Saturday, May 26, 2012

"till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing" - A Kamikaze Pilot

 Tokyo Sky-Tree Tower (634 meters high)
Now in Business as the World Tallest Tower

A Kamikaze Pilot

The first wave of the kamikaze special squadrons was formed by the Imperial Japanese Navy in October 1944.

On October 25, about 30 pilots of Zero fighters in the seven squadrons departed their bases to attack US fleets around the Leyte Gulf of the Philippines.  They all naturally died in this suicide attack mission except one.

The pilot named Takahashi even survived WWII, though he was just 21 years old at the time.

When he was asked by a superior officer whether he would join this first kamikaze mission as other pilot who volunteered for this fatal air attack got ill suddenly, Takahashi immediately answered that he would go for the sick air soldier.

At 6:30 a.m. on October 25, however, when Takashi took off as a member of a squadron, he found his plane had a trouble.  So, he immediately landed to fix the problem.  Then he was assigned to another squadron as his original squadron already hurried to start; and in the next try his plane successfully took off.  This incident took only 20 minutes or so, but it subtly changed a mood of Takahashi who had first been determined to carry out this kamikaze mission by any means. But when he took off in the second time, he somewhat lost a passion for this heroic mission.

Takahashi's and other three kamikaze Zero fighters, with some support Zeros guarding the kamikaze planes, flew along islands of the Phillipines.  They saw some US naval ships burning and a US hospital ship.  Oil was floating on the surface.  A battle had been fought there already.  They continued fly and search for US aircraft carriers, their main targets.  But they could not find any while they were flying over the sea on the east side of the Leyte Gulf.  Then the four Kamikaze Zeros came to be out of fuel.  So, they dropped bombs their planes carried on the surface of the sea.  And support Zeros left them here.  But soon after it, they could find three US destroyers.  Two of the four kamikaze Zero fighters dashed to the US naval ships, firing machine guns.  Takahshi and other fighter took their own position in the air for a raid to the destroyers.  But Takashi found his Zero had not enough fuel, and he thought it was useless to smash his plane into a US destroyer since he had already dropped the bomb.  So, Takahashi decided to leave the battle zone and look for an emergency air field built by the Imperial Army troops being deployed in islands around Leyte island.  Takahashi could find one.  His Zero landed there.  There his Zero was refueled.  He returned to one of major air bases the Imperial Navy was using, though it was different from the base he had departed.  In the base, he was warmly accepted and appointed to a support squadron but not to other kamikaze squadron.  And, Takahashi eventually survived the Japanese-US War or the Pacific Theater of WWII.  It is believed that Takahashi is the only survivor among the some 30 kamikaze pilots who participated in the first kamikaze mission carried out on October 25, 1944 in order to support desperate operation by the Imperial Japanese Navy fleets planned to destroy US fleets being massed in the Layte Gulf.
In the last ten months of WWII, the Imperial Navy and Army sent total 2,483 military planes for kamikaze suicide attack missions.  About 4,000 soldiers died.  About 400 planes hit US military ships or blasted themselves near US ships.  About 350 US naval ships were damaged to any degree, and 20 were sunk.  But no full-scale US aircraft carriers were sunk though some of them were severely damaged.

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

Mat 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

"standing in the temple" - Emperor of Japan vs. General MacArthur

An East Part of Tokyo Metropolitan

Emperor of Japan vs. General MacArthur

On September 27, 1945, the Emperor of Japan visited General MacArthur, the supreme commander of the allied forces, at the US embassy in Tokyo where the General of Army started to live after landing on Japan on August 30.

It was the first historic meeting between the Emperor and General MacArthur, though they met total 11 times in the US embassy till MacArthur's official departure from Japan in 1951.
At the time when the Emperor decided to go out of the Imperial Palace and see the victorious supreme commander, there was still a possibility that the Emperor would be indicted in the Tokyo Tribunal of War Crimes as the gravest war criminal for the Pacific theater in WWII.  President Truman did not order to arrest and judge the Emperor, but other allied nations, such as the Soviet Union, intended to handle the Emperor as a war criminal.

