Embracing Defeat

Embracing Defeat

John Dower


Part I: Victor and Vanquished

Shattered Lives

- August 15, 1945: News that Emperor would speak to subjects.  First time Emperor’s voice ever heard

- Hope for some that husbands/fathers would return

Euphemistic Surrender

- Hirohito’s task: call a halt to war without disavowing war aims or acknowledging atrocities – and in a matter that divorced him from any personal responsibility

- Hirohito initiated idea of radio broadcast.  Script for Hirohito’s speech not finalized until night before.  Tapes hidden from army leaders opposed to surrender

o “endure the unendurable and bear the unbearable”

o never mentioned surrender or defeat directly

o “The enemy for the first time has used cruel bombs to kill and maim extremely large numbers of the innocent and the casualties are beyond measure.  To continue the war could lead in the end not only to the extermination of our race, but also to the destruction of all human civilization”

o “open the way for a great peace for thousands years to come”

o Presented Japan’s decision to capitulate as magnanimous act

o Reaffirmed that the war had been for the survival of Japan and the stability of Asia (not a war of aggression)

o “my vital organs are torn asunder.”  Made himself embodiment of people’s suffering.  Made himself the victim of the war, the symbol of agony.

o The fact that this was the first time they heard his voice made the appeal more convincing, as this was the first time his “true voice” was being heard.

o Announcement of surrender was also move to reaffirm imperial control/tradition

- Variety of reactions.  Many felt burden lifted.  Anger, emptiness, anguish, regret

o Most notable response was pragmatic and self-serving: bureaucrats and officers burning documents

- Only a small number of officers – several hundred – actually carried through with suicide

Unconditional Surrender

- September 2, 1942: Ceremonial surrender aboard Missouri (homestate of Truman).  Flag on deck was same flying over White House on Dec 7,1941.  Another flag was same type of 31-star flag flown by Admiral Perry.  Imperial family did not participate, to the surprise of many.

- Japanese uncertain about future that Americans had planned for them.

- Military destroyed, millions of homeless

- Japanese impression of surrender ceremony: US was strong (400 B-29s flew overhead), Japan was weak.  Scale of Japan’s defeat was huge.  Underlying message that Japan could attain the same riches under the American-style democracy.

- MacArthur relegated Japan to “fourth-rate nation” status.  Huge wound to the Japanese, who were obsessed with becoming ittou koku (first-rate nation)

- West greatly overestimated remaining fighting capacity of Japan

- “Virtually all that would take place in the several years that followed unfolded against this background of crushing defeat.  Despair took root and flourished in such a milieu; so did cynicism and opportunism – as well as marvelous expressions of resilience, creativity, and idealism of a sort possible only among people who have seen an old world destroyed and are being forced to imagine an new one.  In such circumstances, it was hardly surprising that few Japanese had the energy, imagination, or desire to dwell on how many other lives they had shattered in the course of carrying out their emperor’s holy war.”

Quantifying Defeat

- 1.74 million armed forces deaths (fairly accurate). Rest of figures are uncertain

- Probably 2.7 million servicemen and civilians died as a result of the war (3-4% of population of 74 million).

- Approximately 45 million servicemen were identified as being wounded or ill

- 300,000 given disability pensions.

- Estimated that Allied assault on shipping and bombing destroyed ¼ of country’s wealth

o 4/5s of all ships, 1/3 of all industrial machine tools, ¼ of all roling stock and motor vehicles

o MacArthur estimates placed figure higher at 1/3 of total wealth and ½ of potential income

o Rural standards estimated to have fallen by 65% and nonrural 35%

- 66 major cities heavily bombed, with 40% of are destroyed and 30% of population homeless.  Tokyo: 65% of residences destroyed.  Osaka: 57%.  Nagoya: 89%

- American bombing appeared to have targeted poorer residences.  Tokyo financial district largely undestroyed, wealthy neighborhoods survived

- Railroads still functioning

- 9 million homeless

Coming Home… Perhaps

- 6.5 million Japanese stranded in Asia, Siberia, and Pacific Ocean area.  3.5 million soldiers and sailors

- Sept 1946: 2 million Japanese still unrepatriated, and whereabouts of 540,000 no known

- Manchuria: estimated that 179,000 civilians and 66,000 military died in confusion and harsh winter following surrender

- Disease epidemics slowed repatriation process

- Americans (used to phase out wartime facilities) and British (used to re-establish imperial authority) held onto prisoners to use as labor.  Americans retained 70,000, British 113,500.  Last of Japanese detained by British in Malaya and Burma were not repatriated until Oct 1947.

- China also held onto Japanese prisoners.  In April 1949, estimated more than 60,000 still held in communist-controlled areas

- 1.6-1.7 million Japanese held into Soviet hands (Russia entered war 1 week before end).  Used to offset own manpower losses.  Repatriation also delayed to indoctrinate prisoners

o 300,000 Japanese unaccounted for in Russia.  4 decades later Russia related names of 46,000 Japanese known to be buried in Siberia, still leaving many unaccounted for.

- April 1950, MacArthur received 120,000-stitch embroidered portrait of himself (one stitch each from relatives of missing servicemen), a petition for help in repatriating still-missing soldiers.

Displaced Persons

- American POWs malnourished, diseased and often abused.  Vivisections conducted on some prisoners.  31,617 POWs freed by 10/31/45 (187 remained hospitalized)

- 1.35 million Koreans in Japan at time of surrender.  By first week of 1946, 630,000 Koreans repatriated, 930,00 by end of year.  Many attempted to reenter after discovering confusion and hardship in divided Korea (US/Soviet).

- 31,000 Chinese POWs returned

- Okinawans forced to stay in repatriation camps, as Okinawa had been destroyed by war and could not support their return. 

o 20 people died a day in  Kamoi Repatriation Center

- Chizuko’s story: carried ashes of entire family around her neck

- Repatriation vessel Hikawa Maru put in at Uraga with 7,000 boxes of unclaimed ashes

- Missing Persons – broadcast program to reunite repatriated Japanese with families.  Continued until March 31, 1962

Despised Veterans

- Military transferred abuses top-down.  Officers despised by enlisted. 

- Veterans did not receive great welcome when they returned

- Discipline collapsed in many places after surrender, and many soldiers looted military stores

- “living war dead” – returned home to find own grave marker, wife married to someone else

- By 1946, news of atrocities preceded repatriates, and many treated like pariahs

Stigmatized Victims

- No strong tradition of responsibility toward strangers, or of unrequited philanthropy, or of tolerance/sympathy towards suffering

o This despite Buddhist tradition of care for weak, and Confucian homilies about reciprocal obligations between superiors and inferiors, and despite imperial “one family” vision

- Many viewed outside “proper” social categories, received harsh treatment:

o Survivors of atomic bombing (‘polluted’ by radiation)

o War orphans (1948: 123,510) and street children.

o War widows (society unkind to women w/o men)

o Homeless and abandoned clogged Tokyo’s Ueno Station

o Handicapped, mentally ill

- Japanese government did nothing to help war orphans

o Japanese lacked sympathy for strangers

o Homeless rounded up and place in militaristic detention centers

- War widows had little means of supporting themselves

Chapter 2: Gifts From Heaven


- Cartoonist Katou Etsurou.

o Folly of fighting atomic bombs with fire-fighting buckets and bamboo spears

o “Democratic revolution” parachuting from the sky, “Gift From Heaven”

o Ridiculed first-year postwar cabinet, advertising merchandise with nothing to sell

o Militarist donning coat of democracy, politician writing liberalism over wartime slogans, etc…

o Americans godlike

- Rampant inflation following war

- First universal suffrage election in April 1946 produced Pandora’s box of reactionary cabinet under conservative diplomat

- First year financial policies did little more than preserve big capitalists

- “Key of freedom”: US unlocking free speech and expression

“Revolution From Above”

- American bringing “democratic revolution from above” (69)

- Until 1947, leftists and liberals alike (even communists!) commonly viewed Americans as liberation force

- Conservatives viewed revolution from above as “red” manipulation, regarded with reservation and even alarm

- Revolution not earned: revolution from above meant that Japanese were not cutting their own chains.  Following orders from new set of leaders.  Democracy did not build deep roots within the people.  Not a real struggle.

- American leaders possessed “an arrogant certainty of high purpose”

Demilitarization and Democratization

- United States set about to remake “political, social, cultural, and economic fabric of a defeated nation, and in the process changing the very way of thinking of its populace.”  This was without legal or historical precedent, and consequences were uncertain

- August 1945-April 1952: Formal period of Allied Occupation of Japan (75)

o Misnomer, as US alone charted Japan’s course

- Policy makers in Washington drafted three main objective documents:

o Potsdam Declaration: announced terms of surrender

§ Japan loses empire

§ Japan placed under military occupation, with “stern justice” for war criminals

§ Authority and influence of pro-war leaders would be eliminated “for all time”

§ “Just reparations in kind”

§ Military “completely disarmed”

§ Economy demilitarized but returned to world trade

§ Remove obstacles to democratic tendencies: free speech, religion, and though, and respect for human rights

§ Occupation would be terminated when “there had been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government”

o “United States Initial Post-Surrender Policy Relating to Japan”

§ Called for more extensive democratization than Potsdam outlined

§ (a) To insure that Japan will not again become a menace to the United States or to the peace and security of the world.

§ (b) To bring about the eventual establishment of a peaceful and responsible government which will respect the rights of other states and will support the objectives of the United States as reflected in the ideals and principles of the Character of the United Nations.  The United States desires that this government should conform as closely as may be to principles of democratic self-government but it is not the responsibility of the Allied Powers to impose upon Japan any form of government not supported by the freely expressed will of the people.

§ Despite policy of not “imposing,” US carried out reforms that would create society where “will of the people” would prevail over “will to war” and dismantled authoritarian structure

o Joint Chiefs of Staff elaborating of postsurrender policy (remained secret until 11/ 1948)

§ MacArthur command was to micromanage democratization agenda

o Documents made clear that demilitarization would be permanent

o Purge of individuals advocating militarism, even in economic field

o Country democratized as well as immunized from Communism (re-education)

o Economic policy only called for only to stabilization to avert chaos, no implied rehabilitation

o Attack on the zaibatsu.  Promotion of policies “which permit a wide distribution of income and ownership of the mans of production and trade”

o Promote labor unions and carryout sweeping land-reform

o Idealism

o Audacious

- MacArthur’s singular command epitomized American monopoly on policy and power

o Controlled war tribunal

o “the policies of the United States will govern”

o Germany did not have same domination of ambitious American goals

o MacArthur conveyed a “messianic fervor” that had no real counterpart in Germany. 

o MacArthur had unchecked power in Japan as US focused on Soviet and Euro theaters.  “I could by fiat issue directives”

o Inherent racism: Nazism was cancer in Germany in a mature Western society, Oriental culture in itself was a cancer

- Unprecedented occupation policies rationalized by the unprecedented destructiveness of WWII, and desire to create new norms of international behavior that would eradicate the will to war.

o War tribunal accused criminals of “crimes against peace” and “crimes against humanity” that had no basis in international law

Imposing Reform

- Political and social reforms usually emanate from below (80)

o At least come from indigenous society

- Democratization by “neocolonial military dictatorship”

- Japanese insisted that Potsdam Declaration represented a contractual and conditional surrender.  Americans insisted that surrender was unconditional.

- Americans displayed ambitiousness of reforms with two SCAP directives  month after surrender:

o October 4: “Civil-Liberties Directive.” Dissolution of restraints to free expression, assembly, speech.  Peace Preservation Law of 1925 abrogated.

§ Political prisoners released

§ Special Higher Police (thought police) abolished

§ Heads of Home Ministry and national police force purged

§ Higashikuni and cabinet resigned (Higashikuni thought it was unthinkable to release communist prisoners)

o Oct 11: Second directive, delivered to new premier, Shidehara Kijuro.  Signalled American commitment to radical reforms

§ Suffrage for women

§ Promote labor unionization

§ Liberalization of the constitution

§ Open schools to more liberal education

§ Revise “monopolistic industrial controls”

§ Eliminate all despotic visages in society

o “Holding companies” of zaibatsus dissolved

o “antimonopoly” and “deconcentration” legislation passed

o Large enterprises earmarked for breakup (though did not happen)

o Agrarian land reform initiated: dissolved system of exploitive tenancy and replaced with huge constituency of small owner-farmers

o State Shinto abolished on Dec 15

o Edwin Pauley called for extensive reparations to be made by Japan’s industrial plant

o Dec 22: Trade Union Law.  Right to strike and bargain collectively

o 1946: start of purge directives that would prohibit 200,000 individuals from public office

- Next two years of reforms:

o Elimination of feudalistic family system that legally rendered women inferior, along with suffrage

o Decentralization of police

o Progessive laws on work conditions

o Revision of structure and curriculum of education system

o Renovation of electoral system

o Promotion of greater local autonomy

- Forced to adopt new constitution that retained imperial system but established popular sovereignty and guaranteed broad range of human rights

o Renunciation of war

o Constitution’s reforms extremely drastic

- Conservatives argued that government should be returned to status quo ante of the late 1920s, before militarists rose to power. 

o However, not in a position to oppose American reforms because of “unconditional” surrender

o Rejected idea of that there were root causes of militarism.  Instead viewed war as aberration of imperial military

- Yoshida Shigeru (prime minister 1946-7,48-54) belittled possibility of making Japan democratic.

- More liberal thinkers, like Kato, had there hesitations as well

o “Kato feared that the exhaustion of defeat, the resilience of the old guard, and the lack of grass-roots struggle inherent in the very notion of a revolution ‘from above’ might prevent the Japanese from ever making the democratic revolution on their own.”

Part II: Transcending Despair

Chapter 3: Kyodatsu: Exhaustion and Despair

- Japanese society had undergone “socialization for death”

- Japan had been geared for war for 15 years (since 1931)

- The “hundred million” would die defending the homeland, people resigned or committed to collective suicide

- Reaction to surrender was stupefaction, then relief (liberation from death), followed by exhaustion/despair

o Widespread state of psychic collapse: “kyodatsu condition.” Distracted and dejected condition.  Widely believed that this condition was greatest danger – “the great enemy that could destroy Japan.”

