Lens of History (34): Letters from Yamashiro

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Tautog
Secondary Curator signature: Shinano no-kami
Format: Message, Personal Object
Object: Collection, Personal Correspondences of New Jersey
Location (if known): STEC Archives
Time (if known): Undated 
(Suspected to be sometimes prior to 1970? Or earlier?)

Curator’s notes:

Several personal messages addressed to Jer. First three letters appear to be from [——————-]. Next appears to be from [———-], followed by two more from [———–].

Message 1


To the Lady New Jersey;

I do not “distrust foreigners.”

I harbor a strong distrust for what some foreigners brought. Mizuho says that this is being inherently unfair, but I think once you see where I am coming from, perhaps you will understand – though not agree – with my thinking.

I come from a place that resembles yours, one where the world saw two cataclysmic wars that permanently shaped its fate towards what we thought would be a brighter future. The post 1945 world was one that was supposed to usher in an era of peace and progress and plenty. It did.

Plenty soon turned to decadence, decadence turned to nihilism. In accordance to the “western” values that Japan wholeheartly embraced post-war, the old ways must be discarded to make room for the new. The West taught us that values are constantly evolving in a never-ending quest towards progress. What was wrong today surely would not be wrong tomorrow, and what was right today would soon be wrong the next. The important thing is to advance, so to not be on the “wrong” side of history.

I watched an entire generation of people grow up under these listless circumstances. In a value system where everything became relative and everything is permissible in the name of “love” and “freedom,” nothing in life mattered. Japan grew rich, but its spirit was dead before anyone realized it. Those few that had obtained what the Westerners told us that mattered in life turned to increasingly brazen acts of depravity in order to satisfy a void that no amount of earthly wealth could fill. The rest were desperate for anything that could bring some meaning into their lives.

The former led to a man from a wealthy family who murdered, mutilated, and ate four girls ages four to seven because he acted upon his sexual urges. The latter resulted in the emergence of Japan’s largest cult in modern history, with ninety thousand members at the height of its power. People were so desperately seeking any hint of meaning in their lives that the deadliest terror attack on Japanese soil occurred in 1995. Casualties numbered in the thousands.

Thanks to your westerner’s concept of “mercy” and “justice,” both of these men are in prison living like kings, twenty some years after the act despite neither showing any trace of remorse. Robbed of the definitive ability to declare something as being morally wrong, Japan twists out all sorts of arguments for the sake of “fairness.” Such arguments include “Because he has a family too.” “Because he’s ill and can’t help himself” “Because it’s not justice if he’s tried and convicted by biased people who may have preconceived notions against his behaviors.”

I would point out that perhaps the victim’s families deserve some consideration too, but that notion somehow went over the head of everyone involved but the victim’s families.

These two rather extreme examples highlight what I consider is an ultimate problem that Japan faces: the loss of “spirit” or values. How do you prevent such atrocities from happening again? You do so by removing the conditions in which the intent for such atrocities could even grow in the first place.

Would that cult have found fertile ground if more of the Japanese professional class – the educated, white-collar, and generally financially well-off young people – had meaning in their lives?

Do happy people living life with purpose create intricate plans to murder children?

The answer to both should be no.

This is why I oppose the expansion of “Western” values into Japan. I have seen what it does to your own countries. You can keep your broken single-parent households and your lonely, mentally ill young people to yourselves. Keep your political divisions and your cultural clashes, too – we have enough troubles of our own.  

Yamashiro no-kami Kikuko

Message 2


To the Lady New Jersey;

I admit that to blame the “West” for Japan’s own moral decline is unfair, but this is not the first time such decay has occurred in Japan’s history. Contrast the progress made during the Meiji era with the decadent and ultimate collapse of the Taishou “democracy.” Was the Taishou era not a glorious and liberating time, full of wealth and joy and hope? Even now we speak of it in idealized forms, the years of “blossoming hope,” where new ideas and new philosophies bloomed like the cherry blossoms that our nation loves so much. Why, then, did Japan turn towards the dark path it took, some seventy-years ago?

Towards the end of the Meiji restoration, progressive ideologues and reformers broke away the old values but offered nothing new in turn. For a brief while the people could distract themselves with worldly matters, but the ultimate question of purpose will always remain. Japan grew wealthy during the Taishou era, but no amount of wealth or splendor could hide the fact that something spiritual was missing. Peace, transient as always, could not hide the fact that people hungered for meaning.

For fourteen years Japan searched for something, but the reformers offered it none. That failure gave room for “patriotic education” to bloom.

Bloom it did. For millions of poor Japanese men and women, at long last, life has purpose. All you had to do is to give yourselves away for Japan at large. The kamikaze you westerners frequently depict? The ideology that it stems from goes back decades with the violent insurrections carried out by young militarists in the Imperial Army and Navy. Contrast the actions of the Japanese armies in the Russo-Japanese War and what was carried out thirty, forty years later. The chilling brutality you found throughout the war, from the ruins of Nanking to the jungles of the Pacific, is the result of a nation desperately gouging itself on something, anything, to fulfill the void in its national character.