So, General MacArthur did not welcome and greet the Emperor at the entrance to the embassy.  The General was in a room when the Emperor was guided into his official house.  Then only the Emperor and his interpreter were admitted in an inside room; other Japanese officials were left behind.

But there was an old Japanese man named Sadakichi Funayama who had been working in the US embassy as a kind of butler for the family of the US ambassador since days before the Pearl Harbor Attack. (He left the job while the Empire of Japan and the US were engaged in the Pacific War but was reemployed again after the war.)  It was Funayama who received the Emperor at the door.  Funayama also brought cups of coffee to the Emperor and the General, while catching a glimpse at the situation of the room.  And after the historic meeting, Funayama found that the Emperor did not touch the coffee cup.

So, there were only two Japanese witnesses of the meeting: the Japanese interpreter and Funayama.  But the Emperor and the General promised each other to keep secret what the two talked about, though the General later disclosed contents of their conversation in his memoir.  And, as time went by, contents of a report regrading the conversation the Japanese interpreter filed to the Japanese Government came to be known to the Japanese public.  So, today, it is known that the Emperor said with courage to the General that he would take responsibility for the war if necessary.

However, as the Emperor did not take coffee in this first meeting, the General would not offer coffee in subsequent meetings between the two held ten times in six years.  But Funayama said that after each meeting with the Emperor, MacArthur hurried to take a cup of coffee as he did not drink anything during conversation.

General MacArthur never visited the Imperial Palace to meet the Emperor during his stay and governance in Japan.  And the Emperor did not come to a Tokyo airport to see the General off when he officially left Japan forever in 1951.

But it is well known today that in order to peacefully occupy Japan with his troops after the war, General MacArthur needed the Emperor keeping his status so that no Japanese would feel psychologically and spiritually challenged or humiliated by the winner of WWII as the Emperor was revered so much by the Japanese people and ex-Imperial generals, officers, and soldiers.

And when the first meeting of the Showa Emperor and General MacArthur ended, the General took the Emperor to the door of his official residence in the embassy unlike the start of their meeting, paying full respect.

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

Act 5:25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
Act 5:26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
Act 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
Act 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"And Jesus went with him" - Man-Made Poverty

A Tokyo Facility...

Man-Made Poverty

The theme we have to tackle is poverty and wealth in addition to teaching of God.
Christian views on poverty and wealth

There have been a variety of Christian attitudes towards materialism and wealth. John Cobb, Jr. argues that the "economism that rules the West and through it much of the East" is directly opposed to traditional Christian doctrine. Cobb invokes the teaching of Jesus that "man cannot serve both God and Mammon (wealth)". He asserts that it is obvious that "Western society is organized in the service of wealth" and thus wealth has triumphed over God in the West...

At one end of the spectrum is a view which casts wealth and materialism as an evil to be avoided and even combatted. At the other end is a view which casts prosperity and well-being as a blessing from God...
You may get out of poverty as long as you do not make any others unhappy and poor.  And, you know it is impossible.  So, according to the teaching of God, you cannot be rich.

Let's check the state of poverty in the US as it is apparently forced poverty but not Christian voluntary poverty.
The facts about poverty in America
by Robert Rector02/07/2012
The American work ethic has eroded. Even in the best of economic times, the poor work very little.  Worse, marriage has collapsed in low-income communities.  At the outset of the War on Poverty, 7 percent of children were born outside marriage; today, the annual rate is 42 percent.  The disappearance of marriage is the principal cause of child poverty and welfare dependence today.

