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Kyoto: The Japanese City That Was Never Bombed <br />(Yank, 1945)Kyoto: The Japanese City That Was Never Bombed
(Yank, 1945)
An article touching on the war-weary appearance of Kyoto, Japan. Although the writer had been informed by the locals that Kyoto was very special to the Japanese, the dullard was really unable to see beyond the filth, rampant prostitution and general disrepair of the city in order to understand this.

The Capture of General Hideko Tojo <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The Capture of General Hideko Tojo
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
War correspondent George Burns reported on the momentous day when the American Army came to arrest the former Prime Minister of Imperial Japan, General Hideko Tojo (1884 - 1948). Tojo served as Japan's Prime Minister between 1941 and 1944 and is remembered for having ordered the attack on the American naval installation at Pearl Harbor, as well as the invasions of many other Western outposts in the Pacific. Judged as incompetent by the Emperor, he was removed from office in the summer of 1944.

This article describes the efforts of Lt. Jack Wilpers who is credited for prolonging the life of Tojo after his amateur suicide attempt and seeing to it that the man kept his date with the hangman. Nominated for the Bronze Star, he was decorated in 2010: read THE WASHINGTON POST article.

To Live in Occupied Tokyo <br />(Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1947)To Live in Occupied Tokyo
(Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1947)
A breezy account of American occupied Tokyo as reported by a literary magazine:

"Regardless of the festivities, the War Crimes Trials proceed as usual and the accused sit with earphones listening intently as the defense presents the China Phase."
"Japan seems to be striving toward Democracy, their interest in government affairs has broadened, and the voting in the national elections showed their arousal."

Should you like to read how the city of Kyoto fared during the Second World War, click here.

The Stewardship of General MacArthur <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1948)The Stewardship of General MacArthur
(Collier's Magazine, 1948)
The attached article is about the governance of General Douglas MacArthur (1880 – 1964) over conquered Japan following the close of World War II and was written half way through the American occupation period by the well-respected American journalist George Creel (1876 - 1953). The article clarifies what regime change meant for post-war Japan and the roll that MacArthur's creed and character played in the process:

"Why democracy? Because MacArthur believes it and Christianity are the world's greatest ideas and ideals...On October 4, 1945 [MacArthur] took the bold step of proclaiming a civil-liberties bill that ended totalitarianism, giving Japan the right of free speech, free press, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly."

Click here to read about the 1918 portrait of General MacArthur painted by Joseph Cummings Chase.

An Eye-Full of Post-War Tokyo <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)An Eye-Full of Post-War Tokyo
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
An eyewitness account of the devastation delivered to Tokyo as reported by the first Americans to enter that city following the Japanese surrender some weeks earlier:

"Downtown Tokyo looks badly beaten. Along the Ginza, which is the Japanese Fifth Avenue, every other building is either burned to the ground or wrecked inside. A lot of the department stores and smart shops have English and French signs over their doors...Our official estimate of the bomb damage in Tokyo is 52 percent of the city."

"The people of Tokyo are taking the arrival of the first few Americans with impeccable Japanese calm. Sometimes they turn and look at us twice, but they have shown no emotion toward us except a mild curiosity and occasional amusement...They are still proud and a little bit superior. They know they lost the war, but they are not apologizing for it."

Tokyo Living <br />('48 Magazine)Tokyo Living
('48 Magazine)
The post-war life of a Tokyo family as experienced by "Mrs. Tanaya": the wife of a carpenter and mother of one son. This is an eleven page magazine article that will allow you to gain some understanding as to how the Tokyo black-market operated and how that city began to rebuild itself after so many years of war. Also of some interest the Tokyo reaction to the American occupying army:

"There is a lot of talk about Americans. To the Japanese women and their husbands, the conquerors are a puzzling combination of good and bad. But they often thank their gods for 'Marshal' MacArthur..."

•Click here to read about post-World War II Kyoto.

Articles about the daily hardships in post-war Germany can be read by clicking here.

