Saturday, February 24, 2007

Okada, Sukyo Mahikari, and the Japanese military - Part 2

As promised, here is the information that shows almost conclusively that the Mahikari Tomomori and the war criminal Tomomori are the same person (or was, he's dead now).

According to the teachings given by Koya Okada at the June 2005 monthly ceremony, Kiyoharu Tomomori and Sadataka Matsudaira (a senior Mahikari staff member at the time of Okada's death, and subsequently within Sukyo Mahikari) were in the same class as Yoshikazu Okada at the military academy (the Rikugun Shikan Gakko, or Rikushi for short). A few of the graduates from each class are listed here. I'm afraid this website is in Japanese, but many Mahikari centers do have Japanese-speaking staff. You could perhaps ask for their help if you wish to check this information. Alternatively, copy and paste the following into your browser search function and use it to find the appropriate place in the website: 34期

[Note: If you see a funny square box instead of a Japanese character after the 34 above, and in other places below, you will need to change your browser's encoding (character set) setting to make the Japanese display correctly. Try the Japanese auto-detect (auto-select) setting, or just set Unicode (UTF-8). Look under "View" or one of the other menus at the top of your browser to find these settings.]

34期 means the 34th class that graduated from the Rikushi. On the same line, you will see 1922, which is the year Daiseishu says Okada graduated, and 345名 , which is the number of graduates in that year. On the third line below, at the end of the line, you will see 松平定堯 . That is Sadataka Matsudaira's name. This listing is not complete and does not included either Okada or Tomomori's names, but since they were in the same class as Matsudaira, we now know that Tomomori was a member of the 34th class that graduated from the Rikushi.

Now, I am told that Kiyoharu Tomomori is not a particularly common name, so it is highly unlikely that there were two people with this same name amongst those 345 graduates. If there were, and one was Okada's friend and the other was a war criminal, I imagine Daiseishu would have included a note to that effect. For the moment, let's proceed, assuming that there was only one Kiyoharu Tomomori in that class.

This next site is also in Japanese, but again I'll give you the kanji you need to check it for yourselves. This is the list of graduates from the Military Staff College (Rikugun Daigaku) in 1934...the 46th class of that college. It appears Tomomori, and other students too, did not enroll here immediately after graduation from the Rikushi (Daiseishu says Tomomori was assigned to a regiment in Kyushu immediately after graduation from the Rikushi). You can find Tomomori's name (written 友森 清晴 ) in the 4th column on the 11th line of the chart. The first column says his final ranking was Colonel (大佐 ). The third column says he was an infantry captain (歩兵大大尉 ) immediately after graduation. The 5th column says that his role at the end of the war was that of Staff Deputy Director in the Western District Army (Western region of Japan) (西部軍参謀副副長 ), and the 7th column shows he graduated in the 34th class (34期 ) at the Rikushi. So, this is the Tomomori who was in Okada's class, the 34th class, at the Rikushi.

Next we need to match up this new information we now know about Tomomori with the information given on the war criminal site, here. This one is in English, so you can see at a glance that the war criminal Tomomori was a Colonel and the Staff Deputy Director at the Western District Army, 16th Area Army Headquarters (this last is in the header of the table). This site does not say which Rikushi class Tomomori graduated in, but I think it is safe to assume that there would only have been one Tomomori who had that specific role and rank in that army region, so the Tomomori in this website must be the person in the list of graduates from the Military Staff College, and therefore must have been in Okada's Rikushi class.

We have not yet managed to get a complete listing of the graduates from the 34th Rikushi class. When we do, if there is only one graduate named Kiyoharu Tomomori, we will be 100% sure, instead of 99.9999% sure, that Okada's "close friend" was the war criminal.

To return to the original topic of Okada, Sukyo Mahikari, and the military, the author of one of the books I read recently commented on the lack of information given to the general public during Japan's war years. The Japanese were encouraged to regard the Emperor as divine, and to assume that whatever he said or did was correct. Instead of facts about Japan's military activities, they were fed slogans and patriotic hype. (Unfortunately, I was not taking notes, so I can't give a reference.) He used an expression which immediately reminded me of Okada's critical description of the five main religions: "The followers shall follow but they shall not know."

