【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan

 

【5】 The Japanese are bad at Social Science

 

At this point I conclude my discussion of technical matters and move on to an explanation of fundamental causes.

Why cannot we Japanese set straight these “obviously wrong conditions” that I have mentioned so far? What is the reason for this?

There are clues, here and there, to discovering the reason.

For example, a university student working at my office told the following story. She is a sophomore at university, so a few years ago, when she went to high school, she was taught that “the Constitution of Japan was said to be written by the Japanese but was actually written by GHQ (General Headquarters, also called SCAP [Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers]).” On the other hand, her brother, who is three years younger and goes to a different high school, was taught it was the other way around: “The Constitution of Japan was said to be written by GHQ but was actually written by the Japanese.” They had a quarrel about this over a meal. Both of them held their ground since they were relying on what they’d been told at school, and it ended up creating a very hostile atmosphere.

What should we think about this issue? Whatever the case, at the very least it indicates that Japan as a country is not on sound footing, with each school teaching totally different things about the Constitution. Needless to say, a constitution is the backbone of a nation, so we need to resolve such a contention.

Japanese people have many great aspects. Above all, our culture is definitely one of the most sophisticated in the world. I know well enough that Japanese culture compares favorably with sophisticated European cultures; for a long while I have been working on producing the Japanese version of the French encyclopedia in color, Rediscovery of Intelligence Series (165 volumes of which have been published by Sogensha).

The excellence of Japan’s cuisine is obvious, and its art is especially remarkable, represented by sculptures of the Nara, Heian, and Kamakura eras, gardens of the Muromachi era, drawings of the Edo era, and anime of the modern era. It is surely at the top level in manufacturing and natural science too.

For some reason, however, Japanese people are very bad at “social sciences,” such as politics, law, and social thought.(*) There are some scholars who engage in brilliant studies on an individual basis, but the means of implementing the fruits of these studies, so that they would be reflected in the policies and decisions made by the state, are totally cut off. As a result, we have been vaguely aware of this messed-up situation but have allowed it to continue for over half a century.

 

* ・・・ This is what Oliver Stone, a famous film director, always states: “When I look at Japan since the World War II, I see great culture, beauty. I see great movies. I see great music, great food, . . . But, I do not see one politician, one prime minister that had stood out for anything, for peace, or for more integrity, not one. [Whereas Germany, one of two biggest nations defeated in World War II, became a real moral force for peace in Europe.]”