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Controversy and Beauty Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni shrine honors Japanese war dead; including among those enshrined are convicted war criminals of World War Ⅱ.While a visit by the prime minister often enrages Asian neighbors, visit by tourists are not considered a problem at all, and Yasukuni is undeniably beautiful. The shrine itself is set back in a grove of trees at the end of a sprawling promenade with a gigantic steel torii and huge stone lanterns. In the promenade center is a towering statue of Meiji statesman Masujiro Omura, regarded as the founder of the modern Japanese army. The promenade is also a prime cherry blossom area and often hosts flea markets selling antiques on Sunday. Another memorable Yasukuni sight is that of right-wing broadcast vehicles, typically lined up near the promenade.