Feb 13, 2010


"Why did Japan start the war, the Pacific War, without considering the end of it or the way to end it?". I have been interested in this question in a few years. This theme has many comprehensive things, and probably, no one, even in Japan could explain it correctly, I think.

"Shouwa-shi"s (昭和史) written by Hanfuji Kazutoshi(半藤一利) are good texts for considering about it. These are written in easy expression and has taught me a lot of things that I had never known.

Most Japanese (including me in the past) have thought that Japan had invaded other Asian countries in not humanitarian way, and this invasion led to the war. Of course, it is partly correct, but the belief has stood at very one side. I had thought what caused this simple, superficial thought in Japanese.

I found an interesting fact that is likely to link to this belief in the books.

According to the books, the GHQ used two media to educate Japanese. The first was "Taiheiyou-sensou-shi"(太平洋戦争史"the history of the Pacific War". It appeared in Japanese newspapers in December of 1945 and described that Japanese army invaded the Asian countries in very cruel way.

The second was "shinsou-wa-kouda"「真相はこうだ!」(in my direct translation, "the fact was like this!"). It was a radio program that started also in December of 1945 and also told the cruelty of the Japanese military. Those included "the Death March of Bataan" and "the Nanking Massacre".

The GHQ or America had succeeded in educating Japanese people who were very shocked with the defeat of the war, I think.

P.S. Now, I have learned that the title of "shinsou-wa-kouda" in English is "Now It Can Be Told".


ジョン said...

I think it's a wise policy to doubt whatever a government says about its own history. As in this case, countries have a tendency to downplay their own wrong and magnify the wrongs of others. (This is human nature, of course.)

This is a very well-written post!

bikenglish said...


I am very glad to see your praise for my post. Thank you very much. And, I have learned new words, "downplay" and "magnify" because of your comment.