Nichiren Shu (with Kempon Hokke Myomanji Sect) and the Asian Holocaust #1 +^

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Disbasing Zen Stories

Oct 3, 2022, 3:53:56 AM10/3/22
Nichiren Shu (with Kempon Hokke Myomanji Sect) and the Asian Holocaust, part 1 of 2

____ Background for Toxic Zen Stories ____________________

Over eighty years ago, the priesthood of Nichiren Shu secretly acted at the behest of the military government (bakufu) of Imperial Japan to create a pretext for the Shanghai Massacre of early 1932. The resistance against that military action was centered at the Chinese government in Nanking, which subsequently became the focus of the anger and hatred of the Japanese military leaders on down to the lowliest footsoldier, resulting in the Rape of Nanking.

Surely those who started all of these dominoes falling have been held responsible in a war crimes trial, yes?

Surely those who lit the fire that ignited a reign of terror, a ferocious genocide unlike any other: the Asian Holocaust ... they must have been bought to justice and hanged like the Nazi Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop and the publisher of the jew-baiting rag Der Stürmer, Julius Streicher were at Nuremberg, yes?

No, they have decidedly not been tried and punished, or even publicly exposed.

Furthermore, they have successfully trashed the reputations of the noble victims, of the Japanese Imperial Zen-Shinto-Nichiren Shu regime: to avoid having their own complicity in war crimes come to light.

Now, it is time to tell this story in full.

Who was guilty of precipitating this horror upon humanity?

It was not the Emperor, who knew little of the scheming behind the Shanghai Incident of 1932 that led to the massacre of 250,000 Chinese.

Hirohito was, in fact, a Sinophile (a lover of Chinese culture), and a misguided fool.

It was not even the vast majority of the military.

It was not the people of Japan, who had no idea that they were being hoodwinked by the carefully orchestrated news stories, into a war fever over what was an evil-choreographed balletic dance by dark forces.

Who were these evil agents behind the Asian Holocaust, who ignited the Reign of Terror in Shanghai?

It was a cabal of super-nationalist Nichiren Shu Buddhists allied with shadowy figures inside Japanese military intelligence, and young officers in fanatical insurgent Nichiren Shu militias, with large Japanese corporations who had designs on China and what they viewed as a future nation of chattel producers and consumers enslaved by their industry.

What brought this all together and lit the fuse was Nichiren Shu, the principal actor and cause of the Asian Holocaust, and the rape of Nanking and the European Holocaust that followed, which learned from the Shanghai-Nanking methods of averting the public gaze from its true plans by violent and unrestrained killing of a selected subset of humanity.

Mixing slander with the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra is entirely Shinto, and Shinto is entirely the creature of toxic Zen. Nichiren Shu is the modern purveyor of the worst that Shinto has to offer.

There are a variety of sources that recount the headlines of the story: all these bear undeniable testament to what actually happened, but only a few as to what lay behind those events.

These are the simple facts: "On January 18, 1932, accompanied by four of his parishioners, Amazaki Keisho, a Nichiren sect monk, went about his practice of winter ascetic exercises in the streets of Shanghai. Suddenly, they were attacked ..." "Reverend Mizukami Hideo, aged thirty-two, slipped into critical condition and later died on January 24"

Let's pursue what lays behind those facts. We start with a history by Herbert Bix centered on the Emperor, which effectively removes him as a suspect, but also points towards the center of the trouble -- the insanity of the military leaders and the troops themselves -- but not directly at the explosive ideological brew that was at the source of this fanaticism.

.. Hirohito and the making of modern Japan - Herbert P. Bix, pp. 250-253
.. Even when Stimson implied, in a public letter to the
.. chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on
.. February 23, 1932, that the United States might start
.. rebuilding its fleet if Japan continued to violate the
.. open-door principles in China, Tokyo ignored the threat.
.. As the emperor and the Inukai cabinet well knew, with the
.. Great Depression worsening, neither Washington nor London
.. was prepared to do anything very serious about Manchuria.
.. Tensions in Shanghai had begun after Japanese residents
.. took umbrage at a Chinese newspaper article, on January 9,
.. decrying the failure of the assassination attempt on the
.. Showa emperor. Nine days later army Maj. Tanaka Ryukichi,
.. hoping to divert foreign attention from the army's
.. operations in northern Manchuria, instigated an attack by
.. a Chinese mob on a group of Japanese Nichiren priests. The
.. Imperial Navy found this incident a tempting chance to
.. demonstrate its prowess to the army. The Shanghai fleet
.. was quickly reinforced and on January 28, 1932, marines
.. under Rear Adm. Shiozawa Koichi went ashore and that night
.. challenged China's Nineteenth Route Army -- a 33.500-man
.. force stationed in the vicinity of the International
.. Settlement, which ran along the waterfront. In the ensuing
.. battle the Chinese gave the Japanese marines a good
.. thrashing. Unable to retrieve the situation despite
.. reinforcements from the fleet, the navy had to call on the
.. army for help. Inukai secured the emperor's permission to
.. order troops to Shanghai. But the Chinese army still held
.. firm and again inflicted heavy losses. The high command in
.. Tokyo then organized a full-fledged Shanghai Expeditionary
.. Force under General Shirakawa and reinforced it with two
.. full divisions. Intense fighting ensued; the Chinese
.. finally fell back, and Japan was able to announce a face-
.. saving cease-fire, followed by an armistice, negotiated
.. with British participation on May 5, 1932, which also
.. ended the Chinese boycott.
.. The Shanghai lncident should have awakened Hirohito to the
.. recklessness and aggressiveness of his senior admirals --
.. the very officers he and the court group regarded as
.. sophisticated, cosmopolitan men of the world. Driven by
.. service rivalry, they had deliberately sought a
.. confrontation with Chinese forces in the heartland of
.. China, knowing that problems with the United States and
.. Britain were sure to result. Equally important, this
.. incident was an unlearned lesson for both military
.. services. Neither army nor navy drew any new conclusions
.. from the heavy losses they incurred in this first large
.. battle with a modern Chinese army. They continued as
.. before -- utterly contemptuous of the Chinese military and
.. people, whom they saw as a rabble of ignorant, hungry
.. peasants, lacking racial or national consciousness, that
.. could easily be vanquished by one really hard blow.
.. Hirohito himself may have held that view privately. But
.. the emperor was more aware than his commanders of Japan's
.. vulnerability to economic blockade. Going out of his way,
.. he told Shirakawa to settle the Shanghai fighting quickly
.. and return to Japan. At Shanghai, Hirohito acted
.. decisively to control events; in rural Manchuria, on the
.. other hand, he was pleased to watch passively as his
.. empire expanded.
.. At Shanghai, both during and after the fighting, Japanese
.. officers and enlisted men alike exemplified the
.. pathological effects of the post-1905 battlefield doctrine
.. of never surrendering. Captured by the Chinese in February
.. 1932, Capt. Kuga Noboru was returned to Japan in a
.. prisoner exchange; he committed suicide to atone for his
.. capture. Praised for his martial spirit by Army Minister
.. Araki, Kuga was later enshrined at Yasukuni [the central
.. Zen cemetery containing the worst Asian Holocaust
.. perpetrators]. From this time on, officers who survived
.. capture were often openly pressured to commit suicide. A
.. plethora of hooks, movies, and stage dramas glorified the
.. "human bombs" and "human bullets" who gave their lives on
.. the Shanghai front. These tales heightened the popularity
.. of the army at home, while also reinforcing its mystique
.. abroad.
.. Disagreements within the Inukai cabinet worsened after the
.. first engagement at Shanghai. In trying to limit troop
.. deployments and operations at Shanghai, Inukai could rely
.. on backing only from the emperor -- who was unwilling to
.. discipline his uniformed officers despite the disruption
.. of normal political life they were causing. While fighting
.. raged at Shanghai, war fever in Japan deepened; public
.. criticism of Seiyukai cabinet policies mounted. Not
.. surprisingly "direct action" suddenly went too far -- and
.. became terrorism. Two prominent business leaders – lnoue
.. Junnosuke, fanner finance minister in the Wakatsuki
.. cabinet, and Baron Dan Takuma, director of the Mitsui
.. zaibatsu -- were assassinated on February 9 and March 5,
.. respectively. Their killers were civilian members of a
.. secret band the press labeled the "Blood Pledge Corps."
.. [An insurgent Nichiren Shu militia.] While these murders
.. were under investigation, Inukai pressed the army and navy
.. not to expand operations in the Shanghai area. He also
.. sought Prince Kan'in's support for dismissing about thirty
.. officers to restore discipline. Such was the situation
.. when another clap of terrorist thunder ended Inukai's own
.. life and precipitated the start of a fundamental
.. transformation in Japanese politics.
.. On May 15, 1932, young naval officers murdered Inukai in
.. his office, and two other groups of would-be (army, navy,
.. and civilian) assassins threw bombs at the headquarters of
.. the Seiyukai Party, the Bank of Japan, the Metropolitan
.. Police Office, and, most significantly, the official
.. residence of Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Makino.
.. Demanding abrogation of the London Naval Treaty, they
.. "distributed leaflets calling for the purification of the
.. court entourage."
.. In the ensuing political confusion, the emperor and his
.. advisers decided to abandon the experiment in party
.. cabinets that had begun in the Taisho era. Guided by Kido
.. and Makino, Hirohito placed his support behind a fully
.. bureaucratic system of policy making, and cabinet politics
.. that no longer depended on the two main conservative
.. parties in the Diet. Diet party activities continued, but
.. the court group's fling with constitutional government by
.. means of party cabinets working in tandem with elected
.. representatives was abandoned. Moreover, navy and army
.. leaders now abjured coups to seize political power,
.. turning their attention to restoring discipline in their
.. respective services. Precisely this interruption in the
.. high command's effort to extend its political power gave
.. the court group a chance to rally and settle on a leader
.. of a countercoup cabinet.
.. The day after Inukai was assassinated, the rump Inukai
.. cabinet resigned, and the court group began deliberations
.. to choose the next prime minister. As before, they called
.. Saionji in from the periphery of events so that he could
.. be seen as the emperor's proxy in presenting the imperial
.. decision. Formerly the decision itself would have been
.. made by the genro, but no longer. On May 19 Grand
.. Chamberlain Suzuki gave Saionji a paper (drawn up by the
.. emperor, Makino. and Kido) containing Hirohito's "wishes"
.. regarding choice of the next prime minister.
.. Hirohito's first "wish," that the "prime minister should
.. be a man of strong personality and character, " reflected
.. the thought of Makino and his intellectual adviser,
.. Confucian scholar Yasuoka Masahiro [Masaatsu]. Yasuoka had
.. recently formed the State Restoration Society (Kokuikai)
.. to develop an ideological rationalization for moving "new
.. bureaucrats" to positions of political power. Loyal
.. officials who believed in emperor ideology were, in his
.. view, more important than institutions in carrying out the
.. interests of the Imperial House. Only loyalists could
.. prevent the kokutai from being overturned by internal
.. movements and factions. The way to protect the throne was
.. to nurture powerful personalities who were totally
.. dedicated to the emperor. On this score Hirohito was at
.. one with the "new bureaucrats" of the 1930s.