Tragically, the welfare system is more like a “safety bog” than a safety net.  Serving as an alternative to self-support, welfare has eroded work and crushed family structure.  Rather than lifting up the poor, the welfare state has pushed them down into intergenerational dependence and social marginality.
Let's also check the state of poverty in the world as it is apparently forced poverty but not Christian voluntary poverty.
2012 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 
As the figure below shows, the number of hungry people has increased since 1995-97.. The increase has been due to three factors: 1) neglect of agriculture relevant to very poor people by governments and international agencies; 2) the current worldwide economic crisis, and 3) the significant increase of food prices in the last several years which has been devastating to those with only a few dollars a day to spend. 925 million people is 13.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.8 billion. Nearly all of the undernourished are in developing countries.
In round numbers there are 7 billion people in the world. Thus, with an estimated 925 million hungry people in the world, 13.1 percent, or almost 1 in 7 people are hungry.
Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone? 
The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that we could find.(FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

So, it is a man-made calamity, poverty.  Governments in the world are responsible.  Voters that elect politicians to manage governments are responsible.  Mostly, governments of rich countries and voters of rich countries are responsible.

But the rich are gaining momentum year after year nowadays.
The Rich Are Now Richer Than Before the 2008 Credit Meltdown
Steven Bertoni
Money Talks
Forbes Magazine dated August 08, 2011

A study from Capgemini and Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed that the world's population of high-networth individuals (HNWI), with $1 million or more in investable assets, jumped 8.3% over the last year to a total of 10.9 million people. That number is up from the 2007 tally of 10.1 million tycoons.

Not only are there more rich, but they're also richer. Their financial wealth jumped 9.7% over the last year to $42.7 trillion. Meanwhile, the U.S. GDP grew 1.9% in the first quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce....

Many might agree that Obama's stimulus package isn't creating jobs, but for a lucky few, it is creating a ton of wealth. Still, the U.S. has fewer millionaires than it did before the crash.

And the rich hold political power to maintain their wealth at the sacrifice of the poor.
Why the Rich Are Getting Richer
American Politics and the Second Gilded Age
By Robert C. Lieberman
January/February 2011

...This was not an anomaly but rather a continuation of a 40-year trend of ballooning incomes at the very top and stagnant incomes in the middle and at the bottom. The share of total income going to the top one percent has increased from roughly eight percent in the 1960s to more than 20 percent today.

This is what the political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson call the "winner-take-all economy." It is not a picture of a healthy society. Such a level of economic inequality, not seen in the United States since the eve of the Great Depression, bespeaks a political economy in which the financial rewards are increasingly concentrated among a tiny elite and whose risks are borne by an increasingly exposed and unprotected middle class. Income inequality in the United States is higher than in any other advanced industrial democracy and by conventional measures comparable to that in countries such as Ghana, Nicaragua, and Turkmenistan. It breeds political polarization, mistrust, and resentment between the haves and the have-nots and tends to distort the workings of a democratic political system in which money increasingly confers political voice and power...

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

Mar 5:24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
Mar 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
Mar 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
Mar 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Mar 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
Mar 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
Mar 5:31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
Mar 5:32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
Mar 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
Mar 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Thy sins be forgiven thee" - A Mystery after the International Military Tribunal

 A Tokyo View...

A Mystery after the International Military Tribunal

On December 23, 1948, the leaders of the Empire of Japan who were judged and sentenced  to death  by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East were executed at Sugamo Prison in Ikebukuro of Tokyo.

They took responsibility for war crimes which had been allegedly conducted in the Pacific theater during WWII.  But the day, December 23, 1948, was also the birthday of Crown Prince of Showa Emperor or the birthday of present Emperor of Japan. Whether or not General MacArthur knew it could intimidate the emperor of Japan and the Japanese people, he ordered the commanding general of the Eighth Army Walton Walker to carry out the execution of the so-called seven A-Class war criminals, including ex-Full-General/Prime Minister of the Empire Hideki Tokyo.

Then two years later during the Korean War, US General Walton Walker was killed in a traffic accident in the Korean Peninsula on the very December 23.

