Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89
: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
Two old sheets of paper tell a story.
Scroll down to the last big paragraph of the blog post, just above the photo of the two yellowed sheets of paper. (h/t Jane H.)
"What a strange position I find myself in," [Yamamoto] wrote a friend, "having been assigned the mission diametrically opposed to my own personal opinion, with no choice but to push full speed in pursuance of that mission. Alas, is that fate?"
A brief account of how one of the biggest critics of Japan's war policy became the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attacks.
While most Westerners are familiar with the Holocaust and Nazi war crimes, fewer Westerners know much about the war crimes committed by the Japanese military throughout Asia, particularly the human medical experiments conducted by Unit 731. [more inside]
The House of Sharing is a place for the Halmoni to to live together and heal the wounds of the past while educating the future generations of the suffering they survived.The View From Over Here
details her visit to the House of Sharing, a therapeutic group home and museum for surviving "comfort women", who were systematically raped by the Japanese military during World War II. The museum displays art for and by the survivors. Via Ask a Korean
. [more inside]
The attack on Pearl Harbor
was neither the U.S.' first armed conflict leading to WW II, nor the last Axis attack on American soil. [more inside]
"This is your state! A big country like India is a slave to a small country like Britain. The Indian soldiers should be fighting for their freedom which can only be achieved if England is destroyed. You are only fighting to remain enslaved." A comprehensive account of WWII propaganda campaigns on all sides of the complicated relationship between Axis, Allies, and India. [more inside]
Japan's only officially known survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings dies.
In his later years, Yamaguchi gave talks
about his experiences as an atomic bomb survivor and often expressed his hope that such weapons would be abolished.
Dutch East Indies. "After a wonderful youth in the Dutch East Indies, today Indonesia, my family and I went through three and a half years Japanese occupation. I lost my father, I lost the country I loved, I lost everything, but I kept my memories. ... So here I am, 79 years old, sitting behind my computer, going back to the Dutch East Indies."
Memorial Museum on Otsushima Island, on the site of the original kaiten base.
WWII Japanese suicide tactics included planes, boats,
and suicide submarines.
The submarine discovered recently
near Sydney harbor was not such a craft, yet the pilots
took their own lives rather than lead their pursuers to the I-class mother submarines
The Walter Pennino Photo Collection of the Occupation of Japan.
Eighty photographs of Japan under Allied occupation taken around 1948, from children enjoying a picture-card show
, to fishermen
, to repatriated soldiers
. (Follow the "pic index" link on the front page to see the thumbnail images.)
Photos from Hiroshima in August of 1945.
Long supressed by the occupying U.S. forces, a highly unsettling (and decidedly NSFW) collection of photos from the days immediately after August 6th. Via
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations adopted a bipartisan resolution
to ask the Japanese government to formally apologize for sexually enslaving up to 200,000 "comfort women
" in Imperial brothels during its colonial occupation of Asia from 1932 through the end of World War II
. Many were tortured and raped, and only about 30% survived WWII.
Japan has stated repeatedly that even though the brothels were established by military policy, the imperial government was not directly involved in operating them
. Taking responsibility would be an admission that they committed war crimes -- slavery and trafficking in women and children -- and could give victims a legal basis to sue for reparations
. H Res. 759
does not ask Japan to provide reparations, but it does push them to unambiguously acknowledge what happened and educate future generations, (full text
) rather than continue the current practice of denying what really happened. Previously on MeFi.
The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life"
", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov
's 'Men of Power' tetralogy
after the gloom of Moloch (1999)
, about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus
, focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
Nihonjinron in images
- despite being the second-largest entity
in a global economy, Japan's cultural xenophobia
has been said to contribute much to nihonjinron
, what some describe as a near-fascist-like obsession of a small group of its citizens in restoring Japan to a monocultural, miltaristic, pre-war empire, despite one Japanese academic's contrary view
The Peleliu Project.
