Yasukuni Shrinebabibubebo | 21 04 2008
Since I was across the street at Chidorigafuchi, I decided I might as well stop by the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. Why is it controversial? In a nutshell, this is a shrine dedicated to all those who died protecting Japan during times of war and according to the Official Yasukini Shrine Homepage:
Currently, more than 2,466,000 divinities are enshrined here at Yasukuni Shrine. These are souls of men who made ultimate sacrifice for their nation since 1853 during national crises such as the Boshin War, the Seinan War, the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars, World War I, the Manchurian Incident, the China Incident and the Greater East Asian War (World War II). These people, regardless of their rank or social standing, are considered to be completely equal and worshiped as venerable divinities of Yasukuni.
So again, why all this controversy?
What the website fails to mention is that also enshrined are over 1000 convicted war criminals, including more than 10 “Class A” criminals (whatever that means). I really don’t wanna get into it, so, if you are interested in reading more about that, both BBC and CNN have articles on the subject.
Anyway, if you are considering whether or not to take a visit to Yasukuni Shrine, I can’t say that it was one of my favorite places I have been too. Not to say that it is a bad place to visit, I mean, Yasukini Shrine certainly has a lot of history and importance to a lot of people, but I am not sure tourist get the same thing out of a visit as Japanese do.
That being said, Yasukuni Shrine is very close to the Imperial Palace and and there were some really good food stalls (however this might have been just because it was cherry blossom season, not sure if they are there year long or not)! Which reminds me, if you do want to go, I recommend going during cherry blossom season. Basically, if you are looking for something to do your free time, might as well check it out and you probably will enjoy it, but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t fit into your schedule.
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