Gift of Alonzo Baker
From the collection of the
San Francisco, California
ROBERT M. McBRIDE & COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1947, BY
ROBERT M. McBRIDE & COMPANY
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES
mm^^ikW!VflkT\ ->. *> *> -^ ^. ~* -^. ^o*^
SEP 11 1933
UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC
AMERICAN BOOK-STRATFORD PRESS, INC., NEW YORK
Dedicated to the late Ogden Reid and to Lord CamTOse,
OUT editors, without whom this book would
not have loeen possible.
THE JAPANESE *
How courteous is the Japanese;
He always says, "Excuse it, please."
He climbs into his neighbor's garden,
And smiles, and says, "I beg your pardon";
He bows and grins a friendly grin,
And calls his hungry family in;
He grins, and bows a friendly bow;
"So sorry, this my garden now."
1 From The Face Is Familiar, by Ogden Nash. Copyright 1931, 1933,
I935> 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown &
One: Into the Unknown
Two: Japan under "The Hat"
Three: "I Accept Responsibility . . ."
Five: "If I Were King "
Six: The Way of the Gods
Seven : Atomic Peace
Nine: Madame Butterfly, 1947
Ten: The Little Men around MacArthur
Eleven : "Call It Whimsy, if You Like. . . ."
Twelve: Tojo's Tammany
Thirteen: The MacArthur Charter
Fourteen: Wards of the United Nations
Appendices: The Potsdam Proclamation
The Moscow Conference Communique
The White House Directive
The Japanese Constitution
Q fr*Ww tf
03 #T^ i
2 3 2
INTO THE UNKNOWN
THE NEW MIKADO sat back in his overstuffed chair, lit the
famous corncob pipe, stabbed the air with a half-filled matchbox
"Gentlemen, even after fifty years among the Orientals, I
still do not understand these people."
The speaker was General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
The place was Tokyo. The time was January, 1946, six months
after his invasion of the unknown.
On September 2, 1945, on the broad deck of the Missouri,
he had sternly bade the Japanese to write an end to fifteen years
of aggression. His voice was firm, but his hands shook perhaps
betraying advancing years. A stumpy-legged Japanese, looking
slightly ridiculous and out of place amid all the freshly starched
khaki and shining gold braid, stepped up to the table in top
hat, cutaway, striped trousers. The Japanese scratched his name
on the dotted line. The formalities of surrender were complete.
For MacArthur, it was the end of the road, the long road
back from Bataan and Corregidor. For the Japanese, it was
defeat, their first in two thousand years of history. For the Allies,
4 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
it was a first step into an enigmatic future, an uneasy, atomic
The only guideposts along the route were the Potsdam Dec-
laration, the Moscow and Cairo Agreements and a card index
of intelligence reports. On the horizon were two dark clouds-
atomic hysteria and a new, lusting Russia.
MacArthur's voice was heard round the world from the Mis-
sown. It had a ring of finality, of purpose. But no one could
fathom the terror and despair that gripped seventy million
Japanese hearts. They had lost all confidence, all hope, when
Emperor Hirohito, supposedly the almighty and infallible de-
scendant of the Sun Goddess, told them over the radio that they
had lost the war, and commanded: "Hostilities cease forthwith/'
The Emperor's voice, squeaking over Radio Tokyo and satel-
lite stations, stunned the Japanese people, even though it was
a recorded voice. Never had the Japanese been beaten. Now they
gave way to mass weeping, a demonstration of Hitlerian frustra-
tion on a large scale.
And scores of the Emperor's loyal subjects who had not been
able to die for him on Saipan, or Okinawa, or Iwo Jima, or in the
mountainous caves of the Philippines now came before the
palace in Tokyo to disembowel themselves publicly. It was the
same sort of defeatist reaction that some of us had witnessed
in July, 1944, at the close of the brief but bloody campaign on
Saipan. First came hordes of wild, drunken, half-armed Japanese
soldiers to swamp our lines, kill as many Americans as they
could and finally commit suicide. A few days later Japanese
civilians on the northern tip of the island, who could not be-
lieve that Americans would feed them and bind their wounds,
jumped into the sea after orgiastic sessions of prayer, song and
bathing. Others whole families of them who did not wish to
INTO THE UNKNOWN 5
drown stood in circles and tossed hand grenades at one another.
Now in Tokyo came the same sort of maniacal demonstration.
It was to continue through the long first winter of the Allied
occupation. The suicide rate in the capital soared. Some Japa-
nese just couldn't take the Americans. Others were in despair
for want of food, clothing and shelter. Many sorrowed for sol-
diers who would never come back from Palau, Borneo and
A small army of young hotheads wanted to fight on, to defy
the Imperial Rescript announcing the end of the war.
Learning that the Emperor had recorded his rescript in ad-
vance for release at the appointed hour on August 15, hotbloods
including a goodly number of Kamikazes rushed to the palace
of the Imperial Guard Division just before midnight on the
1 4th. They roused General Susumu Mori, division commander,
and demanded that he lead a search of the palace grounds for
the imperial recording. Mori refused, and they shot him.
Another group of younger officers approached General
Yoshisiro Umezu, chief of the general staff, suggesting he lead a
coup d'etat. He refused. The recalcitrants went after the War
Minister, Korechika Anami. Anami had resisted earlier moves
in the Cabinet for surrender, then had wept with remorse for
opposing the Emperor's will. Now he told the hotheads to obey.
In Mori's blood-drenched headquarters the first band of rebels
forged a series of orders for the arrest of Sotaro Ishiwata, minister
of the Imperial Household; Marquis Koichi Kido, Lord Keeper
of the Privy Seal and the Emperor's most intimate adviser;
Baron Kiichiro Hiranuma, president of the Privy Council, and
Ishiwata, arriving home at i A.M. on the morning of the 1 5th,
found troops outside his house. Just then an air-raid alarm
6 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
sounded. He ordered his chauffeur to return to the palace
through blacked-out Tokyo. At the palace he overheard in the
dark a conversation which revealed to him that his life was in
danger. He found the crafty Kido (the man who advised the
Emperor to pick Tojo as premier, and who later was plucked
by MacArthur as a war-criminal suspect) and hid with him in an
Irate troops broke into the palace grounds and tramped
through, looking for the recording of the Emperor's voice. They
smashed up Ishiwata's office in their fury. Other groups hunted
government offices elsewhere in Tokyo, and also in Yokohama.
One gang raided the Radio Tokyo building. Others machine-
gunned the home of the prime minister, Kantaro Suzuki, and
set it afire. They also fired the home of Hiranuma. Roving
bands wrecked several radio transmitters in and near the city,
hoping to keep the Imperial Rescript off the air.
General Seiichi Tanaka, commander of the Eastern Army,
rushed to the palace at about dawn of the fateful day. He con-
fronted the ringleaders and told them resistance was useless.
Suicide, he suggested, was the only way to atone for violation of
the palace precincts. The four chief rebels walked off and shot
themselves. The bewildered and befuddled Anami also com-
At noon the Emperor's voice was heard. It was all over.
Only once before in an Oriental country had the American
military exerted full control. That was in the Philippines, in
1899, when the insurgent Aguinaldo set up his own govern-
ment in pique over the refusal of permission to let his troops
which had co-operated in driving out the Spaniards enter
Manila. The United States had to send 60,000 troops to the
INTO THE UNKNOWN
islands eventually, and it took them nearly two years to stamp
out the Aguinaldo revolt.
Now, in Japan, military resistance had ended. There remained
mental resistance, obstructionism, red-tape sabotage of American
directives a sort of slow-down strike against the occupation.
Some of this stemmed from the age-old differences between East
and West. Now the twain were meeting head-on.
With the end of formal, organized resistance, there died also
our plans for invading Japan. These were in two stages. First,
under "Operation Olympic," we had scheduled a three-pronged
invasion of Kyushu, the southernmost main island of Japan,
from the Philippines, Okinawa, Guam, Saipan, Iwo Jima and
all our far-flung bases and staging points in the vast Pacific.
It would have been carried out about November i.
Second, in January or February of 1946, we would have
struck again with "Operation Coronet/' this time in over-
whelming force at the heart of the Japanese empire, the Kanto
plain around Tokyo, on Honshu.
The success of American air raids over Japan and the knowl-
edge that the Japanese were anxious for peace, plus confidence
in our ability to mount a crushing offensive, led us for a while
to plan on mounting "Coronet" ahead of "Olympic."
Either job would have been bloody, and it is possible that
small-scale guerrilla warfare might have been going on even
today in the mountain fastnesses of Japan. For the Japanese,
although they died in great numbers in this war, did not die
easily. They were dogged, determined fighters for a hopeless
cause. If they had had German weapons and resources, plus
their own fanaticism, who knows what turnings the war might
One thing is certain. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiro-
8 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
shima and Nagasaki did not knock the Japanese out of the war.
They were beaten before the bombs ever fell. The bombs, and
Russia's entry into the conflict, gave the Japanese the excuse
Had the war continued, some of our own commanders think,
use of the atomic bomb against the "Olympic" and "Coronet"
beachheads would not have made much difference toward easing
our landings. For the Jap is a great burrower. He digs in well.
And on the "Olympic" beachheads of Kyushu the Jap had made
extensive plans to meet us with twelve to fourteen divisions, well
Major General Charles Willoughby, who was MacArthur's
chief of intelligence, and Major General Harry Schmidt, of the
Marine Corps, know the Jap as a fighter. And they know from
our interrogations during the occupation that the Battle of Japan
would have been a tough one.
Experts* investigations of the effects of the atomic bomb have
shown, moreover, that an army well dug into the earth on or
behind a beachhead will not suffer overmuch from blast or
So, the fanatic Japanese were ready. They even had a "home
guard" of millions of civilians (down to the age of seven)
versed in the art of grenade-throwing. That fanaticism would
have been worse with the home team playing host on its own
grounds. We would have fought over rice paddies that make
tough going for tracked vehicles; along tortuous, narrow roads
lined with Japanese-filled caves; across bulky, cold mountain
ranges; against a foe who cared less for his own life than for
a chance to die for the Emperor and to send his warrior-spirit
to take its place with those of his ancestors at the Yasukuni
shrine in Tokyo.
INTO THE UNKNOWN 9
Yet one man thanks to the bargain we made in the surrender
negotiations stopped everything and turned night into day. The
sense of discipline among the Japanese however misguided
during years of aggression was superb. When the Emperor
cried "Halt!" they halted.
Save for the few fanatics who halted, too, when their
miserable schemes faded in mid-August seventy million Japa-
nese were docile when we landed, even the three million or so
who still bore arms in the mainland.
General MacArthur and others have called the initial occu-
pation of Japan by a comparative handful of American airborne
troops, equipped with light weapons, "one of the greatest
gambles in history/' dropping as they did into what seemed to
be a vast, armed camp of people who only yesterday had been
ready to tear hapless American airmen apart or to torture them
in unspeakable ways.
The Japanese may have had their arms when we first landed,
but there was no question of their using them. We have that
flatly and on no less authority than that of General of the Army
George C. Marshall. Testifying to the Joint Congressional Com-
mittee that investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor, General
Marshall was asked, among other things, about the breaking of
secret Japanese codes by American experts early in the war.
The breaking of the codes enabled us to learn of many Japa-
nese movements in advance during the war. And at the close of
the war, as General Marshall testified, our knowledge of the
codes enabled us to listen in on all sorts of Japanese radio chatter
and official messages. From our tapping of these messages, we
knew, General Marshall said, that our occupation of Japan
would not be resisted; we knew we could go in with a small
number of troops and that all would be well.
10 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
So much for the record. It just was not a colossal gamble. That is
the fact, and it detracts in no way from the gallantry of the men of
the nth Airborne Division, who made the original landings at
Atsugi Field, outside Tokyo, or from the efficiency with which
our commanders such as General MacArthur, Lieutenant Gen-
eral Robert L. Eichelberger, commanding the 8th Army, and
Major General Joseph Swing, leading the nth Airborne organ-
ized the bloodless invasion of Japan.
Of course we might have expected a slowly mounting wave of
terrorism, of stealthy stabbings of lonely American sentries in
the dead of night. There have been a few instances of gangster
tactics by disgruntled Japanese, particularly by hotheads among
demobilized servicemen. But the occupation as a whole has been
peaceful, quiet. The Japanese have been licked and they know it,
even if they don't like it.
No one in his senses would expect the vanquished to welcome
the victor like a long-lost brother. Human beings are not made
that way, particularly when they have been at each other's
throats for three and a half years.
The Japanese had their normal dislike of the foreigner, the
Westerner. They had the dislike of the Oriental for the Occi-
dental. They also had a suspicion born of their own propaganda,
and a smoldering resentment that carried over from the atomic
bombs that smashed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The outgoing Prince Higashi-kuni, Premier at the time of the
surrender and cousin of the Emperor, put it in a nutshell when,
with some peevishness, he told an interviewer: "If you'll forget
Pearl Harbor, we'll forget the atomic bomb."
It was an insolent remark, of course, but refreshing in its
frankness. Just as refreshing as the words of the Mayor of Hiro-
shima, who told a party of visiting American correspondents:
INTO THE UNKNOWN II
"We're looking to you Americans to help rebuild our city. After
all, we were the sacrificial guinea pigs who ended the war for
In late August General MacArthur dropped onto Atsugi Air-
drome with the little band of willful men who had followed him
from the dank tunnels of Corregidor in April, 1942. The emis-
saries who preceded them had been well fed and well beered by
the Japanese at the field. For the Jap, if anything, is a pretty
smart fellow. He's been doing (along with the Chinese) the buy-
sell business in the Orient for a long time, and he knows there's
nothing like a welcoming smile for the next customer the big,
handsome, forgetful American G.I. who drops his flame-thrower
(even mentally) the moment the war is over and begins to hand
out the cigarettes, the chocolate bars and the compliments in
pidgin Japanese to the kimonoed little girls of the conquered
The Allied Powers and General MacArthur had called for
surrender, complete and unconditional. They made one bargain
with Japan the Emperor should be retained. It was, as General
MacArthur remarked later, to be a stern but just peace.
To a waiting world, President Truman, Prime Minister
Churchill and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek announced from
Potsdam on July 26, 1945, that they had agreed that Japan
(about to be struck by the atomic bomb) should be given a
chance to end the war without delay. They gave the terms, and
gave notice they would brook no delay.
They said that the terms of the Cairo Declaration of Decem-
ber i, 1943, would be carried out. In that declaration they said
Japan would be stripped of all islands in the Pacific which she
had seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World
12 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
War in 1914; that Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores,
stolen from China, would be returned; that Japan would be
expelled from all other territories which she had taken by vio-
lence and greed; that in due course Korea would become free
At Potsdam the three powers said that Japan's sovereignty
would be limited to the four main islands Honshu, Kyushu,
Hokkaido and Shikoku and "such minor islands as we deter-
The declaration also said boldly that the authority and influ-
ence of those who had deceived and misled the Japanese people
must be eliminated for all time. Japan would be occupied until
there was convincing proof that militarism and Japan's war-
making power had been destroyed.
All Japanese forces would be disarmed and returned home to
lead peaceful, productive lives. The Japanese would not be en-
slaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice would
be meted out to all war criminals. The Japanese government
would remove all obstacles to revival and strengthening of demo-
cratic tendencies in Japan. It would establish freedom of speech,
religion and thought.
Japan would be permitted to maintain such industries as
would sustain her economy and permit just reparations in kind.
Eventually, Japan would be permitted to participate in world
trade and have access to (not control of) raw materials.
As soon as these objectives had been accomplished, and there
had been established in accordance with the freely expressed will
of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible
government, the Allied occupation forces would be withdrawn.
"If they do not now accept our terms," said President Truman
on August 6, 1945, "they may expect a rain of ruin from the
INTO THE UNKNOWN 13
air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth." That
very day the first atom bomb hit Hiroshima. Three days later
Russia declared war on Japan.
These were powerful cathartics (the Russian action the more
powerful of the two). Japan's war cabinet had been seeking a
way out for months on terms less than unconditional surrender.
The April i landings on Okinawa had started the search. In
June, Admiral Baron Kantaro Suzuki, the new premier, handed
to the Emperor a survey of Japan's inability to continue the war.
He also told Foreign Minister Koki Hirota to sound out the
Russian ambassador at Tokyo as to the Russian attitude toward
interceding with the United States.
Japan's Supreme War Direction Council was squirming, too.
Foreign Minister Togo, who was in on its deliberations, in-
structed the Japanese ambassador at Moscow, Naotake Sato, to
see whether that dH fixer and good-will expert, Prince Konoye,
would not be welcome at Moscow with a plea for Russian inter-
vention. Sato cooled his heels through the late spring. Anxiously
he waited for Foreign Minister Molotov to get back from Pots-
dam. Konoye cooled his heels in Tokyo, armed only with in-
structions from the Emperor to get what terms he could from
the Russians. Sato reported that the terms were unconditional
While the Japanese fretted and took more fire raids from the
Marianas-based B-zp's, Anami and his colleagues at the War
Ministry felt that unconditional surrender was "too dishonor-
able." They were uneasy about the Emperor's future. They
wanted Japan's "national polity" unchanged.
In the midst of this, a 6-29 dropped the atomic bomb on
Hiroshima. Next day, Premier Suzuki and Foreign Minister
Togo were telling the Emperor to take the Potsdam terms, and
14 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
take them quickly. The military held out, however, hoping for
word from Moscow. It came on August 9, at 3 A.M., with the first
flash that Russia had intervened by entering the Pacific war on
Anami could think of nothing but staging a national suicide
by mass hara-kiri of the entire country. Suzuki and Togo argued
for acceptance of the Potsdam terms. They won.
But they tried to the last to keep the Emperor supreme. To
the United States the Japanese government cabled on August i o
that the Postdam terms were acceptable provided they did not
alter the Emperor's prerogatives. The American reply, received
officially on the I3th, said that the powers of the Emperor and
the Japanese government would be subject to the authority of
General MacArthur, as Supreme Commander for the Allied
On the 1 4th the Emperor held a final Cabinet conference.
The Army and Navy tried to stall. Hirohito squashed the wran-
gling by saying: "The American answer seems to me to be
acceptable." At ten o'clock that night, as the Army diehards
began their brief revolt, the Emperor went to a special studio
and recorded the Imperial Rescript ending the war.
At noon of the i5th he was heard saying: "To our good and
loyal subjects: After pondering deeply the general trends of the
world and the actual conditions obtaining in our empire today, we
have decided to effect a settlement."
Our troops entered a battered, decaying, apathetic Japan, a
Japan that had no will nor means to resist, no desire to do any-
thing for itself. The tinderbox houses of great cities like Tokyo,
Yokohoma, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe had been burned flat in
great fire raids; Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been almost ob-
literated by two bombs. Japan's Navy had been sunk or bombed
INTO THE UNKNOWN 15
into uselessness; her merchant marine had been blasted from
the seas. Her air force, except for some 5,000 Kamikaze planes
which were to have been expended in a final blow against the
American beachheads on Kyushu (a few extremists thought of
sending a Kamikaze wave against the Missouri as it lay in Sagami
Bay for the surrender), had been clawed from the sky. Produc-
tion was nearly zero.
