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Old 07-25-2008, 02:52 PM   #48
Josh Reyer
 
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Quote:
Michael Lewis wrote: View Post
Your above remark is insensitive (probably unintentionally) but your apology to Prof. G. comes across as sincere.

I'm an overseas Briton. My grandfather was served in East Asia and witnessed atrocities he refused to go into detail about. He spent the rest of his life hating Japan, until the day he met my Japanese wife, his great grandson, and my wife's grandmother.
I think what Erick is trying to say is that as an American Southerner, he has a certain insight into the Japanese post-war attitude, in as much that the American South entered into what it considered a just war (with the American North), but lost. Afterwards, losing the war caused a lot of harm to the South, but there were definitely very real good and positive results from the South losing the war. At the same time, there's the realization in retrospect that while the war may have been justified in a micro sense (States' rights) it was unjustified in the macro sense (States' rights to support the slavery system).

So, from the Japanese point of view, there were just reasons for going to war, and supporting the war (ending the destructive Western imperialism), and and unjust reasons (ending Western imperialism in order to replace it with Japanese imperialism). Then you have the destruction of all major Japanese cities. Did Japan deserve that? Even for going to war, did it deserve that? There's some ambivalence there, which comes out in the martyr mentality that I think Professor Goldsbury is all too aware of in Hiroshima. And then there were positive aspects, as well, as losing the need for an expensive military led to the Economic Miracle and modern Japanese prosperity.

My sense of what Erick is trying to say is that it's quite easy to look back and make a simple story: Evil ultra-nationalist fascists took over Japan and set it on a destructive course for war. Ueshiba willingly associated with these evil ultra-nationalist fascists, ergo he bears the stain of evil, ultra-nationalist fascism. However, things were probably not so clear on the ground in 1930s Japan, and that what look clearly to us now as evil fascists may have looked much more benign and patriotic to Ueshiba back then.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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