Posted by GP Cox
Posted on August 12, 2017, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged History, Japan, Military, Research, WW2, WWII. Bookmark the permalink. 101 Comments.
I like how all your posts are so culturally open, and you show different perspectives.
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Thank you. That was how I was raised. My father, Smitty, told me to always listen to ALL sides of any issue – not just he said/she said. That’s why I try to include so many eye witness accounts – everyone saw things differently.
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Dank voor de vele foto’s die mensen tonen met al hun gevoelens van vreugde,fierheid en ^pijn
Mijn plezier, Mary Lou. Nasuko is een aardig persoon en ik wilde beide kanten van de Stille Oceaanoorlog laten zien, niet alleen onze kant. Bedankt voor het kijken.
I suspect that a photo array of North Koreans would be very similar.
Probably, they aren’t all responsible for their dictator being war hungry.
It is good to read about all sides of a war, especially a global one. Hopefully we learn as a species, and move forward. Someday, perhaps, there will be no more wars.
Humans aren’t giving much hope in that field, but by reading the other side’s opinions, we may arrive at reasons to stop.
Humans have been fighting since we dragged ourselves out of the oceans & will continue to.
Whoever wins the fight,gets to write the history.It doesn’t mean that it’s alway true but it is the way the victor wants it to be remembered.
We are all the same.
That’s why I always try to check and re-check the stories and read the losing side’s tale. I strive to arrive at the truth – no matter who it hurts.
the truth above all
You got it!!
Actually, I’ve found that the loser hides a lot of the history unfortunately. How can anyone learn to change that way?
Hi, GP. I’d like to make a suggestion that some kind of accommodation be made for those who do not speak and read Japanese. Google translator is cumbersome and the meaning is lost. If those who write a posting or comment in another language offer even a simple explanation in the language of the host blog they are helping the flow of discussion and bringing a deeper level of participation.
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I thank you for your feedback, Emily. I will definitely take that into consideration, should I reblog any others.
You may need help reviewing any translations before posting. It is good to have an extra helper read over the English version just for how well the average reader will view the material. I have three people helping me with the translations from Italian to English at my blog. One is fluent in both languages, another is only an English speaker and the third is just giving input on the ease of comprehension. If you ever need help from an “average” reader, I’d be willing to help.
Thank you very much. Koji often helps me out, but he is recently married and I’d hate to ‘interrupt’ him in any way. haha I appreciate the offer, I will probably be calling on you soon.
Thank you. Do you wish me to delete your private email?
Sure, you could do that. Thanks.
One of the things I most dislike about history is the tendencies to judge one side as better or more honorable than the other. We all perceive from the viewpoint of our experiences…we all have faults and frailties. it’s a shame that others feel the need to invalidate a viewpoint different than our own…to understand the other viewpoint is the stronger road to take.
Thank you, Mrs P. I’ve said since I started this blog that Smitty taught me to look at all sides to a situation, nothing is ever black/white!! By reblogging Nasuko’s post, I’m afraid some people didn’t take me seriously and got bent out of shape.
You’re my kind a gal! I tend to get along better with people who are multi-dimensional. 🙂
Very controversial. I commend you for taking the risk of showing the other sides point of view.
We both wanted to show the human side inside of the political thoughts. We figured, how can one analyze the war from both sides without hearing from them? Some people didn’t appreciate it, but what can I say? Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for sharing this new blogger’s post. Those photos show humanity, in all it’s joys and sorrows.
Thank you for actually ‘getting’ what I was trying to say, LB. I appreciate your comment here.
Fantastic photos in this post
I am sorry to see that you are catching some flak for posting this. We may not all agree with the guest blogger, but I feel it is important to show other points of view and I salute you for doing this.
Thank you very much – that was all I’ve asked of anyone!!
