More and more people are becoming aware of the Hiroshima and what had happened at the end of the Second World War. Today it has become the focus for a world with less war and violence. I doubt the world can become a place completely free of conflict but I believe it we can always hold on to the attitude that violence is not the best solution, that life’s problems can be resolved without someone having to kill and someone to be killed.
The Atomic Bomb Dome is a reminder that we should not take such action again and cause unnecessary pain and suffering.
The following is the English transcript (followed by the Japanese original) of the speech given by Emperor Akihito on August 8, 2016. It hints at his wish to abdicate, something which has never happened in the history of the Imperial Family. His Majesty’s decision to make such a request has been seen by some as his disapproval of Prime Minister Abe’s recent actions which have loosened Japan’s stance for peace. Many see Japan as heading again down the path towards militarism. The atmosphere and character of now is similar to that of the years leading up to WW2.
A major milestone year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has passed, and in two years we will be welcoming the 30th year of Heisei.
As I am now more than 80 years old and there are times when I feel various constraints such as in my physical fitness, in the last few years I have started to reflect on my years as the Emperor, and contemplate on my role and my duties as the Emperor in the days to come.
As we are in the midst of a rapidly aging society, I would like to talk to you today about what would be a desirable role of the Emperor in a time when the Emperor, too, becomes advanced in age. While, being in the position of the Emperor, I must refrain from making any specific comments on the existing Imperial system, I would like to tell you what I, as an individual, have been thinking about.
Ever since my accession to the throne, I have carried out the acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and at the same time I have spent my days searching for and contemplating on what is the desirable role of the Emperor, who is designated to be the symbol of the State by the Constitution of Japan. As one who has inherited a long tradition, I have always felt a deep sense of responsibility to protect this tradition. At the same time, in a nation and in a world which are constantly changing, I have continued to think to this day about how the Japanese Imperial Family can put its traditions to good use in the present age and be an active and inherent part of society, responding to the expectations of the people. Continue reading
If life, in the form of a non-material entity, can exist independently then there would not be a need for a physical being in the first place. The simpler solution is usually the most economical. So life must require a physical form to exist in the first place. The mind or soul is therefore a product of the body, not the other way around. Nor is the mind/soul independent of the body.
Yet, the body is what produces the very illusion of the soul in the first place. It is a part of the material world and it is a necessary part of our humanness. Without this we would not know what we know, and we would not live how we live. That is the irony of the mind and body.