16 comments on “Why the Japanese pray at the Yasukuni Shrine

  1. I would like to thank the author of the article for explaining the Japanese culture, mind-set, and history, and trying to clear up the misconception. It is very powerful to be written by American, because these days Yasukuni is completely misunderstood and nobody listen what we say……

    Japanese tends to be quiet and we expect people will understand without explaining, but it is not the case in Western Countries. It is time to change, and I made a video to ask for understanding why Japanese visit Yasukuni Shrine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy9YfaIkcxU
    Thank you again for the article. I assume the author receive many abusive comments but there are many Japanese who appreciate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re very welcome 😉

      I am glad you approve. I have a Japanese version as well; but the Yomiuri chose not to run it because it’s 扱いづらいって言われた ><

      産経新聞で、頑張ります! d(^ ^)


  2. It does’t mean it didn’t cause great pain to others just because you don’t acknowledge it.
    It is known fact that japan committed great war crime to other asian nations such as sex slaves.
    They not only don’t admit it happened, they manipulate the truth to make it seem as though japan was great nation to help other asian countries(they teach this lies through their history textbook at school) during war time. Would it be ok, if German have shrine for Hitler and nazi soldiers? Can other nations be understanding because german are commemorating what Hitler & nazi soldiers did to make German great nation? Imperial Japan invaded all other asian countries just like Hitler. It was pure evil and it should never be mistaken with patriotism. My boyfriend(hungarian/polish) who is fluent in japanese & lived in Japan just like you did had same opinion like you do now. I used to call him GAIJIN(you no what it means) Please study other asian countries’ history before you post something like this. Unless you can be understanding & sympathetic toward hitler & nazi

    PS: people don’t make fuss about thanksgiving, not because they don’t know the truth, but rather
    there are no native americans who are in political power to make the difference.


    • Esther, I read the Ronins reply to you and feel that it said alot, and would add only a few other points for emphasis. First, to compare Nazi Germany and Japan is an incredible leap of logic. They were temporary allies starting in 1940 and lasting until 1945, but other than that, were actually at war from 1937-1940 by proxy as the Nazi supported the KMT (Chiang Kai Sheks son as well as many other KMT leaders trained in Nazi Germany, and Nazi advisors were dispached to China to train and arm the KMT to fight against the Japanese). The KMT was a fascist organization. The Nazis needed Tungsten and Wolframite to rebuilt their heavy ordnance industry, and the KMT needed guns to subdue the population and fight rival governments, communists, and the Japanese.

      The Nazi ideology is also diametracly opposed to the Japanese at the time. The Japanese had a contentious relationship to the West developed over the decades since they modernized due to the racial disparity. Japan promulgated the Kyoto School of Philosophy that espoused “Asians are equal to Whites” and “Asian culture is as valid for modern adaptation as European”. Nazi as everyone knows was based upon a racial supremacy that saw non whites as inferior.

      Further, the Nazi regime was marked by a methodological focus on extermination of Jews and other non Aryan races. EVERY mechanism of the State to include civilian, government, industry, and military/police was utilized to include allies and conquered areas towards that end. The Japanese NEVER mobilized anything close to this in any territory. Even in areas where they captured whites who were colonizers over Asians they did not. Individual brutality yes, but never genocide.

      Japan even went against the Nazi requests to hand over or conduct their own extermination of the Jews. The Japanese categorically denied this, causing strain in the fragile military alliance. They allowed Jews by the tens of thousands to immigrate as refugees into areas in Machuria, China, and even Japan (Kobe Synagogue especially remembers those famiies who were granted safe haven).

      Finally, and most telling. Is that (from Phillip K Jowetts research) there were at times 6 to 8 million Chinese allied soldiers to the Japanese. From Wang Cheng Wei to various other “warlords” the Chinese allied by the millions with the Japanese. I know of not even 50 Jews that allied with Hitler.

      So the comparison is completely false. I would recommend that you study history as well. Not the emotional fantasy that the fascist Chinese attempt to revise upon the world lately, but an objective look at the facts.

      On a personal note, I also suspect that behind some peoples acceptance of the false comparison between Nazi and Japan as an anti-Semitic ploy to reduce the real impact of the Holocaust and what happened in Europe by comparing it to what happened in China.


