Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Having eyes, see ye not?" - How to Know the God

The Tokyo Railway Station

How to Know the God

The God is almighty and omnipotent.

But how?

He must record every phenomenon on the earth.  He must know, for example, every number of any item.  He must know the number of hairs of every person on the earth.  He must know the number of leaves of every plant on this earth.  He must know the total number of rocks, stones, and grains of sand.

He must also know every movement of each hair of every person with a time stamp. He must record every movement of every creature.  He must record it at every angle.  He must have a complete record of every person along with a flow of time.

So, He must have a complete record of the earth since its creation.

But for what?  For the final judgment?

However, one thing sure is that we can imagine such ability of the God.  And, while we can imagine such ability of the God, if the God cannot do it, He cannot be almighty and omnipotent.

And, other important issue is how the God lives?

The life of the God must be very different from living of a human being who is born and die.  What does it mean for the God to live?  He must not be born and die in a human sense.  It is beyond our imagination.

Of course you can deny existence of the God.  But it does not lead you anywhere.  Civilization of mankind grew with people thinking about the God to play leading roles.  By thinking about the God, mankind got wiser and accumulated knowledge.

Nonetheless, extreme pursuit of the God might result in too much awe in the God or confusion and fatigue in brain work.

Accordingly, it is safer to think about the God based on the holy books or some authentic documents such as the Bible if you cannot rely on a long tradition of your religion, including Judaism.

In the modern world some scholars studied the God.  But they seem to have been thinking at a lower level than that observed 2000 years ago.  As time went by, people came to use more phrases and logic but the level at which they researched the God looked like getting lower.  At the lower level, they think using merely more words but without more correct understanding.

Maybe for Christianity, early followers of Christ had the highest level of understanding of the God.  As time went by, words Christians used to describe the God increased and got enriched but their level got lower.

So, top scholars of a religion always refer to original words the founder of the religion used while he was teaching original followers.

And as the God is almighty and omnipotent, every answer for any question about Him must be found in the holy book or the Bible.

In this context, the Gospels must be the most important source for knowledge of the God and Christ Jesus.

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Mar 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
Mar 8:19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
Mar 8:20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
Mar 8:21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

Friday, August 17, 2012

"For nothing is secret" - Truth of Japan's Annexation of the Korean Peninsula

The National Diet Bldg. Street, Tokyo

Truth of Japan's Annexation of the Korean Peninsula

For another instance, the UK colonized various African and Asian regions, nations, and kingdoms. The British took natural resources from those colonies to Great Britain to manufacture various products.  Then it sold them to people in colonies.  Of course, for example, some Indians earned money through trade with the UK, but the UK Government forced them to deposit money they earned in banks in London.  The rule of the UK in colonies was essentially complete exploitation.

But, the rule of the Empire of Japan in Korea was utterly different while the Empire annexed and governed the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.  The Empire tried to pull up the social and industrial level of Korea as much as possible.  Tokyo wanted to make Korea eventually an integral part of the Empire with equal status.  Japanese leaders at the time wanted to make Korea true extension of the empire but not a simple colony.

The Empire of Japan started modernization and westernization since the middle of the 19th century over the fall of the last samurai regime the Tokugawa shogun presided over.  While the Empire succeeded in tackling this difficult task, it observed the Korean Kingdom.  The Korean Kingdom had also closed the country like Japan of the samurai era.  So, Japanese politicians forced Korea to open the door, though Tokyo used some military powers to do so.  It was partly because the Russian Empire was aiming at colonizing East Asia; the military pressure from the Russian Empire on the Empire of Japan was so huge.  Japanese needed a big buffer zone in the Korean Peninsula as Russians got big interest in Manchuria, north of the Peninsula, through imperialistic negotiation with the Qing dynasty.

But after decades, Japanese leaders found that the Korean Kingdom did not show progress enough to stand with the Empire against Russians invading East Asia.  So, Tokyo decided to annex Korea to the Empire.

At the time, starvation was prevailing in the Korean Peninsula as the skill level of Korean agriculture was far behind the Japanese one.  So, Tokyo offered to the Korean Government two thirds of funds needed to save starving Koreans.

After integration of Korea, the Japanese Government allocated 10% of the Japanese national budget to Korea so as to develop and improve social infrastructure, educational and medical systems, railroad systems, etc. As a result, the population of Korea increased to 22.5 million in 1940, though it was only 13.3 million before 1910 when Korea was annexed to the Empire of Japan.

