Monday, October 26, 2009

Pacific War and Japanese - 1

There is one thing that I noticed after I started to walk around the world, countries such as US, China, South East Asian countries, India, UK, Germany, etc...  It is the fact that Japan was one of the vicious axes in last world war, and that the world has not necessarily forgotten about it.

I was borne almost 10 years after the war is over.  Quite fortunately, I have not experienced anything about the war in growing.  99.99% of Japanese would not think about the war daily bases any more.  I did not.

It was my first overseas trip and first overseas business trip out of Japan.  I think it was even my first experience using airplane for traveling.  I traveled to Malaysia, first, and then to Singapore.  The business went so-so good.  My Singaporean friends took me to a bar for drinking.

We started to talk with the girls next to us after few drinks.  Somehow, the topic became horror story and somebody talked about ghosts of Japanese soldiers in the border between Singapore and Malaysia, called Johol.  I told them that my father was fighting in Singapore.  It was my major mistake.  After a silence, one of the girls told us that her grandfather was killed by Japanese Army...

I could not have a word to say.  All we could do is to leave that place.  One book my friend recommended reminded me this memory and I wanted to write about the book.

The title of the book is "Eien-no Zero -Eternal Zero-" and the story is about a Japanese fighter pilot of Zero fighter.

PS:  I have no intention to justify the World War II from Japanese view points, or justify any war.  When young, I used to practice Martial Arts, my teacher kept telling me that avoid fighting is the best.  I totally agree with him.  It was ancient Chinese Strategist wrote that "avoiding and stopping war is the best strategy".  I believe so, too.  I wanted to briefly mention here that there were Japanese people who tried everything they could do to avoid the war and to stop the war even during the war.  Existence of these peace loving Japanese people are blessing in the history in tough times.

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Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw - a difficult topic to write about .. but well done, you've given your view point - which to me seems rational.

At that stage in life - you do as the country does .. however there are always some who will do their best to make both sides see sense.

We weren't that exposed to war and my parents generation tended not to talk about it - I guess trying to move on from the horrors.

I know my father would not buy a German car - for 30 years; and I worked at the Hilton in London as a temp in the mid 70s .. and an American hissed constantly when a Japanese man walked into the typing pool - it was quite disconcerting ... but then we hadn't fought.

Thanks - my mother's first husband was killed 6 months into the war in Italy and her brother. My father was awarded for bravery with a Military Cross - and was very affected by the war.

Thanks - it will be interesting to read about it from your point of view .. Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Shaw said...

Dear Hilary,

Thank you for your comment. It was difficult to write about the war. But, after I read the book, I started to think that I needed to write about it.

Thank you also for your sharing your family related experience of war. It does not matter won or lost, war will hurt all the people and damage the people's lives.

The series of articles are about war, but not about killing and fighting. Please continue to come and read. It is about live, love, and survive.

Best wishes,
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link