Anyone recoiling at the horrors of that war would have wanted to do something to ensure it does not happen again. As I said, I do not distrust foreigners. Were I in the same position, foreigner or not, I would have tore down the Showa government and what it represents as well.

Where I think things went wrong was that the rulers you Americans placed gave no thought as to what would come to replace what was removed, and the “safeguards” that were left in place offered no method for Japan to independently develop something that could do the job. This is why after a frenzied generation of rebuilding and revitalization, Japan experienced its second moral collapse in the same hundred years. Hard work to generate material wealth can provide a temporary distraction, but what came after that? The post-war generation did not know, and their children definitely did not know.

Yamashiro no-kami Kikuko

Message 3


To the Lady New Jersey;

My solution is, ironically, taking a chapter from your proverbial book.

STEC’s long-term goal to inoculate the American public against Abyssal influence is notable to me because I believe there is potential for Japan to copy its model. A strong, thorough, systematic civics and history program that “pull no punches,” so to speak, would go to great lengths to combat the insidious ways in which extremist ideologies function and help instill virtue. This is a matter that I believe is culturally suitable – out of necessity, Japan has always been regulated from the top in one way or another over her thousand-plus lifespan. Change, if it is a necessity, need to occur at a pace that is appropriate, and that could mean a slow development over years. Over generations.

There is a problem that is currently unique to Japan, however. Unlike America, I do not believe Japan currently has an answer to what its national values ought to be. Vigorous debate must take place prior to any action, though I think given our current state of affairs, I already have a plan in mind.

If agreement can be found in a country as diverse and opinionated as the United States about what America was, is, and could be, why can’t Japan?

We can, and we must. It falls to us to reach consensus or else Abyssal or not, the flames of war will tear this country apart once again.

If you speak to any of my compatriots, this letter, along with my personal seal, is yours to use as you see fit. Remind them, as you have me, that we have an enemy mightier than any one nation or one people.

Yamashiro no-kami Kikuko

Message 4


To Yamashiro:

How telling to hear the plight of Japan! The phenomenon you describe has a name: Late stage capitalism. Of course money creates an unfallible void! Of course people lost meaning. You have learned the wrong thing from foreigners! All you have learned is a love of money. For true progress to occur, you must reject the capitalist stage altogether and embrace the revolution!

Let me explain why your country went down the “dark path” that you have stated. Your country itself has killed off all the spirit it had. I am afraid the Taisho period as you know it was not as flowery or romantic as you make it out to be.

The Taisho was the beginning of a long line of oppression of thought.

How can one develop “spirit” if you are simply not allowed to express it? Were the nationalist policies driven by your emperor not simply an opioid of the masses, driving your country down that path whether the people liked it or not? Japan did not “search” for your “patriotic education” – it was simply forced on an unwilling people after the government had witnessed the triumph of Marxism. The Taisho was simply a thin veneer of western “progress” covering up the true western values of opulence and oppression.

With regard to New Jersey’s model of education – this will not work. It will not work simply because my view of history and what I know is “right” and “wrong” is fundamentally incompatible with your view. What you view as “pulling no punches” to me counts as backwards and untrue. After all, you are expecting the same people who completely fabricated your beloved state Shinto ritual-

[It is here where the message is abruptly ended]

Message 5


To Comrade Sverdlov:

Just because the ARC has access to the inter-shipgirl service communication logs does not mean that you may barge into any conversation that does not serve to your tastes. As you surely know, the ARC was graciously allowed to be privy to such conversations, even when the ARC itself has not completely opened up all channels of communication to the rest of them. It is simply common courtesy to respect privacy, at the very least so that we may maintain our private channels of communication as well.

I am also deeply disturbed at your lack of empathy. While you may believe that Comrade Yamashiro’s thoughts are counter-revolutionary, she is in fact simply expressing a feeling that is quite dear to us in Russia as well – May I remind you that Marx himself is from the west as well!

I am sure you are much familiar with the drive to be on the “right” side of history – the Russian Empire chose Marx. Japan learned from the west and chose Smith. There is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve national spirit – I hear you yourself are a big fan of Dostoyevsky!

According to Marx communism is inevitable. I hope with your devotion to the Marxist cause, you truly understand that.

Comrade Pantera

Message 6


To our Comrade in the east, Lady Yamashiro:

I sincerely apologize for the actions of one of my colleagues, Sverdlov. I am afraid her only knowledge of the subject revolves around Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese war and the post-revolution occupation of Siberia. As such I hope you understand that she will remain bitter with your country regardless of its actions, especially with regards to that time period.

I understand that this is a conversation between you and Comrade New Jersey. I hope you will pardon the intrusion, and I assure you that she will not bother you again.

Sincerely yours,