Ted Ehara wrote:
The spiritual level of a country is an intangible. Like the morale of an army, it is something both abstract and very real. One person can make a huge difference. It is not something that can be put to a vote, polled or quantified. It is up to each of us to develop spiritually and encourage others to do the same. This is where I think, Mishima's observation fails.
It is not clear from the quotation offered whether these are Mishima's own words, or his biographer's. I took them to be the latter.
I think that to talk about the spiritual level of a country is to talk in stereotypes and I also think that such a generalization about an entire country is too wide to be of much value. Spiritual levels indicate highs and lows and I would be interested in hearing of countries where the spiritual level is high, or low, compared with that of Japan.
Finally, I am sure that people felt that Japan was going to the dogs towards the end of the Tokugawa period. Does this mean that the spiritual level was low at that time?