Yasukuni Black Suits

Last week was Golden Week, a bundle of national holidays all packed in the same week: Constitution day, Green day, Children’s day and the new Showa day. This last one is in honor of the previous emperor’s birthday and is a big hit among Japan’s extremist population, which I like to call the Black Suits.

Last year I witnessed a huge delegation of black vans shouting propaganda in Shibuya. So this year I thought it’d be cool to go see what happens in Yasukuni Shrine on that day.

entrance of Yasukuni Shrine

I was a bit disappointed, the shrine itself is a lot smaller than I thought and there were no black vans to be seen, nor threatening crowds. However, while waiting for a friend to arrive in front of the entrance, I finally spotted a group of a dozen black suits with their token buddhist bracelets. Two of the elder ones split up and came straight at me and my friend:

Old black suit: Do you speak english? Do you speak english? (with a more or less threatening tone)
Me: Yes I speak english, 日本語でも
Old black suit: 本当?? (with a smile on his face)

They got much friendlier when I replied to them in japanese. They asked us why we came to 靖国神社 and I replied that it was very famous, hearing about it all the time on the news, so we wanted to see for ourselves. I didn’t bring up the fact that we came just to see people like him though… They said “Have fun!” and left.

One thought on “Yasukuni Black Suits”

  1. You didn’ mention that you think they had a couple of drinks…
    It was a fun experience, mostly oriented towards Japanese (less towards tourists) as there was very little english translation.

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