    • Thank you blueeyedronin and Al Johnson. You’ve said all I wanted to say.
      Dear Esther, fourteen Japanese prime ministers have been visiting Yasukuni sixty-four times since right after the WWII. Has Japan ever started or joined wars in the last 70 years? Thirty-nine countries have officially visited Yasukuni while only three countries are protesting against it. And VIPs like ambassadors, politicians, religious leaders, royal families, navies, armies, air forces, scholars etc from all around the world have visited and worshiped at Yasukuni knowing class-A war criminals are enshrined there. Even some Chinese and Koreans officially visited.


  3. Hello! Mr, Blue-eyed Ronin
    I’m Japanese. I really appreciate your objective and fair explanation about Yasukuni shrine and Japanese historical background. Other countries tend to misunderstand on this matter. Generally, we
    Don’t punish the deads, and think they all are reset “zero/nothing” after death, that is “the end”, because we think it’s not fair to blame the deads who can’t make any excuses even though there are uncovered facts. (「死体に鞭打つ」ことはしない) It’s Shinto. That’s why we’ve enshrined even enemies, the dead-soldiers who fought against us bravely, with respect. We’ve known we,The JPN soldiers and The western force fought each other at stake for each justice at war. It’s like “a bow” at the opponents played fairly at Judo match. We don’t blame anyone after the match. We pray for their souls and peace at Yasukuni shrine. We feel it really desecration against our religion and people fought for the nation that other countries blame us to go to Yasukuni to Pray for all victims.

    I’d like to let you know about human experiments. The Clinton administration has already examined the report, over 100.000 pages, of The Unit 731. It, however, didn’t any “human experiments” or so. The Japanese government also officially announced it on this matter.

    I don’t demand anyone to admire Japan or don’t mean to beautify our history AT ALL! I just don’t want to distort the history in order to justify certain countries’ dictators(Propaganda) and want them to discuss logically those issues, based on the objective sources and facts with respecting international treaties.

    Thank you.

    *I attach some information sources as your references.

    OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION Psychological Warfare Team Attached to U.S. Army Forces
    India-Burma TheaterAPO 689 Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49.
    Bibliografia Original de Oficina de Informacion de Guerra de Estados Unidos.National Archives and Records Administration

    (Ref) Korea
    知ってはいけない日帝時代の真実 http://yeoksa.blog.fc2.com/page-0.html (in Hangul) 
    多くの統計・グラフ資料・大学の研究・証言(General whity/白将軍 at Korea war)などあり

    ナチスや北朝鮮以下の恐ろしい韓国の現状 (Freedom of Speech isn’t guaranteed in S.Korea)
    http://blog.livedoor.jp/societynews/archives/2680901.html (photos below & youtube)

    ■李栄薫ソウル大教授 /Lee Yong-hoon born in 1951,prof,Economics of University of Seoul

    http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/tomoo00/imgs/7/8/7883c1b2.jpg (photo)
    慰安婦は「売春業」と発言したばかりに殴る蹴るの暴行を受けるprof, Lee Yong-hoon

    http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/tomoo00/imgs/8/b/8b9a8d46.jpg (photo)
    従軍慰安婦を自称する元売春婦の前で「土下座謝罪」させられるprof, Lee Yong-hoon

    http://news.infoseek.co.jp/article/postseven_200027 (Rakuten news)
    慰安婦問題を否定し、元慰安婦の前で土下座を強いられたソウル大学のprof, Lee Yong-hoonは、

    *安秉直/An Byeong-jik born in 1936,prof emeritus of University of Seoul にも同様のことが起きています。


  4. Hello again,
    The post of “Esther” seems to be a typical S.Korean comment I’ve seen often. (I don’t know the nationality and if he/she is VANK=S.Korean national activists). They always use the words like “Asian countries, Nazi, war criminals, etc ” in their posts, however, never mention that Korean fought as The Japanese soldiers and Korean dead-soldiers have been also enshrined at Yasukuni with Taiwanese, Americans and Japanese, in spite that朴正煕/Park Chung-hee(father of 朴槿惠/ President Park Geun-hye) was an admiral of The JPN land force in China. But S.Korea has never apologize to Asian countries, as far as I know. The JPN force fought WITH Asian people against the western country’s force, not against Asian civilians, as you told. Otherwise, it was really funny that The JPN soldiers trained Asian men in like Indonesia, Myanmar with giving our weapons and teaching strategies. If the Japanese massacred local people, those trained soldiers would’ve killed the JPN soldiers first. The Indonesian sing Japanese military songs in Japanese with hachimaki at the head and a Japanese sward at the waist on the independence day.
    I know 李承晩/Syngman Rhee, who caused The Bodo league massacre and Cheju massacre etc, started distorting history to justify himself in S.Korea. Chinese anti-JPN campaign has been since June 4 Tiananmen Incident in 1989.
    They’ve tried to spread their propaganda without having showed us reliable evidences. Whenever we showed evidences to them, they only said “捏造/concoction” against the disadvantageous facts or evidences.