In effect, terrorist-assassins performed a regime change in Japan when the civilian government would not back their foreign escapade to perform a regime change in China.

The common denominator in both insurgencies were Nichiren Shu militias. First, let's take a look at the "Blood-pledge corps of Inoue Nissho, in these passages from Stephen Large's article.

.. Nationalist Extremism in Early Showa Japan- Inoue Nissho
.. and the 'Blood-Pledge Corps Incident', 1932
.. by Stephen S. Large
.. p. 533
.. Less than fifteen months after Prime Minister Hamaguchi
.. Osachi was fatally wounded by the right-wing fanatic
.. Sagoya Tomeo on 14 November 1930, the 'mysterious priest'
.. Inoue Nissho orchestrated the Ketsumeidan jiken, or
.. 'Blood-Pledge Corps Incident', in which the former Finance
.. Minister Inoue Junnosuke and the Director-General of
.. Mitsui Dan Takuma, were shot and killed, on 9 February and
.. 5 March 1932, respectively. What made the Ketsumeidan
.. Incident all the more shocking in the troubled context of
.. the Depression and the Manchurian Incident was the fact
.. that at one point the terrorists had planned to kill
.. twenty of Japan's political and financial leaders, not
.. just Inoue Junnosuke and Dan Takuma. The grim implications
.. of this bold conspiracy were soon driven home when Prime
.. Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was also gunned down in the 15
.. May Incident that year.
.. Yet, just who was Inoue Nissho and why did he turn to
.. terrorism? Who were his followers in the Ketsumeidan and
.. what ideas and experiences underpinned their commitment to
.. terrorism? How far was the avowed nationalism of the
.. Ketsumeidan revolutionary in character? And finally, why
.. did the Ketsumeidan Incident take place when it did, and
.. with what immediate and long-term consequences?
.. p. 534
.. Contrary to the general impression, Inoue Nissho was never
.. officially registered as a Buddhist priest in the Nichiren
.. sect; he was a self-styled priest, a priest in name only.
.. Even so, [distortions of] Nichiren Buddhist ideas and
.. symbols were crucial to his self- image as the 'saviour'
.. of Japan and under his leadership the Ketsumeidan's
.. political rage against the established order was notably
.. fuelled by religious visions of a 'national renovation'
.. (kokka kakushin).
.. The second problem at hand is the need to identify the
.. regional origins -- including historical traditions,
.. social forces and political ideas -- of extremism in the
.. national kakushin movement. Here, the focus is on Ibaraki
.. Prefecture, where the Ketsumeidan arose, in the village of
.. Oarai on the coast near Mito. Not only did the Ketsumeidan
.. draw its members from nearby villages which were left
.. destitute by the Depression, it drew much of its political
.. inspiration from the radical tradition of Mito loyalism
.. dating back to the nineteenth century. That the
.. Ketsumeidan interacted with other nationalist groups in
.. Ibaraki, including young officers from the Naval Air
.. Training Base at Tsuchiura on the shores of Lake
.. Kasumigaura to the south of Oarai, likewise illustrates
.. the importance of regional connections in Ibaraki. As we
.. will see, these young naval officers were very prominent
.. in the Ketsumeidan conspiracy, as indeed were a number of
.. students from universities in Tokyo and Kyoto.
.. Thirdly, there is the rather different problem of
.. explaining why extremist ideals, if not extremist methods,
.. became increasingly acceptable in the emotional vocabulary
.. of Japanese nationalism by the mid-1930s. To address this
.. complex issue, I will discuss the public proceedings of
.. the Ketsumeidan trial, which was a major test of how the
.. State and the Japanese public reacted to political
.. terrorism in the early Showa period. I must also note,
.. before turning to my narrative, that in the early stages
.. of the trial, the Chief Prosecutor, Kiuchi Tsunenori,
.. picked up the term 'Ketsumeidan' from the mass media and
.. applied it to Inoue Nissho and his circle, wrongly
.. assuming that a secret pledge undertaken by five of his
.. followers had extended to the group as a whole (there is
.. no firm evidence that this was a 'blood-pledge').
.. Inoue's background, p. 537-538
.. Inoue then tried and failed at various business ventures
.. in Shantung, whereupon he returned to Japan in February
.. 1920, penniless and still troubled by his long-standing
.. 'spiritual anguish'; once back in Kawaba, he likened
.. himself to a 'rock that had been tossed into a field'. He
.. was dismayed by labour strikes and other signs of divisive
.. social conflict, the growing appeal of Marxism and what he
.. saw as widespread decadence and immorality which he
.. attributed to destructive Western influences in post-war
.. Japanese society. But in the early 1920s, he was mainly
.. distracted by fears that he was going insane with self-
.. doubt. Therefore, sequestered among the ruins of the
.. Santoku-An, an old temple in Kawaba, he sought the peace
.. of Nyorai (the Buddha) by practising zen meditation, to
.. which he had been introduced by a Soto Zen priest in
.. China, and by chanting the odaimoku, or title of the Lotus
.. Sutra-'namu-myoho-renge-kyo' ('Homage to the Lotus Sutra')
.. -- which a Nichiren Buddhist priest had likewise
.. introduced to him in China.

Nichiren Daishonin was dead set against this man's activities, starting with his practice of Buddhism. Nichiren was focused primarily on two things: (1) the wide propagation of the Lotus Sutra (which he perceived to be Buddhism itself, following the Buddha's dying admonition in the Nirvana Sutra to honestly discard the provisional teachings: the sutras he preached before the last eight years of his life), and (2) absolutely not distorting the true teaching (not slandering the Lotus Sutra) as you propagated it widely. This slander and distortion of Nichiren's Buddhism is what Inoue is profoundly guilty of. Here, Nichiren derives his view directly from the Lotus Sutra passage itself:

From "Letter to Akimoto", WND pp. 1014-1015:

.. But a vessel is susceptible to four faults. The first is
.. being upset or covered, which means that the vessel can
.. be overturned or covered with a lid. The second is
.. leaking, which means that the water leaks out. The third
.. is being defiled, which means that the contents can be
.. contaminated. Though the water itself may be pure, if
.. filth is dumped into it, then the water in the vessel
.. ceases to be of any use. The fourth is being mixed. If
.. rice is mixed with filth or pebbles or sand or dirt,
.. then it is no longer fit for human consumption. ...

Then later on, Nichiren talks about the fourth vessel, mixing practices:

.. ... Or we may be the kind of practitioners of the Lotus
.. Sutra whose mouths are reciting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo one
.. moment, but Namu Amida Butsu the next. This is like
.. mixing filth with one's rice, or putting sand or pebbles
.. in it. This is what the Lotus Sutra is warning against
.. when it says, "Desiring only to accept and embrace the
.. sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single
.. verse of the other sutras." [Note 1: Lotus Sutra, chap.
.. 3.]

.. The learned authorities in the world today suppose that
.. there is no harm in mixing extraneous practices with the
.. practice of the Lotus Sutra, and I, Nichiren, was once
.. of that opinion myself. But the passage from the sutra
.. [that I have just quoted] does not permit such a view.

So, mixing Nichiren's Buddhism of the Mystic Law with other extraneous practices (like Inoue's Soto Zen practice) is NOT Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. It is in fact a Shinto practice to mix all of these things together indiscriminantly while bowing to the Emperor as God Almighty. Cooking the filth in with the rice.

