Supports for People and Cultures of Ukraine and Others
Statement by the Institute Head, Iwasaki Junichi
May 2nd, 2022
I have been in charge of education in the fields of literature and arts at some universities in Japan. Until recently, I have thought that, from the cultural aspect (setting aside the political, diplomatic and military aspects), we should listen to the claims of both Russia and Ukraine.
However, now that I am seeing the current situation where the Russian museums such as The State Hermitage Museum and Kunstkamera are operating without problems while the paintings of Ukrainian museums have to be evacuated, only materials about Ukraine became inaccessible from Japan before I knew it, and many Ukrainian civilians and musicians who love arts and music have been erased from this world by Russian murder operations as Nazi-like horror, I came to think that what should be done by a humble art educator such as myself has been decided.
I have been a Ukrainian music fan for over 20 years.
Являюсь поклонником Украинской музыки уже более 20 лет. Я помню первый день, когда прекрасная музыка Одессы и Николаева достигла моего сердца на дальнем востоке Японии. (не звук сирены)
On the other hand, I feel strongly ashamed of and concerned about having provided to Kunstkamera, at their requests in the past, decipherments of literature on Japanese tea ceremony and Ainu culture that are stored there. Since the above-mentioned institutions are national ones, they function integrally with the government. Now, I am also one of the people who indirectly contributed to Russian culture and neglected Ukrainian culture. Russia claims that Ukraine and Ukrainians belong to their own country just like Northern Territories, Hokkaido and Ainu.
Since the invasion began, the Russian people’s approval rating for the Putin administration has been rising (just like their usual behavior pattern). Even though their country invades other countries and kills many people, they believe that Russian culture is safe and timid researchers in third countries will still cooperate with Russian knowledge and culture. … That is extremely unwelcome news. The academic knowledge and artistic interpretations we have given to Russia have been diverted to the killings of the people of Chechnya, Syria and Ukraine. Now, educators’ cooperation with Russia is non-cooperation with God.
Sergey Lavrov, The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, said Hitler was of Jewish descent. Of course, this is a long-standing rumor among researchers. However, as symbolized by this statement, Russia’s ultimate goal will be to equate Nazis, Jews, President Zelensky, Azov Battalion and Ukrainian people, and rule the Eurasian continent by Slavic nationalism.
To imprint on history the fact that the people and culture of Ukraine have existed on earth, I have been taking the following actions. The university and faculty I belong to do not have a public support window for Ukraine, and the department I belong to has an extremely strong atmosphere of Russian culture including relationship with the aforementioned organizations, so IJAI’s and my donations and supports to Ukraine are our own independent actions.
1. Each of our members made humble donations to Ukraine.
2.Now that Russia has begun to destroy my favorite Ukrainian music lands Odesa and Mykolaiv, we are linstening to Ukrainian musical works and are working hard to preserve their data in Japan.
3.Together with the shrine maidens who govern the archaic Shinto that remains in my hometown of Okayama Pref. (Kibi), we are working to protect Ukrainian (neo-)paganism and Baltic (neo-)paganism from Russia’s killing operations against these foreign religions.
The fact that the Imperial Household Agency and the Association of Shinto Shrines in Japan have not tolerated the status of traditional shrine maidens and treasurable archaic physiolatry Shinto as the Shinto family is the same as that the Russian Orthodox Church has not tolerated other many religions in the Soviet Union and Russia. For them, we are heretics forever. However, maidens of us will bravely carry out the activities without fear of losing our social statuses.
We introduce here a message from the Latvian Shinto (Latvijas Dievturu or Dievturība) shrine maidens to the Kibi shrine maidens with their permission. The exact same content as this is also announced on the official website of Latvijas Dievturu Sadraudze. In this way, Latvian Shinto plans to demolish the symbols of coercive murderous rule by the Soviet Union and Russia. Apparently, such plans are not only ideas of the Latvian Shinto, but also the common consciousness of ancient religions, the governments and the people of Latvia and the three Baltic states. We support them with all our hearts.
They allege that
“Ukraine is the last threshold for European security! It is high time to defend it from brutal occupation!”
If so, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan are for East and Pacific security against Russian, Chinese and the North Korean brutality.