Yokoi Sh_an_s ultimate vision was disarmament. 130 years after his assassination, his national ideal of the samurai code can be expressed as fukoku y_oku, the enhancement of national wealth and the nurturing of virtue.
What formed the basis of Yokoi Sh_an_s deep wisdom and penetrating vision? For Sh_an, every human being was a microcosm of the whole universe. In Numayama Kanwa, he wrote. _We must strive to understand the principles of the universe in the rivers and mountains, plains and forests, birds and beasts, and all nature_s material blessings so that we can open up new frontiers and read all of her fruits._ In other words, Sh_an_s thinking was based on the natural philosophy of studying every aspect of nature and the application of this knowledge for the benefit of society. This natural philosophy was rooted in his deep love for the countryside surrounding his native Kumamoto, which the novelist Tokutomi Roka (1868_1927) described thus: _What a panorama awaits you just one step outside the village! Across a plain of more than 20 miles, you can see the smoke from Mount Aso rising in the northeast. The shallow, verdant Numayamazu River flows gently up ahead, and among the mountain peaks stretching away as precipitously as walls, Mount Unzen is clearly visible in the west. _Although Yokoi Sh_an_s nickname was Heishir_ his use of Sh_an_ or _Sh_an?? as pen names reflect his pride in and deep love for his native town of Kumamoto. Sh_an_s high national ideal is inseparable from his love for his birthplace.
Realizing the Ideal Life
Why do we need wealth? I believe that its ultimate purpose is the development of the culture that forms the basis of our lives. In Japan, the word _culture_ is most often used to refer to learning, the arts or public entertainment. However, this is a narrow definition that does not conform to the global standard. In its broadest sense, culture constitutes the identity of an ethnic group and the way they lead their lives. There are about 3,000 ethnic groups that share a common culture throughout the world. Antagonism between different groups is rife and the ethnic conflicts in the present day are too numerous to mention. At the same time, however, a tremendous amount of energy is being poured into cultural exchange all over the world to promote mutual understanding. Every year approximately 600,000 million people _about one-tenth of the world_s total population of six billion_travel overseas. One in every seven Japanese goes overseas every year. Japan, incidentally, is not a particularly popular destination and usually comes lower than 30th in the world tourism rankings.
In an age of widespread exchange of people, materials and information, the pursuit of a way of life (culture) to which most people aspire is surely the best policy. People are naturally drawn to culture. Through this centripetal force it becomes the center of attention, is disseminated by means of imitation and acquires universality. It may be said that the development of a culture that is the object of people_s aspirations_in other words, a civilization_has become a new condition for the achievement great power status in this age of global exchange. A civilization revered by all nations will acquire a presence like Mount Fuji, which is written with the Chinese characters meaning _rich and civilized._
The chief characteristics required of Japan in the present day are richness and virtue through the replacement of fukoku kyohei with the ideal of fukoku y_oku . If this ideal can be realized, the imposing presence of Mount Fuji will be a fitting national symbol. As we turn a new page in Japan_s history in the present age of cultural exchange, there is surely no better national ideal that the twin principles of wealth and civilization embodied in Mount Fuji.
(2) The Grand Design for National Development in the 21st Century
The Creation of a Beautiful Garden Island
A plan is already being implemented for the development of Japan based on the concept of a_garden island. _In March l998, the Hashimoto Cabinet drew up the fifth Comprehensive National Development Plan since the end of World War II. This plan was entitled _Grand Design for National Land in the 21st Century_ and subtitled _The Creation of a Beautiful Country._