Only the Japanese Army remained in being. Its backlog of
bullets and weapons was limited. Its supporting factories were
cut off from imported war materials. Japan, as General Mac-
Arthur put it, was not in position to make even a musket.
As the advance guard of the nth Airborne Division carried
the Stars and Stripes through Yokohama and on into Tokyo, they
found skeletons of factories and a few burned-out concrete office
buildings. A forest of concrete chimneys had survived the awful
fires kindled by the 6-29*5, but they stood like ugly stumps in an
otherwise toothless jaw.
The main streets were fairly clear of rubble; the Japanese had
used Allied prisoners of war for that dirty work. Shacks of ply-
wood and corrugated iron were rising like weeds among "Vic-
tory" gardens that burgeoned in heaps of dirt and ashes.
There was a horrible odor of latrines which the G.I. had
hoped he was leaving behind. The odor came from the fields,
which antlike Japanese were tilling. It was the odor of the
human waste which the Japanese have used for centuries to fer-
tilize their overworked acres. There, exploding in the G.I/s
faces, was the legend of Oriental cleanliness, of delicacy and
Japan looked like a nation that had suffered a sudden and
devastating paralytic stroke. Physically and mentally, the place
was at a standstill. There was some traffic on the roads, some
1 6 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
sense of movement, and in the fields were the bent backs of
patient serfs, tilling terraced acres. A few decrepit Toonerville
trolleys banged along the rough tracks. There was, too, the usual
daily parade of hand- or beast-drawn "honey wagons'" bearing
the "honey buckets" of human waste for the farms.
The G.I. was tired of slit trenches, of fly-blown latrines, of
the filth and stench and acute discomfort of war. In Japan he was
shocked and angered to find the drinking water polluted, the
showers non-existent or rusted shut, his billets full of lice, fleas,
rats, mice and the litter of a defeated people. He was shocked,
too, to find his new latrines equipped with a porcelain type of
Only the beer was good, and it was plentiful. Local food was
scarce, costly and prepared in the rodent-ridden, grease-caked
hovels that pass for kitchens, even in Tokyo's better-known res-
Even the colonels and brigadiers (it was a colonels' war, you
know) not to mention the correspondents, who had dug their
foxholes and got shot at all through the Pacific didn't fare
much better. In Yokohama and Tokyo the hotels were dingy,
dirty, dusty, smelly and inhabited by fleas and other multi-legged
things that leaped gaily from soiled sheets to stained walls. From
the dank cellars and kitchens came a whiff compounded of aging
fish-heads, soybean sauce and souring rice.
The Japanese people were sullen, apathetic, without hope.
They were not hostile. They were more than a little amazed that
the conquering Americans failed to live up to Japanese propa-
ganda portraits. The G.I. did not swagger, strut and brutalize.
He lopped off no heads; raped no women; butchered no children.
He smiled; he patted children on the head; he kidded the
wooden-shoed, kimono-wrapped, slant-eyed girls he saw on the
INTO THE UNKNOWN IJ
streets. He relaxed; he worried about the delay in getting home;
he plunged his pay on souvenirs and Jap whiskey; he began to
play as hard as he had fought. He struck up baseball games and
the Japs soon recovered their taste for the sport.
The amazing G.I. disturbed the Japanese no little. In general,
he was the best ambassador the United States ever had. Up to
a certain limit, he was the best living, walking and talking
advertisement that democracy ever had. But he relaxed a little
too much, and began to forget that his job did not end with the
winning of the war. He became somewhat sloppy in his appear-
ance and careless of his deportment in public. This was true of
the younger men in the ranks; and it was true, too, of some
officers. It was principally true of the green replacements who
came out to Japan while the combat men sailed home.
These reflected a lack of indoctrination, a lack of preparation
for the great task of the occupation. No one even today in the
highest administration levels in Washington is making any seri-
ous public effort to "sell" to the American people and its young
manhood the necessity for intelligent concentration on a long-
term program of control and re-education of the Japanese.
The Japanese, like the Germans, offered us a tremendous task
and challenge. The Japanese, even more than the Germans, were
the great question marks of the future. We knew relatively little
about the Orient, for all our years of doing business out there.
The language barrier in Japan was tremendous; our language
talent in the Army was scarce.
The Japanese were like a helpless patient upon the operating
table, waiting for the surgeon's knife. They waited, too, for a
transfusion of some sort of democracy.
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT"
Two WARS WERE OVER. The war against the Japanese, the
war of 'publicity for General MacArthur. Now began a third
war, and in a sense a greater one than the actual clash of arms.
It was to be the clash of minds, of the real opening of Japan to
the West. It was the biggest job we had undertaken that of
bringing peace, permanent peace, to Japan and the Orient.
In a very real sense, we were faced as we are still faced today
and will be faced for many years to come with our destiny in
the Pacific. The end of the shooting war thrust upon us the task
of demonstrating our responsibility and capability as the great
power of the Pacific. It confronted us with the necessity of hav-
ing a policy about Japan and of carrying it out wisely. The stakes
were big. Any makeshift job on Japan would give us only a few
uneasy years of peace and make another war certain. A weak,
confused, untutored Japan would be easy prey to any power seek-
ing it as a pawn in another struggle. Or a "quickie" occupation
by homesick American, British and other Allied troops would
leave Japan still at the mercy of scheming military resurgents
and in danger of slipping back into the state of ignorant feudal-
ism in which her people have dwelt for centuries.
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAl" 19
At the outset, those on the sidelines in the United States
7,000 miles away and in Great Britain, on the other side of the
world, cut loose with an angry chorus of discontent, of impa-
tience, with our handling of the Japanese problem. It was
whipped by the long-smoldering humiliation of the disaster at
Pearl Harbor, by the horrible stories of Japanese atrocities and
bestiality in prison camps stories that came tumbling from the
thin, parched lips of thousands of Allied prisoners of war who
had been inmates of the hell-spots at Omori, Shinagawa and
We knew then that the oh-so-artistic Oriental who had turned
tea drinking and flower arrangement into somewhat mystic rit-
uals was capable, too, of practicing cannibalism on captured
American airmen. The supercivilized Jap also excelled in stick-
ing bamboo stakes through the eyes of Allied prisoners. And
the medical officers of the Japanese Imperial Army the Army
that hoped to bring the eight corners of the world under one
roof were wonderfully efficient at performing operations on
Allied prisoners without benefit of anaesthetic, so that bored
Japanese doctors might watch human organs functioning.
These were the Japanese who were in our clutches at long last
as we entered Japan. The situation seemed to call for a little
blood-letting on our part, and indeed there were some G.I.'s who
had fought all the way up from Australia through New Guinea
or through the Marshalls, Saipan and Iwo Jima who did an
understandable bit of cuffing of the former enemy. It was in-
evitable, and much as you felt that you had to deplore it, you
perhaps secretly thought that we might have done much more
sabering of the Japanese in the first few weeks.
But we didn't. To those who'd never heard a shot fired except
in a night club, to the "armchair boys" at home who were now
20 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
figuring out the occupation just as they'd figured out all the
major strategy of the war, the Allies in Japan seemed to be play-
ing ball with the people they had just whipped to a standstill.
This was not true. In the first few weeks we were feeling our
way, building up our military strength in Japan. We were study-
ing the beaten foe. And of highest importance was the necessity
of releasing and accounting for the thousands of Allied prisoners
from Japanese prison camps in Japan, China and elsewhere.
In defeated Germany, there had been the thrill of the hunt,
the tracking down of Nazi ringleaders the Streichers, Goerings
and the rest who have since gone to the gallows. There had been
a brief but phony scare about Nazi werewolves who were going
to plague the occupation forces.
In Japan, things seemed to stand still after the brief flourishes
accompanying the surrender aboard the Missouri. No one ar-
rested the Emperor. Tojo lived in his house, unmolested, and
we even saved his life after he bungled his suicide attempt.
Those who were to be named as war criminals in a few months-
such as the notorious Prince Konoye, who later took poison-
mingled freely with our highest officers and threw plenty of dust
in their eyes as to what had gone on and was still going on in
For the first time, the military men, such as General Mac-
Arthur, who had fought a long and hard war and had come out
on top, now found themselves in a new realm, that of interna-
tional politics and diplomacy, of intrigue and maneuvering, in
which they were unskilled and untrained.
For MacArthur, the fruits of victory were sweet indeed after
the long and tiresome road back from Bataan and Corregidor.
But in many ways he was still an embittered man. The "arm-
chair boys" back in Washington who had let him fight his part
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 21
of the Pacific War on a comparative shoestring were now issuing
directives and statements and sniping at him from the sidelines.
The General, always sensitive to criticism and ever conscious of
his place in history, didn't like it. Neither did his Palace Guard
the small clique of faithful followers, the "Battling Bastards of
Bataan" as they were known, who had been with him at Cor-
regidor and were fanatically loyal to their chief.
And Supreme Headquarters had an easy, ridiculously simple
way of finding out who among the press corps and which papers
were the "good" ones and which the "bad." Daily the War
Department shot back to MacArthur a wireless summary of the
American press (to which was added later the Australian and
British press). The summary was broken down into three parts.
Part One included news, editorials and quotations that were
"favorable to the occupation." Part Two included material that
was "unfavorable to the occupation." In Part Three were lumped
excerpts that someone in Washington thought were "contro-
versial or likely to provoke further discussion" of the occupation.
Those correspondents who tried to do a factual job of report-
ing on the occupation usually wound up in Parts Two and
Three, and in the "doghouse" at Supreme Headquarters. The
sycophants among the press and there were quite a few the
boys who took the handouts and stuck their by-lines on them
consistently made Part One. They got the special interviews, the
inside tips^-on items that of course would come back next day
in Part One.
It was two months before MacArthur lifted censorship of
occupation news going out from Japan. The resulting blast from
half a dozen correspondents who had been in shooting wars in
Europe long before Pearl Harbor men who had covered the
chancelleries of the world for ten to fifteen years and could smell
22 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
a phony communique a mile away blew MacArthur's press
agent and chief censor right out of his job.
The doors at headquarters suddenly flew open to anyone who
wanted to do a serious, factual job of reporting. We began to
know MacArthur as a soldier and as a gentleman, instead of
the superman and demigod that his aides had made him out to
be. We began to understand his ways, to savor his motives.
And back in the United States and in England, readers began
to understand the purposes of the occupation. They began to
have patience with MacArthur, who, they found, was doing a
good job under extraordinarily difficult conditions.
The inevitable reaction set in at headquarters. There seemed
to be too much news to please the old-line Palace Guard. Grad-
ually, the strict wartime censorship came back in new guise-
censorship at the source. Correspondents found they had to get
"clearance" through the Public Relations Office in order to
Sometimes the interviews had to be submitted for approval
by the officers who granted them. Sometimes the questions had
to be submitted in writing in advance. One general who headed
an important section at headquarters demanded, and received,
questions in advance from one correspondent. But the promised
interview was postponed several times. Finally, the officer
skipped homeward without even notifying the reporter.
The choice of General MacArthur to become Supreme Com-
mander for the Allied Powers was generally applauded even by
the Navy, which fought the Central Pacific phase that encom-
passed the Marshalls and Marianas and really made it possible to
bring Japan to her knees with 6-29 raids. With the Navy, of
course, went the Marine Corps and a good portion of the Army
and Army Air Force, while MacArthur's forces were leapfrog-
JAPAN UNDER THE HAT 23
ging along New Guinea and into the Philippines for a campaign
that probably was more important politically than strategically
necessary or decisive for the defeat of Japan.
MacArthur was, and is, the romantic, hereditary, colonial
soldier, a sort of Rupert of the Rhine. Beneath the scrambled-
egg, gold-braided hat of his own design, the General at sixty-six
is tall, erect, handsome and correct; his step firm, his jaw jutting,
his eyes clear, his dress meticulous; his grasp of military and
political history remarkable; his consciousness of his own role in
history as acute as that of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt. And,
like the late President, MacArthur has tremendous personal
charm. He is a superb and interesting talker. His is a vivid and
colorful character. He's the nearest approach to Winston
Churchill that the United States has ever had, although he does
not have Churchill's guile or Churchill's flair for politics. Of
MacArthur's personal courage and intrepidity there is no ques-
tion. He is without fear; during the war his aides quailed at the
chances he took.
MacArthur would have been a "whiz" in the British Empire.
He's just their cup of tea, except that there's nothing of the old
school tie or stuffed shirt about him. By now, it is easy to imag-
ine, he would have become Viceroy of India and a distinguished
figure in the House of Lords. Or he would be quelling violence
in Palestine, riots in Bombay, and leading a Royal Commission
to inquire into the causes and cures of the Moslems' desire for
Pakistan. Back in London, he'd arouse oh's and ah's at the
charity matinees at the Haymarket or in his box for the Royal
Philharmonic concerts at Albert Hall.
But MacArthur doesn't particularly care for the British. And
what's more, he's an American and he's in Japan, where he ex-
24 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
pects to stay put until he's decided that he's done his job or until
he's called home.*
"This is my last job for my country." The words were Mac-
Arthur's and the time was 1 946, when there was a lot of guessing
about his future and some talk that he might wind up as Republi-
can candidate for President in 1948.
Long ago in Australia MacArthur's entourage floated a short-
lived boom for him as President in 1944. But it backfired badly.
MacArthur said then he had no political ambitions, and he says
so again now. But there's no question that he would welcome a
trip home now, with some sort of a triumphal tour. It would be
a test of his popularity. And if it developed into a political boom,
only he himself knows if he would consent to be "drafted" as a
candidate against Harry Truman or anyone else the Democrats
run next time. If it were Truman, MacArthur would win in a
walk, despite his age, which is betrayed mostly by a shaking
hand and certainly not by his mental powers and military
MacArthur was tremendously interested in the November,
1946, elections to Congress. For they were elections in which the
Republican contenders for the Presidential nomination in 1948
were on view, like horses in a paddock.
And when the shouting and the tumult were over, the Gen-
eral sat down in his quiet office in Tokyo one day with one of
his confidants. With pencil and paper they worked out a little
racing form. To the General and his friend it looked like a hard
gallop in 1948 between Senator Taft of Ohio and Governor
Dewey of New York, although there were others in the field,
* In the spring of 1947, MacArthur said that Japan was ready for a peace
treaty and that the United Nations could carry on from there. It has been sug-
gested that this might be a bid to get home.
JAPAN UNDER THE HAT 25
like former Governor Stassen of Minnesota (who later posted
himself as a 1948 starter), Senator Bricker of Ohio, Senator
Vandenberg of Michigan, and Governor Warren of California.
The General and his friend looked at the Republican horses
and jotted down figures. The figures were the line-ups of dele-
gates to the 1948 Republican convention. From so many angles,
it looked like a stalemate between Taft and Dewey. (Fadeout
. . . with MacArthur softly echoing that "this is my last job
for my country/')
The scene now shifts to Albany, New York. The light is not
so clear; the dialogue is probably apocryphal; the tag line is
hilarious. But MacArthur's confidant is there, and he is paying
a social call on Governor Dewey.
Says the confidant: "Looks close for '48, doesn't it, Tom?"
"Yes," says Dewey.
"Could be a stalemate between you and Taft, couldn't it,
"Don't know. Could be," says Dewey. "Not even thinking
"Suppose it were, Tom," says the confidant. "What would you
"Why," says Tom, "in that case I'd go to the convention floor
and nominate General MacArthur . . . and I'd sweep the house
with him!" (Fadeout)
MacArthur toyed with the idea of a trip home in the summer
of 1945, when Manila had been cleaned up and plans were well
under way for the climactic smash at Japan on November i.
General Eisenhower who once served under him as chief of
staff when MacArthur headed the Philippines Department had
had a tumultuous reception, from London to New York to
26 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
That aroused a little bit of envy around headquarters in Ma-
nila. Maybe they hadn't forgotten the crack possibly apocryphal
attributed to Eisenhower after his service under MacArthur.
"Did you learn anything out there?" "Ike" was asked.
'Well, it was a fine course in dramatics," was the reply.
At any rate, MacArthur did not go home that summer. Since
then, although it is not generally known, President Truman has
suggested several times that he come back.
But the General stays on in Tokyo, living in the grand manner
in the former American Embassy with his second wife, the for-
mer Jean Faircloth of Tennessee, and their son, Arthur, who is
the apple of his daddy's eye and has a forthright personality of
As MacArthur sees it, the job of keeping an Allied Occupation
Army in Japan is going to last from three to five years after 1 946
maybe longer, if complications develop with the Russians.
After that, a long period of civilian control or checkup on the
Japanese will be necessary. MacArthur doesn't want to stay
around for that, and may go into permanent retirement in the
Philippines, where he has so many prewar friends, if he does not
wish to return to the somewhat less hospitable shores of the
For Americans, much as they may admire MacArthur for his
undoubted military ability, don't really know the man. He's been
out of the country too long, for one thing. For another, they're
just a little suspicious about him because of those purple, ful-
some communiques he used to issue during the war com-
muniques that relegated the Navy and Air Force to second place,
communiques that always seemed to enlarge on the importance
of some spit of an island in the grand scheme of things, com-
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 27
muniques that did not tell of the hardship, the heartbreak and
the mistakes of war.
But the Navy is getting its own back at him. Admirals swear
that the following story is true:
A team of Navy historians from Washington went out to
Tokyo about six months after the occupation began. For reasons
of courtesy, they called upon MacArthur and asked him if he
cared to give them a foreword or some sort of statement for
inclusion in the archives of the Pacific War.
[ MacArthur, they say, ruminated a while, puffed on the pipe
and remarked: "No, gentlemen, I have nothing in particular to
say to you, except that your history shall agree with my com-
Old-timers in the Pacific say that MacArthur admitted, long
ago in Australia, that his communiques would not always be
strictly accurate, in the sense that they would not tell the whole
story, or might emphasize parts of it. His reasoning was that it
was none of the enemy's business anyway, and that in the
Orient, for psychological reasons connected with the behavior of
the teeming peoples, you had to put on a good show or seem to
be doing so.
MacArthur knew whereof he spoke. Sprung from a long line
of warriors who could trace themselves back to Robert the Bruce,
MacArthur had passed much of his youth and middle life in the
Philippines. He saw service in World War I in the Rainbow
Division in France, and was superintendent at West Point; but
as U. S. Army Chief of Staff, he was forced in 1932 to call out
troops against the Bonus Marchers.
His father, General Arthur MacArthur, had put down the
Aguinaldo insurrection in the Philippines at the turn of the
28 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
century, and Douglas was out there as a young officer not long
after leaving West Point. He came to know the Philippines like
the palm of his hand.
