Starting with Ourselves-The Destination of Education(3)
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"Starting with Ourselves The Destination of Education"

5.            The question comes back to how people look at what happened in 1945. Although Nakasone uses terms like "the mainstream of world history based on liberalism and democracy" (p.15) and "the legitimate mainstream of world history" (p.73), this does not show how he actually understands what happened in 1945. It is not clear which direction he is looking. According to the "legitimate mainstream of world history," doesn't 1945 mark the end of the kind of Japanese nationalism found in Kokutai no Hongi (The True Meaning of National Polity)? The New Testament contains the following quote: "Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Matthew 9:17). Using these terms, the new wine is democracy. Democracy, which came through defeat in the war, has broken the old Japanese wineskins. The old wineskin is the cultural foundation built upon the slogan "wakon yosai" (Japanese Spirit, Western Technology) which led Japanese modernization from the Meiji period forward. For half a century after defeat in the war, Japan has been working towards economic reestablishment. For that purpose, the old wine was used and is being used up. Democratization turned into globalization, and broke the old Japanese wineskin. So the new wine of democracy has spilled and become unclean.

6.            To view the FEL as the "dismantling of Japan" does more than inject chaos into our understanding of history, and may also cause people to view the ebb and flow of world history through glasses tinted with Japanism, and take on the feelings of the "dismantling of Japan." Then, like Hitler's strategy to "ignite highly flammable nationalism," the strategy is to light the nationalism which existed quietly after the war and then lead Japan to an unfortunate future. The politics of President Kim Dae Jung are not the same. This kind of "historical perspective" is actually the issue about which neighboring countries are concerned. To say "the end of war" instead of "defeat in the war" makes our neighbors such as the Koreans and Chinese think the Japanese are being deceptive. The issue was hidden by the Japanese economic recovery and now Japanism has risen. The issue of war responsibility has remained without being resolved. In Psalm 32 in the Old Testament, it says, "When kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long." Today's dilemma is not acknowledging our sins like Weizsäcker did in Germany and that led to the bones wasting away. Now in its second defeat, Japan is left with an inner burnt land, as the prophet Ezekiel saw in "the valley of dry bones."

7.            The logical problem of the philosophy behind Nakasone's "National Strategy," is that he put both the "mainstream of world history" and "Japanism" on the same plane in opposition to each other. Kim made universal values such as democracy and human rights a priority with Asian values following these. However, Nakasone's understanding, with his oppositional scheme on the same plane, led him to conclude that the mainstream of world history brought about the "dismantling of Japan" and does not make it possible to resolve the antagonistic situation. As a result, the only choice left is to revive Japanism in opposition to "the mainstream of world history." The fallacy in Nakasone's strategy comes from this error in his philosophy. Mutai Risaku understood the Hegelian Dialectic through the life, death and resurrection of Christianity. On a two-dimensional level, the thesis and antithesis oppose each other, but when the opposition is heightened, the conflict reaches synthesis at a higher level as a new concept. Nakasone's flat logic is making it impossible to have what Weizsäcker and Kim have. It is true that defeat in the war was an event that the Japanese nation had never experienced, and it was a colossally "negative" experience. But a truly strong spirit is required to accept the "negative" and proceed to a higher level. A man of weak spirit rejects the "negative" and tries to eliminate it. A strong spirit rises up to a higher positive by means of the negative. Is not Nakasone's strategy the result of a weak spirit? The leaders in the war were arrogant but weak spirited. From the beginning, arrogance reflects a weak spirit.

8.            This weak spirit is the product of Japan's modernization through "wakon yosai" (Japanese Spirit, Western Technology). But because of Japan's economic recovery, a spirit of arrogance temporarily hid this weakness of soul. However, the inner weakness was exposed by the destruction of the Bubble Economy. Eventually, the government became troubled and started to talk about "education of the spirit." Some people mention this as the "second defeat of the war." What was the mistake in politics after the war? In Eastern teaching, there is a saying, "With ample food and clothing, dignity follows," somewhat similar to the English expression, "Well fed, well bred." The problem is that, based on this saying, the focus is solely on economic aspects. The Bible says "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). This creates strength and character of spirit. We should repent of the political failings after the war, which were the root cause, rather than just pointing to their results manifested in the recent rash of juvenile delinquency. What was the cause? In German, there is a story of a man: After falling into a muddy pond, a man extended his hands to rescue himself, only to grab his own hair. Those who have insight into how post-war politics have caused the ruin of education today can very well imagine this situation. It is because the causal evil is trying to fix the resulting evil. Today, riding the wave of the "IT" revolution and 'starting up' their computers is not enough for our citizens; they need to 'start up' their spirits. The revolution must reach to the soul. Some people are afraid that, by doing so, Japanese characteristics will be lost. But this is not true. They will not be lost, only newly revived. One thousand years ago, the Germanic nation was considered barbaric. However, after Germany was Christianized, they did not lose characteristics of being German, rather they were newly revived. Japan, likewise, was enriched through accepting Buddhism. To this day, Japan has avoided the challenge of the soul by perpetuating the slogan wakon yosai, but to gain life and strength, Japan needs to accept Christianity and put the spirit to the test.