Hunger and the Bamboo-Shoot Existence

- Trying to promote “revolution from above” in a society with stagnant productivity and runaway inflation

- Most Japanese preoccupied with finding food

o “field vandalizing”: 46% of crimes in Osaka involved food

o Absentee rates in major cities was 40+% (food major factor)

o A large percentage of food came from China, Korea, etc… War severed these imports

o “Economic strangulation” of torpedoing supply ships cut off supplies to homeland

o Southeast Asian and Pacific theaters starving to death

o Gov’t provided recommendations for eating acorns, sawdust, silkworm cocoons, etc… “Eat This Way – Endless Supplies of Materials by Ingenuity”

o 1945 was most disastrous harvest since 1910 (40% shortfall)

o Exaggerated and widely reported figure was that 10M would starve to death if food imports not coming

o Food shipments from US enhanced its image

o June 1946, black market price of rice was 30X what official rationing program paid.  2 years later, still 7.5X

o Bamboo-shoot existence” (takenoko seikatsu): urban people would go to countryside and change belongings for food, stripping of clothing and possession for food (peeling of bamboo shoot in layer).  “Onion existence”: peeling and weeping.

o Government shipments unreliable.  Tokyo failed to receive full month’s ration 6 months out of 12

o Hunger and scarcity served stimulated grass-roots activism

o Many (most?) descended to black market

o Rations supplied only ½ of daily required caloric intake, as little as 1/3rd

Enduring the Unendurable

- Letter “I Am About to Commit Suicide.” Can no longer work full month.  Can’t afford black market food anymore.  Borrowed money.  Black market merchants making 50,000-60,000 yen/year.  Criticized gov’t officials.

- Life for most did not recover until 1949 – 4 years.

- Death of judge (starvation): presided over black market cases.  Most cases were of people struggling to survive.  Forced to find them guilty while industrialists, politicians, and former military officers made $$$.  1.22M arrested in 1946 for black market transactions.  Judge’s family relied on black market, but judge himself refused anything more than his rationed allotment to resolve moral dilemma.

- Story of starving family: pay hardly covered rapid inflation in price of rice.  1945, bag of rice 80 yen, made only 300 yen a month.  Forced to sell possessions.  Price of rationed rice tripled in 1946, forced to buy black market rice at 400 yen/mo, while making on 360 yen a month.  At anything they could to supplement diet.  Sewing (and making cigarettes for others) supplemented income.  By 1948 food situation improved somewhat, but wife/husband fell ill and into debt.  1949 could eat meat and fish again, and by 1950 could finally survive on husband’s income

- Serious crowding and spread of disease.  1945-8: 99,654 deaths due to disease (excluding TB).  1947: 146,241 deaths due to TB.

Sociologies of Despair

- Maketa sensou – “lost war”

- Loss of cause, spirit.  Started before end of war.

- Public discouragement enhanced by prospering of bureaucrats, bankers, policemen, etc…

- Daylight savings time opposed on the grounds that it extended difficulty of daily life

- “Group marriage meetings” arose out of disruption of families and shortage of intermediaries.  Women outnumbered men by 1M and faced prospect of no husband.

- Alcoholism.  Cheap alcohol made from questionable ingredients.  “kasutori culture.” (kasu – sake dregs).  Methyl blindings

- Drug use among writers and artists acquired “a certain cachet of fashionable decadence”

- Homilies about Japan’s unique racial and cultural harmony proved hollow

o Corruption, black market

o Media singled in on violent crime, crimes (murder) out of hunger

o By American standards, crime rates not exceptional, though higher than war years.  Theft significantly rose. 

o Crime committed mostly by young.  April 1949: reported that individuals between 8-25 committed ½ of all serious crimes

Child’s Play

- Children went from playing heroic pilots to games like panpan asobi – pretending to be GI and prostitute

o Other two most popular games:

§ Yamiichi-gokko: mock black market

§ Demo asobi: left-wing political demonstrations

o Other games:

§ “Repatriate train,” “special train,” and “ordinary train”

§ rupen-gokko: homeless vagrants

§ dorobo-gokko: catch a thief

§ kaidashi-gokko: pretending to leaving home to search for food

- As kids grew older, young girls became prostitutes, young boys made money by leading GIs to girls

Inflation and Economic Shortage

- 4 year recovery result of policy shortcomings (Japanese and American), as well as corruption/economic sabotage

o “new yen” failed to curb inflation

o “Priority production” of funneling funds to strategic industries inadequate

o Americans delayed at resolving issue of industrial reparations: slowed reinvestment in industry

o Significant black marketers (offices, politicians, etc…) unpunished

o Inflation compounded by significant military spending at end of war

§ Secret Instruction No. 363: Suzuki cabinet instructed unit commanders to disperse all war materials to local governments

§ 70% of year’s war budget spent by August, rest quickly spent on military contractors before arrival of occupation forces

§ Bank of Japan extended massive loans to war contractor/cronies

§ Military looting: 70% of all stocks disbursed in first looting frenzy

§ Disappearance of 100 billion yen worth of supplies: occupation authorities turned over portion of military stocks to government, which the Home Ministry entrusted to committee of 5 zaibatsu reps

o No wise men or heroes, no commendable statesmen, emerged from among the old elite

o Huge financial drains on Japanese budget:

§ 1/3rd of budget went to support occupation army.  Had to provide American living standards, while own people homeless.  Americans provided special occupation army trains, while own trains miserably crowded

§ Huge cost of repatriating millions

o Hyperinflation.  Year-by-year: 539%, 336%, 256%, 127%

o Black market prices started 34x “official price.” Eventually declined to 2x in 1949

§ Industrial reconstruction languished as military supplies diverted to black market

§ Corruption within political structure.  Diet on down.

§ Value of missing military stockpiles placed at 300B yen (national budget for that year was 205B yen)

o Loss of empire wrecked industrial structure

o Loss of Korean and Chinese labor in industrial sectors (coal)

- Out of suffering, new focus began to emerge.  Poverty radicalized workers, corruption prompted criticism, and stories of survival inspired.  Free expression.  Film industry prospered.  New formulation of culture.

Chapter 4: Cultures of Defeat


- Moment of flux.  Aware of need to reinvent lives

- Not a homogeneous reaction.  Some slow to rebuild.  Some fell into despair.  Others celebrated and looked forward.

- Defeat showed how quickly ultranationalistic indoctrination could be discarded

o Not the robotic, brainwashed society that foreign nation perceived them to be

- Most visible expression of reinvention was at margins of “respectable society.”

o Three overlapping subcultures: panpan prostitute, black market, and kasutori culture (self-indulgence)

o Represented visceral transcending of kyodatsu condition

Servicing the Conquerors

- Two sensational events that gave prostitution a face

o Sept 29, 1946: Letter to Mainichi newspaper about falling into prostitution.  Made into a popular song – with government and bureaucracy blamed for her fall

o National radio broadcast of interview with prostitute. “Rakuchou no Otoki”

- Fear that American troops would rape Japanese women – linked to the imperial troops own violations

- Japanese government financed enlisting prostitutes to serve as a barrier between the American GIs and the “good” women of Japan.  Historical precedent for dealing with Westerners.

o By August 27, 1945: 1,360 women in Tokyo had enlisted in “Recreation and Amusement Association”

o “Okichis of our era”: Okichi had been comfort woman for Townsend Harris

o Called on 15-60 times a day

o Only cost 15 yen – $1 (half a pack of cigarettes)

o Though rape and assault still occurred, rates remained low in comparison with size of occupation force

o January 1946: ordered abolition of RAA.  High rate of venereal disease one impetus.  90% women tested positive.  US patents for penicillin licensed to Japan in April

- December 1946: Home Ministry declared that women had the right to become prostitutes, and setup official red-line districts

- Estimated 55,000-75,000 served as prostitutes in these districts

“Butterflies,” “Onlys,” and Subversive Women

- panpan women were seen as bold and subversive.  Associated with liberation repressed sensuality.

- Some chose way of life out of economic or social reasons (war orphans), but substantial number chose “out of curiosity”

- Batafurai (Butterflies): promiscuous prostitute who went from customer to customer

- Youpan: (you: foreign, Western) specialized in GIs

- Onrii wan (“only one”): loyal to single patron

- Panglish and SCAPanese

- Demasculization of Japan through seeing Japanese women give themselves to Americans, while rest of Japan also figuratively prostituting itself to America

- Panpan lead way for Western materialism and consumerism.  Access to PX goods

o Lipstick and nylon stockings

o Panpan were as close as Japanese could get to Hollywood image

o Liberation from the “extravagance is an enemy” propaganda.  Cosmetics provided temporary transcendence of kyodatsu

- Huge amounts of money passed from American GIs to panpans.  Estimated that half of the tens of millions that the GIs spent on recreation went to panpans

- For the first time, “horizontal” Westernization.  Previously, Western symbols available only to upper class

- Transformation of Japan from bestial, masculine threat to a compliant feminine body

o All Japanese women perceived as sex objects

Black-market Entrepreneurship

- onna wa panpan, otoko ga katsu giya – women became panpan, men became carriers for the black market

- Place of hardened hearts and harsh dealings

- Development of markets initially greeted with enthusiasm by media

- Gangs divided black market territory. Yakuza gumi

- Tachiuri: “stand and sell” people.  Come back from countryside with pack of goods

- July 1946: officials estimated 100,000 sellers on black market.  80% repatriated soldiers or former factory workers

- Osaka “free market”

o Moritomo Mitsuji: organizer of Umeda market

o Police ineffective at regulating

- Not all goods sold illicit.  Some legitimate vendors

- Matsuda gang in Tokyo

o Matsuda began organizing petty vendors around Shinbashi station

o Approved vendors for a fee, organized toilets, lighting, trash collection

o Tokyo gov’t and police supported market

o Enforced by gang members, not police

o 200,000 members at peak

o Vendor licenses issued by local police.  Issued generally reserved for war wounded, family of someone killed in war, handicapped, former vendors, or retail merchants

o 80% still unregistered

o Matsuda assassinated by former gang member

- Supply sources:

o Food from countryside, sea products from fishing communities, panpan-acquired American goods, military stockpiles

- Hiearchy of brokers:

o 2-3 levels of wholesalers (oroshiya)

o 20-30% profit at each level normal

- Profits

o 8000 yen a day for tough operators, modest vendors could expect 50 yen/day

o oniisan – collectors/enforcers made 600-1000 yen/month

- “Shibuya incident”: violence between Formosan vendors and Matsuda-gumi members spilled over into Shibuya district, with fight in front of police station.  7 Formosans dead.

o Stronger hostility between police and Koreans and Formosans

o Prejudice against “third-country people” increased

o Anger and rising crime rate fell on non-Japanese

o Revealed inability of police to control market

- Police officers venal, corrupt, harried, hapless, incompetent

- Japanese harmony/solidarity fell to the way-side.  “Familial” concepts meaningless.

o Corruption in markets vs. democratization efforts of US

- No one had thoughts of saving money because of rampant inflation.  Drank instead.

- Instead of 3 sacred imperial regalia, had aloha shirts, nylon belts, and rubber-soled shoes

- Farmers, traditionally humble and subservient, became hard-nosed dealers

- Dower: “In their peculiar way, they were more honest than the prominent politicians, capitalists, and former military officers who snuggled up to the conquerors and put on righteous faces while secretly profiting from the black market”

- Though not an exemplary example, Japan and non-Japanese (Korean, Formosan) worked side-by-side in this environment

- Dower: “From a plainer perspective, the men and women who worked the market exemplified, without varnish, a pragmatic materialism and even an exemplary work ethic.”

- Black marketers more admirable for their hard work than those engaged in labor protests

- Dower: “One way or another, the black market/free market/blue-sky market challenged everyone to define where they stood

Kasutori” Culture

- Vile, dangerous drink

- Drink of choice among artists and writers.  Cult of degeneracy/nihilism

- Sexually oriented entertainment and pulp literature

- Iconoclastic

- Kasutori-gencha (kasutori-gentsia): philosophers of kasutori

o Decadence is the only true honesty.

o Hedonism

- Sangome de tsubereru (“gone by the third”).  Kasutori knocks one out by the third drink.  Similarly, kasutori zasshi rarely got beyond three issues

- Kasutori literature had no high-minded purpose.  Bathroom reading.  Transient moment of pleasure.

o Idealized Western female form

o Dominant imagery: kissing, strip shows, underpants, panpan, chastity, incest, masturbation, and lonely widows

- “Rehabilitation of kissing.” Kissing started appearing in film (platonic).

- Strip shows spread across the country from Asakusa

- Apure: (from French apésguerre) first meant existentialist and nihilist writers who argued all absolute values gone with war.  Came to mean any young person who defied norms.

- Despite appropriation of Western symbols, counter-culture came from within

Decadence and Authenticity

- bunkajin: “men of culture”

- Emergence of sensuality in writing

- Dazai, Sakaguchi, and Tamura

o Writings (along w/ others) linked degeneracy and carnal behavior to authenticity and individuality

- “On Decadence”: Sakaguchi.  Critique of illusory nature of wartime experience, contrasting it to the intensely human and truthful decadence of postwar society

o Dower: “Only by starting with a humble attitude toward decadence could people begin to imagine a new, more genuine morality”

o Sakuchi’s writings affirmed idea that societies that lacked a genuine shutaisei – a true ‘subjectivity’ or ‘authonomy’ at individual level – could hope to resist indoctrinating power of state

- Tamura Taijiro.  Nikutai: inverted concept of kokutai.  Body of flesh.  Individual was what mattered

- Dazai Osamu

o Self-annihilation through self-indulgence.  Began long before surrender

o Symbol of world without moorings.  Committed suicide

o “love and revolution”

o Wrote against nationalism, occupation.  Not interested in liberal (economics-based) doctrine

§ “Not you\ Not you\ It was not you\ we were waiting for”

o Obsession with the victim

- Many commentators appalled by these writings.  Intellectuals loath to acknowledge their influence

- Dower: “…roiled popular consciousness and called doctrinaire modes of thinking into question in ways their intellectual critics rarely succeed in doing”

“Married Life”

- Feudal ideology:

o Women’s duty to father, husband, then son

o Ryousai kenbo: “good wife and wise mother”

o Duty was to serve male-dominated family.  Duty of family was to serve state

o Sexual desires and behavior improper for woman

- Rise of idea of reciprocal love, mutual gratification

o Conjugal relations text in top-ten for a year in 1946.  Translation of Van de Velde’s text

o Linking of sex and marriage

- Fufu Seikatsu (Married Life): linked sex and marriage, discussion of sexual techniques.  Extremely popular. 

Chapter 4: Bridges of Language

- Open publishing flourished, American reformers guided radio programs, political rhetoric prominent

- Transformation of war industries into civilian industries

- Horizontal Westernization.  Appropriating Western culture

Mocking Defeat

- Military uniforms, heitai fuku, became “defeat suits” (haisen fuku)

- Cynicism pervasive.  Rewriting lyrics to children songs.  Scorn for old ideology

- Jokes, puns, twisting of phrases

- Iroha karuta – syllabary cards

o Su : susumu Npppon, kagyaku chikyuu: Advancing Japan, Radiant Globe ® sutaru doogi ni saku kenka: Morale deteriorates, fights blossom

Brightness, Apples, and English

- War state had not tolerated satire or frivolity in publication

- Media focused on brightness (akarui) and “newness”

- “Apple Song” craze.  Frivolity, reaching for happiness

- Move from darkness to light

- Popularity of “Come Come English” radio program

- “Brightness” appropriated from wartime slogans

- Kodansha focused on bright and fun novels

- Wartime rhetoric was malleable because it was not overtly militaristic.  Filled with idealistic vision of peace, coexistence, prosperity.  Ordinary response was that wartime rhetoric reflected decent, even noble ideals, but Japan was deceived and misled by leaders in the pursuit of these ideals

- Most popular catch phrase in postwar Japan: Heiwa Kokka Kensetsu: “Construct a nation of peace.  Also Bunka Kokka Kensetsu: Construct a nation of culture.  Transformation of wartime slogans

- Dower: “Catchphrases were like valises, waiting to be emptied of their old contents and filled with something new

The Familiarity of the New

- kyouryoku suru (cooperate) and gambaru.  Wartime slogans that became postwar slogans for reconstruction and peace

- Cult of the new.  “New” appeared in the titles for hundreds of magazines (shin, atarashii, nyuu).