President Harding sent MacArthur back to the Philippines in
1922 to strengthen island defenses. He returned in 1925 and
went out again in 1928, to remain until 1930, when he became
Chief of Staff. This four-year duty expired in 1934, but Presi-
dent Roosevelt continued him indefinitely by executive order.
A year later, MacArthur went back to the Philippines as military
adviser to the young Commonwealth Government. He stayed on
in the islands. Quezon made him a Field Marshal. He was the
MacArthur was sixty-one and had retired from the United
States Army when in July, 1941, President Roosevelt called on
him again, this time to take command of all American forces in
the Far East. He was at Manila when the Japanese struck.
MacArthur says he personally had to convince President
Roosevelt in their meeting, with Admiral Nimitz, at Pearl Har-
bor in the summer of 1944 that the next major blows after
the Marianas should fall against the Philippines and not, as the
Navy wished, against Formosa and on to the China coast.
And he says, too, that if the high command in Washington
had lavished upon him the ships and resources and manpower
that were assigned to the Navy's "Central Pacific" route to
Tokyo, the war would have been over in the Pacific six months
to a year ahead of time, and there would have been no such
"blood baths" as at Tarawa, Saipan and I wo Jima.
This, of course, is all with the benefit of hindsight. Some of
MacArthur's followers forget that if his original plan for attack-
ing the Philippines at Davao, on Mindanao, had been carried
out, he might have bloodied his nose there, for the Japs were in
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 29
good strength and fine fettle. It was Admiral Halsey (and the
Navy thanks to its reconnaissance) who convinced the strate-
gists that MacArthur should hit first at Leyte and make good his
promise, "I shall return."
But MacArthur, bitter though he was at the bureaucrats in
Washington who let him fight a shoestring war, was a natural
choice for the Supreme Command in Japan. He had the name,
the presence, the manners of leadership. He had a knack for
dealing with Orientals, and he could even recall that he and his
father had served in the capacity of observers with the Japanese
Army in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Young Douglas was
under Russian fire in the Battle of Mukden. Six times did the
Japanese charge a Russian-held hill. Six times were they driven
off. MacArthur was with them the seventh time. They took the
Ninety-two years before MacArthur entered Japan as Supreme
Commander, another American, Commodore Matthew C. Perry,
came in with four warships and a letter from President Millard
Fillmore extending an offer of friendship from the American peo-
ple to the people of Japan, and seeking a trade treaty. Japan had
been barred to foreigners for 250 years, but the Dutch and British
were making trade overtures too.
Perry had been told to be politic and conciliatory, but to use
force if necessary. He followed this last instruction to the extent
of showing the guns of his steam-driven ships as they anchored
twenty-seven miles down the bay from Tokyo. The Emperor
appealed to heaven for aid. The shogun, or real boss of that
time, talked things over with the leading warriors. Perry refused
a command to move off to Nagasaki and said he was going to
come ashore himself and deliver President Fillmore's letter, if
he had to.
30 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
That brought action. Two Imperial Princes who were actu-
ally disguised servants of the palace received the Fillmore letter
on shore. Perry went away until February, 1854, when he re-
turned with seven men-o'-war. He was met at Yokohama with
great fanfare. Six weeks later the Japanese signed a trade treaty
giving American ships calling rights at two ports, providing for
a limited amount of trade and establishing the first American
consulate on Japanese soil.
And so, with a show of force, Perry opened Japan to the
West. The Japanese saw what strength could accomplish.
MacArthur dropped into Japan at Atsugi Airfield, about seven
miles from Yokohama, where Perry had set foot. He came into
a country whose boastful militarism knew no concept of defeat
or war guilt. He had with him the Cairo and Potsdam agree-
ments as broad signposts on the highway of Japan's future.
Soon he received a statement of general initial policy relating
to Japan, approved by President Truman and distributed to
American government agencies. It was a stunner. It let the
Allies know that in case of disagreement in Japan, American
policy would prevail. It let the Japanese know they were in for
a succession of hard winters.
In this statement, the United States declared that its ultimate
objectives for Japan were to insure that Japan would never again
menace the United States or the peace of the world, and that a
peaceful and responsible government should be established
which would respect the rights of other states and support
American objectives as reflected in the United Nations charter.
It said the Allies did not intend to impose upon Japan a govern-
ment not supported by the freely expressed will of the people.
It restated the Cairo plan for cutting Japan down to the four
main islands. It said Japan would be "completely" disarmed and
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 3!
demilitarized, that militarism would be eradicated forever from
political and social life. Freedom of speech, religion, assembly
and press and such fundamental human rights would be encour-
aged among the people. They would be encouraged to form
democratic and representative organizations. They would be
given the opportunity to develop an economy which would meet
their peacetime requirements.
The statement also said, significantly, that every effort would
be made to make it an Allied occupation, but in the event of any
differences of opinion among the Allies, American policy would
It was specifically stated that the authority of Emperor Hiro-
hito and of the Japanese government would be subject to
General MacArthur, who would exercise his authority through
Japanese governmental machinery and agencies, including the
Emperor, "to the extent that this satisfactorily furthers United
MacArthur also was empowered to make any governmental
changes he desired if his requirements were not met. It was
stated explicitly that this policy "does not commit the supreme
commander to support the Emperor or any other Japanese gov-
ernmental authority in opposition to evolutionary changes look-
ing toward attainment of the United States objectives." (The
Jap Old Guard was in turmoil when the word "evolutionary"
came garbled over the cables as "revolutionary"!)
"The policy is to use the existing form of government in
Japan not to support it," the statement said.
And if the Japanese people used force to wipe out their feudal-
ism and totalitarianism, MacArthur was to intervene only to
preserve his own troops and to further the occupation objectives.
The White House statement also said that Japan would be
32 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
disarmed and demilitarized promptly. All equipment would be
surrendered. All secret police would be dissolved. All top officials
and ultra-nationalists and militarists would be taken into cus-
tody. There would be a purge of the educational system. War
criminals would be rounded up.
Freedom of religious worship would be proclaimed promptly,
and no religious cloak could be used for militarism or ultra-
nationalism. Democratic political parties with the right of assem-
bly would be encouraged. The judicial, legal and police systems
would be overhauled; all discriminatory laws would be abro-
In order to destroy the economic basis of Japan's aggressive
power, the White House statement said, industrial production
would be carefully policed; economic activities would be in-
spected and controlled; scientific research would be watched.
Labor unions would be encouraged. Income would be more
widely distributed, as would ownership of the means of produc-
tion and trade. The large industrial and financial combinations
(Zaibatsu) which had controlled most of Japanese economy
would be dissolved.
The statement absolved the Allies of any necessity for repair-
ing war damage. Japan would have to support the occupation
forces unless this caused hardship among the people. Japan
would pay reparations through the transfer of property and
equipment at home and abroad that would not be needed for a
peacetime economy. Japan would make prompt restitution of her
This was hard, but the Japanese had asked for it. And the
White House statement, in closing, gave them some hope. Even-
tually, they could resume world trade, to purchase needed raw
materials and to export goods to pay for approved imports. For-
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 33
eign enterprises within Japan would have equal opportunities.
Almost as an afterthought, the statement closed with these
"Imperial Household Property shall not be exempted from any
action necessary to carry out the objectives of the occupation."
This statement placed tremendous power in the hands of one
man. In one sense, when you compared it with the Four-Power
control and Four-Power squabbling in Germany, this was a dis-
tinct advantage. Only one cook could stir the Japanese broth:
that cook was MacArthur.
But, in another sense, the Pacific War's end had caught us
relatively unprepared for the job of remaking Japan. For Ger-
many we had vast numbers of military government teams, well
equipped with language talent. For Japan, we had less than
3,000 persons who had some working knowledge of the difficult
language and who knew something about its people. Up to the
time the Japanese surrendered, we had expected many bitter
months of fighting inside Japan. Our planners thought the war
would stretch well into 1947. We were caught short on trained
personnel for occupation duties.
At first MacArthur tried to carry on with some of his military
men who had fought the war with him. Several were inept,
however gallant and efficient they had been as soldiers.
We were handicapped, too, by the fact that we knew relatively
little about Japan. Japan had never been the open book to us
that Europe had been. And during the war, espionage by white
men among the Japanese was practically impossible. They were
too easy to spot.
MacArthur soon found that there was only one way to handle
the occupation, and that was to play it by ear. A very sensitive
ear, one sharply tuned to catch any discords, was MacArthur's.
34 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
He timed every move he made. Never did he hit the Japanese
with too many directives at once. Never did he give them too
much to chew on. But he always kept them in suspense, wonder-
ing what next. He created a psychology of fear, wonder and awe.
Japs on the top level, including the Emperor, never knew what
might hit them. It's probable that many times Mac Arthur him-
self did not know.
The upper crust in Japan was stricken with apathy. They
felt they were doomed, yet MacArthur was ordering them to do
this and to do that, to draw up programs for this or for that, to
work out the details of this or of that. The top dogs didn't like
it at all. They started a slow-down strike against many directives.
The fact that we were committed to use existing Japanese gov-
ernment machinery made it easy for the bureaucrats to tie up
some directives with miles of red tape.
There wasn't any initiative in the early months of the occupa-
tion except from the Americans and the Japanese Communists,
who came out of jail with whoops and hollers and set about their
business with purpose. There was more initiative later from the
Russians, when they took a very articulate role in the Four-
Power allied advisory council in Tokyo.
But what could you expect from a people defeated as thor-
oughly as the Japanese had been? They had been running in one
direction for a thousand years; overnight we could not expect
them to turn around and run just as rapidly or beautifully in the
other direction, toward democracy. The diehards in the Japanese
government did not wish to stick their necks out. They knew
the ax was coming anyway. They had no support from the peo-
ple. They watched and waited, as did MacArthur. Each side
felt the other out. And when the Japanese found we were
inclined to be a bit easy-going, they soon took advantage of it.
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 35
The Japanese wound up the war with absolutely no leader-
ship from their own government. The few handfuls of so-called
"liberals" like Baron Kijuro Shidehara and the prime minister,
Shigeru Yoshida, were liberals in the sense that they had traveled
in the Western world, wore English clothes, spoke English, and
did not believe in cuffing and kicking everybody. They were
about as enlightened as the carp that filled the Emperor's moat.
The real liberals, if any, were shrinking violets who just would
not come forward. For they felt that if the Americans got tired
and went home too soon, they'd have little chance of escaping a
purge by resurgent militarists.
Finding no leadership in their own ranks, the Japanese
quickly looked to the Americans, once they found we were not
there to beat them every half-hour. MacArthur was the one
person who seemed to supply what they needed. In the past, the
corner policeman had been the boss of the neighborhood Japa-
nese. Suddenly, MacArthur figuratively kicked that policeman
in the seat; he abolished the hated thought-control police, the
mental Gestapo which had made Japan into the most police-
ridden country in the world. He proclaimed freedom of thought,
and proved it by springing the Communists, many of whom had
spent fifteen years in jail.
This was one of the most important of MacArthur's early
moves. He taught the Japanese to look upon the policeman as a
protector, not a boss. He wiped out the Kempei-tai, or secret
military police. He abolished all secret societies, which were
breeding grounds of militarism and the police mentality.
He started to clean up the Japanese press, with a rigorous
system of censorship that screened out the vestiges of feudal,
militaristic thought and gave play to free comment and criti-
cism of things Japanese.
36 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
He included the Emperor system as one of the subjects that
could be freely discussed, believing that if it would not stand the
test of free discussion, it ought not to be retained.
He ordered a new Constitution, under which the Japanese
swore off war, stripped themselves forever of an Army and Navy
and Air Force, put new life into the Diet (Parliament) as the
voice of the people, and cut the Emperor down to the size of a
constitutional monarch who was no longer supreme.
He ordered the dissolution of the Zaibatsu families, the
closely knit clans that held the controls of Japanese industry and
finance, and told them to turn their holding-company stocks over
for re-sale to the public or to workers in subsidiary industries of
the Zaibatsu parent concerns.
He ordered strict financial reforms, wiping out the great bur-
den of military pensions that had unbalanced the budget for
years and had fostered a class of do-nothing ex-soldiers. He
slapped on a terrific program of taxation and monetary reform
that squeezed war profits from dozens of big firms and hit even
the Emperor's multi-million-dollar holdings.
He started a gigantic purge in all walks of Japanese life, clean-
ing out the militarists and ultra-nationalists from the schools,
government, politics, banking and industry, and forbidding them
to hold responsible positions.
He rounded up hundreds of war-criminal suspects, reaching
right into the imperial circle to grab two of the Emperor's closest
He began early trials of Tojo and a dozen others considered
responsible for starting the war and conducting it so brutally.
He rubbed the noses of the Japanese in their own dirt by
ordering the press to print factual accounts of the origins of the
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT*' 37
war and of the lies and excesses with which the Japanese had
He began a large-scale shakeup of the Japanese school system,
kicking out many scores of teachers and ordering textbooks to
He offered new hope that Japanese minds might really be
opened to democratic tendencies and literature by encouraging
the use of Romaji, or Roman characters, to replace in time the
terribly difficult ideographs in which the Japanese language has
been written for centuries.
He ordered the freeing of Japan's farms and farmers from
their condition of slavery, believing that no democracy can
exist which does not spring from the soil, as it did in Amer-
ica. He ordered the large land holdings broken up for re-sale
at controlled prices to the farmers, who had been tenants and
He ordered new elections to the lower house of the Diet, and
they were held in April, 1946. This date ma&s the first time that
any Japanese election has been unfettered. The elections re-
turned a Diet of new complexion, a Diet that did not seem
bogged down under medieval ways, a Diet in which women
also emancipated and given the right to vote by MacArthur
took their seats for the first time. But such political reforms still
had to reach down into the level of the ward boss and ward poli-
tics, which still are powerful influences in Japan.
And MacArthur imported an American woman as tutor for the
Crown Prince, Akihito, who is twelve years old and some day
will succeed his father, Hirohito, unless the monarchy is swept
MacArthur was jumpy, sensitive, in the early weeks. Even
38 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
the War Department's cables to him were cast in diplomatic
language, calculated not to irk even a prima donna.
If MacArthur had to be handled with kid gloves, he vowed he
was not conducting a kid-glove occupation. He warned the
Japanese that their trials were just beginning, that hard days
were ahead, and that by and large they would have to work out
their own salvation under the broad lines of his directives. He
was stern, always militarily correct, and the Japanese knew that
they could expect justice and a certain Christian tolerance, noth-
ing more. This commanded their respect. And it soon com-
manded their worship.
For the Japanese have nothing if not a capacity for reverence.
When MacArthur told them to stop thinking of the Emperor as
a God (by having the Emperor sing out a New Year's Rescript
which conceded he was not of divine origin), they quickly
picked up MacArthur as the new deity. To the Japanese, Mac-
Arthur can do no wrong. They like his aloofness, his smart mili-
tary appearance. They like his crispness and air of finality. They
like his big Cadillac, and most of all they like the way he strides
out to it from headquarters twice a day to go home to lunch and
dinner. They cluster round like bees to a honey pot, for a
glimpse of the man. They write hundreds of pieces of fan mail
to him each week. One woman went so head over heels that she
wrote asking if she might come to live with him. A smart
Japanese publisher whipped out a biography of MacArthur. At
last count its circulation was near the million mark.
The crowds waiting to see MacArthur outside headquarters
became so great at one point that a foolish colonel put up signs
on the sidewalk bidding the Japanese stay away. That was bad
psychology for the occupation. It was also bad public relations,
and headquarters had always insisted on having good public rela-
JAPAN UNDER THE HAT 39
tions at whatever the cost. MacArthur had the signs promptly
removed. It was essentially democratic, a statement from head-
quarters implied, that a cat could look at a king.
Inside headquarters, however, MacArthur had his private ele-
vator to whisk him to the sixth floor where he had his office. The
correspondents' corps, wondering whether the new Mikado also
claimed descent from a sun-goddess, complained and the elevator
became public again.
The irreverent among the Americans and there were many
in Tokyo often discussed the two divinities MacArthur and
Hirohito. The Marines had a poem which ended with "and
while possibly a rumor now, someday it will be fact that the
Lord will hear a deep voice say ... move over, God, it's Mac . . ."
There was another sally about MacArthur "walking on the
waters of the Emperor's moat this morning, carrying the Emperor
on his back." There came a Chicago Tribune cartoon, showing
MacArthur dolled up as the new Mikado.
The Mikado smoked a corncob pipe and hummed this little
ditty from Gilbert and Sullivan:
"My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime."
As MacArthur saw it, he was giving the average Japanese
a chance to enjoy his birthright of freedom. And to sum up his
policy, he loved to quote Confucius to this effect: "Be kind to
your enemy, for one day he may be your ally; be kind to your
prisoner, for one day he may be your jailer."
MacArthur has a routine of living. He lives well and he lives
40 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
carefully, in the handsome American Embassy. It is a sturdy but
luxurious mansion, fifteen years old. An immaculately dressed
major greets visitors at the door and escorts them into the recep-
tion hall. He directs the visitors to a side room, where a kimono-
clad servant bows low and takes the coats. The way to the
living room leads over thick carpets, past a row of draped win-
dows that look onto a fountain court. There are paneled walls
and objets d'art.
In the living room, which strikes you as being about the size
of the East Room at the White House but much more attractive,
there is a cheerful wood fire. Above it is Mrs. MacArthur's own
wall decoration, a riotous tapestry of color made from Japanese
obis, the bustle-like sashes that Japanese women wear. There is
a delicate, painted screen so placed as to catch the light. Through
the windows, the visitor sees young Arthur, bored and rather
pale, playing alone with his kites. (He has a few Japanese play-
The telephone rings at about i P.M. The General is leaving
headquarters to come home to lunch. The great man strides into
the room, embraces his wife, plants a warm kiss on young
Arthur's cheek. He leads guests into the state dining room. The
table is laden with flowers and lit with candles.
Luncheon is served by eight Japanese manservants, clad in
dark brown kimonos with the United States seal on them. They
serve quietly, deftly. The General's silverware, which he had left
behind in Manila when the war began and later miraculously
found, gleams in the candlelight. It is a simple luncheon consist-
ing of baked ham, cauliflower, beans, sweet potatoes and home-
made fudge. The General does most of the talking and the talk
goes on for about two hours. He is convincing, stimulating, and
fond of digging back into history.
JAPAN UNDER "THE HAT" 4!
At three o'clock he is off to the office again, where he remains
until seven, eight or nine at night, according to the amount of
work on hand. The General does a lot of reading at home in the
morning and again late at night.
But he takes good care of himself. He gets sufficient sleep,
eats moderately, drinks very little. At sixty-six he's in far better
shape than many of the younger colonels and brigadiers who sur-
round him, and who often miss hot meals or bar hours at their
hotels or billets because of the General's odd office hours.
