“The soldiers of Japan are certainly strong, but I fear you’ve also just revealed a tremendous weakness… You’re hindered by a crippling love for your people.”
“This weakness of ours happens to be our national policy.”
– Emperor Molt Sol Augustus & Koji Sugawara, Gate
Season 1, Episode 14, “The Great Quake at the Imperial Capital”
This exchange between an emperor and a diplomat comes on the heels of violent proof of the love in question. Having discovered one of their citizens being held as a slave by none other than the crown prince, they immediately sprang into action, rescuing the slave, beating the prince’s face halfway in, and gunning down the prince’s guards when they tried to intervene. The emperor sees in this a potential vulnerability, one which he clearly does not possess himself, as he uses and discards the people he rules. However, what he does not comprehend is that a nation built for the good of its people will always be stronger than a nation built for the good its rulers.
Now, I can’t speak for the nation, soldiers, and people of Japan. I am not nearly familiar enough with their culture for that. But I can speak for what I have seen in my homeland of America.
Twenty-one years ago, a horrific act of terrorism was carried out against my people, all of them unarmed civilians. Police and firefighters ran into a collapsing inferno to try and save people. We came together as one people regardless of any differences, and our friends around the world joined us in mourning and in seeking to destroy those responsible. Our soldiers went to lands on the other side of the world, so far from home, and many of them lost their lives, and took a lot of the enemy with them. Why? Because they loved their country and their people.
Now, there is a great deal more which could be said, and has been said by others, regarding quite nearly every possible aspect of what came before, during, and after. None of that is relevant to my point, and I am still dedicated to keeping politics largely off of my blog. However, an anniversary such as this simply demands remembrance, lest we forget and fail to learn.
Let the lesson be taken to heart: to threaten what a soldier truly loves is to court death. Encourage that soldier to love his country and his people, and that love is anything but a weakness.
In love, there is humanity, and in humanity, there is a strength greater than cold, practical rationality can account for.
Those who sit in power may be able to toy with the puppet strings that can devastate nations and play games of chess with people’s lives, but without a genuine love for their people, their power will always be much more fragile than they would like.
While those who love each other and love their people will be able to do the impossible and endure the unbelievable.