SDHF Newsletter No.200J 黄文雄の「歴史とは何か」 6

その6―第五章 日本を平和の中で発展させたのは天皇の存在だ


平成30年2月6日「史実を世界に発信する会」会長代行 茂木弘道拝
A macroscopic analysis of the differences among the histories of
East Asian nations: Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea
No. 6, Chapter 5: Emperor System Paves Way for Peaceful Progress in Japan

Chapter 4 pointed out that Japanese history can be characterized as “history without slaughter”. This basic character of Japanese history was brought about by the “Emperor System.”
From the time that the Japanese people were first unified by the Yamato Court up to the present day, a single dynasty of emperors has reigned over Japan. The fact that Japan has only had one Imperial House contributed greatly to its historical development and the happiness of its people. Mr. Ko Bunyu says that this is something that he, as a Taiwanese man observing Japan from the outside, is able to understand better than the Japanese themselves do.
While China has been ruled by numerous royal families in succession–about two hundred have been crowned as “emperor” in China’s successive dynasties–only one-third of them have died of natural causes. As explained by Chapter 3, this phenomenon created an extremely cruel and brutal history. It is no wonder that Emperor Taizong of the Song dynasty was struck with admiration for Japan’s stable imperial succession when he heard from monk Chonen of Japan’s Todai-ji Temple that an unbroken line of emperors had reigned over Japan since earliest times.
During the Tokugawa era, the Imperial Court maintained only a meager existence under the stifling hegemony of the Tokugawa shoguns. Foreigners who observed Japan from abroad often reflexively viewed the Imperial Court as nothing more than a senseless waste of money–even a fair number of Japanese people said the same thing. Under the circumstances, however, the Emperor dutifully performed religious rites passed down through the imperial line, and prayed for the peace and well-being of the Japanese people. Thus, the dignity, or ultimate authority, of the nation continued to rest on the Emperor. In other words, authority and power were separate ever since Japan’s early days as a state.
This authority or dignity played a decisive role at the time of national crisis; at the final years of the Edo period, the struggle between the Tokugawa shogunate and the Satuma/Chosu domain did not turn into a long-lasting and bloody feud but turned into a unification of the nation under Emperor’s authority. The Meiji restoration would not have been possible without the existence of the Emperor.

Profile of Ko Bunyu:

Questions are welcome.

MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact