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Yukio Mishima (trans. Kathryn Sparling), The Way of the Samurai: Yukio Mishima on Hagakure in Modern Life (original title: Introduction to Hagakure) (New York: Perigee, 1977)

For as long as I have known about him, I have been fascinated by the Japanese writer and artist Yukio Mishima. I think the first time I heard of him was when my favorite history professor, an older fellow specializing in East Asia, spoke in exhilarating terms of Mishima, all the while naughtily adding : “He was basically a fascist.”

I’ve many times watched Paul Schrader’s masterpiece of a film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. You’re either the kind of boy who is challenged, energized, and inspired by this sort of film, or perhaps you’re not a boy. I tried reading some of Mishima’s novels in French translation. I can’t say I much enjoyed, though I deeply wanted to. Then again, I’m not really one for novels.

I recently purchased Mishima’s Introduction to Hagakure, the nonfiction guide he wrote to the samurai classic. This is a somewhat rare book in the sense that you can only get it second hand (sometimes quite expensive) or download abominable electronic versions, Penguin and other publishers having mysteriously not republished the work in many years.

I have not been disappointed. Mishima’s guide to Hagakure is an excellent book: at once concise (barely 100 pages, not counting the extracts from Hagakure included in the annex to my version of the book), clear, and cogent. Mishima both explicates the book, draws out its contemporary relevance, and highlights the most striking and paradoxical passages. I heartily recommend this book.

What is Hagakure?

My reader way be wondering: What is Hagakure and why would I need an introduction to it? Hagakure is a collection of sayings and anecdotes by Jocho Miyamoto, a retired samurai, as recorded by one of his followers. Taken together, this somewhat disparate collection ultimately forms a coherent and powerful expression of the samurai ethos. Perhaps surprisingly, the book contains a great deal of practical life advice for samurai – savoir-vivre – which the modern man will also benefit from: how to prepare for the next day, how to hold a meeting, how to criticize others, how to advance in one’s career, etc.

The point however is not a kind of selfish and shallow self-help. Hagakure is uncompromising in its moral demands: one must be the best one can be, one must selflessly serve others (one’s lord and the whole community), and one must be absolutely ruthless when necessary. In this, one must be motivated by dignity, by one’s pride and self-respect as a man, to make our brief time on this Earth as noble as it may be. There is no maudlin sentimentality or nagging here.

Hagakure was kept as a more-or-less secret book of samurai lore by the Nabeshima clan, which dominated a territory in the far southwest of Japan. This may be because the work is heavily critical of the central authorities – considered urbane and decadent in contrast with the rustic Nabeshima – and occasionally downright impious. Jocho demands one serve one’s lord even if it might displease gods or Buddha, adding that such supernatural entities will anyway smile upon such loyalty. Jocho had been apparently taught by Zen masters in his youth and in retirement become a Buddhist monk, although it is quite difficult to get reliable information on the matter.

Hagakure became a popular text in Imperial Japan (1868-1947), during which the new central government attempted to economically modernize and politically unify the country, all the while preserving elements of traditional Japanese culture. The book’s exaltation of local patriotism and loyalty was projected onto the Emperor and the Japanese nation-state as a whole.

While the Imperial authorities had banned the samurai as a caste, considering their privileged status as a break on modernization, Hagakure’s samurai values were celebrated as representing yamato-damashii, “the unique spirit of the Japanese.” Hagakure was widely promoted as a classic during the Second World War, was suppressed with the American postwar occupation as a source of Japanese militarism, and again became a bestseller in the 1970s with Mishima’s famous harakiri.

Hagakure really is quite readable. While I recommend Mishima, I would only say he makes things a bit too easy: read Hagakure directly! The read’s challenges, the work of piecing things together, will rework and do good to your soul.

Hagakure: Mishima’s Lifelong Companion

Mishima’s guide provides a good deal of insight into the various literary influences upon the writer – most prominently French and German literature and the Hellenic ideal, in addition to Japanese sources. The most prominent of these is of course Hagakure. According to Mishima, Hagakure came to be his constant companion and a source of spiritual renewal:

It was after the extraordinary popularity of Hagakure, after its wartime preeminence as socially obligatory reading had ended, that its light began to shine within me. Maybe Hagakure is after all fundamentally a book destined to paradox. During the war, Hagakure was like a luminescent object in broad daylight, but it is in pitch darkness that Hagakure radiates its true light. . . .

The book that was to provide constant spiritual guidance must form the basis of my morality and it must enable me to approve completely of my youth. It must be a book that could support firmly this loneliness of my and my anachronistic stance. What is more, it must be a book banned by contemporary society. Hagakure conformed to all these specifications. (6)

Mishima later says:

I have come to be more and more deeply possessed by Hagakure. But I, who follow the way of the artist and entertainer condemned by Hagakure, have been tormented by the conflict between the action ethic and my art. The suspicion I had harbored for years, that there was inevitably something cowardly lurking beneath the surface of all literature, was articulated. In fact, to tell the truth, my firm insistence on the “Combined Way of the Scholar and the Warrior” I owe to the influence of Hagakure. Although I knew full well that there is no discipline so easy to speak of and so difficult to perform as the Combined Way of the Warrior and the Scholar, I decided that nothing else could offer me the excuse to live my life as an artist. This realization, too, I owe to Hagakure.

I am convinced, however, that art kept snugly within the bounds of art alone shrivels and dies, and in this sense I am no believer in what is commonly called art for art’s sake. If art is not constantly threatened, stimulated by things outside its domain, it exhausts itself. . . . All at once I recognized in Hagakure a philosophy of life, and somehow I felt that its beautiful, pristine world could stir up the quagmire that was the world of literature. For me, the meaning of Hagakure is in the vision of this pristine world, and although it is the influence of Hagakure that has made living as an artist so unusually difficult for me, at the same time Hagakure is the womb from which my writing is born. It is the eternal supplying source of my vitality – by its relentless whip, by its command, by its fierce criticism, because of its beauty, which is the beauty of ice. (10-11)

Mishima’s discussion is not abstract but, like Hagakure, deeply practical. He contrasts samurai society and postwar Japan, covering topics as diverse as celebrity culture, Japanese drinking habits, fatherhood, feminization, masculinity, sex and prostitution, the kamikaze, and even the English habit of pouring milk before tea. (I thought Mishima was being precious on this point, until I saw that even today Boris Johnson could cause a minor controversy by inverting the order.)

Above all, Mishima would have men live full, worthy, and noble lives. He is clearly revolted by the long, boring, predictable, and safe lives of office workers with nothing to look forward to but their pension. He would prefer men boldly and intensely, even if that should mean a shorter life.

Mishima gives Hagakure an individualist twist, perhaps unsurprisingly as an artist. He denies the book’s political implications arguing: “It is a philosophy of action, not of government.” This is not entirely convincing, though perhaps sensible in an era in which anything resembling the Führerprinzip was inevitably going to be disreputable. In any event, Hagakure’s principles can indeed be applied by any individual whatever his situation, regardless of the regime.

Mishima loves Hagakure’s ruthless realism. That one should give advice respectfully and diplomatically, so as not to hurt others’ egos, is not done out of mere niceness, but “a scathingly realistic evaluation of human psychology” (47). Hagakure has us starkly look into the void:

Jocho frequently refers to this life as a puppet existence, to human beings as marionettes. At the very core of his personality is a deep, penetrating yet manly “nihilism” [in English]. He scrutinizes each moment to extract the meaning of life, but at heart he is convinced that life itself is nothing more than a dream. (52)

This knowledge of the vanity and impermanence of all human things could lead one to despair. But for Mishima, this lucidity is a challenge and a source of inspiration, for we still have our pride, our dignity, our love of beauty. Mishima makes the striking observation: “Here is the nihilism of Jocho Yamamoto, and here, too, is the ultimate idealism, born of his nihilism” (105).

Hagakure famously states that “the Way of the Samurai is death.” This means that a samurai should be ready to die at any moment if this necessary to serve his lord and preserve his honor. Paradoxically, the knowledge that we can and should die for something had a great energizing effect on Mishima: “this sentence . . . gave me the strength to live” (6).

Mishima speaks of “our perverted day and age, in which only ideology is valued and the trifling practices of everyday life are not taken seriously” (56). Instead of merely criticizing problems, Hagakure challenges us to simply act, putting our life on the line if necessary, but also if necessary patiently working with 10 or 15-year horizon. A man must be ready for any circumstances.

Mishima was continuously challenged and inspired by the he shocking contrast between the way of life described in Hagakure and that of postwar life. He says:

The occupation of the samurai is death . . . The premise of the democratic age is that it is best to live as long as possible.

Thus in evaluating the impact of Hagakure, it becomes an important question whether or not the readers are samurai. If one is able to read Hagakure transcending the fundamental difference in premise between Jocho’s era and our own, one will find there an astonishing understanding of human nature, a wisdom applicable to human relations even in the present day. One reads lightly and quickly through its pages (stimulating, vigorous, passionate, but extremely sharp and penetrating, paradoxical pages), letting one’s body be refreshed as by a spring rain. But in the end one is forced to confront the fundamental difference in premise. (28)

Mishima’s critique of liberal modernity does not feature any of the mystical ravings one finds in much of “Traditionalist” literature. Rather, Mishima and Hagakure are at once of an extreme realism and are ethically demanding, something which will appeal to the modern man of the Right. Amidst what Mishima calls “the black fog” of moral decay in our societies, Hagakure provides practical advice and exhortation that we, in our own individual life, may strive to live more nobly.

Selections from Mishima’s Introduction to Hagakure

All artistic creations are born of a resistance to one’s era. (7)

We must recognize that when a human being tries to live beautifully and die beautifully, strong attachment to life undermines that beauty. (22)

Hagakure is an attempt to cure the peaceful character of modern society by the potent medicine of death. . . . The author, in his abundant understanding of human life, knows that man does not live by his life alone. He knows just how paradoxical is human freedom. And he knows the instant man is given freedom he grows weary of it, and the instant he is given life he becomes unable to bear it.

Ours is an age in which everything is based on the premise that it is best to live as long as possible. The average life span has become the longest in history, and a monotonous plan for humanity unrolls before us. The youth’s enthusiasm for “my-home-ism” lasts as long as he is struggling to find his own little nest. As soon as he has found it, the future holds nothing for him. All there is is the retirement money clicked up in rows on the abacus, and the peaceful, boring life of impotent old age. This image is constantly in the shadow of the welfare state, threatening the hearts of mankind. (24)

Each and every one of us hides within his subconscious mind deep, blind impulses. These are the dynamic expression of the contradictions filling one’s life from moment to moment, a manifestation that has essentially nothing to do with social ideals for the future. In youth these are manifested in their boldest, sharpest form. Moreover, these blind impulses appear in dramatic opposition, even in confrontation with one another. (25)

Our rational humanism, while constantly performing the function of turning the eyes of modern man toward the brightness of freedom and progress, wipes the problem of death from the level of consciousness, pushing it deeper and deeper into the subconscious, turning the death impulse by this repression to an even more dangerous, explosive, ever more concentrated, inner-directed impulse. We are ignoring the fact that bringing death to the level of consciousness is an important element of mental health.

