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2 teachers punished for refusing to stand up, recite 'Kimigayo'

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  • Zen_Builder at 06:56 AM JST - 29th May

    Blue-Tiger.

    Why don't you give it a rest.

    Most of your posts are arguing for the sake of arguing, promoting "He who shall not be named", etc. You totally rail-road any arguments made against yours and ignore them, etc.

    My 2Yen worth.

  • yabits at 08:07 AM JST - 29th May

    Blue Tiger

    Yabits, I like how you've dodged the above question, now, three times. Let's me know that my arguments are 100% valid.

    I don't know how it happened, but in my post above where I mentioned "CO medics", there were at least two paragraphs above what showed up that were somehow deleted or just didn't post.

    In those paragraphs, I responded to your question regarding military duty, saying that when I enlisted, the Vietnam war was still going on, and it was a war that I opposed. A person enlisting takes an oath to obey orders, which teachers do not formally take. I knew what I was getting into.

    Nevertheless, in the military I became familiar with Conscientious Objectors (COs), and most of them -- rather, most of those who could serve in some capacity -- were medics or hospital corpsmen. Those COs were granted quite a bit of leeway from not having to participate in those military customs which conflicted with their personal beliefs. If a military organization can grant this kind of forebearance, the school system should be able to do no less.

  • yabits at 08:24 AM JST - 29th May

    Blue Tiger:

    Those don't fit here. If these teachers had religious reasons for not standing, why, then, is that issue not mentioned in this article?

    The article mentions "410 teachers and school clerks" that have been punished. (The article does not mention that some prefectures -- Kanagawa for one -- forbid its school administration from punishing teachers who do not participate.) What are the odds that out of 410 teachers, some of them are refusing because of reasons of personal belief tied to religious or spiritual teachings? (Answer: High enough to be a near certainty.)

    Likewise, you don't have any grounds for your statement that the motivation of these teachers was purely to seek attention. Using your angle, the article doesn't state that either. Only that, prior to October of 2003, this was never an issue.

  • Blue_Tiger at 12:31 PM JST - 29th May

    Zen_Builder - `Preciate the concern, my friend, but I am not arguing just for the sake of arguing. Trying to make a point that these teachers, and the other 410 civic, public workers who refuse to stand when Kimigayo is played are basically being selfish. As far as my beliefs are concerned, and what I've posted elsewhere concerning what you mentioned, I find it entirely interesting that you know the content of four posts of mine that dealt with Jesus Christ that have been either deleted, or had His name totally edited out. Again, thanks for the concern.

    yapitsu - So letm e see, agian if I have this straight: You weren't drafted into the military, but willingly enlisted? You made a choice to join an organisation in which you knew you'd be required to pledge allegiance ot a flag, stand, and salute when the National Anthem is played? You did this willingly, correct? Cannot this same reasoning be used with the two teachers and other 410 people who willingly signed contracts to work for the government or in public service in some way, shape, or form, knowing that they'd likely be required to stand in recognition of Kimigayo? You are correct in saying that being a teacher or other public servant isn't the same as being in the military, but all the same, are both not considered government and/or public service jobs?

    As far as "What are the odds that out of the 410 teachers, some of them are refusing because of...religious or spiritual teachings (Answer: High enough to be a near certainty)", its dangerous to assume. Those kind of stats aren't listed here, so you, yabits, cannot assume that these reasons are mostly for religious concerns no more than I can say that they are out for attention. And since when does Buddhism and Shintoism forbid singing or standing during the National Anthem of any country? Shintoism involves Emperor Worship to some degree, so would it not be going against religious beliefs for Japanese peopel to not stand or sing Kimigayo?

  • Zen_Builder at 12:42 PM JST - 29th May

    Blue Tiger:

    How many posts should I link. You got a ton and more. Just visit the JT forum and your posts on it. Those are public.

    You got your beliefs and feel strongly about them. Granted, no-one is against them, even though we don't subscribe to them.

    But pls, spare as your beliefs and how much better we and the world would be following them.