    I’d like to know why the victims in photos displayed at Nanking massacre museum were in Kimono and Tabi(designed for kimono), and make sure it’s true that the photo of bloodthirstily killed Japanese victims of 済南事件/The Jinan Mutiny in 1928.5.3, 通化事件/The Tonghua in 1946.2.23 and 通州事件/The Tungchow Mutiny in 1937.7.29(deth: Japanese 260 incluging children, suvivers 134/JPN 77, Korea/57) have been displayed as Chinese victims killed or experimented by Japanese soldiers.
    Ex, known as the cruelest photo of Ms Kin TOJO/東條 金(24 years old) whose body was performed autopsy has been seen of Nanking massacre museum as Chinese victim?

    The 4th Nanking massacre caused by on 20th April in 1949 by毛沢東/Mao Zedong. The number of victim happened to be 300.000 and Mao Zedong destroyed the tomb of 汪兆銘(Wang Jingwei) who had built The Nanking government (1940-45.pro-JPN). Nobody cares this one as Nanking massacre?

    We’d just like to know the uncoverd truth in our history.
    (I’m sorry to write long sentences)

    Mr, Blue-eyed Ronin, Thank you very much for studying Asian history.
    P.S. my cousin used to work at Kadena navy hospital as an internship doctor in the ’90’s.

    **Some of the sources I read below:

    (Ref) China
    There are photos taken in Nanking in 1937(by North Daily China News/ ASAHI etc)

    (Ref) China
    F. Tillman Durdin correspondence for The New York Times
    “Bungei shunju” 文藝春秋(japanese weekly magazine)interviewed in 1987,Aug
    He confessed the reports about Nanking massacre were cooked up by himself.(issued in 1987,Oct)


    「中国軍司令部の逃走した南京で日本軍虐殺行為」 ニューヨーク・タイムズ
    1938年1月9日 F・ティルマン・ダーディン


    • I’m in complete agreement with what you said. I would also like to thank Mr. Blue-eyed Ronin for his
      objective and fair explanation about Yasukuni Shrine and Japanese historical background. I only hope that Mr. Ronin will be widely heard by Americans & people of other countries, especially politicians & journalists so they can better understand what Yasukuni Shrine means to the Japanese,
      it has nothing to do with so-called right-wing tendency or belligerent movement.
      Thank you again, Mr. Blue-eyed Ronin and miko-san for your detailed follow-up.


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  6. If Osama Bin Ladin were enshrined in an Afghanistan mosque and Hamid Kazai ( or his counter part) pays him regular respects, the pain American experience every time this happens is probably same as that for Chinese and Koreans when Abe visits the Yasukuni Shrine.
    I think spiritual believes should be left strictly as spiritual believes, we must never, never let it mix with our daily materialistic lives.


    • I understand what you’re trying to compare–but they are not similar. The Japanese possessed a full military, supported by the state. Furthermore, their existence wasn’t a religious jihad set out on killing “non-believers”.

      Had Osama or others been part of an actual military, vice terrorist (or religious extremist nut).. Then I could see a comparison to their enshrinement.

      I must then state my ignorance on the Islamic faith and how martyrs work; as I know it happens but am unsure if it’s something akin to the Catholics Saint-dom or what.


  7. I’m afraid that many Japasnese, especially young people are not interested in Yasukuni shrine. Most of them don’t know even who have been enshrined. The reason why many right-wing Japanese politicans want to go to Yasukuni is their parents or relatives are related to the war criminals. Some of the politicians are supported by war survivors organizations (including war criminals families).
    Actually Japanese emperors have refused to pay a visit, because Yasukuni enshrines war criminals.


    • I would disagree with the statement that they’re not interested.
      I would agree with them not being aware of what the shrine means/stands for/embodies.

      I agree with your other comments as to why politicians and older politicians still go. I’d argue that it’s only the right wing. I know some JDP members that have no qualms with going, just more in a non-formal way.

      And your last statement is kind if correct. The emperor still went when only Class B and C criminals were enshrined; but chose not to go after the Class As were enshrined.
      However, if the emperor had been executed as a war criminal (as most people wanted); I’m curious how many more would go to worship there… If not people from the imperial family…


  8. 二人とも天才でありカリスマだが、ここが決定的に違う
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