There are many other Army families in Japan now to keep the
MacArthurs company. In the early days there were a few visits
from Red Cross girls, an occasional tea with a foreign diplomat,
movies in the evening.
Mrs. Mac Arthur, a vivacious hostess, mixes well with Japanese
women. But she sees no more of one woman who tried to set her-
self up in business as a seller of introductions to the General's
wife. The Counter-intelligence Corps put a stop to it. That wasn't
the C.I.C/s usual line, however; they were pretty busy chasing
war criminals (and keeping correspondents from nabbing a few on
their own). And the first on their list was General Hideki Tojo,
prime minister and virtually dictator of Japan at the time of Pearl
'I ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY
IN THE EXCLUSIVE suburb of Tamagawa, some fifteen minutes
from the center of Tokyo, the once all-powerful General Hideki
Tojo, prime minister of Japan at the time of Pearl Harbor,
searched frantically for someone to help him commit hara-kiri.
In that honored way of committing suicide, the self-victim,
robed in a ceremonial white kimono, kneels before a Shinto
shrine and, having "offered himself to the gods," plunges a
short-bladed, razor-edged knife into his body just below the
navel and, twisting it swiftly in an anti-clockwise direction,
disembowels himself. Then, as he falls forward, his head comes
in contact with a wooden block, and an assistant, who has been
standing by, a mute witness to the bloody operation, raises a
sword and with one blow neatly slices the head off.
Tojo had decided to "accept responsibility" for the war, and
everything for his "atonement to the gods" had been prepared.
The white silk kimono with its royal blue sash lay stretched to
its full length before his personal shrine. The hara-kiri knife, in
a purple, red-tasseled bag, lay to one side of the wooden head-
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY . . ." 43
block, and above the "god shelf" of the altar a parchment, bear-
ing the sentence, "If I cannot live with honor, then I must die
with honor," had been placed. Everything was ready except one
thing Tojo could not find an assistant. Nobody loved him
enough to do the job.
The ex-warlord, who had once held power over Japan's milling
population of seventy-seven million, now found that he was hated
and despised. To his friends he was merely a memory. The gates
of the Imperial Palace were closed to him. Even the person who
had first suggested him to the Emperor as the man to lead Japan
had turned his back. This was the Marquis Kido, Hirohito's
adviser, and he knew, as did Tojo's friends, that the former
prime minister, who had held dictatorial powers from October,
1941, until July, 1944, was one man who would stand before
the courts of Allied justice.
They, too, had their problems. Mostly from Japan's military
clique, they were trying to decide whether to "accept responsi-
bility" for the war in like manner, or sit it out in the faint hope
that they might not be named war criminals by the Allies. They
hated Tojo. He had brought national disgrace to the Japanese
nation. Japan had "lost face" as a result of his faulty leadership,
and consequently they had "lost face." Daily they "sweated out"
the first war-criminal list, and daily Tojo wrote frantic letters
begging them to help. His pleas fell on deaf ears. The wielding
of a sword in a hara-kiri operation for Tojo, they felt, was one
way of securing a passport to a war-crimes court. It was a ques-
tion of necks. They wished to save theirs. Tojo didn't; he wanted
some one to sever his just for old times' sake, but nobody wished
to take a crack at his scraggy neck with a favorite Samurai sword.
Still wearing his uniform, bedecked with six bars of ribbons,
which included the first World War Victory Ribbon the others
44 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
he had awarded to himself from time to time the beak-nosed,
bald-pated Tojo lived quietly in a small bungalow across the
street from his once palatial house, which had been destroyed
in the bombing. His wife and family had long before left for
the safety of the hills, and now he found that he had only two
friends, his devoted secretary and his servant, who fondly be-
lieved that Hirohito with a wave of his "divine" hand would
save Tojo from arrest. Tojo did not share the same view. He had
made up his mind that he would not be taken alive and, unable
to find an assistant, decided to end his life by using a bullet.
In a letter to a certain Count Hiroishi, Tojo told of his decision
and begged the Count to look after his wife and family. The
Count, too, had "accidentally" forgotten him and did not reply.
Ten days after the arrival of the occupation troops in Japan,
Tojo, quite calm and cool, gave an interview to several cor-
respondents. He showed them over his house and was naively
proud of an unexploded American incendiary bomb which had
partly buried itself in the loose earth on top of his air-raid
shelter in the back garden.
"They missed me with that one," he told them, "but they
burned down my house on the other side of the street."
He explained away the twenty-five armed Kempei-tai police
Japan's Gestapo surrounding the house, by saying that he had
been threatened with assassination several times since he had re-
tired the year before. He showed no emotion when asked if he ex-
pected to be arrested as a war criminal. In fact, his sharp, pointed
features, which had earned for him the nickname, "The Razor,"
actually smoothed into a smile when one of the correspondents
asked if he. intended to end his life like Hitler. He did not
answer that question. Outwardly he was perfectly cool; in-
wardly he was tense but prepared to wait until the very last
I ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY ..." 45
moment before pulling the trigger. He certainly was not going
to advertise his intentions beforehand.
At eighteen minutes past four on September n, 1945, Tojo
decided to wait no longer. Two counter-intelligence officers,
together with six correspondents, drove up to his bungalow
shortly after four. They produced their credentials for Tojo's
secretary and demanded to see his master. The secretary, a
bland, smiling person, Shigetohatake by name, asked them to
wait. He disappeared into the house for a period of five minutes,
and returning, asked the officers if they would explain "their
mission. Had they come to arrest Top?"
Tojo knew then the game was up. The first war-criminal list,
issued that morning, had honored him by having him at the
top. He calmly locked his study door and, removing his uniform
coat, hung it neatly over the back of a chair. Then he took a
drink to steady his nerves. He opened a window and looked
out for a moment on the little crowd gathered about the porch.
A faint smile crossed his face for a second, then was gone. He
slammed the window shut, picked up a .38 Colt automatic,
pulled the trigger and sent a bullet searing through his body
a fraction of an inch from his heart. Just as he had bungled
Japan's war, Tojo had bungled his suicide.
Somebody shouted, "The bastard has beaten us to it," and
everybody charged into the house. Still standing outside were
Tojo's armed guards, apparently oblivious of all that was hap-
pening. The study door was locked, but in a few moments it
had been shouldered off its hinges.
Slumped in a chair in the middle of the room was Tojo,
smiling quietly at us. He still held the automatic in his right
hand. One of the officers, gun in hand, shouted, "Put down that
gun or I will fire!" Tojo dropped the gun limply. The officer
46 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
promptly stepped into the room and picked up the weapon.
From then on the whole thing was a cross between a Marx
brothers' movie, "Hellzapoppin" and an Irish wake.
For a moment everybody was too stunned to do anything.
Tojo leaned back and a long squirt of blood shot out from his
chest like water coming out under pressure from a hole in a
burst pipe. Then a fly which had been making an aerial recon-
naissance of his sweating brow landed to make a closer inspection.
Tojo was wearing a white shirt open nearly to the waist, gray
military riding breeches and brown riding boots. Behind him
was a divan. Above it hung a painting, eight feet by six, depicting
the ex-warlord on horseback, standing on a bluff, and behind him,
members of his staff, also mounted, reviewing a stream of armored
cars and tanks moving along a road. In the foreground of the
picture lay a crumpled and dirty Chinese flag still on its short
staff. The artist had painted on it the tire marks of vehicles which
had passed over it. On a window sill was the glass which Tojo
had used to take what he thought would be his last drink.
In one corner of the room stood a tall hatrack, in another a
cedarwood cupboard. This cupboard was a veritable arsenal. It
contained several Japanese, German and American-type auto-
made revolvers and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to fit.
Hanging from the wall near the door was a red, white and
purple tapestry, showing a dragon with blood dripping from its
Blood was now dripping from Tojo, too. It had seeped across
his shirt to his breeches and down onto the upholstery of the
chair. A large pool was slowly gathering on the floor. Tojo
groaned, clenched and unclenched his hands in spasms of
agony. He writhed and bent his knees, with his hands and face
twitching but the fly on his forehead never moved.
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY . . ." 47
Everybody was trying to use the telephone. One correspond-
ent, an agency man, was hanging on to the one phone for dear
life. It was situated down the hall, and while he dictated his
story, a second correspondent at the door of the study shouted
out to him the latest developments. The conversation sounded
something like this:
"The joint is swimming in blood ... no, he's not dead . . .
hold on for a minute until I find out. ... Is the old boy dead
"No, but he's getting weaker."
"He's getting weaker . . . did you get that? . . . Yeah, he's
getting weaker . . . better get a flash ready. . . . The fly is still
there . . . yeah, sitting on his forehead . . . hold on. ... Is the
fly still there?"
"Yeah, it's still there . . . seems to be using the old boy's dome
for a skating rink."
"Yeah, the fly's still there ... no, he hasn't made a statement
yet ... hold on."
"He's unconscious, and he's getting cold ... he won't last
much longer. . . ."
"Get this quick ... at four-thirty Tojo lapsed into uncon-
sciousness . . . his body is going cold . . . no, he isn't dead . . .
for God's sake hold that 'dead' flash. . . . Look, chum, I wish
he would die too. . . ."
The correspondents' conversation was in the same vein.
"I hope this fish dies in time for me to make my deadline."
'Whereabouts do you say you lived in the States? . . . Oh,
Chicago . . . used to live there once myself."
"Suppose we turned him over, would he die any quicker? . . .
I'm an afternoon man, you know . . . you morning-paper men
are lucky. . , "
48 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
There was little pity among them for Tojo. They had seen
hundreds of American and British troops die on the sweltering
islands of the Pacific, and they had seen the living skeletons of
men and women, ravaged by tuberculosis and beri-beri, released
from Japanese prison camps.
Only one man showed real emotion Tojo's secretary. Pushing
his way through the crowd, he reached his master and with his
hands joined began crying bitterly. He placed his arms around
Tojo's head and held it lovingly, moving it gently back and forth
to the accompaniment of a strange wailing. The fly on Tojo's
Suddenly Tojo opened his eyes. The two Japanese interpreters
bent forward. Quite clearly and without difficulty he said, "I will
become a god to protect our land after my death." Then he closed
his eyes and began groaning again.
His shirt and trousers were now saturated with blood, and
the small neat hole in his chest was turning blue around the
edges. He appeared to be sinking rapidly when he suddenly
opened his eyes once more.
"Give me a drink of water," he commanded. Then again he
closed his eyes. His servant obeyed, and the water seemed to
"If, by mistake," he said, "I still live, I know a way to die.
I have ended my responsibility."
Then, in a voice stronger than before, he said, "Let Mac-
Arthur have my corpse. . . . For my corpse I do not care . . .
I have told my family all about it ... but tell MacArthur that
I am not to be shown in public." Then he lapsed into uncon-
sciousness once more.
A doctor had been summoned, but few people in that room
believed Tojo would survive. It was a gruesome pantomime, and
I ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY ... 49
as the minutes ticked away everybody settled down patiently
to await the death of this ugly little man.
Although the human body contains a very small quantity of
blood, Top's supply seemed to come from a never-ending fount.
The room looked as if somebody had upset at least twenty cans
of thick tomato juice on the floor. Top's clothes, the upholstery
of the chair and the rug beneath it had turned a deep red.
More people were arriving every minute. The room was
now full of correspondents, officers and G.I.'s. The air was
thick with tobacco smoke. Everybody was waiting for Tojo to die,
but he would not oblige.
The photographers arrived. Press photographers are a special
race of people. They are happy and good-humored, but nothing
is sacred to them, and here was one of the biggest photographic
stories of the year.
"Move Tojo's head a little to the right. . . . Hold it ... swell.
... Do you mind taking your head out of the way? ... I want
a shot of Tojo holding the revolver ... do you mind pressing
the gun into his hand? . . . Here comes the fly again ... I must
get one of that. . . ."
Flash bulbs exploded one after another. The photographers
crawled all over the room. They stood on chairs. They lay full
length on the floor. They crossed and uncrossed Tojo's legs.
They photographed the house, his secretary and his servant.
Never before had a suicide been so fully recorded.
An Army photographer, who seemed to have stepped straight
from the pages of Damon Runyon, came into the room. A dead
cigar hung from one side of his mouth. He walked up to the
body and looked it over. Raising his camera, he took a photo-
"Say, bud," he asked, "who is the character?"
50 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
A correspondent, busily making notes, answered off-handedly,
The photographer, moving his cigar to the other side of his
face, took another picture.
"Who did you say it was?" he asked again.
'Tojo! Tojo!" snapped the correspondent.
The photographer turned to another correspondent. "Say,
who is this guy Tojo?"
"Tojo, General Tojo, the Japanese dictator, prime minister at
the time of Pearl Harbor," he was told.
The photographer's mouth opened in astonishment. Then he
hurled his cigar out of the window.
"D'ya mean to say," he yelled, "that this character is the
cause of it all? Only for him I'd be back home? Why, the old
son of a bitch! I've a good mind to smack him a fast one with
That about summed up the average G.I/s pity for the bleed-
In the meantime the house guards had gathered around the
windows and were quietly watching the whole proceedings.
Their faces, absolutely blank, were like those of a bored audience
watching a very dull play. Their chief came into the room,
bowed, smiled and begged permission to move Tojo to a bed-
room. This request was refused, as the officers did not want to
move him until the doctor arrived.
A full forty minutes had elapsed from the time Tojo pulled
the trigger. The end seemed very near now. Minute by minute,
he was fading rapidly before our eyes. Somehow he gathered
strength, and between pauses and lapses into unconsciousness
he made a statement.
"I wished to die by one shot," he said. "I am sorry it is taking
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY ..." 5!
so long to die. The Greater Asiatic War was a just and righteous
one, but I am very sorry for the Asiatic nations and all other
races for having lost the war."
He stopped. The strain was too much. He twisted in his
chair. There was a sudden silence in the room. Then a flash
bulb went off. Tojo groaned and began again.
"I would not like to be judged before a conqueror's court. I
wait for the ... for the . . . righteous judgment of history. I
wanted to commit hara-kiri. I wish to die ... to die .. ."
His voice trailed away then suddenly came back. ". . . to die
by one shot . . . and please do not make me breathe or care
again. ... I am happy if I can go to the land of the Emperors
under the spiritual protection of his Majesty the Emperor. . . .
I wish to help the healthy progress of our nation. . . . There are
many ways to act as a man of responsibility, but I do not want
to be judged by the conquerors."
His lips twisted into his "villain of the piece" smile. "The
conqueror makes his own judgment," he said weakly. "I have
asked Count Hiroishi to look after my family."
Then with his voice suddenly rising to a crescendo, he
shouted: "Banzai to my family! Banzai to the Emperor! Ban-
zai! . . . Banzai! . . . Banzai! . . ."
Nobody moved. The silence was heavy. Suddenly from the
hall came the loud voice of a news-agency man on the phone:
"l TELL YOU THE OLD BASTARD ISN'T DEAD YET?"
Everybody settled down once again to await the final gurgle.
A Japanese doctor appeared on the scene, followed by a very
grimy Japanese nurse. The doctor surveyed the wounded man
casually; then shrugging his shoulders and spreading his hands,
he turned to one of the officers.
"Through the heart," he said resignedly. "No hope."
52 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
The officer told him to do what he could, and the doctor
asked that Tojo be moved to the divan. Four correspondents
picked him up. As they raised him from the chair, blood gushed
from his chest, covering their hands and clothes. Tojo was
soundly cursed. But the four correspondents had saved his life.
American doctors later said that his left lung had been slowly
filling with blood; his own blood had been gradually drowning
him, and had he been left in the chair another five minutes
he would have died.
Tojo objected violently to being moved. He jabbered away
to the doctor, and it took all the time of the interpreters present
to keep up with the conversation.
"Don't plug the holes/' pleaded Tojo. "This body is my own."
The doctor removed the blood-sodden shirt and began to clean
Tojo's body. Tojo tried to push him away with his twitching
"I command you not to touch me!" screamed the half-delirious
"I must clean your body and the wound at least," answered
Hearing this, a counter-intelligence officer seized the doctor
by the shoulder. "You do everything in your power to help
him," he ordered.
The doctor shrugged his shoulders and then smilingly refused
point-blank to help him. "Anyway," he said, "he is beyond
my care. He cannot live."
He was fully aware that Tojo wished to die. The officer
sternly repeated the order, and forty-five minutes later Tojo
had now been bleeding for nearly two hours the doctor began
to plug the holes in a very haphazard manner without instru-
I ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY . . ." 53
ments, stethoscope or drugs, his equipment consisting only of
a few bandages and some cotton wool.
Tojo still fought off the doctor and talked incoherently. He
begged and pleaded and threatened, but the doctor, under the
stern eye of the officer, continued trying to stop the flow of
"Why didn't you shoot yourself in the head?" asked the
"I wanted to be recognized/' Tojo replied.
Tojo now had bled for two hours and five minutes. His pulse
was barely perceptible, and he had turned quite blue in the
face. As he collapsed, the doctor solemnly announced to the
officer, "I can do no more."
It seemed as if the death wait was nearly over. Blood was
still oozing out of the cotton plugs and dripping onto the floor.
Some ghoulish souvenir hunters were soaking their handker-
chiefs in the gore, and some one had clipped a neat triangle out
of Tojo's blood-sodden riding breeches. The bullet which had
passed through his body had been gouged out of the back of
the chair; the cupboard had been ransacked, and several of the
automatics had vanished. Even the fins of the incendiary bomb
on the air-raid shelter in the back garden had disappeared.
Tojo was barely breathing when an ambulance containing
two doctors and a sergeant of the Medical Corps arrived. They
rushed into the house, followed by a small army of military
police who promptly cleared the room to the doors. Then began
a fight for Tojo's life. It was a strange twist of fate. The two
American doctors and the sergeant hated Tojo, yet they were
fighting for his life.
The Japanese doctor was ordered to one side, and the Ameri-
54 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
can doctors deftly and swiftly began to treat the wounded man.
Plasma injections were ordered, and the hatrack was hauled to
the side of the divan to act as a stand.
Without giving the groaning Tojo an anaesthetic, the doctors
sewed the wounds and padded and strapped them with ad-
hesive tape. The Japanese doctor looked on in sheer wonder-
ment. As the blood plasma slowly dripped into Top's veins-
American blood which had arrived in Japan only a few days
before the senior doctor present, a captain, announced that
Tojo had missed his heart by a mere fraction of an inch.
"It passed through the sixth and seventh ribs," he said, "barely
touching the heart. There is just a chance that the blood plasma
may save him." The two doctors continued working on the
The sergeant, a practical man, had a large pad in one hand.
'What is this fellow's name?" he asked.
He wrote this down.
"Does anybody know his first name?" he inquired.
"How do you spell that? Oh, well, I'll just put down H.
Tojo," he said.
"Rank?" he queried.
"General," came the answer.
'What does he do now? Is he still a general?" he went on.
