Saturday, March 24, 2012

"For John was not yet cast into prison" - Start of Buddhism in East Asia

Tokyo Suburb Railroad...

Start of Buddhism in East Asia

As Christianity started in the 1st century in Europe, namely in Rome and peripheral regions, Buddhism also started in the 1st century in East Asia, namely first in China.
White Horse Temple is, according to tradition, the first Buddhist temple in China, established in 68 AD under the patronage of Emperor Ming in the Eastern Han capital Luoyang. 
Specifically, two Buddhist priests came from the western boundary of the Han dynasty to its capital, riding on white horses and carrying Buddhist scriptures.

This is one of the most important facts when considering and comparing history of the west and the east.

Though there has bee no such central body as the Vatican in East Asia, the length of history of Buddhism in East Asia, including Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, is equal to that of Christianity in Europe.

So, the depth of religious cultivation in both the east and the west must be comparable.  Accordingly, it is no wonder that Japan succeeded in modernization and westernization in the late 19th century to catch up with Europe and North America.  It is also no wonder that Taiwan, China, and South Korea have come to be successfully industrialized to compete with Europe and North America around the start of the 21st century.

How Buddhism Spread in Asia

It is believed that Buddhism was officially introduced into Japan from Korea in the early 6th century.  At the time the whole Korean peninsula was in a state of war.  One of Korean countries especially wanted support from and alliance with Japan.  So to appeal to Japanese leaders, they used power of religion.  And, this turmoil in the peninsula drove many families and clans out of Korea to Japan.  Those refugees carried their religion Buddhism to Japan.  And some of them were highly welcomed by Japanese leaders and given higher status in the ancient Japanese court, as they had advanced knowledge in various aspects of culture first developed in ancient China.

However, the Japanese Buddhism was afterward developed in direct connection with Chinese Buddhists over Koreans.  And, as time went by, the Japanese Buddhism came to be deepened and advanced by Japanese monks and scholars to be a unique type of Buddhism.  Even today most of funeral ceremonies in Japan are conducted according to a Buddhist style.

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Joh 3:24 For John was not yet cast into prison.
Joh 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
Joh 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
Joh 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"How can Satan cast out Satan?" - A Case around Tokyo

The Tokyo Suburbs in the Rain

A Case around Tokyo

In a city around Tokyo, a 79-year old woman got a phone call.

A man on the line said that he was a policeman of a police station having jurisdiction over the residential area where she lived.  He told that her name was on a list a criminal group used for selecting targets and money in her bank account was stolen by criminals.  Then the self-professed policeman hung up.  Soon after it, another call came to her.  A man on the line said that he was a clerk of the bank where her stolen deposit was held.  He said that he would send someone to her home to check and secure her passbook and the bank card.  So, the self-professed bank staff hung up.  Very soon after it, a man came to her house to receive the passbook and the bank card.  She handed them to the man who soon left her home and disappeared on the street.  Yet, some time after the incident, she came to feel something strange.  So, she called the police station from which the self-styled policeman must have called her.  Then she found that she was now a victim of crime.  It was a trick; the self-styled policeman, the self-styled bank staff, and the man who came to take her bankbook and card were all criminals.  She was scammed.  They already took out 1.5 million yen ($18,000) from her account using her bank card.

Today, this kind of crimes using a phone, targeting old people, and swindling them are now rampant in Japan.  And it is believed that there are big organizations of gangsters behind the scene.  Professional criminals seem to recruit ordinary but poor and irresponsible guys on the Internet to use them as such callers and money collectors.  Hundreds of millions of dollars per year are illegally taken by them via telephone conversations with old people or innocent house wives.

In another case, a young mother living with a handicapped child was swindled in a similar scam involving a bogus telephone calling.  She lost 5 million yen saved in a bank for her handicapped child.  She became desperate to commit a suicide.

So, a telephone line connects ordinary, innocent, and weak citizens directly with violent, malicious, and crafty gangsters.  The Internet also does.  Therefore, I recommend telephone carriers and Internet providers to fully cooperate with the police to prevent such crimes.

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Mar 3:23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
Mar 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mar 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Mar 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
Mar 3:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"what the Spirit saith unto the churches" - The First Proven Emperor of Japan

A Big River around Tokyo...

The First Proven Emperor of Japan

According to the old Japanese history/myth books, Nihon-shoki and Kojiki, the first emperor was Jin-mu who was believed to have lived 711 BC to 585 BC. (Jin means a god; Mu means military power.)

