Is it OK to see things from the trees, not from the wood.

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They say “You cannot see the wood for the trees.”  The other expression on the same line may be “blind men and an elephant” which is said to have come from India.

Can we rely on these ideas? Especially in this world of the mass media, which I suspect may be hiding the wood?

What am I talking about? Mother often talks about Taro, her brother, who said Mongolia had been a nice place. Mongolia where he stayed as a soldier during WWII.

This has changed my view on that war.
五族協和, Five Races Under One, was one of the phrases publicized during the war which has been outcast after the war.

People then believed in the idea of Five Races Under One, which meant Russians, Mongolians, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese, these races could live together in peace in Asia. Taro may have seen this in Mongolia.

This view has been furiously criticized by those inside and outside of Japan. Lee Honglan, robbed of her parents at 1911 Chinese Revolution, was raised there as foster child. Later as a singer and actress, her fame was widespread both in China and Japan though she was once suspected as a Japanese agent because of her Chinese language. Many Chinese people then believed in her Chinese nationality.

Anyway several years after the war, she managed to meet Leuba, her childhood friend in then Soviet Union. She was a Jewish Russian. I learned about this in her biographical film (can’t find now). The film showed the people in Mukden lived rather in peace in the midst of the confusion of the age. note: Mukden, present Shenyang China.

Jiro, Taro’s 2-year younger brother, belived in Japan and volunteered to go to war to fight for peace. He died in China at the age of 22.

These facts may be banboo-leaf boats in the ocean. However I believe that many of the pre-war Japanese shared the idea of Five Races Under One. If FDR had not been persuaded by Russian spies, the world would have been quite different from the present.

Am I too old to see the wood?

私の鶯 My nightingale
支那の夜 Night of China full movie