Sunday, June 5, 2011

A visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto shrine in Tokyo Japan

The Yasukuni Shrine was one of three places requested to visit, the other two being: the fishing village of Taiji maligned in the questionable film “The Cove,” and attend a Hanshin Tigers baseball game in Osaka.

The Yasukuni Shinto shrine is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died on behalf of Japan, registering near two and a half million names enshrined. A visit to this shrine by foreigners are notable Japanese brings with it scathing criticism from some neighboring nations. Their complaint is out of the two and a half million spirits honored at the Yasukuni Shrine; around one thousand were convicted as war criminals by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE or known as Tokyo Trails or Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal). Should be noted the legitimacy of tribunal is in question by many.

Discounting the one-thousand, what about the other over two million spirits? What about those who died during World War One when Japan was part of the Allied front (a U.S.A. ally)?

What happened sixty-five years ago belongs in the past to be studied, and determined not to be repeated, however no reason to be critical and hateful in this 21st century.

Upon entering the Shrine grounds one cleanses with water. Enters a building to sign the guest book. Enter another room for further cleansing and orientation. Down a corridor to participate in a short Shinto prayer on to the main temple. Once there with a Shinto priest, a ceremony, and prayers. Then back down the corridor, sip some sake, handed a sake bowl and exited.

All very abbreviated and innocent, yet so much controversy of such a simple and dignified event.

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