Accordingly a lieutenant of  General Walton Walker visited a Buddhist facility in Japan where bones of the seven executed ex-leaders of the Empire were placed after collecting them secretly from a crematorium.  It is said that a South Korean officer advised the lieutenant to appease the spirits of those so-called seven A-Class war criminals of the Empire of Japan that collapsed in 1945. 
When hostilities broke out in Europe in 1939, Walker was executive of the War Plans division of the general staff, but when Marshall (now Chief of Staff) assigned George Pattonto organize America's armored forces, Walker successfully lobbied Marshall for a post as one of Patton's subordinate commanders, gaining promotion to brigadier general in the process. Promoted major general in 1942, he commanded Third Armored Division and eventually XX Corps, taking the latter to England in early 1944 and leading it into combat in Normandy in July as part of Patton's Third Army.
The Korea America Friendship Association, or KAFA, plans to unveil a $770,000 statue of Lt. Gen. Walton Walker at U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan on Dec. 23, the 58th anniversary of the general’s death in a jeep accident near Uijeongbu. Walker successfully led the defense of a critical line around Busan, the only pocket of South Korea not captured by communist North Korea in the early months of the Korean War.

Walker’s Pusan Perimeter set the stage for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s dramatic and better-known Incheon Landing on Sept. 15, 1950.

Yet, how fair or effective was the so-called Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals?
Radhabinod Pal 
The United States of America, The Republic of China, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, The Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, The Republic of France, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, India and The Commonwealth of the Philippins. 
- Against -
Araki, Sadao; Dohihara, Kenji; Hashimoto, Kingoro; Hata, Shunroku; Hiranuma, Kiichiro; Hirota, Koki; Hoshino, Naoki; Itagaki, Seishiro; Kaya, Okinori; Kido, Koichi; Kimura, Heitaro; Koiso, Kuniaki; Matsui, Iwane; Minami, Jiro; Muto, Akira; Oka, Takasumi; Oshima, Hiroshi; Saro, Kenryo; Shigemitsu, Mamoru; Shimada, shigataro; Shiratori, Toshio; Suzuki, Teiihci; Togo, Shigenori; Tojo, Hideki; Umezu, Yoshijiro.
The apprehension is that the Members of the Tribunal being representatives of the nations which defeated Japan and which are accusers in this action, the accused cannot expect a fair and impartial trial at their hands and consequently the Tribunal as constituted should not proceed with this trial... 

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Luk 5:23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"committed all judgment unto the Son" - Money, People vs. God

A Corner of Tokyo...

 Money, People vs. God 

PART I: Democracy & Market Economy

The society consists of rich citizens and poor citizens.

They live under democracy and in the market economy like in Greece.  The issue can be simplified as a battle between the rich and the poor over how democracy and the market economy should be balanced.

With expansion of democracy, welfare of the poor grows to a point of saturation.  With deployment of the market economy, the poor gets more benefits, but they see a decline of their welfare after passing a certain level of diffusion of the market economy.

So, it is important that any authority make the rich accept the levels of democracy and the market economy that are best suited for maximization of poor men's benefits but allow the rich to enjoy a very moderate level of their wealth.

PART II: Wall Street vs. Democracy

When Christianity stopped growing in and Judaism came to fully adapt itself in the US society, Wall Street came to become a holy land of a new American religion of the rule of money.
MONDAY, APR 2, 2012 06:00 AM +0900
How billionaires destroy democracy
Wealthy Wall Streeters have rigged the economy and the government against the people. Here's how they did it
The business elite is and always has been the most powerful force in U.S. politics, by virtue of its dominant role in the economy. But what is striking — and perhaps inspiring to revisit — is the extent to which the power of business was somewhat curtailed in the 1930–1970 period, and the extent to which this allowed policies favoring other members of society to flourish....

Powell laid out a comprehensive plan that bears an uncanny resemblance to what actually happened. He argued that business largely owned, funded, or had influence over the key media, religious, and academic institutions in society, and should use its leverage to counter what he perceived as the liberal, anti-business bias of these institutions. He advocated explicit business intervention in the political sphere, where he said the American businessman had become “truly the forgotten man.”...

Mark Hanna may well have identified a crude truth about American politics when he said “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can’t remember what the second is.” Perhaps the second thing, which the Republican strategist so casually forgot, is that it matters how widely money is distributed. We therefore offer up a corollary to Hanna’s rule: When money is distributed more equally in society, ordinary citizens speak with louder voices, making meaningful democracy possible.

PART III: Wall Street vs. God

If Democracy cannot suppress Wall Street-type of spirits, mankind has to resort to teaching of God.

