On our second day we visited Yasukuni Shrine, a place that has become quite infamous here in Korea. Hyunjin and I joked about how we would say we were going for the chance to take a potshot at Koizumi if anyone ever called us on it, but let’s face it—how can you visit Tokyo and not go to Yasukuni?
For the uninitiated, the large gate on the left is called a torii, and these are found at the entrance to all Shinto shrines. They are so ubiquitous that they have pretty much become a symbol of Japan.
And for those of you not familiar with Korean-Japanese relationships, Prime Minister Koizumi has been winning brownie points with Korea (not to mention China) for his visits to the shrine, which is dedicated to all who died fighting for the emperor since 1867 (including those considered in Korea and China, as well as other Asian nations, to be Pacific War war criminals).