Nichiren's extremely low opinion of the state of the established schools of Buddhidm at that time (13th century Japan) is summarized (known as the four dictums) at the end of that same "Letter to Akimoto", WND p. 1016:

.. But I, Nichiren, one man alone, declare that [1] the
.. recitation of the name of Amida Buddha is an action that
.. leads to rebirth in the hell of incessant suffering, that
.. [2] the Zen school is the invention of the heavenly devil,
.. that [3] the True Word school is an evil doctrine that will
.. destroy the country, and that [4] the Precepts school and the
.. observers of the precepts are traitors to the nation.

The four dictums were actually identified as such by his principal disciple and designated successor, Nikko Shonin. Nichiren's 2nd dictum states "the Zen school is the invention of the heavenly devil".

Nichiren Daishonin went on at great length against Patriarchal Zen, and the other kinds, in the Gosho The Selection of the Time, and others. He made the point that Zen grasps Non-Duality, but forgets about Duality, the humanity of what President Ikeda calls the "included other". Other people are not just a fingernail to be chopped off.

Nichiren also makes the case that handing down a teaching that states that all written teachings should be discarded is erroneous on its face.

Patriarchal Zen is that which is handed down, by what is called "Ishin Denshin" or mind to mind transfer, from Master to disciple, all the way back to Bodhidharma at the Shaolin Monastery in Northwest China. Bodhidharma makes the case that Shakyamuni Buddha is his mentor, but Shakyamuni's admonitions to discard provisional teachings, made in the Nirvana and Lotus Sutras clearly state to the contrary of that view.

Bodhidharma invented Ch'an, which in Japan became called Zen, by discarding all of the sutras (which he found difficult to understand) in favor of dhyana, or deep Hindu or Yogic meditation on natural forms (mixing with Taoism). All Buddhist meditation is actually Hindu meditation, varying only in what one meditates on.

In between long periods of meditation his followers added Tantric (Shingon, dictum #3) mudras or physical motions to keep from becoming a cripple like Bodhidharma. From that you get Gigong, TaiChi, Kung Fu, the rest of the martial arts and things like Falun Gong.

If the Devil King is the spirit of stealing the fruits of someone else's labor and gloating over their destruction ... the ultimate example of this is Devadatta's spiritual son, Bodhidharma, whose Zen is now equated with Buddhism around the world, stealing all the Buddha's followers, replacing his teachings and intent and attacking votaries of the Lotus Sutra at every turn, ever since.

As befits the ultimate identity thief, Bodhidharma has several identities to confuse the unwary [AKA Ta-Mo, Da-Mo and Daruma (Japan)] and there is a famous quote by a Zen Roshi (priest) which states "If you see the Buddha walking down the street, kill him."

In the process of "Ishin Denshin", there is a moment where the mind of the disciple is either submitted to the Zen Master, or subjugated by him. In a famous Zen story:

|| Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked
|| a question about Zen. A boy attendant began to
|| imitate him in this way. When anyone asked the boy
|| what his master had preached about, the boy would
|| raise his finger.
|| Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. He
|| seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried
|| and ran away. Gutei called and stopped him. When
|| the boy turned his head to Gutei, Gutei raised up
|| his own finger. In that instant the boy was
|| enlightened.

This story is Japanese, but is about a Chinese Ch'an Master. So the cold joke is deep in the roots of Zen. Zen has no particular teaching that it bases itself on, but the Koan, the cold joke is a staple of nourishment of the psychosis produced in the subject. As D.T. Suzuki wrote in the 1930s:

|| Zen has no special doctrine or philosophy, no
|| set of concepts or intellectual formulas, except
|| that it tries to release one from the bondage of
|| birth and death, by means of certain intuitive
|| modes of understanding peculiar to itself. It is,
|| therefore, extremely flexible in adapting itself
|| to almost any philosophy and moral doctrine as
|| long as its intuitive teaching is not interfered
|| with. It may be found wedded to anarchism or
|| fascism, communism or democracy, atheism or
|| idealism, or any political or economic dogmatism.
|| It is, however, generally animated with a certain
|| revolutionary spirit, and when things come to a
|| deadlock -- as they do when we are overloaded with
|| conventionalism, formalism, or other cognate isms
|| -- Zen asserts itself and proves to be a
|| destructive force.

Henceforth and categorically, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra is not in any way connected to the mixed Zen-Shinto-Nichiren-Shu practice, which is at the source of all of the Nichiren Shu insurgent group's profoundly misdirected anger against establishment figures.

.. One summer's day in 1923, he was surprised when a strange
.. voice suddenly called out, 'Nissho!' ('Sun-Called'), the
.. new given name he soon took for himself. On another
.. occasion, when he was sick with exhaustion from chanting
.. the odaimoku, a voice again cried out to him at the
.. Santoku-An, 'Omae wa sukuinushi da!', 'You are the
.. Saviour!' Inoue claims that at once the temple was filled
.. by 'a great light' and his heart, by a profound peace
.. which resolved all of his existential doubts and made him
.. at one with the universe; 'I felt all the world was one
.. ... I was in a mysterious mental state that I had never
.. experienced before. It was miraculous'. In retrospect,
.. these mystical experiences were decisive in the
.. integration of Inoue's personality and the formation of
.. his religious identity as the 'saviour', following in
.. Nichiren's footsteps, of Japan from moral confusion and
.. sin. Hashikawa Bunzo emphasizes that through mysticism,
.. Inoue attained the strong revolutionary will and
.. charismatic authority that so inspired his followers in
.. the Ketsumeidan Incident.

Here we see, yet again, that aping the trek of a great man's path, while distorting his wisdom and attributing corrupted views to him, does not make you a great man, or even a sane man. Nichiren Shu, by it's example of using Nichiren's name and ignoring his admonitions not to bow to evil, is the true mentor of this demented disciple Inoue.

.. After a period of further meditation during which he also
.. visited sacred sites associated with Nichiren, in
.. September 1924 Inoue was urged by yet another (or the
.. same?) mysterious voice to 'go south', to learn more about
.. Nichiren from Tanaka Chigaku, whose Kokuchukai (Pillar of
.. the Nation Association) in Tokyo stood at the forefront of
.. a popular [and distorted]Nichiren reform movement outside
.. the mainstream Nichiren sect. Tanaka was well-known for
.. his 'Nichirenshugi', a strident nationalist synthesis of
.. Nichiren Buddhism and Shinto mythology which also
.. attracted Ishiwara Kanji, who later played a major part in
.. launching the Manchurian Incident, to the Kokuchukai, in
.. 1920. But whereas Ishiwara went on to apply the medieval
.. Buddhist notion of mappo (the Latter Days of the Law) to
.. his prophesy of a 'Final War' with the Anglo-American
.. powers, Inoue was more interested in Tanaka's vision of
.. Japan's spiritual regeneration.
.. On the outcome of the trial of the insurgents, p. 561-562
.. If Kiuchi hoped that Judge Fujii would reduce the
.. sentences, he was not disappointed. On 22 November 1934,
.. when he handed down the final verdict, Fujii found the
.. defendants guilty as charged and sentenced Inoue, Onuma
.. and Hishinuma to life imprisonment and Furu'uchi to
.. fifteen years. He also amended the other sentences
.. demanded by the prosecution as follows: Yotsumoto, from
.. life to fifteen years; Ikebukuro, from fifteen to eight
.. years; Kukita, Suda, Tanaka, Tagura, all from ten to six
.. years; Mori and Kurosawa Daiji, from eight to four years;
.. Hoshiko, from six to four years; and Ito Hiroshi, from
.. seven to three years. Before concluding the trial, Fujii
.. wished the defendants good health in prison, implying that
.. they would soon be released through an amnesty. At this,
.. the spectators sitting in the packed court-room gallery
.. reportedly let out a collective sigh of relief and many
.. chewed their lips, holding back tears of emotion. Inoue
.. and the other defendants sat silently, as if stunned by
.. their reprieve. Four days later, when it was announced
.. that the prosecution would not appeal against the verdict,
.. the Tokyo Asahi observed approvingly that an appeal would
.. have defied public opinion while risking even greater
.. social unrest; with the decision not to appeal, prospects
.. were good that the Ketsumeidan defendants would eventually
.. be released through an amnesty.
.. The Ketsumeidan trial clearly ended in a convincing
.. victory for the defendants who, by successfully exploiting
.. public opinion and bending the court to their will, had
.. gravely weakened the independence of the judicature
.. (shihoken dokuritsu). Judge Sakamaki's capitulation to
.. Inoue and Judge Fujii's decision, in effect to put the
.. 'sincerity' of their motives above the brutality of their
.. crimes, likewise contributed significantly to this
.. outcome. Henceforth, it would be much harder for the
.. courts, which had always dealt sternly with avowed enemies
.. of the imperial house and the kokutai, to deal with
.. terrorists who claimed to be protectors of the imperial
.. house and the kokutai. That for many Japanese the
.. irrational concept of the kokutai increasingly overrode
.. legal conceptions of the State was made clear in 1935 when
.. Professor Minobe Tatsukichi and his well-known 'emperor-
.. organ theory' were widely vilified. Viewed in this
.. context, the Ketsumeidan trial, like other terrorist
.. trials in this period, was nothing less than a dramatic
.. episode of nationalist theatre which helped undermine the
.. rule of law in early Showa Japan.
.. Epilogue
.. Inoue's reprieve from death in November 1934 marked the
.. beginning of a remarkable political rehabilitation which
.. reveals how far terrorism in the name of nationalism
.. became acceptable in pre-war Japan. On 17 October 1940,
.. five days after Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro inaugurated
.. the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, Inoue and the
.. others who had been convicted for the Ketsumeidan Incident
.. were all released from Kosuge Prison as part of a general
.. amnesty to promote national unity.
.. p. 563
.. In Japan today, Inoue and the Ketsumeidan may not be
.. household words, yet they are not entirely forgotten.
.. Nationalists still honour their memory when visiting the
.. Gokokudo in Oarai and the writer Nakano Koji wrote about
.. the Ketsumeidan in his novel, Gyakuryu (Counter Flow),
.. which was serialized in twenty-two installments, in the
.. journal Sekai, beginning with the January 1981 issue.
.. Written from the perspective of Onuma Sho, it portrays
.. Inoue as a saintly 'priest' surrounded by acolytes in a
.. world of darkness and sin. The inference is plainly that
.. contemporary Japan needs men like this again, to rescue
.. the country from corrupt politicians and businessmen who
.. have led it astray. Such romantic portrayals suggest that
.. at least to some Japanese, Inoue Nissho and the 'Blood-
.. Pledge Corps' remain part of an extremist political
.. tradition which can be reclaimed in times of perceived
.. national crisis as Japan faces the uncertainties of a new
.. century.

