Sawaki Roshi: With the Sino-Japanese War(1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War(1904-1905), we enlarged Japanese territory and annexed Korea. We believed that it really happened. But when we lost World War Two, we lost everything and tuely understood that we had only incurred the enimity of other countries.
People often ask about loyalty, but I wonder if they know the direction of their loyalty and their actions. I myself was a soilder during the Russo-Japanese War and fought hard on the battlefield. But since we had lost what we had gained, I can see that what we did was useless. There is absolutely no need to wage war.
Uchiyama Roshi: Because Sawaki Roshi fought in the Russo-Japanese War, his words are not only for others, but also for himself, as self-reflection. We who were educated before World War Two were taught that Japan wa the greatest country in the world and absolutely righteous in all its actions and that we would obtain personal immortality if we were faithful to it. We really believed it. After the war, most Japanese could see that it was not true, and some of them reacted against nationalism.
When we reflect upon our past and think about our future, we should question not only loyalty to Japan but loyalty to any nation. Whichever country you are devoted to, eventually it will only be a page in the book of history. "If the troops win, their side is called loyal; if the troops lose, their side is called a 'rebel'." The important thing is to have a clear-eyed view of the self and to behave sanely and soberly.
Sawaki Roshi: What is the true self? It is brilliantly transparent, like a deep blue sky, and there is no gap between the true self and all sentient beings.