I just finished a book by Hiroyuki Itsuki called “Tariki” it reminded me of the dynamics of cultural change and the peace of Buddhist spiritual beliefs.
I remember as a kid growing up during World War two and reciting hateful rhymes against the Japanese and in particular Emperor Hirohito.
We were at war, and our fathers, mothers, and uncles were in harm’s way. It was our child’s way of reflecting our parent’s feelings and dealing with the adult frustration and anger that filtered down to us kids.
The Japs, as we called them then, were the enemy. Today they are the Japanese, and we are demonstrable friends and fierce competitors.
Emperor Hirohito was 88 when he died in 1989. For 62 years he ruled from the chrysanthemum throne, and he became the longest reigning monarch of the world’s oldest imperial line. He saw his homeland go from a super military power to crushing defeat, to a world economic power achieving in business what it could not do in war.
Hirohito saw his life go from being considered and treated as a living god, to a position mostly ceremonial, as is the case today with his son.
Isn’t it interesting nearly every country with which we’ve been at war is now our friend. England, Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, Canada and Vietnam.