Saturday, June 04, 2016

"a feast of the Jews, was nigh" - A Symbol of the Battle of Okinawa

The National Diet (Parliament) Bldg. of Japan, Tokyo

A Symbol of the Battle of Okinawa

The Battle of Okinawa was fought in the last stage of WWII between March 26 to June 23, 1945.

Okinawa Island situated between the mainland Japan and Taiwan has a length of 107 km and a width of 31 km.  The population was a little less than 600,000 before WWII.

To defend the Okinawa Islands, Imperial Japan deployed 116,000 troops while the US dispatched 548,000 army and navy soldiers.  The Battle of Okinawa took 200,000 Japanese lives among which 94,000 were Okinawa citizens.  Through the Battle, 12,500 US soldiers were also killed.

After WWII, the US occupied Okinawa.  It was in 1972 that administrative right on Okinawa Prefecture was returned to the Japanese Government.  For this reason, there are today still many US military bases in Okinawa whose total area accounts for 10% of all the area of Okinawa Prefecture.

Okinawa is the only prefecture of Japan where ground battles were fought between Imperial Japanese troops and US troops.  And, the scale of damage and the number of civilian deaths were so large that Okinawa people have been critical to the central government of Tokyo.  They still remember that in the Battle of Okinawa they were expected by the Imperial Japanese military to commit suicide before being captured by US troops.  Accordingly, most of Okinawa citizens were prepared for death when the US started to invade Okinawa Island by mobilizing 1,500 ships.

The battles were actually ended on June 23 with the collapse of the headquarters of the Japanese garrison troops on June 23, but some isolated Japanese soldiers continued fight.  Even Okinawa citizens hiding in caves and the like hesitated to come out.  Most of houses, buildings, and utilities of Okinawa were demolished through three-month fierce fight.

But on June 25, a seven-year old girl suddenly appeared from a devastated field near the shore.  She was alone walking among other citizens who were walking to American troops for help now that the battles were over.  A US cameraman paid attention to her and took some pictures of her because she was carrying a white flag.  She looked like symbolizing the tragedy of the Battle of Okinawa.


These pictures were included in some American picture books issued after WWII.  And, decades later, an Okinawa woman who happened to find one of the books in a book shop saw herself in these pictures.  But she did not come forward to claim that the little girl carrying a white flag was herself.

However, as time went by, these pictures came to be widely known among Japanese and Okinawa people, resulting in various rumors and stupid stories circulated.  So, in 1987, Tomiko Higa wrote a book to tell the true circumstances about the picture.

Tomiko's mother had been dead already before the Battle of Okinawa. When the Battle started, her father left their home to join some activities to support Imperial troops.  He said to his four children (three girls and one boy), "When you die, show your smile to the enemy!"  The children never saw their father since then.  Tomiko was the youngest children of the family.  She was following her siblings to run away from battles.  But her brother died as a stray bullet hit him.  And in a turmoil and confusion, Tomiko was separated from her elder sisters.

So, Tomiko alone wandered through battle fields and safe shelters that were mostly caves.  She was sometimes rejected when she entered a safe cave as too many people were in it or Japanese soldiers did not like to protect civilians.  So, she alone moved around battle fields and demolished villages to eventually come to a half-hidden cave near the shore.  She met two old people there, an old man who lost his hands and legs and a blind old woman who was taking care of him.  Tomiko was allowed to stay there with the poor old couple.  Weeks passed, but they did not realize that the battles were actually ended on June 23.

But on June 25, American soldiers found the cave where the three hid and lived.  They shouted to the cave, "Come out! If you don't come out, we will blast this cave!"

The old man said to Tomiko that he and the blind woman were determined to die there in the cave but Tomiko must live.  The disabled old man had the blind woman make a white flag from his underwear and tie it to a stick of wood.   Tomiko asked the old man to allow her to stay with them and die together.  But the old man scolded her: "You must live.  Life is precious.  This white flag is a universal symbol of surrender.  American soldiers would not shoot you."

