Saturday, March 01, 2014

"preaching in the wilderness of Judaea" - Religious Conditions in Modern Western History

The Sumida River, Tokyo

Religious Conditions in Modern Western History

Protestantism worked so well in some countries in Western Europe.

For example Calvinism prevailed from Switzerland to England after the religious reformation.

It is also interesting that Calvin was born in 1509, 17 years after the discovery of America by Columbus.

Contrary to general or prevailing understanding, Protestantism requested a stronger tie between individuals and God.  Catholicism was rather tolerant to lukewarm faith of people so long as they admitted and accepted the absolute authority of the Vatican.

But, Protestantism introduced a strong distinction between Heaven and this world.  The Vatican assumed that everything was under rule of God under the sun, and thus a Pope should govern nations and peoples like a Roman emperor.  Anyway peoples in Protestant countries came to concentrate on worldly matters, especially politics and economy, while leaving spiritual matters to the Bible or familiar churches.

It is said that this is the very key to success of the UK in developing democracy and promoting science and expanding business in the global scale.    

However, American people took some unique course in their living based on Christianity.  They started to work hard to earn money endlessly.  As if they had been ordered by God to make more money to prove their faith, they never hated money, business, and innovation.

That is why the great power was established in North America but not in South America with all the Catholic countries, though it had untapped natural resources as much as North American had at the beginning of its modern history.

And North America also has provided favorable society for Judaists whose religion does never forbid them pursuing any worldly wealth even beyond the material glory of King Solomon.

In this way the US has become the richest country in the world.


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Mat 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Friday, February 28, 2014

"the Son of man is Lord" - Aristotle and Theocracy

Tokyo Downtown and The Sumida River

Aristotle and Theocracy

Aristotle said that there are two types of equality.

One is numerical equity.  For example, the difference between two and one is equal to that between three and two.

Another is equity concerning value.  For example, the difference between the ratio of four over two is equal to the one of two over one.

According to Aristotle, a great teacher of Alexander the Great, a political system of a nation should be based on both the types of equality.

And, he extended his thought to the difference between democracy and oligarchy.  There are more troubles in oligarchy than in democracy.  It is because there will be more strife in oligarchy than in democracy.  Oligarch cannot get rid of conflicts among elite members of the political circle and those between the elites and the general public.  On the other hand, democracy is featured only by struggles between the elite and the general public.  However a majority of society do not necessarily make a better decision than the elite do.    

Anyway, if people do not admit that they are living under power or rule of God, they will surely fail in politics being exercised in any form of government.

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Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Have ye never read what David did" - PM Hashimoto and Okinawa

Old Town on Tokyo Bay

PM Hashimoto and Okinawa

In February 1996 or so, when Prime Minister of Japan Ryutaro Hashimoto fondled an idea of asking US President Bill Clinton to return the US Marines' Futenma base, Okinawa, to Japan, he called some high-ranking bureaucrats to the PM office.

Having heard the idea, an elite official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to Hashimoto, "Sir, it is not a good idea!"  Another one of the Defense Agency (now the Ministry of Defense) also stressed, "Sir, it is too sudden for us to get prepared for this issue."

As a horrible assault on a school girl by US soldiers happened in Okinawa in 1995, Okinawa people were then strongly against the presence of US troops in Okinawa Island.  The Japanese Government was then taking every measure to soften anti-US sentiment in Okinawa.

US military bases in Okinawa Island facing China and Taiwan over the East China Sea have key strategic values.  No matter how much Okinawa people want to get rid of crimes and inconveniences US troops have brought on them, it is impossible to drive Americans out of the Okinawa Prefecture, the southernmost prefecture among 47 ones in Japan.  Since June of 1945 when the Battle of Okinawa was fought by the US and the Empire of Japan, the US military have kept very wide and big bases, naval ports, and air stations in Okinawa.  The US Marine Corps has its air base in Futenma at almost the central part of the island.  The base is surrounded by residential areas, business streets, and schools, making it the most dangerous base in Okinawa or in the world.                

So, PM Hashimoto wanted to improve the situation in Okinawa.  He wanted to convince Okinawa people that his Cabinet was very much concerned about the plight Okinawa had to bear for national defense and security of Japan.  But as high-ranking officials of the Japanese Government suggested that it was too premature to take up the Futenma issue in the coming meeting with the US President, Hashimoto held back from this diplomatic idea.

The logic the elite officials took was that without full coordination and consent among officials on both the Japanese and American sides in charge of Japan-US security issues a negotiation between the Japanese prime minister and the US President about the US Marine Corps Base in Okinawa cannot be successful; if it fails, it will harm honor and reputation of Prime Minister Hashimoto, since the Media would surely report it.  