- Renovation and rapid change had been central idea of war years, as well as pre-war years

- Ever since Meiji Restoration, Japan had been in search for new order.  Defeat was confirmation that search had to continue

- Renovation and iconoclasm existed side-by-side with reverence for past and subservience to leaders

- What changed is what the vision of change should be

- Transfer of idea of source of trouble from Western imperialists/Communists to Japan’s gunbatsu (military cliques)

- Democratic elements in the past to draw on: Charter Oath, Taisho Democracy (pluralism).  Reinstitution of May Day (repressed in 1936).

- Drew on language and history in reinventing concept of new Japan

Rushing into Print

- Publishing was one of first sectors to recover.  Hunger to speak

- Number of publishers increased six fold in six years (1,900)

- Many wartime publications underwent name change to make transition

- Though some publications pulp, many focused on visions of democracy/future reform

- Book publishing skyrocketed.  3 translations of foreign works every 2 days.  45,000 books submitted to SCAP in 1949 for censoring

- Kyouryoku Shimbun : conservative publication.  Emperor magnanimous in ending war, 100M bear collective responsibility for war, self-reflection, repentance about past.  Concentrate on future, catching-up

- Many periodicals repudiated the past (feudalistic legacies, antiscientific attitudes)

- Strong nationalism still present.  Love of country.

- Emergence of leftist publications: Jinmin (The people).  Denounced militarists, landlords, zaibatsu, emperor-centered bureaucracy.  Allied victory a valuable gift.

o Resumption of old left-wing voices that had been silenced by war state

- “Kodansha culture”: light, mass-market publications.

- “Iwanami culture”: progressive, intellectual publishing house.  Elite publishing.  Critics and intellectuals flocked to publisher.

o Sekai (World): monthly journal.  Road ahead difficult, but it is road to glory.  Create world of “broad and bright morality and culture.”  Idealistic.  Seized on respect for individuality, freedom of speech, etc… as essentially to preventing tyranny from rising again.

Bestsellers and Posthumous Heroes

- First sensational postwar bestseller was short English-language conversation book by Ogawa Kikumatsu.  All-time bestseller until 1981.  Conceived on day of surrender

o 1-3 days to compose full draft

o No particular competence in English, just wanted to get rich

o 32 pages long

o By end of 1945, 3.5M copies sold

- Broad literary output.  Revitalization of older authors (4 of Japanese authors on bestsellers list dead). 

- Interest in introspective works

- New native sons: Kawakami, Miki, and Ozaki.  All writers imprisoned for political beliefs.  Emphasized individual, autonomy, free thought.

o Kawakami:

§ Denounced poverty.  Bimbou Monogatari (A Tale of Poverty).  Imprisoned for communist activities.  Lengthy biography written from 1943-5 published (died before first installment)

o Miki

§ Succumbed in prison 6 weeks after war ended, before prisoners had been freed.  Social critic.  Communist sympathizer.  Attempted to reconcile existentialism and religion.  Appeal to readers was his quest, as much as his answers

o Ozaki: Most fascinating

§ Prison letters to wife and daughter.  Executed as Comintern spy.  Only Japanese to be formally tried and hanged for treason. 

§ Appeal was emotional letters written to wife and daughter.  Humanistic quality.  Focus on love for family as opposed to “family state.”

§ Frank, affectionate, and intellectual

§ Revolutionary and utopian vision of new socialist world order that would arise from war, but this was not the important aspect of writings

§ Traitor quality was transformed into a symbol of a true patriot, one who had courage to stand against ultra-nationalists.  Takada Tadashi, judge who hanged him, confided that he regarded Ozaki as a model patriot (not merely a man of virtue and ideals)

§ Showed Japanese need for symbol of suffering and hope

§ Held up as visionary of bright new world

Heroines and Victims

- Japanese heroine Miyamoto Yuriko.  Writer and radical organizer

- Nagai Takashi.  Young scientist dying of radiation sickness in Nagasaki.  Published Nagasaki no Kane (The Bells of Nagasaki).  Bestseller.  “Saint of Nagasaki.”  Visited by Helen Keller, Hirohito.  Pope paid tribute to him.  Regarded bombings as act of Christian God meant to bring world to its senses.

- Use of wartime writings as peace statements.  Listen. (199)

- Despite antiwar and antimilitaristic intentions, still could not shake off past.  “Bridges of language.”  Phrases from Man’yoshu and the like.

Part III Revolutions

Chapter 6: Neocolonial Revolution

p. 200

- Tradition of top down “revolutions”

o Meiji Restoration

o 1880s nation building

o 1930s militarism and imperialism

- MacArthur maintained high and aloof position

o Granted audiences only to high officials

o Brooked no criticism

Victors as Viceroys

- MacArthur barely saw Japan, Japanese

o Only spoke to 16 Japanese more than twice, all top officials

o Travel restricted to commute from residence to SCAP headquarters

o Prior to Korean War in June 1950, only left Tokyo twice (Manila and Seoul)

o Thrived on veneration, believed that “the Oriental mind” was predisposed to “adulate a winter”

- GHQ’s “super government”

- MacArthur was overlord, underlings were petty viceroys

o Operated by “noncommands with the force of commands.”  Suggestions to Japanese were taken as orders

o Policy of “demand, insist, enforce, ban, burn”

- Hand-on direction of educational system and mundane culture

o Grass-roots education.  Reinforced American ideals of freedom and democracy

o Censored media

§ Criticism of SCAP prohibited

o Forcing democratization through authoritarian means, build “Joe Nip” (John Doe)

- Power easily abused

o Protected NHK monopoly against rival stations

o Huge amount of power placed in hands of few

o Major General William Marquat

§ Supervised all developments in finance, economics, labor, and science

o Colonel Chief Whitney

§ Supervised purges, policies regarding imperial institution

- “Little America”

o 1 million American GIs

o Segregated status

o Requisitioned upper-class homes

o Theaters, stores, hotels, trains, rec centers designated occupation personnel only

o PXs stocked with luxury items while Japanese shopped on black market

o Surrounded by ravaged Tokyo

- Japanese-American relationships beneficial, though Americans always superior in this relationship

o Americans provided penicillin, streptomycin, blood banks, public libraries

o Taught technical skills

- Flying of Japanese flag and singing of national anthem restricted

o June 48, man sentenced to 6 months hard labor for improper display

- Crimes inevitably committed by GIs

o Rapes and assaults

o Tried in American courts and not reported to Japanese

o Mixed-blood children victims

- Contradictions of SCAP

o Democracy by fiat

§ Military organization not suited to non-authoritarian rule

o Equality preached by privileged

o Assumption of superiority of Western culture

o Supported bureaucracy and throne

§ Policy of working indirectly through existing organs of state (unlike in Germany, where direct military goverment)

§ “Blacklist”: initial orders were for direct military government

§ “Initial Post-Surrender Policy”: received eve of arrival, stages that authority should be exercised through government machinery

· Motivation was that Americans lacked linguistic and technocratic capacity to govern Japan

§ Civilian bureaucracy left relatively untouched

§ Only Home Ministry and military dismantled

Re-evaluating the Monkey-Men

- p.213

- WWOM-like arguments: Japanese as monkeys, barbarians, lacking in humanity

o On to Tokyo, Know Your Enemy

- American public had to be re-educated

o Instructional materials issued to Americans being trained in CA:

§ “Under he heat of wartime emotion the Japanese were commonly seen as treacherous, brutal, sadistic, and fanatical “monkey-men”… it is a mistake to think that all Japanese are predominantly the monkey-man type.  It would be just as wrong to picture all Americans as constantly being engaged in mob-lynching, gangsterism and race rioting”

- “Little Japanese” almost human

o Military handbook: “The docile, meek little Japanese when put in uniform, ruthlessly trained and turned loose, has an opportunity for the first time in his life to express himself, and he may go completely berserk…”

o Equated Japanese treachery with extreme manifestation of “all’s fair in love and war”

- Our Job in Japan

o Japanese were people “trained to play follow-the-leader”

o Problem Americans faced was Japanese brain, which could “make trouble” or “make sense.”  Can do good or bad things depending on what is put inside of it

o “old, backward, superstitious country”

o Must instill in Japanese that “THIS IS JAPAN’S LAST WAR”

o Job for GIs was to be themselves

§ “By being ourselves we can prove that what we like to call the American way, or democracy, or just plain old Golden Rule common sense, is a pretty good way to live…” (216)

o America’s righteous mission and manifest destiny

- Used Japanese traditions (seasonal festivals and traditional dances) to emphasize alien nature of Japanese culture

The Experts and the Obedient Herd

- View from Western “specialists” that Japanese were people “trained to play follow-the-leader”

o Belittled capacity of Japanese to govern themselves

o Japanese as “obedient herd”

o “misgivings regarding Japanese ability to operate democratic institutions” (p. 218)

o “monstrous beehive”

o Dower associates this view from experts came from the fact that many of them had spent most of their time among the Japanese elite, and were merely reflecting the views heard from this class

o Idea of introducing democratic revolution from above ridiculed

- Behavioral scientists came out on the other side

o Japanese “malleable”

o Democratic values were universal in nature and appeal

o Optimistic about imposing democratic revolution

o OWI report (Office of War Information): (219)

§ “Japanese civilization pattern seems to be most closely akin to the clinical picture of an obsessional neurosis”

§ “Which are the individuals and social groups who set the pattern of thoughts and attitudes likely to be imitated by the rest of Japan?”

o Ruth Benedict

§ Japanese behaved in accordance with situational or particularistic ethics, as opposed to ‘universal’ values in Western tradition

§ No core values, no clear subjectified self

§ Japanese responded submissively to authority

o Argued that Emperor was empty vessel that could be made to carry imperial democracy

- Had Japan surrendered earlier, might have been spared democratic revolution from above (220)

- Postwar policy mostly came from New Dealers

o Placed faith in applying democratic ideals

o Labor organization

- More radical viewpoint

o Democratic revolution from below

o Denounced emperor and civilian old guard

o Andrew Roth argued that the true potential for democracy lied at the bottom

- SCAP avoided using Japanese experts

o Japanese experts came to be regarded as bamboozled by Japanese conservative elite

o “China Crowd”: harsh in critique of civilian elite, argued for elimination of existing economic (zaibatsu) system

§ Owen Lattimore

o China experts used

o Americans trained in Japanese during war not sent to occupation

o MacArthur knew very little about Japanese

§ Guided by Washington, Lincoln, and Jesus

o “If you knew too much about Japan, you might be prejudiced.  We do not like old Japan hands.” (224)

Chapter 7: Embracing Revolution

- Kobayashi

o Japanese conformism moving from militarism to democracy, same forces at work

- Yoshida Shigeru

o Premier 1948 on

o Helped postwar conservative resurgence

o GHQ: “Go Home Quckly”

o Thought he/Japan would be able to undo reforms after occupation, found that this was not the case

Embracing the Commander

- jinpu bikzoku (Good morals and manners)

o Strong sense of hierarchy and proper place

o World of “beautiful customs”

§ Village festivals, portable shrines, folk dances, traditional weddings and funerals, lachrymose popular songs, tea ceremonies, martial arts,

§ filial piety, diligence and industriousness, respect for elders, catalog of feminine virtues, romanticized sense of tension between “duty” and “emotion” (giri and ninjō), considerations of appearance and “face,” esteem for harmony (wa)

- Spontaneous popular response to the victors and their policies were more vigorous that predicted, and ideologically more ambiguous (227)

o Embraced SCAP and MacArthur

§ Reasons varied though, and personal

- Embracement of MacArthur

o Paradox of authoritarian that brings democracy

o Embraced much like emperor, but different in that he was viewed as more approachable (229)

o Flooded with gifts

o Flooded with letters

§ Over half of those addressing concerns dealt with repatriation

§ Some focuses on specific policies

§ Some fingered war criminals

§ Individual expressions: some for emperor, some against

§ Expressions of gratitude

Intellectuals and the Community of Remorse

- “Progressive men of letters” (shinpoteki bunkajin)

o Promoters of democracy and liberty

- Turnaround for intellectuals

o Most during 1930s had recanted left-wing views

o Only a handful resisted ultranationalism

o Some noted hypocrisy of intellectuals now promoting progressive course

- “Community of remorse”

o Maruyama Masao

o Regret for past, hope for future

o Remarked openly about own guilt

- Many embraced Marxism as good explanation of Japan’s recent experience with Meiji Restoration and defeat in WWII

- Strong appeal of Western models of self (236)

- Growth of progressive intellectual discourse exceeded American expectations

Grass-Roots Entanglements

- Leftwing elitism often similar to rightwing in that it believed that the Japanese people as a whole were backwards and in need of guidance (imperial democracy)

- Communist Party insisted on strict adherence to its ideology.  Stifled criticism and created new dogma/authority (239)

- Many criticized superficial embrace of democracy

o Women’s suffrage being imposed before women even understood significance

o People turned from militarism to democracy too quickly

o Joking that Democracy posters being made on the back of militaristic posters

o Worried that American’s only trying to guide Japan towards America’s form of democracy, not taking into account Japan’s nature and traditions

- Student protest in Mito city forced militaristic principle to resign (242)

o Similar protest in Tokyo

o Basis for postwar student movement formed in 11/45

- Women’s movement

o Prewar leaders met August 25, 1942.  Petitioned MacArthur 1 month later for suffrage

o First week of Nov, first nationwide women’s org established

- Reorganizations/shakeups at major newspapers

- Grass-roots discussions, polls, about democratic revolution

- Public radio (NHK) became forum of political discussion.  Used by candidates.

- Dower: “Such grass-roots activities were not necessarily ‘revolutionary’ or even ‘political’ in the sense that the progressive intelligentsia used such concepts, but they subverted old hierarchies and reflected a popular receptivity to a more open society that was often spontaneously creative.  They were also but the tip of the iceberg where embracing democracy was concerned.”