But death alone exists unchanged and regulates our lives now as in the era of Hagakure. In this sense, the death that Jocho is talking about is nothing extraordinary. Hagakure insists that to ponder death daily is to concentrate daily on life. When we do our work thinking that we may die today, we cannot help feeling that our job suddenly becomes radiant with life and meaning. (29)

The philosophy of Hagakure creates a standard of action which is the most effective means of escaping the limitations of the self and becoming immersed in something greater. (39)

For a woman the mirror is a tool to be used in her daily toilette, but for a man the mirror is material for introspection. (66)

What Hagakure has to say . . . about ideal human, or rather manly, beauty – “reverent yet stern, self-collected” – is still one kind of aesthetic for manly appearance. “Reverent” requires a humility that inspires trust in others, while “sternness” hints at an air of austerity and aloofness. What is needed to reconcile and bind together these two opposing element is a serene, unflappable calm. (66)

A samurai must perform his duties so that as an individual he represents all sarumai and his conduct in any given situation may stand for the Way of the Samurai. (72)

If one gains wisdom only at the age of forty, one must retain the strength to put it to use. Most of us do not, however. This is Jocho’s warning. (77)

It is useless to try to make the present age like the good old days a hundred years ago. What is important is to make each era as good as it can be according to its nature. (83, quoting Hagakure)

If for the sake of moral goals a man always strives to live beautifully, and if he considers death as the ultimate standard of that beauty, then all his days must be a continuum of tension. Jocho, for whom laziness is the supreme vice, discovered a reason for living in a daily life of unrelieved tension that never lets up even for an instant. That is struggle in the midst of daily routine; it is the occupation of the samurai. (90)

Dignity is the outward manifestation of inviolable self-respect; it is what makes a man a man. It is the firm belief that one would rather die than be despised by others. (90)

[Samurai beauty] is a beauty of strength, for the sake of appearances and to avoid losing face. When one tries to be beautiful in order to be loved, effeminacy begins. That is spiritual cosmetics. (92)

 
• Category: History • Tags: Japan, Mishima, Samurai 
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  1. Anonymous[195] • Disclaimer says:

    but anglo and germanic nationalism isn’t about realism or beauty. it is about high-IQ nigging. Having a high growth population motivated by darwinian logic or magical sky spirits.

    what european nationalist don’t understand is that they want to become niggers with high IQ.

    nonbreeding and nihilism is the zenith of human existence. it is not taking your race to the stars. Man is a pathetic being, this truth is elucidated by Peter Wessel Zapffe and Schopenhauer, this deep pessimism about the human condition arises in only a few individuals of a nation, but is acknowledged by noble nations. Such as hagakure among rhe Japanese and the ancient Nordic epic Voluspa. The problem with Nordic nations is not that they don’t breed but that they accepted people with nigger values and they did it because capitalism and anglo-ism is dysgenic and niggerish, while also be subservient to Jewish interest.

    The anglo-ism is in service to judaism(jewish supremacism) reject it and its barbarian ways. kick the anglo out of europe. it should be brexpel not brexit. DeGaulle was right, fuck anglos, fuck NATO, fuck overseas colonies.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    , @JohnPlywood
  2. All artistic creations are born of a resistance to one’s era. (7)

    It is useless to try to make the present age like the good old days a hundred years ago. What is important is to make each era as good as it can be according to its nature. (83, quoting Hagakure)

    Contradictory.

    • Replies: @ia
  3. ia says:
    @Brás Cubas

    I don’t think they are contradictory if he’s separating art from life. You go with the flow while making things that reflect life in an idealized way. An example could be Warhol’s “factory” producing soup cans and “stars.” Warhol, curiously, was a devout Catholic who made more religious images than any other contemporary artist. But these were/are suppressed by the establishment.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mr. Tom
  4. I tried reading some of Mishima’s novels in French translation. I can’t say I much enjoyed, though I deeply wanted to. Then again, I’m not really one for novels.

    I read the SEA OF FERTILITY tetralogy, and 1 and 2 , SPRING SNOW and RUNAWAY HORSES, are very strong. TEMPLE OF DAWN or 3 is confused. But 4, DECAY OF THE ANGEL, bring it to a haunting ending.

    Hey, look, the Jewish globo-homo James Kirchick on Mishima and fascism.

    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/05/14/a-thing-for-men-in-uniforms/

    • Replies: @Guillaume Durocher
  5. Eagle Eye says:

    Hagakure is said to have been written in the early 1700s, but the first modern edition did not appear until 1900.

    The timing and apparent absence of intermediate publications seems suspicious. Could it be that Hagakure is a pious forgery retconning early 20th century ideology into the (post-)samurai past?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagakure

    • Replies: @Ano4
  6. It seems little known, that the 2003 film ‘The Last Samurai’ starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe – a much better film than you might expect – a film now denounced as being ‘racist’ because of its pro-nationalist, pro-traditional-culture viewpoint LOL –

    That film was based on the remarkable true story of a French soldier, Jules Brunet (1838-1911), who was sent to Japan in the late 1860s under France’s Napoléon III, to help train and modernise Japan’s military

    As civil war broke out in Japan between the traditionalist samurai tied to the shoguns, and the modernising forces under the Japanese emperor, Brunet disobeyed orders to depart, risking charges in both Japan and France, to stay behind and fight with the samurai rebels.

    The samurai lost the civil war due to having fewer firearms, but Brunet was evacuated by a French warship as the rebellion collapsed. Brunet was forgiven in both France and in Japan too, along with samurai who were re-integrated into the new Japan.

    In the film, Cruise plays a veteran of the USA civil war. Where the 2003 film exceptionally shines, is in its loving re-creation of life in a 19th century Japanese samurai village, where people ‘try to do even small things in a manner seeking perfection’, as the Cruise character says in the film.

    The movie is long, with too many stylised battle scenes, but the portrayal of traditional Japanese wisdom and the beauty of ancient Japanese rural life, is unforgettable. Here is the story of the true ‘last samurai’ from France, Jules Brunet:

    https://allthatsinteresting.com/last-samurai-true-story-jules-brunet

    Some clips from the film, as Tom Cruise, his life saved by the samurai, develops a relationship with a samurai’s widow and her children

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  7. Svevlad says:
    @Anonymous

    If you ask me, everything west of the hajnal line should be sterilized

  8. @Svevlad

    Pray tell, sir: why should we make the effort to sterilize the sterile?

    • LOL: Korenchkin
  9. Obviously this author in not familiar with Shia Islam, for if he was, he would know that it is precisely this ethos of dignity, courage, discipline and sacrifice that drives and sustains Iran and its allies in the Middle East, particularly Hizbollah. I am no expert on Shia Islam, but I do know that Karbala is a central symbol of sacrifice in the struggle for right against wrong, and for justice and truth against injustice and falsehood.
    Merry Christmas to all!

    • Agree: Alfred
    • LOL: TKK
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @TKK
    , @Alfred
    , @Really No Shit
  10. Dumbo says:
    @Svevlad

    And if you ask me, people who talk about “sterilization” of everyone they don’t like should be sterilized… This whole talk is so boring… Go sterilize them yourself then if you care so much…

    Both the quality and the defect of white people is that they don’t like to live in the real world; they like fantasies and abstract thought. This is sometimes good, sometimes not so good. It is what allows for the great works of art and great scientific discoveries. Other peoples are content simply with mundane existence, those at the bottom with the daily grind, those at the top with accumulation of goods. They don’t reach quite high, but they are better geared for survival than whites, who really do not live just for mere survival and replication of genes.

    • Agree: Anatman
  11. Ano4 says:
    @ia

    Warhol was born an Orthodox Christian and was buried as such.

    He was of Ruthenian (Russyn) stock.

    His real name was Andrej Warhola…

    • Replies: @ia
  12. Ano4 says:
    @RealAmerican

    You are right, the ethos of service and sacrifice are strong in Shia.

    It was even stronger in the Ismaili of old, not so much in the Nizari Ismaili of today.

  13. IvyMike says:

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 crime film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Forest Whitaker stars as the title character, the mysterious “Ghost Dog”, a hitman in the employ of the Mafia, who follows the ancient code of the samurai as outlined in the book of Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s recorded sayings, Hagakure. Critics have noted similarities between the movie and Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 film Le Samour.

    An interesting a quirky movie, Forest Whitaker, as always, great.

    • Agree: Happy Tapir
    • Replies: @Alfred
  14. ia says:
    @Ano4

    According to Wikipedia:

    “The Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, also known in the United States as the Byzantine Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic church that uses the Byzantine Rite for its liturgies, laws, and cultural identity. It is one of the 23 Eastern Catholic churches that are in full communion with the Holy See.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruthenian_Greek_Catholic_Church

    Yes, his people were immigrants to Mikova, Slovakia, from Ruthenia.

    https://visitslovakia.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/andy-warhols-slovak-origins/

    • Replies: @Alden
  15. Just finished Hagakure, the Bennett translation. As a Western Japanophile, I found the historical anecdotes fascinating, more so than the wisdom, which to me becomes pretty generic (honor, loyalty, sacrifice) when divorced from its unique cultural setting. It did tickle my dark sense of humor in several places. For example, there was the nobleman’s son doing sword practice by beheading convicted criminals. When he got to the last one, he proclaimed that his sword arm was tired and the man was free to go!

  16. @Anonymous

    Man is the greatest being in the known universe, and has generated the effortless extermination of the rest of the living world — just by doing things the easy way.

    For all you know, Man is God.

    And Scandinavians have the highest fertility of any people in the developed world. Use that phrase “don’t breed” to describe southeastern Europeans and East Asians.

    • Replies: @Anatman
    , @Alden
    , @fnn
  17. Brilliant review. Thank you.

    Much wisdom for writers.

    • Agree: Kali
  18. Durocher: “Dignity is the outward manifestation of inviolable self-respect; it is what makes a man a man. It is the firm belief that one would rather die than be despised by others. (90)”

    This is the antithesis of the Greek conception, and a summation in a nutshell of what to Westerners makes Japanese and Chinese societies appear so ant-like and lacking in individuality. In the philosophy of the West, non-conformism can be a virtue, even one of the highest virtues. In the East, “the nail that sticks up gets pounded down”; conformity is considered a virtue, and here is even praised as the root of manliness itself.

    What would Mishima have made of the non-conformism of Socrates or Diogenes, often considered the West’s wisest men of ancient times? The history of the West is littered with eccentric genius that was widely despised during its lifetime, just as they were. The culture of lies that envelops the West today exists only because the majority of men flee from the truth like the Devil from Holy Water. One certainly can’t hope to win the approval of such people by telling the truth or living by it. If you’d rather die than be despised by the average man, you’re probably better off dead. In my view, a man who is so terrified of public disapproval that he cannot stand up for himself and speak the truth is not a man at all.

    • Agree: Happy Tapir
    • Replies: @Hacienda
    , @Ghan-buri-Ghan
  19. Twinkie says:
    @Brabantian

    It’s a trite and banal film that mangles history. Try “Twilight Samurai” instead:

  20. TKK says:
    @RealAmerican

    Can you go sell crazy somewhere else? They are full up here.

  21. Hacienda says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    What would Mishima have made of the non-conformism of Socrates or Diogenes, often considered the West’s wisest men of ancient times?

    He would have seen them as central to the Western world, but irrelevant to the Japanese world of where the Emperor was the end of all things. And Mishima would have been wrong, because no Emperor is the end of all things even for a relatively large island nation.

    And Mishima and the Hagakure is some nonsense description of the warrior code. Overly aestheticized and philosophical.

    Warriors can be whatever they want to be. They don’t have conform to some singular order or worse- aesthetic code. IMHO.

    Yi Sun Shin in his War Diaries writes about what he did, mundane things like who he met on some day, has boring repetitive descriptions of the weather day after day. No bullsh+t philosophizing or deep thoughts. He just went out and kicked ass. End of story.

    • Agree: Marshall Lentini
    • Replies: @Ace
  22. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    How can you even say this stuff with a straight face? The West’s hyper-obsession with concepts like individualism and non-conformity have led directly to the hellscape we are living and breathing in right here and now. The only logical end for individualism on a society-wide scale is degeneracy, demoralization, and ultimately self-destruction.

    Open your eyes and look around you! Look at what the ideals you praise so much have wrought upon the world.

    • Agree: Adûnâi
    • Replies: @Ace
  23. Once I was fascinated by Mishima’s ‘The Temple of the Golden Pavillion’. The main character, surely not typically Japanese as an outisder par excellence, is a Joker in the making.

    But I could never grasp the allure of samurai fidelity aka obedience…. it kinda looks stupid. Ultimately, it is a servant ideology, as all focus is on servants (samurais), whereas lords may do pretty well what they wish and are beyond ethics and judgement, as quasi-Nietzschean super-humans.

    This is pretty suffocating, despite samurai Spartan allure.

