By: RaY KinZoKu

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Sunday, 30-Apr-2006 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
AbSoLuTeLy NOT KeLaTTe : Yasukuni & Yushukan

Entrance to the Shrine
Memoir of A Geisha
I think he must be a somebody
The Kiku no Gomon, the Japanese Imperial Seal
Entering the Shrine ground
The Controversial Yasukuni Shrine
A Bronze Statue dedicated to the fallen Kamikaze Pilots
Entrance to the Yushukan
A Zero Fighter welcomes visitors
The legendary Mitsubishi Rei-sen
Rear prespective
Frontal view
Side view with the Hinomaru mark under the wing
A Japanese soldier and his POW
An exhibition on the Malayan Campaign 1941
Percival surrendered to Yamashita at Ford Motor plant ?
Another version of Mitsubishi fighter plane
Restored from old wreck
The special part is the engine, made by Daimler-Bentz
The Ohka, a specially made glider for Kamikaze mission
I knew about this years ago from the Nat Geo on TV
A torpedo and a Kaiten "Kamikaze torpedo" on display
alongside other Japanese war relics
Artillery cannon with visible scars from the Battle of Okinawa
What :


Where :

Somewhere in Tokyo metropolis, in Chiyoda-ku, at a place called Kudan Kita.

When :

On one cool spring day.
Opening hours : 0900 ~ 1730 ( Mar to Oct ), 0900 ~ 1730 ( Nov to Feb ).
Open through out the year.

Who :

Me and few companions, to a shrine dedicated to the Japanese soldiers and civilians,
died in defending / fighting for the nation since the Meiji Restoration.

Why :

The controversy surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine had been around for years, and the latest visit by the Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi had sparked a renewed tension with neighbouring China and Korea, deemed by the two as insulting act to their bloody past.

So, I wanted to learn more about the shrine and from my research,
there is another irresistible attraction at the site known as the Yushukan.
The Yushukan is a museum, built by the nationalist, to explain to the public and the world on why Japan had to go to war. Housed in it, are various extraordinary collection of war relics and artefacts left by the Japanese militarism, which was put to end by a double atomic blasts 60 years ago.

But one thing about the museum, unlike any other war museum commemorating the World War II in Asia, is that it celebrates Japanese militarism and justifies the WW2 as an act of self defence and freedom fighting.

Interesting, eh ?

So, I happened to be in Tokyo on a business trip for a few days.
Eager to know how the Japanese ( the nationalist ) see the war from their own perspective , I decided to drop by at the Yasukuni and the Yushukan.

How :

Perhaps best reached by Tozai Line ( Kudanshita Station ) from Shinjuku Station.

How much :

800 yen for adult and 500 yen for university/high school student, 300 yen for children ( per entry ).

Conclusion :

From my Yasukuni & Yushukan visit, I learned that the Japanese :

- went to war with Russia to stop the Western power from expanding further into Asia thus saving Asia.

- went to war with China as a self defense against Chinese terrorism.
Previously, the Chinese Nationalist had repeatedly attacked Japanese interests and its nationals residing in China.

- declared war on the US and the British to protest their economic embargo against Japan.
US had stopped supplying the much needed oil to Japan in an attempt to pressure the country to move out its police and military from China - which was seen by the Japanese as a national suicide.

- moved further South into Dutch and British controlled South East Asia to get raw materials
( the ones sanctioned by the US and its allies) .

- invaded other Asian countries to free them from Western grip. " Asia for Asian ".

Honestly, sometimes, it is nice to hear what others have to say.
You may laugh or tease me or even criticise me if you like, for stating them here,
but for sure, I think those must be what the Yasukuni controversy is all about.

Doesn't it ring a bell in your mind that the US is currently at this so called "war on terrorism"
in much like the way Japan went to war decades ago ?
Does it seem that history is repeating itself or at least, going in the same way?

While the consequences of war is about death and destruction,
the Law of The Jungle dictates that the victor will write the history for the masses and the defeated
will settle in pain and embarassment. Now, the defeated finally made its voice heard.
No matter what you will think of it, it is now a fair deal.

One thing for sure,
my visit to the Yushukan has opened a new chapter of thought inside my curious mind.
Come to think of it, when it comes to fighting for your "kepentingan",
that instinct in you would hope that nothing would get in your way or else things would go "rough".

I am not looking forward to any fiery argument on this matter therefore I should not comment further.

Thank you for your time.


Some descriptions on the Malayan Campaign 1941 ~ 1942 as shown in an exhibition room in the Yushukan.
My hometown, Kota Bharu, in the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, is clearly stated on the map ( written in Katakana ) as the first Japanese troops landing point on the then British-controlled Malaya. Their mission was to capture Singapore.

A bronze statue, next to the entrance into the Yushukan,
dedicated to the fallen Special Attack Force pilots ( the Tokkoutai or famously known as the Kamikaze ).
Most of them were very young, sent by their superiors to engage the American Pacific Fleet, on a mission of no return.

The legendary Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen ( Zero Fighter ), restored and on display at the main entrance of the Yushukan.
( The above mentioned Kamikaze pilot bronze statue is at the top, right hand side of this photo )

Japanese artillery guns from Okinawa bearing scars left by American bombardments ( Battle of Okinawa ).

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Related Fotopages Entries ( mainly on the World War II in Kelantan ) :
Note : Clicking on each image will direct you to each different entry.


BBC News : Japan backs 'patriotic teaching'
BBC News : Japan's controversial shrine
Yomiuri Shinbun : Yasukuni: Behind the torii / From government-run shrine for war heroes to bone of contention

BBC News : Japan history texts anger East Asia
TAWARA Yoshifumi : Junior High School History Textbooks: Whither "Comfort Women" and the "Nanking Massacre"?
Ishiyama Hisao : Japanese Textbooks Censored to Support US Wars

Wikipedia : The Rape of Nanking : Nanking Massacre - The Japanese Version
BBC News : Scarred by history: The Rape of Nanjing

Utusan Malaysia : Buruh paksa Jepun terima pampasan

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