Before the political integration of Korea into the Empire, the Korean society was split into two: the noble class and farmers, etc.  The Korean noble class respected Confucius and the Chinese traditional culture.  They used mainly Chinese letters in reading and writing, while the literacy rate among all the Koreans was less than 10% before the annexation.  But under the Japanese rule, it was recommended that Korean schools taught Hangul letters which were unique Korean letters and which were easy for ordinary Koreans to learn.  Of curse, the Japanese language was also taught in schools in Korea as Koreans were now of Japanese nationality, and the literacy rate among Koreans went up to 65% by 1936.  In this way, Japanese liberated poor Koreans from an oppressive environment they were forced to live in by the Korean noble class.

So, the Korean society could undergo modernization and westernization with huge support and help from the Empire of Japan.  Similar condition was observed in development of Taiwan that had been under the Japanese administration since 1895.  Indeed, the Empire of Japan invested funds into those areas annexed to the Empire more than it could get from them.  

However, after WWII, Koreans got independent, though they were split into two nations: one under the strong influence of the Soviet Union and another of the US.

The Korean Peninsula also unfortunately underwent a war from 1950 to 1953 between the South and the North.  Behind the South there was the US and behind the North there were two communist countries: the USSR and China.

And, today, Koreans never cease to blame Japan for the past Japanese rule on the Korean Peninsula, as if a prosperous and highly-civilized kingdom had been conquered, controlled, and colonized by militarist Japanese.  They never cease to blame Japan even in the US.  But the story on the Japanese side is very different as you now know.

Seoul Before and After the Annexation to the Empire of Japan

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Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"my judgment is true" - Cruel War

Mt. Fuji in August, 100 Km Far

Cruel War

Some shallow professor of Harvard criticized Japanese for their atrocity in Southeast Asia during WWII.

But Americans were as cruel as Japanese during WWII.
American troops 'murdered Japanese PoWs' 
By Ben Fenton12:01AM BST 06 Aug 2005

American and Australian soldiers massacred Japanese prisoners of war, according to one of the most detailed studies of memoirs of the Second World War in the Pacific, published this week. 
It also discloses that the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army were far from the cruel, mindless troops of popular legend, and that Gen Douglas MacArthur wanted to launch nuclear strikes on the Soviet Union from an underground airstrip in Britain.

In The Faraway War, published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima atom bomb and of VJ Day, Prof Richard Aldrich of Nottingham University has gathered the diaries of men and women from across the Pacific war front, from the common soldier to the highest general.

He said: "We have this stereotypical idea that the Japanese were all cruel and robotic while the Allied forces were tough but fair in their treatment of the enemy.

"But I was very surprised by much of what I found and had to rethink all those stereotypes." 
Prof Aldrich found several examples confirming what became an American policy in some parts of the Pacific theatre not to take prisoners of war.

He quotes the diaries of Charles Lindbergh, the American aviation pioneer, who toured the Far East visiting United States units. On one occasion he commented to a group of senior officers that very few Japanese seemed to be taken prisoner.

"Oh, we could take more if we wanted to," one of the officers replied. "But our boys don't like to take prisoners.

"It doesn't encourage the rest to surrender when they hear of their buddies being marched out on the flying field and machine-guns turned loose on them."...

They were particularly concerned that the skulls of dead Japanese soldiers were often displayed as gruesome mascots by some units, while US marines made a speciality of collecting ears.

Australian troops are also shown not to like taking prisoners. Prof Aldrich quotes the 1943 diary of Eddie Stanton, an Australian posted to Goodenough Island off Papua New Guinea. "Japanese are still being shot all over the place," he wrote. "The necessity for capturing them has ceased to worry anyone. Nippo soldiers are just so much machine-gun practice. Too many of our soldiers are tied up guarding them."
Till the Empire of Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, 48,000 Japanese soldiers became prisoners of war taken by US troops after battles.

Further, after August 15, 1945,  500,000 Japanese soldiers were put under the control of the US forces.  Among therm, about 6,000 died for various reasons.  But it is believed that there were many Japanese soldiers who were killed before they were taken prisoner.

