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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0214, 1946-01-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0886

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 886 Date: 22 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Has the Emperor System Had Popular Support? A Criticism on the Tract of Professor WATSUJI. By ANDO, Yoshiyuki. - Provincial Newspaper Hokkoku Mainichi Shimbun (Kanazawa) - l4 Jan 46. Translator: S. Ono.
The royalist ideas expressed in the literature of the ancient and middle ages in JAPAN were no worse than the eulogy of journalism dedicated to the TOJO clan during this war. The royalist tinge in the literary works of the HEIAN Era, therefore, illustrates the fact that the interests of the FUJIWARA Family, sole holders of the political dictatorship throughout that period, were in complete accordance with that of the Imperial Family, or more accurately, the former having entire control of government affairs, was actually the Imperial Family.
Later, when the feudalistic war lord class came into power, they utilized the Emperor System to consolidate the principles of their hegemony. This is the reason we find royalist ideas in the literature of the KAMAKURA and ASHIKAGA Eras. With time, the situation in so far as the Emperor System was concerned, grew worse. Throughout the TOKUGAWA Period, which continued for shortly less than 300 years, the Imperial Family remained utterly powerless. It is no exaggeration to say that the people, in general, scarcely knew that the Emperor existed.
In periods of political turmoil, this is the reason for the appearance of the royalist movement, to teach people the derivatives of the Imperial Family and their obligation to worship the Emperor. We must not, however, fail to note that the so-called royalists were drawn either from the lower SAMURAI class or the imperial courtiers and not from the masses. The fact that the main factors during the MEIJI Restoration were the aforementioned classes, which held a grudge against the feudalistic reign of the TOKUGAWA Shogunate, having been mistreated by them during this period, contributed toward the later reactionary development of the MEIJI Government.
Let us now examine the theoretical basis of Professor WATSUJI's attempt to attribute the success of the Reconstruction of TAIKA to the popular will of the people. If this argument is accepted, we can claim with certainty that the arbitrary reign of the FUJIWARA Family, as well as the feudalistic government of the war lords for 700 years, are also attributable to the popular support of the Nation. This is obviously nonsense.
The fact is, on the contrary, that every time a new rising class or clan came to power it has utilized the Emperor as a means to justify the act of usurpation and secure the permanence of its rule, while the human desire to worship something old merely for its antiquity has fulfilled its purpose. There is much reason to doubt if the worshipping of the Imperial Family could have continued for the last 2,000 years, had it been in power, both in name and reality, that

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POLITICAL SERIES: 214 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
length of time. Ironically enough, the very fact that it had already lost its political power in its early stage, remaining in the status of a nominal holder of sovereignty, has contributed to the long continuance of the system. Thus, the peculiarity of our national polity, from the viewpoint of cultural philosophy, can he explained as the intermittent appearance, at various stages of cultural development, of the worship of the primitive tribal chieftain.
I must no longer dwell on an historical treatise about the Emperor System. The task we have at hand is the creation of a national state in which the governing is done through the freely expressed will of the people. Is there any necessity now far the popular will to be expressed through the medium of the Emperor? The answer is in the negative. It is, I presume, clear from what I have described above, that the system has been utilized by the ruling class to suppress the general public, against the common good of the Nation. That is to say, the ruling class, not representing the Nation as a whole, were forced to utilize the Emperor to make their government feasible. Therefore, the actual danger is the potentiality of the Emperor System to give birth to despotism.
It would be too hasty to claim that at the moment I am advocating the abolition of the System. I am quite aware that politics are often irrational as. well as rational. That the Imperial Family has continued for the past 2,000 years, and left a deep impression on the mentality of the Nation, is a historical fact which I do not deny. Even among the intellectuals, who are supposedly accustomed to rational thinking, there are some earnest supporters of the System.
What I wish to emphasize, however, is the necessity of distinguishing the field of politics from that of education. Since the existence of irrational thinking is to be allowed in political matters, a strict attitude of criticism should be admitted in the educational field, which should strive towards rationalism. The free criticism of the Emperor System, therefore, in the educational field will certainly contribute most to the final solution of the problem.
ITEM 2 Madam IWADA-ABE, Toshiko - Asahi Shimbun - 21 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
Madam ABE, Toshiko, who lives in the temple of HORINJI, is called "The lady of the temple" by the villagers. She is the wife of the late Mr. IWADA, Yoshimichi, a protagonist of the Communist Party. In Autumn 1932, Mr. IWADA, Yoshimichi, Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Party, was arrested and died in agony. Subsequently, she too was arrested three times in 1938.
After being sentenced to two years' penal servitude, with a suspended sentence of three years owing to tuberculosis of the spine, nothing was heard of her. She grew to be respected and beloved by the whole village. She married Mr. ABE, Seiichi, who is a young scientist. She is now the mother of two children.
In order that her husband, Mr. ABE, 27 years of age, (a graduate of the Agriculture Department of TOKYO Imperial University) could go to JAVA to make investigations into malarial mosquitoes without worry, she went away to this untenanted temple at the beginning of the summer of 1945, together with her children, Mariko, 8 years old and Mayako, 6 years of age. The poor village had an annual income of 1,000 yen per family at the most before the war.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 214 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
From the day that she arrived, she began to work as a farmer. On the mountainside of the temple estate, she planted all kinds of things. As her hands grew hard and knotty, so her affection for the land and the villagers deepened. She sowed, fertilized, and harvested by hand. She supported herself and was entirely self-sufficient. She co-operated sincerely with her villagers.
