Friday, August 19, 2016

"Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest." - Samurais and Emperor of Japan


Samurais and Emperor of Japan

Emperor Meiji (1852 – 1912), personally called Mutsuhito, of Japan was born and raised in Kyoto.

Before the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the imperial family and court nobles had lived in Kyoto without political power while the samurai shogun in Edo (Tokyo) had governed the whole Japan as the head of the samurai class.  Accordingly, the environment where Mutsuhito was living had been full of old fashioned tradition of literature and art without a pragmatic sense of politics and business.   Mutsuhito had never experienced outdoor training of martial art like sons of samurai families.

But, when he was a teenager, a revolution occurred in Japan.  The Tokugawa clan, whose head had assumed office of the shogun for 250 years, was defeated by the anti-Tokugawa samurai camp through a civil war.  The cause of the revolution was that the Tokugawa government could not well cope with the trend of the era when Western powers such as the US, the UK, France and Russia requested Japan to abolish its closed-door policy and opened the country.  The shogun decided to open the nation and concluded a diplomatic treaty with the U.S.  But, this act was taken as a sign of weakened power of the Tokugawa government by anti-Tokugawa samurais, so that they launched insurgence, taking the imperial court on their side.  Accordingly, when the Tokugawa regime fell through the civil war, revolutionary samurais set a new government with the emperor at its center.  Therefore, this incident is called the Meiji Restoration (of the imperial authority).

However, Emperor Meiji had not been trained to be the supreme leader in politics and military in the new government.  He had been raised mainly by female members of court nobles in Kyoto.  So, when the young Emperor moved to Tokyo, the new leaders of the Meiji Government, namely ex-samurais, worried about the state of the mind of Mutsuhito.   They decided to introduce a kind of samurai way of living into the imperial court in Tokyo.  Female members of court nobles were dismissed around Mutsuhito; instead, ex-samurais were appointed to chamberlains and officials of the Imperial Household Ministry.  The atmosphere around Mutsuhito drastically changed from the literature/art-oriented aristocratic circle to the circle influenced by samurai discipline.

As time went by, ex-samurais successfully turned to modern bureaucrats and politicians.  They established the modern Imperial Army and Navy.   However, the basic spirit of the Meiji Government was strongly and deeply rooted in the samurai spirit.  The Meiji Government that was founded by anti-shogun samurais was actually, at its core, another samurai government that took over power from the Tokugawa clan, though it introduced modern systems and customs to modernize and westernize Japan.

Though the Empire of Japan had various democratic systems before WWII, including the universal election system (for males only), its underlying spirit and ideology were extension of those in the samurai era before the Meiji Restoration.  This situation was only changed when the Empire was defeated by the US in WWII and the US introduced the American style democracy based on American Christianity into Japan.

And, with the samurai spirit gone, the imperial family abolished its custom and style influenced by samurai-spirited elites since the Meiji Restoration.  In other words, Emperor Showa, a grandson of Emperor Meiji, severed his spiritual connection with militarism based on the samurai spirit.   It came to symbolize the characteristic of Japan after WWII.  

The emperors of Japan after the Meiji Restoration of 1968 till the End of WWII in 1945 were surrounded and influenced by ex-samurais or descendants of ex-samurais whose basic mind sets were in extension of those of traditional samurais who were primarily warriors. 

Conversely, ex-samurais or descendants of ex-samurais successfully turned the emperors of that era to a kind of samurai rather than the head of peace-loving court nobles.

That is why Japan cannot be easily understood by the world in terms of its nature before and after WWII.  The Japanese people are also embarrassed when they are accused of tragic incidents in East Asia in or before WWII caused by the Imperial military, since they have now almost nothing to do with the samurai spirit that was working on the whole Japan in the era.

So, it is unthinkable that current Emperor or future emperors of Japan become the head of the Japanese military, since the Imperial Family is not a samurai family traditionally.

Emperor Komei, the father of Emperor Meiji

Emperor Meiji

Emperor  Taisho

Emperor Showa

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Mat 8:18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
Mat 8:19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Mat 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Having eyes, see ye not?" - Anti-Christ Olympics


Anti-Christ Olympics

The world is getting worse.

Athletes in the Rio Olympics look almost half-naked, which is anti-Christ.  Commercialism supported by advanced technology and modern systems has intensified human desire so that people would buy more products by spending more money, which results in big profits of businesses.  It uses TVs.  Advertisement is one of major functions of TV for commercialism.  Everything displayed on TV must serve commercialism so that they present desire-raising objects such as half-naked athletes.

What is called liberal or progressive in the US is directed to the same direction as commercialism.  Both the progressive political movement and  the modern commercialism are moving away from the conventional code of conduct and ethics, thus heading for an anti-Christ world.

It is dangerous.  Freedom is important.  But if all the human desires are freed, there would be no salvation of souls.  This is new evil, though the conservative political systems and the old Christian church systems cannot fully conquer old evil that is mainly caused by the gap between the rich and the poor.  The new evil is more crucially related to negligence of the teaching of Christ Jesus and God such as a need to fight back a desire.