The question arises: what had changed the public mind of Japan, such that by 1934 no public outcry would be made, when terrorist assassins of the highest political leaders, publicly escaped from paying for their murderous crimes?

The answer lies in the publicly accepted and freely transferred distortions of Nichiren's Buddhism during this era. People will spout a thousand half-truths and lies before reading a single line of what Nichiren actually wrote. In those days, especially, they were more likely to read bad translations of his work (from the Chinese) or distorted interpretations by supporters of the military rulers that suited their authoritarian views and desires for conquest.

The true source of this flowing torrent of slander of the Buddhist Law is the betrayal of Nichiren Daishonin and his Lotus Sutra Buddhism by the Five Senior Priests of Nichiren Shu after the death of Nichiren. The Zen-Shinto-Nichiren-Shu distortions of Tanaka Chigaku are a perfect example of the variety of corruptions produced throughout its length by a pollution of the Nichiren Shu river at its source. Here is Tanaka, another disciple of the distorting Nichiren Shu mentor, as reported by Edwin Lee.

.. Nichiren and Nationalism. The Religious Patriotism of
.. Tanaka Chigaku
.. by Edwin B. Lee

.. p. 28-29

.. Tanaka found the inspiration for his syncretism in the
.. Nihongi rather than in the Kojiki, the basis of Motoori
.. Norinaga's rediscovery of Japan's native traditions in the
.. middle of the Tokugawa period. Both of these tendentious
.. eighth-century works deal with Japan's mythological past
.. as history, but the Nihongi, in its third chapter,
.. emphasizes the role played by the first emperor, Jimmu, in
.. the conquest of the aboriginal population of the Japanese
.. islands as the 'Yamato' people pushed their way eastward
.. from Kyushu.

.... From the date when our Heavenly Ancestor descended until
.... now it is over 1,792,470 years. But the remote regions
.... do not yet enjoy the blessings of Imperial rule. Every
.... town has always been allowed to have its lord, and every
.... village its chief, who, each one for himself, makes
.... division of territory and practises mutual aggression
.... and conflict. Now I have heard that in the East there is
.... a fair land encircled on all sides by blue mountains....
.... I think that this land will undoubtedly be suitable for
.... the extension of the Heavenly task, so that its glory
.... should fill the universe. It is, doubtless, the centre
.... of the world....

.. Using these words of Emperor Jimmu as the subject of his
.. exegesis, Tanaka explained that Heaven has appointed one
.. person, Jimmu, to unify the world. The process would not,
.. could not, be aggression therefore, for it was in reality
.. merely the expression of the imperial will, and the
.. Emperor could not under any circumstances be counted an
.. aggressor. In the end, peace would prevail, as the
.. boundaries that divided men fell and all mankind would
.. come to live in unity under the beneficent rule of the
.. Emperor of Japan.

.... A little later in the third chapter of the Nihongi,
.... Emperor Jimmu declares: Moreover, it will be well to
.... open up and clear the mountains and forests, and to
.... construct a palace. Then I may reverently assume the
.... Precious Dignity, and so give peace to my good subjects.
.... Above, I should then respond to the kindness of the
.... Heavenly Powers in granting me the Kingdom, and below, I
.... should extend the line of the Imperial descendants and
.... foster right-mindedness. Thereafter the capital may be
.... extended so as to embrace all the six cardinal points,
.... and the eight cords may be covered so as to form a
.... roof....

.. A four-character Chinese compound, pronounced in Japanese
.. hakko-ichiu ('eight cords, one roof'), bears the sense of
.. the last phrase in the quotation, and its interpretation
.. caused Tanaka some trouble. The bald meaning of the final
.. sentence suggests that imperial rule should cover the
.. world and that 'everywhere' (the eight cords) should be
.. united into one universe (a variant meaning of the word
.. 'roof'). In the written version of Tanaka's 1903 lecture,
.. hakko is replaced by the phrase tenchi (heaven and earth;
.. the universe; the world), an attempt, perhaps, to simplify
.. the concept for the benefit of readers of limited
.. sophistication. The resulting term, tenchi-ichiu, can be
.. interpreted as 'to put the universe under one roof' or 'to
.. unify the world', a fairly straightforward call for
.. territorial expansion. Eventually, in a long, involved
.. explanation of Emperor Jimmu's founding of the nation to
.. which Tanaka devoted a series of addresses in 1912 and
.. 1913, he reverted, almost offhandedly, to the phrase
.. hakko-ichiu, his succinct version of the Nihongi wording.
.. This is the origin, it seems, of the slogan adopted by the
.. ultra-nationalists of the 1930s and 1940s, but the phrase
.. was more an expropriation by them than a gift from Tanaka.

.. p. 31-32

.. The word 'righteousness' has a religious ring to it, but
.. while religion does have the quintessential role to play
.. in the achievement of unity and peace, it could not be
.. Christianity or even traditional Buddhism. The world was
.. in the period of the Latter Days of the Law, and it was
.. already fully evident that the only faith suitable for the
.. times was that of the Lotus Sutra, that is, Nichiren
.. Buddhism. But not, it should be understood, the religion
.. of the Nichiren temples. What the times demanded, and what
.. Tanaka had already called for, was a reformed Nichiren
.. church. Now, for the first time, Tanaka suggested that the
.. new faith should be Nichirenism (Nichiren shugi) -- the
.. principles of Nichiren Buddhism in the context of Japanese
.. nationalism.

The distorting rhetoric always begins with starting a new organization or splintering an old one.

No matter how noble the original ideas might be, splintering is wrong: (1) the Five Senior Priests driving Nichiren's chosen successor, Nikko Shonin out of Mt. Minobu, (2) Nikkyo betraying the Soka Gakkai to the Zen-Shinto-Nichiren Shu State, leading to the imprisonment of Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda and the death of Mr. Makiguchi in prison, (3) the betrayal of President Ikeda by High Priest Nittatsu and some Soka Gakkai leaders in 1979 leading to his stepping down from leadership, and (4) the betrayal and excommunication of President Ikeda and the entire SGI worldwide by Nikken the usurper and self-appointed High Priest in 1991.

It is clear that none of their reasons for sundering the body of believers was anything but evil. There is simply no justification for splintering the Sangha, ever. It will always turn out to be an evil act that arises in response to the distortions of Buddhism produced by the person responsible for the splintering.

.. This phrase [Nichirenism (Nichiren shugi)] is of great
.. importance, for it became the accepted identification for
.. Tanaka's religio-political theories. Nichiren shugi has a
.. somewhat more 'scientific' ring to it than the phrase
.. generally used to designate the established Nichiren
.. order, with its overtones of faith and piety, and it
.. conveys fairly accurately Tanaka's interpretations of the
.. teachings of Nichiren in a context of nationalism. If the
.. nuances are appreciated, Nichiren shugi can be said to
.. epitomize Tanaka's thought. The word appears constantly in
.. all of his works after about 1906, and it continues in use
.. today as the official definition of the religion of the
.. Kokuchukai.

.. Nichirenism, then, was the means of binding Tanaka's
.. patriotism and religion into a logical entity. When
.. Nichiren spoke of Japan's role as the savior of the world
.. (through assertive proselytization of the true faith), he
.. was amplifying and clarifying goals and methods already
.. set forth in the Nihongi; his call for an aggressive
.. policy of expansion was a reverberation of the earlier
.. rallying cry of Emperor Jimmu as he headed eastward to
.. subdue the barbarians and spread the culture of the Yamato
.. civilization.

.. These pronouncements of 1903-4, and especially the first
.. use of 'Nichirenism' to define Tanaka's thought, mark the
.. dividing line, according to the late Satomi Kishio, son of
.. Tanaka Chigaku by his second wife and head of the Satomi
.. Research Institute, between his father's career as an
.. advocate of religion with strong nationalistic emphases
.. and his career as a devotee of a nationalism rooted firmly
.. in religious principles. Thenceforth, Tanaka in almost
.. every speech associated the principles of Nichiren shugi
.. with the concepts of kokutai, and a clearer understanding
.. of what he meant by the latter may be useful as we attempt
.. a final assessment of his ideas.

