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family ties?

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family ties?

Postby kirama » Mon 11.21.2005 4:44 am

my fathers side of the family has resenlly recovered how some family members deied ,i think in world war two and its was commited by the japanese
aparenttly it was some kind of a masscre and there is lots of contreversy about it and i dont know wether i should feel any anyger or racmism towards the japanese , my dad keeps remindimg me of this everytime i bring up my progress in japanese and im confushed i recentlly went to a japanese "day" at the japanese gardens in our town and it was really nice.
if you have any advice on what i should do or feel or have any stories of your own
this is where to post them!
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RE: family ties?

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.21.2005 6:25 am

War is ugly by necessity. Because natural empathy causes most people to have difficulty killing other human beings, The two most common ways people deal with the instinctive aversion to killing is through dehuminification or hate. The first often leads to the latter. Both lead to greater cruelties inflicted on the other side, and both linger long after the need has passed . In the long run, parents that cannot release the emotional requirements of war pass on these attitudes on to thier children.

The truth is there have been atrocities brought about on all sides due to hate or indifference due to dehuminification. Racism towards the Japanese is completely unfounded as White people cannot claim any moral highground (Jews, Soviets), nor Blacks (African Genocides), even American Indians have the Mayans and Incas as heritage.

If you want to hate people, hate the officers in charge, hate the American officials who withheld prosecution, hate the circumstances that led American officials to allow known war criminals to walk. Don't hate the little guys that had to follow orders or all the people who had nothing to do with that or the death of your relative.

One thing people in our peacetime nation don't seem to realize is there were no "conciencous objectors" in Japan. If they gave you a gun and you refused to use it on some moral ground you were shot, same with Germany. People need to imagine themselves in the other's shoes. An officer ordering you to take certian actions and knowing that you could act honorably, and die, or follow orders and live another day.

Another important thing to remember is the Japanese in WW2 were not citizens, they were royal subjects, most of them little more than serfs. You might want to do some research about the life of a serf.
Last edited by Infidel on Mon 11.21.2005 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: family ties?

Postby mandolin » Mon 11.21.2005 2:38 pm

Well said, Ishnar.

Everyone's heritage has its sordid histories. At some point, you have to stop holding an entire race/nationality accountable for it, though. Americans have slavery and our treatment of natives as big inky blots on our record. Should african americans and natives hate me for what happened?

My grandfather fought in WWII. He lived, but many of his friends died to the Japanese and Germans. Later in his life, he and his wife went on a trip and brought me back the most beautiful german doll, which I still have. He told me what a wonderful, friendly country it was.

If anyone had a 'right' to hate, it would be the ones who were in the middle of it all, and even they could let go.
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RE: family ties?

Postby kirama » Wed 11.30.2005 5:03 am

that adive wa absolutly amamzing
i really want to say thanks
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RE: family ties?

Postby kaze89 » Wed 11.30.2005 11:28 am

Though the most important things have already been said, I want to add something to the topic. You have to understand that the Japanese person you're talking to is probably not the one who killed your relatives and thus can't be made accountable for that...maybe the people who killed your relatives are already dead and gone themselves and the generation of teenagers and younger adults who live in japan today never had anything to do with WW2.
I don't think anyone should ever have to be responsible for what their ancestors did, because each and everyone of us is unique and no one is exactly like his father or grandfather was.
Being German myself I know what I'm talking about. I have been accused of crimes I didn't commit at least two times on every american forum I've visited and I've become so sick of defending myself and my friends from people who are too stupid to see the difference between me and my grandfather. I've never killed or discriminated against anyone in my life and I'm not going to do so in the future.
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RE: family ties?

Postby clay » Sun 01.01.2006 12:33 am

Well said everyone.

This is a touchy subject with many from the older generations who remember the war from both sides. I have a good friend who was in his teens during the war. I love to hear him recall the history he lived through. Very amazing. In the sixties he took a job from Konica, a Japanese company. He told me his only concern was that his older brother who actually fought Japanese would be very upset. But all was well.

I guess it boils down to people being able to let go of anger after the need for anger has passed. MacArthur was somewhat of a superstar in Japan after the war. MacArthur apparantely (I wasn't there) treated the Japanese very well - almost too childlike, perhaps but well. As a result in a few years Japan and US relations blossomed.

Still, there is resentment among some who remember the war, on both sides. But I haven't met any people born after the war in Japan or the States who hate the other for hate's sake.

When my wife and I married, Yumi was concerned about an aunt who suffered much during and after the war. She owned a large textile factory that was partially destroyed and then later taken over by US troops during the beginning of the occupation. I (an American) still haven't met her face to face but we have exchanged gifts and all seems to be well. I would love to sit down with her and talk. I don't know if I will ever have that chance, though.

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