"Just put him down as an ex-dictator," said a tired correspond-
"Ex die tat or," spelled the sergeant as he wrote it down
on his pad. "Thanks." Tojo was another body to be patched up
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY ..." 55
and accounted for, and the sergeant took his work very seriously.
Shortly afterward Tojo was moved to the ist Medical Squad-
ron, of the ist Cavalry Regiment at Meiji Park, where he was
given more blood. Later he was moved to the p8th Evacuation
Hospital in the Ohtori Elementary School at Yokohama. Here
he was immediately taken to the operating theater and given
another blood transfusion. In all, that afternoon, he received
about 1,100 cc. of blood.
On the operating table Tojo opened his eyes and calmly
asked for a drink of water, and later for another. Both were
given to him. To General Eichelberger, Commander of the
Eighth U. S. Army, who was standing by his side, Tojo said,
"Please don't go to any trouble over me. I am going to die
Gruff, beloved Eichelberger is reported to have said very sim-
ply, "You are going to get better if I have to pump blood into you
Every possible care was lavished on Tojo. General Eichel-
berger saw to it that he had the best medical attention, including
four pretty nurses, so that he would live to stand trial for his
war crimes. Two months later Tojo was on his feet, and by the
beginning of 1946 he had joined the other war criminals in
Omori prison camp, the same camp in which Allied soldiers had
lived and died so miserably. He was shunned by his fellow in-
mates. They had expected hara-kiri, not a pistol. They refused
to eat with him or associate with him in any way. Tojo was
once more alone, even in jail.
Tojo's attempt on his own life was the kick-off. The knives
were sharpened all over Japan by those who knew they would
be named too on later lists of war criminals. The atmosphere was
56 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
electric among the upper classes, and the whisper among them
was, "Who is next?"
We knew who the guilty ones were, but why did General
MacArthur, after the occupation began, let several weeks elapse
before allowing the orders for the arrest of such obvious war
criminals as Tojo, Prince Konoye and Marquis Kido to be issued?
Tojo very nearly slipped through our fingers because of the delay.
He would not have stood trial as Japan's Number One War
Criminal but for the four correspondents who unwittingly saved
It was clear to everybody that the Supreme Commander was
deliberately giving Japan's war leaders enough time to commit
suicide. This may have been what General MacArthur 'per-
sonally wanted, but was it the wish of the Allies? Had they
been consulted? Did they not want to know the full story of
Japan's war of aggression from the lips of those who had con-
As Tojo lay in a hospital bed, creeping unwillingly back to
life one month after his bungled suicide attempt, the Supreme
Commander was screaming to Washington for permission to put
him on trial then and there. Washington rightly said "No."
The Allied Council, which was to try Japan's war criminals, had
not even been set up. The delegates from the various countries
had not yet been chosen. And, though the General was eager
to put Tojo on trial, other equally important war criminals were
still at large.
Correspondents seemed far ahead of the Counter-intelligence
Corps in the early weeks. Clark Lee of International News
Service personally accepted the surrender of Colonel Josef Al-
bert Meisinger, Germany's Gestapo chief in the Far East. For
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY . . ." 57
his pains, Lee himself was arrested for a few hours for "inter-
fering with Meisinger's rights as a war criminal."
One man was ready to grab them, Brigadier General Thorpe,
head of Counter-intelligence Corps, but he had to wait for the
Chief to make up his prima-donna-like mind. With Meisinger
safely behind bars, this quiet, gray-haired General had him
questioned. He was not going to give him a chance to commit
suicide if he could help it. The 26o-pound Gestapo chief was an
important captive, as he was also wanted in Nuremberg to stand
trial as the "Butcher of Warsaw." But first Thorpe wanted to
run a vacuum cleaner through every crevice of Josefs twisted
Every day for two whole weeks, twelve hours a day, Mei-
singer was grilled. The reports began piling up on General
Thorpe's desk, but still Josef refused to give the full story. There
was no mercy for him the questioning went on. Finally General
Thorpe told the authors that the Gestapo chief's evil doings in
the Far East had been fully documented. "There isn't a thing
on his mind that we don't know," the General observed calmly.
"Josef has lost a little weight but he's much happier now."
Meisinger had been reduced to a nervous wreck when, in a
blubbering, trembling condition, he was half carried, half
dragged to a waiting plane for delivery to General Eisenhower's
headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. His clothes hung in folds
about him as this crying hulk of a man was bundled on board.
His crimes in Japan had been great, but he knew that at Nurem-
berg he would have to stand trial for the wholesale massacre of
thousands of Poles, who had so aptly named him the "Butcher
of Warsaw," and Josef Albert just didn't want to leave Japan.
Among the Japanese on the top level there was a lot of buck-
58 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
passing about war guilt, so much so that they began telling on
"Not only have I my own Intelligence Service/' commented
Thorpe, "but now I find I have several thousand Japs helping
me. I'm the most popular man in Japan. Everybody is telling
me that they had nothing to do with the war; it's always the
other fellow. But the only ones who come to me are those who
are worried about appearing on my next list."
The buck-passers were equaled in number by the breast-
beaters such as Prince Konoye, one of the old-school kimono
boys, who, secretly hoping that the Americans did not know
too much about his history in the China "incident," now clothed
himself in the white robes of penitence and started a stampede
for the renunciation of titles. He also posed as the architect of
a new Constitution for Japan and told correspondents that it
would be revised along "democratic lines but would preserve the
Emperor and the Imperial Institution." His announcement that
this new Constitution had the approval of General MacArthur
nearly caused the collapse of the "Old Man's Cabinet" under
the aged Baron Shidehara. Shidehara contended that General
MacArthur was working behind his back in appointing Konoye
to form a commission for the revision of the Constitution.
Though General MacArthur stoutly denied having ordered
or approved the appointment of Konoye as head of this com-
mission, somebody in headquarters had apparently "blessed" the
idea, for Hirohito made the six-foot, flat-faced Prince an assistant
to his personal adviser, the Marquis Kido. This gave him special
entree to the palace.
The Supreme Commander, always playing by ear, heard the
rumble of criticism of Konoye in the world's press and particu-
larly in the American papers, namely, the New York Herald
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY . . ." 59
Tribune, the New York Times and the Christian Science Moni-
tor. It appeared that these papers, like many of the Allied ob-
servers in Tokyo, were prepared to believe that the General
had approved of Konoye's appointment.
They called the Prince an "evil scoundrel"; they said if he
was fit to draft a new constitution, then "Quisling should be
King of Norway, Laval should be President of France, and
Goering should be the Presiding Officer of the United Nations."
MacArthur again repudiated the idea that Konoye had any
backing from his headquarters in revamping the constitution.
But, like the newspapers, few correspondents believed this.
Konoye's clique wooed the correspondents with fancy lunch-
eon parties at which the hypochondriac Prince, compromiser in
the past, appeared after the tables had been cleared and his
stooges had poured the preparatory oil.
Konoye had little to say. He was a good listener. He hoped
to glean much from the tone and content of reporters' questions.
His views were put out by others than himself, such as suave
Amherst-educated Kase, long the Foreign Office spokesman;
wily Shimanouchi, also of the Foreign Office; and slinking Jiro
Shirasu, the fisheries magnate who was also unofficial secretary
to Shigeru Yoshida, then Foreign Minister.
These luncheons were, on the surface, rather gay affairs, but
both the hosts and guests knew that each side was testing out the
Kase would sooner or later turn the conversation to the
question of the Emperor, and it was always the same. "Do you
think the Emperor will be arrested as a war criminal?" he would
ask. Or, "How long do you think the occupation will last?" His
aide, Shimanouchi, Japan's "Lord Haw-Haw," who fully ex-
pected to be arrested at any moment, would eagerly ask in a
60 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
whisper if we thought "many" people would be taken into cus-
tody. Then would come the question, "Do you think I will be
arrested?" The answer would be something like, "Well, you
never can tell, Shimanouchi, you never can tell/' Or, "Well,
you lived for years in America; you went to college there why,
they might even accuse you of spying, Shimanouchi. But then
you didn't, did you?" At these words his face would blanch
slightly beneath its yellow pallor.
Most aggressive of them all was Shirasu, who felt that there
were "too many American experts in Japan." On one occasion
he said, "We bow to the Emperor just as you take your hat
off when passing a Catholic church; as you British say, 'Good
morning/ whether or not it is a nice morning, so we bow
reverently before our shrines."
Their wives were in on it too. They were eager to form "social
clubs" for the "dear, lonely American soldiers," or provide them
with "parties so that they won't feel homesick." It was all so
gay, but there was a desperate terror clutching their hearts.
It was surprising how many people at headquarters thought
Prince Konoye was a pretty good fellow. Konoye, three times
prime minister, was probably the greatest scoundrel Japan had
produced since before the Meiji restoration era, yet for some
reason there were several senior officers who thought he might
have been a great help to the occupation. It was not until early
December that his name appeared on a war-criminal list, and
if the press had not criticized General MacArthur for his delay,
the Prince might still be at large "helping" our occupation.
Again the Supreme Commander did not order an immediate
arrest but gave Konoye nearly three weeks to settle his affairs.
So apprehensive were the members of the "hush-hush" commis-
sion, known as the "Strategic Bombing Survey," that the Prince
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY ..." 6 1
might commit suicide before being interrogated, that they captured
him and took him to a ship moored in Tokyo Bay where they
questioned him for nearly two days. Other departments at
Supreme Headquarters took their cue from this and questioned
him; but "Prince Charming/' as he was known to a stable of
pretty girls, who fluttered about the Prince's many houses in
Tokyo, had no intention of bungling his suicide as Tojo had.
Just nineteen hours before the time set for him to enter
Sugamo prison to await trial as a war criminal, the Prince
dosed himself thoroughly with a poison believed to have been
a powerful sleeping draft, and calmly went to bed, leaving
a note stating that he was "unable to stand the humiliation of
being apprehended and tried by an American court."
The engineer of the "Chinese incident," the man who had
virtually placed Japan on a wartime footing as far back as May
of 1938, when as prime minister he pushed through Japan's
Diet the National General Mobilization Bill, took the chance
MacArthur had so kindly given him.
His death was discovered by Princess Konoye, who had been
estranged from him for many years. The night before, the
Prince had held an informal dinner party for his closest friends
who had come to be with him on his last night of freedom.
Earlier in the evening, he had been reading Oscar Wilde's "De
Profundis" and "The Ballad of Reading Gaol." Underlined in
red were some twenty passages which reflected his depression.
"I must say to myself that I ruined myself and that nobody
great or small can be ruined except by his own hand. . . ."
'Terrible as was what the world did to me, what I did to my-
self was far more terrible still. . . ."
"Morality does not help me. ... I am one of those that are
62 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
made for exceptions, not for laws. . . . Religion does not help
me. . . . Reason does not help me. . . ."
"I ceased to be lord over myself. ... I was no longer captain of
my soul and I did not know it. ... I allowed pleasure to domi-
nate me. ... I ended in horrible disgrace. . . . There is only one
thing for me now, absolute humility. . . ."
"The external things of life seem to me now of no importance
at all. . . ."
"Of course the sinner must repent. But why? Simply because
otherwise he will be unable to realize what he had done. The
moment of repentance is the moment of initiation. More than
that it is the means by which one alters one's past. . . ."
"People used to say of me that I was too individualistic. I must
be far more of an individualist than ever I was. I must get far
more out of myself than ever I got, and ask for less of the world
than ever I asked. Indeed, my ruin came not from too great
individualism of life but from too little. . . ."
"The final mystery is one's self. When one has weighed the
sun in the balance and measured the steps of the moon, and
mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains
one's self. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul. . . ."
The last person to see him alive was his son, and it was
believed that he knew his father intended to commit suicide.
The Prince gave him a statement written in pencil but unsigned.
The hurriedly written note said:
"I have been very gravely concerned with the fact that I have
committed certain errors in handling State affairs since the out-
break of the China Incident.
"I cannot but feel responsible for the outcome of the China
Incident. For this reason I have tried my best to reach an under-
standing between the United States and Japan in the hope that
such understanding alone could solve the China problem.
"It is indeed a matter of regret to be named as a war criminal
by the United States with whom I have wanted and tried to
work for a peaceful solution of Pacific affairs.
"l ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY . . ." 63
"I believe my real intentions are even now understood and ap-
preciated by my friends, including not a few friends in America.
World public opinion, which is at present full of over-excite-
ment, the passions of war, misunderstandings, innocent and
otherwise, malicious libel and unfounded rumors, will in time
recover calmness and balance. Only then will a just verdict be
given at the Court of God."
The correspondents who took down this statement as it was
read to them by the Prince's son, who spoke perfect English,
were surprised that his father had not commented on the occu-
pation. Japanese newspapermen, unable to understand English,
had copied from the original document and reported that the
Civil Censorship Department of Supreme Headquarters had
censored one sentence which read: "The winner is too boastful,
and the loser too servile." On investigating, correspondents
found that Prince Konoye's son had been warned by officers
from Supreme Headquarters not to give this sentence out to
the Allied Press. It was a typical example of the manner in
which General MacArthur's Public Relations Section endeav-
ored to stifle any criticism during those early months.
Prince Konoye's death was lamented not only by his friends
but by some people in Supreme Headquarters too. Brigadier
General Bonner Fellers, General MacArthur's Military Secre-
tary (at that time) who generally echoed "his master's voice," said
to the authors in January, "I was sorry to see him go. I thought he
was a pretty good fellow."
There were others on the war-criminal lists who seemed pretty
good fellows too. But General Thorpe, who kept his own Social
Register of Undesirables, was not impressed. He hesitated to
name all of them outright, but bided his time until he had the
"goods" on each one. His cautiousness stemmed, too, from the
64 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
comic-opera, atmosphere that surrounded the first few lists. For
example, two so-called Black Dragons, on an early list, had been
dead for years. Two others had never been in the secret society.
The actual leader of the Black Dragon Society was not named
until months after he had been exposed by the authors.
But as each list came out, one man felt the long arm of justice
whipping closer to him. He lived a lonely life amid the ruins
of a palace surrounded by a carp-filled moat. He was prisoner
of his dreams. His personal adviser, the Marquis Kido, had
already been imprisoned. He did not know when the Allies
might snatch him from his throne. He was emperor of a non-
existent empire. His name was Hirohito. He waited. ... So did
IN GERMANY, Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, ran out
before the end. In Italy, Mussolini and his mistress, Clara
Petacci, were shot, and hanged ignominiously by the heels in
Milan. In France, Petain and Laval went to trial; Petain got
jail, Laval got a bullet. Quisling got his death sentence from
a Norwegian court.
In Japan, Prince Konoye like Goering in Germany cheated
the hangman's noose by taking poison. Tojo nearly cheated
justice through our failure to pick him up immediately and by his
own bungled suicide.
But Tojo's stooge, Hirohito, was kept on the throne by Allied
agreement, or, to be more exact, by an American-made prop.
The man who had permitted Japan to start the war and whose
word ended it was given a chance the first he had had in twenty
years on the throne to prove himself a king and a leader.
The myopic little man with the fluttering hands, the curled-
brim fedora and the snaggle-toothed, Chaplinesque mustache
was no longer the real emperor, nor did he have an empire. He
took his orders from the man across the moat at Supreme Allied
Headquarters, Douglas MacArthur, the new Mikado.
66 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Once Hirohito, who claimed descent unbroken for ages
eternal from Japan's feudal gods the Oriental counterparts of
the Hitler-revived Wotan and Thor had held sway over 130
millions of people and over vast territories. At the peak of
Japan's headlong rush early in the war, the new and expanding
empire stretched from the Kuriles in the north over through
Manchuria and down to Malaya and Singapore. It swept in
other great arcs through the Ryukyus, the Marianas, the Philip-
pines, the Carolines, the Marshalls, New Guinea, the East
Indies and Guadalcanal.
The end of the war, MacArthur's freedom of thought and
speech directives, the seizing of war criminals close to the throne
all these turned the pitiless spotlight of publicity on to the
Imperial Institution. For the first time, the once blindly obedient
millions of Japanese began to question Hirohito's authority, his
descent, his supposed divinity. Under prodding by headquarters,
he issued a New Year's Rescript in 1946 that made history. For
in it he shattered the legend that Japan's emperors were divine.
He spoke openly of this conception as "false," and he told his
subjects flatly that they were not superior to other races nor
were they fated to rule the world.
We suspect to this day that the Emperor's rescript was written
for him at Allied Headquarters, possibly by MacArthur himself.
The General would be the first to deny this, but you may be
sure the rescript was not issued without approval from on high.
During the war, such an admission by the Emperor might
have caused a tremendous social and moral upheaval in Japan.
For the myth of Hirohito's divinity, fostered down the years by
the State religion of Shintoism and nurtured by Tojo and all the
other modern Shoguns who ever held the Emperor in their
grip, was something that no Japanese dared question except in
his innermost thoughts. And if he did so question it, he might
rip his bowels out next day in shame.
Now the myth was exploded without a ripple. If there was
any great tremor running down through the social strata in
Japan, it was hardly noticeable. The upper-crust Japanese those
who, with Tojo, battened on keeping the rank and file under
control told us they had known all along that Hirohito was
not of divine descent. They admitted that the myth of divinity
wasn't at all bad for the "people" to believe. It was a sort of
opiate, this Emperor worship. It was useful in helping a Japa-
nese forget all his other troubles.
And in his "divinity," the Emperor was shown to the people
by the militarists as proof that the world needed Japan's moral
guidance. He was the symbol of Japan's destiny/ Under the old
Japanese Constitution, he was head of the Japanese State in an
absolute sense; he was sacred and inviolable, and combined in
himself all rights of sovereignty. The old Constitution styled
him as coming from a "line of emperors unbroken for ages
As it happened, "Charlie," as he was known to irreverent
Americans, was not divine. The War Department, in one of its
pamphlets, put it very quaintly. In ironic officialese, the
pamphlet which was distributed to front-line troops read: "The
Emperor is divine to the Japanese people. . . . His person is not
sacred, however, from the viewpoint of the Armed Forces of the
United States. . . ." Nor did he come from an unbroken line. His
line went back only 554 years but that is another story and
Japan's emperors have always been mouthpieces for the mili-
tarists, chauvinists and other members of the tight little clique
of rulers that we have deposed in Japan. Hirohito was no excep-
68 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
tion. He issued for Tojo the Imperial Rescript that formally
declared war on the United States. He knew in advance and
approved in advance the general plans for an attack on Pearl
Harbor, and, indeed, for all of Japan's major expansionist moves
in the Far East.
But General MacArthur, who met and talked with him three
times in the first year of the occupation, looks on him as "a
great liberal who was so much a prisoner of the militarists that
he almost had to get their permission to go to the bathroom." He
also said of the Emperor after their first encounter that "Charlie"
was the sort of fellow you might expect to find at the golf club.