    And, despite all that supreme obedience-fidelity ideology, the feudal Japan was constantly being torn apart by rebellions of vassals against lords.

    The Japanese themselves understood this and Mishima turned out to have been a lone voice in the wilderness.

    Try such great films as Masashi Kobayashi’ ‘Seppuku’ and ‘Rebellion’, or visually magnificient ‘Gonza the Spearman’ of Masashiro Shinoda, which ilustrates well the empty theatrality of customs and traditions which demand to kill.

    A very good book to disenchant Japan is Karel van Wolferen’s ‘The Enigma of Japanese Power. People and Politics in a Stateless Nation’.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enigma_of_Japanese_Power

    Japan needs more modernity, not less.
    The West is full of the Japanese who don’t like Japanese society.

    • Agree: utu
  24. This might be of interest:

    The Bushido Code: The Eight Virtues of the Samurai

    Excerpt: “I. Rectitude or Justice

    Bushido refers not only to martial rectitude, but to personal rectitude: Rectitude or Justice, is the strongest virtue of Bushido. A well-known samurai defines it this way: ‘Rectitude is one’s power to decide upon a course of conduct in accordance with reason, without wavering; to die when to die is right, to strike when to strike is right.’ Another speaks of it in the following terms: ‘Rectitude is the bone that gives firmness and stature. Without bones the head cannot rest on top of the spine, nor hands move nor feet stand. So without Rectitude neither talent nor learning can make the human frame into a samurai.’”

  25. Seraphim says:

    One may wonder whether the film that fascinated GB was not rather “Le Samouraï” with Alain Delon, a film about the ‘ethos’ of a criminal hitman who like Mishima ends up committing suicide.
    It’s hard to see any positive message in such empty gestures, neither in apologies of professional killers or nihilism (Yukio Mishima was more influenced by Nietzsche than by Bushido) and death cults. Nor in the place of honor reserved to Mishima on the ‘Rainbow Honor Walk’, the walk of fame installation in San Francisco to honor notable lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals from around the world “who left a lasting mark on society” and “made significant contributions in their fields”.

  26. Alfred says:
    @RealAmerican

    Absolutely correct. Here is a recent speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah. He repeatedly praises the fortitude and self-sacrifice of the Yemenis and how their moral superiority will overcome the moral decrepitude of the Israelis. One thing is for certain, the Yemenis have Netanyahu worried.

    Trump is on the verge of a stroke over Iran, Yemen is now a threat for Israel

    A slight diversion. In this past year, I discovered the wonders of Japanese crime fiction. It is superior to anything that I have ever read from Western writers. The plots are intricate and plausible. Absolutely wonderful to read. Here is one of the best IMHO. It is a story that can only be appreciated in the context of Hagakure. A story of self-sacrifice.

    The Devotion of Suspect X

    You can learn more about life in Japan by reading these books than by actually visiting the country.

    • Thanks: Happy Tapir
  27. Miro23 says:

    Jocho, for whom laziness is the supreme vice, discovered a reason for living in a daily life of unrelieved tension that never lets up even for an instant. That is struggle in the midst of daily routine; it is the occupation of the samurai. (90)

    There’s a lack of humanity and fun in all this. Having a useful life and serving society surely doesn’t have to be so grim.

    Also, maybe deception has its place. Odysseus devised the Trojan Horse, and when the ancient Greeks weren’t training or at war they weren’t averse to drinking and partying.

    While there was a requirement to develop full human potential, Hermes also looked out for thieves ( along with travelers, traders, athletes and musicians), and Dionysus looked out for wine and drinking as well as agriculture and the theatre .

    • Agree: Sick of Orcs, Haruto Rat
  28. Alfred says:
    @IvyMike

    Le Samouraï It has Alain Delon as the hitman.

    A long time ago, when I lived in Paris, I knew a Scottish choreographer who danced at The Crazy Horse (Paris) I would wait outside the club until the girls could leave. Alain Delon was sometimes also waiting. He had a Russian girlfriend who danced there. The Scottish girls would come out and we would go to a cheap disco near l’Etoile.

    FYI, these cabarets in Paris largely employ British girls as French girls don’t have the legs that are sought after. The girls had 2 shows most days but Saturday was 3 shows – and yet they wanted to go dancing. Fun times. 🙂

    Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris. Sometimes, without any obvious reason, they would have a huge fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower. I could watch from my terrace on a top floor across the river. I think they did it to impress Emirs coming to buy weaponry. Real style. Not like the current miserable lot. 🙁

  29. Why die for some nose-picking Emperor?

    Better to be the pilot who when informed he would be a kamikaze, replied, “You fluckin’ clazy?”

    • Replies: @anon
  30. Delphine says:

    Perfect timing, this article. I had downloaded a copy of Hagakure and planned on reading it this week.

    I read Mishima’s novels decades ago and found his own persona far more interesting than his fiction.

  31. @Delphine

    It is exactly the opposite.

    Mishima books are much more interesting than his persona, which, in the best case was a (re)nactment of his childish dreams about purifying force of violence (he was an avid Sade reader) from his novel “The Sailor who fell from the Grace with the Sea”.

    Well, apparantly Mishima fell from the Grace with Japanese people and with his Tenno too.
    He is not popular in Japan at all: I asked my Japanese friend, who advised me to read Shushaku Endo instead. His “Silence” is full of fidelity, whereas Mishima works are full of traitors, traitors for whom the salvation usually lies in (self) – destruction.

    One has to conclude that the culmination of sexuality, both in the European and the Japanese culture, is violence, which gives some credibility to Freud’s idea of two drives, eros and thanatos.

    Try Mishima’s “Acts of Worship” for something more sublime. Those stories are the essence of what is best in Mishima.

    • Replies: @Tusk
    , @Chrisnonymous
  32. “ Dignity is the outward manifestation of inviolable self-respect; it is what makes a man a man. It is the firm belief that one would rather die than be despised by others. ”

    Uh, I wouldn’t have lasted long beyond the age of thirteen then, lol! Many Unz readers, although the website touts no official ideology, are of the alt right or dissident right caste, and hence either rightly or wrongly despised by most of society, particularly the eschelons of status and power. Should we have long since seppukkued? The maverick and nonconformist in society plays a role in innovation and resurgence in civilization. If everyone loves you, you’re probably not aiming very high.

    Has the author read Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask? I would direct him to it, if not recommend it. The book details Mishima’s inner fantasy life of bizarre homosexual eroticism in which he slays and cannibalizes teenage boys. He claims to have mentally slain and cannibalized an infinite number! None of the Mishima fanboys have ever reviewed it at any of these sites. How can such an aberrant psychology serve as a spiritual guide for us, and if so, shouldn’t it warrant a caveat? Personally, I find Mishima’s manner of death absurd and pointless, indeed the product of a diseased mind.

  33. anon[837] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sick of Orcs

    Uh dude…..the Roosevelt embargo on the Japanese and attempting to economically strangulate their empire may have something to do with it?

  34. @Another Polish Perspective

    This is pretty suffocating, despite samurai Spartan allure.

    I agree. As a kid, the only non-European civilizations that held any fascination for me at all were Japan and China. I think my interest was sparked by films like the excellent Shogun (the full mini-series – years later I read the novel) and the 1984 Empress Wu tv series. While I admired the orderliness and discipline of their societies, my spirit rebelled against the idea that my life was not my own to do with as I wish.

    That’s not to deny there are negative consequences associated with this extreme dedication to individualism. Not all of us choose wisely, for one thing (I sure didn’t!). Cumulatively, this can lead society to some pretty hairy predicaments. At the same time, no attempt at reform can afford to ignore the importance of individuality to the west.

  35. Sorry, but he lost me at nihilism.

    …a samurai should be ready to die at any moment if this necessary to serve his lord and preserve his honor.

    To live only to serve another man is limited and ultimately a dead end. It is the type of philosophy that can be and has been subverted by the state/government as propaganda to serve their purpose like it was in WWII Japan and can be seen today in the far left with their twisted and perverted ideas of justice.

  36. @Twinkie

    It’s a trite and banal film that mangles history.

    • LOL: Twinkie
  37. @RealAmerican

    At the end of a hard day’s sword fight, the samurai sat down to a great dinner of rice and stewed pork while the self-beater Shia continued with flagellation…

  38. @Happy Tapir

    You can’t divorce Mishima the rather maudlin writer from Mishima the high-strung homosexual. He’s just another of these authors, like that other symbol of warrior fanboyism, Ernst Jünger, whom the aging white nationalist intelligentsia can’t get over and inflate well beyond their importance or even entertainment value. Disagreeing about their relevance naturally makes one a Last Man unwilling to die for memes and the Counter Currents writers.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  39. @silviosilver

    Yes, “Shogun”, both the movie and the book… excellent. The movie cast… perfect. Not even a single character was a failure.

    However, one thing I was wondering about is how the shogunate managed to have uprooted Christianity so successfully. This is a feat, after all, which the Roman Empire did not manage, despite deploying similar methods (cruel executions as a stick, as a carrot – the only demand was a formal, superficial renunciation: nothing personal really).
    One of the main political plots of “Shogun” is Toranaga trying to get Christian lords of Kyushu on his side; it is said that they essentially able to defend Kyushu for eternity.
    Well, they did not.

    Also, my impression was that “Shogun” was a bit misleading since it suggested that we were in the middle of a surge of Christianity, Jesuits scheming for the cathedral in Edo, the pilot immediately intercepted by Jesuits etc, whereas the meeting with the Spanish priest in the Osaka’s prison was the reference to the Nagasaki martyrs.

  40. @Twinkie

    Twilight Samurai is great and also good are it’s sequels Love and Honor and Hidden Blade. They are based upon the shorts stories in The Bamboo Sword and other stories by a Japanese writer. Also the Samurai Who Loved Me. All highly recommended. Shogun too of course!

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  41. What about, “Just kill the shit out of the subhuman peasants”?

    You forgot that one.

  42. JackOH says:
    @Marshall Lentini

    Marshall, I’m glad you mentioned Juenger. I admire him as a writer and a man. His heroism speaks for itself. Nonetheless, he was a man of Prussianized Germany, which failed to adequately understand the threat it posed to British industrial markets and aristocrats’ portfolios, and likewise failed to understand the resolve of the nationalities, goaded by the Russians, under the Dual Monarchy.

    I’ve tried to plow my way through the Wilson translation of Hagakure. Much to admire, I suppose, but I find no instruction on how to handle the challenges of 2019.

  43. Sol says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    The Japanese were systematic in stamping out of Christianity, the Romans not so much.

  44. Anatman says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Those lofty Scandinavians are headed for some stormclouds. China, on the other hand, will recoup and recover their birthrate after some rough weather. Same for SE Asia, which is projected to be the fastest growing geopolitical area in the next few decades. Singapore and Taiwan are at their peak at this time and have nowhere to go but down.

  45. Ghan-buri-Ghan: “How can you even say this stuff with a straight face? The West’s hyper-obsession with concepts like individualism and non-conformity have led directly to the hellscape we are living and breathing in right here and now. The only logical end for individualism on a society-wide scale is degeneracy, demoralization, and ultimately self-destruction.”

    This is something of a well-worn talking point on the right, so it’s worth addressing. Back in the 90s the late William Pierce was fond of repeating this lament. But it’s ironic that these same people who now want to blame individualism and non-conformity for the current situation also typically claim that the problem is that white people have all been “brainwashed”, or in other words are unthinking and are being “controlled” to have uniformly politically correct opinions. So which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Either people are conforming or not, and independent thinkers or not.

    The truth is that a pervasive conformity of thought has been fostered and enforced, and indeed, I would argue, is required by technological civilization. If the vast majority of white people now appear in favor of their own genocide, and vote, as they do, in support of policies that will obviously lead to that, then I maintain that the problem isn’t that they are non-conformists, all having arrived at this conclusion by means of independent thought, but precisely that there is not enough non-conformity and independent thinking among them. Whites need to be less worried about what other people think of them, not more; they need to think more deeply about their future as a race, rather than just accepting what the churches, government, mass media, and education system tell them to believe. It remains to be seen whether the technological civilization they’ve constructed for themselves can permit such rebellious non-conformism, but with each passing day it appears more and more unlikely.