But there are many biased guys who think they are followers of teaching of the God, while they do not look blessed at all by the God.
Religious Right Groups Ask God To Thwart Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Brian Tashman on Fri, 11/11/2011 - 5:30pm 
While Religious Right leaders lauded tea party groups for taking to the streets, now they are asking for the government, and God, to crush the Occupy Wall Street movement. 
Earlier this week, the Family Research Council asked members to pray against "these raucus [sic] groups" and "ideological anarchists," asking for God to "harvest souls for Christ among them":

(to be continued...)

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

Joh 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Joh 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Thou shalt not kill" - An Old Folk Lore of Mt. Fuji

Tokyo Railways...

An Old Folk Lore of Mt. Fuji

There is an old folk tale in Japan concerning Mt. Fuji, the holiest, greatest, and highest mountain of Japan.

Mt. Fuji is situated facing Suruga Bay open to the Pacific Ocean.  On the left hand-side of the Bay, observed from the shore, is the Izu Peninsula.  And there was one mountain at the southern tip of the Peninsula called Mt. Mitake.  But it was forbidden to talk about Mt. Fuji when people climbed Mt. Mitake.  No one in Mt. Mitake talked about Mt. Fuji. It was because Mt. Mitake did not look so fine as Mt. Fuji.  Its shape was not so impressive as Mt. Fuji.  So, the spirit of Mt. Mitake envied Mt. Fuji.  Accordingly nobody talked about Mt. Fuji when climbing the mountain, since the female spirit of Mt. Fuji was a younger sister of the spirit of Mt. Mitake.

Further, the female spirit of Mt. Fuji had a younger sister in  a small mountain called Mt. Shimoda-Fuji in a town called Shimoda located  on the east shore at the southern part of the Izu Peninsula.  From Shimoda, Mt. Fuji was over the Peninsula and over Suruga Bay in the northwest.  But Mt. Shimoda-Fuji looked better than Mt. Fuji.  So, the spirit of Mt. Fuji did not like to see Mt. Shimoda-Fuji.  Accordingly, there placed was a tall mountain in the middle of the Izu Peninsula, so that Mt. Shimoda-Fuji could not be spotted from Mt. Fuji.

In this way, nobody mentioned much about Mt. Fuji in the southern part of the Izu Peninsula, since Mt. Fuji was envied by Mt. Mitake while envying Mt. Shimoda-Fuji due to their appearance. 

Then how does the Bible handle beauty or envy of women?
Beautiful Women of the Bible 
Sarah, as seen through Abraham's eyes, was “…a fair woman to look upon” (Genesis 12:11); Rebekah was described as “…very fair to look upon…” (Genesis 24:16); and Bathsheba, desired by King David, was said to be “…very beautiful to look upon” (2 Samuel 11:2). The ancient Hebrews apparently placed higher value on a woman's virtuous character and fertility than on physical beauty, but that's not to say that they didn't “look upon” a woman's beauty with an appreciative eye. 
But among women there must have been some tensions among themselves even they were following Christ all together.
Female followers

The Bible doesn't specify just how many women traveled with Jesus and his male disciples, but Luke records the names of a prominent few, and mentions there were "many others."

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household: Susanna: and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1-3)

Think about these remarkable words. Here were women not only associating with Jesus Christ and his male disciples, but traveling along with them. Also, notice that at least some of these women—possibly widows—had control of their own finances. It was out of their generosity that Jesus and his disciples were at least partially supported.

So, Christ Jesus must have been very cautious in dealing with those women who followed Him travelling around ancient Israel.

Mark 7:20-23
And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."

Christianity wasn't born on an "altar", but at a "table", where all participated.
The problem isn't women, but the Church.

Yet, women all ran away from a tomb where Christ (in His temporary death) had been laid down and vanished.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
For this reason, as Christ Jesus had known that the women would run away, I suppose, He did not appoint beforehand any woman to a responsible position in the band of His followers.

But in fear and awe, no beauty of a woman counts, neither envy among women is induced.

(to be continued...)

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

Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mat 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.