But the title emperor (Ten-no) is scientifically believed to have been first officially introduced with the first full-scale law book of Japan called Taiho Risturyo.
The Taihō Code or Code of Taihō (Taihō-ritsuryō) was an administrative reorganization enacted in 701 inJapan, at the end of the Asuka period.[1] It was historically one of the Ritsuryō-sei.  It was compiled at the direction of Prince Osakabe, Fujiwara no Fuhito and Awata no Mahito.[2] The work was begun at the request of Emperor Mommu and, like many other developments in the country at the time, it was largely an adaptation of the governmental system of China's Tang Dynasty.

Yet, one of the oldest relics that present the kanji letters Ten-no (emperor) was found in ruins which are associated with Emperor Ten-mu (Ten means heaven; Mu means  military power) who lived from 631 to 686.  This relic is a wood strip with kanji letters on as shown below:

The sentence means: "The emperor openly called many people to him and suddenly started to purify himself before praying to gods."

Other relics that have the kanji letters Ten-no are old tombs for Emperor Ko-gyoku and Emperor Ten-chi who both preceded Emperor Ten-mu by one or two decades.  However the letters Ten-no written on their grave stones are not so widely presented.  So, according to the science of history, it is widely believed that Ten-mu is the first emperor of Japan who first used the title of Ten-no (emperor) for real while he was living.

Anyway, this is a proof that Japanese leaders in the late 7th century made clear their position against imperial China of the era.  That is, Japan had now its own imperial court like China.  A Chinese dynasty could not politically subjugate Japan through a Japanese king as a subject to a Chinese emperor.  And as a matter of fact of long history, no Chinese dynasties, except the Mongolian-established Yuan Dynasty, tried to invade Japan with military forces.

So, the wood strip with the kanji letters Ten-no, meaning an emperor, is very symbolic for the Japanese history in relation with ancient China. 

Emperor Tem-mu
(Ten-mu is said to have avoided appointing ministers but directly governed Japan.  He promoted both Buddhism and shintoism.)

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So, the current emperor of Japan is a son of the father who is directly connected to Emperor Jin-mu (or Emperor Ten-mu) though paternal lineage, since an emperor of Japan, whether a man or a woman, should be a child of the father who is directly connected to Emperor Jin-mu (or Emperor Ten-mu) though paternal lineage.

(However, there are some disputious Japanese that want to accept an emperor who is connected to Emperor Jin-mu even partially though a maternal lineage, which is a sensitive but big issue in Japan of today.)

Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"did the LORD God make coats of skins" - The Master

 Tokyo Suburb Railway...

The Master

Mencius, a philosopher of ancient China, said:

"A master should go out and participate in the real world if the society accepts his ideal.

A master should stay in his world if the society does not accept his ideal.  But he must live and act as a master with his ideal while being out of the society."

This teaching means that if somebody is understood, accepted, and respected by the society he may even become president of the US.  But, if the society doesn't understand him, he should live in his own territory but do good and perform his virtue to his neighbors as if he were president of the US.

If there were millions of such eligible masters in the US, the country would be surely governed by a master who happens to be president of the US.  So, what is important is not to expect that someday a great president will emerge from the society full of bad guys but to expect that millions of masters will emerge in the society who would really behave like a master if they cannot become president.

For example, if a bad US president launch a war with an Islamic nation but there are tens of thousands of master-like soldiers being sent to the Islamic nation, the war would not be so tragic or cruel.

Or, if a bad US president promote indecent Wall Street business but there are tens of thousands of master-like economists, journalists, and business persons being involved in the financial market, any financial crisis would be avoided.

US voters should vote for any presidential candidate closer to a master Mencius presented.

Image of Mencius in Tokyo National Museum, created by a Japanese painter in the 17th century

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Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Adam called his wife's name Eve" - Jesus on Judaism

From a Tokyo Suburb Railroad

Jesus on Judaism

The most important question in these 2000 years: How has Christ Jesus affected Judaism?
Q: How did Jesus influence Judaism? 
A: The general Jewish belief is that the Messiah has not yet come, the total rejection of Jesus as either messiah or deity in Judaism has never been a central issue for Judaism. 
As Jesus is more than the Messiah, this answer cannot be a sufficient answer.
Q: What was the role of Jesus in Judaism? 
A: The person known as "Jesus" has no role in Judaism. 
It looks too superficial.
History of Judeo-Christian Relations

Among the Jews, Rabbi Johanan, a disciple of Hillel, had previously set up an academy after the temple's destruction in 70 AD. From this school, he organized an authoritative body, the Bet Din, to take over the duties of the Sanhedrin. Leading Jews of the Bet Din decide that both Hillel and Shammai were inspired by God, but the doctrines of Hillel will be followed in practice by all Jews. Of course, the teachings of Jesus are not even considered. The Bet Din also establishes, once and for all time, the complete canon of Old Covenant Scripture, including Ecclesiastes and Solomon's Song. These decisions have been followed to this day. 
But, do all the Judaists today think that Jesus should not have been born?  Do all the Judaists today think Christianity should not have been established?

