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Praying that Japan still offers hope 1,000 years from now

17 4 8
02.01.2018

Deciding to do something different, I boarded an Asahi Shimbun helicopter recently, armed with a chronological table of Japanese history. My intention was to try to assess the direction of our present era by retracing history.

My first "destination" was Kyoto, the nation's capital 1,000 years ago.

Fujiwara no Michinaga (966-1028), the de facto ruler of Japan at the time, penned this poem in 1018: "This world, I think/ Is indeed my world/ Like the full moon I shine/ Uncovered by any cloud."

Having married off his three daughters to emperors, he was at the peak of his power. When he recited this poem before an assemblage of senior courtiers, the latter were said to have chanted it in unison several times.

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© The Asahi Shimbun