Episode 186 – Lifting the Lost, Part 4

This week, we’ll begin a discussion of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, better known as the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Who is being tried, what for, and why?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Maga, Tim. Judgment at Tokyo.

Takeda, Kayoko. Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Trials: A Sociopolitical Analysis.

Images

 

Episode 185 – Lifting the Lost, Part 3

This week: where did Japan’s constitution come from, and how the hell did it get done in only six days?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Takemae, Eiji. Allied Occupation of Japan.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan. 

Images

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.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Takemae, Eiji. Allied Occupation of Japan.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan. 

Images

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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.
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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.
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The Daiichi Insurance Building c. 1946. Note the flag on top.
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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.
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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).

Episode 183 – Lifting the Lost, Part 1

This week, we turn our attention to the US Occupation of Japan. When did Americans first start thinking seriously about taking Japan over and remaking its whole society?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

For the Versailles Conference, see Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan.

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Takemae, Eiji. Allied Occupation of Japan.

Borton, Hugh. “Preparation for the Occupation of Japan.” Journal of Asian Studies 25, No. 2 (Feb, 1966).

Images

 

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Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference of 1943. The Cairo Declaration laid out some specifics regarding Japan’s future, but was maddeningly vague on details.
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An outline of the future of the Japanese government produced by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC). SWNCC documents would provide the groundwork for the occupation.
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I have not read Hugh Borton’s biography, but I really want to. Borton was, among other things, responsible for drafting SWNCC’s policy paper recommending that Emperor Hirohito be kept in power by the Americans.
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Douglass MacArthur as a young cadet at West Point, where he excelled.
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MacArthur returning to the Philippines in 1944 — he made sure a camera crew was on hand to record his return. Note the trademark hat and aviator sunglasses, very much a part of MacArthur’s look.

Episode 182 – Building Better Worlds

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A roughly contemporary portrait of Nichiren late in life. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Tanaka Chigaku, head of the Kokuchukai (Pillar of the Nation Society). Tanaka is the intellectual godfather of Nichirenism: Nichiren Buddhism wedded to Japanese ultranationalism.
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The modern headquarters of the Kokuchukai.
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Seno’o Giro later in his life.

This week, we’re doing a biography of the little known Buddhist socialist Seno’o Giro. How do you reconcile Buddhism and Marx? Find out this week!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Iguchi, Gerold Scott. Nichirenism as Modernism: Imperialism, Fascism, and Buddhism in Modern Japan.

Shields, James Mark. “Blueprint for Buddhist Revolution The Radical Buddhism of Seno’o Girō (1889–1961) and the Youth League for Revitalizing Buddhism”. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 39, No. 2.

Lai, Whalen. “Seno’o Giro and the Dilemma of Modern Buddhism”. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 11, No. 1.

Images

 

Episode 181 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 6

This week, we round out our look at the hard left in Japan. Militant communist uprisings (if less than 100 people counts as an uprising), electoral maneuvering, recycling policy — this episode has it all.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Gallagher, Aileen. The Japanese Red Army.

Er, Lam Peng. “The Japanese Communist Party: Organization and Resilience in the Midst of Adversity.” Pacific Affairs 69, No. 3.

Hyde, Sarah. The Transformation of the Japanese Left. 

Images

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A Japan Communist Party poster from last year. The center poster says “Stop TPP. The Party that Loves this Country: The Japan Communist Party.” The one on the left says, “Rely on the constitution, change the government.”
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The Asama Mountain Villa surrounded by police during the siege.
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Shigenobu Fusako, right, with Okamoto Kozo during their time as Japanese Red Army militants.
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In 2007, the story of the United Red Army was made into a well-reviewed film. Haven’t had a chance to see it yet, though.
Former Japanese PM Murayama poses in front of portraits of former leaders of his Social Democratic Party after an interview with Reuters at the party headquarters in Tokyo
Murayama Tomiichi, former Prime Minister and recycling guru.

Episode 180 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 5

This week, we’ll see how the advent of the Liberal Democratic Party kept Japan’s socialist and communist parties from real power during the postwar era. How did we get from a revolutionary moment to permanent political sidelining for the Japanese left?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Kohno, Masaru. Japan’s Postwar Political Parties.

Lu, David. Japan: A Documentary History, Vol 2.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

 

Images

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A visual representation of the electoral dominance of the LDP. This graph shows seats taken in the 1960 general election.
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The Matsukawa derailment.
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The Mitaka derailment.
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This Pulitzer Prize-winning photo shows Asanuma Inejiro’s assassination, which took place during preparations for a telecast debate for the Lower House.
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Shimoyama Sadanobu’s body being removed from the scene of his death.