So, seven-year-old Tomiko alone came out of the cave carrying the white flag tied to a stick.  She looked impressive to an American cameraman accompanying US troops, since there were no such children carrying a white flag to surrender.  He took pictures of Tomiko who realized it.  She thought that she might be shot.  And she remembered that her father had told to die with smiling to the enemy.  So, Tomiko smiled and waved to the cameraman.

And, this picture became well known after WWII as a kind of symbol of tragedy of the Battle of Okinawa, though the little girl was not covering her face from fear but was smiling and waving as she expected to be shot to death by an American cameraman.

Note: The Imperial Japanese military virtually forbade its soldiers surrender, which meant to fight till death.  Accordingly, it was unthinkable that white flags were used for surrender by Japanese troops.  This paradigm was apparently forcibly applied to Okinawa citizens during the Battle of Okinawa.  White flags were what should not be used even by a poor little Okinawa girl.

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

Joh 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
Joh 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

"the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?" - Traditional Formality in East Asia

Fukushima Station, Japan

Traditional Formality in East Asia

Formality and etiquette were major factors in the Chinese imperial courts that were first established in the Xia dynasty (called Ka in Japanese; c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC) and continued till the fall of the last Chinese classic empire Qing dynasty (called Shin in Japanese; 1644 to 1912).

It is thought that they were introduced for the king of Xia to manage noble people.  And then, they were developed as means to govern other tribes around the nation Xia.  They became a main theme in the teaching of Confucius and other schools of Chinese philosophy.

Influences of respect for formality and etiquette can be even today seen in China, North and South Koreas, Japan as well as Taiwan.  They are still a unique feature in East Asia since the region has been strongly influenced by ancient Chinese culture and philosophy.

However, Europe, the Middle East, India, and South East Asia, in addition to Africa, have no such a high degree of respect for formality and etiquette as is observed in East Asia.

So, God might have chosen an ancient Chinese man instead of Abraham or an East Asian tribe in lieu of Hebrews.  But the fact that God chose Abraham and Hebrews must mean there is something more important than formality and etiquette having been observed in ancient Chinese courts and subsequent East Asian societies.

Yet, to understand East Asians, it is important to learn the spirit that has supported this tradition in East Asia, though modern China looks like abusing this tradition while modern Japan moderately keeps it in its social system with the imperial family at its center.

Traditional formality deeply rooted in the minds of Japanese is also mixed with mildness of the Japanese natural climate, resulting in formation of  Japanese composition as it is observed.  However, it lacks austerity of monotheistic religion like Judaism, Christianity or Islam.

Therefore, the formality Muslims observe when praying to God looks uniquely impressive to the eyes of the Japanese people.  Maybe most of Japanese people might respect Muslims, though cultural aspect of Islam is so foreign to the Japanese.

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

Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mar 6:4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

"certain of the Pharisees said unto them" - A God of Baseball Coming Down

Around Tokyo

A God of Baseball Coming Down

Baseball was first introduced into Japan by an American who was teaching in a school in Tokyo in 1871.  The school later developed to be the University of Tokyo.

The most powerful player in the history of the Japanese professional baseball is Sadaharu Oh who delivered total 868 home runs, though his nationality is Taiwanese (he had been born in Japan between the Japanese mother and the Chinese father in 1940).

Oh, who played in the Tokyo Giants all through his career, became a superstar in the Japanese professional baseball since he hit 55 homers in 1964 when one season had 140 games.  Since then, many pitchers avoided confrontation with Oh by giving him a walk.  For example, in the 1966 season, Oh was given a walk 41 times in addition to drawing a walk 142 times.  But not all the pitchers of opposite teams took these safety measures.

In one game in 1968, an American pitcher hired by an opposite team beaned Oh, since Oh looked in very good conditions though he always looked so at bat in those days  The ball did not hit Oh.  But a coach of the Giants got angry and into a scrimmage with the American pitcher with other players joining the clash.  Finally, the coach and the American pitcher were ordered to leave the ball park.  But a Japanese pitcher who took over beaned Oh, too.  This time, the ball hit the head of Oh who fell over and was soon carried to a hospital from the ball park by ambulance.

