Contributing to Japan’s ‘moral salvation’


THE QUESTION BEGS ITSELF: How does a fourth-generation Japanese American justify on the one hand writing very critical things about the current Japanese government and about Japan’s WWII Fascist Imperial past, and yet extend his hand in friendship to Japanese male counterparts in Japan and say, “I love you” to Japanese women from Japan? It is because he recognizes the ancestral pluses of Japanese history art and culture. It is because he recognizes the difference between the Japanese government on one hand and the average Japanese on the other. Much like we here in America wouldn’t want to be identified with Trump. Also, that the average Japanese citizen was as much a casualty of war and Fascism as anyone else. Some of the “Comfort Women” were Japanese and performed their service under threat of death and guns. Just like Chinese, Korean and Filipina women.

The criticisms of top down Fascism and Imperial Expansionism are done so that the atrocities of Japanese WWII actions never happen again. The tendency of militarism as it evolved from the Meiji Restoration through the expansion into Manchuria and the war crimes partially of the Rape of Nanjing, the “Comfort Women” and the scientific warlike experimentation on Chinese civilians CREATED WWII and these WAR CRIMES. And to stop that Japanese juggernaut tendency, the atrocities must be illuminated and revisited SO THAT THEY WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN.

Japanese militarism and atrocities go hand in (hand) and in the development since the Meiji Restoration and the Emperor worship system in Japan. Our strong Japanese brothers are peace loving and moral. Our strong and beautiful Japanese sisters are bearers of a culture of peace, dynamism, warmth, and working together.

These are just some of the things. But I had to demonstrate that my love for Japan necessitates that I contribute to her moral salvation internationally so I can protect her and show her that I love her as she sheds herself of vermin. Also, the other nations of Asia will treat Japan with the same love as Japan treats them.

With the same love and sensitivity and respect. And so, in order that the other nations of Asia can live with modern Japan, Japan must come clean FOR HER OWN SURVIVAL!!! That is why I criticize the negatives in Japan’s wartime past.

One does not find it easy to love or be associated with warlike, bigoted, imperialistic, male domineering, power worshipping life like that of Fascist Imperial WWII Japan. I would move in concert with those in Japan who SEEK THE TRUTH OF WWII and who fight for a Japan that is free and equal. Worthy of the best of the personality characteristics that are so prized by Japanese culture.

To be continued through life …

Pete Yamamoto is a mixed race Japanese American, now a volunteer at NJAHS, teaches a Senior Qigong class at Kimochi Nutrition site on Wednesdays, and is a 63 year old poet living in S.F. Chinatown. The views expressed in the preceding commentary are not necessarily those of the Nichi Bei Weekly.

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