Hypothetically speaking, if Christ Jesus had not been born, what should have happened to ancient Judaists?  Anyway they had bee expelled out of Jerusalem and Palestine into the wider territory of the Roman Empire where polytheism was the norm.  The Greco Roman world have overwhelmed Judaists in terms of material richness and cultural richness.  Judaists would not even have had a strong motivation to enrich their religion to cope with the Greco Roman culture.  Judaism should not have developed the Jerusalem Talmud  (350 CE) and the Babylonian Talmud (499 CE).

What is worse, when the Roman Empire collapsed under the sword of invaders from the east, Judaists should have been also further dispersed as those invaders did not have any association with Judaism.  Finally, as modern Europe was built around the Vatican, without the Vatican modern Europe should have been impossible.  No Renaissance and even no Middle Age should have been possible.  Accordingly, though nobody would have persecuted Judaists in Europe (as there had been no Vatican), Judaists should have lived with Europeans in Europe which should have been just a broken extension of the collapsed Roman Empire.  Everybody would have been suffering to get any basic needs while being surrounded by various tribes and races coming from the east (maybe even from India or China) to Europe.   Nobody would have minded Judaism and Judaists, including Judaists themselves since there should not have been the Jerusalem Talmud  (350 CE) and the Babylonian Talmud (499 CE).  
So, Christ Jesus has had a decisive influence on the state of living of all the Judaists who today live in Israel, the US, Europe, and other part of the world. 

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Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"be zealous therefore, and repent" - Yuan Shikai and Sun Yat-sen

 Around Tokyo...

Yuan Shikai and Sun Yat-sen

In 1912, the Qing Dynasty collapsed in China in a great turmoil, leaving greater turmoil.

There appeared two heroes, at least in the political context, Yuan Shikai (En Seigai in Japanese) and Sun Yat-sen (Son Bun in Japanese), as the leading figures in the early 20th century where no authentic and effective central government existed in China but local strong men each governed their own territory and concluded treaties and promoted trade with Western powers and the Empire of Japan.

Yet, though Sun is even today respected by Beijing and Taipei, nobody praises Yuan at all.

Yuan Shikai (1859 – 1916) was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China (following Sun Yatsen), and his short-lived attempt to revive the Chinese monarchy, with himself as the "Great Emperor of China."  
Sun Yat-sen (1866 – 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary and president. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is referred to as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China (ROC), and the "forerunner of democratic revolution" in the People's Republic of China. Sun played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun was the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912 and later co-founded the Kuomintang (KMT), serving as its first leader.[2] Sun was a uniting figure in post-Imperial China, and remains unique among 20th century Chinese politicians for being widely revered amongst the people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait. 

When the classic dynasty Qing collapsed, it was clear for everybody that democracy could not be successful in China, since the public was so ignorant and unenlightened.

On the contrary, as the general public of Japan were well cultivated with a higher literacy rate, the Empire of Japan could swiftly modernize and Westernize the level of industry and education of the society while keeping unification of the nation and building modern political systems toward democracy.  The Empire of Japan became the first Asian nation that established modern government and military in Asia by the end of the 19th century.

But, it was impossible in China.  The gap between the classic imperial elites and the general public was desperately wide in the Chinese society when Qing collapsed. So, Yuan tried to govern China by leveraging classical concept of the imperial rule in vain.  Sun tried to govern China by leveraging a revolutionary regime (which was carried out by the Chinese Communist Party of today).  Yuan even called himself "Emperor," which is not recognized by anybody today.  Yuan looks like having turned to a pierrot from the strong man of China.  But, the Taipei Government still claims its authentic position as a successor of  Sun Yat-sen while the Beijing Government still keeps respect for Sun Yat-sen.   

Nonetheless, Yuan Shikai is the last Chinese who tried to become a true emperor and actually call himself emperor officially.  Unfortunately, the Chinese people in the late 19th century did not want to be subject to an emperor anymore.  They came to love weaker titles, such as a chairman and a president.

Chinese revolutionary troops attacked Nanjing in December 1912 to destroy the Qing Dynasty.

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Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.