Photo/IllutrationKikuko Mizoi has more than 90,000 followers on her Twitter account. (Kazuo Yamamoto)

Tweeting is a daily hobby of Kikuko Mizoi, an 84-year-old resident of Higashi Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture. She tweets about flowers in her garden, her daily meals, presents she receives, and so on.

Over the last eight years, Mizoi has made upward of 230,000 posts.

But her topics are not limited to such mundane matters. She sometimes expresses her candid opinion about older seniors who depend on people of their children’s generation as a matter of course.

Her observations attracted the attention of a publishing house, which has curated some of her best tweets and published them in book form. There are two volumes, one of which is titled "Naniga Iikanante Owatte Minaito Wakarimasen" (You don't know what's best until it's over).

As I turned the pages, her personal recollections and thoughts about World War II caught my eyes.

For instance: "'Breed and multiply,' we were told during the war, meaning we had to bear children. Especially sons. To man the front."

Another tweet goes: "If the draft system is revived, human lives will again become a cheap commodity to dispose of. We must use our heads to prevent that."

Reading between the lines, I sensed her acute frustration with what she suspects to be the case now--that people today are unaware of the inherent danger of an insidious element that is eager to start a war without regard for its people to again take hold of our nation.

Mizoi's Twitter account currently has a whopping 94,000 followers. The number grew markedly when her war-related posts started, she said.

For young Twitter users today, her observations must have been "refreshingly different" and appealing. I would say this is one example of social media's contribution to preserving cross-generational collective memories.

In recent years, postwar-born political leaders have been trying to remake Japan into a country that can go to war. This makes the stern warnings of the people who survived that horrible war all the more precious.

Here is another tweet by Mizoi: "Our present society has quite many people who call for the use of armed force all too casually, and there are just as many others who support those people. That was the atmosphere in prewar Japan, where those who preached caution were discredited, the militants rushed into war, and the nation lost."

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 15

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.