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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0344, 1946-02-02.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1072

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1072 Date: 2 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Moves for the Democratization of Buddhist Circles - Asahi Shimbun - 31 Jan 46. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
In the religious circles of our country, Buddhism occupies a very large place, not in religious activity, but in the number of supporters. The Buddhist Religion which has thirty million supporters with seventy thousand temples and fifty chief priests, has shown no move worthy of democracy in these days of reform. By the abolition of the Religious Organization Law, under which the authorities enforced control during the war, religion was freed from restraint.
However, Buddhists are as inactive as ever. What is the reason? They are, strictly speaking, entirely motivated, and, materially speaking, completely exploited, by the feudalistis fetters of each sect and denomination. The feudalistic structure of each seat which is centered around the head temple, does not allow its doctrine end authority to come in contact with the current trend. The so called brains of each order, protected by this feudalistic system, will not allow fresh elements who are discontented with the difficult situation of branch temples to make a protest. Under these circumstances, the abolition of a bad law is not sufficient for religious groups to become active. As a prerequisite, each denomination should initiate a movement for the elimination of such a feudalistic structure in order to institute democracy in its religion.
The religious groups, which should be most pure and sincere are, in reality, most corrupt and contradictory. The seriousness o[illegible]the veiled enmity in each sect is beyond imagination for outsiders. It will take a great effort for a sect to be rid of the strife. Recently, the SKITENNO Temple at OSAKA declared its separation from the TENDAT Sect. Whatever the inner affair may be, we want to consider the declaration which seems to indicate that independence is a reaction to the feudalistic exploitation system, considering the posiion, especially the financial position, occupied by the SHITENNO Temple. Those who know the concealed contradictions of the religious factions which have accumulated during hundreds of years, take this event as a very natural result, expecting that many similar cases will happen in other orders.
In order to examine the financial system of the Buddhist sects, we shall consider the TENDAI Order as en example. The finances of this sect are maintained by revenue from imposition of rank (TOKYU EAKIN), priest's donation (JUSHOKU GIZAI), special impositions, offerings, branch offices' donations and loans. The amount of revenue from imposition of rank and special imposition, which are akin to income taxes for common citizens, comprises more than sixty per cent of the total sum. As for contributers, ten per cent of their yearly income is collecte[illegible]Punishment for non-payment is the prohibition of canonicals, the dismissal or suspension of priesthood, and so on. The head-temple has this strong financial authority.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 344 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
As another example, the HONGANJI Sect of the SHINSHU obtain revenue from imposition, privileged income, end offerings. The case is similar to all other orders. Although the ENRYAKU Temple had a fief of five thousand koku in the TOKUGAWA Era, the temples of today have no such firm financial foundation. So long as the order is financially week, material strife is apt to occur between the central temple, which is actually the seminary, and the branch temples, which are in direct contact with the people. In order to maintain the central temple, there is no way except to extract money from the branches. For that objective, the central temple has no choice but to strengthen its feudalistic control of the order. Thus the present Buddhist situation has resulted. In this financial weakness, we find reason and necessity for the democratization of the order from a material view point.
As for doctrinal changes, we see some improvements. For example the SHUKEN Sect, became independent of the TENDAI SHU, and the SHINGON SHU is threatened with being divided into two new sects. Particularly in the SHINSHU, there are claims for the re-examination of the Trinitarian hereditary system for the High Priest and the Chief Priest of the Central Temple, and the Sect Founder. We cannot know, at present, how extensively a movement of this nature will be carried on. However, unless the orders exercise active movements to cast off their old feudalistic ways on both the material and spiritual sides, Buddhism will never be a popular religion.
ITEM 2 Control through Abstinence - Mainichi Shimbun - 31 Jan 46. Translator: H. Suzuki.
Full Translation:
I wish to answer Mrs. KAMSHIMA Yoshiko's argument in opposition to my opinion on birth control. This opposition was [illegible]emely fundamental. On this point I feel that I have the duty to express Lore of my intentions and I rather welcome this opportunity. Aside from the number of men who lead a monastic life and those who think only of their ideals, the average man finds the logical restraint of desire to be most difficult. Therefore I could never expect from them control through abstinence. The result is the same as not interfering with birth control at all.
What I am driving at are the problems of population and food. Solution of these by control would be carried out in an unnatural way, that is to say, in a way opposed to human nature. However from the stand point of being unnatural and inhuman the question is whether control by abstinent or artificial or other methods of contraception are more important. In this case, because a man is a logical being, it is better for him properly to control his instinct with his reason. This is in accord with natural human nature. As I said above, we cannot expect this.