Catching Up With Tokyo Rose <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Catching Up With Tokyo Rose
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
The Americans arriving in Japan after the surrender proceedings were hellbent on capturing the American traitor who presided over so many disheartening broadcasts -- the woman they nicknamed "Tokyo Rose":

"...one of the supreme objectives of American correspondents landing in Japan was Radio Tokyo. There they hoped to find someone to pass off as the one-and-only "Rose" and scoop their colleagues. When the information had been sifted a little, a girl named Iva Toguri (Iva Toguri D'Aquino: 1916 – 2006), emerged as the only candidate who came close to filling the bill. For three years she had played records, interspersed with snappy comments, beamed to Allied soldiers on the "Zero Hour"...Her own name for herself was "Orphan Ann."

Toguri's story was an interesting one that went on for many years and finally resulted in a 1977 pardon granted by one who had listened to many such broadcasts: President Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006), who had served in the Pacific on board the aircraft carrier "USS Monterey".

Japan Has Been Beaten. Now What? <br />(United States News, 1945)Japan Has Been Beaten. Now What?
(United States News, 1945)
"The big question for the United States is how long American troops are to occupy Japan. The Potsdam Declaration says that the occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as the objectives outlined are accomplished and 'there has been established in accordance with the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.'"

"U.S. officials appear to be thinking in terms of an occupation of only 5 or 10 years. Japanese officials, however, in looking ahead to a resurgence of Japanese power, appear to be thinking in terms of 50 to 100 years."

Read about the German POWs who were schooled in virtues of democracy.

Japanese Nationalists <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1949)Japanese Nationalists
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1949)
This article tells the tale of the Japanese Nationalist Masaharu Kageyama (1910 - 1979), a fellow who, in the political landscape of U.S.-occupied Japan, seemed rather like the late Mussolini of Italy: always remembering the storied past of a Japan that no longer existed. Kageyama was something a flat-Earther, choosing the road of the Japanese Nationalist, he held that Emperor Hirohito was indeed divine and that the Fascist vision of an "East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" was achievable, even in 1949.

A Hollywood Movie in Japan <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)A Hollywood Movie in Japan
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
We were sympathetic when we learned that the Japanese did not much care for the movies "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" (1944), "Back to Bataan" (1945) or David Lean's masterpiece "Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) - but when we heard that they hated Sands of Iwo Jima (1952) - we finally realized that there are some people you simply cannot please. Apparently we weren't the only ones who felt this way: the editors of QUICK MAGAZINE were so outraged on this matter they dispatched a reporter to document the venom that spewed-forth from those Japanese lips as they left the theater.
The Trial of Hideko Tojo <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)The Trial of Hideko Tojo
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)
Standing before the judges who made up the 11-nation war crimes tribunal in occupied Tokyo, General Hideko Tojo, among 19 other Japanese wartime leaders, put on the show of his life:

"Without hesitation, Tojo accepted full blame for plunging Japan into war. But it was, he insisted, a 'defensive' war, and 'in no manner a violation of international law..'"

Reforms in Post-Fascist Japan <br />(United States News, 1946)Reforms in Post-Fascist Japan
(United States News, 1946)
Speaking of naive: when I was privileged to visit Japan in 2011 I actually believed that there would be a few native-born women who would recognize that I was an American and step forward to express some measure of gratitude for my country's part in granting Japanese women the right to vote. I'm still waiting - however, it is important for all of us to remember that in the immediate aftermath of the war, our occupying forces introduced American values to the Japanese and they have thrived as a result:

"General MacArthur has ordered the Japanese Government to provide for freedom of speech, of press, of assembly, and of worship. 'Thought control' by the secret police is to be a thing of the past."

The War-Babies of Occupied Japan <br />(People Today Magazine, 1954)The War-Babies of Occupied Japan
(People Today Magazine, 1954)
There was one thing the Japanese hated more than being defeated and occupied by the "Gai-jin" (the Japanese slur for Whites) and that was when their daughters, sisters and nieces began bedding their tormentors and baring their young. Tremendous shame was brought on these women, and their families. This article is about the Amerasian babies who were isolated in a special orphanage designed just for them.

How did all of this come to pass? Click here to find out...

