I quite agree with Michael Hoffman’s The Living Past article on Feb. 16, “Once upon a time, China anointed a ‘King of Japan.’ ” Historically speaking, China believes it is the great master, Korea is a first disciple and Japan is a second disciple. Actually, before the Meiji Era (1868-1911), culture or civilization came from China through Korea to Japan, but after Meiji, the flow generally reversed.
The Chinese and Korean cultural backbone depends on Buddhism and Confucianism. In Confucianism, the vertical relationship is absolute. If it is broken, there is a serious problem. Japan colonized both sempai (senior) countries, and they are still angry with Japan because it didn’t know how to rule others and treated them as inferior countries.
If Japan wants friendly ties with those countries, Japan must be more humble than before. They make as much of their historical background as Japan does of international law.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.