Have You Really Been There?
It is a characteristic of most societies that one does not usually launch into a critical attack in normal conversation. The Japanese society does take this even further than most, perhaps because it is a relatively small land area area with a relatively high population density. In general contentious subjects are not raised and this applies to such as the WWII. By not speaking about something the space for argument is reduced. The modern Japan is rather more keen to look forward and get on than to look back and discuss.
I lived and worked there for sometime and had two children born there so I can add in a few words based on experience.
At work they get where they are going by agreement. They will all meet, agree on a plan and work to that plan. If there is a flaw in the plan it is not the totally back biting disaster that we produce. They meet, discus what new plan is needed, agree on the new plan and go on forward. While they respect the past and do so with reverence they are not constantly digging up its bones to see if there is any more flesh left to chew on.
Once I used the system to change a corporate plan within a 30 minute window, (afterwards those Japanese with whom I worked directly, jokingly asked me how I had blackmailed the company president - did I have something on him or his wife?) No I worked the system.
By the way whenever a change of plan was needed, there was NEVER a long post mortem asking why we had followed the advice of sales, or marketing or accounting or whatever. The attitude appeared was; "The original action had been a joint choice, perhaps we were all guilty. Now we need a new plan and to go forward with that."
Contrast that we what I have seen here as the bones of the past are constantly chewed over; while we are wasting time and energy discussing who did, or did not do in the past; the world moves on. I just love the way that those who were too young to know and too inexperienced to understand have an answer to everything. They skim the surface of a history they do not even know the first thing about. They look for bones to justify why some long past event would not have happened if they were in charge. History is always written by the victor, it is always an edited version. Yet still we have volumes written on Agent Orange, napalm, Mai Lai and all.
Do not forget, airbrushing history is not just for the vanquished, there are plenty who seek to deny that the mass murders of WWII never happened, that Stalin never killed anyone, etc.
So yes for those who wish to study recent history there are HUGE volumes available covering the US, the UK, Russia, et al. Equally there are huge volumes available for the lead up to the First World War. An event which had clear roots back beyond 1870 for anyone who cares to look. It was a part of my history studies an almost historical number of years back when history was taught in a structured way rather than as random dissembled facts on which to pontificate.
In short we should learn from the past but not dwell on it. We should revise our plans on the basis of clear need rather than navel gazing uselessly. Forward movement is needed not sideline standing stone and bottle throwers. We already have too many of them