However, at the beginning the villagers saw her with cold eyes, saying that "A mysterious woman with foreign clothes have come to the ruined mountain temple." However, the villagers who thought that an idle refugee would cause a shortage of the farmers' food, changed from astonishment into joy as they saw what she was doing.
When someone from the village went to the front, she would go to the soldier and make him accept a parting present. When someone died, she would console the bereaved family; and she did not forget to make a memorial offering before the table of the deceased. The attitude of the villagers was softened.
Meanwhile, the day of the villagers' astonishment came, for this gentle lady of the temple is indeed a member of the Communist Party. It was when her companions were released from their long terms of imprisonement that, to show her extreme delight, she opened the door of the main building of the temple and sang aloud a song of revolution to Mt. FUJI. Madam TOSHIKO gathered the villagers and confessed plainly that "In reality, I am a member of the Communist Party." To our great surprise, the affection and the confidence of the villagers for her did not decrease. On the contrary, they answered that if "the lady of the temple" is a member of the Communists, communism cannot be dreadful."
The life of "the beloved Communist Party" began that very day. Problems of delivery and the questions of farm rent were brought to her. She gathered young unmarried men and women together and formed the "OSHIMA Young Men and Boys' Cultural Body" by herself. She also held the "New Year Festival". She also taught English conversation.
Putting fuel on the fire at the back of the fireplace, she quietly said, "The villagers say that if members of the Communist Party are so gentle, we should also like to join the Communists. I have fought together with my villagers at the risk of my life. I have experienced far more instances where I have been beloved rather than persecuted on account of my membership in the Communist Party. If the present leaders of the JAPAN Communist Party are unfamiliar with the masses, it is because of their in-experience in living among the masses.
Is this because of the atmosphere created by days of lawlessness and self-indulgence? My present position is that of a happy person surrounded by the pure affection of the villagers."
She is now being urged to run for the coming general election as a candidate. If she is nominated, she is likely to stand for the Diet for YAMANASHI-Ken or YAMAGUCHI-Ken, her native home.
ITEM 3 The Total Abolition of the Peerage System Decided On: As a Result of This Abolition, About 300 Peers Are Affected - Yomiuri Hochi - 21 Jan 46. Translator: H. Naoji.
Full Translation:
The "purge directive" issued from the Allied Supreme Headquarters on 4 January is not restricted only to investigation of war criminals,
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POLITICAL SERIES: 214 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
but has a historical worth in that it does away with the influences of the feudal privileged class, which has had continuous influences in all affairs of this country for several centuries. The Government, of course, in considering the importance of this directive and is planning how to investigate and take measures against such persons.
The Government, which has decided on the total abolition of members of the Imperial families and House of Peers by agreeing to the revision of the House of Peers' Law along with the revision of the Constitution, has now made a further advance by deciding on the total abolition of the rank of peers. This decision affects about 300 peers throughout the country.
The so-called peerage, which was an impassable barrier to the common people, consists of the honor bestowed by Emperor MEIJI, at the time of the amendment of kens in the early years of MEIJI Era by giving the ranks of peerage - prince, marquis, court, viscount, baron - to about 300 persons of the DAIMYO. Since that time, men who were given the honor of peerage by the Government by virtue of their national merits in both the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars or for their contribution in politics and economy, have come to constitute the present privileged class. One of the feudal characteristics is "the heredity of peerage", which has made it a monopoly of the peculiar feudal aristocracy regardless of the people's scorn towards it.
However, this privileged class also has been affected, like other circles in the Country, by the democratic trend since the end of the first great war. It is to be remembered that General NARA, former chief aide-de-camp to His Majesty the Emperor, had always insisted upon a one-generation peerage system. The Advisory Committee, which is reorganizing the Board of Peerage and Heraldry of the Imperial Household Ministry, recently discussed this situation. At the same time, some of the peers, who have recognized the necessity for it, are about to take the opportunity to return their peerage, which some have been deprived from their privileges, because they are no longer able to maintain their dignity as peers. This tendency has been most noticeable since the CHINA Incident when many were deprived of their privileges.
Consequently, it might be said ironically that the problem of the abolition of the peerage system will have to be solved before it can be abolished under the present Cabinet, the head of which is a baron. If this measure of the Cabinet should be put into practise, it is natural that the Peerage Law in the 17th Article of the Imperial House Law, which was revised in 1921, will have to be abolished as well as the 11th Article of the Imperial Household Ministry Law of 1904 governing the Advisory Committee of the Board of Peerage and Heraldry. In the revision of the House of Peers Law, which is to be submitted to the coming special Diet session, reference again should be directed toward the "democratic Upper House" in an atmosphere composed of new ideas. Moreover, the reform of the Imperial Household Ministry, which is closely related to the above-mentioned problem, will be certainly carried out. Here the fundamental work for the establishment of democratic politics in the true sense, in which the difference between the Imperial court and the various Imperial Boards is evident, will be completed.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0214, 1946-01-22.
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