Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II


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A foremost historian examines Japan in the immediate, shattering aftermath of World War II, giving readers the rich and turbulent interplay between West and East, the victor and the vanquished, in a way never before attempted. 75 illustrations.

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Richard Luke

Feb 1, 2018

I was there ...

My parents and my sister and I were interned in Japan throughout WW2, first briefly in Niigata, then in Tokyo for the rest of the war. We were saved by the atom bomb.

We returned to Japan in 1951, the year the peace treaty was signed.

This book is very accurate but does not give MacArthur anything like the credit he is due. He had an amazing understanding of the Asian mind, having grown up in the Philippines where his father had been the US Governor. He allowed Japan to be the only occupied nation to govern itself.

Dower's comments on Japanese resentment are considerably overdrawn. My maternal grandfather, Edward Gauntlett, an Englishman, had been granted Japanese citizenship and was given the civilian rank of Chokunin by the Emperor (was roughly equivalent to an Admiral) was official advisor to the Gaimusho (Japanese Foreign Office) before the military takeover. The emperor awarded him with the Third Order of the Sacred Treasury of Japan, and, more significantly, the Order of the Rising Sun. My uncle Trevor was the Time Magazine correspondent in Japan immediately following the war. Never did any of them suggest a Japanese resentment of the Americans following the war except by the Communists. I mention these personal facts so one can understand that we had a particularly close knowledge of the Japanese and their reaction to the Americans.

Still, a worthy addition to anyone's library.


Apr 16, 2009

excellent, comprehensive a little too academic for what I was looking for.

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