Except that "Charlie," when he went to call upon MacArthur
the first time, was togged out in striped trousers, cutaway and
silk topper. He did not have the counsel of his adviser, the
Marquis Kido, at that meeting. Alighting from the plum-
colored archaic Daimler which had brought them from the
palace, they were escorted into the embassy, where the new
Mikado waited quietly in his study. As Hirohito and Kido
passed through the door an officer took the tall, bespectacled
Kido by one arm and ushered him into an anteroom where he
was left to cool his heels. Hirohito walked on ... for the first
time alone, to meet the man in the scrambled-egg hat.
The General wore his customarily immaculate khaki trousers
and shirt. But he wore no tie. The pictures of that first meeting
are historic, and slightly comical. The Army had an official
photographer inside the Embassy in Tokyo. Like most press
photographers, he took no nonsense from his subjects and
shoved them around until he thought he had the right light,
the fine pose, the good background. Well, there is MacArthur,
towering above the Emperor and standing informally at ease,
hands on hips. Not a flicker of a smile lights his face. At his
left, straining as if he is about to pop a button somewhere, is
the stiff, awkward figure of the "divine" Emperor; his suit is
not quite the right fit and he has rather a frantic look upon his
So far, MacArthur has not made public a transcript of the
conversation at his three meetings with the Emperor. We are
left to guess what went on. But we know that after the first two
meetings, the General did not know whether the Emperor would
abdicate. But he was firm on one thing: even if he did abdicate,
Hirohito would not be tried as a war criminal.
The Emperor, according to his intimate advisers, has been
uneasy about his future ever since the end of the war. Naturally
so. He doubtless had an uneasy conscience about his role in
the war. He was the trumpet that Tojo blew; how long would
he relish the role of sounding off for General MacArthur? He
probably would have left the throne many months ago, if Allied
policy or, to be exact, American policy had not kept him on
as a useful link between the occupation edicts and the people
a balance wheel, if you like.
MacArthur's own psychological warfare experts had held
during the war that Hirohito must go. Brigadier General Bonner
Fellers, during the war head of psychological warfare in the Pacific
theater, and later Military Secretary to MacArthur, wrote of
Hirohito shortly before the occupation began that "as Emperor
and acknowledged head of the state, Hirohito cannot sidestep
war guilt. He is a part of and must be considered an instigator
of the Pacific War . . . whether or not Pearl Harbor was
against the Emperor's will is of little consequence . . . ines-
capably he is responsible. . . ." He, like the others, sang a dif-
ferent tune once we entered Japan. They said the whole success
of the occupation might be endangered if we got rid of this
70 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
insignificant-looking little man. MacArthur thought an occupa-
tion force of 2,000,000 soldiers would be needed, instead of 200,-
ooo. They said he really was an awfully nice guy, almost a
Christian gentleman; just like the other fellow, Prince Konoye.
Hirohito had plenty of advice. Prince Naruhiko Higashi-kuni,
the premier at the time of the surrender, and an imperial cousin,
had already put the Emperor on the spot by revealing in response
to persistent questioning from Allied newspapermen that the
Emperor had heard of the general outline of the plans for the
attack on Pearl Harbor, although he didn't know the timing of
the attack or its intimate details. And, of course, the Emperor
had signed the rescript declaring war.
The Prince later suggested to the Emperor that one of three
occasions would be appropriate for abdication. The first would
be upon the surrender and demobilization of the Japanese forces.
The second would be upon completion of the new Constitution,
relegating the Emperor to the role of a constitutional monarch
on the British model. The third would be at a time of the
Emperor's own choice.
But MacArthur made no direct move to oust Hirohito. This
negative procedure ran counter to the desires of the Chinese,
the Russians, the Australians and the New Zealanders, all of
whom had a stake in the occupation and in the future of Japan.
They frankly wanted the Emperor out and named as a war
criminal, and they said so, much to the embarrassment of Mac-
Arthur's headquarters, which wanted to see what kind of an
emperor he would make when freed of the trappings of State
Shintoism and the thraldom of militarists like Tojo.
The other powers saw the Emperor however shorn of his
prerogatives by the new Constitution as the keystone of a
dangerous social edifice, the center of a system of jingoistic
loyalty, a rallying point for nationalists of the future.
MacArthur said: "Let's not martyrize the Emperor; in their
own good time the Japanese will whittle him down to size."
Even as he spoke, early in 1946, MacArthur was doing some
of the whittling himself, and there is a good deal of suspicion
(with no admission from headquarters) that the new Constitu-
tion was penned in large measure by the General. Certainly it
reflects his lush prose style. And he has held this document up to
the rest of the world as a model.
The General felt that the Emperor's "divine" powers had been
proved incapable of defending the Japanese during the war;
later the Emperor abjured his divinity. Moreover, he was forced
to carry out the orders of an alien commander.
And the Japanese knew that MacArthur was not committed
to permanent retention of Hirohito. The broad directive from
the White House, issued in September, 1945, specifically said
that the Supreme Commander could change the government
machinery or personnel or act directly if the Emperor or anyone
else did not satisfactorily meet the requirements of General Mac-
Arthur in putting the surrender terms into effect.
"This policy," the directive added, "does not commit the
Supreme Commander to support the Emperor or any other
Japanese governmental authority in opposition to evolutionary
changes looking toward the attainment of the United States
MacArthur showed, too, that he was no respecter of the old
style Imperial Japan by cutting down three of the Emperor's
intimates as war-criminal suspects. One was Konoye, who com-
mitted suicide the night before he was to give himself up.
Another was the Marquis Koichi Kido, possibly the most danger-
72 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
ous man in Japan's years of aggression, after men of the Tojo
stripe. For Kido had the Emperor's ear and could tell him what
MacArthur also nabbed Baron Hiranuma, head of the Privy
Council, another who had been very close to Hirohito and had
influenced him during the war.
So nervous was Charlie in December, 1945, that he tried a
little public relations effort on Secretary of War Robert Patter-
son, who was then visiting Japan. One night Hirohito sent a
courier with a small package addressed to the Secretary of War,
to the Supreme Commander's residence, where Patterson was
staying. The messenger was told to wait while the package was
examined. Opening it, Patterson found that it contained a gold
cigarette case ... a present from Charlie. Patterson sent it back
then. The overture failed miserably.
The scythe swung even closer to Hirohito. MacArthur put
on the blacklist of war criminal suspects the octogenarian Prince
Morimasu Nashimoto, who had been prominently identified
with the hocus-pocus of State Shintoism. He later was turned
As the old-time buffers disappeared, Hirohito, obviously wor-
ried, sought to find out something of his own fate. As a new
"Kido," he appointed a fifty-two-year-old peer, the Marquis
Yasumasa Matsudaira, who had been Kido's chief secretary for a
decade, and with abolition of the Privy Seal's office, became
"Keeper of the Imperial Documents."
Matsudaira is a descendant of one of Japan's oldest and most
powerful feudal families. He is the embodiment of the old order.
And he married into one of its best-established branches, the
Tokugawa family. Under Kido, Matsudaira was really powerful.
In times of cabinet crises (and Japan's political instability is a
matter of record) he would make the rounds of political head-
quarters and the imperial household, ascertaining sentiment for
the choice of a new premier and reporting his findings to Kido.
Kido would then approach Hirohito and virtually dictate to him
the choice of the next prime minister. It was Kido who picked
Tojo in the fall of 1941 to succeed Prince Konoye. That was
less than two months before Pearl Harbor.
Matsudaira is fairly tall, a thin, aristocratic type. And he's
practical in his politics. Just when MacArthur was cracking
down with a series of major directives that had the old guard
shuddering, Matsudaira summoned his "smoothie" from the
Foreign Office, Kase, whose command of English was excellent
and who knew his way about town. Kase passed along the word
to one of the authors that Matsudaira would like very much to
entertain him and Brigadier General Elliot Thorpe, head of
counter-intelligence, at a geisha dinner.
The big catch, of course, was General Thorpe, if he would
consent to attend. For he kept the social register of undesirable
Japanese. Now, the General is nothing if not curious and eager
to sniff any new development. The dinner was arranged, and it
was in good taste.
But, as usual, our Japanese hosts beat about the bush with a
lot of chit-chat. General Thorpe went on the assumption that the
Japanese wanted to pick his brains. He was right. Matsudaira,
after some superb needling by General Thorpe, came out with
it. He indicated that the Emperor was worried. The directives
were getting harsher. Would MacArthur grab Hirohito? How
could the Emperor save himself?
General Thorpe would not bite. If he knew that MacArthur
might name the Emperor on the next war-criminal list, he did
not say so. He gave the retort courteously and diplomatically: the
74 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Emperor's future was up to himself and to the Japanese people.
If anyone had a guilty conscience about the past, it was his own
He said bluntly that nothing could save the Imperial Institu-
tion if Japan was to be run along the same old lines. He advised
the Emperor and his government to get busy and do something
about the plight of the people and not to sit around all day
bewailing the sternness of the occupation policies. And he
recalled, for Matsudaira's benefit, that there had been mon-
archies in France and in Russia which had been swept away
forever on the tide of a revolution that sprang from just such
oppressive conditions and "do-nothing-ism" as that which existed
in Japan. If such a revolution came in Japan, General Thorpe
warned, no one could stop it, not even the occupation forces.
Moreover, they would not try to stop it unless their own safety
was in peril.
If you Japanese love your Emperor so much, General Thorpe
added, why don't you get to work and make of him a genuine,
worth-while being? Matsudaira wanted to know how. So we at
the dinner table handed out the prescription.
We said the Emperor had never struck us as being particularly
human. We said he was too aloof from his people, particularly
when the people were down on their uppers. We said we
thought he ought to mix more in public and to indulge frankly
in some un-Japanese public relations. We recalled that George
VI in England (and his father and others before him) had been
a success because he was a human being, a family man, and
hobnobbed with the taxpayers.
It was on the tip of our tongues to recall Owen Lattimore's
remark: "One of the important reasons why the British can be
democratic and have a king, too, is that . . . the English people
cut off the head of an English king." But we weren't paying for
It may have been just a coincidence, but it was not long
before Hirohito began to be the busy little bee that he is today.
He scurries all over his greatly reduced kingdom on visits to the
sick and the halt and the just plain folks; to the factory workers
and farmers. He lets his picture be taken in most un-divine atti-
tudes: getting his feet wet on the beach in summertime (still
wearing the fedora) and reading American funny sheets to the
Crown Prince, Akihito. We've also been treated to photographs
of the Emperor wheeling his youngest grandchild in a baby car-
riage. The Japanese are great imitators, of course; the Emperor is
pulling all the corny stunts that Tammany politicians used years
ago to sell difficult candidates.
General MacArthur, in a note that smacked of "Look-what's-
going-on-here-now!" reported: "On one occasion he removed his
hat and bowed his thanks to an ex-sailor for his 'effort/ "
E for Effort.
But that really was noteworthy. The Japanese no longer pros-
trate themselves when the Emperor passes. They look at him
with curiosity, and with a new affection. They no longer pull
down the shades when the royal car or the royal train rolls by.
They watch with some amazement as he bows, nods, doffs his
hat, moves in the jerky fashion of characters in an old Biograph
He's still pretty stiff about it, and nervous, too. His voice
quavers; his phrases are still stilted. But he seems to be sweating
it out manfully. He'd much rather go back to the carefree days
of his youth and the early years of his reign (which he called
"Showa," meaning "Radiant Peace") when nothing made him
j STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
happier than to spend hours chasing over the moors and rocks
after a new bit of flora to add to his collection.
He still inspires reverential shouts of "Banzai!" and some hys-
terical tears from peasant women. But he certainly would not
win any Gallup poll for popularity. They might give him E for
One middle-class Japanese put it this way :
"We would like to keep the Emperor because we are rather
fond of him, and because he's a symbol. But we feel that he
used his political power unwisely when he had it, and, therefore,
it should be taken from him."
The new Constitution does just that. It will be effective in
May, 1 947, but it already has passed through the Diet. It waited,
in the fall of 1946, only for an Imperial Rescript from Hirohito
signifying his consent and approval, a gesture of political hara-
kiri. The rescript was to be followed by a period of six months
before the Constitution finally took effect.
About halfway through the first year of the occupation, head-
quarters woke up to the fact that physically, Hirohito, although
only in his mid-forties, would not last forever. A handful of
correspondents, including the authors, wandered one day into a
headquarters office that concerned itself with the care and up-
bringing of the Japanese mentally. That was the Civil Informa-
tion and Education Office.
Into receptive ears the correspondents dropped casually this
thought: Have you considered the future education of the
Crown Prince, Akihito, to fit him for the role of a democratic,
constitutional monarch of a peaceful, industrious Japan that
would take its place in the family of nations in a generation
The answer was a startled no. But it was accompanied with
a promise that something would be done.
The answer came early in 1946. General MacArthur invited
to Tokyo a commission of American educators. They were
to look into the school system in Japan and to recommend
changes that had largely been decided upon beforehand by
Mac Arthur's own team of educators.
On their return, the educators reported that by offhand de-
cisions of Hirohito that twice rocked his court, a woman would
get the job of American tutor to the chubby twelve-year-old heir
who had been fiercely shielded from all feminine influence, in-
cluding his mother's.
Dr. George D. Stoddard, Education Commissioner of New
York State, who was chairman of the education mission to Japan,
said he asked the secretary of the imperial household, "A man
or a woman teacher?"
The astonished secretary ran back to the Emperor. He re-
turned and reported: "A woman's touch is desired. He wishes an
American woman of good cultural background and maturity."
Maturity, the secretary explained, meant someone over fifty.
Dr. Stoddard confessed amazement. The secretary cut it down to
someone over forty who could stand the climate. Dr. Stoddard
said later he would not mind a teacher under forty who could
stand the "climate" of Japan, not meaning the four seasons. He
did not look for a flapper or a schoolmarm, but someone who was
prepared to be an important person in Japanese life, someone
who would replace Akihito's two tutors from the lad's early days,
Admiral Togo and General Nogi.
The Japanese told Dr. Stoddard that they definitely wanted
young Akihito exposed to "living, fresh, American thought" and
wanted him taught English once a week. The American tutor,
78 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
as a regular member of the faculty of the Tokyo Peers' School,
also was to teach Akihito's four sisters.
The State Department canvassed several recommendations for
the post. It announced that the important job would go to Mrs.
Elizabeth Gray Vining of Philadelphia, a graduate of Bryn
Mawr and author of several books for children.
Mrs. Vining is a charming and attractive woman in her middle
forties. She is a Quaker. One wonders now, as she takes the
young prince in hand, whether, like Anna Leonowens in Siam,
Mrs. Vining will have an important influence on the history of
Japan, possibly of Asia as a whole.
The Crown Prince Chulalongkorn of Siam was adept at Eng-
lish, his English governess found. She was bold and impulsive,
as the princeling found. Anna would not kneel to the king, who
was a contemporary of Queen Victoria. And she handed round
translations of Uncle Toms Cabin. The royal pupil later abol-
ished slavery; he also abolished the practice of prostration in his
Mrs. Vining may have taken along to Tokyo in her baggage a
copy of something she wrote two years ago. It was an introduc-
tion to William Penn's Advice to His Children. When Akihito
is well along with his English lessons, he may be introduced to
Item 5, Part 2, of Penn's advice: "Meddle not with government/'
Before she left the United States, Mrs. Vining said she didn't
know what copies, if any, of the books she has written for older
boys and girls had been sent to Japan. They range from the story
of a thirteenth-century minstrel boy to biographies of Walter
Scott and Penn, and the story of a modern high-school girl.
Mrs. Vining, say those who know her, has a gaiety of spirit
that takes hold upon children, and she enjoys such authors as
Chaucer, St. Francis, William Blake, George Herbert, Emily
Bronte and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Her humor and the kind
of people she does not enjoy are suggested in the lines she quoted
from an unknown medieval writer in her Anthology with Com-
ments, published in 1942: "Fleshy janglers, flatterers and blam-
ers, ronkers and ronners, and all manner of pinchers, cared I
never that they saw this book."
Then, commenting on a nature poem by W. H. Davies, Mrs.
Vining wrote of the "minor ecstasies of life": "Something seen,
something heard, something felt flashes upon one with a bright
freshness, and the heart, tired or sick or sad or merely indifferent,
stirs and lifts in answer."
Elsewhere, writing of sorrow, she says: "Whether it be sorrow
for our own loss or sorrow for the world's pain, we must learn
how to shoulder the burden of it, to carry it so that it does not
break our stride or sap the strength of those about us through
their pity for our woe."
Mrs. Vining has sorrow for unhappy Japan, too. Her reaction
to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima: "I was sick at heart."
Mrs. Vining intends to introduce Akihito to such books as
Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln Grows Up and others on the
American Library Association's specially prepared list for Japa-
nese children. She is pleased most of all by the knowledge that
she will receive in her Japanese home the prince and the prin-
cesses for a recreational period as well. She had been told before-
hand that Akihito was "a real boy" with a good intellect and
mature for his years. She undertook to study Japanese so that
she might appreciate his difficulties in learning English.
Mrs. Vining has a contract for a year's work with Akihito.
When the time is up, it may be extended by mutual consent. By
the summer of 1947 we may have interesting news about her
80 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
By then, too, Hirohito may have made up his mind about his
future. Financially, it is secure enough: the new Constitution
provides for payment of the imperial family from the regular
budget of the government. But all property of the imperial
household other than hereditary estates shall belong to the State.
Further, under a special capital levy bill passed by the Diet, with
prompting from Allied Headquarters, which wrote its major
provisions, all imperial properties will be subject to a heavy tax
that will cost Hirohito and his relatives the equivalent of about
Politically, the war-crimes trials under way in Tokyo also may
make the Emperor's future more shaky. MacArthur has said the
Emperor will not be tried as a war criminal, whatever the other
Allies say. However, headquarters has toyed for many months
with the idea of having the Emperor discredit himself either by
summoning him as a witness at those trials or by having certain
evidence presented that will leave him no alternative but to
There was another fear inside the palace, but it was somewhat
lessened by American protection of the grounds and by Mac-
Arthur's insistence that no one see the Emperor without his
permission. That was the fear of assassination. So strong was it
that Hirohito wore a special white kimono with a vivid purple
sash when he walked about in the evening in the palace grounds.
This was for identification purposes, and enabled guards to keep
an eye on him. And in the palace interior (the part that the 6-29
raids did not burn to the ground), there was at night a special
detail of female guards always near the Emperor as a double
security precaution. For the regular Imperial Guards had shown
signs of disaffection after the war. Some deserted the royal
service. These guardsmen were the Japanese counterpart of
"CHARLES" 8 1
Britain's Coldstream Guards. They had a tradition and many had
their jobs by inheritance. Supposedly, they were immune from
bad thoughts. But now the disgruntled ones chanted a mournful
little song entitled "Defeated Papa."