I have no difficulty in seeing the humanity in the majority of human beings, wherever they are from, whenever they lived. I have the same difficulty as you’re having with many commenters to this post, for instance in my work, with people looking at antique and vintage photographs of upper class people and seeing them all as ill-treating their servants and being inhumane in general. However… there have always been a handful of people who end up being psycho- or sociopathic and unfortunately, in charge of others who then either follow because they fear for their lives, or because they develop a type of folie a deux. And when social climate and social deprivations add to that, things get a whole lot worse. The leaders in Japan at the time of WW2 as well as in Germany and now the leaders of ISIS (and I’m sure there are plenty of people – often young people – who join thinking it’s something it’s not and then regret it – or don’t even live to regret it) were that type and people did follow… What I’m trying to say is it’s impossible for us to tell now, as it will be in the future for people looking back on our own dark times simply as a history most of them won’t have lived, who was who out of the unknowns (the so-called ‘little people’) – who was complicit and who wasn’t – and I really don’t think that presenting non-specific photos is going to change things much. To give another angle on the more human side, I would rather read first-hand accounts from ‘the enemy’. For instance, how about an article on Albert Göring? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_G%C3%B6ring
All that aside, I admire your courage in posting this.
I thank you very much for taking the time to express your thoughts and feelings on this post. I knew I might receive some uncomfortable replies or rantings – that seems to be the drift these days, but you saw what I was trying to do and I agree. From now on I shall post first-hand accounts . As far as Goring is concerned, I have read up on him but do not feel qualified to write a post. This site only covers the ETO during intermission time, otherwise it covers the Asia-Pacific theaters – and even then – it’s a snippet of all that actually transpired.
I thank you very much for your visit.
I basically agree with your idea of “looking at all sides,” but I disagree to repost her (Nasuko)blog. When I look at the post it made me sick and felt bad. I went went through her other blogs, then I felt annoyed, as her blogs seems too much militaristic and rationalized what Japan did during WW2.
She arranged war-related photos (from SNSs?) , mostly jumbled unrelatedly. I noticed a photo, different from other (militaristic) photos. It is a well-known photo captioned “A Japanese boy standing at attention after having brought his dead younger brother to a cremation pyre, 1945.” I wonder she really understands the meaning of the photo.
US photographer Joe O’Donnell took the photo at Nagasaki a few days after the bombing and sent to the U.S. military. He took this (heart-breaking) photo just to document it at that time, later he started traveling across Japan watching the devastation and the plight of the bomb victims, wounded and orphaned. He cared deeply about the spirit of a defeated nation.
I still wonder why she put this in the array, unmeaningfully or intentionally?
She also put the rising-sun flag, the symbol of the Japanese Military, in her post. She mentioned in her post that Japan’s Self Defense Force use the flag. But it is not true. The SDF use the similar one, but changed the design. So it is very rare to see the flag on TV, newspapers, magazines, media people carefully avoid using it.
I hope there is another “side” where people love long lasting peace without war.
There are always more sides than 2 to any disagreement – so war creates millions. Only Nasuko can answer your questions.
We are glad you are showing the human side to war. Soldiers are doing a job and we’re sure not all are in agreement on every order they must follow.
Thank you for understanding.
GP, I know it’s easy for a lot of people to still view the Japanese as enemies. I can understand that, but if we look at history as a whole, every country would have a list of enemies a mile long. In our own country, the northerners would still hate the southerners.
I would like to think that all countries in a war can work toward peace, in the end. Not only is it unfair to blame the people for the madness of a country’s leaders, it is also unfair to blame the children for the crimes of their parents. You can bet that the everyday person in North Korea is not looking forward to a war with the US, and vice versa.
I am so happy that you posted this. The Japanese are our friends, as are the Germans and many others. Every country involved in these great wars have suffered atrocities at the hands of the others. Horrible regimes exist in many places at different times. Right now, North Korea is a potential enemy. We may need some of our previous foes to help us bring peace to the populace governed by a horrible dictator. Our enemy is not the country as a whole, our enemy is the government that commits these horrible crimes.
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So very well stated and you have my complete agreement. Sometimes I just don’t explain myself properly and my readers have to step up to the plate – just as you have done here. Thank you very much for your comment.
You are absolutely right in saying that there are always two sides. The treatment of POWs by the Japanese will be a hard pill for many people to swallow, and its brutality cannot be denied nor condoned, but the majority who fought were not like that, but a kind and dedicated people who loved their country as much as any British, American or other national did. War brings out the worst in people, sadly that is what we hang on to rather than the humane and loving actions that the few, Japanese included, did. A brave and heartwarming move on your part GP, they are fabulous photos.
