Saturday, June 16, 2012

"and from the wrath of the Lamb" - Confucius' Parents

The North Pacific Ocean, North of Tokyo, Japan

Confucius' Parents

Confucius' mother was a shrine maiden who must have been supposed not to marry a man.

So, not many things are known about  Confucius' father.  But according to a theory, his father advanced his career in a kingdom.  But, the more he made a rise in the royal court, the more he was humbled.  Confucius' father even did not walk with his head held high on the main street of the kingdom. He trotted along on the edge of the street as if he had been a  petty official even when he became a minister.  However, this humble high ranking minister was highly respected by people.   However he died when his son Confucius was about three years old.

Later when Confucius became a well-known master in ancient China, he came to a certain country.  A provincial governor of the country got a report that notable master Confucius was traveling his territory, teaching people and observing the state of politics in his province.  So, the governor decided to rather go before Confucius and tell him how he governed well the territory.  

Seeing Confucius, the governor said, "This province is well under the rule of law, Sir.  When a son saw his father stealing a sheep, the boy honestly reported the fact to authorities.  I really think the boy is truly an upright one.  In this way, everybody respects law in my province."

But Confucius said, "I don't think such a boy is upright.  When a son sees his father committing an offence, the boy should hide the case from the public.  It is from a natural feeling that a son helps his father hide a mistake from others.  Such a feeling must be respected."   

In the Analects of Confucius, not many things are written about  Confucius' father and mother.  Not even one chapter is used to describe his parents.

It is also noteworthy that the three great sages of the world lived almost in the same era:

Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC)

Confucius (551–479 BC)

Socrates (469– 399 BC)

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

Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Friday, June 15, 2012

"again into a mountain himself alone" - Christians around AD 110

North Pacific Ocean in North of Tokyo...

Christians around AD 110

Early Christianity was prevailing in Asia Minor.
Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia-Pontus from c. 110-112, wrote a series of letters to Roman Emperor Trajan, one of which asked for council on dealing with Christians. The letter (Epistulae X.96) details an account of how Pliny conducted trials (cognitio extra ordinem or the process where the magistrate was not only a judge but active in the investigation and examination of evidence) of Christians brought before him by private accusations.

How early Christians were observed by the Roman elite can be understood letters Pliny the Younger wrote to the emperor.
Pliny then details the practices of Christians: he says that they meet on a certain day before light where they gather and sing hymns to Christ as God. They take various oaths not to do any crimes such as fraud, theft, or adultery, and then dine together. However, Pliny says, all of these practices were abandoned by the Christians after Pliny forbade any political associations (hetaerias or “club”). These clubs were banned because Trajan saw them as a “natural breeding ground for grumbling” about both civic life and political affairs. One such instance of a banned club was a firemen’s association; likewise, Christianity was seen as a political association that could be potential harmful to the empire.[10] However the Christians seem to have willingly complied with the edict and halted their practices. Pliny ends the letter by saying that Christianity has spread not only through the cities, but also through the rural villages as well (neque tantum...sed etiam), but that is will be possible to check it.... 
Accordingly these letters can be pieces of evidence for existence of Christ Jesus as a man in history.
Pliny the Younger's letters are rare descriptions of Roman administrative process and problems. Pliny's letter describing the Christians allows modern scholars to accurately conceive of the Christian experience in Rome. They are some of the few non-Christian sources about the legal status and treatment of Christians. The correspondence between Pliny and Emperor Trajan describes that the Roman Empire, as a government entity, did not encourage the pursuit or “seek[ing] out” of Christians. Although Emperor Trajan gave Pliny specific advice about disregarding anonymous accusations, for example, he was deliberate in not establishing any new rules in regards to the Christians. In doing so, Trajan allowed Pliny to try cases as according to his discretion and to the social demands of his province. This purposeful lack of specificity demonstrates the delicate and nuanced professional relationships between the Emperor and his governors. 
Additionally, Pliny's letter also allows scholars to date the Christian pogroms in the Eastern provinces. Pliny specifically says in his letter that he cannot find anything to answer his question on the Christians in any constitutiones of previous Emperors[2]. Given that Pliny wrote his letter to the Emperor because he was unsure of any previous legal precedent implies that there was not a systematic Roman persecution of the Christians prior to the letters. The letters also serve as evidence for the historical Jesus Christ. It supports the existence of the early Christian Church and speaks to its belief system.
So, 1900 years later, Christianity has prevailed all over the world, since so many courageous believers practiced and kept their faith in Christ as God.  But who carried out the mission to diffuse words of the Christ as far as the Black Sea area 70 years after the death of Christ Jesus?