It struck me that "The followers shall follow but they shall not know" could apply equally well to Sukyo Mahikari. Sukyo Mahikari's leaders have not seen fit to inform kumite about even major matters, such as Okada's SKK and Makoto no Michi background, the extent of the succession dispute, or even the fact that Sukyo Mahikari is a new organization (rather than SMBK with a simple name change). In some recent teachings, Koya Okada (the acting leader) said, "The parent God conveys his commands through Sukuinushisama, Oshienushisama, and the acting oshienushi." It struck me that they are taking for themselves an emperor-like position. Kumite cannot question what they say. Isn't this, coupled with the lack of information, a dangerous situation?

In any case, during Japan's incursions into China and Manchuria (roughly 1930 till 1945), and during the Pacific war, the Japanese people were fed propaganda rather than facts. Japan was supposedly uniting Asia under Japan and its Emperor in accordance with the Jimmu decree of "all eight corners of the world under one roof" (八紘一宇). Japan had a divine mission to bring about world peace by uniting all nations "under one roof", so that all humanity could benefit from being ruled by the Emperor, the descendant of Amaterasu-Omikami, the Sun Goddess. (Okada, too, had a dream of uniting the world in a theocracy and bringing about world peace.) Japan was creating the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and Japan was freeing other Asian countries from Western colonialism. In reality, the Japanese military was invading, colonizing, appropriating resources for its own use, and causing immeasurable suffering. The exact implications of "peace" are not always immediately apparent.

In post-war years too, the war-time realities have been covered up. These days, some Japanese are crusading for the true stories of that era to be taught in Japanese school textbooks, but it seems progress is slow. Some Japanese, for example, still maintain that the Rape of Nanking is a lie fabricated by the Chinese!

Obviously, the Japanese public is well aware of their own suffering during the closing stages of the Pacific war...the horrendous fire-bombing of Tokyo and other cities and the atomic bombs, which between them claimed the lives of about 400,000 innocent civilians. Some scholars contend that this, in conjunction with the lack of comprehensive information about Japanese military actions in Asia, has resulted in Japan perceiving itself as the victim, rather than the aggressor, in the Pacific war.

I guess, therefore, that Koya Okada, like many of his countrymen, grew up being taught a white-washed version of his country's war-time history. Why else would he have said in his teachings, recently, that Japan was trying to liberate Asian countries from Western colonial rule?

Apparently, someone objected, and Koya's teachings were subsequently edited to remove the above claim, but it is quite alarming that he made that claim in the first place. I'm not about to defend Western colonialism in Asia. However, most of the material I've read suggests that "liberating Asia from Western colonialism" was a euphemistic slogan which really meant that Japan was trying to replace Western colonialism with Japanese colonialism. Under this slogan, the Japanese military caused the death of 24 million Asians, 20 million of whom were innocent civilians, and 90 million others were severely affected (according to Werner Gruhl, Ch. 14 of Japanese War Crimes, edited by Peter Li). Those severely affected include the wounded, raped, tortured, biological war and forced-slave labor victims, refugees, war orphans, Japanese-caused opium addicts, victims of severe war-caused malnutrition and diseases, POWs, internees, and most Asian military conscripts. [snip] The invasion also brought wide-scale destruction of the economies and infrastructure of many nations and territories, affecting the livelihood of hundreds of millions during and well after the war.

Koya became a kumite at age 17, and graduated top of the first doshi training class. One assumes he was always a very "good" kumite/kanbu, and that he must have devoted all his time and efforts to divine service and the study of Okada's teachings. I imagine he habitually believed that everything Yoshikazu Okada and Keishu said was true. He obviously has studied Mahikari matters, such as the meanings of ideograms and the contents of the prayer book, extensively. Perhaps he has had no time to also study recent world history.