I thank you and I’m sure Nasuko does too. You are quite right and have explained it far better than I. I appreciate that.
Thank you GP.
I looked at these photos and thought: “But we are alike! Smiling with colleagues, some of whom are close friends, holding a baby, arm wrestling…” People are the same.
VIOLA! Somebody got my point! Thank you, Christina.
Someone wrote a very lengthy comment, in which he was very critical of your attempt to show the other side.of the story of the war in the Pacific. I was shocked when he used the historical fact of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to put the blame on the Japanese for suffering 10’s of thousands of civilian deaths.I thank you, GP, for the courage to present the other side of the story!
I knew this post might cause some to become upset, but if we don’t learn from history – then why in the heck should we study it? I appreciate you accepting this post in the manner in which it was presented. I know I can’t teach or please everyone here, but my point has always been to give people the facts and hope they learn. Thank you, Peter.
(Apologies GP, but this comment begs a response)
As the author of the “very lengthy comment” you found so “shocking”, I’m curious. If not the High Command in Japan, who then do you “put the blame on”?
Why does need Americans and Japanese citizens still has been hating each other?
Who will gain by that?
Please read “Facts”, VENONA PUROJECT.
I think that it is dangerous for American and Japanese to hate each other.
Thanks, GP. We should always keep an open mind. Soldiers do their duty. We should remember that and not concentrate on the criminals of the time. Most paid for their crimes.
Thank you, John. I wanted to show both sides for a reason and by not judging, but learning is part of that.
Thank you GP for sharing this human side post. I lived in Tokyo for 4 1/2 years back in the 80s, and found the people very gracious. It was a peaceful culture! Christine
Thank you for adding that, Christine. I envy your 41/2 years experience there.
Kudos for sharing these fascinating photos. The expressions and conditions look similar–no matter what side of the fence you are on.
Thank you, Cindy. You are one who has seen right to the point I was trying to make. But, the again, we’ve known each other [virtually of course] for quite a while now and I knew you’d get the meaning behind it.
I appreciate your blog (and you!). I learn a lot.
I appreciate you saying so.
Before we get too carried away with modern sentimentality I really think we should all stop in our tracks, take a very deep breath and look dispassionately at history.
Although yes, it’s always the little guy that suffers and pays—whether it’s the towns and villages levelled by saturation bombing and firestorms, or the Philippine nurses raped to death with strands of barbed wire for the amusement of the conquering Knights Of Bushido.
War is hell. For the little guys … so if the conquerors who swept through Asia were really all just teddy bears cuddling little puppies—were all those ‘barbarisms’ simply western propaganda?
No one is being sentimental, you found my point of all this when you said that War was Hell and it’s always the little guys who suffer. No one is condoning the cruelty that happened on either side. No one is [I hope] judging a world that existed 75 years with their 21st Century eyes, but I wish to help see the mistakes made and learn from them, I wish people to see what a toll it takes on the families. If we get the facts of this [or any] war, but learn nothing from it except who won [so they must have been right] and who lost, then why bothered to learn the history at all?
There’s a very much bigger picture, GP. It’s a given: war is hell. Especially for the losers, and for the little guys—the pawns in the ‘bigger game’.
So I sound like a Conspiracy Theorist, perhaps, when really it’s all very simple: they attacked us out of nowhere, so we kicked ass and now we’re all good buddies again. I have to buy that, it’s history.
To not digress, yesterday I read an article that the foul North Koreans who can’t even afford to feed their cats are planning to bracket Guam with ‘test’ ICBMs.
A few weeks ago I read an article that the attack on Pearl Harbor surprised no-one except the folks who were meant to be surprised—pawn to q4.
In the sixties a button that read “What if they gave a war—and no-one came?”
And someone way back mused that “History is written by the victors”. Does any of this tie in together, and—
—and do we (pawns) learn from history, at all? Ever?
Sadly: si vis pacem parabellum … and let’s be much better para’d for the bellum than the other guy; and how about if we could make sure that we were fed real information rather than taurus excreta, and if we the pawns made the major decision?
If we were to go to war next month against (say) Iceland, you can guarantee that for the duration all Icelanders are filthy rock-dwelling knuckle-dragging baby-eaters who cannibalise the corpses of our slain heroes—but a generation afterwards perhaps they weren’t so bad after all, and two generations later they were actually folks with a history of philanthropy who gave us parliaments, cod liver oil, laws, and wrote sagas whilst our own ancestors were still peering fearfully out of caves.