Institutionalizing Reform

- P.244

- Reforms

o Land reform eliminated tenancy problems

o Electoral reform strengthened bicameral legislature

o Constitutional reform established popular sovereignty

§ Guaranteed more rights than US Constitution

§ Placed antimilitary ideals at center of national character

o Labor reforms gave workers new rights

o Educational reform liberalized curriculum

§ Broadened access to universities

o Position of women strengthened in divorce and inheritance

o Civil code reforms removed legal underpinnings of patriarchal family system

- Nearly all reforms implemented, if not instigated, by Japanese.

o Abolishment of patriarchal family system brought about without American urging

o Alfred Oppler: “They did a more thorough job than we had expected”

o Shock of defeat stimulated reevaluation of values

o Labor reforms exceeded American goals (245)

§ Labor Standards Law of 1947 came from mid-level Japanese manipulation by Teramoto.  Based on prewar initiatives that had been suspended as well as international conventions

- Educational reforms (247-251)

o Blackening out of passages (suminuru) began before occupation

§ Promoted idea to youth that ideas an be challenged

§ Left other youths confused

o Ministry of Education moved from ultra nationalism to democracy/peace

Democratizing Everyday Language

- Imported American terms into education system: “curriculum,” guidance,” home room,” home project,” course of study,” and “club activity”

- 2 historical precedents:

o Borrowing from China in ancient/medieval times

o Borrowing from Western world in Meiji Restoration

- Annuals books published of shingo (new terms)

o Alibi, casting vote, ecstasy, scandal, up-to-date, Achilles’heel, Amen

o Class consciousness, social revolution, feminism, feminist, pubic opinion, popular sovereignty, four freedoms, transgression of human rights

- New idioms:

o “money-moon”: honeymoon of those that marry for money

o “sex seller”: erotic best seller

o go-seru “five lets” to appease gov’t officials: let them eat, drink, grab money, sleep with women, and put on airs

- Disappearance of ultra-nationalistic terms:

o “eight corners under one roof,” hōkoku (repay the country)

Chapter 8: Making Revolution

- Radical behavior surprised Americans

- “Food May Day”

- “Student May Day”

- Marxists had challenge of turning democratic revolution peaceably into a socialist revolution

Lovable Communists and Radicalized Workers

- At war’s end, political prisoners released, Communist Party legalized, pro-labor reforms, freedom of organization

- Workers rapidly unionized

- Socialists gathered support in labor movement, Communist Party had even stronger support

- Nosaka Sanzō’s “lovable Communist Party”

o Rhetoric promoted peaceful revolution through current democratic movements

o Not “trying to realize socialism by overthrowing capitalism today”

o “we Communists are the true patriots and the true service brigade for our democracy”

o Softened emperor opposition.  Opposed imperial institution as national system, but suggested that emperor as a religious leader could be left to popular vote

- Communist party gained control over 2/3rds of organized labor

- Union disputes:

o 6,432 disputes (19 million workers) recorded from 1946 to 1950

o Mostly focused on wage disputes because of inflation

- “Production control”

o Employees took over offices, factories, or mines without consulting management

o Seized control until management met demands, maintained production

o Often reflected belief that owners and managers were deliberately sabotaging economic recovery

o Sometimes succeeded in increasing production

o 13 incidents 1/46, 20 in Feb, 39 in March, 53 in April, 56 in May

o Government and GHQ accused them of disrupting economic recovery

o Downtime never exceed 1%

“A Sea of Red Flags”

- Yoshida Shigeru spoke of taking power in 1946 amid a “sea of red flags”

- April 10 elections: 2,770 candidates representing >= 363 political parties

o Conservatives had advantage from wartime power

o Leftwing still emerging

- April 7: rally to overthrow Shidehara cabinet.  50,000 people proceeded from rally to prime minister’s residence to present demands (261)

o Shidehara voted out in election

- “May Day” 1946: 1.25M-2.5M participants

o Food deliveries were falling behind, politicians bickering

o Joyful demonstration

- “Food May Day” (262)

o Incited by “give us” rice demonstration on May 12.  Nosaka urged direct appeal to emperor.  Carried demands to neighborhood government and imperial palace.  113 men and women permitted to enter palace grounds, inspect imperial kitchen

o 250,000 people gathered in front of imperial palace

o Ideologically at odds: emperor, identified as holder of sovereign power, asked to support Socialists and Communists

o Public jokes about emperor

- American pronouncement denounced “mob demonstration” (bōmin demo)

o Initial post surrender policy provided for intervention when security of forces of occupation objectives threatened

o Threw balance of reconstruction towards conservatives

o Chilling effect on population

- Placard incident (266)

o Matsushima indicted on charges of lese majesty for placard mocking emperor in food crisis.  GHQ allowed to go to court (though eventually took lese majesty out of penal code), found guilty of libel, but pardoned under imperial edict.

Unmaking the Revolution from Below

- “Student May Day”

o Self-government by faculties, students, and staff

o Remove war criminal professors

o Led to formation of National Federation of Self-governing Student Associations (Zengakuren)

- Early 1947, union of national railway employees calculated that wages covered only a quarter of family expenses (268)

- October 1946, National Congress of Industrial Unions (Sanbetsu) mobilized national “October offensive,” which for the first time caused loss of man-days in excess of 1%.

- Followed by plans for general strike on Feb 1, 1947

o Most dramatic moment in Japan working-class history

o MacArthur intervened, saying he would not allow “the use of so deadly a social weapon.” 

o Bitterness towards US and occupation, as well as its vision of democracy

- Radical left downgraded importance of political and civil rights, “food before a constitution”

o Was not committed to political democracy, yet purported to be vanguard of democracy.  This duality undermined broad-based democratic coalition

- Communists and more radical organized labor began to became more militant as economy declined, pushing GHQ more towards conservatives, and vice versa.

- Summer 1948 MacArthur revoked right of public employees to strike

- Occupation forces worked on creating anticommunist democratization movement in organized labor (mindō)

- By 1949, “Red purge” in effect.  Goal of breaking radical unions.  Extended to private sector after Korean War outbreak. (272)

o “Depurge”: return to public activity of militarists and ultra-nationalists previously purged

- End of “lovable Communists”

o Pressure from Kremlin

o Communist demonstrators attacked Americans on May 30, 1950.  Communist party newspaper labeled attackers patriots.  June 6, MacArthur ordered purge of Communist party’s central committee and top editors of newspaper.  Tokuda and Nosaka went underground.

- Consequences of the left:

o Established Marxism in political spectrum

o Despite being weakened, labor and left established itself as voice to be accommodated

o Emergence of capitalism with State intervention in the economy (but not state ownership)

o Goals of job security and eliminating economic disparities recognized

o Continued to have presence in Diet

§ Became critics of acquiescence to US Cold War policy

§ Staunchest defenders of initial goals of demilitarization and democracy

- “Reverse course”: “helped establish a domestic conservative hegemony of politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen that remained dominant to the end of the century.” (273)

Part IV Democracies

Chapter 9: Imperial Democracy: Driving the Wedge

- Preservation of imperial throne

o SCAP did not allow Hirohito to assume moral responsibility

o SCAP opposed abdication of emperor

- Emperor preserved as symbol of racial homogeneity

- Emperor preserved as patriarchal institution

- Years still told in emperor-based reckoning (e.g. Showa 20)

- Yoshida Shigeru praised MacArthur as “great benefactor,” not for democracy, but for preserving imperial institution

Psychological Warfare and the Son of Heaven

- General Fellers’ “The Psychology of the Japanese Soldier”

o Predicted war with Japan 4 years beforehand, use of kamikaze

o Relied on dated material rather than available intelligence.  Relied on turn-of-century Hearn’s Japan – An Attempt at Interpretation

- Fellers’ policies heavily influenced MacArthur’s policies

- Wanted to hold onto the emperor because of postwar uses (281)

o Fellers: “drive a wedge” between military leadership and emperor’ s subjects by persuading Japanese that “gangster militarists” had betrayed the imperial institution

o Fellers acknowledged Hirohito’s responsibility for war crimes as head of state

o Fellers’ “Answer to Japan”:

§ An absolute and unconditional defeat of Japan is the essential ingredient for a lasting peace in the Orient.  Only through complete military disaster and the resultant chaos can the Japanese people be disillusioned from their fanatical indoctrination that they are the superior people, destined to be the overlords of Asia.  Only stinging defeat and colossal losses will prove to the people that the military machine is vincible and that their fanatical leadership has taken them the way of disaster.
    The Japanese are tough physically and spiritually.  But sometime during this extreme agony for the Japanese home people, it is to be hoped that in one quick movement calm-mined conservatives may see the light and save themselves before it is too late.
     Enormous military reverses will make it clear to all that the gangster militarists have duped their people
     But this is not all.  To the masses will come the realization that the gangster militarists have betrayed their sacred Emperor.  They have led the Son of Heaven, Divine Ruler of the Empire, to the very precipice of destruction.  Those who deceive the Emperor cannot exist in Japan.  When this movement of realization arrives, the conservative, tolerant element of Japan which has long been driven underground possibly may come into its own.  They may have sufficient leadership to take over the government, make the necessary concessions to save what remains of the archipelago, their people, and their Emperor.  With Imperial Sanction of a peace, it will be acceptable to all.  In this way it is possible that our war against Japan may end before it is necessary completely to lay waste to the land.
     There must be no weakness in the peace terms.  However, to dethrone, or hang, the Emperor would cause a tremendous and violent reaction from all Japanese.  Hanging of the Emperor to them would be comparable to the crucifixion of Christ to us.  All would fight to die like ants.  The position of the gangster militarists would be strengthened immeasurably.  The war would be unduly prolonged; our losses heavier than otherwise would be necessary.
     There are those among us who advocate slaughter of all Japanese, a virtual extermination of the race.  The Asiatic War has brought so much suffering and taken so many lives that no fate seems too awful for the Japanese.  However, once Japan’s armed forces are destroyed, the military clique wiped out and the people thoroughly acquainted with the horror of war, it will be safe to stop the slaughter.  The more civilians who are killed needlessly, the more bitter and lasting will be the feeling of those who survive.  It would dislocate the mental equilibrium of our youth who performed the slaughter.  It would belie our Christianity…
     …The Emperor can be made a force for good and peace provided Japan is totally defeated and the military clique destroyed….

o Fellers 15-point mantra of Japanese behavior: (284)

§ Inferiority complex

§ Credulousness

§ Regimented thought

§ Tendency to misrepresent

§ Self-dramatization

§ Strong sense of responsibility

§ Super-aggressiveness

§ Brutality

§ Inflexibility

§ Tradition of self-destruction

§ Superstition

§ Face-saving tendency

§ Intense emotionality

§ Attachment to home and family

§ Emperor worship

- Manila Conference agreed on “wedge” strategy: “Give the Emperor back to the people” slogan

o Told that Western “logic is not in accordance with Japanese psychology”

o Fellers paper: “The people of Japan… cannot understand either democracy or American political idealism as expressed in:

§ Our Declaration of Independence

§ Our Constitution

§ The Atlantic Charter

§ Racial and religious tolerance

§ No punishment without fair trial

§ Opposition to slavery

§ Dignity of the individual

§ Supreme faith in the people

- Fellers: opposed killing of Japanese surrenderers (esp. b/c Americans were dropping leaflets urging surrender), and unequivocally opposed the atomic bombs as “one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non-combatants in all history.”

o Identified Pacific War as race war.

o Believed that postwar policy should not restore white supremacy in Asia

- MacArthur did not share same views of racial equality (viewed Oriental mind as backwards), but nevertheless recognized importance of Asia as future power spot and felt, even before SCAP, that emperor should be maintained

Purify the Sovereign

Immediately after surrender, moved to protect national polity

- Emperor portrayed as magnanimous peacemaker, protecting the national polity and peace of mankind

- Subjects were to bear responsibility of failure to win holy war (not for war)

- Prince Higashikuni proclaimed “repentance of the hundred million,” praised emperor for having paved the way “for the establishment of an eternal peace in order to save the people from hardships.”

- Foreign Minister Shigemetsu’s “Your Loyal Servant Mamoru” memo: mistakes of past occurred because military inserted itself between emperor and people.  True spirit of Japan was democratic.

o Shigemetsu met with MacArthur, argued for indirect SCAP government through emperor

o MacArthur ordered indirect government during that meeting (though previously authorized)

o MacArthur’s staff encouraged emperor’s entourage to keep bolstering emperor

o Shigemetsu sentenced to imprisonment as Class A war criminal

The Letter, the Photograph, and the Memorandum

- Hirohito not very eloquent, not trained to be.  Rarely conveyed self-doubt, nor arraogance.

o Moved pragmatically

o Lack of self-reflection

o Private letter to Akihito stressed failure of military advisers, protection of “three holy regalia,” overemphasis of spirit over science, preservation of “seeds of our people”

- Akihito’s diary at time showed that he was taught that Japan lost war because:

o 1) material backwardness

o 2) individual selfishness

o Japanese were innately superior to Americans, and key to future was scientific development and learning to work together as well as the Americans

- Coverup

o “Interview” with emperor in NY Times asserted that Hirohito did not know of Pearl Harbor attack in advance, and expected imperial war rescript to be used in traditional declaration of war

§ Hirohito had full knowledge of Pearl Harbor, however, he, as well as Tojo and Yamamoto, expected note to be delivered before attack.  Japanese embassy took too long in typing up message

- Same NY Times newspaper contained The Photograph: showed Hirohito and MacArthur side-by-side, with MacArthur clearly superior to Hirohito (height, age). (292)

o Conservatives attempted to confiscate paper b/c of interview (emperor singling out officials was “inappropriate”) and photo

o Photo also provided impression that SCAP was willing to stand by emperor

o SCAP could use publication of image as proof as freedom of press

- Meeting of MacArthur and Emperor (295)

o Minutes of eleven meetings (with only two exceptions) kept secret

o MacArthur claimed that Hirohito offered to take responsibility for war

o Minutes of meeting leaked many decades later show slightly different story

§ MacArthur praised emperor for endig war

§ Emperor offered cooperation with Potsdam Declaration and help to reconstruct peaceful Japan

o Meeting greatly relieved Hirohito about future of imperial throne

- SCAP did not permit emperor to be interrogated or investigated

- GHQ memorandum set forth to suppress any facts that show Hirohito as war criminal

o Emperor too useful in recreating Japan

o Did not want to desecrate holy image

- However, majority of American public wanted emperor punished

- Fraternization between GHQ officials (including president of war crimes tribunal and MacArthur’s family) (300)

o Invited weekly to imperial duck hunts

o Japanese realized American love of aristocratic pomp and pageantry

Chapter Ten: Imperial Democracy: Descending Partway From Heaven

- Public opinion polls in Japan showing broad support for emperor misleading

o Prior to Oct 1945 a no answer would have been treasonous

o Subsequent polls continued to show support, but imperial surrender broadcast tarnished imperial image

Becoming Bystanders

- Emperor worship became tatamae (façade)

o honne (true sentiment) was closer to mild attachment, resignation, or indifference

o Incidents of lese majesty increasing

- Conservatives worried about security of throne

o Only been under imperial system for less than a century.  Feudalism had lasted 8 centuries and was easily sloughed off

o Monarchies out of fashion in 20th century: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, China and Turkey all ended monarchies

o Informed opinion skeptical that Hirohito not involved in Pearl Harbor attack

§ Hard to reconcile emperor that was not responsible for war, yet decisive in bringing peace

o However, emperor rarely included in denunciations of militarists

- Possible that allegiances were “situational.” Country descending into greed, antisocialism, and fatalism.  Little room for emperor worship

- American field analysts concluded that worries about uprising if emperor removed overstated.  Most cared more about food than emperor

- US Strategic Bombing Survey survey: asked Japanese what they felt at time of surrender, only 4% checked off “worry about Emperor, shame for Emperor, sorrow for him”

- “Rush hour of the gods”

o Emergence of imperial pretenders: purported to be sun goddess descendents  (306)

o Revival of suppressed religions

o New religions claiming descendancy from Amaterasu

Becoming Human

- Constitutional power cut (308)

- Divinity renounced.  “declaration of humanity” (ningen sengen)

o Announced in “Rescript to Promote the National Destiny” 1/1/1947

o Idea for declaration came from expatriate British aesthete and mid-level American officer  (310-311)

§ Analysis of Blyth draft (312)

· Used Japanese concepts of loyalty, devotion, love

· Same use of reinventing tradition/history

§ Analysis of Japanese revisions (313)

· Loyalty to nation no longer explicitly subordinated to obligation to humanity

· Opened with Charter Oath, thus establishing base in Meiji, and undercutting purpose of declaration (renunciation of divinity)

· Ignored repression and imperialism of Meiji era

· Ignored repressive indoctrination

· Use of Charter Oath spurred on by MacArthur.  Original Japanese revision only alluded to oath, MacArthur wanted in included in entirety

o However, not full renunciation of divinity.  Used esoteric language to adroitly claim only partial descended from heaven.  Claimed legitimacy for throne lay in “democracy” rooted in Meiji emperor (not democracy rooted in occupation reforms or popular initiatives)

- Dressed in Western clothes and toured nearly every prefecture

Cutting Smoke with Scissors

- Emperor wanted to minimize renunciation of divinity

o Argued that he was not a god in the Western sense.

§ This, in light of the fact that he was treated as divine in every sense (not allowed to be touched, etc…)

o Noted the fact that emperors had stepped down in past to get around restrictions (i.e. eating soba noodles, getting particular medical treatments), thus showing that the manifest deity treatment was transient, not inherent

o Willing to deny that he was a god in the Western sense, willing to deny he was a kami in the Japanese sense

o Wanted to hold onto imperial lineage as descendent of Amaterasu

- “Descendant of gods” language excised, replaced with more esoteric denial that emperor was “manifest deity” (akitsumikami), i.e. kami in human form.

o Foreign Minister Yoshida did not even know what akitsumikami meant

- Final version published with commentary by Prime Minister Shidehara

o Shidehara’s commentary did not mentioned divinity, focused on Meiji democracy

- Media was more free to comment on Hirohito’s personality

o Hirohito became more accessible to the public, more intimate relationship

- Hirohito’s New Years poem:

o Courageous pine --
enduring the snow
that is piling up,
color unchanging
Let people be like this

o Statement of defiance

Chapter 11: Imperial Democracy: Evading Responsibility

- p.319

- First arrests announced Sept 11

- Second wave Nov 19

- First week of Dec leaders added to “Class A” defendants

o Prince Konoe

o Kido Kōichi (lord keeper of the privy seal)

- Jan 19, 1946 International Military Tribunal for the Far East inaugurated

- March 11 trial defendants announced

- May 3 trials began

Confronting Abdication

- Idea that emperor should take responsibility for war seriously considered in court signals

o This did not presume to mean that emperor was guilty of crime

- Prince Higashikuni confronted Hirohito about abdication in first week of Oct

o Abdication as a way of absolving leaders of war responsibility

- Konoe publicly raised issue of abdication in Oct 45, forced to revise comments under pressure

- Hirohito resolved not to abdicate at end of Feb.  Believed no one qualified to take his place (too prowar, too frail, or too young)

- However, GHQ/SCAP felt that abdication “not necessary” and did not push Hirohito (323)

- Fellers urged Yonai to fix testimony in Hirohito’s favor during war crimes trials.  “I want you to have Tojo say as follows: ‘At the Imperial Conference prior to the start of the war, I had already decided to push for war even if His Majesty the emperor was against going to war with the United States.’”

- Feller explained MacArthur’s support of Hirohito as follows:

o If the emperor were to abdicate, it might chaos in determining succession.

o If the emperor were to be indicted, could incite popular uprisings that would require more Occupation forces

- MacArthur cable to Gen Eisenhower ended topic of abdication

o Used doomsday rhetoric to describe what would happen if abdicate/indict

- Testimony at war crimes trial

o When Tojo strayed from party line and mentioned emperor’s ultimate responsibility, American prosecution immediately arranged that Tojo be secretly coached (325)

- Policy of non-investigation of emperor’s deeds

- Emperor did not testify at war crimes trials

- Poll in Osaka found that 25% favored emperor abdicating at right time.  Other sources speculated that if actual vote taken, could run 50%, and even higher if emperor stated will to abdicate

- Last opportune time for abdication – end of Occupation – came and went (329)

Imperial Tours and the Manifest Human

- Imperial tours

o Partly motivated by image of British monarchy communing with people, visiting coal mines

o Visited every prefecture except Okinawa

o 165 days (until August 1954), 33,000 km

o Hiroshima on anniversary of Pearl Harbor

o Visited bedside of Nagai Takashi in Nagasaki

o Blyth memorandum helped encourage tour

o Meiji had set a precedent with 6 royal tours to rally popular support

o Social ineptitude helped enhance image of pure and innocent emperor, vulnerable

o Discomfort of emperor, yet desire to do tours enhanced image of emperor devoted to subjects

o Tours revitalized and refocused mass psychology of self-criticism and apology (334).  Failure to advance nation for emperor

o Emperor Ah-sō

o “the Broom”: wherever Hirohito visited was cleaned up and rebuilt at great cost

o Kyoto University visited suppressed students’ petition to emperor (338)

One Man’s Shattered God

- Shattered God (Kudakareta Kami) (1983)

o Watanabe Kiyoshi

o Ex-serviceman enraged at betrayal by sovereign

o Journal from Sept 45 to Apr 46

o Cynicism at hypocrisy of times

o Moved from devout emperor worshipper to left-wing

o Noted contradiction of emperor bringing democracy

§ Min (people)

§ Minshushugi (democracy) (people-sovereign-ism)

o Incensed that the emperor never took responsibility

o “Thus, I owe you nothing” letter to emperor (345)

Chapter 12: Constitutional Democracy: GHQ Writes a New National Charter

Meiji Charter (346)

- Guide to Japan (prepared for US forces at time of surrender)

o Charter a “hermaphroditic creature,” with Prussian tyranny as its father and British representative government as its mother, with Sat-Cho midwives

New Constitution

- Mar 6, 46 draft outline presented to public as the government’s own handiwork

o Actually written by GHQ in secret week-long session in Daiichi building in Tokyo

o Scooped Meiji Constitution hollow, filled with Anglo-American and European democratic ideals

o Japan renounced aggression

- Dower: No modern nation has rested on a more alien constitution:

o Monarchism, democratic idealism, pacifism

- Successfully tapped popular aspirations for peace and democracy

Regendering a Hermaphroditic Creature

- Constitution revision had genesis in ambiguous Potsdam clauses

- SCAP indicated to Japan that Constitutional revision would be necessary

o Several proposals, some very liberal

o Government’s proposal was so bad that GHQ seized opportunity to hold its secret constitutional convention (348)

- 2 sets of constitutional inquiries (tragedy and farce)

o Konoe (tragedy): MacArthur and Atcheson discussed constitutional revision with Konoe (Oct 4). 

§ Konoe took it as a personal mission. 

§ Presented by media as imperial enterprise under emperor’s own initiative

§ However, Konoe became a liability because he became a war crimes suspect

§ Nov 1 SCAP distanced itself from Konoe

§ Konoe’s own self-promotion was his undoing

· End of Oct revealed that constitutional revision hadn’t come from emperor (350)

§ Nov 22 presented outline to emperor.  Showed Konoe had listened to America in modifying constitution.

§ However, Konoe project seems to have made no lasting impression

§ SCAP desired more radical changes

§ However, government officials interpreted SCAP’s acquiescence to Konoe project as a sign that they would except more conservative revisions

§ Dec 16, Konoe killed himself 10 days after finding out he was a Class A war criminal

Conundrums for the Men of Meiji

o Constitutional Problem Investigation Committee (Farce) (Oct 25)

§ Matsumoto Jōji appointed chair.  Specialist in commercial law.  Establishment player

§ Didn’t take problem of constitutional revision seriously, thought it would be possible to get away with minor changes

§ Matsumoto: “we thought we could handle the matter as we pleased.  We even thought it might be all right to leave it as it was.” (351)

§ Establishment players like Matsumoto saw old constitution as flexible enough to accommodate liberal democratic trends

§ Under old constitution during Occupation, liberal reforms successfully being made

§ However, failed to grasp the fact that the Americans wanted constitutional provisions to prevent system from clamping down again

§ Did not study other constitutional models

§ Myopic and elitist

§ Token changes to status of emperor, still source of sovereignty

§ Still kept “as otherwise prescribed by law” tag on human rights provisions

§ Did not consult with GHQ

Popular Initiatives for a New National Charter

- As Matsumoto committee finishing recommendations, only 16% of public desired to keep emperor’s status unchanged

- Dozen other proposals for Constitution revision outside of Konoe and Matsumoto projects

- Government favorable to Kempō Kenyūkai’s draft

o “outstanding liberal provisions,” including popular sovereignty, prohibition of discrimination by birth, status, sex, race, and nationality, abolition of peerage, and guarantee of worker’s rights (359)

o Drew inspiration from early opposition movement during Meiji era (358)

- Feb 1 Matsumoto draft leaked in Mainichi newspaper.  Criticized as reactionary, preserving status quo

SCAP Takes Over

- SCAP quickly took over, by Feb 3 concluded government incapable of constitutional revision

o Feb 2 MacArthur directed Government Section to prepare outlined of revisions required

o Feb 3 MacArthur concluded that model constitution would better guide Japanese functionaries

o Feb 4 Whitney convened “Constitutional Convention”

o MacArthur’s three principles:

§ 1) Emperor at head of State  Duties exercised in accordance w/ Constitution and responsible to basic will of people

§ 2) War as a sovereign right abolished.  Not authorized to raise army

§ 3) Feudal system will cease.  No rights of peerage.  No patent of nobility.  Pattern budget after British system

o 1 week to prepare draft

o Revealed extent of MacArthur’s power: no one had imagined that America would write Japanese constitution.

o MacArthur was motivated to action in order to protect emperor.  Feared failure of ultraconservatives would threaten imperial system in future revision commissions. (362)

§ Multinational Far Eastern Commission (FEC) forming and could threaten emperor system with antiemperor sentiment.  Threat of veto over MacArthur’s actions (363)

§ Had to get draft under public scrutiny before FEC formed

o Constitutional revision became issue of saving Japan, preserving throne, and hastening end of Occupation (364)

GHQ’s “Constitutional Convention”

- 24 individuals (16 officers, 8 civilian)

- Steering committee and 7 subcommittees

- No professional military men or women

- Political gamut ranged from conservative to New Dealer

- Beate Sirota was the only person on drafting committee with Japanese genuine knowledge of Japan

o Dower: “Young, spirited, idealistic, and remarkably cosmopolitan European Jewish woman who was attuned to both Japanese and American culture and especially sensitive to issues of repression and persecution” (365)

- Iconoclastic, not steeped in old Japan

- Defended arguments that were “arrogant.” Strongly believed they were trying to create less oppressive society

- Guided by MacArthur’s 3 principles, Potsdam, official US guideline on “Reform of the Japanese Governmental System”

- Used as many foreign constitutions as they could

- Refined and reconsidered MacArthur’s principles (367)

o Kades’ committee ignored “Emperor is head of state,” and instead presented Emperor as “symbol of the people” and placed sovereignty explicitly in hands of the people

o Revised war provision to simply renounce right to war, not right to defend

§ Planted seed for decades of controversy.  Vague on whether Japan could rearm itself for nation security

§ Language drew from Kellog-Briand Pact of 1928 (369)

o Feudalism provisions expanded into sweeping guarantees of human rights, more so than most any other modern nation

Thinking about Idealism and Cultural Imperialism

- Constitutional revision became constitutional replacement

- Kades insisted US Constitution not given much attention

- Preamble showed echoes of Gettysburg Address, Dec of Independence, US Constitution, Atlantic Charter, and Teheran Conference Declaration

- Necessary to keep closed convention b/c MacArthur wanted to maintain secrecy from Japanese and international scene in face of possible critics.

- Counter to ethnocentricity: “laws of political morality are universal” (372)

- Americans involved assumed – incorrectly – that whatever charter was adopted would be subject to Japanese review and amended as time passed

- MacArthur only made a single change to GHQ draft (eliminated restrictions on revising bill of rights)

- Feb 11 – Japan’s National Foundation Day – approved GHQ’s draft

Chapter 13: Constitutional Democracy: Japanizing the American Draft

- Feb 13 Whitney presented GHQ draft to Matsumoto and Yoshida

o Japanese thought they were meeting to discuss Matsumoto’s recommendations

o Japanese stunned by nature of meeting

o Whitney made threat of taking draft to the Japanese people

o Made clear that this was best attempt at making emperor “unassailable”

“The Last Opportunity for the Conservative Group”

- Matsumoto continued to try and defend his revision, arguing that Japanese people needed his sugar-coated version. (376)

o Argued that difference between Japanese and US version was that Japanese was more meandering while US was direct to the point

- Took awhile for Matsumoto to realize Meiji Constitution was lost

- GHQ asserted that as a whole, the draft had to stand as a basic unit

o Americans were willing to concede on making bicameral Diet, though both had to be elected by popular vote

- Hirohito gave unreserved approval of draft on Feb 22

o Made it easier to get ministers to go along with draft

- Die-hard defenders of old emperor system remained numerous among bureaucrats, ex-military, and zaibatsu leaders

- Bureaucrats feared demotion from loyal servants of throne to “civil servants”

The Translation Marathon

- March 4 presented “first government draft”

o Mostly merely a Japanese translation, with some watered down language

o At same time, Higashikuni suggested Hirohito should abdicate, adding to fear of threat to emperor

- Heated debates between Kades and Matsumoto and Sato about position of emperor relative to Cabinet (380)

- Sirota used bilingual skills to engage in give and take to preserve women’s rights clauses

- Japanese changes

o Dropped GHQ preamble that emphasized sovereignty of people’s will

o Deleted provision providing for elimination of peerage

o House of Councilors that could restrict authority of House of Representatives

o Alternated provisions on local autonomy to give greater central authority

o Undercut many guarantees of human rights (“to the extent that they do not conflict with the public peace and order,” “as provided by law”)

- Debate over rendering of people

o Meiji Constitution used “shinmin” (subjects)

o Translations of US Constitution used “jinmin” (people), but it had socialist and rebellious connotations

o Satō wanted to use “kokumin” (country people).  Had been used during war years in sloganeering.  Felt more harmonious with emperor and government.  Kades and Whitney allowed kokumin to stand.