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

Joh 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"John the Baptist was risen from the dead” - 1937 Battle of Shanghai

Ibaraki Prefecture, Northeast of Tokyo

1937 Battle of Shanghai

In the summer of 1937, there were more than 20,000 Japanese citizens in Shanghai, the most prosperous international city in the Chinese Continent facing the East China Sea.

Those Japanese were protected by 5,000 marines of the Imperial Navy of Japan.  But on August 13, Chinese troops started a full-scale attack on Shanghai under administration by the UK, the US, France, and the Empire of Japan.  This Chinese offense was later to be ended in Nanjing months after as the Empire of Japan dispatched several divisions to Shanghai that drove Chinese troops to Nanjing and beyond.

On August 14, 1937, two divisions of the Chinese Army occupied key positions around Shanghai.  Chinese military planes tried to bomb Japanese troops but blindly dropped bombs on streets, killing and wounding more than 1000 Chinese citizens.

On August 17, 1937, the Imperial Government in Tokyo abolished its localization policy on the Shanghai battle due to severe Chinese offense.  Tokyo decided to take on main Chinese forces even if battles could expand to inland China from Shanghai. China further mobilized three more divisions, now having 70,000 soldiers in the front line.

On August 23, two divisions of the Imperial Army landed around the Shanghai region.  However, these divisions lost 2,582 Japanese soldiers in a month.  Chinese leader Chiang Kaishek further intensified forces for his first-full scale offense against Shanghai and the Imperial military.

Till early October, Tokyo sent three more divisions to the Shanghai battle front over the East China Sea.  But till the beginning of November, they lost 3,833 Japanese soldiers.  The Kuomintang Government of China further called up more troops to this battle which first looked so easy but turned to be so desperate.

On November 5, 1937,  three more divisions of the Imperial Army landed on Hangzhou Bay in the south of Shanghai City.  The tide finally began to change in favor of the Imperial Army.  And then one more Imperial division and one brigade landed from the Chang Jiang river to occupy a key area.  Accordingly, the whole Chinese troops started to retreat from the Shanghai front line on November 11.

Then, on December 1, 1937, the Tokyo headquarters ordered the commander of Imperial troops dispatched and stationed in Central China to advance to Nanjing.  The history entered a decisive phase for the Empire of Japan and China as well as the US.

In this 1937 Battle of Shanghai, China mobilized 600,000 troops in 75 divisions and 9 brigades with 250 airplanes and 16 tanks, while the Empire of Japan committed 300,000 troops in 8 divisions and 6 brigades with 500 airplanes, 300 tanks and 130 naval ships.  But China suffered 335,000 casualties while the Empire 92,640.  And over this scale of tragedy, the battle of Nanjing was yet to start...

The distance between Shanghai and Nanjing is about 300 km (190 miles).

(to be continued...)

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

Mar 6:14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
Mar 6:15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"they cast out many devils" - Christianity in China

A Raised Railway through a Rural Zone in the South of Fukushima Prefecture

Christianity in China

How much is Christianity prevailing in China now?
Greater China
Aug 7, 2007
Christianity finds a fulcrum in Asia
By Spengler  
Ten thousand Chinese become Christians each day, according to a stunning report by the National Catholic Reporter's veteran correspondent John Allen, and 200 million Chinese may comprise the world's largest concentration of Christians by mid-century, and the largest missionary force in history...
Christianity in China
By Lauren Green
Published January 20, 2011 
According to China Aid, a Texas-based human rights group, the number of Christians in China has increased 100-fold since 1949. Current estimates range from 80 million to 130 million active members. And one startling estimate from a Chinese Christian businessman has that number doubling or even tripling in the next generation.
Christianity could become one of the macro forces shaping Chinese culture, say experts like Dr. David Aikman, author of "Jesus in Beijing"...‬‪
11 September 2011 Last updated at 23:51 GMT
Christians in China: Is the country in spiritual crisis?
By Tim Gardam
Radio 4's God in China 
It is impossible to say how many Christians there are in China today, but no-one denies the numbers are exploding. 
The government says 25 million, 18 million Protestants and six million Catholics. Independent estimates all agree this is a vast underestimate. A conservative figure is 60 million. There are already more Chinese at church on a Sunday than in the whole of Europe...
A Chinese academic close to the government told me that the government would prefer to ignore the house churches, as unlike the Falun Gong they are not seen as a threat. But where a church oversteps the line, as happened in Beijing this year, taking its worship on to the streets, then the authorities will crack down...
Liao Yiwu

