Friday, July 24, 2015

"which built his house upon a rock" - Mt. Fuji Cures Ailing Hearts

Imperial Palace Plaza, Tokyo

Mt. Fuji Cures Ailing Hearts

There is a unique conservative critique in Japan.

Susumu Nishibe (1939-) was inclined to leftist ideologies before 1970 when the Vietnam War was being intensified.  But he changed his philosophy, thinking that leftists would sooner or later start to kill one another.

Indeed the leftists boom in Japan symbolized by radical student movements gradually ended in 1970s as leftist youths associated with the Japanese Red Army were crushed by the police.  In this process, the most shocking incident was that around 1972 those radical youths executed their members in mountains where they were hiding through internal strife.

Nishibe became professor in social science of the University of Tokyo but he quit the job after some dispute with other professors in late 1980s.  And then Nishibe became one of leading conservative pundits, making many appearances on TV and publishing a unique magazine.  He sometimes met influential politicians, including prime ministers.

Recently, the wife of Susumu Nishibe died of  cancer.  He wrote a book recalling his wife who was born in Hokkaido and raised there after WWII like her husband.

One day the wife of Nishibe was watching winter fields toward Mt. Fuji from an upper floor of a hospital where she was hospitalized.  Then an old woman, looking like an old wife of a farm family, in a wheel chair came to her.  She said that she had been suffering in relationships with father and mother-in-low.  But one day she had found a place in a mountain near her village where Mt. Fuji could be viewed so clearly.  She visited the spot secretly whenever she felt depressed and hurt.

When her parents-in-low died one after another while she was attending them so honestly, she had felt so much relieved.  But then her husband died of cancer.  And now she was suffering cancer, too.  She said that she could ride a bike.  She needed a bike for shopping as she lived in a mountainous area of Tokyo Prefecture.  She confessed that her wish was to run up the slope of Mt. Fuji by bike as high as possible and die there.

This conversation gave the wife of Nishibe a great courage.  Nishibe remembered it after the death of his wife.

Indeed, Mt. Fuji has significance to some Japanese especially when they live where they can directly observe the highest mountain in Japan.

(IPS) TOKYO-- Post-war Japan, unlike post-war Germany, has been never able to face its violent wartime record in any serious, self-reflective manner. And this year's anniversary of the end of World War II comes at a time when the country is undergoing a nascent rise in nationalism -- much to the worry of its Asian neighbors, in particular China. 
Sunday, on the 59th anniversary of the end of World War II, four Japanese government ministers visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine. This Shinto site honors the nation's nearly 2.5 million war dead, but many of them are considered war criminals, including 14 people judged as "Class-A" war criminals.

On the other hand, conservative writer, Susumu Nishibe, explains that Japanese youth are searching for a national identity and are torn between the "sentimental philosophy" of leftists who call for repentance towards Asia and right-leaning politicians who make careless remarks to hurt the feelings of Asian neighbors by referring to Japan's World War II actions in a positive light.
"What is needed now is rekindling a strong identity for the modern generation about their own country -- something we lost as a result of American influence after our defeat," he explains.

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Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: