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Imperial family represents Eastern wisdom

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Ben W, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W Active Member
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    Sep 16, 2002
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    Imperial family represents Eastern wisdom

    Writing in April's Bungei Shunju, Ritsumeikan University Professor Emeritus Shizuka Shirakawa points out why the imperial family is important and why discussion should not focus on its survival alone.

    Shirakawa, who has spent more than 70 years studying the ancient East, sees Japan as rare among the countries of the world in that its ancient culture and spirit live on.

    Japan's imperial family is one of the institutions that carries on the rites and spirit that have been nurtured across East Asia since ancient times, he says, noting that there are deep similarities between China's Shang Dynasty of the sixteenth century B.C. and Japan's imperial family, as seen in the ceremony for crowning a new emperor and in common myths.

    The ancient worldview of finding in all things aspects that transcend human abilities and revering them is an extremely valuable legacy of Eastern culture, he states.

    Shirakawa also notes that the Japanese have an imperial system that performs rites that have existed since ancient times, that they treat the grounds of a shrine as a sacred area, and that they sense a kind of mystical presence in nature.

    He posits that Japan's long-held reverence for nature is the supreme form of human wisdom in a modern age when the Western view of nature, in which man stands above and seeks to conquer the natural world, is having harmful effects.

    He concludes by arguing that the debate on the nature of the imperial system must focus on creating a spiritual foundation that will support it, as opposed to just considering the survival of the system itself. (Foreign Press Center