In war, the First Casualty always Is Truth—so was the Japanese warrior, the Knight of Bushido a victim of propaganda after all?
Were the home-folks in Japan surprised when it started filtering back how noble they’d actually been in victory?
(If you haven’t read it yet Saburo Sakai’s story in the book ‘Samurai’ (Sakai, Caidin) provides some insight …)
I have read many Japanese authors, including Sakai. I realized when I reblogged this post that I might be in for some grief and reprimand, but to follow through on Smitty’s feelings, I HAVE to give all sides a look see. Thank you for your opinion.
Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking post. Several of the photos really show how the war affected average citizens.
And that is exactly what I wanted people to see. Thank you, Sheryl, for taking the time to come here and comment.
I don’t think there was any expiration date attached when FDR appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941– A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
IMO the term “we must never forget” rightfully applies to this important detail of factual history as well.
Let us also never forget, in a vain and futile attempt to maliciously expand their empire; Japan colluded with Germany and Italy then willingly chose to enter WWII. Japan knowingly chose to brutally invade numerous countries, Japan knowingly chose to commit horrendous atrocities throughout the world, and Japan willingly chose to suffer the consequences of their own ill-advised choices. The very term “defend Japan” is an offensive misnomer which attempts to deny the responsibility of those choices, there would never have been any need to “defend Japan” if they hadn’t willingly brought upon themselves their own defeat and destruction. Let us also never forget the horrific consequences created by Japan’s stubborn refusal to surrender even after they had been militarily defeated, resulting in the deaths of 100’s of thousands of Japanese citizens by forcing the first and only use of nuclear (Atomic) weapons in the history of mankind. Not to mention the loss of life among Allied Forces both before and during that period of time. Let us all be reminded, America and the Allied Forces were not the aggressors in WWII, they/we were forced to respond to the insane attempts of a madman in Germany, a lunatic in Italy, and the fanatics in Japan whom all sought to gain power and wealth through deliberate acts of war.
So while we examine “both sides” of history, let us be very careful not to replace historical fact and truth with emotional nostalgia and delusional revisionism. As John Adams once said; “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
” To err is human, to forgive, divine.” And I’ll add; But to forget is a crime.
Sorry GP but I must respectfully say, whatever your sincere intent may be, I find this post to be sophomoric, remiss, and ill-placed in the context of examining the history of WWII in the Pacific.
I am sorry you feel that way, but I will defend your right to say it.
I won’t get into the facts surrounding FDR, due to time constraints, but remember America taught Japan the advantages of conquering land, plus the US and the Allied forces had been imposing themselves on most of Asia and the Pacific and taking whatever resources they saw fit for quite a while – the same actions that we condemned Japan for doing. So yes, we need to look at all the facts, not just what suits our needs.
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As a small island nation with a burgeoning population and limited natural resources, Japan has a very long history of attempted expansion through warfare. (Since the early 1500’s) Korea, China, Taiwan, Mongolia and even Russia have all been targets of Japanese aggression long before WWII. I find it very difficult to believe that anything FDR did prior to Japans entry into the war might have dissuaded Japan from pursuing their expansionist programs or “taught” them anything they didn’t already know about the “advantages of conquering lands” outside of Japan. I believe they saw the war in Europe as a distinct advantage that should be exploited and they chose to do so without hesitation. Regarding American influence or exploitation in Asia, there is a vast difference between the type of inevitable exploitation that surely took place by several western nations (France, England, Holland, America, etc) and the brutal military invasions launched by Japan. Both Germany and Japan sought to conquer the entire world and subjugate the population of all nations, America and the Allied Forces were forced to respond and they/we did so decisively. The differences between “then and now” are really irrelevant, history speaks for itself. I have no problem with patriotism or love for one’s own country, in fact I wholeheartedly support it. But let us not forget the very reasons those things exist today. I dare say, if not for the wisdom, moral strength and compassion of the Allied Forces and the governments they support, neither Japan nor Germany would even exist in any recognizable form to this day. Now try to picture the modern world if Japan and/or Germany had won WWII. That’s about as far as I am willing to go when comparing “then and now”.
