At the Miura Ayako Literature Museum, a “peace-loving literature museum” that promotes love and peace, we are strongly opposed to the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Hereby, we present an essay by Miura Ayako.
“Perish with the Sword”
Miura Ayako from Love for Our Country. Shogakukan Shinsho, 2016.
During the war, I was not a human. I was rotten because I was steeped in militarism. As a teacher, I taught my students that it is our human duty to fight for our country. I taught so as zealous as any teacher in the country did. I was rotten to the core.
Now people are calling for the total ban of nuclear weapons. So do I but with hesitation. Doesn’t it sound like we are only opposed to nuclear wars? In the past, Japan started wrong wars. No, there is no right or wrong war. All wars are categorically wrong. I know it too well as a former patriotic teacher.
We women literally give birth to and nurture life. When women are feeding their newborn child, what do they wish for their child? No mother would want her child to kill and wound others. For whatever reasons, there is no room for sympathy with killing each other. Women know that. And men must know that too. If Japanese kill fellow Japanese, we will be punished. But if we kill other nationals, we will be honored. That’s utter nonsense. No human has the right to kill fellow humans. Nor have they the right to order the killing. Respecting others means not taking the lives of others.
I am a Christian. Jesus never says you can take the lives of fellow humans for the sake of your country. He said, “Love thine enemy.” He also said, “They that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” What perishes is not only our lives but our humanity. Therefore, I oppose even killing with fists, not to mention by nuclear weapons.
This tanka poem was said to have been contributed to a certain newspaper. I would like to share this poem with people all over the world.
Choheiwa inochikaketemo habamubeshi
Haha sobo omina rounimitsutomo
Conscription must be rejected even if we must put our lives on the line
Mothers, grandmothers, all women will fill the prisons.
Translated by YOSHIDA Aki