The whole ball park was thrown into an extraordinary and eerie atmosphere.  The rivalry between the Giants and the opposite team was always so tense, since the Giants represents Tokyo and the opposite team, the Tigers, represents Osaka, the biggest rival city of Tokyo. .

The next batter was Shigeo Nagashima, who is the most popular and loved player in the history of the Japanese baseball.  Nagashima was a kind of big brother to Oh in the team.  And the spectators got nervous, though in quite silence, since the pitcher who had struck the head of Oh with bean ball was still on the pitching mound.

The dangerous pitcher threw a ball at Nagashima who hit it over the fence into the bleacher seats.  Then, all the spectators felt relived, giving Nagashima a great cheer.

At the moment, some news reporter felt, as he wrote later, a god of baseball coming down to the ball park.

Shigeo Nagashima made this kind of drastic performance many times in his career as the leading batter of the Giants along with Oh till he retired in 1974 (Oh retired in 1980).  So, Nagashima became the player who represented the Japanese professional baseball.  Even today, he enjoys a good name and reputation not only in the baseball community but also in the whole nation.

Anyway, this episode of a baseball game in Japan in 1968 is one of examples where some Japanese feel a god coming down from Heaven to the ground.

Scrimmage in the 1968 baseball game between the Giants and the Tigers with Oh, the fourth from the left

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

Luk 6:2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
Luk 6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

Monday, May 30, 2016

"the will of the Father" - Proof of Existence of God?


Proof of Existence of God?

God created this universe, including the sun, the earth, and the moon.

God set various physical conditions in the structure of the universe and physical laws that work in the universe so that life would be created on the earth and living things evolved ultimately to the mankind.  And God sent spirit from Heaven to each human being so that human beings could be different from other species and behave like angels in Heaven.

But, if you cannot accept this theory, you would live in a manner against the teaching of God.

If there is no God, you can deny existence of Heaven.  You can even deny existence of the hell.  You will surely deny life after death.  Then, you will concentrate on living in this world.  You will think that life is only once and there is nothing after your death.  So, you will try to be rich as much as possible using basically any means.  You will have no compassion to the poor.

You would think that this universe was created only by chance.  The sun, the earth, and the moon were created all by chance.  And, you think that you were born only by chance as a member of the human species that happened to have intellectual ability.  You would even think that your mind happened to emerge.  And you think that there is no God that punishes you if you don't follow the teaching of God.

To be against God, you use your mind and the ability of thinking you think that you happen to possess.  But, you cannot explain how you have come to your mind and the ability of thinking.  You think that they were created all by chance.

However, all these things those who do not believe existence of God think cannot be proved.  It cannot be proved that all these things have really happened by chance.  You cannot prove that your mind was created by chance.  You cannot prove that you came to exist in this world by chance.  You cannot deny that all these things have been all created and arranged by God.

A simple proof that God exists is that even a human being like you with a limited level of ability and intelligence can exist or enjoy living, God with a much higher level of ability and intelligence must be able to exist or enjoy living.  At least you, an entity at a lower level, cannot deny God, an entity at a much higher level.  Even you with limited ability can happen to achieve living; then God with unlimited ability can surely achieve living.

As you now absolutely exist, God can absolutely exit.  And you cannot deny that you are allowed to live by God.  To believe existence of God and assume that God gave life to you is more natural than suppose that you happen to exist all by chance.  "Natural" means having a higher possibility.

The moment you accept existence of God or a great possibility of existence of God, you cannot be rich, since God or Christ Jesus teaches that men cannot serve both God and Mammon.

Most of rich men feel existence of Satan that recommends them to do evil things to be rich.  If they believe existence of Satan, they implicitly admit that God exists,  Then those rich men have voluntarily decided to become enemies of God.

Incidentally, the possibility that this universe can have such physical characteristics and constants as assure the formation of galaxies, stars, the sun, the earth, and living things on the earth is almost zero.  And the possibility of life on the earth evolving to the human species is also almost zero.  This universe and the mankind were apparently created by God for some mysterious special purposes.  We do not exist on the earth by mere chance.