Christianity in China: God Is Red
Posted: 09/14/11 10:04 AM ET 
In the Mao era, local Christians were not allowed to pray and attend church, and were forced to accept the Communist ideology. They complied but only a few openly denounced their faith. Some brave Christians gathered secretly for services. As a result, Christianity survived, and a few years after Mao Zedong's death, it came back again with a vengeance.... 
I live in the cities, where Christianity has also flourished in the post-Mao era but with a distinctive foreign identity. Many new converts, who are educated and well-off professionals or retirees, have embraced Christianity the way they do Coke-Cola or a Volkswagen -- believing that a foreign faith, like foreign-made products, has better quality. Here in the Yi villages, Christianity is now as indigenous as qiaoba, a special Yi buckwheat cake.
Now that China has fully introduced the modern capitalistic market and systems in its industrial sector, how it will introduce democracy and Christianity is of a big concern.  

Of course, while Japan is not a Christian country, Japan is a very friendly and peaceful neighbor to the US.  So, China does not have to be a Christian country to be a friendly and peaceful neighbor to the US.  But sharing the same value standards with the US will make China a less threat to the US and the world.

The point at issue is that Christianity can become a major factor in the Chinese society as a way to take in solving its problems.  When poor Chinese people realize that they cannot solve problems and misfortunes by any other means but Christianity, they will follow the teaching of Christ and the God.  And it is not so unthinkable, as China once introduced Western philosophy Marxism as its national ideology.  So, the largest Asian country China may adopt Christianity as its national religion.
A Christian Church in Shanghai, China

(to be continued...) 

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

Mar 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Mar 6:13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"men should repent" - Modern History of Senkaku

Mt. Tsukuba & To the South of Fukushima Prefecture...

Modern History of Senkaku

Tatsushiro Koga, the first Japanese owner of the Senkaku Islands, was born in a farming house cultivating and selling tea, etc. in Fukuoka Prefecture of the Kyusyu region, Japan, in 1856.

In 1868, the last samurai regime of Japan fell through a civil war.  It was replaced with the modern Meiji Government which soon consolidated its power as the Imperial Government of Japan.  In those days, the Senkaku Islands were virtually part of Okinawa (Ryukyu Kingdom) which was subject to a samurai clan in Kyusyu, the most westward region of Japan proper, who was called Satsuma.  As Satsuma was under the Tokugawa shogun (the head of the samurai regime) in Tokyo, Okinawa became part of the Empire of Japan as the most southern prefecture.  But there was some official ambiguity about attribution of the Senkaku Islands, as Ryukyu Kingdom of Okinawa had had a unique relationship with China (the Qing Dynasty) as a tributary.

When Koga was 24 yeras old in 1879, he moved to Naha City, Okinawa, to start his own business. Then in 1884, he ventured into development of the Senkaku Islands, 410 km far from the main island of Okinawa.  Koga filed an application for use of Senkaku to the Okinawa Prefecture office in 1885.  Okinawa officials consulted Tokyo, and the central government of the Empire started to investigate legal status of the Senkaku Islands situated between the Chinese continent and the Okinawa islands.

In 1895 during the First Sino-Japanese War, the Imperial Government officially decided, through a Cabinet meeting decision, to incorporate the Senkaku Islands into the Japanese territory.  In 1896,  Tatsushiro Koga was officially authorized to lend the Senkaku Islands in a 30-year contract by the Imperial Government of Japan.   In one time, Koga employed 200 workers for fish processing work in the Senkaku Islands. This is the only known case in history (of Japan and China) of any business activities that have ever been onducted in the Senkaku Islands.  In 1909, Koga was praised publicly by the Imperial Government for his business activities in Senkaku.  And in 1918, Tatsushiro Koga died.

In 1932, the Imperial Government of Japan sold four islands of the Senkaku Islands to Zenji Koga, the eldest son of Tatsushiro Koga.  But, Zenji Koga and his wife Hanako had no children, though the Kogas loved a young man named Kunioki Kurihara who later came to possess the Senkaku Islands.

