Episode 184 – Lifting the Lost, Part 2

The Occupation begins! This week, we’ll set the stage with a focus on the relationship between Supreme Commander Douglass MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito.

Listen to the episode here.


Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Takemae, Eiji. Allied Occupation of Japan.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan. 


Female munitions workers in a Japanese factory listen to the emperor’s announcement of surrender. The formal, classical Japanese used for imperial pronouncements meant that those without higher education could actually understand very little of the speech, but the meaning was still clear.
Ruth Benedict’s study was, on the one hand, groundbreaking in trying to actively avoid dealing in stereotypes. On the other, there was still plenty of generalization in the mix.
The Daiichi Insurance Building c. 1946. Note the flag on top.
Hirohito and MacArthur took this photo after their meeting. Intended to convey friendly cooperation, the Emperor’s household requested that it be pulled from circulation because of how small and unimpressive the emperor looked next to the confident MacArthur.
The official copy of the Imperial New Years Rescript of 1946, in which the emperor denied his divinity (or not, if you believe John Dower).

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