Anyway, how can you deny existence of God, or why do you deny existence of God?

img tag
This equation cannot be established by mere chance.

APPENDIX: The Universe Tuned by God
The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood...

If, for example, the strong nuclear force were 2% stronger than it is (for example, if the coupling constant representing its strength were 2% larger), while the other constants were left unchanged, diprotons would be stable; according to physicist Paul Davies, hydrogen would fuse into them instead of deuterium and helium.[9] This would drastically alter the physics of stars, and presumably preclude the existence of life similar to what we observe on Earth. The existence of the diproton would short-circuit the slow fusion of hydrogen into deuterium. Hydrogen would fuse so easily that it is likely that all of the Universe's hydrogen would be consumed in the first few minutes after the Big Bang...
Epsilon (ε), a measure of the nuclear efficiency of fusion from hydrogen to helium, is 0.007: when four nucleons fuse into hydrogen, 0.007 (0.7%) of their mass is converted to energy. The value of ε is in part determined by the strength of the strong nuclear force.[13]If ε were 0.006, only hydrogen could exist, and complex chemistry would be impossible. According to Rees, if it were above 0.008, no hydrogen would exist, as all the hydrogen would have been fused shortly after the big bang.

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

Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"thy whole body should be cast into hell" - Material Body vs. Spirit


Material Body vs. Spirit

The human body is all made of cells.  A cell is made of molecules and atoms.  Physically or materially, there is nothing else in human bodies.

But, each mass of cells or molecules and atoms, that is, a human body, has a mind and a heart.  And its brain functions to generate self consciousness or sense of self.  And, the mind works to make a man live not only in the material world but also in the spiritual world.

Although no matter what a man thinks in his brain in the spiritual world, its results are linked to the material world, a man's mind is linked to the spiritual world where Heaven and the hell exist.

So, human beings are entities that are shifting from the material world to the spiritual world by their work in their minds.  Therefore, we have to think about the spiritual world more.  And, the teaching of Christ Jesus is intended to guide human beings correctly through this path from the material world to the spiritual world and eventually to Heaven.

Indeed, Christ Jesus said that God is spirit.  And spirit is coming down from Heaven into the mind of a person.  It also means that human minds can sense spiritual entities.  Traditionally, human beings assumed that there exist some spiritual entities that are not fixed in material bodies.  Those entities have been also called ghosts that have no material bodies but possess spiritual minds that work like human minds.

The human minds can sense the spiritual world, but if a man becomes greedy and always tries to satisfy his material desire, he will lose the ability to sense the spiritual world or receive an influence from Heaven.

And the degree of how much one is materialistic and far from an influence of the Heaven can be measured by how rich he is.  Because money and wealth are used to satisfy owners' material desire.  The more one enjoys riches, the less one can be influenced by Heaven.

That is why rich men must not be leaders in a community, a society, and a nation.  But in reality, poor men cannot be a prime minister, a president, or a king in the human world.  So, that is why this world is always full of problems, troubles, tragedies, conflicts, and wars.

It also tells why financial, monetary, and economic policies cannot be solutions in the world.

But can all the men abandon all of their material desires and live under influence of Heaven as God wishes?  Probably no.  Therefor souls of most of men go to the hell when their souls are separated from their physical bodies after their death.

Human beings are made of molecules and atoms that are material parts.  But, they are given spirit to their minds by Heaven.  While they are living, they develop their souls which are spiritual.  After their death, souls are separated from the material bodies.  And there are only two places for the souls to go: Heaven and the hell.

When material civilization was not so developed 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, or 2000 years ago, people had more time to think about spiritual matters.  But modern people busy manipulating smart phones have less time to think about the spiritual things.  And people who do not have enough contact to the spiritual world might do any evil things to satisfy their desire.

If science and technology continue to evolve more rapidly in future, human beings without enough faith in God might do very terrible things to themselves using advanced scientific knowledge.  One of advanced products based on advanced science is nuclear weapons.  And another may be gene engineering.

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

Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.