Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The other side of Yasukuni

Went to Yasukuni Jinja yesterday to worship the Class A war criminals. No, really, they were incidental to our visit. We were in Tokyo for another purpose, which I'll blog shortly. But I noticed that Yasukuni was having it's Autumn festival, so thought it might be fun to fit in a visit and maybe grab some lunch from the food stalls. When I visited previously in the middle of cherry blossom, the place was heaving (it's one of the best cherry spots in Tokyo) so we were disappointed to find only a sparsely-attended stage with random musical performances (some traditional singing followed by a university brass band), and no avenue of food stalls. Some festival!

In contrast to the imposing approach from the front (pic in earlier post), there is a nice peaceful pond out the back:


Today at lunch when we said where we had been, someone told us that the new leader of the LDP (now opposition party) had visited on the same day (we had seen extra security and some shiny cars but didn't know what it was). They couldn't remember his name so it was perhaps a bit optimistic of me to ask what his political pedigree was. However Wikipedia tells me that he was training to be a lawyer before he inherited his father's seat, so my supposition proved correct. The old guard is dead, long live the old guard.

It also says that he stood for leadership of the LDP three years ago, promising to end the habit of visiting Yasukuni if he was elected. So now the same page says: "On October 19th he visited Yasukuni shrine, despite his earlier promise to the contrary." I wonder how long that will last...

9 comments:

Duae Quartunciae said...

Not long, if wikipedia sticks to the rules. Wikipedia is not intended to be a place for primary information and personal accounts. Although this can be frustrating, it is still a good thing. Think of the implications if anyone could supply their own information on their own authority. Wikipedia is intended as a secondary source, repeating information accessible from other primary and verifiable references. Check polities "WP:OR" and "WP:V". It will be well worth your while seeing if you can find some source documenting the visit, that you can refer to and give as the primary reference that others can use to confirm your information. With that, the information conforms to the wikipedia policies, and the information will be able to remain, with experienced neutral editors working to help maintain your information against those who might not like to see it available.

James Annan said...

Oh, sorry, I forgot to include links in my blog - the visit has been widely covered in the media, eg here and here.

Duae Quartunciae said...

I've added a reference to the Wikipedia article. That means that if anyone does delete it, a neutral editor will be inclined to help restore it.

James Annan said...

Thanks, I did the wikipedia edit in a bit of a rush and didn't have the energy to work out how to put the link in...

Duae Quartunciae said...

Just a question... did he actually promise not to visit the shrine, or only promise not to visit the shrine IF he became prime minister?

James Annan said...

I don't know, but of course at the time the statements were equivalent.

skanky said...

"Wikipedia is not...against those who might not like to see it available."

= "[Citation needed]" ?

Hank Roberts said...

If you're in the mood for visiting such worship sites, don't miss this thread at WTF where you've just been cited:

wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/23/pielke-senior-erroneous-claim-in-an-ap-news-article/

James Annan said...

Infamy infamy they've all got it infamy! I guess it all hinges on "vast" - how big is the vast left/right-wing conspiracy in comparison?