I guess many nations are guilty to some degree of perceiving their own history with an ethnocentric slant. Perhaps the atomic bombs dropped on Japan are one exception...people all over the world are aware of and horrified at those. In Western countries, the next most well-known aspect of the Pacific war would probably be the horrors experienced by the Western Allied POWs. I wonder how many Westerners are aware that, China and other Asian nations experienced the costliest battles resulting in 99 percent of the Allied deaths (one percent were U.S. and Western Allies) in the Asia Pacific theatre, and most of the destruction of infrastructure and economies. (Gruhl, p.257)

Koya Okada himself may have been a product of Japan's education system, and had little chance to broaden his education during his lifetime within Sukyo Mahikari. However, doesn't a man who claims to convey the commands of the parent God also have some responsibility to be well informed about the recent history of his own country? I find it truly alarming that a man with such a severely distorted view of Japan's agenda and military actions in Asia should be shaping the beliefs of Sukyo Mahikari members.

And what about Yoshikazu Okada? What did he think about the role Japan took for itself in Asia? I don't recall him specifically saying, but I do recall hearing about his first religious awakening. He had just been discharged from hospital and told he had three years to live. He gazed at his navel in the bath and decided to leave everything up to his Maker. He threw out the contents of his medicine chest and resolved to spend the rest of his life serving God. He then proceeded to convert his family's textile factory into a factory for manufacturing war planes...

Perhaps he was more a product of the environment and times in which he lived than kumite like to think.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Okada, Sukyo Mahikari, and the Japanese military - Part 1

Since writing my November post, "What do we know about this man?", I have been trying to find out more about Okada's military career. Since Sukyo Mahikari provides so few details, I've also been reading about Japan's war history and life in Japan during the Showa era.

Normally I avoid reading anything about war. I hate it. I can never decide which is more horrendous....the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the inhumane way the Japanese military treated civilians and POWs in many parts of Asia.

I recall when I first joined Mahikari, I was not happy to hear that Okada had a military past. In retrospect I suppose it was naive of me, but Sukyo Mahikari manages to give the impression that he was never involved in any actual fighting, and I found that reassuring.

According to various Mahikari publications, Okada entered the military academy to honour his father's dying wish, rather than because he particularly wanted to. When he graduated, in 1922, he was assigned to the First Infantry Regiment of the Imperial Guards, which had the role of protecting the Imperial Palace, and was made its standard bearer (Daiseishu, p. 19). Not much fighting there, I suppose. Later he became the commanding officer of the Sixth Company of the First Infantry Regiment then, in 1931, he became an infantry school instructor (Daiseishu, p. 21). We are not told what he did immediately prior to 1931, but Japan was already involved in "incidents" in China at that time, and invaded Manchuria in 1931.

Daiseishu tells us that he became a section commander of the First Railway Transport Department at Imperial Headquarters in 1937 "and took an active part in the tactical transport group strategy at Shanghai, Hangchow Bay, and at the fall of Nanking". Okada says, "Although I was in charge of railway operations at the rear, I fell ill with a high fever and had to take to my bed with a telelphone" while the Japanese troops were invading Hangchow. He then spent an unspecified amount of time in a French hospital in Shanghai. While in his hospital bed, Okada tells us, "I wondered about my comrades....over there, in the extreme of action in the bloody world of war at Nanking". In other words, Sukyo Mahikari is claiming, in a round-about fashion, that Okada was not personally involved in the Rape of Nanking.

However, further on in this same quote, while still in hospital, Okada says "I prayed that I might stand on the battlefield at least one more time". Battelfield? What battlefield? There has been no mention of Okada on any battlefields!

Back in Japan in 1938, after recovering, we are told Okada fell during a steeplechase held in the presence of the Emperor and fractured his spine, and that he spent 3 months in a military hospital. Then in 1941, "while on duty as a senior officer supervising rail transport at Army Headquarters in French Indochina", he again became ill and was hospitilized for 18 months in Tokyo (Daiseishu p. 29). When he was discharged from hospital, Okada "retired from active military service with the rank of lieutenant colonel and was transferred to the army reserves (Daiseishu, p. 31).

That's it. After 20 or so years in the military, and more than a decade of Japanese aggression in Asia, did Okada not get any blood on his hands? I really don't know. Okada talked about the negative karma his ancestors had accumulated in battles, but I don't recall him saying anything in particular about himself killing people in battle. However, in teachings given in June 2005, Koya Okada (the acting leader of Sukyo Mahikari) said, "Later, Sukuinushisama went to the war front, where he was able to lead his troops thanks to the strong willpower he had cultivated. His was an example of the yamato spirit, which was fearless in the face of death". To me, this just sounds like romanticized hype, but it does suggest that Okada was directly involved in combat. (Of course, one would expect that anyone involved in the military was directly involved in combat at some stage, but what exactly was he doing? Why are those parts omitted?)