    • Replies: @Adûnâi
  46. Alden says:
    @ia

    Warhol’s Mother was an artist too. She went to art school and did a lot of portraits murals etc. She saw her son’s talent and they sent Andy to Saturday children’s art classes at one of the Pittsburg museums at a very early age.

    She lived and worked with him in NYC. The parents gave him the down payment on the NYC house where he worked and lived.

  47. Alden says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    The Japanese crucified 10K Catholic Japanese in public sight and chained the corpses to the crosses then wired the bones together and kept them visible for decades. That drove Christianity deep deep underground.

    Many upper class Romans, especially women were early Christians. That helped greatly. The Romans were anti Christian but not as seriously as the Japanese. The Japanese did a through job. The Romans didn’t. Being an island helped.

  48. Alden says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Indigenous Scandinavians or black and brown immigrants on welfare who get more money for each kid?

  49. @Another Polish Perspective

    However, one thing I was wondering about is how the shogunate managed to have uprooted Christianity so successfully. This is a feat, after all, which the Roman Empire did not manage,

    The Roman Empire was “in the fullness of time” when Christ appeared. Several centuries of profound Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic philosophy had prepared the culture for the reception of the Gospel. God so destined His Son to be born at just such a time so that the fully matured political and liturgical forms of the imperium could become the inherited body of His nascent Church. Although individual Roman magistrates may have opposed themselves to the spread of Christianity, the times were really against them; for Christianity is not the antithesis but the fulfillment of pre-Christian paganism.

    The non-Western world has undergone no such preparatio evangelica and is consequently not yet “in the fulness of time.” That’s why efforts to spread the Gospel there have met with mostly failure (Japan, China, India) or illusory and adulterated success (Africa, South Korea). Amongst the former group a few individual converts are made at great sacrifice, but there is no reception by the culture as a whole; amongst the the latter group “Christianity” spreads far and wide, but what is understood and believed there under the name of Christ is not the Gospel. The Africans, for example, are incapable of perceiving Christ as anything but a powerful medicine man who completed the athletic tour de force of rising from the dead, and whose invocation provides them with magical powers and temporal goodies. Church leaders delude themselves that there is a great revival going on in Africa, but tales of such are useful for plucking Western pigeons.

    The bizarre and sordid history of the Jesuit Order could almost be teased out and reconstructed in its entirety simply by working through the ramifications of this one fact, viz. that they attempted to use native beliefs as preparation evangelica at times and in places where God had ordained no such thing. Thereby is explained that peculiar Jesuitical slyness, that ultra-learned casuistry which knows how to compromise everything while maintaining strained but slippery claims to orthodoxy, and which easily trails off into liberation theology and the progressive leftism of Jorge Bergoglio.

    I am of the opinion that evangelization efforts in non-Western countries ought to be placed on an indefiniate hiatus. We have our own house to put in order.

  50. Twinkie says:
    @Happy Tapir

    Not only is “Twilight Samurai” a great work of art unlike “The Last Samurai” (which, like any other recent Tom Cruise film, is about Tom Cruise masturbating to his own fantasy as a hero), it captures very well the era of Boshin War when the Satsuma rose in revolt in the name of the emperor against the Tokugawa Shogunate.

  51. Mr. Tom says:
    @ia

    RE: Warhol…was a devout Catholic…

    Footnote : Warhol’s religious background was Ruthenian “Eastern Rite” Catholicism, which except for its recognition of papal primacy in the 17th Century (breaking previous communion with neighboring “Carpatho-Russian” Orthodox believers) was in both form and noteworthy imagery identical to Eastern Orthodox Christian worship.

  52. @Another Polish Perspective

    despite all that supreme obedience-fidelity ideology, the feudal Japan was constantly being torn apart by rebellions of vassals against lords.

    Yes, and even in the case of Mishima, he committed suicide in rebellion against the political order that was established by the Emperor whom he claimed to follow. The reality is that Mishima’s loyalty was to his own artistic ideas–himself–and not to the Emperor as he claimed.

    This is why he loved Hagakure so much. Mishima was an aesthete and homosexual and Hagakure is also a work of aestheticism with homoerotic elements.

    Real samurai were concerned with loyalty but didn’t fetishize it. Loyalty was a feature of the Japanese social contract, and samurai fealty was about securing the place of one’s family economically and socially.

    The death-wish element of samurai life was also not a strong feature of the periods of classical samurai (~14th century) or of the warlord era (~16th century). Risuke Otake of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū school–about as close to an authentic samurai as there could be in modern times–has made the totally logical point that dead men can’t serve their lord, and, therefore, there is a logical conflict between fealty and death-wish. Just so. From a social perspective, a dead samurai can no longer secure his family’s place in society.

    Hagakure was written in peacetime, which allowed its writer to indulge himself. The real-world results of wide-spread death-wish fetishizing combined with actual war can be seen in WWII–lots of cruelty and pointless death combined with idealistic but irrational, and thus poor, strategic thinking.

    The real scandal of Mishima was not his fascism–Sun and Steel is a potentially life-affirming book–but his homoerotic masochism. See his short-film Patriotism, in which he directed himself committing sepukku.

    That said, I don’t agree that Japan needs more modernity. See historians who identify Edo-period Japan as the first “modern” society. Modernity with its elevation of centralizing is part of Japan’s problem.

  53. Tusk says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    I have not read Endo’s Silence but I did happen to watch Scorsese’s film adaption of the same name last night. It was a very wonderful film albeit a bit tedious with the run time but visually and themeatically stunning. I am going to pick up some of Endo’s works because if it is as least as good as the film it will be enjoyable.

  54. @Twinkie

    In love with his reflection = narcissist

  55. @Another Polish Perspective

    What’s popular with Japanese people is a very poor measure of quality, even in assessing Japanese culture. Japan maintains very high standards, so much good can be found there, but see for example modern flower arranging or popular western-derivative concept art, or anime/manga, or modern food culture (yakisoba, Pocky snacks, Saizeriya and Gusto, etc), or the architecture everywhere.

    “Silence” is not really about the priests. It’s an exploration of Japanese authoritarianism. Christian faith calls for martyrdom in those conditions. Denying faith is specifically and precisely the thing one is not to do, and so the priests really were broken. Any attempt to spin that is either (1) western leftist unitarianism or (2) an apology for Japanese dichotomy between private and public face.

  56. @Intelligent Dasein

    What about the reception of Catholicism in South America?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  57. Seraphim says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    It is heartening to hear from time to time an intelligent discussion.

    • Thanks: Intelligent Dasein
  58. Mario964 says:

    Bushido, Hagakure, honesty + loyalty + dignity, all nice words, but just look inside and you’ll find deeply psychotic horror.

    What about:
    Unit 731
    Nanking rape
    The most horrific tortures of defenseless prisoners
    Comfort women
    Deeply-rooted widespread pedophilia with pedophile mangas selling by the millions
    Groping girls on overcrowded public transport as a national sport
    Pregnant whales slaughtered by the hundreds
    Irremovable steady worshipping of the worst war genocidal criminals at Yasukuny shrine

    The typical psycho total lack of empathy for the sufferings inflicted on the most vulnerable beings, either humans or animals, all soaked in the most suffocating conformism.

    Japan’s ineradicable mental pedophilia provides the key to understand the center of gravity that holds all the above abominations together: sheer craving for unfettered power.
    At the top the Shogun embodies unfettered power that can claim at will the lives of anybody, included his samurai hitmen’s, just like the King of Dahomey whose subjects mantra was “My head belongs to the King.”

    The words “savages” “barbarians” “brutes” are inadequate, maybe “human monsters” or “criminal psychos” can do, however whenever I hear the words “Japan” or “Japanese” I feel very strongly to puke.

    • LOL: Tusk
    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
    , @Bliss
  59. Hodd says:

    In 1974 I read Zen and the Art of Archery. By then I had been practicing western archery for about 15 years. I thought it was a lovely well written book and was fascinated by some of its ideas. But to actually apply it to the western archery discipline I then knew was actually impossible.

    I suspect that in this writer’s case he may try to apply these ideas to his lifestyle. What one must realise is that we, and what we do, are of different cultures. That is what I learnt in 1974 and I suspect you may learn today, partially because the ‘west’ has a habit of twisting things.

    The best example of this is ‘Reiki’ which originally was developed as a way of life by a Samurai for the ordinary Japanese peasant post 1918. It was very successful in this matter. Unfortunately (in my opinion) Reiki developed in to a healing mechanism. Reiki healing was adopted by the west, and the origins and initial purpose has been forgotten by the west. Current practitioners do not live the Reiki lifestyle and only try to practice the healing. This is how the dysfunctional west operates.

    Japan in particular and the east in general does things differently from the west. There never was a Samurai period in the west. Not even the knights of the 12th or 13th centuries were comparable. That’s how it is, get over it.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  60. IvyMike says:

    I loved the great Japanese Samurai films when I was growing up in the 60’s. The Samurai are fabled to be the greatest warriors on earth, but they were no deadlier than any of the other armed knights who allowed Feudal Lords to dominate societies of unarmed peasants around the world. Then there is the fabled cruelty of the Japanese warrior culture that we always blame on the Samurai, but a culture that crippled women by binding their feet was always going to commit the Rape of Nanking and other colorful atrocities. Haha on Japan, in 1944 and 1945 we showed them what a true disregard for innocent civilians looks like.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  61. Johan says:

    ” I am no believer in what is commonly called art for art’s sake. If art is not constantly threatened, stimulated by things outside its domain, it exhausts itself.”

    This idea, which is sloganized — and everything which is sloganized and popularized becomes false (‘The crowd is untruth’ ~ Kierkegaard), hence what is common.. — had to do with saving art from petty moralists and popularizers, to save art from petty demands.

    Art threatens and stimulates things ‘outside of its domain’, what is outside of its domain is the ordinary and the vulgar. What is outside the domain of art can never stimulate art, and if it threatens art, it is to drag art down..

  62. Johan says:

    ” This is a somewhat rare book in the sense that you can only get it second hand (sometimes quite expensive) or download abominable electronic versions, Penguin and other publishers having mysteriously not republished the work in many years.”

    This is a good thing, if people at large get their hands on it, if, god forbid.., it will become popular, it will be made cheap. By all means, the marginalization protects it from entering into the realm of the commonplace, the stupid, the vulgar commercial classes, the hype and trend sphere.

  63. Seraphim says:
    @Hodd

    Wouldn’t be the ‘Book of Tea’ (茶の本, Cha no Hon) by Okakura Kakuzo a better introduction to Japanese culture? Or, Ikebana (生け花, 活け花, “arranging flowers” or “making flowers alive”) or Kadō (華道, “way of flowers”) so intimately related to the chadō (茶道), the ‘tea ceremony’ (of Chinese origin anyway)? Or Hanami (cherry blossom viewing)? All much older than Bushido. Christianity made it’s first inroads in Japan at a time when ‘chado’ and ‘ikebana’ were the dominant (and so much attaching) expressions of the ‘Japanese soul’. It was tea that conquered the world, not the samurais.

  64. @Mario964

    It’s true, I’m sure you’ve read of the horrible treatment of war prisoners. In occupied British colonies they would take a woman going into labor and bind her legs together so she would be unable to pass the baby and through her aside to die in agony while the family watched, unable to intervene. They would take an American captive, tie him to a tree and cut open his stomach so the soft bowel hung out and then release starving pigs, which are omnivorous to lap up the soft guts, while his comrades were forced to watch. The stories from American, British, and Dutch sources are so consistent that I suppose it must be true, unlike the western stories of human lamp shades and gas chambers.

    It seems high IQ groups are cruel to lower groups, which they tend to dehumanize. I guess we would be the same, if we were smart and they were dumb! There is much good in Japanese culture, so it’s a love/hate dichotomy in my mind. The movie Shogun touches on this too with Lord Yaboo, who delights to boil peasants and Europeans alive(fictional). The author James Clavell was in a Japanese pow camp, after all, so I surmise it’s highly pointed!

