Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni shrine is regarded by most Asians as a symbol of Japanese militarism. The reason they claim is that the shrine honors class A war criminals and justifies the Pacific war as a fight for liberation of Asian nations from western colonialism. When Japanfs prime minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the shrine on Oct 17. 2005, Beijing and Seoul condemned the visit as a serious provocation to Asian people.

Yasukuni shrine, that means establishing peace on the country, was founded in 1869 as Tokyo Shokonsha to commemorate war victims of pro-imperial forces who have died during Boshin war, a civil war fought between Shogunates and pro-imperial forces.

Since the foundation, Yasukuni shrine had been state run and continued to honor and deify those who died in international conflicts, such as the Sino-Japanese war, the Russo-Japanese war, the first World war, and the Pacific war.

About 2.5 million people are deified in the shrine as Gunshin, war gods. And about 8 million people a year visit the shrine to worship
their ancestorfs mitama, souls remaining on earth to watch over their descendants..

Compared to most shrines which have long history, the dedication of the Yasukuni shrine was a relatively recent and political affair.

The shrine is located in cntral Tokyo near Kitanomaru park.
It takes several minuits from Kudansita tube station
walking up a slope to get to the first Torii, Shinto shrine gate.
A placard announced
an exhibition memmorating the Russo Japanese war was under show.

A bronze statue of a man stands up high on a stone column.
The man is Masujiro Ohmura.
He was a samurai of Choshu clan and a leader of the pro-imperial forces.
He became a founder of Japan's modern military forces.

Main building and main torii.

These reliefs show up the bravery of Japanese warriors.

There is a war museum called Yushukan next to the main shrine building.
War ship and cannons are displayed in front of the museum.

War veterans and their relatives come to the shrine to appeal
their contribution to the country.
Some of them plant trees on the shrine's ground to memmorate their contribution.

A Noh theare stands in a corner of the shrine.
Noh is a Japanese traditional performance art loved by samurai.

There is a Japanese garden in back yard of the shrine.
People who visit the shrine can take a break time here.

A pair of stone lions stand in front of the gate of the shrine
to watch out for the shrine to be kept safe.
The lion who opens his mouth wide is called Ah statue.
The lion who shuts up his mouth is called Ung statue.

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