Some of the details Sukyo Mahikari mentions about Okada during and immediately after the war don't ring true to me...I am still trying to investigate those. The above outline may be true (as far as it goes). I can't help wondering, though, if Sukyo Mahikari white-washed Okada's military career...or perhaps even made up a career that did not exist.

For one thing, the military academy that Okada attended was the Rikugun Shikan Gakko (a school that trains army officers). There was another more elite military school, the Rikugun Daigaku (or military staff college) which trained Imperial Headquarters staff. Okada did not attend that college (there is a list of its graduates here). Yet, we are told he was a section commander at Imperial Headquarters in 1937. That strikes me as odd, but it may not be. Perhaps someone who knows more than me about the Japanese military can explain that.

Another oddity is that Daiseishu quotes a story about Okada that was written for the Mahikari journal by Kiyoharu Tomomori. Tomomori says he was Okada's classmate at the military academy, and he reminisces extensively about all sorts of trivial matters. He mentions a joke Okada made to him immediately after graduation about Okada now being Tomomori's superior. This seems a bit odd, since they graduated at the same time, and especially since Tomomori later graduated from the more elite military staff college and eventually out-ranked Okada.

At first glance, the inclusion of Tomomori's story seems designed simply to praise Okada and, perhaps, to "prove" that Okada had a military career. Please don't misunderstand me...I am not claiming that Okada was never in the military. In fact, I think he probably was. It's just that, at this stage, after the exposure of so many lies told by Okada and/or Sukyo Mahikari, I find I am suspicious of everything Sukyo Mahikari says. It is true that we have not yet managed to find any mention of Okada in the lists of names on websites dealing with the Japanese military, and earlier research by other people in Japan also found no records. However, this does not necessarily indicate that Okada's military career, as claimed by Sukyo Mahikari, is false. A possible explanation is that various military records have been suppressed, for whatever reason, but a more probable explanation is that Okada's military role simply was not particularly important (despite Sukyo Mahikari's attempt to make it seem illustrious).

However, I now wonder if Sukyo Mahikari had a more sinister reason for including Tomomori's story in Daiseishu. Perhaps its real purpose was to "prove" that Tomomori was Okada's lifelong and closest friend. Now, I don't recall reading anything about Tomomori in other Mahikari publications, but perhaps I simply did not notice his name because Japanese names are not so familiar to me. However, he is mentioned several times in Daiseishu, the Japanese edition of which was published in 1983, and the English edition in 1993. (Page numbers in this post refer to the English edition.) Firstly, there is Tomomori's long story. In this, Tomomori even relates his wife's comment that, "He [Okada] is the best of all your friends and thinks of you the most". Later (page 185) Tomomori is mentioned as being the group's leader when Okada and his entourage went to Europe in 1973. Then, in the account of Okada's death (pages 223-4), we are told, "His friends of many years, Kiyoharu Tomomori and Sadataka Matsudaira, held his hands as they called his name", and there is also a poem about Okada's death composed by Tomomori.

So, why do I wonder if Sukyo Mahikari included all this information about Tomomori for a specific reason? Take a look at the material from the court records concerning the succession court cases after Okada's death. It is here. Towards the end of this page, there is information that suggests that, immediately after Okada's death, Keishu was about to hand over to Sekiguchi the omitama intended for Okada's successor, but that Tomomori intervened and told Keishu that, "From here on you must not advance things without consulting with me". It seems Tomomori was also involved in the plan whereby Keishu secretly registered herself as the Representing Officer of SMBK, and that he represented Keishu during succession discussions and accompanied her in court.

Now, of course I don't know exactly what happened, but it sounds to me like Tomomori may have been a driving force behind the succession dispute, the split of SMBK into two factions, and ultimately the establishment by Keishu (in 1978) of the new organization, Sukyo Mahikari. When I originally read the above material, over a year ago, I couldn't help thinking that Keishu may have just been a figurehead, with Tomomori and perhaps other advisors being the ones telling her what to do.