    Thanks.

  • Blue_Tiger at 03:45 PM JST - 29th May

    Zen_Builder - I've not inserted my beliefs into this, so please tell me how your posts regarding them are relevent ot this discussion?

  • yabits at 04:01 PM JST - 29th May

    You did this willingly, correct? Cannot this same reasoning be used with the two teachers and other 410 people who willingly signed contracts to work for the government or in public service in some way, shape, or form, knowing that they'd likely be required to stand in recognition of Kimigayo?

    No, and for the reasons I gave. The military makes allowances for those whose status is that of conscientious objector. (That was mainly when a draft was still in place, but there is nothing preventing today's enlistee from claiming CO status after they've served for awhile.) Also, standing for the anthem was not an issue in some Japanese schools until late 2003. (I say "some" because it is still not an issue today in those schools which don't punish its teachers for non-participation.)

    (Answer: High enough to be a near certainty)", its dangerous to assume. Those kind of stats aren't listed here, so you, yabits, cannot assume that these reasons are mostly for religious concerns no more than I can say that they are out for attention. And since when does Buddhism and Shintoism forbid singing or standing during the National Anthem of any country?

    And your assumption that all 410 adhere to Buddhism or Shintoism and none to Christianity? LOL! Talk about dangerous assumptions! There are Christian sects -- Jehovah's Witness for one -- which teach their members that it is wrong to sing national anthems and salute flags. (Especially an anthem tied to emperor-worship.) I also specified "religious OR spiritual." It is very easy to understand how Buddhist-influenced teachings, which embrace pacifism and universalism, would enable a person of conscience to feel it is wrong for them to take part in rituals which glorify one nation over another.

    Administrations have the right and obligation to make and enforce rules necessary for good order and the fulfillment of duties. But administrations come second to people in a free country when matters of individual conscience come into potential conflict. They are there to serve people. There is nothing about a forced recitation of a national anthem that is needed for good order and the proper functioning of a school. You have yet to make any case whatsoever of the harm done by a teacher who refuses to participate in a ritual (one that was forced on schools only recently) and instead sits quietly through it.

  • Triple888 at 08:38 PM JST - 29th May

    I thought Fukuzawa taught Japan to leave Asia. This incident clearly shows Japan still has the old Asian tradition of unconditional nationalism.

  • KaptainKichigai at 09:03 PM JST - 29th May

    Oh for the love of kirist! All this whining and chirping sounds like a bunch of old women. Japan is a society where patriotism is recognized in the public school system. It is a choice made by the majority of the people via its elected officials. If you are an employee of that system, it is a proffesional obligation to adhere to the rules while you are being paid. We do not get to bring our personal opinions into the workplace. The freedom of choice ends at our freedom to choose the job we are doing. The issue is Professionalism. The old retired teacher who was fined had every right to show his beliefs because he wasnt on the clock. Its all in the contract you sign. If you put down your signature, you give your word. If you break it, you are a liar and a fraud.

  • yabits at 12:50 AM JST - 30th May

    KaptainKichigai accepts the Faustian bargain of making it OK in a so-called democracy to claim that the rights of people in PUBLIC institutions can be trampled upon under a guise of what he calls "professionalism." Of course, all debate looks like whining and chirping to the person who has sold himself out. (But, alas, he is not the one who gets to define what constitutes "professionalism" for everyone else.)

    As we know, for nearly 50 years, the Japanese public school system had a tradition of not giving special treatment to their old anthem. The claim that a majority of Japan's people have now agreed that those who want to continue the tradition should be punished is dubious at best. What is closer to reality is a small group of powerful people, with a political agenda to push, view forcing people to submit to nationlistic rituals as one way to gain more control over people's actions and thoughts.

    And that, precisely, is how Japan got itself in trouble the last time they embarked on this path. If a teacher sees his or her role as helping to build a society that does not repeat the same mistakes, then it is every bit of their duty as professionals to act accordingly. Public officials have a larger duty to their society that overrides kowtowing to some right-winger's idea of "rules." Especially, as in the case of the improper fine given to Fujita-san (and upheld by two courts), those rules are as wrong as can be.

