Editorial says the unity of god and man realized by the Japanese Imperial Way cannot be found anywhere else in the world, so Imperial Japan must ‘turn the world into a single realm, let all nations take their places, and let all people rest in peace’ starting with the colonization of Korea



Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) March 6, 1943

The True Meaning of National Identity and the Righteous Peninsula

By Kamata Sawaichiro

The Idea of the Formation of the Greater East Asian Nation
Current World Affairs and the Reaffirmation of the Idea

Not only is there is no contradiction in the Japanese spirit and Japanese culture being the guiding principle in the construction of the New World Order, but the remarkable broadening of their universality will surely speed up progress towards their purpose.

Japan is constantly creating itself, and therefore Japan itself is constantly reforming itself and developing itself. What this fact teaches us is this: that Japan-centrism must also transform itself and develop itself along with the creation and development of Japan. In this context, we must make clear the fact that the interpretation of the spirit of Hakko Ichiu is not a narrow nationalism that is concerned only with selfish development.

Rather, it is concerned with forming a true Gemeinschaft (community) inside and outside the country. This philosophy cannot be born from an insular, island nation mentality. If we are narrow-minded and obstinate, we will not be able to realize the historical necessity of the Japanese nation’s grand, high-minded, and positive mission in world history, which is to proclaim the cause of righteousness to the whole world, to turn the world into a single realm, to let all nations take their places, and to let all people rest in peace.

Let us consider the issue of the word ‘kami’ in Japanese. The Chinese character for ‘god’ (神) is normally applied to the word ‘kami’, but in fact the Chinese character which should actually be applied to this word should be the one for ‘above’ (上). That is, the word ‘kami’ actually refers to ancestors with whom you have a blood connection and who are ‘above you’, or superior to you in spirit. In other words, the first meaning is to revere your ancestors, and the second meaning is to sublimate your personality into a divine status. You are to see the divine within the human being.

Much has been told regarding human beings who have attained divine status. Look at the amazing fact that even a lowly man in a hut can die and be enshrined as a god of national protection. It is not only those who have died in wars, but also those who have acquired divinity through deeds and practices. Look at Kusunoki Masashige. Look at General Nogi. Look at General Togo. The heroic spirit, the high-minded will, and the beautiful innocence that human beings leave behind in this world like a glow of light are the most concrete examples of the sublimation of personality into the divine. Further, it is a combination of historical ideals that originated from the respect for the gods and veneration of ancestors, which form the essence of Shintoism, the true meaning of national identity. The gods are the actual source of our life. There is no absolute line of separation between the gods and human beings in the organic relationship of life. We, the Japanese people, are the ones who most honestly confirm and realize the unity of the noble gods and man.

I think this kind of phenomenon cannot be seen in any other ethnic group or nation in the world. It is said that individualism and liberalism are based on respect for human beings, but is there anything else that teaches the dignity of human beings as much as the Japanese Imperial Way, which is based on the unity of god and man? Compared to the foreign gods, who are defined metaphysically as ideal gods, abstract gods, or idol gods, this is the purest form of respect for human beings.

Through the true meaning of the Japanese national identity, let us now consider the most serious and urgent of Japan’s problems: the ethnic problem.

How to unite and concentrate the many different peoples scattered over the vast area of Greater East Asia, so that they may be at ease and have a place in the world, is the greatest problem that pervades the present and the far future. It is no exaggeration to say that of the two directions of practice, one of war and one of construction, all construction should be concentrated on work with the ethnic groups.

Politics, economy, and culture will be newly generated and reorganized for each ethnic group. This is the liberation and construction of Greater East Asia. At the same time, it is a fool who does not understand the nature of today’s long-term war to think that it will be realized only after the war is over. The construction has already begun as the military flag moves forward. Work with the ethnic groups is also on the march. Thus, the formation of a new Greater East Asian Nation has begun. This is the manifestation of Hakko Ichiu in Greater East Asia, which is the only national destiny in Greater East Asia.

We emphasize here anew that the most important thing in the ideology and action of the formation of the Greater East Asian nation is our governance over Korea itself. Amid changes in current world affairs, people must reaffirm that Japan’s continental policies and work with the ethnic groups originated in Korea in the first place and are bearing fruit.

Source: 京城日報 1943-03-06 : 京城日報社 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Why am I posting such content? Read my reasons here: https://exposingimperialjapan.com/2021/11/nostalgia-for-imperial-japan-and-its.html


京城日報 1943年3月6日