And another issue should be checked: existence of African American soldiers in the Pacific Theater of WWII:
Did black soldiers fight along side white soldiers on the island of Iwo Jima during WW2? I ask because director Spike Lee is accusing the director of the movie (Flags of our Fathers) Clint Eastwood almost of racism for not showing black soldiers in this WW2 film. I know blacks fought honorably during WW2 but did they fight this particular battle that would make Spike Lee accusations true? 
Yes they did. they were known as the Montford Point Marines. They received this title due to where they did their training.Only 1200 existed during this time, however due to personal racism many of them men stayed in the one unit. Although Franklin Roosevelt directed the de-segregation of the military, they didn't enforce it. this unit did land on almost every island in the Pacific and did play a huge part in the overall picture. Even after serving heroically during WWII, the Marines were still forced to train at a segregated camp. it was later closed on Sept 9 1949. the Montford point Marines were not used as main assault elements. they served as litter bearers, and as security for the rear elements. So it could only be logically said that blacks did fight along side whites on Iwo Jima, However they did not serve in the attack on Mount Suribachi. in fact the First Black Marine Corps Officer came from this unit.They're you go everyone the truth!!! 
U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations, U.S. Army officer candidate.
USMC a complete history-marine Corps Association
Any war can be uglier when taking prisoners and generating racial discrimination.

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Joh 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
Joh 8:16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"And he touched her hand" - Samurai Japan

The National Diet Bldg., Tokyo

Samurai Japan

Today everybody knows that there is no militarism in Japan.

But during WWII, Japan was guided by leaders who observed militarism.  And those generals and admirals of the Imperial Army and Navy were of a very different kind of military men in the world, including the US.

From the beginning, the modern and westernized Japan was established in the late 19th century not by revolutionary civilians but by professional warriors called samurai.

This modern Japan was a product of a civil war between samurais subject to the samurai king (shogun) from the Tokugawa clan and those who had been potential enemies of the Tokugawa clan since the early 17th century.  Tokugawa shoguns had governed Japan from 1603 to 1868.  It was a rule by sword.

In the Japanese society, samurais formed their own social class.  Originally they were from the noble class and gradually became feudal lords controlling a certain feud and their vassals while being subject to the imperial court in Kyoto.  But since the 12th century, they came to take over political power from the imperial court and the noble class so as to establish the central government of Japan apart from the traditional and nominal imperial government in Kyoto where the emperor lived.  Though the emperor was not abolished, the head of all the samurai clans in Japan who formed government was actually king of Japan.

Samurais performed functions of not only warriors but also of bureaucrats, scholars, engineers, artists, and so on.  They lived on rice farmers in their territory produced and paid as tax.  They sold rice in big market in Osaka, southwest of Kyoto, to get money.

And, while heads of the Tokugawa clan became a shogun generation after generation, they closed   the country.  It was because Tokugawa samurais had observed many Vatican missionaries coming to Japan and preaching Christianity in the latter half of the 16th century.  But Japanese Christians showed more faith in Christ, the Vatican, or Spain or Portugal than in samurai lords.  Tokugawa leaders were afraid that Japan might come to be under a strong influence of Europeans.  So, to forbid Christianity, they closed the country.

But in the late 19th century, the Tokugawa regime could not any more resist strong requests from western powers, especially the US, to open the door of Japan.

And as other samurai clans, including potential enemies of the Tokugawa clan, saw the shogun unable to stand the foreign pressure, they lost respect to the shogun.  They thought it was time to topple the Tokugawa regime and take over power.  Those anti-Tokugawa samurais took the emperor in Kyoto on their side to launch a war against the shogun who presided over Japan from Edo (presently Tokyo).  And after a civil war, the Tokugawa regime fell, though a decisive battle in Tokyo could be avoided.

So, this big change of the political regime is called the Meiji Restoration (of the imperial authority) as anti-Tokugawa samurais set the emperor as the sole and absolute monarch of new Japan.

Along with modernization and westernization of the Japanese society following the Meiji Restoration with Meiji Emperor, samurais became modern bureaucrats, policemen, army and navy generals, professors, teachers, medical doctors, engineers, businessmen, etc.  They formed the leading core of new Japan as the elites.  And finally, they founded the Empire of Japan with the constitution they made in reference to that of Germany.

So, the Empire of Japan was ruled by the underlying samurai spirit.  Old codes of conduct samurais had followed for centuries also survived.  In this context, the Empire of Japan was from the beginning established by professional military men or warriors unlike other nations in Europe, America, and Asia.  So, the Empire of Japan was unique.  At the core in the minds of the elites of the Empire, there was the samurai spirit.

In other word, the Empire of Japan was essentially a nation of militarism, though in the Japanese sense.

That is why Japan could catch up with western powers by rapidly introducing technology and modern weapons into the nation from the late 19th century to the end of WWII.

However, the political paradigm of samurais could not allow the Imperial Government to avoid a military clash with the US.  The Pearl Harbor attack became inevitable due to their samurai paradigm.

And, as the Empire of Japan fell in August of 1945 through the cruel war against the US, this samurai spirit had gone.  Today, no Japanese elites identify themselves as direct descendants of samurais of the middle of the 19th century.

