"The Final War", by Thomas Takashi Tanemori
An Opinion---Essay on Nuclear Tests by India & Pakistan
ARE THESE "NUKE" TESTS A
BALANCING OF POWER
TOWARD A GLOBAL PEACE
DO THEY CONSTITUTE AN ENDLESS
RAGING WAR IN HUMAN HEARTS?
As we approach the coming 21st century, we mark a time that has been
distinguished by both copious bloodletting and enormous scientific advances.
Perhaps we should consider a valued objective to celebrate the hope of Peace
on Earth and promote a deeper, more meaningful healing among those peoples
who have suffered the pain of this century's wars.
We have been profoundly disturbed by the images of people in the streets of
Calcutta and Islamabad joyously celebrating the birth of nuclear weapons in
their countries. Though I have come to understand the strategic necessity of
atomic weapons in WWII and their role in ending the war, I am terribly
concerned about their introduction into the religious and ethnic maelstrom
of the Third World. Perhaps the nation of India, individual civilians,
of dancing on the street for joy, should be mourning for its government
succeeded nuclear bomb tests, as it is re-newel of threatening and
heightening, as demonstrative of destructive power for human race.
Today we live in a time when the world is experiencing its first important
transformation since the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Unfortunately history has proven, over half century since the end of the
Second World War, we all are facing the tremendous struggle, as individual
nations, ethnic groups and religious differences, being unable to find
meaning in an emerging New World Order. Now as the human race struggles out
of its cocoon, even before it learns how to emerge into the light, we find
it is in danger of, and capable of, destroying the whole world. These
led me to the inevitable question: "Why, with the hope for peace generated
the end of the Cold War, is the world increasingly proving that it is still
too easy to go to war to settle the human conflicts"? On a daily basis, we
with the horrors of international violence, cultural violence, religious
and personal violence. Much of the suffering is a result of historical
conflicts that have devolved into an unending cycle of revenge and despair.
I know this because when I was 8 years old and at 7/10th of a mile from
Ground Zero, the atomic bomb changed my life forever. I lost both my parents
and four other members of my immediate family. Harboring my anger in shadows
of private sorrow, I lived in the ashes of postwar Japan as an
"Oyanashigo" - a
boy. Finding the only alternative to maintain what was shredded, the
honorable family name and my torn dignity, I fought against the traditional
Japanese culture that reveres unbroken filial relationship, a fight that I
lost. I was not even worthy of suicide, I failed at that, too. I was 16
I came to America in 1956 as an embittered teenager, trying to contain my
anger and seek "revenge" on American people. I was marooned by a dark and
bitter past, and wrestled with the persistent ghosts of history and I
learned what means to be a minority, Japanese, in America. Yet, in time, I
experienced my own "inner-spiritual-transformation"; I discovered the
importance of healing the human heart, turning "from revenge to
I wondered where did we go wrong to see the current world events, testing of
nuclear bombs by both India and Pakistan? It is not an exaggeration to say
much of the present world "fabrics" could be said to have been woven between
East and West, especially Eastern philosophy, religious truth and early
in the fabric of commerce which began their roots back over the centuries in
nation of India. For example, it was the desire for silk and spices that
first brought Europeans to the Far East in the 13th century and eventually
the discovery of the New World. The gossamer treasure produced by the
has been seen as a powerful symbol for the cultural sensibilities of the
Orient. Yet, it is the transformation of the insect itself that somehow
still fascinates us the most for its creation of something of beauty from
sacrifice of its own life.
Unfortunately, as history bears witness, the nation of India succumbed to
the British military power, and became her colony. In spite of this, despite
the subjugation, the people of India endured the shame and disgrace for
centuries. They endured by their own sense of national pride, coupled with
the spirit of Buddhism, and subsequently also by the life and the spirit of
Gandhi that stood for the test of time and against human ignorance.
In retrospect, I do empathized with the people of India, as a nation, for
Japan also stood in the same place shortly after the opening of "Sakoku" of
Tokugawa Shogunate Regime. Since July 8, 1853, Japan was confronted by the
mighty military western power of the "Four Black Ships of Mien". As the
American aggression increased, Japan's own national cultural identity
and her own amiable qualities were tempered by a strong sense of
It was in this manner that Commodore Perry, the Navy Decatur and "Farragut",
and the display of power by the United States looming over this small race
people of Japan had their intended effect. Although this political/military
imposition led to what was known as the "Wood and Water" Treaty, it also led
to all subsequent acts. Beginning with the first US Consul Townsend Harris,
it was a symbol of aggression, treacherousness and deceitfulness. Despite
some differences, they had the same adrenal effects on Japanese temper.
