November 22, 2024


I was reading Kafka on the Shore and a character mentioned a speech that Emperor Hirohito (also called the Showa Emperor), had to give at the behest of General MacArthur after World War II, formally renouncing the notion that the emperor was divine. Formally titled the "Imperial Rescript on National Revitalization," it's commonly referred to as the "humanity declaration." The text is here. The important lines are:

The ties between Us and Our people have always stood upon mutual trust and affection. They do not depend upon mere legends and myths.

They are not predicated on the false conception that the Emperor is divine, and that the Japanese people are superior to other races and fated to rule the world.

But therein one finds this beautiful line as well:
We feel deeply concerned to note that consequent upon the protracted war ending in our defeat, our people are liable to grow restless and to fall into the Slough of Despond.
What is the Slough of Despond like?


Posted by jason at November 22, 2024 04:00 AM

Read "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan, which besides "Slough of Despond" is also the source of "The Celestial City," "Vanity Fair," "House Beautiful," "Giant Despair," "Great-Heart," "The Delectable Mountains," and lots of other uplifting stuff.

Posted by: glen at November 22, 2024 03:09 PM

that's a really old book tho. can't i just read Vanity Fair the monthly magazine and get the same effect?

Posted by: jason at November 22, 2024 03:35 PM