War in the drawer

August and the anniversary of the only global event using nuclear bombs in war and a visit to Yasukuni Jinja 靖國神社.

Yasukuni Jinja was established to commemorate and show appreciation and respect to those who gave their lives in defense of their mother country, Japan, while serving the Emperor of Japan from wars in 1867-1951.
The torii at the entrance is impressively dominating.

Some of the veterans inshrined at Yasukuni were designated as war criminals and China, South Korea and North Korea view visits by politicians to the shrine as grossly inappropriate nationalistic behavour for war crimes committed against their peoples in WWII.

For many in Japan Yasukuni Jinja is honoring those who died for their country. While control of the shrine is in the hands of Shinto priests, not the government, it is not unusual for more conservative politicians to visit the shrine for a photo op.

Shinto is the indigenous story of who the Japanese are. When Buddhism came to Japan in 525 CE Shinto was critical of its “peaceful aspects,” but each seems to have found their own place in Japanese society. Some temples were famous for their “warrior priests.”

How many Americans reflect that this country was founded by a bunch of white europeans whose God told them get in a boat, go across the water to the Promised Land, while there may be people living there they are not Christians and you can kill them and steal their land—they killed 85 % of them and stole most of their land and continue to do so—and natural resources. And to continue the founding of this country, those white europeans created chattel slavery.

‘In Japan Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are a physically integrated part of everyday life. People walk by them everyday, it may be in a small corner overwhelmed by large buildings or occupy a large amount of land and neighbors regularly cut through them when out and about.

Each person can have their own relationship with a shrine or temple when they choose. There are also community events.

An Ikebana display at Yasakuni, flowers are a symbol of peace, politicians politicize war while family members of those who answered their country’s call and never returned remember them as brave, responsible heroes in their family stories.

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in a Sraevo street, an act that set off WWI. But what that makes him in Bosnia depends on which lesson you learn.
“A hero and a poet,” says a textbook handed to high school students in the Serb-controlled region of this divided country. An “assassin trained and instructed by the Serbs to commit this act of terrorism,” says a text written for Croatian students. “A nationalist whose deed sparked anti-Serbian rioting that was only stopped by the police from all three ethnic groups,” reads the Muslim version of the event.

Chris Hedges War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

‘Nationalism means people see their own country’s history as different than others see it, even when they are in the same country.

In Shibuya Station 10 foot wide screens were flush mounted on walls about eight feet high and sometimes one image was displayed across all of them.

While other very large cities have great things, one thing that makes Tokyo unique is that you are free to wander all over the city to see the all the great things and not be worried about crime.

I regularly get my exercise by fast walking along the Alameda Creek levee, as so do many others. I do not know all of the people I see which is a good thing, knowing people always seems to get me in trouble. I had that conversation with someone other than myself about 1968.

The response was that other people thought knowing me got them into trouble, kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy so this way I can like the color, the gesture, the line and not have to be troubled by the detail of a relationship.

There are things we expect from a photograph and when we get them it feels like a photograph. When we do not get them, it feels like something is not right. When its a photograph of something that is not right, sometimes that is what we expect of a photograph such as a news photograph audit feels fine,

A photograph always feels the question “What is It?” while a painting, a drawing, a silk screen avoid those limitations, Knowing what something is, is often just having a name for it, I know what a horse is when I see one, I can say That is a horse,” but it does not mean I understand about horses. You do not need to expect anything from my photographs, there is no truth or nontruth to be experienced.

I cannot imagine riding a bike with rubber flip flops , whenI was young I rode a bike in my bare feet and scraped the tops of toes as they rounded over the front of the pedal on the concrete, just looking at this image makes my toes shudder and wince at the possible pain.

Either way and anyway makes as little sense or at least ends up at the same place, or I end up at the same place, alone and wondering where I am, and at least its not so confuisng.

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