“We Have Abandoned War” by Kagawa

from The Christian Century, December 3, 1947 (who took it from the “Kagawa Calendar” of 1948).

We Have Abandoned War

By Toyohiko Kagawa

A typical modern state, cumbered with its heavy armament but well-nigh bereft of other values, reminds one of nothing so much as a naked savage, lugging around his javelin and poisoned arrows. States today seem nearer to the stage of barbarism than do many individuals.

By the abandonment of war, we in Japan have emerged from the era of barbarism. Thus we have been accorded a chance to make ourselves the most progressive and civilized of all the nations.

If only we had done this willingly ten years ago, history would have taken another course. But it is not too late for us.

Our new constitution will become a milestone in the realization of world peace. For the first time in human history, by our abandonment of war, the warning of Christ has been accepted by a national government: “All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword.”

We are going to alter the definition of a “great” state. A truly great state is not necessarily big, nor rich, nor quarrelsome with its neighbors. The great state is the one which is wise, moral and God-fearing. The ideal we pursue is that of making Japan a state with which God can be pleased. Thus may we arrive at the summit of civilization and set an example of a peace-loving state. Though not large, nor rich, nor strong, we may thus become truly great.