Therefore I say that the fundamental solution to the problems of population and food must be accomplished, not through birth control, but through the democratization of international relations and world economy.
If the Allied nations realize JAPAN's sincerity to carry out thoroughly the terms of the FOTSDAM Declaration, I am sure that the anxiety concerning the imperialistic policy held formerly by other nations will disappear. When JAPAN is given a voice in international relations her people will be able to go in dignity to AUSTRALIA, EPAZIL, or ARGENTINA, to lands of scarce population, and to a new world of rich resources to render service to these nations in their economic development.
Formerly problems such as birth control were managed from the viewpoint of economy, nationalism, and medical science. This takes the same direction of thought as that of Nazi GERMANY which advocated eugenic sterilization merely from a nationalistic point of view and the maintenance of racial purity on the motive of anti-semitism.
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EDITORILAL SERIES: 344 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Nevertheless such complicated problems as birth control should be handled in theory and metaphysics and religion as well as through rational arguments of medicine, natural science and economy. In foreign countries this problem is managed by these methods with a more comprehensive understanding. Under different religious opinions, there are different answers. Especially is the Catholic Church intensely against the advocates of contraception. These debates are important and necessary to understand the problem. (Letter from TANAKA Kotaro professor of the Imperial University)
Most inhuman Black-Marketing. My daughter in a certain maternity hospital became very sick with fever after her confinements. However, the hospital requested this sick patient to leave at once. I inquired why the doctor asked such an inhuman thing. Then I found out that other patients were giving rice secretly to the doctor. We who are not farmers naturally have no spare rice. Is this not a most inhuman and most abominable case of black-marketeering? This should be corrected as it presents a great social problem. (Letter from EARINO, ODAWARA)
ITEM 3 Ration of the Concealed Goods - Tokyo Shimbun - 31 Jan 46. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full Translation:
We could hardly believe our eyes when reading in a newspaper, dated 23 January the news of the rationing of hidden food. Of course, that such concealed food was found is very delightful praticularly when all the people are suffering from the acute food shortage. However, these goods had been delivered up to the Government by the people in an effort to gain victory in the war. Hence, they should not he monopolized by the residents in TTABASHI-Ku. Public opinion should have been respected in disposing of them, and we think, they should have been fairly rationed at least to all the residents in TOKYO.
That the so-called Living Protection Association dared to ration them arbitrarily is unpardonable. Still more, our impression on receiving the news was that the paper itself merely played to the gallery in managing the matter. It is said that the Communist Party has a connection with this case. We suspect a Party which lacked judgment in this unfair distribution. At any rate, it is certain that all the citizens excluding the residents in ITABASHI-Ku are dissatisfied with this affair. We can not but urge all those men concerned to reconsider the matter seriously. (Food Inspection Committees in NAKANO end YODOBASHI)
The concealed goods found in a warehouse of the arsenal in ITABASHI-Ku, were rationed to the residents by their own hands. This gives rise to the serious question of how to utilize such concealed goods. This case proved that a food control system in the people's hands is a necessary step to tide over the food situation, it is true, but if the goods discovered are to be rationned only to those who live nearly, as in the case of ITABASHI, a fair distribution can not be expected. In fact, there are not a few among the citizens who let the matter drop having no supply of sweet potatoes, which the authorities promised to deliver at a rate of 1.5 kan per person, but failed to act because of the lack of the actual goods. Those who live in a part of KOJIMACHI-Ku and in MUSASHINO-Cho are examples of this. I think, the Metropolitan Government authorities should ration to such citizens any concealed food found in the future, I want a reply in this respect from the authorities concerned. (A resident in KICHIJOJI)
To dispose arbitrarily of concealed goods by the hands of those who found them, as was the case in ITABASHI, is bound to disturb public order at least under the present situation. While one may be able to blame the Government for its ineffective measures for the solution of the food problem[illegible]
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 344 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
the struggle should be conducted in a lawful manner. There is nothing to choose between a disturbance and such on arbitrary way of rationing by the masses. It can never be democratic. I wish to see the people share their goods mutually at this time of shortage of all commodities. If it is allowed for residents to ration concealed goods by themselves, the people will make a scramble in the future to discover them. As a result, social order is bound to be threatened, (SAKAI Sato)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0344, 1946-02-02.
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