Opinion – Japan’s dramatic postwar evolution | The Japan Times – John Gelmini

The answer to Dr Alf’s question is that at root Japanese society is still chauvinistic and militaristic, as evidenced by the fact that many, if not all, Japanese businessmen follow the Book of 5 Rings, by Myamoto Mushashi, a famous swordsman who was born in 1536, followed the Bushido code, and killed his first opponent at the age of 13.

The book is a masterpiece in how to defeat opponents in very short order, giving them little or no quarter, so it is not akin to the Marquess of Queensbury rules nor aligned with feminist values.

Subsequently he remained undefeated in more than 60 swordfights, helped to slaughter large numbers of Christians, whose preaching was not liked by the authorities who preferred people to follow Shintoism and more traditional Eastern religeons.

The statement by Don Corleone in the Godfather film sums up the prevailing attitude, “Woman and children can afford to be careless—-men cannot”.

That form of chauvinism which died with men a bit like my late father is still around in business whereby rather too many board members say that they cannot find good woman candidates. They seek good candidates on golf courses, in their clubs and in the UK in establishments with black and white tiled floors where no woman are present.

In Japan they look for people just like themselves, which means more men who in latter day civilian form embody the qualities of their secret hero the long dead but still revered Mushashi a man who never apologized, never justified himself but who always prevailed.

John Gelmini

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