Without freedom, there is no love.  But freed desire has nothing to do with love.  The modern global culture led by American-style commercialism is at a dangerous stage as half-naked athletes have become a common landscape in Olympics broadcasting.    

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Mar 8:17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
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.

"For nothing is secret" - Japan and the UK


Japan and the UK

The two island countries at both the ends of the Eurasian Continent, Japan and the UK, have the royal families.

As the UK faces the continental Europe, Japan faces the Asian continent including the Korean Peninsula, the mainland China, etc.  Civilization came to Great Britain through the continental Europe just like civilization came to Japan from ancient China.

However, though the UK needed to venture into the world through oceans to enrich living of the British partly because the nature of Great Britain was not so rich, Japanese did not find such a need, since the nature of the Japanese archipelago was rich enough to sustain a level of civilized life.  Indeed the UK is a northern country but Japan is situated mainly in the Temperature Zone, though it faces Siberia over the Sea of Japan.

There are many differences in characteristics between the tow nations, but there are also some common features.  And one of them is conservatism in terms of a monarchical system.  While the mainland Europe and China have experienced revolution many times, both Japan and the UK have avoided drastic revolution at least on the permanent basis.

Even in terms of religion, there are some similar features.  The English church is independent of the Vatican, while Japan has its unique shinto religion and its version of Buddhism.

And, as Japan has been a critical challenge to China especially in the modern history, the UK might be regarded as such by other continental European nations.  So, it might be natural that the English people do not like to be completely absorbed by the EU, since the Japanese people feel so different from the Chinese people.

And, it is good for other peoples in the world that they can avoid facing the too strong unified western Europe or the too strong league of Japan and China.  Even American political leaders would not like to deal with such powerful entities.

So, the world is well balance with Japan and the UK being reasonably separated from the continent each faces.


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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.
Luk 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"because we have no bread" - The Origin of Mistubishi

Enoshima Yacht Harbor, southwest of Tokyo

The Origin of Mistubishi

The founder of the Mitsubishi business group of Japan is officially Yatro Iwasaki (1835-1885).

He was a son of a samurai of the Tosa han (a han is a semi-autonomous territory of a feudal samurai lord subject to Tokugawa shogun who governed the whole Japan).   Iwasaki himself served as a samurai under the Yamaguchi clan, whose head was the lord of Tosa (presently Kochi Prefecture).  Young samurai Iwasaki worked as a kind of intelligence officer, since the era at the time was moving to a civil war of Japan between the Tokugawa shogun and anti-Tougawa samurai camp, which eventually resulted in the Meiji Restoration of the Imperial Authority.

The Tosa han led by the Yamaguchi clan was a kind of neutral between the Tokugawa camp and the anti-Tokugawa camp.  But it was also eager to enrich its financial state and strengthen its influence in the turbulent politics of Japan that was going to be split up by pro-Tokugawa hans supporting the rule by the samurai shogun from the Tokugawa clan and anti-Tokugawa hans  led by the Chosyu and Satsuma hans.  Major hans, along with the Tokugawa clan, were trying to enrich their economy through trade mainly with Western countries, since the Tokugawa administration abolished the close-door policy, which had lasted since the early 17th century, in 1850s.

Against this background, samurai Iwasaki was sent to Nagasaki, a big port city in western Japan that was getting a major trade center for Japan at the time.   Merchants from Europe and America launching trading business with Japan were mainly based on Nagasaki that had been the only designated port open to limited trade partners, specifically Portugal and China, of the Tokugawa regime with the closed-door policy.  Iwasaki was ordered to help trade activities of the Tosa han led by Sakamoto Ryuma who was working as an active business and political middleman between the major anti-Tokugawa hans of Chosyu and Satsuma, though Sakamoto was originally from the Tosa han.

Sakamoto was a kind of revolutionary samurai.  He had established a strong tie with a British merchant to import thousands or more rifles and other weapons as well as ships.  Sakamoto also operated a merchant ship from his business base in Nagasaki.  His business activities were authorized by the Tosa han, and Iwasaki came to Nagaski to join Sakamoto Ryuma.   Later or after the Meiji Restoration in 1868,  Yataro Iwasaki came to operate his own maritime company, which was virtually an extension of Sakamoto's business.  And Iwasaki's maritime business has never ceased to grow in subsequent centuries to date, which is now known as the Mistubishi business group in the world.

However, Sakamoto Ryuma, a kind of Iwasaki's benefator, could not survive to live in the Meiji era that started with the fall of the Tokugawa samurai regime.

One day Sakamoto left Nagasaki and Iwasaki, heading for Kyoto after arranging purchase or selling of 3,000 rifles to the Tosa han.  In Kyoto where at the time shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu was stationed, Sakamoto contributed to Yoshinobu's decision to concede, though nominally, the administrative power to the imperial court supported by anti-Tokugawa samurais.   It was a big historic incident, and for this reason, Sakamoto Ryuma is described in history text books in Japan as one of the greatest heroes of the Meiji Restoration.  But, several weeks later, Sakamoto was assassinated in Kyoto by samurais under the authority of shogun Yoshinobu, though it is still a mystery who had actually issued an order of the assassination of Ryuma who was widely known as one of key figures in the tense situation before the civil war that would start around Kyoto several weeks later after Sakamoto's death.

It is not clear how Yataro Iwasaki felt when he heard that Sakamoto Ryuma was assassinated.  But it is known that after the assassination of Sakamoto, Iwasaki was remarkably promoted by leaders of the Tosa han to take control of Tosa han's trade business as if succeeding Sakamoto, which later led to the establishment of Iwasaki's own maritime business.

Incidentally, the Tosa han joined the anti-Tokugawa camp to fight Tokugawa troops.  They became a part of winners of the civil war.  Ex-Tosa samurais took higher positions in the new Meiji Government.  Iwasaki's business was steadily expanding after the Meiji Restoration, though there were some challenges waiting for the future great Mistsubishi Corporation.

Put simply, the origin of Mitsubishi was the assassinated samurai Sakamoto Ryuma rather than Yataro Iwasaki.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Y Iwasaki.png
Yataro Iwasaki

Sakamoto Ryoma.jpg
Sakamoto Ryuma

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Mar 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
Mar 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
Mar 8:17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

"bring forth fruit with patience" - The Fear of God

Rice Fields around Tokyo

The Fear of God

The only thing we have to remember is that we have to have the fear of God as expressed by Muslims in their manner of praying to Allah.

If we have nothing to be afraid of, we might do any damage onto others and the society, since we wrongly believe that nobody could punish us.

People grow up to know that this world is full of evil men and evil deeds.  People come to know that most of rich and successful people pretend to be good, honest, and humane, but they are truly not.  They pretend to be good and  acceptable to succeed in the society.  They just hide their desire and evil nature.  When people realize it, they would also take similar strategies.

However, if people come to believe that God sees inside of every man and He will judge every man based on His observation, they will not live like that, because they are afraid of God.

Of course, there are some people who really love to live good.  Without the fear of God, they will avoid every evil as much as they can.  But this is the matter of all the mankind that include  vicious guys.  And, God wants all the mankind to live good.  And, the mechanism that makes even the most vicious guys live good is the fear of God.  Nothing can be comparable with the fear of God, if people correctly understand God.  To get rid of this fear, even the most vicious guys would live good, as long as they correctly understand God.

But, even the least vicious guys would not try to live good, if they don't believe existence of God and thus they don't have the fear of God.

So, Satan is just making people not believe God, so that they will not have the fear of God.

God is absolute existence.  He has absolute authority and power.  Whatever He does is just and right, though sometimes we cannot fully understand why tragedies happen in the society and in our individual lives, due to the limit of our ability.  To consider God in this way is the first step toward salvation of our souls.

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Luk 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"and bring no fruit to perfection" - Rather than Blame or Deny God

National Diet Bldg., Tokyo

Rather than Blame or Deny God

We have to be humble before God, which means that we must not blame God for any reasons.

For example, a Russian plane recently bombed a hospital in a Syrian city, which left mane dead bodies of the wounded, women, and children.  In this case, we must not blame God because God did not save the lives of those killed.

Or in another example, a big earthquake and subsequent tsunamis killed more than  18,000 people in Japan in March 2011.  In this case, we must not blame God because God did not save the lives of those killed.

If people in Syria had followed perfectly the teachings of God for decades or centuries, there should not have been the Syrian crisis.  It is because Syrians should not have allowed the dictatorship by the Assad family and Syria must have had a democratic government years or decades before.  Although Syrian women and children killed had no responsibility, they are victims of their nation and responsible Syrians that did not obey the teaching of God.  But as God is almighty, He must save the souls and spirits of those victims.  

And, if the Japanese people had taken more seriously past tsunami disasters in the same regions as those attacked by the tsunamis of 2011, they could have reduced the number of victims.  In a sense, God gave warnings enough, but the Japanese people were not fully prepared for the coming disaster.  And, many innocent old people, women, children, etc. were killed by the tsunamis.  But as God is almighty, He must save the souls and spirits of those victims.  

Put simply, we cannot blame God because there are so many tragedies and victims in the world.  God can save souls of any victims, although  He rarely interfered with tragic incidents in the human world.  And those tragic incidents can be prevented if we have followed the teaching of God for decades or centuries till they actually occur.

Nonetheless, Christ Jesus said that those who cause tragedies where others suffer, get victimized, or fall into temptation should be blamed.

We had better blame bad guys who are real villains responsible for a series of events and situations that lead to a specific tragedy than blame or deny God simply for the occurrence of the tragedy.

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Luk 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.