yasukuni shrine

[a continuation from the previous post on the east imperial garden]

from the east garden, one can walk through the kitanomaru koen to reach

(notice the schoolgirls with yellow umbrellas walking out from a nearby school, under the daiichi torii)

i visited the yasukuni-jinja out of [intellectual?] curiosity. having read so many news reports about the place, i decided that if there was only one temple i could visit in my short 4 days in Tokyo, it’d be this over the famous senso-ji.


dates for major ceremonies


lanterns representing various sake houses – the hand-out provided at the temple spoke only of the building without explaining the role that these sake makers have. if i were to hazard a guess, it’d be that these houses supply (sponsor?) the supplicatory wine for prayer.


you can see the haiden (prayer hall) through the chumon torii.


the haiden, with the imperial chrysanthemum.

i believe it is important to honour the war dead, the way we do with our cenotaphs, or as the brits do, with wearing poppy flowers in november and memorial services on remembrance day. in fact, i think we do not take it seriously enough here in Singapore, and our war dead deserve more than the hollow credit and mention we give them once a year.

does the difference lie solely in that japan has refused to apologise for their war actions, and the history taught there reflects an altruistic, obedient-to-the-end army, which is so different from that taught here, where the people who lived through the war recount with terror the nightmare of the japanese occupation?

or is this about history being written by the victors, who, as victims in the war, demand for compensation?

or does the conflict ultimately boil down to politics? to unite the people against a common enemy? (and this happens on both sides too – abe and koizumi before him leading longsuffering Japan against the overbearing and oversensitive China, the aggrieved China against the unrepentant Japan who shows no remorse for their crimes against humanity.)

think on these things here – nearest metro stop: kudanshita