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Old 07-25-2009, 10:22 AM   #23
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 14

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Allen,

The point about commingling and separation was made by Ito Satoshi in a collection of essays cited in my bibiography. Edited by Nobutaka Inoue, it is entitled Shinto: A Short History. If you want to hone your Japanese reading skills further, the Japanese original, almost a different book, really, is also available: 『神道 日本生まれの宗教システム』 ISBN: 4-7885-0658-0.
I have not read that particular author yet. However, as I am certain you are aware, the fact of the commingling and separation of Buddhism and Shinto is widely known and accepted by historians. At least this is my understanding.

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Have you come across the books of Brian Daizen Victoria?. They are Zen at War and Zen War Stories and contain much interesting information about how Buddhism ardently assisted the Japanese war effort. Chapter 11 of the latter book ("Buddhism: A Top Secret Religion in Wartime Japan") is an exposition of the role that Japanese Buddhism was expected to play in the war effort.
I have and have directed others to them. I have, however, not read them myself yet though. I have to admit that I have probably avoided this on purpose. Not because I do not wish to hear about how Buddhism, or more accurately, certain Buddhists and Buddhist Organizations ardently assisted the Japanese war effort. I am well aware of that fact, including my own Koyasan Shingon-shu's involvement. (BTW, I'm not aware of Japanese Buddhism's U.S. counterparts doing the same over here. Although, I do know that they held prayer services, funerals, etc. for those that went to go fight and die in the war much in the same way that other religious institutions did at the time.) I think I have avoided the book for the same reason I have read avoided watching "Nanking." I have read and heard accounts of atrocities both by victims and perpetrators. I think it is important to recognize the motivations, actions and results of all involved so that we do not repeat the mistakes made. For this reason I do not believe in "white washing" or ignoring the facts of the past rather it is important that these facts be "aired" and not forgotten. I, however, do not find their review "entertaining" or enjoyable by any means. I'll get the the books and read them.

Once, while at Koyasan, over dinner, one of my teachers described how he traveled by jeep from one interment camp to another (quite a long ways actually from one "no where" to another "no where") to conduct services. He was indignant that the Army assigned him an a GI escort instead of letting him drive alone. I asked him (in Japanese so that others might understand), "I understand that you are disgruntled by the fact that the U.S. government assigned a G.I. escort to you while you traveled from one internment camp to another to perform religious services. I wonder if the Japanese Imperial government allowed American (my teacher was a Japanese citizen) Clerics to drive from one prison camp to another to perform religious services? I wonder if the Japanese Imperial Army assigned American citizens escorts to perform such a tasks? I have never heard such a thing. Perhaps it is because the Japanese Imperial Army let them drive themselves around Japan . . . " It was rather quiet for the rest of dinner.

Best wishes,

~ Allen Beebe
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