But in the (unofficial) meeting with President Clinton held in California, Clinton asked Hashimoto whether he had any other topics, after having discussed some main theme.  So, Hasimoto dared to bring up the Okinawa issue.  "Can we discuss whether the US can return a US Marines base in Okinawa to Japan?" said Hashimoto.  Clinton responded smartly to help Hasimoto save face.  Subsequently, US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma became an official issue between the two Governments.

And finally in April 1996, both the Governments agreed that the Futenma base should be totally returned to Japan in seven years, though the US Marine Corps could get an alternative base some less-populated place in Okinawa.

Though for various reasons still the US Marines continue to use the Futenma base, the direction has never been changed.  Incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to fulfill the plan to relocate the US Marine Corps base as soon as possible, though there some strong opposition from Okinawa people who request complete abolition of US Marine Corps' bases but not relocation.

Nonetheless, those Japanese elite bureaucrats who did not help PM Hashimoto launch the agenda on the Futenma base never showed regret, so lamentably, though they of course cooperated with PM Hashimoto for the Futenma project after the Clinton's decision to return the base to Japan in exchange of a new one to be established in an area posing less burdens to Okinawa.

The lesson is that the enemy of Okinawa is elite bureaucrats in Tokyo rather than the White House.

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Mar 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
Mar 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
Mar 2:26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

Monday, February 24, 2014

"A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons" - Memory of Hershey's

Tokyo Subway Train

Memory of Hershey's

Decades ago, when a Japanese musician Masahi Sada was a school boy living in Nagasaki, he sometimes visited a humble museum for the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Attack.

As it was just about 15 years or so after the end of WWII, the museum was not so big and well facilitated. But it displayed real things, such as a burnt baby in the womb and fingers exposed to strong radiation.

The US attacked this port city in the southwest part of mainland Japan with an atomic bomb or a nuclear bomb on August 9, 1945.  A week later the Empire of Japan surrendered.  Today, the museum was replaced by a modern one with advanced equipment and sophisticated displays.    

So, the boy Masashi sometimes thought how terrible Americans were.  But in fact, after the end of WWII, many American naval ships came to Port Nagasaki.  And US sailors and soldiers were often seen walking on the streets of Nagasaki.  Masashi's friends and other children found that America soldiers were generous.  When poor Japanese children shouted at them, "Chocolate!" they gave casually chocolates and chewing gum .   However, Masashi could not simply follow other children.  He never joined them asking for snacks from US soldiers, though his family was not rich at all.  His father was moving around other cities for some jobs while his wife and children were waiting in Nagasaki still in the aftermath of the 1945 Atomic Bomb Attack.

One day, the flagship of the US 7th Fleet came into port Nagaski.  One of his friends was excited.  He said to Masashi, "A big ship has come.  Japanese are being invited to observe it on board.  We can get snacks as much as we want.  Let's go and join the ceremony!"

Masashi thought that he might find truth of the US military if he had been there.  It was the main ship of the US Fleet.  He could surely see how terrible American officers were, since they had dropped that horrible Atomic Bomb.

They went to a pier through a big yard of a huge destroyed factory. But as they got in the US naval shop with other Japanese citizens, Masashi found his friend changed his look.  His friend who was usually modest and humble suddenly changed to a kind of hunter.  He walked to US sailors without hesitation and asked for chocolates so boldly.  After getting some sweets, he further caught another sailor to ask for any snacks.

Masahi finally lost him in a large crowd.  He went inside the ship, walking narrow paths inside.  Some sailors passed by him without minding a poor Japanese school boy wandering inside the flagship.  Finally when he came back on the deck, his friend found Masahi, saying, "You have not yet captured chocolates at all, have you.  Ok!  I will get some for you.  See that black sailor.  A black soldier is always more generous than a white sailor."  Then he said loudly to the black sailor, "Give chocolate!"

So, his friend successfully received a bar of chocolate the black sailor tossed to him.   He said, "Thank you!" to the soldier who was smiling satisfactorily.  Then his friend gave the bar to Masahi, saying, "This is how you can get it.  Now we still have more chances to extract chocolate from them."

But Masashi soon left the ship leaving his friend.  He walked back thorough the yard facing the port.  When crossing a small iron bridge in the yard, he put the bar of chocolate on a guardrail.  He noticed a letter "Hershey's" on paper wrapper of the chocolate.  He thought that Americans on the naval ship didn't look cruel at all, but he still could not accept the chocolate, though his young brother and sister would have been glad if he had brought the bar home.

Now Masashi Sada is a successful musician in Japan.  He is good at lyric songs.  He performed a solo concert 4,000 times up to today.  He never sings war-related songs so far as I know.

Masashi Sada (1952-) is a Japanese singer, lyricist, composer, novelist, actor, and a film producer. 
Throughout his career as a musician, Sada released over 35 solo albums and 70 singles, and multiple live albums or compilations. Since the release of Shourou Nagashi published in 2001, Sada has also worked as a novelist.

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Luk 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
Luk 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.