.. What is Nippon Kokutai? It is the national substance,
.. national principles, the national form. It is a
.. fundamental social idea, a Gemeinschaft, on which the
.. political state and the social system depend for ultimate
.. authority. It is the moral path which enables Japan alone
.. to transmit universal justice to posterity. It is not a
.. form of government. A country without kokutai is an
.. unfinished country; it is founded on no principles, its
.. basis is military or industrial power, and its people live
.. parasitic lives which are totally dependent upon arms and
.. money. But the case of Japan is quite different. Japan is
.. a unique country, for alone among the nations it is based
.. upon kokutai. It exemplifies ideal peace, and its heavenly
.. task is to spread the truth of kokutai.

.. The substance of kokutai, Tanaka asserted, could be
.. divided into three constituents: 1. Happiness (the sum of
.. national blessing accumulated by ancestors); 2. Wisdom
.. (the sum of national wisdom amassed by ancestors); and 3.
.. Right (the sum of national loyalty cultivated by the
.. imperial descendants). ('Glory' is sometimes used in place
.. of 'wisdom', 'righteousness' in place of 'right'.) These
.. ideas, amplifications of Tanaka's interpretation of the
.. Nihongi, suggest that by and large his basic nationalistic
.. inclinations were probably fixed as early as the 1903
.. speech in which he alluded to the same three principles.

.. Japan's 'heavenly task' was, Tanaka declared, from the
.. outset not limited to the islands of Japan alone; the
.. departure of Emperor Jimmu for the east marked the
.. beginning of Japan's movement into the world at large. The
.. country was, indeed, founded for the benefit of the whole
.. world, and it was not too much to say that Perry's arrival
.. was a call upon Japan to distribute abroad the blessings
.. of its unique moral qualities. The world began and ended
.. with Japan, and if the country were truly understood,
.. mankind would exist in peace and harmony.

.. Tanaka then went into considerable detail concerning the
.. idea of the 'Way', as in Taoism. Confucius spoke of the
.. concept as meaning little more than 'the way men go', but
.. in much of Chinese philosophy and in Chinese-influenced
.. Japanese thought, the word bears metaphysical
.. implications. Tanaka's interpretation had to do with the
.. mystical odo, the 'Kingly Way', which, Tanaka asserted,
.. had become manifest fact in the imperial rule of Japan,
.. the 'Way of the Tenno'. ...

Shinto originates from the Chinese Shen Dao, or "Way of the gods" which is also called the "Kingly Way".

As an example, when visiting the Asian restaurants you frequent, you might notice some lady Shen Dao followers rapturously caressing 15 inch statues of Guan Yin in the back booths, or spot the little shrines on the floor by the tables or on high shelves in the kitchen holding tiny figures of the Buddhist gods.

By those practices, those establishments are effectively converted into shrines of the Buddhist gods they revere.

Shen Dao and Shinto place those Buddhist gods as equal to or greater than the Buddhas, ignoring the Buddha's own placement of them as beneath the rank of the bodhisattvas of the earth and the other Buddhas, in the Lotus Sutra's Ceremony in the Air.

The Lotus Sutra makes the Buddhist gods a function of our life, and that is greatness enough for them !

Shen Dao/Shinto is called the Kingly Way, because the Emperor (or Shogun) is declared to be a descendant or avatar of an important god.

Nichiren Shu embraces Shinto as does Nichiren Shoshu. That is why they so freely accepted the Shinto talisman during the Pacific War in becoming an affiliated major branch of Imperial Way Buddhism under State Shinto. That was not the first time that they betrayed Nichiren Daishonin and the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra in this way.

They betrayed similarly in becoming a major and active branch of temple hierarchy under the Tokugawa Shogunate. That history is described in 131 pages in a bookmarked Adobe PDF file (turn on the bookmarks pane for ease of navigation through the nine appendices), stored as a Google Doc. The title is:

Shinto Tsuru Shinmon - A Toynbee Analysis of the Fuji School (Incomplete)

There are three versions of the file:

1. With underlines, bolding and highlights for ease of quick reading:

2. With underlines only (if the highlighting bothers you):

3. Plain text (if you like it pristine):

Continuing with the modern effects of that historic destruction of Buddhism by Tendai, Zen, Shinto and Nichiren Shu priests:

.. ... It was the former 'way' which Japan had to explain and
.. expound, for the Way of the Emperor was unique and
.. unexportable. An example of the Kingly Way in action,
.. maintained Tanaka in 1935, was the establishment (in 1932)
.. of the state of Manchukuo, and from there the Kingly Way
.. was to expand, first into China and then throughout the
.. world. The moving force and model should, of course, be
.. Japan, with the Way of the Emperor a perfect, if
.. unreachable, example of the Kingly Way. Just as anyone who
.. followed the Buddha could become a Buddha himself, so any
.. country could become a land of 'peace and ease' if it
.. followed the Kingly Way as exemplified by Japan.

.. p. 33

.. Tanaka's claim to originality as a thinker lay in his
.. positive attempts at syncretism: the Shinto and Nichiren
.. Buddhist backgrounds of modern Japan's secular policy were
.. so intertwined as to be inseparably bound together. They
.. had to be regarded as a duality, each part of which was
.. dependent upon the other. ...

In the period of Japanese history following the Meiji Restoration of the Emperor and up until the Pacific War, Nichiren Shu effectively replaced the Tendai priests (such as that infamous old distorter Tenkai) in their position as chief forgers of Shinto.

At the beginning of the 17th century Tenkai distorted Dengyo's words to construct Sanno Ichijitsu Shinto to satisfy the Tokugawa desires for a syncretic self-deifying creed to support their hegemony throughout Japan.

After the Restoration, the modern bakufu (military regime) also sought a deifying Shinto to create an expansive imperialist creed to justify world conquest.

The Nichiren Shu Priests and the Nichiren Shu scholars at Rissho University were only too happy to satisfy every desire of the bakufu, as they had been their lap dogs since the 16th century, and before.

So, Nichiren Shu priests and scholars set about to construct a new Nichirenist-Shinto fusion to support the views of the insurgent militias and military leaders seeking glory.

In this way, and four centuries later, Tenkai's descendents in Nichiren Shu created distortions of Nichiren's Buddhism exceeding the betrayal of Dengyo by his Tendai school followers culminating with Tenkai's Shinto making Tokugawa Ieyasu the one supreme God almighty.

In the Nichiren Shu-Nichirenist view, War, glory and conquest were the three bodies of the Buddha, and God almighty.

.. ... Kokutai, then, was as much dependent upon Japan's
.. unique form of Buddhism as upon Shinto for its
.. philosophical underpinnings, and while Tanaka never
.. deprecated those whose religious inclinations comprised
.. Shinto alone (witness his veneration of Emperor Meiji), he
.. offered in Nichiren shugi widened horizons within which
.. Buddhists might fully share in their uniquely Japanese
.. (Shinto) heritage. What is Nippon kokutai? It is what
.. modern Japanese authorities were involved in as they
.. established footholds on the Asian mainland, planned
.. further expansion, and, in general, attempted to spread
.. the glory of the Kingly Way. And, Tanaka asserted, all of
.. this was as fully justified by Nichiren Buddhism as it was
.. by Shinto.

.. p. 34

.. One might well argue that Tanaka Chigaku's principal
.. importance lies not so much in what he said but in whom he
.. influenced. Although most of his followers were humble
.. folk, rather far down on the ladder of success, however it
.. might be measured, a fairly large, and surprisingly
.. varied, group of important people counted themselves among
.. his disciples: Takayama Chogyu, who though tragically
.. short-lived is now reckoned to have been one of the Meiji
.. period's pre-eminent scholars; Anesaki Masaharu, perhaps
.. Japan's most influential interpreter of Buddhism to
.. Western readers; Miyazawa Kenji, a farmer-poet of sublime
.. genius; Inoue Nissho, a radical terrorist active in a
.. number of ultra- nationalist plots in the 1930s; and
.. Ishiwara Kanji, an army officer who regarded the Mukden
.. Incident, which he helped plan, as the first stage in the
.. spreading of the Kingly Way throughout the world.

What do we perceive as the result of Nichiren Shu's creativity?

Their distortions of Nichiren's Buddhism into supporting the State Shinto hierarchy controlling Imperial Way Buddhism, and the dismantling of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai and imprisonment of their leaders, was the result. Add to that the total and abject subjugation of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood to State Shinto.

By converting Nichiren's hopeful Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra into an excuse for genocide they had created a monster. Andrew MacDonald summarizes the first round of the result of that.

.. Japanese Occupation Policies in Wartime Shanghai: Hollow Rhetoric and Harsh Reality
.. by Andrew MacDonald

.. p. 14

.. The capture of Shanghai had its roots in the 1932 fighting
.. between the Japanese and the Chinese in the city. In 1932,
.. a group of Japanese Buddhist monks of the ultranationalist
.. Nichiren sect paraded down the streets of Shanghai,
.. infuriating the local residents enough that a fight ensued
.. and two of the monks were killed. This event occurred in
.. the context of a Chinese boycott on Japanese goods and an
.. adventurous feeling amongst Japanese naval officers in
.. Shanghai. In response, the Japanese landed troops in
.. Shanghai, ostensibly for the purpose of protecting the
.. Japanese citizens living in the city. Fighting quickly
.. ensued between the Japanese and Chinese, and while the
.. Chinese suffered heavily, the Japanese forces were
.. bloodied as well. There were several aspects of the
.. fighting that would repeat themselves later. The Japanese
.. inflicted significant civilian casualties, as Morgan
.. Stewart notes:

.... Prisoners were taken in scores and even in hundreds and
.... 'executed' on absurd charges or on no charges at all …
.... Reporters of the Japanese newspapers boasted of how they
.... took their place at the sandbag barricades and shot at
.... anything they saw moving.

