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 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 179 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 4

This week, the floodgates are open! The system has fallen, and the left is poised to seize power…or not!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Crump, John. The Origins of Socialist Thought in Japan.

Price, John. Japan Works: Power and Paradox in Postwar Industrial Relations

Images

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Citizens of Tokyo watching as electoral returns are posted on billboards in the city in 1947.
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Nosaka Sanzo speaking at a rally, c. 1946. The end of World War II signaled a revival of the Communist Party, as its leadership came over from China and the USSR to revive the party at home.
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Japanese communists are released from prison by the US, c. 1945.
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Katayama Tetsu, Japan’s first socialist PM, at right. At left is Abe Isoo, Japan’s foremost Christian socialist and a mentor to Katayama.

Episode 178 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 3

Today, a specter is haunting Japan. But that specter is not communism; it’s the ghost of the communist party, dead before it truly lived. This week on the podcast: how to kill a communist party in a few easy steps.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Gordon, Andrew. Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan.

Beckmann, George M and Genji Okubo. The Japanese Communist Party, 1922-1945.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Images

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Hayashi Fusao, one of the most high profile cultural figures to commit tenko and convert himself to the cause of Japanese ultranationalism.
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Yosano Akiko became the darling of the Japanese left during the Russo-Japanese War, but jumped ship to the cause of the empire during the 1930s.
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The leadership of the JCP in exile in the Soviet Union. From left to right: Tokuda Kyuichi, Nosaka Sanzo, and Shiga Yoshio.
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During World War II, Nosaka allied himself to the Chinese Communist Party. Here Nosaka, in the center, attends the beginning of the 7th Party Congress with Mao Zedong (at right).
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Nosaka in his military uniform as leader of a unit of “converted” Japanese POWs.

Episode 177 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 2

The revolution comes to Japan…but not really. Today we explore the birth and very rapid death of Japan’s first socialist party, and the rise of its communist movement.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Gordon, Andrew. Labor and Imperial Democracy In Prewar Japan.

Beckman, George M and Genji Okubo. The Japanese Communist Party, 1920-1945.

Images

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Katayama Sen, one of Japan’s first real Marxist advocates. He would die in the Soviet Union in the 1930s after two decades of exile.
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Christian Socialist Suzuki Bunji speaking to crowds in 1917. Though the Japan Socialist Party was not long for this world –at least at first — socialist parties continued to operate until all parties were dissolved in 1940.
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Another rally led by Suzuki Bunji.
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Nosaka Sanzo, one of the founding members of the Japan Communist Party.