Saturday, February 11, 2012

"a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" - Iran and Japan

Tokyo Station Plaza

Iran and Japan

There is of course something common between Japanese and Iranians.

Islam confines the minds of Iranians in their social behaviors.  The Japanese group mentality confines the minds of Japanese in their behaviors, especially in organizations.

In Iran women are strongly requested to wear scarfs as a religious practice.  Japanese workers, especially public servants, are strongly but implicitly recommended to wear clothes like others do.

Iranians are educated to follow rules, which are mostly Islamic, almost blindly.  Japanese are also educated to observe rules set implicitly in a group or an organization as an essential condition to be a member.

Iran and Japan are both old countries with unique spiritual or religious backgrounds.  Those backgrounds are quite opposite to Western, Anglo-Saxon, and American ways of life.  But, Japanese people have accepted the American-style of democracy and economy without much sacrificing their religion and spiritualism so far.  Yet, it looks more difficult for Iran to adopt the American-style of democracy and economy due to its religion, a special type of Islam.

After WWII, Japanese changed its paradigm in politics and popular culture to absorb American systems.  Many Japanese thought they were freed from various out-of-date commandments socially.    Chinese are now accepting American ways of business.  Many Chinese must think they are being freed from various out-of-date commandments at least economically.  Indians are now part of the American IT industry.  Many Indians must think they are freed from out-of-date economic situations.  Only Iranians remain as a major race, a major ethnic group, or a culture zone that does not accept American ways of politics, business, industry, and popular culture while another big Islamic nation Indonesia has been long friendly to the US.

So, the tension will remain between Iran and the US at least in terms of way of life.  But, it cannot be a reason for Iran's making a desperate war against the US.  It is not necessarily good for Iran to get support in its conflict with the US from Russia and China that have anti-American components deeply in their society.  Yet, Iran will continue to be unique against the US in terms of culture, religion, and spiritualism as Iran is an old Islamic country.

As for Japan, the most significant national agenda is how to preserve its spiritual and cultural virtue unique to Japan while its politics, economy, industry, and popular culture are so Americanized.  (Those Japanese who are against the TPP trade agreement are also concerned with this agenda, as American businesses are trying to make money in Japan by demolishing the cultural barrier.)

Nonetheless, the best way for Japan and Iran is to find a new way that can surpass the level of conflict with the American way of life, politics, business, and so on.  And, it must be only realized by enhancement of spiritualism in their unique environments to the very universal level.

Episode 1.

A Japanese couple visited Iran.  They got in a taxi whose driver said he was happy to speak Japanese since he had lived in Japan for some time.  Then, this driver never requested a charge nor received any money the couple offered.

Episode 2.

A Japanese young man traveled to Iran.  He took a week to visit tourist sites in Iran, hiring a guide and driver.  Then wherever he went, people, namely Iranians, watched him, took him into a picture, and spoke to him: "Japanese?" "Yes, I am." "Japan is good! I like Japan."  Even a young child came to him lying under a tree for a rest.  The child looked into his face for a very long time till he was called back by the mother.  When he left Tehran, all the family members of the driver/guide came to the airport to see him off.  The Japanese youth recalled that he was a focus like a movie star in Iran.

Episode 3.

A young Japanese tourist was moving around Iran.  In a city, he found a great mosque.  He wanted to enter it.  He was not rejected at the entrance, so that he took off shoes and checked them at the gatekeeper's office as everybody did.  Inside the inner precinct he was surprised to see people walking backward as they exited the dome.  So, he dared to get in the dome to be moved so much watching people, namely uncouth Iranian men, crying from extreme belief before a golden coffin of some saint.

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Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"When they saw the star" - Rothschild's Confidential Section

Tokyo Stations...

Rothschild's Confidential Section

Korekiyo Takahashi is the most respected banker and politician in the Japanese history.

He established his fame by raising funds for war costs when the Empire of Japan fought the Russian Empire between 1904 and 1905 to secure a close victory.  Takahashi as Vice Governor of the Bank of Japan traveled to the US and the UK to try to sell Japanese Government bonds to financial institutions with help from some old British acquaintance.  In the course of his activities centered in London, he came to know Rothschild.

