Tokyo.  It was accompanied by 15-meter high tsunamis one of which attacked the Fukushima Daichi nuclear generation plant where six nuclear reactor units were installed.  It resulted in major hydrogen explosions in three reactor units  and one minor explosion in one of other units.  The earthquake and the tsunamis killed about 20,000 residents but the nuclear accident forced 100,000 Fukushima citizens to evacuate their homes around Fukushima Daiichi.

Truly, the Second Coming of Christ Jesus has really started already with judgment of the God on this human civilization.  Souls of innocent victims who lost their lives in this process will be saved in Heaven, but those who were responsible for aggravation of the civilization will not be able to escape the wrath of the God.

(to be continued...)

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The most viewed postings of EEE-Reporter in this month:

Mat 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
Mat 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"the power of God" - Iwakura Mission

Mt. Fuji in December
Observed from 100 km Far (from a running train)...

The Iwakura Mission

(Updated in March 2012)

When the last samurai regime of Japan led by the Tokugawa clan fell to be taken over by imperial samurais in 1868, Japan had to accept unequal treaties with the US and other Western Powers.

The new modern government of Japan gave higher priority to diplomatic efforts to revise the unequal treaties.  In order to achieve this goal, the new elites of Japan, mainly consisting of former samurai of both the anti-Tokugawa camp and ex-pro-Tokugawa camp, first tried to know in earnest situations in the world as the samurai regime had closed the door to the world for 200 years.  For this reason, they sent a big mission consisting of 100 top politicians and bureaucrats to the US and Europe in 1871.
The Iwakura Mission or Iwakura Embassy was a Japanese diplomatic journey around the world, initiated in 1871 by the oligarchs of the Meiji period. Although it was not the only such "mission", it is the most well-known and possibly most important for the modernization of Japan after a long period of isolation from the West. It was first proposed by the influential Dutch missionary and engineer Guido Verbeck and was probably based on the model of the Grand Embassy of Peter I. 
The Iwakura mission followed several such missions previously sent by the Shogunate, such as the Japanese Embassy to the United States (1860), the First Japanese Embassy to Europe (1862), and the Second Japanese Embassy to Europe (1863). 
The purposes of the mission were twofold: 
- To renegotiate the unequal treaties with the United States, Great Britain and other European countries that Japan had been forced into during the previous decades. 
- To gather information on education, technology, culture, and military, social and economic structures from the countries visited in order to effect the modernization of Japan.

After they returned to Japan one year and ten months after, they had to however face a big turmoil which led to the last civil war in Japan called the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877.  So, it was not an easy and smooth process for the new Japanese elites to build a modern and Westernized nation in Japan in the late 19th century.

Anyway several years after the Iwakura Mission, one of its delegates prepared and drew up a report on the Mission which was authorized by the Imperial Government.  This report contains various sketches of places and cities the Mission visited in the US and Europe in addition to detailed descriptions of their journey.

San Francisco in 1872
Washington DC in 1872
New York in 1872
Boston in 1872
London in 1872
Paris in 1872
Berlin in 1873
Stockholm in 1873
Saint Petersburg in 1873
Rome in 1873
Vienna in 1873
The Mediterranean Sea in 1873
The Suez Canal in 1873

What is interesting about the Iwakura Mission is that it included several girls who were officially sent to the US for learning.  Some of them contributed progress of modern female education in Japan after they returned to Japan.

Especially one of them eventually married a general of the Imperial Army who led the whole Imperial troops in Manchuria during the Japanese-Russo War (1904-1905).  The general Iwao Oyama is the hero of the War on the Imperial Army side while Heihachiro Togo is the hero on the Imperial Navy side.

Anyway it is also interesting that the Mission headed for the east to America first without taking the westward route to Europe via South East Asia, South Asia, West Asia and the Middle East though they returned to Japan through the Suez Canal.

On Leaving Japan

Japanese Nobleman Iwakura in San Francisco in 1872 with a US minister-counselor to Japan

Top Delegates of the Iwakura Mission
Following of the Mission
Japanese Girls to be Sent to the US for Study

*** ***

Iwakura Mission Itinerary
A Port in the World of the late 19th Century

(to be continued...)

*** *** *** ***

Today an earthquake occurred in New Zealand though no victims were reported.

A year ago, a month after a big earthquake in New Zealand, the 3/11 Disaster occurred in Japan. The whole Pacific Rim must be still on alert for a possible big earthquake and accompanying tsunamis.

By the way, Christ Jesus came to this world to talk about the God.  The point at issue is today who would like to listen to Christ Jesus talking about the God.  If you do not, what can be Xmas for you at all?

Mar 12:18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
Mar 12:19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
Mar 12:20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
Mar 12:21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.
Mar 12:22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.
Mar 12:23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
Mar 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
Mar 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
Mar 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?