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Hirohito And The Making Of Modern Japan

Discussion in 'The Pacific and CBI' started by Kai-Petri, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Hirohito And The Making Of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix

    "Focusing closely on Hirohito's interactions with his advisers and successive Japanese governments, Bix sheds new light on the causes of the China War in 1937 and the start of the Asia-Pacific War in 1941. And while conventional wisdom has had it that the nation's increasing foreign aggression was driven and maintained not by the emperor but by an elite group of Japanese militarists, the reality, as witnessed here, is quite different. Bix documents in detail the strong, decisive role Hirohito played in wartime operations, from the takeover of Manchuria in 1931 through the attack on Pearl Harbor and ultimately the fateful decision in 1945 to accede to an unconditional surrender. In fact, the emperor stubbornly prolonged the war effort and then used the horrifying bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, together with the Soviet entrance into the war, as his exit strategy from a no-win situation."

    Hmmm...could be....832 pages, one summer holiday is not enough to read this book!

    It is surprising to read that Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of Nationalist China, was almost as important in saving Hirohito from indictment or abdication as MacArthur. That is because Chiang saw him as a bulwark against his real enemies, the Chinese communists.

    Ultimately, Hirohito appears more like the King Victor Emmanuel. The Italian monarch was willing to share Benito Mussolini’s early triumphs but was even more eager to distance himself from the dictator when the war turned against Italy.

    Despite his maneuvering, Victor Emmanuel lost his throne at war’s end. But Japan was not Italy.

    To understand the difference, consider the jaw-dropping statements by the new Japanese prime minister at two news conferences a few weeks after war in the Pacific ended.

    Rather than complaining that Hirohito had misled his people into starting and supporting a war that killed millions, he apologized to his emperor. “So I feel at this time the entire nation -- the military, the government officials, and the people -- must thoroughly reflect and repent,” Prime Minister Higashikuni said.

    Of the emperor, he said, “We deeply regret having caused him so much concern.”

    Amazon.com: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan: Herbert P. Bix: Books

    Amazon.co.uk: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan: Herbert P. Bix: Books

    'Hirohito And The Making of Modern Japan' by Herbert P. Bix

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