While Takahashi frequently visited or was invited to the house of Rothschild, he found that there was a secret function called the "Confidential Section" in the super-rich man's house in London.  So, Korekiyo Takahashi asked Rothschild what the Section was for.  Rothschild answered it was secret because it was Confidential.  But finally one day, Takahashi got an answer.

Rothschild said, "There are many letters coming to my house asking for money. The destitute write me letters describing how they desperately need money.  They tell how terrible their living is.  But I think it would do more harm to society than do good if I blindly provide money for the needy. So, I have some of my employees secretly check who are really in poverty and need.  And if they find some poor men who deserve my support, I send money to them on condition that they do not reveal my charity."

However it was not the Rothschild of London that purchased bonds the Empire of Japan desperately issued but Jacob Henry Schiff, a Judaist American banker.  It is said that Rothschild had already purchased a right in the petroleum industry in Azerbaijan under the Russian Empire, so that they would not like to personally buy Japanese bonds.  

In a party where Sciff met Takahashi in London, the American banker asked Takahashi various questions about Japanese economy, Japanese industry, and morale of the Japanese people since the war started against the Russian Empire.  Takahashi explained everything about Japan honestly, since he had an experience of working in America for one year as a samurai student turned slave boy when the last samurai regime of Japan fell.  Anyway, the next day after the night of the party, Sciff told Takahashi that he would purchase bonds issued by the Empire of Japan at five million pounds.  Takahashi once returned to Japan and then again visited New York and London to sell more Japanese bonds. The total amount the Empire of Japan sold to raise funds for the war was 105 million pounds as not only Sciff but Lehman Brothers, German bankers, etc. joind the deal. 

Korekiyo Takahashi, however, kept a good relationship with Rothschilds.  As time went by, they disappeared one after another, and finally Rothschild in Paris became the last Rothschild who exchanged a Christmas card with Takahashi who eventually became Minister of Finance and Prime Minister of the Empire of Japan.

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Mat 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

"Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk" - Shand & Takahashi

Part of Tokyo Downtown...

Shand & Takahashi

A British banker contributed to modernization and westernization of the Japanese banking system newly established after the Meiji Restoration of the Imperial Authority and the fall of the last samurai regime in 1868.
It would be a shame to miss Shand out of this story, for his was an extraordinary career. Born in the Scottish village of Turriff in 1844, he went into banking, and at the age of 19 joined a bank in Hong Kong. By 20, he was managing a branch in Yokohama, Japan. There, he hired a local boy to run errands for him. This was his first encounter with Korekiyo Takahashi, who was to grow up to become Finance Minister, and later Prime Minister, of Japan. 
In 1872 Shand was appointed an advisor to the Japanese Ministry of Finance. He wrote textbooks for them, and gave influential lectures on various aspects of banking practice. He is still recognised today as the father of Japanese bookkeeping. 
Shand returned to Britain in 1877 to join NatWest constituent Alliance Bank, where he remained for the rest of his career, specialising in working with Japan. He maintained many Japanese friendships, not least with Takahashi, who by this time had risen to political prominence. These personal relationships were immensely important in cementing business ties. He was the only westerner that the Japanese government always consulted when raising loans on the international market.

Korekiyo Takahashi also had a very distinctive career, including his experience of having traveled to the US when Japan was still under the Tokugawa samurai regime.  The samurai boy Takahashi was however unfortunately victimized by a bad American in California and sold to a farm house in Oakland as a slave boy, though he could get out of the plight and return to Japan.  

Before Takahashi was sent to the US for study by the samurai lord his house belonged to, Takahashi had been to Edo (Tokyo) and Yokohama to happen to be hired as a boy in a bank in the port city Yokohama by Shand (Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London & China) who managed it.  Takahashi was taught by his master that depositors were important but borrowers were also very important. "Accordingly, you have to show your respect and kindness to borrowers.  Based on this kindness, you have to check how your borrowers spend money," said Shand.  "When you find they spend money in a wrong manner, you have to advise them against handling money in such a manner as would surely lead them into a failure."