- Debate over rendering of sovereignty

o Logical term was shuken

o Shidehara encouraged shikō, which was more archaic term.  “Supreme height.” Carried no political weight, thus desirable to conservatives.  Conservatives wanted to blunt language.

o Shikō did not make it into final draft

- March 5, draft accepted by Cabinet under GHQ demands for approval that day (383)

Unveiling the Draft Constitution

- March 6 released with fanfare

- Emperor’s rescript (384)

o In effect, ordered subjects to support new constitution.  At odds with role

- Shidehara emphasized working with GHQ, though said that it was “following my initial direction to the Cabinet 5 months ago”

- Japanese officials not allowed to mention GHQ draft

o “Criticism of SCAP Writing the Constitution” became a formal prohibition to the media (386)

o Media managed to sneak in sardonic observations “the [Japanese] translation is not very good”

- GHQ worked behind scene to make sure certain provisions remained intact during Diet session (385)

o Freedom in a box

o American input was an open secret

- No one imagined that new draft and Matsumoto draft originated from same authorship

- Foreign fingerprints all over draft (386)

o Broad principles

o Odd phraseology: “the translation was easer to understand than the text of the [Japanese] original”

o Release of English text at same time was telling

- New nationalism

o Shidehara promoted idea that Japan might see itself as leading the rest of the world by embracing renouncing of war

- Popular reaction

o Only Communist party opposed draft

§ Emperor system was antidemocratic

o Liberals praised preservation of emperor system, human rights, and renouncing of war

o Ultraconservatives welcomed new draft “heartily”

- “Fourth government draft” submitted to Diet on June 21

Water Flows, the River Stays

- Symbolic: emperor submitted new constitution as amendment to Meiji Constitution (388)

o “revolution from above”

o “imperial democracy”

- Diet consisted of newly elected officials.  Ultraconservatives and reactionaries had been purged

- 3500 pages of transcript of proceedings

- 113 days of hearings

- Satō conceded that GHQ had create respect for proceedings in Diet.  80-90% of changes proposed (SCAP approval required) in legislature were allowed to stand (389)

- Yoshida and Kanamori argued that the kokutai was not being changed.  “Water flows but river stays.” New language, but same ideals (389)

- Kades demanded that Kanamori clarify constitutions defense of popular sovereignty

o Shinkō replaced with shuken

- Became possible to argue that emperor’s position elevated, as he was now above politics

- In the eyes of many in parliament, constitution acceptable b/c it preserved emperor

“Japanizing” Democracy

- Kades sorry that that “more proposals for amendment have not been made in the Diet” (391)

- SCAP went to great efforts to disguise manipulation

o Instructions given orally

o Subcommittee on constitutional revision held in secret and SCAP interventions not recorded in stenographic record.  Interventions could be clarified in camera

o Until 1949 all references to SCAP’s role suppressed

- Diet made approximately 30 revisions to document (392)

o Many of the most substantial changes came from SCAP or FEC (392)

§ Strengthening of democratic provisions such as universal suffrage, predominance of the legislature, and selection of prime minister and cabinet members for Diet membership

§ Cabinet members must be “civilians”

o Major changes from Japanese few

§ Adopted Socialist motion to eliminate peerage immediately (rather than phase out)

§ Socialists successfully introduced provisions that “All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standard of wholesome and cultured living,” and “All people shall have the right and obligation to work” with working conditions regulated by law

§ Grass-roots lobbied successfully for provision to guaranteed “the right to receive an equal education correspondent to their ability, as provided by law.” Instead of 6 years of compulsory education, this provision would lead to future legislation for 6-3 system that would allow fund 9 years of compulsory education (by ability)

§ Changed rendering of Constitution from archaic formal bungotai to colloquial kōgotai.  Future law converted to kōgotai.

§ Eliminated equal protection under law for resident aliens

· Japanese played language games with rendering of people.  By using kokumin, could restrict people to “all nationals,” thus eliminating protections for resident aliens (Koreans and Taiwanese in particular).

· Have lasting legacy in Japanese legislation

Renouncing War… Perhaps

- Article 9 renunciation of war reworded to couch in ambiguous terms.  Unclear whether or not it allows rearmament for defense (394)

o As submitted to legislature: “War, as a sovereign right of the nation, and the threat or use of force, is forever renounced as a means of settling disputes with other nations.
    The maintenance of land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be authorized.  The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized”

o Government inconsistently answered question as to whether or not this allowed self-defense

o Yoshida argued that it did not allow self-defense, and that in the future Japan would rely on international peace organizations for defense.

o Final version: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.
     In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.  The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

o FEC intervention had contrary effect.  FEC wanted to intervene to ensure that no military men could hold cabinet position.  However, if Article 9 was interpreted as renunciation of military, then such a provision would be moot.  By forcing Article 66 which did not allow military men, in effect watered down Article 9 by implicitly acknowledging self-defense. (bunnin position) (397)

o Confusion less a factor of Machiavellian subterfuge and more a factor of poor drafting

- Article 9 used to rearm Japan for Korean conflict in 1950

Responding to Fait Accompli

- Adopted 421 to 8 in House of Reps, 300 to 2 in House of Peers

- Differing psychological interpretations

o Cynics interpreted this as confirmation of Japanese as a herd

o Dower: reflected a much more political ideal: following party lines

o Many conservatives, including Yoshida, also believed that they could undo many articles after Occupation

- Nov 3, 1946, 94th anniversary of Meiji’s birthday, Hirohito announced promulgation of constitution

o Hirohito announced amnesty to 330,000 penal individuals (final sovereign act)

- Dec 5, announced gengo system of emperor dating would remain

- May 3, 1947 constitution came into effect (401)

o Mikasa commented on undemocratic nature of proceedings (401).  Noted that nation was still stuck in imperial traditions and undemocratic treatment of women

- 20 million copies of Atarashii Kempō, Akarui Seikatsu (New Constitution, Bright Life) issued.

o Issued under pressure from GHQ

o Rhetoric of Atarashii Kempō, Akarui Seikatsu so appealing that a popular base was built to thwart all future attempts at constitutional revision

o Contained Ashida’s preface: “The old Japan has been cast in the shadows, a new Japan has been born.” People would respect each other on basis of human qualities, democracy, spirit of peace

o Defenders of Meiji Constitution became supports of new charter (Kanamori)

§ Kanamori: Amending the Constitution should only be done with extreme care.  “We must, without fail, respect and defend the constitution.  And, though the road is long, let us walk steadily, step by step, toward the light of these ideals.”

§ Shidehara proudly proclaimed that he was the first to mention renouncing war to MacArthur (faulty recollection?)

Chapter 14: Censored Democracy: Policing the New Taboos

- MacArthur as a second emperor

- GHQ policed social scene to censor criticism of democracy, SCAP

- Japanese learned to practice self-censorship

The Phantom Bureaucracy

- Censorship conducted from Sept 45 to Sept 49 (400)

o In early stages, anticipated would only last until safety of occupation forces could be assured and reforms successfully implemented

o Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD).  Employed 6000 at peak.

§ Spot-checked 330M pieces of mail and monitored 800,000 private phone conversations

o “News must adhere strictly to the truth.  Nothing shall be printed which might, directly or by inference, disturb the public tranquility.  There shall be no false or destructive criticism of the Allied Powers…”

o Censorship took on life of its own

o Censorship of censorship.  Not allowed to hint at censorship

o CCD “phantom bureaucracy” dissolved in 1949 without public mention

o Not as bad as wartime censorship

o Schizophrenic policy: “Civil rights” directive of Oct 4 encouraged criticism of government, debate about emperor system, and even espouse Marxism.  However, had to do this under CCD’s umbrella of “dangerous thought” (409)

Impermissible Discourse

- CCD operated on secret “key logs” of impermissible discourse (410)

- “Categories of deletions and suppressions” (listed on p. 411)

- Japanese learned by inference what these categories were

- Fraternization, prostitution involving Occupation forces, mixed-blood children, black market, and rape by GIs all off-limits

- Occupation sought to reeducate populace in democratic ideals

o Civil Intelligence and Education Section (CI&E)

o Failed to escape danger of replacing propaganda with propaganda

o All past propaganda was prohibited

o Criticism of prewar policies of Allies prohibited

o Statements about global conditions that lead to Japanese aggression faced possible censorship as transgressions of “truth”

- War crimes tribunal

o Media had to approach under assumption of guilt

o Education medium for teaching populace about previous atrocities, intrigues

o Not allowed to criticize court

- Censorship of atomic bomb writings

o Initially allowed, but eventually became censored through CCD and self-censorship

o Overt censorship of scientific writings about bomb

o Japanese (even Americans in some cases) scientist denied access to research on effects of radiation that could have been used in medical treatment

o Film and photographs seized of atomic bomb effects, photographs censored until 1952

o Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi’s artistic impressions the first graphic presentation of bomb (414) (story in Japan at War: Oral History)

o When censorship lifted in 1949, CCD wanted notion conveyed that atomic bomb was righteous retribution (415)

- Need to publicly mourn war losses hampered by censorship

o Recounting of Yamato deaths censored b/c of possible militaristic revival (416)

o Because death came at hands of Allies, mentioning of death often censored as criticism of Allies

- Often censorship merely dim-witted, unable to grasp peace sentiment (418)

- Major Daniel Imboden, chief of CI&E press division:

o Japanese as “strange and mysterious people”

o “I thank God that General MacArthur established censorship”

- Changes in nomenclature:

o Wanted to purge religious and ultranationalist jingoism

o “Great East Asia War” (Dai Tōa Sensō) became “Pacific War” (Taiheiyō Sensō)

§ Reflected ethnocentrism of Americans

§ Had indirect and unintended effect of ignoring suffering wrought on Asia by Japanese

Purifying the Victors

Chapter 15: Victor’s Justice, Loser’s Justice

- Class A: “Crimes against peace”

o Unprecedented and retroactive

o Rölig: International law on the road to banning war

- Class B: “crimes against humanity”

- Class C: planning, ordering, authorization, or failure to prevent war crimes

- On Japanese side, the contradictions between judicial idealism and plain victors justice provided fertile soil for the growth of a postwar neonationalism

Stern Justice

- War crimes trials not inevitable (444)

o Until 45 envisioned swift and summary justice

o British were urging execution w/o trial in Germany

- Stimson was major proponent for trials

o “consistent with the advance of civilization”

o Provide record for rest of history

- Allied anger at treatment of POWs

o 27% (est.) of American and British POWs died in captivity

o Only 4% in Germany and Italy

- In 1945 est. as many as 50,000 would be tried, by 1946 10,000 had been identified for possible trial

- 50 military tribunals convened (447)

o 12 Dutch

o 11 British

o 10 Chinese

o 9 Australian

o 5 American

o 1 French

o 1 Filipino

- Authoritative figures estimate:

o 5,700 indicted for Class B/C

§ 984 initially condemned to death

§ 920 (est) actually executed

· 236 executed by Dutch

· 223 by British

· 153 by Australians

· 149 by Chinese

· 140 by Americans

· 26 by French

· 17 by Filipinos

§ 475 received life sentences

§ 2,944 limited prison sentences

§ 1,018 acquitted

§ 279 not sentenced/not brought to trial

§ 50 sentences commuted on appeal, mostly by French

§ 173 were Taiwanese

§ 148 were Koreans

§ Most were enlisted

o Records somewhat sketchy

- Trials averaged 2 days

- Soviet Union conducted secret war crimes trials for Japanese captured in Manchuria, Korea, and Karafuto (S. Sakhalin)

o 12 Unit 731 members

- Chinese Communists subjected about 1000 Japanese to reeducation and brought 45 to trial (449)

Showcase Justice: The Tokyo Tribunal

- Did not initially attract much attention in Japan

o Another example of how people lower in chain in command had to take responsibility

- Nuremberg: began Nov 20, 1945.  10 months

- Tokyo tribunal: began May 3, 1946.  31 months

o “the general public’s interested focused not on the proceedings but on the single point of what he verdicts would be”

o 11 Justices

o Prosecution: 100 attorneys supported by staff of 300 (100 Allied, 200 Japanese)

o 818 court sessions over 17 days, 419 witnesses, 779 depositions (much more than Nuremberg)

o 4,336 exhibits, 30,000 pages

o 48.288 pages of transcript

o Treasure trove of documentation for research

o Bench divided: majority opinion read by 7 justices (450)

§ 5 individual opinions (1 in supported majority opinion, but thought it was too lenient)

§ Webb and Bernard found tribunal flawed and compromised by decision not to try Hirohito (459)

§ Pal acquitted all defendants (459)

§ Röling found 5 not guilty (459)

o 7 leaders sent to gallows

o 16 life imprisonment

o 1 to 20 years

o 1 to 7 years

o Five of Class A died in prison, but none served out terms

§ 12 paroled between 1954 and 1956

§ 1958 remaining 10 granted clemency (with approval from former victors)

o Shigemitsu Mamoru released in 1950 and returned to politics moment released

o General Willoughby (head of GHQ intel): “This trial was the worst hypocrisy in recorded history” (451)

o General Thorpe (played major role in selecting war criminals): “I still believe that it was ex post facto law.  They made up the rules after the game was over.  So we hanged them because they used war as an instrument of national policy.” (452)

§ “We wanted blood and, by God, we had blood” (reference to Class A)

§ Established alarming, rather than admirable precedent

o Trials continued in shadow of emerging Cold War

§ By 1948, hardly anyone was left who still believed that Nuremberg and Tokyo could provide the basis for a peaceful world grounded in a new order of international law and justice (453)

§ Hypocrisy of denouncing Japanese argument that they were motivated by Communism, yet America had national policy of containing Communism

o No official publication of proceedings (unlike Nuremberg)

o Allies lost interest in prosecuting more Class A.  Many in Sugamo Prison never brought to trial

§ Kishi Nobusuke (future prime minister) released on grounds of insufficient justice

Tokyo and Nuremberg

- MacArthur found trials excessive.  Thought should just focus on Pearl Harbor (455)

- Japanese did not realize that new statute would govern war crimes

- Nuremberg set precedent for statute that governed Tokyo Tribunal

- Tokyo tribunal

o Jan 19, 1946: “Tokyo Charter.” Definition of tribunal’s jurisdiction

§ Verbatim on page 456

§ Defines Class a, b, c

§ Defined “conspiracy” to commit aggression

§ Individual leaders could be held responsible for acts of State

o Indictments presented to tribunal on April 29

o Of 55 counts, 45 eventually dismissed as superfluous, redundant, or simply obscure

o Prosecution charged that “conspiracy” to commit aggression dated back to 1928

§ Allegedly, plans to take over Asia began then

§ Hirohito the only person at center power for entire period of “conspiracy”

o “Conventional war crimes” often became “murder”

o Pursued concept of negative responsibility: criminally liable for acts of omission rather than commission