While court circles would have you believe that Hirohito led
a Christian sort of life despite the fact that he was symbol of
Shintoism Charlie's disgruntled palace guards told a different
story. Counter-intelligence officers learned that his domestic life
was anything but a happy one. This meek little man had another
hobby besides photography and botany he was a perfect little
devil with the women. The imperial apartments, they found,
housed two or three concubines as well as the imperial family.
Each year girls from the best Japanese families were honored
with a garden party in the palace grounds. The prettiest of them
were chosen as maids-in-waiting for the following year. Charlie
always picked two or three maids-in-waiting. . . . Prince Konoye
hotly denied this when he was asked by the authors for com-
ment, but he, too, relaxed from the cares of state with a few
The authors suggest that the Empress could throw more light
on Charlie's affaires d'amour . . . for did she not surprise him
one day in the palace grounds, arm in arm with one of his
favorites? And did not the Son of Heaven take off like a fright-
ened fawn, with the Empress minus all regal dignity in hot
And was it not the Empress who screamed and shrieked with
anger when the Emperor's bedside bell clanged twice at night
the signal for one of his favorites rather than for her to enter
the sacred bedchamber? One bell was the call for the Empress;
two, three and four bells for the other girls. Charlie, like the
postman, always seemed to ring at least twice.
82 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
He had other troubles too, and one of them was a rival for his
There was a humble shopkeeper at Nagoya who had also
been a Buddhist priest. He traced his descent from the ousted
Southern Dynasty of Japan. In this unsettled period the pre-
tender tossed his claims right at the feet of MacArthur. And
when Hirohito paid a visit to Nagoya, the pretender in some
unexplained manner sneaked a ride in the rear car of the royal
motorcade as it wound through the streets.
"IF I WERE KING.
THE BORED young lieutenant in the translation section of Su-
preme Headquarters thumbed through the bulky set of docu-
ments which had arrived that morning in General MacArthur's
voluminous fan mail. It was early November. Japan had been
occupied for just two months, yet already the Great Man's corre-
spondence had increased by leaps and bounds. He had seen
letters of praise and threats arrive for the General, but never
before now had he encountered such an important-looking
document. He could hardly believe his eyes as he quickly flicked
through the pages which were carefully clipped together, neatly
set up on heavy parchment with impressive seals and addressed
to "Marshal MacArthur, Japan's Heavenly-sent Messenger/'
Shaking his head and laughing to himself, he tossed the file of
papers into a basket labeled "for further reference" and remarked
to a fellow officer at another desk that the country was "full of
Japan and the world might never have known the contents of
those papers but for Richard Lauterbach, associate editor of Life,
who happened to be in the office at that moment, making in-
4 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
quiries about the General's fan mail, which rivaled that of a
"I have read all sorts of things in this department/' said the
lieutenant, tapping the papers in the basket, "but this beats them
all. Here is a character who claims he is the rightful emperor of
Thus began one of the strangest tales of a strange land. That
bulky set of papers contained the grievances of 554 years, the
claims of a humble shopkeeper of the city of Nagoya, Hiromichi
Kumazawa, nineteenth direct descendant of the Emperor Goka-
meyama, the last monarch of Japan's Southern Dynasty, who
reigned from 1383 to 1392 and who was in turn descended from
Godaigo, the ninety-sixth emperor of Japan. At a time when
Hirohito's future lay in the balance, Kumazawa had decided to
petition the Supreme Commander to "restore the true dynasty to
the throne and eradicate an historical injustice."
Many strange and unbelievable things had happened since the
occupation had begun, but never had there been a murmur about
a rival to the throne. Lauterbach's nimble brain worked swiftly.
Here was a first-class story, if only he could lay his hands on the
papers. He knew, however, that if he showed the slightest inter-
est, the papers would promptly assume a greater importance to
the young officer and might be placed on the restricted list of
documents. He made no comment, and the matter was forgotten.
Several days later he returned to the office, ostensibly to make
inquiries about something else. The documents still lay in the
"for further reference" basket. As he was leaving he casually sug-
gested that if they ever got around to doing a translation of the
petition from the "nut who claims to be emperor," he would
like to see it just for "the fun of it." It might take some time to
make a translation, he was told but would he like to borrow the
"iF I WERE KING. . . ." 85
original document? He left with the file tucked under his arm.
Interpreters worked for nearly a week, translating the pile of
papers, and it was apparent upon completion of the job that it
might take months to dig up all the facts. The petition itself was
very complete, but it was so involved that to examine it thor-
oughly would have required the setting up of a full commission.
It was just too big a story for one man to handle by himself.
Lauterbach decided to share it with Robert Cochrane of the
Baltimore Sun and the authors, and for nearly two months this
little band worked on assembling the facts. Absolute secrecy was
necessary, for one word to the sixty-odd correspondents in the
press club would have sent them flying in search of the claimant
to the throne. We could not even inform our editors, for we
knew that our cables were carefully read before they left Japan.
One word back to the Public Relations Section would have
meant a "handout" to everybody. We gave our campaign the
name of "Plan Untenable," and we never referred to it by any-
thing else during the two months we worked on it.
The petition itself was an amazing piece of work. There were
pages tracing Hirohito's line of descent and historical back-
ground, giving proof that Charlie's ancestors had by means of
intrigue, trickery and murder stolen the throne from Kumazawa's
family 554 years before. There were details regarding the where-
abouts of certain shrines, mausoleums and temples which con-
tained proof. Long tables showed Kumazawa's lineage. There
were copies of petitions which had been sent to the Imperial
Household during the previous seventy years, and numerous
pages gave a record of these petitions and the dates they had
been submitted to Japanese emperors in the past. These, the
pretender claimed, were in the possession of the Imperial House-
hold Minister and the family of Prince Konoye. With all these
86 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
papers was a long plea from Kumazawa, begging the Supreme
Commander to investigate his case.
The more we investigated the petition, the more clear it
became that it was no idle, mischief -making claim. It sounded
fantastic, but Kumazawa's claims were made stronger by the fact
that the very same demands had been submitted by his ancestors.
Even in the previous seventy years, at least seven petitions had
been made to the Emperor, but the answer had always been
restrictive measures against the family. Japanese scholars and
even members of Hirohito's court acknowledged the existence of
a rival line of royalty long deposed by gangsters of another era;
but those who knew the story kept it to themselves. To dare sug-
gest that Charlie was not the real emperor might have proved
extremely unhealthy, and even to hint that there was a pretender
was to court disaster.
Kumazawa and his family had been hounded down and forced
to keep moving. Their ancestors had been thrown into jail, mur-
dered or forced to leave the country. One of the strongest pieces
of evidence was the fact that after their deaths, they had been
honored with titles, but never during their lifetimes had they
been elevated to court rank or recognized. While they lived they
were persecuted, and when they died they were -rewarded. It was
typical of the crafty, upside-down methods of the Japanese.
From the death of his father seventeen years before, Kuma-
zawa had been constantly on the move, with the Kempei-tai,
Japan's Gestapo police, always at his heels. They never allowed
him to remain longer than a few months in any one place for
fear that he might form a movement to back his demands. Al-
ways he was threatened with jail or death if he continued to
press what they called his "silly and insane claims." For seven
years Kumazawa hid behind the garb of a Buddhist priest, until
"iF I WERE KING. . . ." 87
he was discovered and forced to move on. He worked as a farmer
for a time, and again was tracked down with the same conse-
quences. He then became a peddler, and finally at the start of the
war had opened a small general store in Nagoya. This, however,
was destroyed in the first air raid on the city and he was forced
to move to the suburbs and try again. His second store was
burned down. He moved again and opened a third, which did
survive. Here he gathered the members of his family about him,
all descendants of the Southern Dynasty, and with the coming
of General MacArthur and the new democratic era to Japan, he
decided to seek the aid of the Supreme Commander.
From the mass of evidence submitted, it was extremely clear
that the Imperial Household Ministry knew of the case, but it
was doubtful if the matter had ever reached Hirohito's shell-like
ears. Throughout his reign Charlie had merely been a stooge.
The militarists had in him their greatest weapon for controlling
Japan's milling population, and they kept him cloistered. The
Emperor was "not to be worried," they maintained, and the
Imperial Household Ministry prevented him from being "wor-
ried." Later we learned that he had never heard of Kumazawa
or his claims.
In 1935 the Imperial Household Vice-Minister offered Kuma-
zawa a title which was to be a purely honorary one, not elevating
him to court rank. In offering this biscuit for the pretender to
chew on, the Emperor's Vice-Minister made it quite clear that
even with the title he would not be recognized as the last true
descendant of the Southern Dynasty. The title was merely to
keep his mouth shut. Kumazawa's answer, given through his
chief adviser, Chozo Yoshida, whom we were later to meet, was,
"It is better to remain an ordinary loyal Japanese subject than
to accept a title inferior to that of Emperor." On hearing this, we
88 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
were even more convinced that there was a skeleton in Charlie's
imperial closet, whether he knew it or not, and we decided to
make it dance.
Checking through Japanese histories used in Tokyo's schools
and colleges, we found that they skipped very neatly over the years
from 1335 to 1392, the period in which Kumazawa contended
the throne was stolen by the Northern Dynasty. Hirohito traced
his lineage, being the one hundred and twenty-fourth emperor
in line, back to this dynasty which, according to the histories,
had existed from the time of the first of Japan's monarchs, the
Emperor Jimmu. Modern Japanese history books carried this
line: "The Upper Exalted Being [in some cases they used the
term "Son of Heaven"] is descended from a line unbroken back
to 600 B.C. when the great Emperor Jimmu founded Japan."
Jimmu was descended (according to the histories) from the
Sun Goddess Amaterasu, who had commanded him to bring the
eight corners of the world under one roof a Japanese roof. The
great masses of the Japanese people believed this; Iput students
of history and university professors knew of the two dynasties,
and they were therefore fully aware that the Northern Dynasty
had been in existence only from the end of the thirteenth cen-
tury and could not have descended from an unbroken line
stretching back into the ages. To have suggested that the Japa-
nese histories prepared and issued by the State were wrong,
however, might have cost them their heads. University professors
whom we challenged about this admitted as much.
The pretender, Hiromichi Kumazawa, based his claims on the
somewhat cloudy period of Japanese history from 1335 to 1392
when Japan was ruled by the Northern and Southern Dynasties.
He traced his lineage back to the last emperor of the Southern
Dynasty, Gokameyama, a descendant of the Emperor Godaigo.
"iF I WERE KING. . . ." 89
Godaigo lost his throne when the Tojos of that period forced
him to flee for safety to another palace at Mount Yoshino, and
from that time on there came into being the Northern and
Southern Dynasties. The revolutionaries elected a new monarch
to ascend Godaigo's throne at Kyoto, which was then the capital
of Japan, and this monarch began to administer his duties as
monarch of the country. Meanwhile Godaigo was continuing to
rule from his new palace. There were, therefore, two emperors
ruling Japan at the same time.
This strange situation continued for sixty years, with constant
warfare being waged between the two rival monarchs. The Em-
peror Godaigo's Southern Dynasty had more power over the
Japanese than the newly elected monarch, for Godaigo was in
possession of the three sacred treasures supposedly handed down
by the Sun Goddess Amaterasu to Jimmu, the first emperor, and
passed down from him to his imperial descendants as a sign of
their "divinity" and imperial rank. These treasures, jewels, an
eight-sided bronze mirror and a sword were the cause of much
blood-spilling during this period. According to Japanese history,
the mirror and the jewels were used to entice the Sun Goddess
out of her hiding place to make Japan and her emperors "divine."
The sword was supposedly found by the Sun Goddess's brother in
the tail of a dragon. As long as the Southern Dynasty held these
treasures, the Northern Dynasty could not completely win over
the greater masses of the people, so the war raged on.
The Southern Dynasty began to lose ground, and when this
happened, the Emperor Godaigo abdicated in favor of a gentle-
man named Gomurakami, who was later succeeded by the Em-
peror Chokei, and finally by the last of the southern monarchs,
the Emperor Gokameyama. This emperor was eventually forced
to hand over to the emperor of the Northern Dynasty, Goko-
90 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
matsu, the three sacred treasures, which are today in Hirohito's
keeping. The jewels are in the imperial palace and the sword
is kept in the imperial shrine of Atsuta. The mirror is the treas-
ure of the huge shrine of Ise, where the Emperor, princes of
royal blood, cabinet ministers and ambassadors "report" impor-
tant events to the gods.
The handing over of the imperial symbols to the Northern
Dynasty gave them full power over the people, but it was on
Gokomatsu and his ancestors' accession to the throne that Kuma-
zawa's family based their claims throughout the ages. They
charged that the accession was unlawful, that the true heirs were
the descendants of the last emperor of the Southern Dynasty.
This was the history behind Kumazawa's claim. Now, know-
ing that Hirohito might be arrested as a war criminal, the
pretender decided to take advantage of the situation and petition
the Supreme Commander.
We found his chief adviser a balding, wizened little man
named Yoshida, who had brought the petition to Tokyo. He was
living in abject poverty in a Tokyo slum with his wife, waiting
for an answer from Supreme Headquarters. His clothes were
threadbare; his shoes were in shreds; his once white collar and
string tie had seen better days; but he hid the filth and shabbi-
ness beneath a well-cut black morning coat. He chain-smoked
our cigarettes with a horrible hissing noise as he told us the full
story and begged us to visit the pretender secretly at his home
in Nagoya. We agreed, but we had great difficulty in getting him
to leave town. Desperately afraid that he might be seen leaving
us and questioned by some other correspondent (who might have
had more cigarettes than we had) we paid him to get out of
Tokyo and stay out. We saw him off on a train to Nagoya, prom-
"iF I WERE KING. ..." 91
ising him that we would arrive the day after Christmas for the
pretender's first audience.
We left Tokyo in the midst of the celebrations on Christmas
night with a party of correspondents who were leaving on a tour
of occupation zones under the command of the Sixth Army,
which had its headquarters in Kyoto. The train, we knew, passed
through Nagoya during the night, and we planned to slip off as
it pulled into the station. Our party was under the guidance of
a colonel from the Public Relations Section, and we knew he
would be greatly displeased on finding that he had "lost" us on
arrival at Kyoto. But we could not help that. As the train pulled
into Nagoya, we quietly got out of our sleeping berths, and
leaving a note for the colonel that we had gone "to report to our
ancestors at a local shrine," we stepped off the train.
We spent the last few hours of that night at an army hotel,
where we were very unpopular, as we woke several officers by barg-
ing into the wrong rooms. The following morning we drove to
the railway station in a borrowed jeep. We had warned the pre-
tender through Yoshida that we would arrive at the station at
10 A.M. sharp, but we had no idea that a reception committee
would be there to greet us.
In the midst of milling, chattering Japanese at the station we
saw Yoshida and his wife surrounded by a dignified group of
people. They all wore brown ceremonial kimonos, but only when
we were introduced to them did we notice the small imperial
crests of the sixteen-petaled white chrysanthemum on each sleeve
of their garments. All of them were members of Kumazawa's
court, and were related in some way or another to the pretender.
They were taking our arrival very seriously, and we gathered
that they were under the impression that we had been sent by
General MacArthur personally to examine Kumazawa's claim.
92- STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Immediately we set about correcting that impression (we were
sure the General would not have liked it!).
They had walked a good two miles to the station to meet us,
and apparently we were supposed to provide them with trans-
portation back. Taking as many as we could, we drove to the
pretender's home, and on arriving there sent the vehicles back
for those who had been left behind.
Kumazawa's home was a humble, ramshackle store. It cer-
tainly was not in keeping with his royal blood. A long line of
washing hung across the front of the building. A tinsmith
squatted on the pavement near his door and hammered away,
paying no attention to the sudden commotion caused by our
arrival. It was a great occasion for the local children playing
outside, and they proceeded to clamber over our jeeps shouting
at the top of their voices. Others joined hands and danced about
us, doing their very best to trip us. For a moment we thought
we had come to the wrong place, but then a tall, dignified, olive-
skinned man, magnificent in his brown kimono which bore larger
imperial crests than the others, came striding through the crowd.
This was Hiromichi Kumazawa, the pretender.
He looked more Korean than Japanese. Tall and handsome,
with a small, carefully trimmed mustache and wide blue eyes, he
had a certain regal bearing which set him apart immediately from
the crowd. He greeted us warmly and apologized for his humble
dwelling. A few bundles of firewood, some vegetables and par-
cels of dried herbs were all his shop displayed. He bade us follow
and led us through his shop to the door of his living room. Here
we removed our shoes before we entered.
We were really surprised at what we saw. The tiny room had
been draped in purple, with huge imperial crests emblazoned on
each strip of cloth. The crests were at least three feet in width.
"iF I WERE KING. . . ." 93
It was obvious that Kumazawa no longer feared the police, for
the royal white chrysanthemum crest, according to Japanese law,
may be carried only by the emperor or princes of royal blood.
Hiromichi took his place at the head of the room, squatting down
behind a small table, while we sat on cushions on either side and
the members of his court sat at the end of the room. On a table
before Hiromichi was a small green vase which also carried the
imperial crest in gold, and to its left was a small stunted tree
growing from a delicately ornamented tray. His wife, Yae, and
three of their children, aged between thirteen and two, sat near
the door. Their eldest son, who was twenty-two, was in the
Japanese army in Manchuria and had not been heard from in
over two years.
One by one we were solemnly introduced to the pretender
by his chief adviser, Yoshida. The pretender then presented each
of us with parchment scrolls, inscribed with poetry written in
our honor, and the audience began.
We asked him to start at the beginning and tell us his whole
story. His blue eyes for a moment looked straight into the dis-
tance, then he said bitterly, "My family was the first to be
He knew, he told us, that his ancestors were the direct de-
scendants of the Southern Dynasty, and as he had studied
ancient documents he had become "more and more convinced"
that his family were the true rulers of Japan. When his father
had died seventeen years before, he had left Kumazawa a will,
urging him "to exert every effort to recover my family's position."
His eyes filled with tears as he spoke of his father, and of the
persecution and jailing his father had had to endure during his
lifetime. "Until my father's dying wish is carried out," he said,
"I cannot inter his ashes or give him the name of a god."
94 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
He showed us a small, beautifully made bronze box about the
size of a tea cup. "This," he said, "is all that remains of my
father's sacred ashes. The original urn was destroyed in the
bombing, and the sacred ashes were scattered in the destruction.
I was able to save only a very small amount, but I cannot inter
the ashes until my family as been elevated to its rightful posi-
Unlike the voice of an ordinary Japanese, who suppresses all
feeling, Kumazawa's voice was charged with emotion as he
spoke. Occasionally it would crack with anger when he told of
the unjust treatment he and his people had received from the
various emperors through the centuries. He had the whole story
at the tip of his tongue and was prepared to substantiate every
detail with proof.