Thank you for your opinion. Rather than get into a battle of facts here, because I believe you misunderstood me or I did not explain properly, I ask you to read “The Imperial Cruise” by James Bradley.
or in Goodreads…
Some terrific photos of the Ki-48 ‘Lily’ and a Ki-84. Great to see!
Glad you found something of interest, Rich. Thank you for coming by.
After all my dad went through in the Pacific Campaign, I wondered how he’d react to my new Japanese wife when he met her in 1986. Well, let’s just say she loved it when he took her for rides on his Honda Gold Wing. As it turned out, he was really just a big teddy bear ❤ 🙂
Glad to hear it! My father was one of the first into Japan and he was basically the same as yours – once it was over most everyone just called it a day. Thank you for giving us your story about your dad and wife, Will.
Well, you say Nasuko is an extremely nice person. That’s the problem, in my view. It’s the extremely nice who follow orders without question, and who go to war and kill people, just because they’re told to. I prefer to note the views of the mean bastards who question authority and demand to know the justification for any war they might get involved in. I wonder if those type of people also exist in Japan. I hope so.
They did, but usually were met with sad endings. We are not here to judge the world that existed 75 years ago, but to learn the facts and hope we can learn from the mistakes made.
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The tragedy of war is so stark in the ordinary faces on both sides. Thanks for sharing, GP.
It was my pleasure. Nasuko is a sweet person and had pictures I had never seen before. A win-win for both sides.
I can’t thank you enough for everthing you have done for me,
and I really appreciate everyone’s taking time to see this blog.
You gave me a chance to touch the eyes of many ppl.
I could not have done it without you.
I’m Thanksful for your affection 😀
We Japanese love and be grateful to my ancestors who wanted to protect Japan.
Now, American forces in Japan, they are doing their best to make familier with Japanese. Because ,They are trying hard for their own Nation, America.
So,Japanese love them, too.
Someday,Very welcome to Japan 😀
What a very sweet compliment you give me and the service people we have in your country today. My own father was one of the first into Japan and he had only compliments to say about your citizens. We talk about a world here that does not even exist today, but affects us all and i wish for everyone to learn the facts – not myths that have floated around until people believed they were true.
ありがとうございました for permission to reblog your post and I would enjoy a visit to Japan one day, we can only hope.
More like this excellent presentation, please.
There is an honor and commitment that every American I know respects in these warriors. A worthy adversary.
Yes, they certainly were. I appreciate you coming by today and taking a look at these, Jacqui.
how nice to visit the other side –
What a fascinating collection of photos. One of my favorites is the one showing the young man holding the baby. It’s so human, and his pleasure and pride are so evident. There are some things that break through language barriers quite easily, and many of the photos here do that. Posting them was a wonderful idea.
Thank you, Linda. I’ve been holding my breath on this one. You are one I knew would see that I was trying to show the human side to the enemy, but – There are a few readers that tend to see things differently.
Well. Your responsibility is to post what seems important and interesting to you. How people respond isn’t your responsibility. That’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, but I’ve toughened up a bit over the years. 🙂
Quite right, Linda, thank you. 🙂
I noticed Nasuko popping up next to comments. Good of you to feature his/her view from the ‘other side’, GP.
Well, I can’t always say we need to look over there and then not do so myself. FDR imposed quite a tight “choke-hold” on Japan to starve them out, we need to remember that part too.
It is good to understand our common humanity. But that does not mean we need to accept “defend Japan” as justification for invasion of other countries or the brutality shown in those countries. I hope this blogger is aware of that history and is not suggesting those modern views are justification for that history.
This blogger just wishes you keep an open mind while you look at both sides.
Thdnks for sharing this post. I only wish we could see both side before the fighting starts.
Aw jeez, Dan. That would cut off the politician’s wartime profit!! [as far as I’m concerned – you’re quite right!!]
As are you 😦
You are absolutely right in that there are 2 sides to any story. Love this share and very nice of you to do so!🤗🤗💕💕🐾🐾
How can I say I try to look at all sides and then neglect the other side? Besides, Nasuko is an extremely nice person!! Thank you for stopping in to see this.
Thank you for sharing this article.
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