Mount Fuji with pagoda in foreground

A bold reminder of the courage to believe in our better natures as people is branded into the constitution of Japan.

An excerpt from the consitution reads:

“CHAPTER II
RENUNCIATION OF WAR

Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

Let’s break down this statement with care. Renunciation is a shout against any violent vibe and bone in us as a species. A noble pursuit. A people and planet that transcend prejudice and color! The continued acceptance of a functioning world order based on current higher ideals and inclusive respect for a human family that defends a do-no-harm attitude for life. One must admire the aspiring wording and vision of Article 9 as confirmed by the Japanese people.

In the words of World Peace Activist, Koko Kondo, “I am proud of Article 9 Chapter II.” Koko is a hibakusha, a survivor of the atomic blast that almost 75 years ago shocked the spirit and soul of the human family. My Japanese friend Taku calls Article 9: “the best constitution ever.” A love for peace and disgust for war was also shared by the sincere and heroic efforts of Dr. Nagai, a man who survived the atomic blast in Nagasaki who, 6 years after the bomb, continued to serve as a doctor in the recovery effort until radiation death finally killed him. A hero of the human family!

In the words and mythic-like actions of post-war Japanese society, you will find more than evident examples to affirm the following vision of the possibilities for peace: Japan has become more committed to seeding a world order based on greater peace and justice as a nation while absolutely rejecting militarism, bullets, and bombs forever!

Imagine the true power and generosity of the mighty United States and the growing importance of China to have the courage to defend the interconnectedness of modern economics, communications, and technological advances based on a do-no-harm attitude as a fundamental unwritten constitution and common human ground! To make threat and force a thing of the past! Cynicism does not endure. The historicity of man is not linear but strides towards greater peace not a quaint insistence on a war industrial complex. The atomic bomb stories the Japanese people tell position these brothers and sisters as moral authorities on the matter to give Westerners transformative insight on our understanding of war and peace.

The belligerent global patriarchy must release its grip on power and leadership and discover the virtue of modesty and honesty again. Religions, businesses, and governments must understand the importance of focusing on the good deeds that will alleviate inequality and social injustice, eradicate poverty and hunger, address climate and refugee issues, and much more worldwide. Despite the shortcomings that every society has, Japan has proven for almost 75 years that you can be a modern and top worldwide economic power defending a full transition to a peace economy rather than preserving the dying ways of extractive and war economies worldwide! For us and for those to come: nuclear weapons must be banned forever! I believe in the renunciation of war not in the imposed reality of the aging military industrial complex.  

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About The Author

Henry Cross's picture

Henry Cross grew up in sunny Miami, Florida. Upon graduating high school, he moved to the politicized Washington, D.C. and double majored in History and Politics at the Catholic University. He served as a social studies teacher in Prince George’s County Public School in 2008-2009. In the fall of 2009, he moved to New York City to continue and grow his work in education and service.

He joined Hosh Yoga in 2011 as a teacher and Program Director. And since 2013, he founded and expanded programming for the organization with Hosh Kids and Hosh Seniors. Henry's entrepreneurial spirit helped developed the organizational, program, and financial capacity of the nonprofit to deliver self-sustaining and self-supporting health and wellness services to over 3,000 children, adults, and seniors every month in a cost-effective and fairly-priced way. And from 2014 to 2016, he participated in a philanthropic role by expanding the programming, policy, and public advocacy efforts of the Sonima Foundation as Community Relations Director.

His work has been featured by the Huffington PostElephant JournalBlog Talk RadioThe NYC Social Innovation FestivalSocial Venture Institute, and multiple Brooklyn and Queens newspapers. He is an appointed New York City official of Community Board 5 in Queens, serves on a Department of Youth and Community Development Neighborhood Advisory Board, and on the board of directors of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association. And in 2015, Henry was selected as an etsy.org business fellow and awarded Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Rising Star. He finds joy in his community work service everyday and loves ballroom dancing!

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