Yamashita Sentenced to Death <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)Yamashita Sentenced to Death
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)
The article posted herein lists the aleged crimes of General Tomoyuki Yamishita of the Imperial Japanese Army. The article also states the results of his sentencing, death by hanging. Two weeks after the trial he received a stay of execution by the United States Supreme Court.
Japanese Feudalism Overturned <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)Japanese Feudalism Overturned
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)
The reforms that were imposed upon Occupied Japan in the Forties and Fifties did not simply come in the form of death sentences for war criminals - but additionally the Japanese came to know the rights and protections that are guaranteed to All Americans under the United States Constitution. For the first time ever Japanese women were permitted to vote, unions were legalized and equality under the law was mandated. This small notice concerned the overthrow of the feudal laws that governed the Japanese tenant farmers.
The American-Imposed Censorship <br />(Commonweal, 1947)The American-Imposed Censorship
(Commonweal, 1947)
The suspicious lads of the U.S. Army's Civil Censorship Detachment, General Headquarters, Japan were given the task of combing-over not simply the articles that were to appear in the Japanese press, but all civilian correspondences that were to be delivered through the mail, as well. Seeing that the Japanese were recovering Fascists, like their former BFFs in far-off Germany, the chatter of unfulfilled totalitarians was a primary concern. They were especially keen on seeing to it that the gruesome photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki be as limited in their circulation as possible. But what makes this column most surprising is the fact that the brass hats at GHQ knew full well that the American people hate censorship and would not want it practiced in their name.
''The Japanese Try Western Ways'' <br />(Weekly News Review, 1954)''The Japanese Try Western Ways''
(Weekly News Review, 1954)
"There's a 'New Look' in Japan. It's come about in the years since World War II and is largely due the result of Western influence brought about by the presence of American soldiers...More and more women are dressing in American-style clothing, although they still prefer the kimono as evening dress. Girls now are given the same education as boys. There is a new school system with grade schools, high schools and colleges modeled somewhat on the American pattern..."

Some of the allure attached to the West was a result of theses guys...

GI Joe and the Women of Japan... <br />(Pic Magazine, 1952)GI Joe and the Women of Japan...
(Pic Magazine, 1952)
Although this article is illustrated with imagery depicting American men and Japanese women appearing to genuinely be enjoying one another's company, the accompanying text says something quite different. The article centers on the observations of the woman who heads the YWCA in Japan who insists that the vulgar Americans stationed in that country are coercing Japanese women to become prostitutes. The journalist then goes into some detail as to what a big business prostitution in Japan has become and how many illegitimate births have resulted.
Planing the Occupation <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)Planing the Occupation
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)
Some seven months before Japan quit the war, the anointed heads of the Institute of Pacific Relations convened in Hot Springs, Virginia to discuss what the Allied Occupation of Japan would look like.

Click here to read about August 28, 1945 - the day the occupation began.

''Our Balance Sheet In Japan'' <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1946)''Our Balance Sheet In Japan''
(Collier's Magazine, 1946)
Here is an honest report card concerning the first six months of the American occupation of Japan. The list of things that we did successfully at that point were considerably shorter than the list of our failings. Much is said concerning the Japanese "deep state" and their resistance to the new order.
Occupation Begins <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Occupation Begins
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
"On Tuesday, August 28 (Tokyo time), the Japs got their first taste of the ignominy of surrender... The occupation forces were ordered to go ashore much as they regularly did in amphibious operations - with full combat equipment and battle dress, across beaches and onto docks. No chances were to be taken."
Eating Crow <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Eating Crow
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
Four years after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese newspaper Asahi gazed out of the windows from their editorial offices and saw the charred remains of their enemy-occupied homeland and recognized that they'd made a fatal mistake:

"We once more refresh our horror at the colossal crime committed and are filled with a solemn sense of reflection and self-reproach..."

The Work Begins <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)The Work Begins
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
As the American occupation forces began to pour in and spread throughout the cities and countryside of Japan, both occupied and occupier slowly get to learn of the other. The cordial attitude of the Japanese leads General MacArthur to conclude that the military presence need not be as large as he had once believed:

"Curious and awed, increasingly friendly Japanese flocked to watch what they called the 'race of giants' at work."

A GI-View of Japan <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)A GI-View of Japan
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
A GI View of Japan <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)A GI View of Japan
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
Reporter Robert Shaplen (1917 - 1988) filed this account of how the GIs have reacted to the strangest country they have ever encountered:

"Looking at the Japanese, the average GI wonders how they ever managed to prosecute a war in the first place. Everything in Japan, even broken and blasted cities and factories, has a miniature toy-like appearance. Automobiles, the ones that are left, don't work; trains bear little resemblance to the Twentieth Century Limited or a fast freight back home. The short, slight people are dressed poorly and drably."