After Takahashi returned to Japan from the US to grow up and advance well in society, he happened to be in charge of management of a major bank of Japan.  Then one day he found a son of one of shareholders of the bank paying with checks so many times in a doubtful manner.  Takahashi checked the situation to confirm that the young man indulged in gambling.  So, he called the son of a shareholder to the bank to advise him to repent.  The young man followed Takahashi's admonition to be saved from evil of society.

Further later, when Takahashi became the Vice Governor of the Bank of Japan to travel to London to raise funds for costs of the Japanese-Russo War, Shand introduced Takahashi to financial circles of England.  Owing to help from Shand, Takahashi could sell enough bonds of the Empire of Japan to British, American, and even German bankers as Takahashi could get acquainted with Rothschild and Jacob Schiff.

However, whenever Takahashi tried to show his appreciation to his old boss Shand, saying that he owed so many things to Shand since he had worked as a boy in a Yokohama bank managed by Shand, Shand always broke in, saying, "Oh I don't know such a thing."  Even when a daughter of Takahashi later met Shand in London and showed her appreciation to the old boss of her father, saying, "My father owed everything to you in a Yokohama bank," Shand broke in, saying, "Oh I don't know such a thing.  It must be a mistake."

So, Korekiyo Takahashi (1854-1936) never lost feeling of thankfulness to Alexander Allan Shand (1844-1930).

A stone monument dedicated to Shand built in Hakone, 80 km from Tokyo, where Shand spent a summer though he lost his son because of illness.

Korekiyo Takahashi

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Mar 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
Mar 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
Mar 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

"keeping watch over their flock by night" - American Politics

Tokyo Downtown around a Botanical Garden

American Politics

Economy is not the most important issue for a nation, even, the U.S.

Religion or a spiritual foundation is more important than economy.  But, President Mr. Obama is a kind of result from the 2008 Financial Crisis, if he represents American conscience regrading race issues.

Anyway, let's check some information about American voters:

It shows how extraordinary the landscape of the US politics must have been to have the first African American President in 2009 though the 2008 Presidential Election.  It was only made possible with an exceptional condition of Democrats supported by about 70% of states constituting America and Republicans only by 10%.

Importance of Religion in Life, by Political Party,
Aggregate Sample 2004-2007
Very important
Fairly important
Not very important
These data reveal interesting patterns.
  • Sixty-six percent of Republicans report that religion is very important, the highest of any of these three political groups
  • Forty-eight percent of independents say that religion is very important, the lowest of the three groups.
  • Democrats are in the middle; 57% say that religion is very important.

The gap between Republicans and Democrats in terms of respect for religious value is about 10%.  However this figure is large enough in light with counting of votes in US presidential election.

Even in 2007, the strength of a religious motivation was clearly discussed, though in a different context:

The religion gap between Democrats and Republicans is shrinking in the presidential campaign 
Published: Monday, November 12, 2007, 10:47 PM 
...The Pew survey found that 60 percent of evangelical Protestants supporting Giuliani said their ballot would be more a vote against Clinton than a vote for the former New York City mayor.  
Scholars said Democrats have some openings to pick up religious voters. Connecting faith to social justice issues could appeal to potential swing voters such as mainline Protestants, Catholics and younger evangelicals.

And in 2011, after the 2008 Financial Crisis, Mr. Obama's inauguration of US President, and the execution of Osama bin Laden, this trend has been fairly well kept.

Why are Republicans more likely than Democrats to go to church? 
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
November 9th, 2011
03:43 PM ET
Republicans got God. 
A new poll suggests they are much more likely to go to church than Democrats.
A Gallup Poll shows that 40% of Republicans say they attend church weekly.
Twenty-one percent say they attend nearly weekly or monthly, and 38% say they seldom or rarely go to church. 
Compare that to only 27% of Democrats who say they go to church every week, 20% who say they go monthly and 52% of Democrats who say they seldom or never go to church
These polls also show that Democrats are less religious than the average American, and Republicans are more religious.
American politics must have true value when it is reflection of religious movement but not of economic movement.

