"the Shinto religion does not honor the life, deeds, or character of the dead. It honors the departed spirits, the kami (gods) which depart without moral definition. This is ancient animism. Koizumi is not honoring war criminals. That is a superimposition of Western abstract political ideology"
Thanks to the web site The National Interest and the article by Mindy Kotler we have yet more instance of the continuing outrage over the Yasukuni Shrine.
See also my most recent blog entry regarding Yasukuni.
"Sorry, Japan: Yasukuni Is Not Arlington"
Prime Minister Abe and Koizumi before him those visits to Yasukuni as might be expected raising some hackles in certain quarters.
Two items most pertinent in the discussion of the shrine within the perspective of the Second World War [WW2].
1. NOT SO MUCH the main shrine itself but ancillary and adjacent shrines and memorials within the grounds of Yasukuni are what rankle some persons? These are private memorials and shrines that SEEM to glorify and EXCUSE the Japanese war effort?
2. The Japanese immediately in the aftermath of the war perceived by many as VICTIMS of the war rather than aggressors and perpetrators of atrocity and war crimes? Those ATOMIC BOMBINGS IN PARTICULAR CREATING A SYMPATHY THAT IS DISTORTED AND INAPPROPRIATE?
Spirits as having departed "without moral definition", that behavior in the temporal realm not a consideration within Shinto, honoring the spirits not the same as glorifying or rendering approval?