.. This attitude about the value of Chinese lives would
.. replay itself later in the fighting in Shanghai in 1937
.. and more broadly during the horrific slaughters in Nanking
.. and elsewhere during the war.

.. p. 15

.. The fighting in Shanghai also left a trail of death and
.. devastation that clearly showed the Japanese had no
.. concern for the welfare of the citizens of the city. Due
.. to the constant bombardment, much of the city's wealth
.. outside of the international settlement was destroyed.
.. Some put the estimates of damage to be in excess of one
.. billion US 1937 dollars, which made it the most
.. destructive battle the world had seen to date. And there
.. was no real attempt by the Japanese to mitigate any of
.. this damage towards Shanghai. As in the 1932 incident, the
.. International Concessions were spared from the fighting.
.. While there were some stray attacks that did cause
.. casualties in the international areas, the Japanese took
.. great pains to avoid bringing in the European powers to
.. the conflict. During and after the fighting, the
.. international settlement remained independent. As a
.. result, it served as a magnet for refugees seeking to
.. escape for whatever reason from the Japanese. Graff and
.. Higham describe the massive influx:

.... Refugees poured into the ten square miles of the French
.... Concession and International settlement, swelling the
.... population from 1. 5 million to 4 million within a few
.... weeks … With winter came disease, starvations, and
.... exposure; and by the end of the year 101,000 corpses had
.... been picked up in the streets ...

.. This would have serious repercussions for the Japanese
.. when they later attempted to pacify Shanghai. Those
.. unfortunate enough to get caught up in the fighting
.. suffered the consequences of Japanese troops' brutality.
.. There exist many documented cases of Japanese troops
.. indiscriminate killing of civilians, and there are no
.. doubt a much larger number of untold cases. A typical
.. example was given by Iris Chang, when she described the
.. conduct of an advance detachment of Japanese soldiers
.. during the chaos of the Chinese retreat: "[the Japanese]
.. marched through the gates of Suchow … once inside the
.. Japanese murdered and plundered the city for days, burning
.. down ancient landmarks and abducting thousands of Chinese
.. women for sexual slavery." While these acts of violence
.. were horrific in their own right, they were only a prelude
.. to the Rape of Nanking. During the fighting in and around
.. Shanghai, Japanese attitudes and policies clearly revealed
.. themselves as permissive of such acts of brutality, but
.. because of the international presence in the city and
.. because the army needed to keep moving to try and surround
.. the retreating forces, Shanghai was spared what befell
.. Nanking.

Let's go back to the beginning. What were the Nichiren Shu monks Reverend Mizukami Hideo and Amazaki Keisho doing at that precise time and location in the first place?

We start to get an idea of the enormous 'coincidence', of an arranged attack in an extremely large city, appearing 'spontaneously' with the unlikely arrival of an out-of-place group of monks and lay persons near a factory known as a center of unrest.

The Nichiren Shu monks showed up at just the right time and place to ignite the first genocidal actions of the War on the Chinese people.

.. Agony of Choice: Matsuoka Yosuke and the Rise and Fall of
.. the Japanese Empire, 1880-1946 (Studies of Modern Japan)
.. by David J. Lu

.. pg 71

.. On January 18, 1932, accompanied by four of his
.. parishioners, Amazaki Keisho, a Nichiren sect monk, went
.. about his practice of winter ascetic exercises in the
.. streets of Shanghai. Suddenly, they were attacked by a
.. group of thugs dressed as Chinese. One was killed and two
.. others were seriously injured. At that time, no one had a
.. way of knowing that this action was a conspiracy directed
.. by a Japanese major by the name of Tanaka Ryukichi.
.. Shanghai was a city with many frayed nerves. Coming on the
.. heels of a series of successful boycotts of Japanese goods
.. that injured Japanese businesses in Shanghai very
.. severely, their sense of security was gone. A wild
.. demonstration by the Japanese residents was followed by a
.. demand that the government dispatch troops to protect
.. them. The Inukai cabinet obliged.

Ryukichi Tanaka later publicly confessed to directing these Chinese thugs to attack the Nichiren Shu priests.

But, how did Japanese military intelligence know where and when the monks would appear?

After all Shanghai is huge, how could the hired thugs have known in advance where to show up to launch their attack?

Tanaka had to know the details in advance, which means the provocative actions of the Nichiren Shu priests was premeditated and coordinated with the military authorities. Here we have Frederic Wakeman's account of the events:

.. Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937 - Frederic E. Wakeman
.. pp. 187-188

.. On January 9, Japanese residents in Shanghai were
.. infuriated by an article in Minguo ribao about a Korean
.. assassin's effort to take the emperor's life the previous
.. day. The writer commented: "Unfortunately the bullet hit
.. only an accompanying carriage. In order to satisfy the
.. enraged Japanese, Mayor Wu had to apologize repeatedly and
.. punish the journalist who wrote the article.

.. The following day, January 10, 1932, a patriotic rally at
.. the West Gate public recreation ground in South Market to
.. mourn the death of Yang Tongheng, the student killed
.. during anti-Japanese demonstrations in Nanjing on December
.. 17, turned into a confrontation with the International
.. Settlement police. Thousands of high school and college
.. students assembled in front of the coffin and portrait of
.. their dead comrade. Then, flanked by French and
.. International Settlement police and detectives, they
.. marched through the foreign concessions, shouting
.. "communistic slogans" that attacked Japanese imperialism
.. in Manchuria, and called for the release of compatriots
.. jailed by Sun Ke's government.

.. The police were forced by the crowd to release one man
.. they had arrested, and "in view of the fanatical
.. utterances of the mob and its general hostile attitude,"
.. they dared not intervene when the demonstrators proceeded
.. boldly down Nanking Road before turning toward Hongkou.
.. When the procession reached the Hongkou Bridge, the SMP
.. Reserve Unit suddenly charged the parade with batons. The
.. demonstrators scattered, leaving their wounded behind.

.. Tensions continued to mount, and consular authorities
.. advised Japanese residents to leave China for their own
.. safety. On January 18 more violence erupted. Five Japanese
.. Nichiren priests chanting Buddhist sutras on Mayushan Road
.. were attacked by a Chinese mob. One monk was killed and
.. two were seriously wounded. The attack was secretly
.. instigated by Japanese special service Major Tanaka
.. Ryukichi to divert foreign attention from Manchuria, where
.. the new puppet state was being set up. The site of the
.. attack was chosen because it was near the Sanyou Towel
.. Company, which was famous for its anti-Japanese workers'
.. militia. The following night, in a heavy rainstorm, a
.. Japanese youth group controlled by Major Tanaka invaded
.. the Sanyou Company and set fire to the storage rooms. The
.. youths clashed with SMP police after the raid in the early
.. morning hours of January 20, and that same afternoon the
.. International Settlement police fought yet another mob of
.. a thousand or more Japanese residents who were on their
.. way to present demands for military intervention to the
.. Japanese consular, army, and navy authorities.

.. Three days later, on January 23, just as the Public
.. Security Bureau was trying to prevent a commemoration for
.. Lenin from turning into an anti-Japanese riot, the
.. Japanese consul general served an ultimatum to Mayor Wu
.. Tiecheng, demanding that he silence anti-Japanese
.. propaganda, suppress the boycotts, dissolve the Committee
.. to Resist Japan and Save the Nation, pay reparations, and
.. punish the culprits in the January 18 incident. Even as
.. the mayor heard the ultimatum, increments to the original
.. Japanese standing fleet of two warships arrived in the
.. Huangpu River in the form of eleven other vessels;
.. thirteen additional warships were steaming on their way
.. from Japan to join Rear Admiral Shiozawa Koichi's Shanghai
.. command. The fleet moored off the Hongkou wharves, where
.. the waterfront was connected by a secret underground
.. tunnel to the huge cement-and-steel Japanese military
.. headquarters and arsenal on Jiangwan Road.

Hence, the very same details occur in the account of Wakeman, as well.

So who is this agent provocateur from the military intelligence unit of the Japanese Army, named Captain Ryukichi Tanaka?

What happened to the man who was at the center of the conspiracy resulting in the Asian Holocaust?

Tanaka has a rich bio-page on Wikipedia:

.. Ryukichi Tanaka (28 September 1896 - 24 November, 1972)
.. was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World
.. War II.

.. (

.. Biography:

.. Tanaka was born in what is now part of Yasugi city,
.. Shimane prefecture, and attended military schools as a
.. youth. He graduated from the 26th class of the Imperial
.. Japanese Army Academy in 1913, specializing in artillery,
.. and was assigned to serve with the IJA 23rd Field
.. Artillery Regiment based on Okayama.

.. After graduating from the 34th class of the Army Staff
.. College in 1923, Tanaka served in various staff positions
.. in the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, and came into
.. contact with Pan-Asianism theorist and nationalist writer
.. Shumei Okawa. He was sent on special assignment to Beijing
.. and Kalgan from 1927-1929 to gather military intelligence.
.. In October 1930, he was based in Shanghai, where he came
.. into contact with Kawashima Yoshiko, and assisted her in
.. establishing her spy network. He was living with Kawashima
.. in Shanghai at the time of the Shanghai Incident of 1932.