Democratic Japan after WWII is truly something new in its history.  But Japan and Japanese cannot be free from its 2000-year long history.  As Japan has still the emperor, it should still keep some part of the samurai spirit.

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Mat 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"when Jesus was come into Peter's house" - Racial Point of View on WWII


Racial Point of View on WWII

A political leader of the Empire of Japan had thought, before the Pearl Harbor attack, that Europeans and Americans could not be trusted.

Europeans and Americans had colonized various parts of Africa and Asia using their advanced weapons.  But when the Empire of Japan started to colonize some part of East Asia, they blamed Tokyo so harshly.  Europeans and Americans criticized the Empire of Japan for building colonies in barbarous fashion.  They regarded those activities by the Empire as an act of barbarism.

Europeans and Americans justified their occupation of African and Asian regions as permitted actions based on their superiority of culture, technology, and military strength.  But when the Empire of Japan started to do the same thing in East Asia, they blamed the Empire as an inhuman invader.

Indeed, before the end of WWII, race discrimination was a common practice by Europeans and Americans.  Most parts of the world outside Europe were occupied by western powers.  No Africans and Asians were respected as the same human beings as the European race.  Even Japanese were not so respected as they are today, though the Empire of Japan was the only major non-European country in the League of Nations which had been established after WWI.

So, before WWII, even the Japanese people were well aware of this arrogance of the European race.  However, the Japanese people were confident in their ability to absorb and apply the modern European civilization, since the Empire had defeated the Russian Empire in the war made between 1904 and 1905 (with help from the UK).

Accordingly, when the Japanese people heard that the Imperial Navy had successfully attacked US naval bases in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941, they were excited and got extremely glad.  The Japanese people thought that they could eradicate western powers from East Asia by force now that the strongest western power the US was hit hard and suppressed by the Imperial military.  Though the Imperial Government did not mention anything about how the war against the US would proceed and an armistice would be declared in any future, the Japanese people were very optimistic in the war.  They probably thought that this war against the US would become something similar to the Japanese-Russo War that was fought 40 years ago.  "The Empire and the US will cease fire while maintaining power and influence on each side and enter negotiations to settle new borders," they vaguely expected.

However, the war ended in August 1945 with the US invasion of Okinawa, atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and USSR's entry into war.  Capital Tokyo was devastated by American air raids.  The only effective strategy for the Imperial forces was kamikaze attacks which forced pilots to commit a suicide to hit US naval ships with their planes.

Truly, at the end of the Pacific Theater of WWII, the Imperial Navy lost almost all the battle ships and aircraft carriers, though it had thousands of attack planes for the final battle in the mainland.  The Imperial Army could still mobilize three million troops in Japan proper in addition to one million troops stationed in China, but there was no hope to stop American invasion into mainland Japan.

So, it was extremely difficult for the Imperial Government and the Emperor to persuade Army generals to surrender to the US as they were determined to fight in the four major islands of Japan till all the resources were lost if it had meant to sacrifice tens of millions of lives, including women and children.  It took a very tough course but finally the Emperor himself expressed his will to surrender, and thus leaders of the Imperial military gave up finally.  All the Japanese people also followed suit, but nobody was sure how cruel the coming US occupation of Japan would be.

But, to the surprise of the Japanese people, occupation of Japan by US forces after WWII was not so cruel at all.  General MacArthur did only execute a handful of top leaders of the Empire (class-A criminals) as retaliation through the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals. (The number of Japanese B-class and C-class war criminals who were executed after WWII was about 1,000 in war tribunals set up in various parts of East Asia.)  Even the Emperor was not held responsible.  The Japanese people naturally accepted the American style of democracy General MacArthur aggressively introduced into Japan so as to suppress Japanese militarism.

In this process after WWII, the Japanese people came to trust the US.  The US did not try to get and expand territory and colony in East Asia, though the UK, France and the Netherlands tried to restore their colonial rule in their former colonies in Southeast Asia.   In fact, the US allowed its former colony the Philippines to get independent.  (The US has kept many military bases in Japan after WWII, though.)

And as the time went by, the world came to adopt prohibition of racial discrimination.

Today nobody thinks that the European race is inherently superior to other races.  But, in 1941, even the Japanese race had to attack Pearl Harbor to demonstrate its ability to fight modern warfare like the European race.