    • Replies: @Mario964
  65. Twinkie says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    adulterated success (Africa, South Korea)

    Christianity’s success in South Korea is not adulterated.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  66. Twinkie says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    “Silence” – the film version – is not an accurate portrayal of the novel.

    • Thanks: Chrisnonymous
  67. @Chrisnonymous

    The very early apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the great successes achieved under that sign testify to the fact that God had ordained the Americas for conversion. Indeed, from the Paraguay in the south to California in the north, the American Indians displayed a remarkable capacity for sincere and genuine conversion. The missions in the Americas worked whereas they largely didn’t elsewhere, not due to any difference in the means employeed but because the people there were ready for them. It would be interesting to develop this theme in more detail.

  68. @Twinkie

    Whatever. Keep ’em coming, Twink.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  69. @Chrisnonymous

    I have understood fidelity in ‘Silence’ as priest’s faithfulness to his flock, which may demand/accept formal apostasy, sometimes, especially in such an environment as Japan, where even apostasy may seem as absurd as the entire persecution. And that taking into account Jesuit acculturation theory, too.

    1 Corinthians: “You are the Church”. Or something like that.

    If I were a priest at that time and place, I would probably think like: Am I really denying Christ?
    What’s going here, after all? All that persecution conseqent and eleborate, but superficial and shallow, too, finally is just like an expression of some aesthethics.

    In a way, it is depiction of the final step in the confrontation between the West and Japan, the latter embodying the culture of face, the former, the spirit of introspection and faithfulness to oneself.

    It is like oranges and apples, to use this worn out analogy.

    The priest comes to Japan, being concerned about faithfulness of testimony/message/witness, essentially, about typically Western SCRIPTURAL ACCURACY, only to have realized that here all that DOESN’T COUNT at all. Maybe all that doesn’t even exist here.

    The “Silence” means that he doesn’t get a scriptural, verbal answer as he expects to.

    But as we know from Mishima’s “The Temple of Golden Pavillion”, silence is a part of music too, so here, in Japan, silence is THE answer.

  70. @Chrisnonymous

    How the culture of face looks in practice: Japan is the country with the lowest rates of acquittals in the world. Here the expression “guilty as charged” acquires a sinister meaning of “guilty when charged”.

    If you are accused, you are already guilty, nothwistanding court proceedings. Soul searching is foreign to Japan. Only face counts. Consciensce does not exist. Fair process does not exist.

  71. @Another Polish Perspective

    I have read that even China is better when you are accused.
    After all, China’s culture puts a stronger stress on ethical conduct than Japan.
    There are no massive, Chinese-style anticorruption campaigns in Japan.
    This obsession with cleanness reminds me about the saying: “If you notice cleanness, you don’t notice anytinge else anymore”.

  72. @Seraphim

    Hanami, Kado, Ikebana, Cha…. all those things have one in common: they are transient. Moments, essentially.

    In his “The Temple of the Golden Pavillion” Mishima ponders this transiency as the essence of art.

    Needless to say, transiency did not conquer the world. Not poetry of haiku but ledgers of double bookkeeping.

    Japanese Cha is very different from Western tea (or even Chinese one).

    • Troll: Hacienda
    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
  73. @Another Polish Perspective

    I have of course meant the Japanese obsession with cleanness (important theme in Clavell’s “Shogun” by the way). The Japanese sometimes call the Chinese “dirty”.

    It is interesting to notice that the West somehow took over this equalization of cleanness with civilization. I suspect Puritan morals behind this decision, too, since the truth that too much cleanness is as equally disastrous as the complete lack of hygiene, when compared to the “hygiene” propaganda has not been really widely disseminated in the West (less cleanness, fewer allergies: could be a good slogan).

  74. @Intelligent Dasein

    It would be interesting to develop this theme in more detail.

    Absolutely. More Catholic just-so stories, especially ones about Amerinds. What could be more interesting than that.

  75. @Intelligent Dasein

    The conversion area in Americas covers more or the less the area of the Spanish colonial empire (even California was Spanish). That was the only colonial empire that really seriously took the missionary effort. So maybe there is more than then readiness of Indios behind spreading Christianity there. And, maybe not so coincidentally, the Spanish empire was offering the largest participation (no clear-cut colour line) to the natives (that the word “mestizo” is Spanish one somehow testifies to that), and it banned its citizens from the slave trade too(which was mainly run by the Portuguese and the Dutch), thus enforcing some ethical-religious standards (equality) at least perfunctorily.

    North American Indians largely did not get evangelized because the English weren’t really interested in that, and the French rule was to short to ensure the continuity of the Catholic Church there.

    On the other hand, Japan was evangelized by the Portuguese Jesuits, who were interested not only in missions but in power and trade too. Moreover, the Jesuit strategy of evangelization “from up to down”, namely starting from elites, did not turn out particularly succesful neither in Japan nor in China despite temporary superficial successes. However, the French managed better in Indochina.

  76. Twinkie says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    That’s a an unintelligent and trite reply. The Unification Church cult has a tiny following in South Korea. The vast majority of South Korean Christians belong to “mainstream” denominations, with Presbyterianism and Catholicism being particularly prominent. Evangelical Protestant churches are quite active.

    Lumping Christianity in South Korea with Christ as “chief medicine man” in Africa idea betrays either an utter ignorance of the history and state of Christianity in the former or a desperate and faulty attempt to portray non-white Christians as being fundamentally different from white ones.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  77. Sparkon says:
    @IvyMike

    Then there is the fabled cruelty of the Japanese warrior culture that we always blame on the Samurai, but a culture that crippled women by binding their feet was always going to commit the Rape of Nanking and other colorful atrocities. Haha on Japan…

    You’ve got your Oriental foot fetishes mixed up.

    The Japanese borrowed much from the Chinese, but from early on, the Japanese had their own ideas about women, eroticism, and entertainment, which specifically included wild dancing girls, and so the Japanese never adopted the barbaric practice of female foot binding, which results in ugly, deformed, diseased feet for the unfortunate Chinese ladies subjected to this cruel torture, which was fashionable in China for a thousand years up through the beginning of the 20th century. As far as I know, the abominable practice of female foot binding never caught on in Japan, nor were Japanese women ever subjected to this disgusting and crippling torture.

    In the early stages of Japanese history, there were female entertainers: Saburuko (serving girls) were mostly wandering girls whose families were displaced from struggles in the late 600s. Some of these saburuko girls sold sexual services, while others with a better education made a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings. After the imperial court moved the capital to Heian-kyō (Kyoto) in 794 the conditions that would form geisha culture began to emerge, as it became the home of a beauty-obsessed elite. Skilled female performers, such as Shirabyōshi dancers, thrived.

    Traditional Japan embraced sexual delights and men were not constrained to be faithful to their wives. The ideal wife was a modest mother and manager of the home; by Confucian custom love had secondary importance. For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men did not go to their wives, but to courtesans. Walled-in pleasure quarters known as yūkaku (遊廓、遊郭) were built in the 16th century, and in 1617 the shogunate designated “pleasure quarters”, outside of which prostitution would be illegal, and within which yūjo (“play women”) would be classified and licensed. The highest yūjo class was the geisha’s predecessor, called tayuu, a combination of actress and prostitute, originally playing on stages set in the dry Kamo riverbed in Kyoto. They performed erotic dances and skits, and this new art was dubbed kabuku, meaning “to be wild and outrageous”. The dances were called “kabuki”, and this was the beginning of kabuki theater

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geisha


    [Japanese] Tayuu outside of their house
    Photo: Justine_Beanie at Flickr

    Whatever twisted ideas led to this hideous practice of female foot binding, they did not originate in Japan.

  78. @Twinkie

    It’s a trite and banal film that mangles history. Try “Twilight Samurai” instead:

    What did you think of “When the last sword is drawn”?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_the_Last_Sword_Is_Drawn

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  79. anat says:
    @Happy Tapir

    despised for the ones that count

  80. Che Guava says:
    @Twinkie

    You have everything wrong. The Boshin war had nothing to do with Satuma, it was in the centre of north-eastern Honshu.

    The separation is about ten years and a thousand or so kilometres.

    Please do not post crap if you have no idea what you are talking about!

    Re. the various anti-Christian posts, at the time of Hideyoshi’s (eventually failed) invasion of Korea, many of the Japanese lords were using the sign of the cross as part of their flags.

    At the batle of Sekigahara, many of the fiefs had the cross in their banners. They were predominately on the side opposing the Tokugawa-led victors, thus began the persecution.

    I would also reply on some points re. ‘Mishima’, but have a rotten cold or possibly mild influenza.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  81. anonymous[218] • Disclaimer says:
    @Another Polish Perspective

    After all, China’s culture puts a stronger stress on ethical conduct than Japan.

    China’s strong ethical culture:

  82. @Another Polish Perspective

    ‘Murka came and went.
    Diffused her dollars like tea,
    Till her mind was spent.

  83. It is imperative to understand the Hagakure (roughly “hidden files”) – like the equally hallowed “Germania” – is in essence a lamentation.
    The samurai ethos was forged and hardened in the Sengoku – 150 years of Interregnum-cum-Thirty Years´War that would have made Hobbes soil himself.
    Ieyasu reunified the Empire at Sekigahara 1600, and with a minor hiccup at Shimabara 1638 – when the Jesuits got regime-a-changey with the (Christian) Southern daimyo and the holdouts from the Toyotomi clan, whereupon the shogun kicked out all foreigners save the Dutch who were interested only in trade – the Tokugawa ruled Japan with an iron fist until a certain Cmdr. Perry rudely barged in on the bucolic scene (if there is one thing Americans can´t abide it is seeing someone who is better off without them 😛 ), or roughly 250 years.
    They outlawed not only the tidy little wars that were a mainstay of entertainment before the invention of schoolgirl hentai, but the carrying of weapons altogether.
    – Some grizzled samurai in the remote provinces, out of the reach of the Tokugawa secret police (the Iga-ryu ninja clan; let no one say they had no style 😀 ), found that state of affairs gaaaaay no end, and their collected ramblings comprise the book;
    … so maybe it should be taken with a grain of salt.
    – One unintended (and rather unique) consequence was the déclassés ronin found work as foremen, bodyguards and enforcers and became what is now the Yakuza, still the most socially conservative segment of Japanese society.

    The idea of serving (literally; “samurai”=”waiters”) as an end unto itself, of filling one´s place to the best of one´s ability, is alien to contemporary Western thought;
    but Sokrates and Diogenes would not have found the Hagakure´s “untouchable by the ten thousand things” too different from their “ataraxia” 😀

    – The Japanese model has long fascinated political theorists and evolutionary biologists.
    Alphons Solé (“Die Menschenherde”, 1926) argued that humans could never hope for a “state” as individuals were not born into position, and more than three quarters of the energy are wasted on attempts at becoming the alpha buck.
    The Japanese came closest to the “Third Step” (after life and metazoans), a true state of intelligent drones. The beauty is incidental – it is above all an adaptation to limited resources.
    The refinement – like the ritual – serves to curb intraspecific aggression.

    For all the rah-rah and posturing it is clear that absent anything to rape and loot the American Way will turn on itself; the Eastern iterations of civilization are better preadapted to the inevitable future.

  84. Mario964 says:
    @Happy Tapir

    It seems high IQ groups are cruel to lower groups, which they tend to dehumanize. I guess we would be the same, if we were smart and they were dumb!

