(5) The importance of bringing together the wisdom of the people
The true power of reform and of nation-building is determined by how people bring together their wisdom and efforts. In other words, it is determined by the synergy of the power of the people. That is why reform or nation-building can sometimes achieve unbelievable results in an unbelievably short time, by creating an outpouring of energy that might seem logically inconceivable. Indeed, the rapid economic growth in the thirties of the Showa era (i.e., 1955-1964) is a case in point.
When only a very few people ― no matter how exceptionally excellent they may be ― try to advance reform or nation-building, despite the opposition or apathy of many people, that is unlikely to yield significant results. Conversely, even without exceptional people, reform or nation-building advances at unimaginably great speed when everyone sets his/her mind to it, cooperates [with each other], and highly promotes teamwork and collaboration ― thereby generating an enormous synergistic effect.
The start of the Tokaido Shinkansen’s operations symbolizes such upsurge of national energy in the thirties of the Showa era. The plans for the Tokaido Shinkansen were proposed in the 32nd year of the Showa period (i.e., 1957); its construction began in the 34th year of Showa (i.e., 1959); and, in just five years, in the 39th year of Showa (i.e., 1964), its commercial operations began. Plans for a bullet train have already existed since the Meiji era, and some parts of the railroad land were even purchased in prewar years. Moreover, most of the various technologies that underpin the Shinkansen had already been born and tested in various places. Accordingly, the Tokaido Shinkansen was built by bringing together the technologies, which the Japanese had previously acquired in various places and positions, and merging them into one aspiration. That is why this major undertaking of historic and national dimensions was completed in such a short period of time. A commemorative plaque in the Tokaido Shinkansen concourse of Tokyo Station says a lot about this: “Tokaido Shinkansen ― this railway was completed through the wisdom and efforts of the Japanese people.”
Indeed, the same holds true for the construction of the Great Collaboration society, which we henceforth aspire after. That should be completed through the wisdom and efforts of the Japanese people, by bringing together their aspirations. All the basic technologies are already available in Japan today.
(Date published / 公開日： 7/11/2021)
(Date last updated / 最終改訂日: 7/11/2021)