The author was a member of the British Occupation Force in Japan as part of the Allied Occupation following the Asia-Pacific War. During the years he was there, 1946–48, he collected a number of documents which throw light on the attitudes of the Japanese people in the last two critical years of the war and the equally critical first two years of the peace. Following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, never has a nation been forced to switch so abruptly from the extreme views of resistance in early 1945 to the need for accommodation with the occupying United States armies. These materials, some reproduced in facsimile, which include a miscellaneous assortment of personal documents, propaganda material, military memoranda and teaching aids, cover a wide spectrum of Japanese thinking. Since the writers are generally drawn from the lower rungs of society they provide an insight into the attitudes of citizens who are often neglected in accounts of the Allied Occupation thereby providing scholars, researchers and those with a general interest in Occupation history with a valuable new dimension to our understanding of this period and its impact on the Japanese nation.
"... All in all, this is a fascinating collection, well reproduced despite the fragile nature and poor quality of much of the original material. And perhaps one may hope that Nish might return to his own reminiscenses and develop those more fully in due course."
Asian Affairs, vol. XLIII, no. I, March 2012
Table of contents
Preface; List of Illustrations; List of Maps; List of Abbreviations; l. Introduction; 2. War: Civilian Reflections; 3. War: Military Perspectives ; 4. War: To End or Not to End; 5. Peace: Sliding the Shoji; 6. The Grassroots of Occupation; 7. Some Concluding Remarks; Bibliography; Index; Appendix 1: English-language Teaching Materials; Appendix 2: Greater East Asia War Graphic II; Appendix 3: Science and Technique in Wartime Japan; Appendix 4: Konoe Peace Memorial (14 February 1945); Appendix 5: Japanese Atomic Bomb Protest (10 August 1945); Appendix 6: BCOF Non-fraternization Order; Appendix 7: Kure meeting on Prospects for Overseas Trade; Appendix 8: Why Is Patriotism Wrong?; Appendix 9: W.G. Beasley: ‘Personal Reminiscences of the Early Months of the Occupation: Yokosuka and Tokyo, September 1945 – March 1946’