  • Seiharinokaze at 02:06 AM JST - 30th May

    I remember standing and singing some boring song at some special occasion I don't remember well. That's all. Almost every ritual conducted and any song sung at school were only too boring and seemed rather meaningless and didn't impress us or should I say "me" in anyway other than that. If anti-Kimigayo & Hinomaru is a religion, we better respect for their freedom of faith and creed, though.

  • Blue_Tiger at 07:41 AM JST - 30th May

    I have stated the harm that failing to at least stand during the national anthem does: it sets a bad example and teaches children that it is okay to disobey and thumb their noses at authority for whatever reason. Administration is named such for a reason: if leadership and those placed above in position and power are to be so routinely disobeyed and their wishes ignored at any and every whim, then it brings chaos and the destruction of society and civilization. Administration is ruled by the people n public and government matters, but instead of public disobedience by these two and the 410, would it not have been better for them to redress their grievances at the ballot box, instead of a public ceremony where they'd be required to stand and give respect to the government and country that has provided them a job? Would it not have been better for them to have written a letter or started a petition campaign to redress their dissatisfaction with government and public service policy, than to make a public scene at an event viewed by those they have been called to serve? I agree that administration is under the power of the people, but at the same time, when a person signs a contract to be employed by that administration, with the understanding that certain civic duties and rituals are to be observed, then said person has ceded personal views to a degree for the greater good of what s/he is working for.

  • cleo at 10:25 AM JST - 30th May

    it sets a bad example and teaches children that it is okay to disobey and thumb their noses at authority

    Children, at least those who live in a democracy, need to be taught that it is OK to disobey authority. Let them know that 'those placed above in position and power' are our servants, not our masters.

    The day I think singing a national anthem, whether Kimigayo or God Save the Queen, is a sign of respect to the government is the day I stop singing. Confusing patriotism with loyalty to a ruling political party is a dangerous thing to do.

  • yabits at 07:34 PM JST - 30th May

    In democracies, a majority will rule but compromise has to be made so as not to trample on the valid rights of those who currently are not part of the majority. From the end of WWII to 2003 in Japan, a majority either decreed or accepted that public playing of the anthem would not be done in the schools. If a minority of people wanted to conduct a daily ritual where they could get together in a classroom and sing the anthem, they should have been able to do so.

    But this idea that once a certain political group takes power and wants to force their standards on everyone else -- and everyone else has to take it or suffer the consequences -- causes me to agree with cleo that under certain circumstances children must be taught that it is sometimes necessary to disobey authority, non-violently. This does not mean escaping the consequences of disobedience, however.

    In this school-anthem issue, Japan has undergone a transition from not performing it (for decades) to suddenly making it mandatory for everyone to give their respect to it. Moreover, it is only some localities which choose to levy punishments for not standing. In those districts which do punish, no attempt was ever made to allow for the personal beliefs of those who justly feel -- due to many decades of tradition -- that the anthem does not belong in public schools. Certainly when the teachers of today were themselves students coming up through the system, they didn't have to deal with any of this anthem nonsense.

    If the authorities simply came out and recognized or acknowledged that it is proper and acceptable to sit quietly while the anthem is being played, according to one's beliefs about its meaning and past uses, they wouldn't have set teachers up in a position where they'd have to disobey this latest crop of politically-motivated administrators. Who, as cleo rightfully pointed out, are really servants in a democracy rather than its masters.

  • Seiharinokaze at 09:13 PM JST - 30th May

    I mean that anthem singing at school or anywhere else is almost always no more than a boring ritual not worth bothering about. How does it influence a student other than giving an insipid feeling? But if there are any people who insist yet that it has some more meaning than that, I think it can be some sort of religion or belief. So we might respect their right of faith, though I'm not sure if taking into consideration of some religious requirements at publish schools is constitutional or not.

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