.. Recalled to Japan in August 1932, Tanaka was appointed
.. commander of the IJA 4th Field Artillery Regiment. He was
.. attached to the IJA 1st Heavy Field Artillery Regiment
.. from 1934 to 1935, and then attached to the 2nd Section of
.. the Kwantung Army staff from 1935 to 1937. From 1937 to
.. 1939, Tanaka was commanding officer of the 25th Mountain
.. Artillery Regiment in Manchukuo, which was at the
.. disastrous Battle of Lake Khasan.

.. Recalled to Japan from 1939 to 1940, Tanaka was appointed
.. Chief of the Military Service Section, Military
.. Administration Bureau within the Ministry of War. In March
.. 1940, Tanaka was promoted to major general, and briefly
.. returned to China as Chief of Staff of the Japanese First
.. Army, during which time he initiated the Three Alls Policy
.. and unsuccessful attempted to woo Chinese warlord Yen Hsi-
.. shan of Shanxi Province to support the Japanese cause.
.. At the end of 1940, Tanaka was recalled back to Japan, and
.. the following year became Commandant of the Nakano School,
.. the primary espionage and sabotage training facility for
.. the Japanese army.

.. Suffering from poor health, Tanaka went into the reserves
.. until 1942 when he was attached to the Eastern Defense
.. Army, and then retired.

.. In 1945, Tanaka was recalled and served as Commandant of
.. Ratsu Fortress until the end of the war. During the
.. International Military Tribunal for the Far East after the
.. war, Tanaka testified three times for the prosecution and
.. twice for the defense. He was used by chief prosecutor
.. Joseph Keenan to persuade Hideki Tojo to revise his
.. testimony referring to Emperor Hirohito's ultimate
.. authority.

.. He died of colorectal cancer in 1972.

Here is yet another confirmation of Tanaka Ryukichi's scheme with a reference from Ryukichi Tanaka himself, from the article by Chong-Sik Lee.

Once again, it would have been impossible to set up welcoming party of thugs without foreknowledge of the arrival time and place of the group of priests.

.. The Politics of Korean Nationalism - Chong-Sik Lee, p. 317

.. Tanaka Ryukichi, then assistant to the Japanese military
.. attaché in Shanghai, says that the Chinese were hired by
.. him (or his group) to attack the Japanese monks in order
.. to instigate an incident and that he was asked by his
.. colleagues in Manchuria to start an incident in Shanghai
.. in order to divert the attention of the world from the
.. Japanese activities in Manchuria. "Shanghai Incident Was
.. Started This Way," in Himerareta Showashi [Hidden History
.. of Showa Era], Special issue of Chisei (Tokyo), Dec.,
.. 1956, pp. 182-183.

Donald Jordan's book on the Shanghai War goes into great detail on the war and the atrocities committed by Japanese Army and Navy on the civilian population in 1932.

The passage I quote below on the scheming that led to those events has fewer details than the final passage I cite from his other book, but it gives you a sense of the flow of events.

.. China's Trial By Fire - The Shanghai War of 1932, Donald
.. A. Jordan, p. 10-15

.. The Last Straw at Shanghai

.. From August 1931 on, there had been skirmishes between the
.. anti-Japanese boycott activists and the Japanese marines.
.. The level of anti-Japanese activity surged higher after
.. the Kwantung Army coup in Manchuria. How this turned
.. against Chiang's circle in Nanking and Shanghai has
.. already been outlined. January 1932 saw a series of Sino-
.. Japanese interactions at Shanghai that included violence
.. as well as words. Because the Japanese side claimed they
.. initiated the military phase of the conflict there in
.. response to what they perceived as warlike acts from the
.. Chinese, the focus here will be on the most egregious
.. Japanese complaints cited in January.

.. Starting on January 22, lists of irritants had been handed
.. to Mayor Wu by Admiral Shiozawa, independent of the
.. consulate, which included demands for the suppression of
.. organized anti-Japanese activities and societies. Consul
.. General Murai had met informally with Mayor Wu and adviser
.. William H. Donald on loan from the "young Marshall" Chang
.. Hsueh-liang. Wu had agreed verbally to the politically
.. explosive disbanding of the anti-Japanese groups and had
.. begun to suppress AJNSA affiliates. On January 25, a list
.. of the most serious remaining complaints was voiced by the
.. Japanese representative from the zaibatsu to the Municipal
.. Council of the International Settlement. Mitsui Bank
.. branch manager Fukushima Kimiji symbolized Japan's
.. economic power at Shanghai and, indirectly, the Seiyukai
.. cabinet that Mitsui subsidized. Backed up by threats of
.. action from the Japanese commandant of the local marines,
.. Fukushima definitely had the council's attention when he
.. cited the following Chinese acts as most demanding of
.. immediate redress: (1) the January 9 editorial of the Min-
.. kuo newspapers that insulted the emperor, (2) the attack
.. one week prior on a party of five Japanese monks -- one of
.. which had since died of his wounds. Each of these
.. incidents warrants attention as examples of the depth of
.. mutual resentment present.

.. The Min-kuo Jih-pao was a semiofficial KMT daily newspaper
.. published in several treaty ports, including Shanghai,
.. where its offices were located within the Settlement, as
.. were the headquarters of the anti-Japanese boycott
.. association, the Anti-Japanese National Salvation
.. Association (AJNSA). When a Min-kuo editorial commented on
.. a recent Korean assassination attempt on Hirohito that had
.. "unfortunately" failed, Japanese readers considered this a
.. humiliating affront. At treaty ports from Tientsin to
.. Fuchou, agitated Japanese vigilantes including yakuza (a
.. term meaning gang members or gangsters) and reservists had
.. rioted against the newspaper's offices. However, the
.. Japanese in China revealed little capacity to associate
.. Chinese feelings about Japanese with Japanese aggression
.. in Manchuria. This inability to empathize with Asians and
.. foreigners in general became a flaw in Japanese dreams of
.. hegemony.

.. The second major complaint, the assault on the Japanese
.. monks, had been cited in imperial court circles as the
.. cause célèbre that had incited most Japanese to retaliate.
.. Yet, this episode epitomizes the manner in which the
.. Japanese army goaded Chinese and Japanese into war. Major
.. Tanaka Ryukichi and his patrons in the Kwantung Army had
.. decided back in October that the next phase of the
.. Manchurian offensive would be ready in several months. On
.. cue, Tanaka was to stir anti-Japanese reaction at Shanghai
.. that would demand action from Japan at Shanghai. Japan's
.. action at Shanghai, would, in turn, divert attention from
.. the final consolidation of army control in Heilungchiang,
.. northern Manchuria.

.. The focus of major Western investment and trade, Shanghai
.. was the perfect location for a diversion. There were
.. obviously tensions present between Japanese economic
.. imperialism and Chinese economic nationalism as well as
.. between xenophobic anti-Japanism and Japanese chauvinism.
.. Close to the KMT heartland, Major Tanaka was also able to
.. monitor the Nanking regime, which was struggling to
.. reintegrate but was apparently too weak to obstruct the
.. Kwantung Army machinations.

.. Thus, the notorious January 18 "attack" in Shanghai
.. against the five Nichiren monks had been staged by Major
.. Tanaka. He had paid Chinese to attack the Japanese monks
.. as they exited the Settlement near the booming San Yu
.. towel factory. This Chinese mill had prospered while its
.. Japanese competitors had suffered from the boycott, and
.. many workers at San Yu were known AJNSA activists. The
.. Japanese both in Shanghai, and on the home islands became
.. furious when they read the January 19 press version that
.. the consulate released describing the wanton assaults on
.. the defenseless monks by mobs of Chinese out of control.
.. Tanaka also had the means to mobilize a Japanese response.
.. As an army officer, he had access to the Seinendan (Young
.. Men's Association) males who received military training
.. prior to their conscription into the army. Other older
.. Japanese males in Shanghai were members of compulsory
.. military reservists' association training units and were
.. likewise accessible to Tanaka. The beating of the Nichiren
.. monks had been followed on January 20 by a predawn raid by
.. forty Japanese youths from a Seinendan. They retaliated
.. against the AJNSA by burning down two Chinese-owned San Yu
.. towel mills outside the Settlement boundary. Two Chinese
.. on the Settlement's municipal police force died when they
.. tried to halt the rampaging Japanese arsonists. Although
.. Japanese diplomats apologized profusely for the
.. retaliation, the perpetrators went free once they had been
.. returned to Japan. The Chinese had begun to address such
.. vigilantes as ronin, commemorating the old-fashioned
.. Japanese warriors who loved violence and acted outside the
.. law. Similar violence by Japanese civilians that had
.. preceded the Manchurian Incident can be linked to the
.. Kwantung Army colonels.

.. From the Japanese consulate, the major and his colleagues
.. were well positioned to issue press releases to the
.. Japanese local and Tokyo press -- worded to exaggerate the
.. Chinese threat. These included the news of a bomb set off
.. without damage at the residence of Shigemitsu, Japan's
.. minister to China, who enjoyed a French concession villa
.. where his neighbor was Finance Minister T. V. Soong. Such
.. army-initiated inflammatory disinformation about Chinese
.. terrorism through the Japanese press during the 1930s
.. convinced an entire generation of Japanese that they had
.. been forced to take action to defend national interests
.. from hostile Chinese and Western competitors.