The Imperial Navy Fighter "Zero" in 1942 in the South Pacific Ocean

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Mat 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
Mat 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"his servant was healed in the selfsame hour" - Bird's Account on Korea

The Tokyo Tower

Bird's Account on Korea

Isabella Lucy Bird (1831 – 1904), a nineteenth-century English explorer and writer, travelled Japan and Korea as well.

Her remarks about Korea in the late 19th centuru is interessting.  We can see how Korea was in a difficult situation with Japanese prevailing in various sectors of Korea.  And in the extension of this trend, Korea was finally annexed to the Empire of Japan in the early 20th cetury.

The Japanese settlement is far more populous, extensive, and pretentious. Their Consulate is imposing enough for a legation. They have several streets of small shops, which supply the needs chiefly of people of their own nationality, for foreigners patronize Ah Wong and Itai, and the Koreans, who hate the Japanese with a hatred three centuries old, also deal chiefly with the Chinese. But though the Japanese were out- stripped in trade by the Chinese, their position in Korea, even before the war, was an influential one. They gave “postal facilities” between the treaty ports and Seoul and carried the foreign mails, and they established branches of the First National Bank 1 in the capital and treaty ports, with which the resident foreigners have for years transacted their business, and in which they have full confidence. I lost no time in opening an account with this Bank in Chemulpo, receiving an English check-book and pass-book, and on all occasions courtesy and all needed help. Partly owing to the fact that English cottons for Korea are made in bales too big for the Lilliputian Korean pony, involving reduction to more manageable dimen-sions on being landed, and partly to causes which obtain elsewhere, the Japanese are so successfully pushing their cottons in Korea, that while they constituted only 3 per cent, of the imports in 1887, they had risen to something like 40 per cent, in 1894. 2 There is a rapidly growing demand for yarn to be woven on native looms. The Japanese are well to the front with steam and sailing tonnage. Of 198 steamers entered in-wards in 1893, 132 were Japanese; and out of 325 sailing vessels, 232 were Japanese. It is on record that an English merchantman was once seen in Chemulpo roads, but actually the British mercantile flag, unless on a chartered steamer, is not known in Korean waters. Nor was there in 1894 an English merchant in the Korean treaty ports, or an English house of business, large or small, in Korea...

I shrink from describing intra-mural Seoul. 1 I thought it the foulest city on earth till I saw Peking, and its smells the most odious, till I encountered those of Shao-shing ! For a great city and a capital its meanness is indescribable. Etiquette forbids the erection of two-storied houses, consequently an estimated quarter of a million people are living on "the ground," chiefly in labyrinthine alleys, many of them not wide enough for two loaded bulls to pass, indeed barely wide enough for one man to pass a loaded bull, and further narrowed by a series of vile holes or green, slimy ditches, which receive the solid and liquid refuse of the houses, their foul and fetid margins being the favorite resort of half-naked children, begrimed with dirt, and of big, mangy, blear-eyed dogs, which wallow in the slime or blink in the sun. There too the itinerant vendor of “small wares,” and candies dyed flaring colors with aniline dyes, establishes himself, puts a few planks across the ditch, and his goods, worth perhaps a dollar, thereon. But even Seoul has its "spring cleaning,” and I encountered on the sand plain of the Han, on the ferry, and on the road from Ma-pu to Seoul, innumerable bulls carrying panniers laden with the contents of the city ditches.

It is still a mystery why the Empire of Japan annexed Korea while investing money into Korea more than it could take from Korea and why the then Korean king (emperor), Korean Government, and Korean elites, and Korean people accepted this integration to the Empire of Japan in 1910.

But a Japanese point of view is that as Koreans could not modernize their nation to stand against China and Russia, the Empire of Japan had to intervene in the Korean economy and politics.  As the Japanese elites envisaged that Korean would be sooner or later become a virtual colony of the Russian Empire like Manchuria, it became the number-one national security for the Empire to secure Korea on the Japanese side.

If Russians had colonized, occupied, or fully controlled Korea around 1900, the Russian forces would further apply military and political pressure on the Empire of Japan so as to take any advantage in relationships with the Empire in terms of trade and politics.  Russians might further try to take Japanese territory by force.

To defend the Empire of Japan itself, it had to directly control Korea for modernization and westernization of the Korean society.  The Empire had to develop the Korean economy and raise the living standards of Koreans to make them stand with Japanese against Russians.

But it means that Japanese came to despise Koreans as incompetent people.  And this tendency came to apply to Chinese.  The Japanese people came to fancy themselves as the number one race in Asia.  However, they had to correct this attitude after the war against the US between 1941 and 1945 which ended with atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Accordingly the Empire of Japan fell, and Koreans became independent again.

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Mat 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.