The Emperor realized that "self-protection" was of primary importance and
the rest of the world must be met on its own terms. Japan was forced to
after the Western nations, motivated by the spirit of the "Kokutai Yusen",
"Rich nation with mighty military power", for clinging to national dignity,
identity and survival as a sovereign nation. She only then could stand equal
with the rest of the Western military powers.
Could this be the case of the
nation of India for arming herself to defend, protect and promote her own
security and lines of national interests? One must wonder.
Of course, nearly a century later, the defeat in World War II was not only
devastating for the Japanese people and their nation, but it also caused
untold millions of sacrifices and suffering of many nations. Japan's "power"
to make war was confiscated and then she found herself for the first time
and powerful in peacetime than ever in war.
As a survivor of Hiroshima, I can't help but wonder, what purpose does India
now feel it has for using the power of nuclear weapons -- to serve the
neighboring countries and the rest of world? Do Indian people think this way
is the only way to bring to the end of prolonged underlying
and national enmities that are so difficult to extinguish when countries
been at war in (at) heart in subjugation to the foreign power for so long?
Does the nation of Indian, as
if she is a bird finally setting herself free from the birdcage, feel that
lead to soaring into the blue yonder?
How dare we ourselves continue on the path of an endless cycle of repeated
revengeful ways to deal with our own hearts, let alone our neighbors? I
wonder what happened to those followers of Gandhi's since his death? Would
continue to carry out his spirit and message for peace by non-violence-
harmony, instead of supporting the government leaders in the development of
destructive nuclear bombs?
It is now essential that we all, more than ever before, seek a New
Beginning. The new way must not resort to violence, guns and war and it must
put national enmity, ethnic hatred, cultural divisiveness, differing
personal conflicts and differences to an end -- not only for our sake but
sake of our children and the future generations to inherit the Earth. Let's
give them a better Earth than the one we inherited.
What is the solution? We survivors bear silent witness to the horrors of
war. Our experience gives us the moral authority to stand for peace. It is
important to recognize that this is also a time of unparalleled opportunity
to assist the change in the world order in the direction of peaceful
It is no longer the time for recrimination, but it is the time for
reconciliation, healing and forgiving and making peace with our painful
past. Perhaps this is the greatest and most difficult battle (war) we must
yet fight, if we the human race are to survive peacefully among ourselves.
I feel strongly that the survivors are the link and the key to healing this
horrible and painful past, not the world political leaders. It is only
by acknowledging and accepting their suffering that we can truly understand
the consequences of hatred, fear and divisiveness in the human heart.
In the "I Ching," the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, the Hexagram called
Breakthrough ponders how to deal with evil and the horrors of the human
experience. Its conclusion is that "the best way to fight evil is to make
energetic progress in the good."
I wish to have the opportunity to meet you (people of India/West Pakistan)
person and to share my heart. Hopefully, this would give a chance for the
world to look carefully at it's recent history, assess its responsibilities
its children, and commit itself to working for international harmony.
It is towards this end I am calling upon all individual citizens of the
commit themselves to the urgent need to end racial and ethnic hatred,
religious conflicts, social and cultural prejudice by living with the Three-
Fold Pinciples of (1) "Jidai Yusen", sacrifice of one's immediate needs for
moral purpose, (2) "Mugai-Kyoei", reverence for life -- respecting others as
different individuals, non-violence and (3) "Jita-Kyoei", the practice of
living for the benefit of others.
These principles were instilled in me before my father's death. I believe
this way the people of India and Pakistan, and the rest of us including the
governmental leaders, all sects of religious leaders, individual citizens
the rest of world, will demonstrate the true spirits of Buddha, Gandhi, the
teaching Christ and our own innate moral values for a sense of hope that
direct ourselves toward global peace.
Respectfully, I am,
Thomas Takashi Tanemori, June 18, 1998
Silkworm Peace Foundation http://www.silkworm.org
3371 Moraga Blvd. #100
Lafayette, CA 94549-4641 USA
Background on Mr. Tanemori and Silkworm Peace Institute
Mr. Tanemori at Global Crisis Solutions Conference
Global Peace Walk HOMEPAGE
HOMEPAGE: Global Emergency Alert Response