In 1968, a seafloor survey suggested a strong possibility of existence of a huge amount of deposit of crude oil and natural gas around the Senkaku Islands and surrounding areas of the East China Sea.  This possibility was confirmed by a UN survey team in 1969 and 1970.  Accordingly, in 1971, Taiwan and China started to claim their sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.

In 1972, the Kogas handed over two islands of the Senkaku Islands to the Kunihara family.  In 1978, Zenji Koga died and all the properties he owned was transferred to his wife Hanako.  But on this occasion, Hanako Koga handed over the main island of Senkaku, called Uotsuri-jima Island, to the Kurihara family.  When Hanako Koga died in 1988, all the other properties were also transferred to the Kurihara family.

According to a rumor, in the above transaction, the Kurihara family paid about 46 million yen (presently $580,000) to the Koga family, though the Kurihara family today claims that they paid more.

In 2002, the Japanese Government started to lease the Senkaku Islands from the Kurihara family at a rent of 20 million yen ($250,000) per year. A younger brother of Kunioki Kurihara says that he visited the Senkaku Islands scores of times before; but the Japanese Government has prevented ordinary Japanese citizens from landing on the Senkaku Islands so as not to intensify a diplomatic dispute over Senkaku with China.

In September 2010, some Chinese fishing boats were engaged in illegal fishing in the Japanese sea territory around the Senkaku Island (usually many Chinese fishing boats are active in the area).   One of them was captured by the Japan Coast Guard after violent resistance against Japanese patrol boats.  The event was taken into video by Japanese maritime officials, and the video clips were later released voluntarily by one Japanese officer (who was eventually forced to resign by the pro-Chinese Kan Cabinet at the time).  The video exposed lies the Chinese Government told to the world about this collision incident between the Japanese patrol boats and the Chinese fishing boat (they claimed that the Chinese boat was unreasonably attacked by the Japanese authority, which was not true).  But the captain of the illegal Chinese fishing boat who was arrested and indicted was released before a trial in a court by a Japanese public prosecutor in Okinawa (who apparently followed an instruction from then pro-Chinese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his aids in Tokyo).

In the spring of 2012, Tokyo Prefecture Governor Shintaro Ishiahara launched a project to buy out the Senkaku Islands from the Kurihara family.  He first planned to use public money of Tokyo Prefecture office, but the Tokyo Governor also solicited the public for contributions.  As of the beginning of June 2012, more than one billion yen ($12.5 million) was contributed by many patriotic Japanese citizens.
A processing factory of dried bonito in Senkaku run by Tatsushiro Koga.

(to be continued...)

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

Mar 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Mar 6:13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you" - Suicidal Acts in Japan

In the Northeast of Tokyo...

Suicidal Acts in Japan

The National Police Agency of Japan has conducted surveys on causes of suicides of young people in their 10s or 20s since 2007.

The Agency found that the number of students and other young people who committed a suicide from pains in difficulty in finding jobs in 2011 was 150, 2.5 times more than in 2007.  Males accounted for 80 to 90%.  Nonetheless, the employment rate of university students was 91.0% in April 2011, which was however the lowest in these decades, partly because of influences of the 2008 global financial crisis and the 3/11 Great Tsunami Disaster of East Japan.

Some foreigners have taken notice of this tragic and ominous trend in the Japanese society.
Yet this is only the latest, macabre, technique in a country that suffers an epidemic of suicides. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates among rich countries. Cultural factors are partly at play. Japanese society rarely lets people bounce back from the perceived shame of failure or bankruptcy. Suicide is sometimes even met with approval—as facing one's fate, not shirking it. The samurai tradition views suicide as noble (though perhaps out of self-interest, since captured warriors were treated gruesomely). Japan's main religions, Buddhism and Shintoism, are neutral on suicide, unlike Abrahamic faiths that explicitly prohibit it.

The number of Japanese suicides jumped up in 1998 when the Japanese Government raised the consumption tax rate from 3% to 5% while the Japanese economy started deflation.
(Green: total suicides of men and women; Blue: men suicides; Red: women suicides)

But today not only the ruling party DPJ but also the major opposition party LDP intend to increase the consumption tax rate from 5% to 10%.

If it is inevitable to increase the tax rate, the Japanese Government should not push such a financial policy presently or for the time being, it is still in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis (which could happen once 100 years) and the 3/11 Tsunami Disaster (that could happen once 1000 years).

(to be continued...)

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

Mar 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.