Sunday, January 02, 2005

Yasukini Shrine

I want to go to Yasukuni Shrine and hide a tape recorder so I can narrate to it what all is written there. It is a shrine that honors the war dead of Japan. In Japan, death absolves your crimes. However, in Christianity it does not. Nor in Chinese belief, from what I understand. So when the Prime Minister visits this shrine, which also honors war crimes and war criminals for "doing what was necessary for the sake of the Asian region" or something to that effect, there is a problem in my opinion. is the English homepage for the shrine. Read some of the texts that are posted on the page. Avoiding the war crimes by saying that Westerners had come to Asia and occupied as well. From what I've heard, the Rape of Nanking/Nanjing is completely overlooked, and the war in Asia in the 30s and 40s is completely cleaned up to look less brutal.

Just thought I'd post this, after learning that Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) will be playing the lead character in Memoirs of a Geisha (dir. Steven Spielberg), who is Japanese set near the time of World War II (before and after and during). This upsets me, as it is a period piece that will fail from the get-go to be realistic in my eyes, because I can see that she is not Japanese. I apologize if what I am saying seems racist, but it's the same thing as if Zhang Ziyi had played in Cold Mountain as a Civil War hero. It just isn't believable.

That being said, I will still see the movie.
\Kyle Goetz
BS Pure Mathematics, BA Japanese 2006
The University of Texas//Obirin University, Japan

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