    I disagree. It isn’t a matter of IQ. Christianity taught the human wild beasts that we must care for the other, treat the suffering ones with empathy and, above all, refrain from evil, while pagan Japan’s dystopian way of life is solely about the sheer thirst after unfettered power, where the very idea and perception of evil is missing.
    The same can be said about many other pagan societies, just think of bloodthirsty Aztecs, or the Dahomey kingdom where human sacrifices were the bedrock of normality, or the unspeakable atrocities under Shaka Zulu reign.
    Unspeakable atrocities have been committed by Christians too, just think of concentration camps for Serbian, Jew and Rom children set up by hypercatholic Croatians during World War 2, where children have been exterminated by the tens of thousand, often with the participation of Croatian Catholic priests.
    We might say that atrocity is atrocity is atrocity, it doesn’t matter whether it’s committed by a pagan or a Christian. But there is a difference. Atrocities by Christians are committed in spite of and against the basic rule at the foundations of Christian society, there is nothing “normal” in committing atrocities in a Christian society, while in pagan societies atrocities belong to the normality of everyday life, I mean men work, eat, sleep, make love, raise children and commit atrocities, no difference to be found.

  85. Seraphim says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    There was a discussion about that theme on this site a few years ago between yours truly and a Mexican. He conveyed the feelings of the Mexicans about the miracle and he was speaking from the bottom of his heart. It didn’t have much impact on other readers more preoccupied to talk about the low IQ and high criminality of the hordes of miscegenated cholos who invade the territory of the ‘white natives’.
    The Wikipedia article is nevertheless a good introduction and offers a decent bibliographic list.

  86. Mario964: “Atrocities by Christians are committed in spite of and against the basic rule at the foundations of Christian society, there is nothing “normal” in committing atrocities in a Christian society …”

    Kinder and gentler because of Christianity? That’s a laugh.

    https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-10-most-gruesome-torture-techniques-from-medieval-e-1626942115

    Or consider William Wallace’s fate at the hand of his good Christian king, per wiki:

    Following the trial, on 23 August 1305, Wallace was taken from the hall to the Tower of London, then stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse to the Elms at Smithfield. He was hanged, drawn and quartered—strangled by hanging, but released while he was still alive, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burned before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts. His preserved head (dipped in tar) was placed on a pike atop London Bridge. It was later joined by the heads of the brothers, John and Simon Fraser. His limbs were displayed, separately, in Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling, and Perth.

    Or the entertainment of witch burning:

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2016/09/burning-witches-in-medieval-europe/

    Or consider how refined Christians have been in modern times. Someone above already mentioned Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but there was also Dresden.

    https://chechar.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/summer-1945-%e2%80%a2-10/

    Man has everywhere and at all times been a wolf to man. The big difference between Christians and others is that they lie about it, just as they lie about everything else. As hypocrites, Christians have no peers.

    • Agree: Adûnâi
    • Troll: Seraphim
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    , @Mario964
  87. Twinkie says:
    @Che Guava

    You have everything wrong. The Boshin war had nothing to do with Satuma, it was in the centre of north-eastern Honshu.

    The separation is about ten years and a thousand or so kilometres.

    Please do not post crap if you have no idea what you are talking about!

    “Satuma”? The domain was called Satsuma. You should heed your own.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boshin_War

    An alliance of western samurai, particularly the domains of Chōshū, Satsuma and Tosa, and court officials secured control of the Imperial Court and influenced the young Emperor Meiji. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the sitting shōgun, realizing the futility of his situation, abdicated political power to the emperor. Yoshinobu had hoped that by doing this, the Tokugawa house could be preserved and participate in the future government.

    However, military movements by imperial forces, partisan violence in Edo, and an imperial decree promoted by Satsuma and Chōshū abolishing the house of Tokugawa led Yoshinobu to launch a military campaign to seize the emperor’s court in Kyoto. The military tide rapidly turned in favor of the smaller but relatively modernized imperial faction, and after a series of battles culminating in the surrender of Edo, Yoshinobu personally surrendered. Those loyal to the Tokugawa retreated to northern Honshū and later to Hokkaidō, where they founded the Ezo republic. Defeat at the Battle of Hakodate broke this last holdout and left the imperial rule supreme throughout the whole of Japan, completing the military phase of the Meiji Restoration.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  88. denk says:

    Color, religion, IQ, ???
    Its all about predatory culture .

    A leopard never changes its spots.

    Currently the fukus led eight nations alliance
    [with JP but sans Russia, ] are presiding over one of the biggest farce of the century in the UN podium.

    These certified mass murderers of Muslims wanna punish China for its de-radicalisation program in Xinjiang, based on zero evidence as usual.

    The hypocrisy makes me puke.

    • Agree: nokangaroos
  89. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    It´s the Puritan-Manichean knee-jerk reflex to dehumanize the opposition, and it doesn´t get any better with age.
    Even the Bolshevik “necessary” atrocities are preferrable to the American “righteous” ones …

    • Replies: @Ace
  90. Che Guava says:
    @Twinkie

    I rely on my own reading (largely in Japanese and at the actual sites).

    Satuma is perfectly valid, it is in the older system of romanisation (Hepburn), and the main basis of the one we use for text entry on keyboards or phones, unless using the less convenient kana (OK on phones, no gnod on a keyboard or electronic dicttionary).

    How one spells it in the modified Roman alphabet is irrelevant.

    Your citing English-language Wiki is a bore.

    You remain in grievous error re. the Bosin war (again using the form of romanisation that you dislike).

    It had no connection with the actions of Satuma, Choshu, and Tosa clans, excepting that it was a reaction against the results of their actions, which were nowhere nearby.

    You really should not try to admonish your superiors in learning.

    • Troll: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  91. Mario964 says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    It looks like it is too difficult for you to grasp the difference between a society where atrocities are strictly forbidden by the basic rule and a society where atrocities are considered normal and praiseworthy.
    Never heard about the difference between lawful and unlawful, moral and amoral, ethical and unethical?
    Moreover “kindler and gentler” are a fabrication of yours. It requires a lot of mental gimmickry to pretend that such meanings are anywhere to be found in what I said.

  92. fnn says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Israel has the highest TFR in the developed world. And Jews have a higher TFR than the Arabs.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/216254

    Secular Jews, presently the largest group in Israel, have maintained a stable total fertility rate (TFR) – the number of children born per woman on average – just at the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman, a figure that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

    The birthrate among traditional Jews has increased marginally over the past decade, rising from 2.2 in 2005 to 2.6 in 2014. Among traditional-religious Jews the rate is slightly higher, rising from 2.6 in 2005 to 3.0 in 2014.

    For non-haredi religious Jews, the TFR has remained stable at 4.2.

    But with a TFR of 6.9, the haredi population’s growth rate is more than double the total Jewish TFR of 3.1 and even the Arab TFR of 3.3.

    Given the significantly larger haredi TFR, the study projects the haredi population will surpass Israel’s Arab population (including eastern Jerusalem, but not Judea, Samaria, or Gaza) around 2050.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  93. Pancho says:

    Yukio Mishima was not just a fascist. He was a gay fascist.

    • Agree: Che Guava
  94. Che Guava says:

    I see that I am not using Hepburn, so thank you for causing me to check that. It is one of those things one doesn’t notice, that the input method is different from the signage method.

    Seriously, you have a disordered idea of the Bakamatu.

    The Boshin war was a joke, and it was long (but not too long) after the Shogunate had been overthrown. Even by then, they had no hope. Even if they had succeeded, the new Shogun would have to be from another family to Tokugawa, possibly Maeda. Maeda had already married Tokugawa.

    The central point and tourist point of the Boshin war is Wakamatu in Fukusima (I will stay with my Japanese style of romanisation, just to make the point). The central myths of it are rubbish. The samurai and trainees (almost all in training) were drawn into three or four groups. All tigers. Fourteen of the White Tiger Army became isolated at night, on the hill (more accurately mountain) above the town.

    After waiting a while, they saw flames rising from the castle of their lord, so they decided to commit ritual suicide together.

    The flames were not from the castle, but behind it.

    So the whole is very darkly comical.

    The one of the fourteen who survived (one would suspect by running away, although one must not say that) ended up a major figure in Meiji governance.

    The castle was destroyed, but much latetr. More recenwly rebuihlt as a fero-concrete fantasy,

    Where you confuse things is conflating this with Takamori’s later (Satuma) rebellion in much the same cause, and with the earlier than either,

    Yo must at least read muci more.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  95. Adûnâi says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    But it’s ironic that these same people who now want to blame individualism and non-conformity for the current situation also typically claim that the problem is that white people have all been “brainwashed”, or in other words are unthinking and are being “controlled” to have uniformly politically correct opinions. So which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Either people are conforming or not, and independent thinkers or not.

    My personal view on the subject is that a conformist in the 1940’s Germany worked for the Aryan cause, but now that task has fallen to those who would have been considered deviants and rebels in the past centuries.

    When you see a modern girl praying, you might think she’s less of a slut – although ultimately, the God of the Jews is what has led us to Sodom.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding the conversation. If it is about whether Europeans are uniquely non-conformist in comparison to the Mongoloids… Well, Americans are no Europeans. Time and time again, folks have observed it over the past two centuries.

    And about Greece – the Hellas of Socrates had been dead by the time of the Augusti. Are you not generalizing too much? Rome was as conformist as it was going to get. It fell – after half a millennium. The Christian Europe tried again, and it failed. The 14-18th ct. were the time of constant warfare and struggle between the sister nations of the Continent – Spain, Italy, France… All to coalesce into the modern American-led conformism.

    Maybe what you are missing is that easy forgettable part of our history – the Fight between the Aryan and the Jew? There never was some model European society which you can critique. Pre-Socratic Greece, Classical Greece, the Ptolemaioi, the Empire, Christendom, Nationalism, Democracy… How can you call any of that uniform? Add to that the degeneration of the Aryan stock in the South of Europe, the fall of Poland in 1648, and the selling of England to the Jew by Cromwell in 1657!

    Conformism and non-conformism are empty words when the soul of your race is being torn apart.

    • Thanks: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @Marshall Lentini
  96. Bliss says:
    @Mario964

    What about:
    Unit 731
    Nanking rape
    The most horrific tortures of defenseless prisoners
    Comfort women
    Deeply-rooted widespread pedophilia with pedophile mangas selling by the millions
    Groping girls on overcrowded public transport as a national sport
    Pregnant whales slaughtered by the hundreds
    Irremovable steady worshipping of the worst war genocidal criminals at Yasukuny shrine………
    …….The words “savages” “barbarians” “brutes” are inadequate, maybe “human monsters” or “criminal psychos” can do, however whenever I hear the words “Japan” or “Japanese” I feel very strongly to puke.

    Let me guess: you are either Chinese or Korean. Am I right?

    For no one hates the Japanese more than mainland East Asians.

    And no one loves them more than the badwhites: the neo-nazis, the neo-KKK, the Alt-Right, the members of organized crime syndicates.

    That should tell us something…..

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  97. Mario964: “It looks like it is too difficult for you to grasp the difference between a society where atrocities are strictly forbidden by the basic rule and a society where atrocities are considered normal and praiseworthy.”

    On the contrary, I think I read you perfectly. You just want some special dispensation for Christian atrocities. I assure you though, when witches were being burned, and heretics and rebels executed by the most gruesome means imaginable, it was all perfectly legal, normal and considered praiseworthy at the time. Your “strictly forbidden” amounts to nothing then. Both the savage and the Christian love torture and bloodshed, but the difference is that the savage is honest in his enjoyment, while the Christian lies about it, especially to himself, as you are doing.

    Indeed, the Bible tells us that even the Prince of Peace enjoys watching people die.

    He replied, ‘I tell you that everyone who has will be given more; but the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27And these enemies of mine who were unwilling for me to rule over them, bring them here and slay them in front of me.’” 28After Jesus had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
    – Luke 19:26-28

    Christians are nothing if not inconsistent, lying, and hypocritical. Rabbi Jesus himself demands (yes, demands, it’s not a suggestion) you worship him as if he were a first century tyrant, and if you don’t, it’s death and eternal torture for you! But first, he wants to enjoy watching you die.

    For the Christian God is love, you see … selfless LOVE. Ain’t it grand?

    Even God’s “selfless” love turns out to be transactional; available only at a price.

    • Replies: @Mario964
    , @Christcuck
  98. @Bliss

    Nice try, Itzig.

    Japanese, Koreans and Chinese are natural allies, like Germans, Russians and Brits.
    The only ones who profit from fertilizing certain little idiosyncrasies are the YKW.
    So far you have proven disturbingly effective … but nothing lasts forever.