§ Matsui given death sentence for failing to prevent Nanking Massacre

o Prosecution lead by single chief prosecutor (Keenan), an American

o 11 justices with no backups, unlike Nuremberg which had 4 justices w/ backups

§ Justices absent on occasion

§ Justice Pal the only one with experience in international law (465)

· Knew how he was going to vote before trial began

§ Filipino judge (Jaranilla?) involved in Bataan Death March (should have been disqualified) (465)

· Knew how he was going to vote before trial began

§ Soviet judge had participate in Stalinist mock trials of 30s and knew no English

§ French judge spent interwar years in colonial service in Africa and knew no English

§ Chinese judge had published books on constitutional law but had not judicial experience

§ Jaranilla and Pal appointed at last moment

§ 11 judges never collectively met to deliberate (465)

§ Pal and Webb absent from portions of proceedings

§ Rölig: 7 justices “just decided among themselves to write the judgement… The seven organized the drafting and presented the results to the other four as a fait accompli” (466)

o No real counterpart to German plans for genocide

o Hirota sentenced to death with only 6 votes out of 11

o Webb “the leader of the crime, though available for trial, had been granted immunity” (460)

o Bernard: crimes against peace “had a principal author who escaped all prosecution and of whom in any case the present Defendants could only be considered as accomplices” (460)

§ Deemed it impossible to render any judgment

o 8 days after opinions Keenan reiterated no basis for trying Hirohito (460)

o Tōjō’s last message: “Peoples of all the nations of the world absolutely should not abandon the right to initiate wars of self-defense” (461)

Victor’s Justice and Its Critics

- Despite nature of charges, defendants given pretty fair trial (462)

o Defense allowed to challenge tribunal itself (unlike Nuremberg)

- Conducted in Anglo-American procedure, rather than European procedure

o Japanese attorneys trained in European, and thus at a disadvantage

- Idea of “conspiracy” had been introduced by Stimson for Nazis

o Not really applicable to Japanese situation

o Justice Pal pointed out how many decisions could easily be attributed to reactions to national security, rather than “security” (463)

§ Subsequent scholarly research has supported Pal

- No international law for “conspiracy” prior to 1945 (463)

o Webb challenged including conspiracy, but still upheld charge

o “Without a law there can be no crime, without a law there can be no punishment” (nullum crimen sine lege, nulla peona sine lege)

o Keenan argued that “wars of aggression” had precedent in Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 (which Japan had signed) (464)

o Defense: “Pact of Paris of 1928 renouncing war as an instrument of national policy does not enlarge the meaning of war crimes nor constitute a war a crime”

o Defense: “War is the act of a nation for which there is no individual responsibility under international law”

o Choice of class A criminals somewhat arbitrary

§ Keenan: “we have no particular interest in any individual or his punishment.  They are representative in a certain sense of a class or group”

§ No heads of the Kempeitai

§ No leaders of ultranationalistic secret societies

§ Forced mobilization of Koreans and Formosans not pursued as a war crime

§ “Comfort women” not pursued as a war crime

§ Unit 731 covered up

o The justices: (notes repeated)

§ Justices absent on occasion

§ Justice Pal the only one with experience in international law (465)

· Knew how he was going to vote before trial began

§ Filipino judge (Jaranilla?) involved in Bataan Death March (should have been disqualified) (465)

· Knew how he was going to vote before trial began

§ Soviet judge had participate in Stalinist mock trials of 30s and knew no English

§ French judge spent interwar years in colonial service in Africa and knew no English

§ Chinese judge had published books on constitutional law but had not judicial experience

§ Jaranilla and Pal appointed at last moment

§ 11 judges never collectively met to deliberate (465)

§ Pal and Webb absent from portions of proceedings

§ Rölig: 7 justices “just decided among themselves to write the judgement… The seven organized the drafting and presented the results to the other four as a fait accompli” (466)

o Military tribunal format chosen because it allowed prosecution control over admissible evidence

§ Tokyo Charter: “the Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence.  It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and non-technical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value” (466)

§ Applications of rules arbitrary, and number of judges present often determined judgment of “probative value”

§ Wanted to prevent propaganda defenses

o Prosecution had greater resources at disposal

§ At 1 point, 102 translators to 3

§ Translations of documents often unexamined

§ American translators often gave more cryptic statements than the Japanese defendants (467)

o Absolute protection of emperor by prosecution, even when statements could have be exculpatory for defendants (467)

§ Dec 31, 1947: Tōjō testified that it was inconceivable for him or any subject to have taken action contrary to the emperor’s wishes.

· Keenan immediately arranged for emperor’s advisers to contact Kido and have Kido get Tōjō to recant statements

· Jan 6, Tōjō recanted previous statement

o Defendants resolved to protect emperor (467)

§ Shigemitsu: “for the future of the Japanese race”

§ Kido: “with this, my mission is complete”

o None of the defendants ever accepted that they participated in an 18-year “conspiracy”

§ Believed that:

· Political chaos and economically crippling anti-Japanese boycotts in China

· Soviet-led communist revolts and subversion

· American and European protectionist policies

· Global trends towards autarkic blocs

· Coercive Western policies prior to Pearl Harbor

§ were the motivation for war

o Defense was allowed to mention these motivations, but not allowed to develop the case that they had validity

o Not allowed to admit evidence that the victors had committed comparable crimes of breaking treaties and violating conventional laws of warfare

o Willoughby and Pal both shared scorn for tribunal in its stance on anticommunism

§ Acceptable policy for west

§ Unacceptable for Japanese

Race, Power, and Powerlessness

- Only three judges were Asians, even though majority of Japanese aggression was against Asians

o Two Asian judges only included after countries complained

o Many Asian nations essentially represented by white colonialists overlords

o No Korean judge

- Positive rhetoric of imperialism and colonialism rendered negative when applied to Japanese

- Pal noted that Japanese followed standards of European imperialism

- Pal did not agree with aggression, but found it hard to regard Japan’s actions as unique (472)

- Hypocrisies/Contradictions (Pal noted many of these)

o Western imperialists vs. Japanese aggression

§ China

o Racial superiority vs. white man’s burden

o White man’s tribunal

o Western colonialists representing former colonial possessions

o Japanese denying “democracy” in Asia

§ Keenan: Japanese had denied Asia “government of and by and for the people”

§ Dutch, French, and British all busy reacquiring colonies

o Soviet judge: Soviet’s had violated neutrality agreement by declaring war

§ Red Army crimes in Manchuria

§ Hundreds of thousands of Japanese remained Soviet prisoners

· More Japanese POWs died at hands of Soviets than Americans and British at hands of Japanese

o American terror bombing, atomic bomb was crime against humanity

§ Pal: “In the Pacific war under our consideration, if there was anything approaching what is indicated in the above letter of the German emperor, it is the decision coming from the allied power to use the atom bomb… History will say whether any outburst of popular sentiment against usage of such a new weapon is irrational and only sentimental and whether it has become legitimate by such indiscriminate slaughter to win the victory by breaking the will of the whole nation to continue to fight… Nothing like this coud be traced to the credit of the present accused.” (473)

· Essentially stating that the atomic bomb was the only act in the Pacific War comparable to the Nazis

§ Jaranilla: “If a means is justified by an end, the use of the atomic bomb was justified”

§ Rölig felt that air raids violated laws of war

o American embracement of Shigemitsu Mamoru, Kodama Yoshio, and Kishi Nobusuke

Loser’s Justice: Naming Names

- Japanese excluded from participating in prosecution

- Formal involvement could have lessed “victor’s justice” stigma, added idea of Japanese taking responsibility

- Asahi recommended that Japanese compile own list of war criminals

- Government had expressed wishes for conducting trials

o Rejected by GHQ

o Japanese dilemma: punishing, in the name of the emperor, those loyally acting in name of emperor

- Japanese actually began trials for those who had committed crimes against POWs

o Had given lenient sentences

o Stopped by SCAP

- Secret “Urgent Imperial Decree” composed.  “Crimes of treason” for those that perverted peaceful wishes of emperor (477)

o Would have allowed Japanese scapegoating

o Establish emperor as peace-loving

- Contrary to “one hundred million hearts beating as one,” much finger pointing going on

o “Konoe memorial” implicated Tōjō and crew (480)

o Konoe’s argument similar to Kōdō-ha (Imperial Way Faction) arguments of 1930s. 

§ General Tōjō headed rival Tōsei-ha faction

o Many pointed finger at Tōjō and a few obvious politicians (Kido and Matsuoka), but protect emperor

o Tanaka: rationale for naming names was to protect emperor by incriminating many others

o Kido: initially was going to be emperor’s shield, but then was convinced otherwise.  Kido diary became prosecution’s “bible” (483)

§ Diary entries sufficiently cryptic to allow Kido reinterpretation


Hirohito (collection of related notes)

- Webb “the leader of the crime, though available for trial, had been granted immunity” (460)

- Prosecution charged that “conspiracy” to commit aggression dated back to 1928 (457)

o Hirohito the only person at center power for entire period of “conspiracy” (458)

- Webb and Bernard found tribunal flawed and compromised by decision not to try Hirohito (459)

- Bernard: crimes against peace “had a principal author who escaped all prosecution and of whom in any case the present Defendants could only be considered as accomplices” (460)

o Deemed it impossible to render any judgment

- 8 days after opinions Keenan reiterated no basis for trying Hirohito (460)

- Absolute protection of emperor by prosecution, even when statements could have be exculpatory for defendants (467)

- Defendants resolved to protect emperor (467)

o Shigemitsu: “for the future of the Japanese race”

o Kido: “with this, my mission is complete”

- Dec 31, 1947: Tōjō testified that it was inconceivable for him or any subject to have taken action contrary to the emperor’s wishes.

o Keenan immediately arranged for emperor’s advisers to contact Kido and have Kido get Tōjō to recant statements

o Jan 6, Tōjō recanted previous statement

- Terasaki claimed that Hirohito disapproved of Matsuoka’s proposal to attack USSR (482)

o Emperor had inquired why former general Arisue Seizō had not been arrested

- Kido’s diary screened to avoid implicating Hirohito (484)


Chapter 16: What Do You Tell the Dead When You Lose?

A Requiem for Departed Heroes

- Guilt for dead

- Allies allowed memorials, but no praise of services, no heroes

- No elegies that could be interpreted by censors as endorsements of militarism

- Often saw themselves, not other Asians, as victims of war

- Nanbara:

o President of Tokyo University, Christian

o During wartime was good patriot (he has not tried to suppress this)

o Dead were “a sacrifice of atonement for the crimes of the people”

o Dead believed they were fighting for truth and justice (though unfortunately truth and justice were on the other side)

o We now know that it was a bad war, but during war believed were fighting for noble things.  But now we know, and we will build the noble society that you sacrificed yourself for

Irrationality, Science, and “Responsibility for Defeat”

- Conversions to pacifism rested on belief that they were misled by Japanese leaders

- Most ubiquitous passive verb was damasareta (to have been deceived)

- The Twenty-Year Typhoon: Exposing the Inside Story of the Shōwa Period

o “expose” approach to attacking military clique

- Tōjō was irresistible target

o Details of Tōjō attempted suicide (491)

- Atomic bomb

o Anti-American hatred did not emerge

o Evil qualities placed on bomb, not nation

o Symbol of victimization

o Symbol of atonement

o Symbol of American superiority

- Post-war drive to develop science

- Fixation of “responsibility for defeat”

o Self-serving and conservative

o Victimizers were leaders and institutions

o Society of victims, victim consciousness (495)

Buddhism as Repentance and Repentance as Nationalism

- Higashikuni: causes of defeat

o Restrictive laws

o Errors by military and government

o Decline in popular morals (black market)

o Collective repentance, nationalistic

- Collective repentance of the hundred million (ichioku sōzange)

o Destruction of documents by military and civilian officials

o Few believed that ordinary people bore collective responsibility

- Tanabe’s zange: transcending through repentance.  Transformation through resurrection and regeneration

o Nationalistic

o Repentance that leads to superiority

o Inferiority of Western philosophical tradition

o Shinran, True Pure Land Sect Buddhism

o Criticism of socialism and capitalism and democracy

o Japan leading rest of world through philosophy

o Tanabe regarded by contemporaries to be most influential Japanese philosopher of early postwar years (501)

- Writings of university students published posthumously as censorship restrictions lifted

o Carried warnings not to use to revive militarism

o Pure and dead being recruited to stand against America (and its continuance of war against other nations) (502)

- Harp of Burma (502)

o Takeyama Michio

o Themes of suffering, guilt, and atonement by way of Buddhism

o Protagonist refuses repatriation and becomes priest

o Suffering because desires got out of hand

o Suffering of country, meaningless sacrifices

o Included in children’s books

- Victim literature in name of antimilitarism, pacifism, repentance, and atonement

- Naked and the Dead.  Translation of Mailer’s novel became bestseller in 1950

- Fires on the Plain (504 brief mention)

Responding to Atrocity

- Victim consciousness never transcended to acknowledge victims of Japanese

- Abe Shinnosuke “the majority of Japanese must bear responsibility for having been stupid”

- Most leftists evaded responsibility of people.  Used exploitive themes instead

- Japanese shocked when they heard about Rape of Nanking and Rape of Manila

o Crimes against Koreans and Formosans mostly ignored

o Indonesians ignored

o Crimes against Americans did not register, as they were victors not victims

- Questions of popular morality

- Many Japanese apologetic towards Chinese

o Between War and Peace has sensitive treatment of Chinese

- During “reverse course,” American policy discouraged recollection of atrocities

- Dower: “never developed into a truly widespread popular acknowledgement of Japan as a victimizer rather than victim” (508)

Remembering the Criminals, Forgetting Their Crimes

- Van: fickleness of public opinion (508)

o When they were war advocates, we welcomed them

o When they fell, we spat on them

o Now we have virtually forgot about them

- Many publications stressed that punishing war leaders was not cleansing for nation.  People have to work to uphold new peaceful democracy

- No sense of justice carried out by trials

o People not impressed at using representative group for class A, rather than trying all

o Mostly feeling of resignation and uncertainty

o Tōjō elicited some sympathy

§ Able to speak against America, when no other politician could b/c of censorship

- Reverse course of anticommunism (511)

o Many of those arrested then released went to carry on anticommunism battle

o Tsuji Masanobu: rise from war criminal (Bataan death march, massacres, cannibalism) to politician in House of Representatives

- Willful forgetting (513)

- Defendants became victims rather than victimizers (513)

- Executed remembered for parting words, not crimes

- Imprisoned given special treatment at Sugamo (513)

- Memoirs of war criminals published (515)

o Testaments of the Century (Seiki no Isho)

- Tōjō’s words from the grave: (516)

o Apologized to people while reaffirming innocence

o Tokyo tribunal a political trial

o Americans and British made three mistakes

§ Destroyed Japan as bulwark vs. communism

§ Led Manchuria become communist

§ Divided Korea in two, guaranteeing trouble in future

- Homma’s words:

o “Win and you are the official army, lose and you are the rebels” (kateba kangun, makereba zokugun)

o US an unfair country (atomic bombs, air raids)

- Final writings displayed concern for family, assured families not war criminals

- Victimization complex

o Victims of superiors

o Victims of war

o Victims of west

- Writings lifted stamp of demonization from war criminals

o Restoring human face to imperial army and navy (518)

o War criminals transmogrified from demons into poets, philosophers

- Reactionary potential of publications (519)

o Seize upon humanization of war criminals

o Blame west

o Blame Western hypocrisy, double standards

- Posthumous publication of war memoirs weakened national consciousness of war responsibility (520)

- Posthumous publication of war memoirs also intensified costs of war

- Dual legacy of building pacifism while forgiving war crimes, even removing war responsibility

Part VI Reconstructions

Chapter 17: Engineering Growth

- At beginning, assumed Occupation would only take 3 years (525)

- Reverse course:

o US aligned itself with conservatives and right-wing

§ Including accused war criminals

§ Charges dropped against some

o Economy turned back over to big capitalists and state bureaucrats

o “Depurges” and “Red purges”

o Public opinion

§ 1948: majority thought Japan was headed in “good direction”

§ 1949: majority said no, majority expressed fear that Japan might get involved in war again

o International picture:

§ Communist victory in Chinese civil war

§ Soviet repression in Eastern Europe

§ European attempts to reimpose colonial rule

§ Nuclear arms race

“Oh, Mistake!”

