Today is Constitution Day in Japan. Of course, Japan to this day is still using the post-war constitution drafted by the U.S. after World War II.
Now, somebody please explain this to me. But isn't that kind of like celebrating getting your asses kicked? I mean...World War II? "Expel the foreign invaders"? Atomic bombs? All fairly unpleasant stuff. This isn't the Fourth of July with us dumping British tea into the harbor and laughing and having a good ol' time...Founding Fathers gathering to sign a formal document that told the King of England off once and for all. This was a bunch of enemy generals handing a conquered foe a constitution that, among other things, forbade it from gathering an army because we just didn't trust these guys yet since they're all a bunch of former suicide bombers that are crazy and might still be just a little dangerous.
Of course, it is remarkable that they're still using that constitution, rather than dumping it for one of their own after the post-war period kind of settled down. The fact that it was drawn up by a foreign power seems kind of awkward, but really...rather than spending so much money on sustaining a military? They just spend all that cash on cars and electronics and other R&D and use all that capital to slowly take over the world. Seems to have worked wonders. They went from a war-torn nation to a world superpower in no time at all. And it also helps distance themselves from WWII by giving themselves a new national identity as a pacifist nation. Of course, now they're allowed a pseudo-military as well with the Japan Self Defense Force so it's pretty much the same. But with the limited numbers and short-range aircraft and such, they aren't expected to contribute as many troops to worldwide efforts which is another win for their nation as a whole. I won't profess to be a political scholar, but from what little I've studied it's a brilliant document overall.
But again, I can't help but try to draw a comparison. This isn't like July 4th here in the States. It'd be closer to us creating a holiday called "Appamattox Day" where, we as Southerners, could celebrate the day where we were brought back under the United States Constitution. We had our war for Independence, and we lost. And then, as a conquered nation, we were forced to obey the set of laws given to us by the enemy government we were fighting only a short while ago.
That...might not be the kind of holiday I'd be so eager to celebrate, all truth be told.
Though all of this is being filtered through very Western eyes, I admit. I'd be curious to know how the Japanese really celebrated it, if I didn't already suspect it was simply lumped into Golden Week in general as one of that string of days.
Tags: holiday, japan, observations, opinion
Current Mood: silly
Current Music: Bobby Bland - I Woke Up Screaming