The Eagle and the Rising Sun: Americans and the New Religions of Japan

The Eagle and the Rising Sun: Americans and the New Religions of Japan

The Eagle and the Rising Sun: Americans and the New Religions of Japan

The Eagle and the Rising Sun: Americans and the New Religions of Japan

Excerpt

Two major countries could scarcely be more diverse in cultural heritage than the United States of America and Japan. Both are nations that emerged rather late in the history of civilization. America is the heir of that stream of European philosophy, religion, and culture which stems from Athens and Jerusalem, and Japan of the quite different stream of East Asian civilization with its roots in India and China. One would not easily confuse the language, writing, art, rituals, or, in many cases, values of traditional Japan with those of Europe and America.

But one of the great facts of the twentieth century has been the discovery by Japan and the United States that, as remote from each other as they may have seemed in the past, they are now neighbors across the Pacific. From now on, the life and destiny of each is inseparably linked to the other. In tragic conflict, as major trading partners, as increasingly equal world powers, the two lands have been bound together like twins, each of whom -- despite or even because of occasional bitterness -- can never forget, nor even live without, the other. Where this kind of relationship exists, cultural influence is sure to follow geopolitical and economic interdependence.

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