As you probably know, the court decision was that Sekiguchi, rather than Keishu, was the legitimate second leader of SMBK. Keishu appears to have relied heavily on personal loyalty (and supression of information) in order to retain many of the SMBK members on her side. Since Tomomori seems to have been a prominent advisor of the Keishu faction, using Daiseishu to promote the idea that Tomomori was Okada's closest friend would have been a very useful strategy in trying to legitimize Keishu's faction.

At this point you may be wondering why I am writing about Tomomori and the succession dispute in the middle of a post concerning Okada's military past. I'm afraid you are in for a shock.

A while back, when I was pondering the information given in Daiseishu concerning Okada's military career, including Tomomori's story about Okada, it occurred to me that I should do a Google search on Tomomori's name. The first hit I looked at was the page with the above succession court material....of course, I had seen that page before, but I had not remembered Tomomori's name. The next two Google hits were for this page and this page. You can read these for yourselves, but if you don't have a strong stomach, I suggest you just look at the second of these websites. I felt sick.

[Explanatory note for those who only look at the second site: Aburayama is near Fukuoka City, and was the location of two separate incidents involving the brutal and unauthorized execution of groups of airmen.]

In brief, Kiyoharu Tomomori was convicted as a war criminal. He was originally sentenced to death, but this was changed to life imprisonment at a retrial and he was imprisoned at Sugamo prison in Tokyo. I don't know exactly what year he was paroled, but all the war criminals held at Sugamo were paroled sometime between 1952 and 1958 (when the prison was closed). So, by 1959 when Okada established his religion, his good friend Tomomori was out of prison and available to be recruited as a member, or perhaps even to play a guiding role in establishing it. (I have no idea when Tomomori became a kumite.) In any case, he appears to have wielded significant power behind the scenes in the faction we belonged to. I feel doubly sick.

I originally stumbled across the above information a couple of months ago, but it occurred to me that there might be two people in the military with the same name...Okada's friend and the war criminal may have not been the same person. I wanted to be quite certain before I said anything. However, we have now managed to cross-reference between several English and Japanese websites, and can show fairly conclusively that the war criminal Tomomori was the Mahikari Tomomori. I will write about that in my next post. For now I have had enough.

PS: I have no wish to malign an innocent person. If, by any chance, Sukyo Mahikari staff have proof that any of the above is incorrect, please let me know and I will happily post a correction.

Friday, February 09, 2007

真光の世界とは ー その2 (World of Mahikari - 2)

Okada often mentions Moses, Jesus and Buddha in his teachings. This post by phoenix3000 discusses what Okada claimed was the "real historical truth" concerning Jesus Christ, and notes that Sukyo Mahikari has been changing these teachings despite the fact that they praise Okada as the savior of mankind and teach that his teachings are "golden words" which must never be changed.




『真光』誌 昭和44年12月号P18−24 紀 行記 戸来を尋ねて聖地キリスト村
 東京青年隊々長手島泰六(岡田コウヤ代理)  (国学院大学四年)


 昨年、その目的を全て果たす事の出来なかった私は、今年も大学が夏期休暇にはいると居ても立ってもいられず、再度、東北へ旅立ったのである。 (「ここが変!真光の本!」ー 181)




この、イエス・キリストに関する教えの取り扱いの変化の例が、他にも見られます。昭和44年(19 69)に熱い想いで、光玉より『歴史上の真実』を教えられたと述べた手島泰六氏(現教え主代理)も36年後の平成17年(2005)にはこのことを曖昧にして、ぼやかしています。


    ーーー過去に真光誌に載せているくせに今は謎に置き換えている。本当に教えをコロコロと変える教団。181の真光誌の抜粋と比べると明らか。自分達が残した御教えも忘れるなんて... (「ここが変!真光の本!」ー187)
    ーーーイエスの話、五色人の話などは、今では絶版になった『神向き讃詞解説』に克明に書いてあります。...それを今さら「謎に包まれています・・・」とは、なんといい加減な神向き讃詞解説だったかという証明です。・・・ ま、パクリ元の本が偽本だと暴かれたので、それをパクッた本が絶版になっても当然ですが。・・・・ 神向き讃詞解説の大半は、今日では偽本として有名 な「竹内文書」のパクリ。・・
       (「ここが変!真光の本!」−18 8)  