    • Replies: @denk
  99. Adûnâi: “My personal view on the subject is that a conformist in the 1940’s Germany worked for the Aryan cause, but now that task has fallen to those who would have been considered deviants and rebels in the past centuries.”

    In the big picture, Hitler’s Germany was non-conformist. Germany in the 1940s was bucking the overall trend in Western civilization which, driven by the twin engines of Christian universalism and technological efficiency, had turned decidedly anti-racist. This was shown most prominently in America’s Civil War and its aftermath, when negroes were given citizenship and the vote. In denying Christian anti-racism, Nazi Germany opposed the trend and so suffered the same fate as the American South. Bolshevism has been described as a Christian heresy, but in asserting the primacy of race, Nazism too became a kind of Christian heresy. Even worse, its racism proved to be technologically inefficient. The rebellion was put down, the Germans lost the war, and the West now continues on in the same direction, only with renewed fanaticism.

    Adûnâi: “Rome was as conformist as it was going to get. ”

    I disagree. There was much more personal freedom in ancient Rome, particularly before Christianity. Caesar’s power was absolute, but his reach was very limited. The Christian innovation was to introduce totalitarianism to the mind. For a Christian, thinking bad thoughts is the same as committing the crime itself. Thus with Christianity was born the idea of committing thoughtcrime, which lies at the heart of modern political correctness. One could escape from Caesar’s watch with relative ease, but how can a man escape from himself? In addition to surveilling each other, in our modern, open-air prison, the prisoners all are forced to police their own minds, too.

    Further, conformity is demanded not only by Christian ideology, but by technological civilization itself, since under conditions of chaos, technology ceases to function. Consequently, the more advanced the technology becomes, the greater is the need for conformity in the human element. As this trend continues, we can expect things will get much worse. Just imagine, in a few years it may be possible to hook everyone up to the internet by means of implantable chips, creating a kind of collective mind in which there are no secrets. Once that point is reached, human freedom will exist only as a conceptual relic in history books.

  100. @Adûnâi

    When you see a modern girl praying, you might think she’s less of a slut – although ultimately, the God of the Jews is what has led us to Sodom.

    This is like one of those out of context Islamic television memes. Totally surreal!

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Adûnâi
  101. denk says:
    @nokangaroos

    So far you have proven disturbingly effective

    When a China/Korea/Jp FTA was imminent in 2012, the Jp finance minister was suddenly ‘suicided’ at home and coincidentally, the right wing rekindled the dormant Diaoyu issue.
    Sino/Jp relation spiraled downwards from then on.

    Just a few days back , NO sooner had Xi./Wen/Abe signaled the revival of CKJ FTA, than a high official in Tokyo was arrested …..for taking bribes from Chinese company, the current mood seem hostile to Chinese investments !

    Hmm,….
    Ian Fleming’s law of probability says,……..

  102. Mario964 says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    In order to be helpful I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.
    Atrocities have been committed by Christians that strayed from their basic rule “First do not harm”, while atrocities committed by pagans, as Aztecs, Dahomeyans, Japanese, Zulus and Ndwendes were the implementation of their basic rule: “Do as much harm as you can”.
    If you still can’t see the difference please have a look at Hegel’s night where all cows are black. Thanks.

  103. @fnn

    Given the significantly larger haredi TFR, the study projects the haredi population will surpass Israel’s Arab population (including eastern Jerusalem, but not Judea, Samaria, or Gaza) around 2050.

    Give women’s rights to the Arabs. That will kill their fertility, as it has everywhere else!

  104. @Twinkie

    any other recent Tom Cruise film, is about Tom Cruise masturbating to his own fantasy as a hero

    “Recent”? I wish he hadn’t done it with Lea Thompson– 37 years ago. Only Rob Lowe violating Mare Winningham was worse for that decade.

  105. Twinkie says:
    @Che Guava

    Where you confuse things is conflating this with Takamori’s later (Satuma) rebellion in much the same cause, and with the earlier than either,

    I did no such thing. I referred to the Boshin War for a specific reason (i.e. an alliance of Western domains taking up the imperial cause to dissolve the Tokugawa).

    You are the one who is confused. You read “Satsuma” and apparently thought I was referring to the Seinan War, which was a rebellion that took place AFTER the Meiji Restoration.

    Yo must at least read muci more.

    You are still a troll.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  106. Seraphim says:
    @Marshall Lentini

    That’s new. We knew that the God of Abraham destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

  107. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Agree, but still, christian theology is very efficient in providing people with solace when in trouble.

    What do atheism or other religions have to offer in this regard?

  108. Che Guava says:
    @Che Guava

    I am not a troll, or at worst, a very mild troll, and only to one deserving it.

    If I were to allow the troll in me half-rein, I would have addressed you without the ‘ie’ at the end of your uname.

    Thank you, since reading your quote from English wikipaedia, I have been researching it in Japanese sourcec s.

    Please, bear with my verbose explanation.

    One thing where I am correct is that the Bosin war ended with the exile of the nobility and loyal samurai to the north. That is the ending of the standard tale, and what we may be taught of the history.

    Still, it is by definition, the end of the Bosin war.

    That is true, and I wondered when in Aomori, why one sees no memory of the exiles, why?

    I still believe that you were confllating various times in our earlier correspondence, but thank you very much for the push, although

  109. denk says:

    In case you havent noticed….

    The chicoms are getting SO audacious these days,
    apparently Chinese spooks in Oz brazenly parked fake Chinese police cars in front of UIghurs immigrants homes to intimidate them.

    At least, thats the official story in Oz.

    Hmmm…those Aussie.

    hehheheheh

    • Replies: @denk
  110. Che Guava says:
    @Twinkie

    I am not a troll, or at worst, a very mild troll, and only to one deserving it.

    If I were to allow the troll in me half-rein, I would have addressed you without the ‘ie’ at the end of your uname.

    Thank you, since reading your quote from English wikipaedia, I have been researching it in Japanese sourcec s.

    Please, bear with my verbose explanation.

    One thing where I am correct is that the Bosin war ended with the exile of the nobility and loyal samurai to the north. That is the ending of the standard tale, and what we may be taught of the history.

    Still, it is by definition, the end of the Bosin war.

    That is true, and I wondered when in Aomori, why one sees no memory of the exiles, why?

    I still believe that you were confllating various times in our earlier correspondence, but thank you very much for the push, although

  111. Twinkie says:
    @Johann Ricke

    I don’t think I saw that.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  112. Christcuck: “Agree, but still, christian theology is very efficient in providing people with solace when in trouble.

    What do atheism or other religions have to offer in this regard?”

    Most of the world isn’t Christian, and white people existed very well on their own for millennia before Christianity arose, so that proves it isn’t necessary. Personally, I think everyone is better off without false beliefs, but there are those who think that most people can’t live without God, just as most can’t deadlift or bench press a barbell weighing 400 lbs. No matter what happens, people who insist on obtaining “solace” from religion during adversity will always find plenty of mountebanks and frauds to peddle them religious mumbo-jumbo. As far as I know, there’s never been any shortage of either one.

    • Replies: @Christcuck
  113. Like a lot of this author’s essays, there are many well-meaning ideas drowning in general misunderstanding, tendentious simplifications, and outright ignorance of their larger contexts. Not just about how the Empire of Japan functioned, but also about Mishima himself. Can’t say that I’m surprised when he confesses at the start:

    I tried reading some of Mishima’s novels in French translation. I can’t say I much enjoyed, though I deeply wanted to. Then again, I’m not really one for novels.

    (Incidentally, it would appear that the French have quite a fondness for Mishima. Much more of his work is available in that language—and in Spanish—then it is in English. It seems that Mishima’s star has faded a tad in the Anglo-American countries, where his “fascism” has long made him suspect. Presumably, it’s his anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism—he was, however, no socialist, much less a communist—that endear him to Francophone and Hispanophone readers.)

    Given all this, why would Mr. Durocher even bother to talk about a subject that by his own admission he has, at best, only a weak grasp of? Does he like Mishima only because of his pretty uniform and views that seemingly flatter the right-wing?

    The lay reader would be better off reading Mishima’s Sun and Steel. It is written somewhat in the vein of this work, but is better fleshed out. And one cannot ignore The Sea of Fertilityy tetralogy, especially the closing pages of The Decay of the Angel, surely some of the most haunting and chilling things ever committed to paper; a brilliant summation of not only his own outlook, but also of the history of Japan’s rise and decay. The curious reader looking to learn more should also turn to his short story (and film) Patriotism; as well as his novels Confessions of a Mask, Star, and Forbidden Colors. Also worthy is the biography by Inose Naoki, brilliantly translated and augmented by Satō Hiroaki and still available in English.

    For readers who can handle Japanese, his Voices of the Souls of the Heroic War Dead (Eirei no koe 英霊の聲) and essay The 2/26 Incident and I (Ni-ni-roku jiken to watashi 二・二六事件と私 ) are essential reading.

  114. @Pancho

    He wasn’t fascist or right-wing, at least in any way that could easily fit his ideas. Among the things he advocated for was the abdication of the Shōwa Emperor and a formal apology to those that died in his name. Not exactly an uyoku dantai demand! His friend, the highly respected composer Mayuzumi Toshirō, most certainly was. Mishima admonished him severely for becoming a talking head on behalf of the right.

    What Mishima believed in and wanted was akin to what Nishida Kitarō, Tanabe Hajime, Nishitani Keiji, Tomonaga Sanjūrō and other intellectuals of the early Shōwa era were aspiring for and had hoped that the Pacific War could finally realize: Break the Anglo-American grip that single-handedly was defining modernity. At the very least, they were hoping that Japanese society would propose a viable alternative to globalist Marxism and Anglo-American individualism and capitalism. Japan failed, of course; Mishima would document his country being destroyed by both ideologies.

    And, yeah, he was gay. But so what? Who he chose to boink doesn’t disqualify his ideas. At any rate, he was also happily married, had two kids, and carried on numerous flings with women, including briefly with Edna O’Brien of all people. How many of today’s heroic NEETs could even hope of matching him in that regard?

    • Agree: Adûnâi
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  115. @Twinkie

    So you are saying Christianity is more successful in South Korea than in Africa.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Korea#Cultural_significance

  116. Adûnâi says:
    @Marshall Lentini

    This is like one of those out of context Islamic television memes. Totally surreal!

    Oh no, are you a Christian? Or am I missing your point? Because the fact that the more a girl prays to a crucified Judean, the less of a slut she is, is so insane, yet so clear.

    Of course, that girl will still be a bigger slut than if she prayed to Wotan, Perun or Hitler. But it is only because traditional Christianity is an older poison.

    The same way as the USSR penalized homosexuality and fostered limited family values. Yes, Christianity/Marxism > liberalism. But Hitlerian atheism > Christianity.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
  117. Adûnâi: “Hitlerian atheism …”

    What’s that? Hitler speaks out against atheism both in the Table Talks and Mein Kampf, associating it with Jews and Marxism. He says he doesn’t want to educate anyone to be an atheist, and describes it as a “return to the condition of the animal”. He also expresses the belief that Christ was an Aryan, which may place him in the British Israelism/CI tradition. The numerous references to “Providence” he makes indicate his belief in something supernatural, although it must always remain unknown exactly what he thought about this topic, since he never addressed it directly. In my opinion, this belief in “Providence” was closely associated with his conviction, born on that night on the hilltop with Kubizek, that it was his historical destiny to lead the German people to a renaissance and victory.

    • Replies: @Adûnâi
  118. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Most of the world isn’t Christian, and white people existed very well on their own for millennia before Christianity arose, so that proves it isn’t necessary.

    That is exactly the answer I also came up with myself.

    But as a former Christian, I find struggling myself with despair in times of personal troubles or even when thinking about the current societal and political conditions.

    In these situations I miss the old Christian solace-technology of “trusting in God” and similar techniques that they provide. I still did not find adequate replacement for this.

