Saturday, August 15, 2015

"the disciples had forgotten to take bread" - Servants and Wallets

Just around Tokyo

Servants and Wallets

Christ Jesus said that those who want to be leaders of people must serve them as servants.

And to teach what being a servant means Christ Jesus cleaned and washed the feet of His disciples with wet clothes.  This is a well known episode in the Bible.

Shigeru Yoshida (1878-1967) who happened to become a counterpart to General MacArthur as prime minister of Japan after WWII between 1948 and 1954 once went to a social party where many leaders of various sectors of Japan gathered.  But as Yoshida met someone he didn't like, he left the party soon.  However, after having carried Yoshida to the party, Yoshida's car left the place as it was to come back around the time when the party would be over, so that he had to call a taxi.  Then, Yoshida went to a department store, one of the largest ones in Tokyo.  But when he got off the taxi, he had no money.  It is because Yoshida never had a wallet; he did not have a custom to carry a wallet with him.  So, Yoshida, probably at the time ex-prime minister, told a stuff member of the department shop at the entrance to pay the taxi fair for him.  Later his younger daughter called the president of the department store, apologizing Yoshida's rude attitude and promising to send money to the stuff member.

Ysohida's younger daughter married a rich businessman named Takakichi Aso.  The Aso clan accumulated fortune and wealth as a coal owner in Kyusyu.  Takakichi Aso liked his father-in-law, so that he also became a politician.  As a national lawmaker, Aso helped Prime Minister Yoshida who took a huge responsibility in the process of recovering war-torn Japan through difficult negotiations with General MacArthur, the supreme commander of US forces stationed in Japan after WWII.  But as a politician, Yoshida needed political money.  Yoshida had to distribute money to lawmakers of his political party to maintain his position.  It is Aso that supplied a huge amount of money for Yoshida's political machinations, since Shigeru Yoshida, an ex-diplomat, had no other source of big money.

Yoshida worked very well even as an intermediate between the Emperor and General MacArthur.  The good relationship between the Emperor and General MacArthur was one of Yoshida's feats.  And their relationship contributed to good relationship between Japan and the US after WWII.  General MacArthur showed necessary respect for the Emperor, though the General never visited the Imperial Palace.  The Emperor visited the US embassy in Tokyo where General MacArthur lived to directly talk with the General 11 times till his departure from Japan in 1951 to promote mutual understanding.  Especially, the Emperor never showed his grudge to the US, though the Empire of Japan was even attacked with atomic bombs by the US in WWII, which suggested to the Japanese people that Japan should become a friendly nation to the US, now that the war was over.  And the then PM Yoshida contributed to this good relationship between the Emperor and General MacArthur.

Probably, the Emperor had no wallet.  General MacArthur had no wallet, either.  They were the people who did not need money and wallets.  Accordingly, the three persons must have felt intimacy to one another.

And, in ancient days, servants must not have their wallets.  Though the Emperor, General MacArthur, and PM Yoshida were at the top of the social hierarchy in Japan under occupation by the US military after WWII, they had at least something common with ancient servants: they never carried wallets.

It is indeed very difficult for an emperor, a supreme commander of military forces, or a prime minister to become servants to the nation, soldiers, or voters.

(Note: It is not confirmed whether General MacArthur carried a wallet during his days in Tokyo.)

Anyway, the three main players in Japan under occupation of US military forces after WWII were the Emperor (of Showa), General Douglas MacArthur, and Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida.

MacArthur and Yoshida in New York in 1954

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Mar 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
Mar 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.