- Korean War

o Started June 25, 1950 (526)

o Conflict ushered in new world

o “The Occupation” as it previously existed was over

o US began remilitarization of Japan

- “Confusion and emptiness” of the times

o Cynicism

o “Judgment of what is a crime cannot be made in today’s society” (527)

o Traditional sentimentalism overtook joy and sentimentality in popular culture

o 1949 on, “prevailing mood in music and lyrics was one of wandering, loneliness, resignation, and a nostalgia that spilled over into inconsolable longing”

o Samurai dramas began to reappear in books and theater

o Gone With the Wind in the top ten list.  Japanese identification with defeated Confederacy

o Atarashii Kempō no Hanashi (The Story of the New Constitution), with its praise of Japan’s new pacifism and antimilitarism, dropped by the Ministry of Education in 1950.

Visible (and Invisible) Hands

- Reversal of non-rehabilitation policy (529)

o Original SCAP instructions were to “not assume any responsibility or the economic rehabilitation of Japan or the strengthening of the Japanese economy.” Japanese plight seen as punitive

o Dower identifies US reversal as another case of “Oh, Mistake!”

- Economic and Science Section (ESS)

o 500 economists, engineers and former businessmen that supervised Ministry of Finance, Labor, and Commerce/Industry as well as Bank of Japan and brand-new Economic Stabilization Board

o Retained many of wartime controls, sometimes more strict

- Zaibatsus (530)

o 10 singled out by Americans

o By 1945, 10 combined for control of 49% of capital invested in mining, machinery, ship-building, and chemicals, 50% in banking, 60% in insurance, 61% in shipping

o Zaibatsus in general glad to see war end.  Had lost overseas investments, many holdings in ruin.  Too much state “socialist” control

§ “Our friend is coming”

§ Had not prepared for defeat, no plans for what might happen

· Tōjō WRT Pearl Harbor: “Sometimes, one simply has to leap off the terrace of Kyomizu-dera” (531)

o Shocked to find New-Deal philosophy instead of conservative capitalists among reformers

o Shocked at order to dissolve holding companies (532)

- Fiscal and economic chaos immediately following surrender:

o Bank of Japan issued new money to pay off laid-off workers and demobilized servicemen

o Army, Navy, and Munitions Ministry officials began withdrawing huge amounts of money to pay of contractors and line own pockets

o Military stockpiles hidden or moved to black market

o Serious bookkeeping abandoned

- Initial economic reforms (532)

o Wishful thinking by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, assumed that Japan would be allowed to rehabilitate heavy and chemical industries and resume trade with Asia in order to pay reparations

o American response, announced by Edwin Pauly in early December, that US was more interested in removing plants as reparations, rather than converting them for Japan’s own internal consumption.

§ 1100 large enterprises were designated as possible reparations

§ Some allowed to produce for civilian economy, but with understanding that they could be removed at any time

§ Most remained kept this status until end of 1950

o SCAP delayed in implementing its policy of deconstruction

§ Placed major productive facilities in uncertain status for as long as 3-4 years

§ “Economic purge” of wartime execs delayed until 1/47

· 1500 individuals purged

§ Mitsui and Mitsubishi trading companies broken up 7/47

§ 12/47 Diet passed “deconcentration law.”

· 325 large firms designated for possible breakup.

· In the months that followed, in light of reverse course, most dropped from this list

§ “Deconcentration” ended in 8/49 with only 11 enterprises broken up

§ Postwar management opinion: these policies had led to drastic decline in “will to produce” by big businessmen

o Economic chaos did help reforms

§ Hyperinflation decreased corporate and personal debts and allowed “SCAP to dispossess landlords and dissolve family-held zaibatsu holdings in a manner that amounted to virtual confiscation” (533)

§ Small and medium-sized enterprises more flexible and entrepreneurial as they were less affected by policies of deconcentration and reparation

o “Swords into plowshares”

§ hibachis made out of discarded bomb-casings

§ Producer of mirrors used in searchlights moved into window glass and glass lampshades

§ Komatsu: tank maker became bulldozer manufacturer

§ Canon and Nikon: had been involved in optics during war

§ Honda: 1946 began motorizing bikes with engines the military had used in comm. Devices

· 1949: Honda Motor Company empire began

§ Sony: emerged from former employees of communications industry for military

o SCAP involvement in new enterprises

§ Deliberate and unplanned at same time

§ Favorable consideration given to textiles, fertilizer, electrical appliances, etc…

§ GI demand boosted Suntory whiskey, Nikon, and Canon

§ Occupation forces revitalized construction and ceramic industries

· ~50% of “war termination costs” went into construction expenses

§ SCAP began to promote government involvement in industry, as opposed to free enterprise

§ “Priority production” (534)

· Allocation of labor and scarce resources to key industries

· Direct gov’t subsidies to these sectors

· Policy-guided loans through new Reconstruction Finance Bank (RFB)

· Coal, electrical power, iron and steel, shipbuilding, textiles

· 97 firms received 87% of all RFB loans

· Lasted only 2 years

§ Corruption, graft resulted from priority production:

· “Shōwa Denko scandal.” 1948.  Forced Ashida Cabinet to collapse, arrest of Ashida, former finance minister, and other high officials (538)

§ Small and medium-sized enterprises lost some competitive advantage

§ Nonfavored industries found themselves starving for funds

§ “RFB inflation”

§ Legacy of priority production: “It focused attention on the critical heavy and chemical industrial sectors, instituted the postwar cult of top-level industrial policy making, bridged or fused a variety of economic ideologies, and brought the government and big business into an ever closer embrace.  The ground had been prepared for the reconsolidation of  big capital and a new stage in economic planning”

Planning a Cutting-Edge Economy

- Clash of Japanese and American visions

- American vision

o Americans saw Japan as returning to 1920s/1930s version.  Cheap exports, oriental specialties, textiles, etc…

o However, wanted to prevent “social dumping” of underpriced goods

§ Americans sought to use land and labor rights to promote higher wages/incomes, more equal distribution of wealth, to “create a larger domestic market and inhibit the dumping of underpriced goods abroad.” (537)

o Perceived Japan as second-rate economy with primary markets in Asia, not US/Europe

o Dulles: Japanese leaders “should not expect to find a big US market because the Japanese don’t make the things we want.  Japan must find markets elsewhere for the goods they export.” (537)

- Japanese vision (537)

o Saw potential in human resources trained by wartime industries

o Prosperous future through promotion of science, mastery of advanced tech and managerial techniques, production of high-valued items

o Report to Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Basic Problems for Postwar Reconstruction of the Japanese Economy”

§ Never became official policy, but closest document to an official blueprint

§ Endorsed antifeudal and antimilitary policies of Occupation

§ “create a new type of democracy” appropriate to Japan and situation in Asia

§ world had “at last entered an era of State capitalism or an age of controlled, organized capitalism”

§ Important to avoid becoming “economically colonized”

§ China and India will emerge as producers and exporters of textiles and other light industry, thus Japan must move towards high-value-added manufacturing

§ Depend “to a fairly high degree on the export of machinery and chemical goods.” Acknowledged this as “many valuable lessons and souvenirs” that the war economy had taught Japan

§ “Modern scientific management” would replace feudalistic practices in civil service

§ Foreign trade planned and guided by State

§ Mobilize education system

Unplanned Developments and Gifts from the Gods

- “Nine Commandments” and “Dodge Line”

o Dec 1948, Washington announced 9 principles of economic stabilization

o Headed by dictatorial “economic czar” Joseph Dodge.  Third sovereign (Hirohito, MacArthur, Dodge).  “Imperial Accountant”

o RFB loans cut off

o Government subsidies curbed (in theory)

o Cabinet and parliament forced to adopt “overbalanced” budget with surplus

o Stabilization, economic recovery, and self-sufficiency

o Curbing inflation and domestic consumption while promoting exports

o April 49, Dodge established fixed exchange rate of 360 yen/$, undervaluing the yen to make exports cheaper.

o Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) established

o Weakened labor movement with “red purges,” watered down labor laws

o By 1950, inflation curbed at cost of unemployment, budget cuts in public works, welfare, and education

§ Production of durable goods dropped

§ Stock market dropped

§ Economic Stabilization Board warned that there was eroded industrial base, destabilization in social sector

§ Many warned that Japan on verge of depression

o Depression never realized because of Korean War

- “Gift of the gods” (541)

o US “special procurements”

o Stimulated many Japanese industries and had to meet American needs

§ Ammunition, light weapons, and napalm bombs (though proscribed) were supplied by the Japanese to the US

o Brought $2.3B from 6/50 to 12/53.  After war, an addition $1.75B from 1954-56

o Doubled scale of production in key industries

o Japan was the only industrialized country with spare capacity, so it received many orders for goods (shipbuilding)

o Japan also allowed to profit from reconstruction of South Korea after war

o Stock market rose 80% from outbreak of war to 12/51

o Steel production increased 38% in first 8 months of war

o Toyota increased production 40%

o Beginning of Japan’s systematic acquisition of rights to American commercial licenses and patents

o Mixed blessing

§ Many benefits, but once again involved in war

o Real wages rose, consumer expenditures increased, purchased luxury items

- Deming and quality control (543)

o W. Edwards Deming brought gospel of “quality control” to Japan.

o Lasting legacy in Japanese production

- Dodge’s legacy

o Pushed aside during war

o However, MITI assumed his position of control, with greater centralization of economic authority than had existed during WWII

o Theodore Cohen: Dodge “constituted the first postwar channel between the conservative Japanese big business elements and their bureaucratic and political allies in Japan and the top level of officials in the US government.  From then on the Japanese conservatives were plugged into the top in the United States.” (544)

- Finance sector had survived occupation

o Commercial banks filled void after termination of RFB.  “Overloans” re-established link between industry and finance

o Key city banks began to replace dissolved zaibatsu holding companies

- Keiretsu

o “lineage clique”

o Powerful groupings of commercial and industrial enterprises replaced zaibatsu-centered agglomerations

o Early 1950s, 6 keiretsu had emerged, all centering on city banks: Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fuji, Daiichi, and Sanwa.  All but Sanwa represented reclustering/reconfig of old zaibatsu

o However, not “presurrender Japan redux”

§ Major portions of economy remained out of control of keiretsu

§ Less pyramidal (hereditary).  More horizontal and internally competitive

§ More flexible, competitive

- Dower: combination of defeat, occupation, and tainted “gift from the gods” that came from the war next door seemed to have spawbed a strange and misshapen creature – what the Economic Planning Agency referred to apprehensively as the ‘the abnormalization of Japan’s economic structure.’ This was a creature as unfamiliar as it was familiar, as unplanned as it was planned, as vulnerable as it was formidable.  In its parentage, it was as binational as it was national – the offspring, as it were, of an unprecedented encounter at a unique moment in history.”

o Binational genesis all but forgotten later in history.  US gave itself credit for land and labor reforms, but omitted failure to deconcentrate banking structure

- Bureaucratic legacy of the Occupation

o By imposing democracy/reforms from above, established occupation bureaucratic controls over economy

o Leon Hollerman (member of ESS): “in art, it actually promoted bureaucratism” and “its bureaucratic legacy was mainly economic.”

o Dodge -> MITI

o Occupation-era bureaucracy built on presurrender wartime bureaucracy

§ In many ways, strengthened these structures    

o Hollerman: “in liquidating the Occupation by ‘handing back’ operation control to the Japanese, SCAP naively presided not only over the transfer of its own authority, but also over the institutionalization of the most restrictive foreign trade and foreign exchange control system ever devised by a major free nation”


- As occupation was brought to an end, Japan began remilitarization

o Yet, denied it was remilitarization

o “twilight zone of rearmament”

o “National Police Reserve” (NPR), tanks were “special vehicles”

o Only 12% believed Yoshida was truthful when he denied rearmament (1/52) (547)

o Occurred without cooperation from Yoshida government, without business support, without popular support

o “a little American Army”

- Yoshida’s caution was a brake to the Americans

o US wanted Japan to raise army of 300K

o Yoshida worried about economic and social effects

o Yoshida sent secret message to Socialist Party leaders to urge them to protest outside his office

o Japanese held NPR to 75K

- Apr 11, 1951: MacArthur dismissed as commander of UN forces in Korea by Truman for insubordination (548)

o Removed from all commands

o Reason given was MacArthur publicly advocating more aggressive military policy vis-à-vis the PRC than Truman wanted

o Public expressions of regret in Japan

o Given a grand sendoff in Japan

- MacArthur’s comments to Congress ruined his mystique in Japan (550)

o “like a boy of twelve”

o Reminded Japanese how they had embraced the conqueror

- Prices of US occupation

o Rearmament

o Maintaining US bases

- San Francisco Peace Treaty of 9/1951

o “Separate peace”

o US Senate refused to ratify unless Japan agreed to sign parallel treaty with Taiwan and adhere to US policy of economically isolating China

o Japanese businessmen wanted China as a market

o US retained exceptional extraterritoriality rights and demanded more military installations than expected

o “subordinate independence”

o 41% of Japanese answered that Japan had become an independent nation

o Very little fanfare

- Ideological divide

o “thirty-eighty parallel” running through heart of Japanese

o Liberal and left-wing opposition that embraced initial ideals of “demilitarization and democratization”

o Conservatives supported by US

- “Bloody May Day” May 1, 1952 (554)

o Forbidden to use imperial palace plaza

o “Oppose rearmament – fight of the ndependece of the race”

o 10K or so marched on plaza, police attacked them

o 2 killed, 22 injured by bullets

o 800 police injured

o Small number of GIs attacked

- May 2, Hirohito led ceremony at Shinjuku in memory of the war dead