I want to share a story that I felt made me laugh in a lot of ways, and might make you laugh too. The story of the Japanese politician Mitsuo Matayoshi, leader of a minor political party called the World Economic Community Party. You know all those fundamentalist Christians in America with their wacked out beliefs (like Pat Robertson), and all those cultists who’ve claimed to be the messiah (like Marshall Applewhite from the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult)? Well Matayoshi tops them all in truly spectacular fashion and in a way I swear you can only do in Japan. You see, his primary campaign platform is his belief that he is literally Jesus Christ. I’m not kidding. He actually believes he is Jesus Christ, and he bases his political agenda, including his political party, on that premise. He even styles himself as Jesus (or Iesu) Matayoshi. And he doesn’t just believe he’s Jesus either, he believes he’s the one true God, as in the Christian God (probably assuming they’re one and the same).
So how exactly does this man manage to top all the fundamentalists and messianic cultists we’re familiar with put together? Well obviously being the leader of a political party is one way, but that’s just the beginning. His political plan is to actually carry out the Last Judgement within the current political system. Because waiting for God to do it is for pussies. The first step, for him, is to become Prime Minister of Japan. Then, he plans to “reform” Japanese society and expects to be offered the post of Secretary-General by the United Nations. Then he plans to rule the whole world with both religious and political authority, get rid of foreigners in Japan, and after his judgement he plans to throw the “corrupt” into the lake of fire. On top of that, he has the balls to urge his political opponents to commit suicide by hara-kiri and to proclaim that he’ll cast them into the fires of Hell. In 2004 he even proclaimed that the then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should resign his post to him or commit suicide, and that he’ll send him to hell, along with everyone who didn’t vote for him. Just look at this campaign poster. And to top it off, although it seems like he’s pretty low-key and obscure nowadays, he’s clearly not giving up as he continues run as a perennial candidate in Japan, obviously not deterred by the fact that he never wins. If history is any indicator, he’ll probably start teasing his opponents into crucifying him like Jesus.
The existence of this guy blows my mind on many levels. It’s really surprising to find a guy like Matayoshi in Japan, where Christianity is pretty much a minority religion (comprising of about 1% or less of Japan’s population). I wonder how the hell he came to literally believe that’s he’s Jesus, though I’m aware he studied religion well before pursuing a career in politics. I must wonder how anyone in Japan would feel compelled to vote for him apart from his eccentricity. He is the absolute absurdity of Japanese politics, and I’ve gotta hand it to him for that.