真光は人類教であると教団は謳い、真光を始めた光玉を『救い主様』と呼んで讃え、『人類の(永遠の)師』『人類の救世主』との称号を被せ、彼の言ったことは金口の説法であるとしていたのに、彼の力説したところの『本当の話』を、胸を張って公表することをしなくなったという変遷、しかも、いつの間にか隠して、『教え主代理』や上級幹部さえ、言葉を濁したり、最初からそんなものはなかったかのように装っているということーーこれらは、光玉の説いた教えにどの程度の信憑性があるのか、また、教団がどんな体質をもっているのか、を時の流れが如実に示す事例の一つです。光玉自身が言ったことの記録である『神向き讃詞解説』が絶版になって、ほとんどの人の目に触れることがなく、古い真光誌とともに、過去の都合の悪い教えは忘れ去られていくことを教団は期待しているのでしょう。『教え主が絶対』の世界なので、現時点で教団が言っていることが『正しい』ことになります。光玉の教えを削れば、『今はそんなこと言ってない』となり、『そんな教えはない』ことにもなるし、教え を修正すれば、『御経綸の変化』とし、それでは言い訳になりそうもないことは、黙秘して、やがて修 正版が信者に浸透するのを待てばよいことになります。それに、教団の言うことに反する、どんな現実 の事実が出て来ても、『正法の道から引き離そうとする、邪神・邪霊の仕業』にできるのです。

ダン・ブラウンの「ダ・ヴィンチ・コード」を上回 るような「イエス・キリスト」に関する光玉の説(より正確に言えば、『竹内文書』の説)ですが、世界と日本の「歴史」に関しても光玉は「日本が世界の中心である」との大前提のもとに、その教えを展開しました。この教えも今、影を潜めているのでしょうか。それとも、現実の世界とは無関係に、「日本が霊の元つ国である」という謳い文句だけが、大手を振って歩いている状態なのでしょうか。ここで、「歴史」に関する前回の光玉の言葉の引用に、さらに下記のものを付け加えておきましょう。

   すなわち、私が立教以来叫び続けて参りました。究極は何か「歴史の迷信」歴史から生じてくるところの人類歴史の迷信・・・・・とんでもない、いいかげんな偽りの歴史を各国が教えてきた。本家本元の日本がそうである。ーー真光誌18 9(昭和53年6月号)P16 

人類がこれまでに蓄積してきた歴史の記録でさえ 『嘘八百』『迷信である』と断言して退けて、代わ りに、一層不確かなものや荒唐無稽なものを『本当 である』と光玉は宣言したことになります。



[『み教え』=創作神話   要は、史実と伝説と妄 想を交えた作り話。へえ~と聞き流す程度ならいいけど、こんなのを芯から信じて生きたらアホにな る.]という書き込みがありました。


真光の世界では、嘘、迷信、おとぎ話、怪しい話が 『本当』『事実』になり、本当のこと、歴史的科学的事実が『嘘』『空想』『妄想』になりもするし、客観的なものと主観的なもの、常識と非常識とが入れ替わる、といった、奇妙で異常な世界と言えます。『み教え』自体の矛盾や現実との矛盾は、人知を超えているということで、いとも簡単にまかり通 るようです。都合が悪いとわかった『教え』は、いつの間にか修正し、最初からそうだったように見せ かけたり、「なかった」ことにしたり。そして、現実の出来事は、光玉及び教団(そして個々の信者)に都合の良いものだけとって、都合良く解釈していきます。実際には教団や信者達とは何の関係もない出来事でも、その主張に都合の良い物事や歓迎すべき出来事ならば、主の神のみ力によるものだ、あるいは、誰それが手かざししたからだ、と真光の貢献にしてしまいます。他方、現実の世界での天災人災は『曇りきった人類のせい』とか、『神の怒りの型示し』にしてしまい、信者の恐怖心を煽るのに利用 します。