Deities

At Yasukuni Shrine, there enshrined many people who sacrificed themselves in the Boshin War, the Saga Uprising and the Seinan War. These wars broke out as the starting point of modern Japan. Among the enshrined are Yoshida Shoin and Sakamoto Ryoma who are famous historic figures for their activities which lead to the Meiji Restoration. Also enshrined are many soldiers who died in wars such as the Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, the Manchurian Incident, the China Incident, and the Greater East Asian War (Second World War) to protect their country. Currently, there are more than 2,466,000 divinities enshrined at the shrine.

Not only soldiers' spirits are enshrined here, but also other people are enshrined. There are women’s and school girls’ divinities who were involved in relief operation on battlefields, a great number of students who went to work in factories for the war effort. There also enshrined ordinary Japanese citizens, Taiwanese and Korean people died as Japanese, the people who died during the Siberian detaining, and who were labeled war criminals and executed after having been tried by the Allies.

Here at Yasukuni Shrine, these people, regardless of their rank or social standing, are considered to be subject of completely equal respect and worshipping because the only purpose of the shrine is to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives for their nation. That is, the 2,466,000 divinities enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine all sacrificed their lives to the public duty of protecting their motherland.

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