    What did the people in non-Christians times use to withstand adversity and their own failures? What do you use?

  119. @Twinkie

    I don’t think I saw that.

    I can’t speak to the artistic merits of “When the last sword is drawn”, but I found it entertaining, much as I enjoyed Twilight Samurai at the time.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  120. Adûnâi says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Hitler speaks out against atheism both in the Table Talks and Mein Kampf, associating it with Jews and Marxism.

    It is safe to say that in modern view, atheism is the rejection of Yahweh. Hitler was no worshipper of Yahweh.

    and describes it as a “return to the condition of the animal”

    But Uncle Adolf loved animals! Alright, I’ll give you that, I’m quite weak with the source material.

    The numerous references to “Providence” he makes indicate his belief in something supernatural

    And Savitri Devi was sure Hitler’s destiny was to be a loser (aka “Man against Time”). But she didn’t mean it in a disparaging way. Positive fatalism?

    Either way, they’re not wrong. The unbreakable laws of Nature have already punished the USSR for their democratic debauchery and loss of order and respect. The USA and Western Europe are next on the conveyor belt. Visible with a naked eye. All sodomites now. Prepared to burn.

    Do you think Hitler was too dumb for this? Because the only thing he had to do was to wait a century until the Christians degenerate into sodomite liberals. See the DPRK that will easily overtake the Seoul regime in the 2030s.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  121. Twinkie says:
    @Johann Ricke

    I’ll put it on my list of films to see. Thank you for the recommendation.

  122. Twinkie says:
    @Adûnâi

    See the DPRK that will easily overtake the Seoul regime in the 2030s.

    Why not in 2020?

  123. Christcuck: “But as a former Christian, I find struggling myself with despair in times of personal troubles or even when thinking about the current societal and political conditions.

    In these situations I miss the old Christian solace-technology of “trusting in God” and similar techniques that they provide. I still did not find adequate replacement for this.”

    I believe this is just a matter of habit, inculcated in you by your parents and/or society at large. But think of all the bad things that have come and still come from those sources! For example, many people start smoking or drinking just because their parents did, or their friends do. Very bad for you! Pulling away from the matrix, you’ll see that the false beliefs of religion are the same way, really no different than the long list of false beliefs society encourages in its young people, such as belief in racial and sexual equality. All lies!

    Christcuck: “What did the people in non-Christians times use to withstand adversity and their own failures?”

    If you want to get a feel for that, you will need to read the sources directly, rather than just me telling you. Read about Democritus, the laughing philosopher. Study the life of Socrates, and Diogenes; they way they lived and died. Also, Epicurus, and Cleanthes. Unfortunately, Christians burned virtually everything that most of these philosophers had written, but with diligent study you can still get an idea of what they believed and how they coped with life’s vicissitudes.

    Also, for a literary approach instead of a theoretical one, you can read Jack London’s story “Star Rover”. The main character is a man who understands the ancient wisdom that adversity is entirely what you make of it. It can be turned to advantage.

    Christcuck: “What do you use?”

    All of the above.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Seraphim
  124. Anon[930] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    If you don’t link your reply, and especially in your case as you use random derogatory pseudonyms for your interlocutors, if they in fact exist, it sounds like you are talking to yourself.

  125. Seraphim says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Those arsonist Christians did not do a thorough job. They missed, for example the writings of Plato, Aristotle, of the rabidly anti-Christian Porphyry, Plotinus, Proclus, and especially Diogenes Laertius who preserved almost all we know about the Greek philosophers and their doctrines in his ‘Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers’ (the most we know about Epicurus and his doctrines is from Diogenes Laertius).
    But we know that Christians burned the Library of Alexandria, don’t we? See the film ‘Agora’ (with Rachel Weisz).

    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
  126. Seraphim: “Those arsonist Christians did not do a thorough job. They missed, for example the writings of Plato, Aristotle, of the rabidly anti-Christian Porphyry, Plotinus, Proclus, and especially Diogenes Laertius …”

    Per wiki:

    During his retirement in Sicily, Porphyry wrote Against the Christians (Κατὰ Χριστιανῶν; Adversus Christianos) which consisted of fifteen books. Some thirty Christian apologists, such as Methodius, Eusebius, Apollinaris, Augustine, Jerome, etc., responded to his challenge. In fact, everything known about Porphyry’s arguments is found in these refutations, largely because Theodosius II ordered every copy burned in A.D. 435 and again in 448.[10][11][12][13]

    Christians didn’t confine their destruction to the library at Alexandria. There were numerous imperial edicts from Christian emperors ordering book-burnings which made even the possession of banned pagan literature a capital offense. As for philosophers other than the ones I mentioned, some were spared because Christianity was stealing ideas from them, e.g., the Platonism and Neo-Platonism found in the NT. Christianity caused the collapse of the ancient world, and during the collapse, the Christians stole what they didn’t destroy; e.g. they co-opted ancient pagan festivals such as Saturnalia (re-named to Christmas) and demolished pagan temples and confiscated their treasures, erecting churches in their place. But the Christians had special hatred for the works of philosophers who were opposed to their lunatic doctrines. None of Epicurus’ works survived their orgy of destruction, for example. Nor of Celsus, nor Cleanthes. This isn’t a coincidence.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  127. @Another Polish Perspective

    I don’t entirely disagree with you, but the issue of acquittals is complicated by the fact that Japanese prosecutors usually don’t bring cases to court unless they are sure of winning. I don’t think the acquittal rate is a good indicator of the phenomenon of presumption of guilt, although I agree that exists. I’ve discussed this with a Japanese lawyer before, and the gap between us in basic assumptions about fairness, justice, and the purpose of government was quite disturbing. I understand entirely why Carlos Ghosn fled. I hope he is not extradited, although I suspect he was actually guilty.

  128. Seraphim says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Theodosius II only confirmed the decree of Constantin of 324, of the Council of Ephesus of 431, to burn the copies of ‘Against Christians’ (associated with the Arian heresy), which shows again that Constantin did a sloppy job, if after hundred plus years Porphyry’s book was still in circulation. Burning ‘impious’ books was nothing new. Just few years before the decree of Constantin Diocletian ordered the burning of all Christian books, liturgical texts and images and razing of churches (and burning alive of those who refused to comply). Going back to the philosophical Antiquity the books of Protagoras (‘On the Gods’) and Anaxagoras have been burned ‘for blasphemy’ and ‘impiety’ by the Athenians in the 5th century BC. when they killed Socrates for the same reasons. In 213 BC, the Roman magistrates ordered the burning of all religious books of ‘foreign superstitions’. Augustus burned all books of ‘prophecies and destinies’. Roman history is full of books burnings ordered by Emperors for the flimsiest reasons.
    In the dark Middle Ages Jews were so vexed by the books of Maimonides that they asked… the Church to burn them!
    And of course the burning of the Library of Alexandria by the invading Muslims!

  129. @Another Polish Perspective

    I think you’ve got this backwards. Anti-corruption campaigns are a sign of widespread corruption. Compare exam cheating–often accepted in China but almost unheard of in Japan. Likewise, cheating in business–actually or almost ripped off (e.g., incorrect change given) by Chinese merchants several times, but never, never in Japan. I’m not sure Japanese people are highly ethical–many of the people I’ve talked to have very shallow thinking about ethics–but they do internalize rules.

  130. Ace says:
    @Hacienda

    ** Warriors can be whatever they want to be **

    Samurai were bound by the code of bushido whose obligations were not to be taken lightly. I recall a story of a samurai in the emperor’s or shogun’s palace who made the mistake of placing his hand ont he hilt of his sword and withdrawing the sword an inch or two from its scabbard. As such conduct so close to the ruler was considered dangerous to tolerate, he was obliged to kill himself.

    Too, the maxim that an armed society is a polite society has some relevance here. It’s never good to be too much of a joker and a free spirit when your acquaintances or casual contacts are armed men you DON’T want to offend.

  131. Ace says:
    @Ghan-buri-Ghan

    Well said. Confucian ethics made for a seeming conformity that some here find stifling and not likely to lead to a dyamic and innovative nation. However, paying attention to one’s social duties upstream, downstream, and sideways guarantees a natural orderliness and an easy guide to right behavior and right relationships. A video of some black American simian cavorting on a Japanese train told me all I need to know about which approach makes for a safe and orderly society or for one just steps away from from the jungle.

  132. Ace says:
    @Twinkie

    Cruise did a great job as Reacher in his two Jack Reacher movies. I thought the choice of an actor without the size of a Robert Mitchum or John Wayne was an odd one but I was pleasantly surprised that he carried it off. YMMV.

  133. Seraphim: “… Constantin did a sloppy job, if after hundred plus years Porphyry’s book was still in circulation.”

    Censorship was much more difficult back in technologically primitive times. In these days of mass conformity, everything put online, and electronic dictatorship, words, books, and whole points of view can vanish in an instant. But ultimately, Christian persistence paid off, as Porphyry’s anti-Christian writings were disappeared, tossed down the memory hole to join all the voluminous works of Epicurus and Democritus, among many others.

    Seraphim: “Going back to the philosophical Antiquity the books of Protagoras (‘On the Gods’) and Anaxagoras have been burned ‘for blasphemy’ and ‘impiety’ by the Athenians in the 5th century BC. when they killed Socrates for the same reasons.”

    Maybe they burned them, maybe not. Wiki again:

    Protagoras also was a proponent of agnosticism. Reportedly, in his lost work, On the Gods, he wrote: “Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not, nor of what sort they may be, because of the obscurity of the subject, and the brevity of human life.”[20][21] According to Diogenes Laërtius, the outspoken, agnostic position taken by Protagoras aroused anger, causing the Athenians to expel him from the city, and all copies of his book were collected and burned in the marketplace. The deliberate destruction of his works also is mentioned by Cicero.[22]

    The classicist John Burnet doubts this account, however, as both Diogenes Laërtius and Cicero wrote hundreds of years later and as no such persecution of Protagoras is mentioned by contemporaries who make extensive references to this philosopher.[23] Burnet notes that even if some copies of the Protagoras books were burned, enough of them survived to be known and discussed in the following century. A claim has been made that Protagoras is better classified as an atheist, since he held that if something is not able to be known it does not exist.[24]

    Athens proscribing and burning his works would have been confined to that locality, and copies in other regions would have escaped, but Christians made sure of the job, since none of his works now survive. In any case, you are engaging in tu quoque, ordinarily considered a fallacy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  134. Ace says:
    @nokangaroos

    Where do you get that out of Puritan doctrine? They are more properly called “sticklers” for what was in the Bible. They did not think it proper to incorporate such things as the bishopric, vestments, or stained glass windows as these were not countenanced or prescribed in the Bible. I don’t see this urge to dehumanize of which you speak.

  135. Seraphim says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Why should we believe Burnett who lived two thousands years after rather than Cicero who translated Plato’s dialogue ‘Protagoras’ in Latin?
    I wonder why you chose Protagoras to hurl the ‘tu quoque’ and not the burning of Christian books? Probably you applaud that.

  136. @Che Guava

    No, he had only two children with his wife Yōko: a daughter, Hiraoka Noriko; and a son, Hiraoka Iichirō. Unless he sired a third child outside his marriage.

  137. @Another Polish Perspective

    “The West is full of the Japanese who don’t like Japanese society.”
    Given their tiny diaspora communities – maybe with the exception of California -, the West isn’t full of Japanese of any stripe. As for the self-hating Jap: He surely exists – a rather pathetic creature, often without deep knowledge of the West, yet with unending willigness to worship it.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with questioning an idealized view of, say, the Samurai culture and it’s consequences for present-day Japan. But all of your talking points in this post and the ones that follow, are just repetitions of what I’ve heard a million times from people who have read a book or two about Japan. There’s virtually not a single original idea in them. Must be the famous Western accomplishments of individualism and critical thinking, I suppose.

    “Japan needs more modernity, not less.”
    You mean, it needs to stop being Japan and finally becoming like us, right? As sad as I am about the decline of the West, there is this one huge upside to it: It will stop Westerners endlessly lecturing other peoples on how to live.

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