Poem for Kimiko Nezu

Thanks to Mark Gregory who wrote in to remind me about Kimiko Nezu, a Japanese school teacher who has been repeatedly punished through transfers and pay cuts for refusing to carry out the Tokyo School Board's 2003 edict that everyone must stand while the anthem "Kimagayo" is played. A pacifist, Nezu says she'll never show such respect for the song -- which became the national anthem in '99 and calls for the "eternal reign" of the emperor -- because it was played as the Imperial Army invaded Asia.

Since she came to the notice of the larger world in 2005 -- when she said she feared the "pacifists, the people who oppose nationalism in Japan [...] are gradually being silenced" -- I haven't heard of her. Does she still have a job? Is she still resisting?

One recent mention is a poem in her honor by Munihiko Ichino, translated by Tetsuro Tanaka, that's been added to the Union Song archives, excerpted here:
Order. Admonishment.
Threat. Sneer.
Blame. Ignore.

They fall in mountains on her.
But she's never frightened.
And she says "I'm a teacher.
I will never help destroy education even if they admonish me all they can"
You will remember a person standing in front of the gate
Facing the strongest power with a tender smile.

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