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Yasukuni Shrine
THE TATARI MAKER IN TOKYO?
Date:31, Dec, 2018
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello, everyone. Today I'm talking about Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Have you ever heard the Shrine? Some might guess it is the origin of the problem of Japan's class-A war criminals at World War 2 if they loved the worldwide news.

The shrine was not founded after the World War 2. How was the Yasukuni Shrine built? What essential problem will be found by tracking the process? Let's learn together now.



Yasukuni's Haiden
Source: 2018 Haiden (Yasukuni Shrine).jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photo: Sep. 30, 2018)

It was founded by the Meiji Emperor in June 1869. Yes, it was the end of the Boshin War (1868–1869). For the first time, it was called Tokyo Shokon-sha. In 1879, they started calling it Yasukuni Shrine. It means that the shrine was founded for the central government of Japan by themselves.

Why did they built it, then? In order to enshrine the dead in service of Japan at the Boshin War. You might guess it is not a mystery. We are not difficult finding other countries have such institutions. I don't deny it. But it is a problem that they just enshrined the dead who had belonged to the government army.

Let me explain why it matters. Yasukuni Shrine is (of course) one of the Shinto institutions in Japan. In Shinto, fundamentally, they have to enshrine all who died without distinction. So they should have enshrined the rebels who died at Boshin War. Or the rebels would rise again as Tatari-gami asking for trouble. That's the way Shinto is. They didn't enshrine the rebels, however. In other words, they ignored the Shinto spirit at their beginning point. I believe it is an essential probelm the shrine contains. In the end of Satsuma Rebellion (1877), they only enshrined the dead who had belonged to the government army and ignored the dead who had belonged to Satsuma army, moreover.



Yasukuni's Gate
Source: Yasukuni Shrine Sinmon.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photo: July 8, 2018)

Some older sage said Yasukuni Shrine had increased Tatari-gami at their beginning point. I agree with them. They should have enshrined the rebels not to ask for trouble.

Tatari? Curse? They are just absurd superstitions. I'm silly to believe in them, you might say. If so, why do all shrines stand all over Japan? Who needs shrines? We are still too silly to analyze what Tatari is. No one can lay down a definition of Tatari. We should be modest before what we cannot get clearly, then. Is it a mystery?







 

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Surrounded by Woods of Eternity