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Luk 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"Fill the waterpots with water" - FUKUSHIMA

Tokyo Downtown...


Fukushima is a name of prefecture, the largest entity of autonomy in Japan under the nation.

The autonomy, situated 200 km north of Tokyo, came to be officially called Fukushima in 1876.  It is because there was a castle used by samurai called Fukushima-Jyo in the main city of the prefecture.  Accordingly the city came to be called Fukushima City to be the capital of Fukuhsima Prefecture after the Meiji Restoration of the Imperial Authority in Japan to put an end to the samurai era and start modernization of Japan in 1868.  

The reason why the castle was called Fukushim-Jyo (Fukushima Castle) as it was built in 1593 by a samurai lord is that there was a big mountain and a lake region (in the area where Fukushima City now occupies) around the castle and the castle looked like an island blown by the wind from the mountain while blowing is called "fuku" and an island is called "shima" in Japanese.

(The Fukuhsima Castle does not exist today. The location is now used for the prefecture office.)

Another Castle Existent in Fukushima Prefecture: Tsuruga-Shima-Jyo Established in 1590

Fukushima Prefecture is the third largest prefecture in Japan in terms of its area size.  But, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is just situated in a very tiny part of the prefecture.  So, some Fukushima people today are embarrassed to always here the word "Fukushima" in connection with the nuclear disaster.  They feel chagrined that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) named the nuclear power plants facing the Pacific Ocean "Fukuhshima Daiichi (No.1)" and "Fukushima Daini (NO.2)." Those power plants should have been named in a different manner, so that Fukushima people do not have to suffer harmful rumors about everything associated with Fukuhsima Daiichi.

Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

If they said that they came from Fukushima Prefecture, people in the world would wonder how close to the Fukushima Daiichi plant they live. But 99% of Fukushima people live 10 km, 30 km, 60 km, and 100 km (60 miles) away from Fukushima Daiichi.

Do not make Fukushima citizens suffer from harmful rumors connected to Fukushima Daiichi.

Fukushima City,_Fukushima

Fukushima Basin

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Joh 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
Joh 2:8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
Joh 2:9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
Joh 2:10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
Joh 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Monday, February 06, 2012

"that shall rule my people Israel" - Afghan Children

Tokyo Traffic

Afghan Children

There is an Afghan medical doctor in Japan who obtained a license to practice medicine from the Japanese Government.

He came to Japan in 1969 to graduate from the faculty of medicine of Kyoto University, Japan. Since then, he has been working as a medical doctor in Japan.  Yet, he is also engaged in aid activities for Afghan people, which is called the Karez Health & Educational Services for Afghan People (

He said that Afghan children are bright.  They really look like having a sunny disposition though they are poor.  As they are so poor, the medical doctor thinks, there is nothing for them to do but live in a cheerful mood.

By the way, the medical doctor had the great father: Academician Professor Abdul Shakoor Rashad.
Professor Abdul Shakoor Rashad was born on November 14, 1921 in Kandahar City, Afghanistan... 
In 1961, he was appointed as a Pashto teacher in the Institute of Eastern Research in St. Petersburg (Previously known as Lenin Grad) where he served for two and a half years.[3] He moved back to Kabul where he continued to serve as a professor at the University of Kabul in the Faculty of Language and Literature as Professor and as the Chief of the Pashto Department. 
Professor Rashad besides his native language Pashto spoke fluent Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Russian and English. He also had knowledge of Sanskrit, Japanese and other regional languages. He had written poems in Persian and Urdu languages as well. However has devoted all his life in study and research of Pashto literature. 
Reshad knew 26 languages including Sasnkrit and Hebrew. He has written around 105 books (only 36 were published) and hundreds of articles.[2]

So, it is not by chance that an Afghan came to Japan to be a medical doctor as you have to be fluent in Japanese.

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Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Mat 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.