The tiny Micronesian island of Peleliu
was the site of one of the bloodiest battles
of World War II. The U.S. invasion
of the Japanese occupied island began in September of 1944
, and was expected to last only a matter of days. Casualties
on this 5 square mile island
reached 20,000 by the end of the two-month struggle
. U.S. soldiers were forced to pour aviation fuel into caves and ignite them in order to end the standoff of those who refused to surrender
. One determined group of 34 Japanese soldiers remained in hiding until they were discovered in April of 1947.
Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Russell Fee
returned from Peleliu with a fierce, uncompromising vision of America which would have a profound impact
on the life and work of his son. Fifty-three years later, armed with his father's snapshots and diary which he had just uncovered, James Fee
went to Peleliu to see with his own eyes the place where his father's vision had taken shape. The result
of his five year quest is The Peleliu Project
. more inside
Atoning for World War II, 60 years later (and Japan should continue to do so)
It's no news regarding Japan's role during WWII. However, unlike Germany, Japan has yet to fully apologize and repair strained relations in Asia.
However, it is complete crap that U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer thinks that people should glaze over the atrocities in light of Japan's monetary donation. Let's not forget that the US benefitted from the medical experiments that were conducted by the Japanese and that in the fight against communism was willing to quickly establish an outpost and let bygones be bygones.
"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Tokyo Rose
was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino
, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.
Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie
" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies
, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts
online and apparently even email her
'American and Japanese images of kamikaze pilots differ greatly. This web site explores diverse portrayals and perceptions of the young men who carried out suicide attacks near the end of World War II.'
'When Japanese kamikaze pilots carried out their attacks between October 1944 and October 1945, Japanese and American people had opposite perspectives. Japanese people saw young smiling pilots as they waved goodbye. In contrast, American soldiers viewed death and destruction when the pilots' planes exploded upon crashing into their ships. These very different points of view continue to influence Japanese and American perceptions of kamikaze pilots even until today.'
: WWII Japanese Handgun Website.
"We were wrong, terribly wrong.
We owe it to future generations to explain why."
In The Fog of War
, a revelatory new documentary about his life and times, a disquieted Robert McNamara
implores us to understand why he did the things he did as an Air Force lieutenant colonel who helped plan
the firebombing of Japanese cities
in World War II
, and, later, as a secretary of defense and pivotal decision-maker during Vietnam
, which some Americans came to call "McNamara's War."
One of the movie's most powerful passages covers McNamara's little-known service in World War II, when he was attached to Gen. Curtis LeMay
's 21st Bomber Command stationed on the Pacific island of Guam. LeMay
's B-29s showered 67 Japanese cities with incendiary bombs in 1945, softening up the country for the two atomic blasts
to come. McNamara was a senior planning officer. Story by "Killing Fields"' Sydney Schanberg
in the American Prospect
The last World War Two Japanese soldier surrendered in the Philippines in 1980
, ending a stream of holdouts. This is their story
Striking, panoramic photo collages
of the ruins of U.S. and Canadian concentration camps used to isolate Japanese-Americans during WWII. Masumi Hayashi's rich site
also features documents
, personal stories
and Shockwave interview clips, a discussion board
and data on each camp
. And, yes, this post was inspired by U.S. Congressman Howard Coble's recent comment
is a documentary featuring 14 veterans of the Imperial Army testifying to their brutal participation in Japan's 15-year war against China. Director Matsui Minoru presents a powerful historical record of these soldiers' individual crimes, helping to break Japan's long silence about its wartime atrocities in China.
Please also see Iris Chang's "The Rape of Nanking''
and be aware that the Japanese government is still whitewashing
their brutal WWII history via school textbooks
. We must understand the truth of history so that we are not doomed to repeat it.
We've all heard of her, how many actually know what or who she really was? There were over 20 "Rose's", one got screwed over.
If you think you know what the story was, you should read up, you're prolly wrong. Iva Toguri was a real patriot of the USA who got stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I think it's a facinating story, racsim, sexism and one woman who in her own way fought for the USA while being kept by the enemy. Talk about getting the shaft!
You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre.
A very graphic account of the massacre of Chinese citizens by Japanese soldiers in World War 2. I found this tale to be far more sickening than that of the Holocaust.
Don't read it if you don't wish to read and see accounts of how Japanese soldiers sliced up pregnant women and beheaded children in the streets. It is truly awful.