He Hated The Japanese People With a Passion

In 1989, I was in the Army Band and received orders to be reassigned to Japan. I was so excited – and so was my lovely bride. We enjoy experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and having our minds expanded by different ways people do things around the world.

In the days leading up to our move, when I would meet someone new walking around town, we would sometimes chat. I met an older man who had fought in WWII. We were both sharing – pleasantly – about our military experiences. I mentioned that I was going to be assigned to Japan soon and was looking forward to it. His face dropped the beautiful smile it had held and contorted into an evil, snarling look when he exclaimed…


I was dumbfounded. How could someone hate an entire group of people? How can someone hate people they have never met? I understand he may have been hurt by things he experienced during the war, or he may be angry about some of the things the country of Japan did during that time – but most of the people he hated had not even been born yet during the time of WWII. This was 44 years after the war ended!

I mentioned some of these things to him and our conversation ended shortly after. I determined that he was suffering from unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will eat away at your spirit like an aggressive cancer! It will hold you back from attaining all God meant for you to be. It will even manifest itself in your physical health. I saw this happen in my mom who spent the last 20 years of her life in bitterness and denial holding on to things that had happened over 70 years ago in her life.

My wife’s grandmother lived in a university town and often hosted students in her spare bedrooms. We were able to get to know Nader – a student from Iran – who had escaped there because he did not believe in what his country was doing. I was in the US Army and Nader was from a country we were in conflict with, but that did not keep me from being his friend. I did not hate the Iranians. I hated what the country was doing, but not everybody in the country supported or condoned that.

Unfortunately this hatred still exists today…

I was raped and molested by a white man. Should I then hate all white men? When we put people into a category by their skin color, we are acting with prejudice. There are good white people. There are evil white people. There are good black people. There are evil black people. There are good Asians. There are evil Asians.Do you see a pattern here? There are really only two types of humans – good and evil – and they appear in all races, in all socio-economic levels, in all countries, and of all persuasions.

If you are holding onto unforgiveness in any form, it’s time to let it go!

James Divine is a forgiveness expert, a motivational speaker and musician. He had to work his way through forgiving the man who molested him. Find out more about James at www.jamesdivine.net. Order a copy of his book Jimmy: A True Story of Abuse, Poverty, Forgiveness and Redemption on amazon.