.. Shanghai's Japanese Spinners' Association on January 24
.. added their own threat to Chinese city authorities. Some
.. 300,000 Chinese workers would be shut out of Japanese
.. mills unless the anti-Japanese movement were suppressed.

.. Apparently unaware of the secret role of Japanese
.. provocateurs in Shanghai, the Mitsui spokesman Fukushima
.. at the council meeting on January 25 demanded an official
.. Chinese apology, indemnity payments to the victims, and
.. punishment of the Chinese assailants. At Geneva the
.. Japanese delegate went on record before the League with
.. the same demands.

.. The Settlement Municipal Council provided the Japanese
.. spokesman with a forum to lay all blame at the feet of the
.. anti-Japanese organizations and Chinese media.

.. The council of the Settlement hoped to persuade the
.. Chinese and Japanese to talk out their problems but, in
.. the meantime, appeased the Japanese. On January 26, when
.. the Japanese marine commandant threatened to march his
.. marines through the Settlement and shut down the Min-kuo
.. offices, the council pressed the Chinese newspaper to
.. close on its own and apologize for any disrespect for
.. Japanese national honor -- most recently its accusations
.. that local Japanese marines colluded in the burning of the
.. San Yu mills. The only recourse that the Chinese manager
.. of the Min-kuo had was to protest via the Shanghai press
.. association that the Japanese were destroying the freedom
.. of the press enjoyed within the Settlement.

.. Although the Municipal Council lacked a Chinese
.. representative, it unanimously resolved to help the
.. Japanese by planning for the closure of the AJNSA,
.. headquartered on the grounds of an earlier temple that had
.. enjoyed continued sanctuary within the Settlement. It
.. could be that the council in the Settlement was cowed by
.. the threat of a recurrence of Japanese vigilante violence.
.. Such a civilian mob had rampaged through Tsingtao one week
.. earlier escorted by marines, burning the local Min-kuo
.. building and the KMT branch headquarters. There had been
.. similar flare-ups between Japanese vigilantes with marine
.. escorts and Chinese AJNSAs at Fuchou, Tsingtao, and
.. Tientsin. Heretofore in January, local Chinese officials
.. had apologized under duress for local anti-Japanese
.. behavior, after which the Japanese marines had gone back
.. on board their ships.

.. What of Japanese talk that the Nineteenth R.A. had already
.. been ordered to attack Little Tokyo and was poised to move
.. in Chapei? Weak and divided, Nanking could not agree to
.. any action at that point. In fact, bombarded by Japanese
.. ultimatums calling for Nanking to disband the surging
.. anti-Japanese organizations of Shanghai, KMT leadership
.. seemed to be drifting and rudderless. It was left to the
.. new Shanghai mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng to concede to Japanese
.. demands. Recently arrived from assignments in negotiation
.. with Japanese in north China after the Manchurian
.. Incident, Wu was seasoned and talented. Wu had been
.. appointed from Nanking on January 7 as mayor of the
.. special municipal district, and his oral promise that he
.. would begin to disperse the rambunctious anti-Japanese
.. boycotters was acceptable to Consul Murai.

.. Consul General Murai began to work in tandem with Admiral
.. Shiozawa, applying further verbal pressure backed by naval
.. force to gain Chinese compliance. With the Min-kuo problem
.. solved, the Japanese next demanded on January 25 that
.. anti-Japanese organs be disbanded. To compensate for the
.. beating of the Nichiren monks, Murai insisted that
.. Shanghai mayor Wu must: apologize for the attack, pay for
.. the care of the surviving victims, and apprehend and
.. punish the Chinese assailants. In addition to publishing
.. the demands in the press, Murai went to the mayor's office
.. to discuss informally the anti-Japanese problem. Mayor Wu
.. explained how politically explosive the suppression of
.. such popular bodies would be and that, although he wanted
.. to comply, it would take at least until January 30.

.. Murai accepted this but warned Wu that the alternative to
.. meeting these Japanese demands would be unwanted defensive
.. marine action. Murai was also under considerable pressure
.. -- from Admiral Shiozawa, hawkish civilian petitioners,
.. and local firebrands. Some of the press in Japan were
.. thrashing him and Foreign Minister Yoshizawa for their
.. "weak-kneed" response to Chinese outrages at Shanghai.

.. The offer from the Anti-Japanese Association to
.. voluntarily close the doors of its Temple of the Queen of
.. Heaven headquarters did not sufficiently meet Japanese
.. demands for total disbanding of all such bodies. Consul
.. Murai returned to the office of Shanghai mayor Wu T'ieh-
.. ch'eng to press him to suppress the anti-Japanese movement
.. completely and in a timely fashion -- or face naval action
.. approved by Tokyo. That evening Murai received the
.. reluctant permission of Foreign Minister Yoshizawa to
.. issue when necessary an ultimatum for the Chinese with a
.. deadline. Shanghai Westerners were still extremely fearful
.. after the xenophobic killing of the young Englishman John
.. Thorburn in June 1931, after he had hiked out of the
.. International Settlement. Now their fearfulness increased
.. with news on January 25 that an overzealous Chinese sentry
.. had just shot and killed the local manager of American
.. Express at a boundary checkpoint. These anxieties became
.. weapons of the Japanese army.

.. The Chinese side began gathering support for a response to
.. Japanese demands. On January 26, Mayor Wu met with
.. Shanghai elites, many of whom had helped the KMT to start
.. the anti-Japanese boycott in July 1931. They heard his
.. argument that in order to save Shanghai from destruction,
.. the anti-Japanese organizations must be sacrificed. That
.. day, Wu's municipal police sealed the gates to the AJNSA
.. headquarters. On January 27, Chiang Kai-shek, representing
.. a new coalition with the popular Cantonese Wang Ching-wei,
.. had gathered sixty-two Central Executive Committee (CEC)
.. members heading the KMT in order to face the threat of
.. Japanese naval action at Shanghai. The CEC, even before
.. appointing a new cabinet of ministers, created a
.. commission of seasoned foreign affairs experts to deal
.. with the crisis. These diplomats were primarily Anglo-
.. American in training and orientation, thus eclipsing the
.. prior Japan-oriented team. This Foreign Affairs Commission
.. was dedicated to gaining sympathy from the West as well as
.. averting immediate war with Japan.

.. When the cabinet gathered on January 25 in Tokyo, Inukai,
.. long a friend of China, absented himself from the
.. ministers' consensus building, which approved an immediate
.. localized naval response if conditions continued to
.. worsen. The cabinet spokesman explained to the press that
.. should action be necessary, the marines could occupy anti-
.. Japanese offices in Chinese Shanghai but that they were
.. not to seize Chinese barracks, arsenal, and forts unless
.. fired upon. Military action would be left up to the
.. judgment of Murai and Shiozawa, "who are working in close
.. cooperation."

.. On the afternoon of January 26, Japanese gained some
.. satisfaction from the closing of the Min-kuo doors to
.. business. However, anti-Japanese rage soared and not only
.. over that censure. There had also been the funerals for
.. the Chinese police and workers who had died at the hands
.. of Tanaka's young ronin during the San Yu towel factory
.. raid. There is no evidence to support Japanese allegations
.. that Chinese authorities were plotting to unleash anti-
.. Japanese forces into the Settlement's Little Tokyo to vent
.. China's resentments. For the Chinese garrison, still
.. composed of Nineteenth R.A. regiments, to have undertaken
.. such an attack would have been suicidal.

.. As threats and rumors of Japanese marine action resounded
.. in Shanghai in January, the nearby Nineteenth R.A. units
.. did move closer to Little Tokyo. The Chinese public and
.. critics of Nanking were clamoring for punishment of the
.. Manchurian forces, which had not blocked the Kwantung Army
.. blitz, emboldening the Nineteenth R.A. officers to take a
.. stand. In the absence of policies from Nanking, General
.. Ts'ai T'ing-k'ai and his fellow officers held an emergency
.. meeting on January 23. In a feverish pitch of emotion,
.. they vowed together to resist any Japanese marine invasion
.. at Shanghai with their flesh and blood. Speaking for his
.. colleagues in the Nineteenth R.A. general staff, Ts'ai
.. dashed off a telegram the next morning to Nanking
.. indicating that they were preparing to resist Japanese
.. invaders …

end of part 1, continued in part 2 of 2 ...

LS Chap. 16 .....

All harbor thoughts of yearning
and in their minds thirst to gaze at me.
When living beings have become truly faithful,
honest and upright, gentle in intent,
single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha
not hesitating even if it costs them their lives,
then I and the assembly of monks
appear together on Holy Eagle Peak.
At that time I tell the living beings
that I am always here, never entering extinction,
but that because of the power of an expedient means
at times I appear to be extinct, at other times not,
and that if there are living beings in other lands
who are reverent and sincere in their wish to believe,
then among them too
I will preach the unsurpassed Law.

Jeffrey Rubard

Oct 3, 2022, 9:52:53 PM10/3/22
"But the Asian Holocaust would be, like, better, right?"

Jeffrey Rubard

Oct 6, 2022, 6:52:39 PM10/6/22
"You disgust me."
But it's not really the Jews' problem, right? Systematic oppression is "world fare",
and they seem to be doing really well as US citizens these days.
"I'll take it under consideration."

Jeffrey Rubard

Oct 9, 2022, 5:31:54 PM10/9/22
"Perhaps we could have an American holocaust!"

Jeffrey Rubard

Oct 10, 2022, 4:50:49 PM10/10/22
"I see."
I'm pretty sure you would.
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