"The Emperor Meiji, who ruled from 1867 to 1912," he told
us, "knew of the matter. He ordered a full investigation to be
made in a just and righteous manner. He gave the work of form-
ing a commission to his minister, but after a few weeks his
minister informed him that if a full investigation was made it
would bring untold results to his descendants. The investigation
never took place.
"The Emperor Meiji did, however, order that all deceased
members of the Southern Dynasty be elevated to court rank, but
living members could not during their lifetimes receive titles or
rank which would put them on a level with members of the
imperial court/' the pretender related.
"The present imperial family," he declared, "aggressed not
only on my rights but on the rights of the world. How can there
be democracy in Japan or good will to other nations as long as an
illegal emperor sits on the throne?
"I consider Hirohito to be Japan's Number One war criminal,
iF I WERE KING. ... 95
but if I were emperor I would leave the disposal of that matter
to General Mac Arthur, who is God's messenger to Japan," he
said, the mere thought of Hirohito bringing a fresh determina-
tion into his face.
He told us how the police had kept him and his family always
on the move. He had worked all over Japan in various jobshe
mentioned having been a farmer, a peddler, a Buddhist priest
and a storekeeper. Even with the American troops occupying the
country he was still watched, and he never knew just when he
would be forced to leave Nagoya for some other place. His family
had only recently been warned that they would be arrested if
seen wearing the imperial crest. Therefore, he said, the crest
was worn only on ceremonial occasions.
"Why," he said, "should we remove the royal crest when it is
There was complete silence among his listeners as he talked,
and the members of his court nodded their heads in agreement
with his every word.
"I am sure," he continued thoughtfully, "that a new Japan
would arise with the restoration of the proper imperial family.
The Japanese people are tired, and they have been deceived by
Hirohito and his government. I was against the war from the
beginning. I knew Japan must lose. So did many of the Japanese
people. The United States helped set up the Emperor Meiji, and
Japan should not have gone to war with the United States or
any other country."
His years as a Buddhist priest had apparently affected him a
great deal, for he reviewed at length the suppression of the vari-
ous religious bodies throughout the country during the war. He
was not against the Shinto religion, but he wanted complete
religious freedom for the Japanese people.
96 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
"If I were emperor/' he declared, "there would be complete
freedom of religion. There cannot be a true democracy in this
country unless the people are free to practice whatever religion
He had, he told us, received "spiritual training" and was pre-
pared in every way to assume the "responsibilities of an em-
peror." First, however, our seller of firewood and herbs had to
be made emperor. . . .
The two dynasties, we were told, had their separate shrines,
and during the years many of Hirohito's court had traveled in-
cognito to worship at the southern shrines. They did this,
according to Kumazawa, because they were afraid that one day
the "gods might take vengeance against them" for allowing the
suppression of the rightful dynasty to continue.
Hirohito, he considered, was rapidly losing his power over the
people. The present government would not succeed, because of
the apathy which existed throughout Japan. This was his belief.
Regarding Japan's future form of government, he said:
"If I were emperor, there would be a truly democratic govern-
ment. There could be nothing wrong with its policies if they
were based on the will of the people, and by the people I do
not mean the upper classes. I mean the great masses who have
been misguided through the years. Japan could be a free and
beautiful country. It would prove itself to the world, and other
countries would welcome it into their ranks."
The pretender still had more to tell us. The Japanese, it ap-
peared, had never been told the story of the Southern Dynasty.
Once a Japanese newspaper had investigated the matter and
promised publication of the story, but the police had intervened
and the story had never appeared. In fact, the pretender begged
us to keep his whereabouts a secret and even asked us for mili-
iF I WERE KING. . . . 97
tary protection in case the police took action against him when
our stories appeared.
To us there was unquestionably something very impressive
and wholly sincere about this fifty-six-year-old claimant to the
throne, and we promised to give his case publicity. We prepared
to leave the store, refusing some strange steaming balls of brown
beans which his wife attempted to serve us. They had been pre-
pared in our honor, but they did look repulsive, and we were
glad to have an excuse to leave immediately.
Though the claim of Hiromichi Kumazawa and his family and
followers seemed valid enough, we knew there was little hope of
his realizing his dream. We could not greatly help him. The most
we could do was to air the matter in the Japanese press. This
would at least bring it to light for the first time in history.
We returned to Tokyo and filed our stories. When we were
sure our papers had all the details, we returned the original docu-
ments to headquarters and gave the full story to the army news-
paper, Stars and Stripes. Then we waited for the storm to break.
The following morning it did. The Stars and Stripes ran the
full account, and at the same time it appeared in Great Britain
and the United States. Had a bomb been dropped on headquar-
ters, a greater commotion could not have been created. Instead
of reading about the pretender's petition in a confidential memo-
randum, senior officers found out about it in their morning
paper. How had the petition gotten out? Who had given the
papers out? Where was it, anyway? They were baffled.
Then we gave the story to the Japanese press. This caused an
even greater sensation. The Japanese were incredulous. Some
Japanese papers, particularly the Foreign Office propaganda
sheet, the Nippon Times, tried hard to belittle it. Court circles
began to wonder what would happen, for many in the court
98 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
knew that Kumazawa's case was real. This, the court circles de-
cided, had been arranged by Supreme Headquarters. Hirohito
would first be arrested as a war criminal, then the pretender
would be given the throne. These people viewed the whole mat-
ter with great uneasiness, for they did not know what would
happen to them if Kumazawa's claim was recognized. The most
anxious of them all was Charlie.
Still quaking lest he be arrested, Hirohito read of his rival in
the Stars and Stripes. It was the worst news he had had in a
long time. He had lost his empire, and now he might lose his
throne. Only a few days before, in a New Year's message, drafted
by headquarters, he had told his people that he was not "divine."
Now they were being told he might not even be their rightful
emperor! Charlie was indeed a very worried man. Would Gen-
eral Mac Arthur order a complete investigation? Charlie, accord-
ing to court circles, had heard of Kumazawa for the first time
that morning. He had read about it in the Stars and Stripes, like
everybody else, and he did not know what to do about it. He
waited, as he had always waited, for Supreme Headquarters to
act. He did not know that the whole thing was also a great sur-
prise to them too!
Meanwhile in Nagoya, Japanese police had called at the
pretender's home and had questioned him about our visit. Kuma-
zawa and his wife were later escorted to a police station and
grilled for several hours. They quite calmly referred their ques-
tioners to Supreme Headquarters. This was promptly relayed
back to police headquarters in Tokyo, and the matter was sub-
mitted to the Foreign Office, which became convinced that
Supreme Headquarters was backing the pretender. General
Thorpe, head of the Counter-intelligence Section, on hearing
that Kumazawa and his wife had been questioned, told the For-
IF I WERE KING. ... 99
eign Office that he would be "greatly displeased if anything
happens to the pretender or his family."
Quite aside from the sensation the news was causing in head-
quarters and among the Japanese, it was raising a minor revolu-
tion among the other correspondents. Unable to comply with
editors' frantic cables for stories about the pretender because we
refused to give any details other than those which had appeared
in print, they chased all over Tokyo, looking for possible "pre-
tenders." One correspondent actually found a fellow who
claimed to be king of Korea. We, determined to milk the story
dry first, withheld Kumazawa's address from everybody. Even-
tually we were called "the bad boys of headquarters" and "small
Zaibatsu" because of our attitude. Supreme Headquarters de-
cided to put all papers concerning the case on the restricted list
to all correspondents except us. This was the last straw our
fellow correspondents could have cheerfully killed us.
Hirohito's advisers were busy. They believed that the petition
had been examined by Supreme Headquarters and a commission
might be set up to examine the claim. They advised Hirohito
to set up a royal commission without waiting for the humiliation
of being ordered. Charlie formally announced that Kumazawa's
claim would be examined. For the first time in five centuries the
case was to be investigated. Our efforts were justified.
We were even more elated when we were officially told by a
certain authority at Supreme Headquarters that the claim had
been examined and "we find it valid, but it is up to the Japanese
themselves." At least we had brought to light the strange story of
the humble-born seller of herbs and firewood, and only time
would write the finish. Within a year he was up for trial on
charges of lese majesty. He was acquitted, but his claims were
THE WAY OF THE GODS
GERMANY WENT TO WAR with Naziism as its creed. Italy had
Fascism. Japan had State Shintoism. It was Hitler's master-race
theory but centuries older, and wrapped in a kimono. It was a
super-nationalistic doctrine which held that the eight corners of
the world one day must come under one roof a Japanese roof,
to be sure with the Emperor as pater familias sitting at the head
of the table.
There was nothing new about Shintoism, a peculiar religion
compounded of pagan mythology and oriental hocus-pocus that
surrounded the imperial line as it descended from Jimmu, the
first emperor, who took the throne in 660 B.C. In its pure, orig-
inal state, Shinto was nature worship, and it was as old as Japan.
In its impure, modern state, Shinto had been manufactured by
the militarists and ultra-nationalists into a State-supported and
State-controlled "religion." It had as its basis the belief that
Japan, its emperors and its people were of divine origin, of
divine descent; that Japan was simply an earthly extension of
Heaven; that all other dynasties and rules on the globe were
man-made and mortal; that Japan one day was fated to rule the
THE WAY OF THE GODS IOI
world. It required unswerving loyalty and obedience to the
For seventy-five years, while Japan became a modern power,
Shintoism had been foisted on the people. It had a prior, com-
pulsory lien on their minds and pocketbooks. They were taxed
for its support. They had to learn all about it in the school. It
was tightly woven into their Constitution and public ritual. Its
priesthood was strictly appointed and controlled by the govern-
General MacArthur outlawed it with a stroke of the pen on
December 15, 1945. But it did not die at his directive. It still
enslaves the minds of seventy million Japanese. It still directs
their mental postures. It will wither only gradually, and it may
be generations before sectarian Shinto as a genuine form of
worship distinct from State Shinto stands on its own to com-
pete with Buddhism and Christianity for the adherence of
State Shinto will pass away only if the Allied occupation
authorities cut its roots among the peasantry in the rural areas,
and if they see to it that Hirohito or any other emperor of the
future does not get away with the stunt that Hirohito pulled
when he promulgated the new Constitution in November, 1946.
For, although the new Constitution legally reduced the Emperor
to a constitutional monarch and made the Diet supreme, Hiro-
hito and the Japanese were able to invest the promulgation with
all of the Shinto trappings of emperor worship.
For example, the prime minister, Shigeru Yoshida, and vari-
ous State officials clustered round Hirohito as, in a Shinto cere-
mony, he gave formal notice of the new Constitution to the souls
of his imperial ancestors at three sanctuaries within the palace
grounds. (Mac Arthur's directive outlawing State Shinto ex-
102 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
pressly forbade any State or official participation in such rites,
and said any forms of Shinto worship would have to be done
privately by the Emperor as a private citizen.)
Further, the Japanese government decided that this, Japan's
second constitution, would be promulgated on the birthday of
the late Emperor Meiji, Hirohito's grandfather, under whom the
Constitution of 1889 into which Shinto was firmly bedded
was adopted. Meiji, like Hirohito, was worshiped by the Japa-
nese; like Hirohito, he, too, was a prisoner of the military.
Score one for the Japanese against the MacArthur directive.
Score two was chalked up in the provinces, where Shinto
agents persisted nearly a year after the MacArthur directive
in tapping the gullible citizenry for contributions to maintenance
of Shinto shrines and festivals. That was typical of what was
happening in Japan. On paper, in Tokyo, the directives and
public statements (in wartime they were communiques) were
resounding, sweeping, far-reaching, cataclysmic. Far off in the
villages and hamlets, far from the eyes of MacArthur and his
military policemen, the directives often had the impact of a
pebble tossed lightly into a vast ocean. Sometimes they seemed
like a brick, dropped from a 6-29 at 40,000 feet into the great,
This is the sort of history Japanese schoolchildren had to
learn about the origins of their country:
Ages ago, the first ancestral deity of the imperial family gave
birth to the Nippon islands. The first sentences of the "Kojiki"
(Antiquities) say: "In the beginning of Heaven and Earth there
first appeared in the heavens Ame-no-Minaka-Nushi-no-Kami
THE WAY OF THE GODS 103
[central god of heaven] by himself, next Takami-Musubi-no-
Kami and then Kami-Musubi-no-Kami. These three gods were
self -created beings and their bodies were invisible."
The next stage of creation is given in the "Nihonshoki"
(Nippon Annals), which says: "The heavens were first created
and the earth next, and then gods came into being: that is, in
the beginning the earth was floating like a fish on the water,
then one thing was born in the midst of heaven and earth,
likened unto a bud of the reed, and it soon took form of a god,
and the name of the god was Kuni-no-Tokotachi-no-Mikoto."
Both the Antiquities and the Annals tell of seven generations
of heavenly ancestors of Hirohito. The last were parent gods
named Izanagi-no-Mikoto, the male, and Izanami-no-Mikoto,
The god of heavens ordered these two to make the floating
land harden and take shape. He handed to them a spear. Stand-
ing on the floating bridge of heaven, Izanagi and Izanami dipped
the spear into the primeval sea.
Then and there the drippings from the spear formed an
island. The two parent gods descended to it, and there, in bliss,
were united. Their union created the home islands of Japan,
and they also gave birth to many gods. Izanami, the female,
died giving birth to the god of fire. But Izanagi (the first Super-
man, we suppose) gave birth from his left eye to Amaterasu-
Omikami, the Sun Goddess and highest ruler of the visible
heavens and earth.
Amaterasu, the legend continues, sent to earth her grandson,
Ninigi-no-Mikoto. Specifically, she sent him to Japan with the
three sacred treasures the mirror, the jeweled necklace and the
sword and told him to rule and to hand down the treasures to
succeeding rulers as the symbols of the Heavenly Throne.
104 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
(Hirohito has the originals, or reasonable facsimiles thereof.)
With a retinue of five lesser gods, Ninigi swooped down to
a hill in Hyuga province, on the southern main island of
Kyushu. Ninigi in time became a great-grandfather. His great-
grandson was none other than Kamu-Yamato-Iwarehiko-no-
Mikoto, more familiarly known as Jimmu Tenno, or Emperor
Jimmu was founder and first emperor of the Japanese empire.
He reigned from 660 B.C. to 581 B.C. Hirohito claims to be 124111
in direct line of descent from Jimmu. (Hiromichi Kumazawa,
the Japanese gentleman and pretender to the throne discussed
in the last chapter, says otherwise.)
The Constitution of the Meiji Era, adopted in 1889, held that
the line of emperors had been "unbroken for ages eternal" and
that the Emperor was "sacred and inviolable." The Constitution
of the MacArthur Era, adopted in 1946, discreetly eliminates
this eyewash, and says only that the Emperor "shall be the
symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his
position from the sovereign will of the people."
The old Constitution was the work of Prince Ito, who had
been dispatched to Europe in the i88o's to study the govern-
ments of Western nations. He put in most of his time studying
Bismarck's Germany, and when he returned to Japan the charter
of 1889, with its marked Prussianism, was the result. Ito headed
the first Japanese cabinet.
He wrote of the Constitution that "the Emperor is heaven-
descended, divine and sacred. He is pre-eminent above his sub-
jects. He must be reverenced and is inviolable. He shall not
be a topic of derogatory comment or one of discussion."
Ito also held that the Constitution was a gracious gift from
Emperor Meiji (who was still in his youth and a virtual prisoner
THE WAY OF THE GODS 105
of the conservative military of the time). There was a strange
echo of this in 1946: Prince lyemasa Tokugawa, president of
the outward-bound House of Peers, said of Hirohito that "his
august majesty has been graciously pleased to propose revision
of the Constitution."
The old Constitution enshrined the Shinto teachings, which
had been eclipsed by Buddhism (an importation from Korea,
A.D. 500) and by Confucianism (also imported from the conti-
nent of Asia). Only the Emperor could amend the Constitution.
Freedom of worship was granted, provided it did not conflict
with the duties of Japanese as the Emperors subjects.
Japan's feudal loyalties were directly transferred to the Em-
peror. As under the oppressive Shoguns and the warrior Samu-
rai, there was to be unquestioning obedience to authority. And
Meiji, like Jimmu, had reported his accession to the Sun
Goddess at the Grand Shrine of Ise. Jimmu had declared his
mission to be to bring all "eight corners of the earth under one
roof." His words, expressive of this idea, "Hakko Ichiu," were
echoed by all later emperors; in 1931 they became a political
Prince Ito and the other conservative Japanese of Victorian
days were the real rulers. They worked on the Emperor through
two groups of advisers the council of elder statesmen known as
the "Genro," and the Privy Council of 26, which became an
instrument of absolutism.
The Privy Council named the prime ministers, and with the
Genro's aid wrote the Imperial Rescripts uttered by the Em-
peror as his own.
Ito spoke of the Emperor as "the Most Exalted Personage"
who held in his hands "all the ramifying threads of the political
life of the country." The Emperor was given supreme command
106 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
of the army and navy; he could declare war, make peace, con-
clude treaties, convoke and dismiss the Diet, initiate amend-
ments to the Constitution, issue imperial ordinances with the
effect of law. The State gave the Emperor tremendous wealth in
land and in stocks, bonds, treasures and palaces. (Hirohito, until
the occupation, had an income of about $100,000,000 a year.)
The nationalists of Ito's time found in the old "pure" Shinto
a purely Japanese religion which could be utilized to protect
and enhance native institutions against the weakening forces
of democracy. The military extremists found that Shinto would
justify the place in the sun that they sought. The gods were
formally ranked on Japan's side in the struggle for world power.
It was to become a test of loyalty and of patriotism to accept
without question the divine origin of the Emperor and of the
Japanese people, and their mission in life. Obedience to an
authoritarian state was exalted; the individual was subordinated,
the State glorified.
Ito wanted to keep Church and State separate. So, instead of
the revived Shinto being called a religion it was called a cult,
and all Japanese, regardless of whether they were Christians,
Buddhists or Confucians, had to belong.
As long ago as 1871 the priesthood of the Shinto shrines was
brought under national, prefectural and local control for ap-
pointment, support, discipline and dismissal. Shrines were graded
in pyramidal fashion, surmounted by the Grand Shrine at Ise.
In 1875 the national government drew up new rituals and cere-
monies for use at official shrines. These provided minute direc-
tions, including texts of prayers, and could not be varied without
In 1899, the teaching of religion in schools, public or private,
was banned. State Shinto was declared not to be a religion; its
THE WAY OF THE GODS 107
instruction was made compulsory. Shinto traditions were em-
bodied in the school curricula. History, geography, ethics all
were given the Shinto twist. Emperor worship was taught from
infancy: military pictures of the descendant of the Sun Goddess
were placed in all schools and the daily routine included obei-
sance to the pictures. (As a concession to the occupation powers,
the picture of Hirohito in military regalia was withdrawn and
a new one substituted, showing "Charlie" in a snappy civilian
suit.) If a schoolhouse burned, heroic efforts had to be made
to save the Emperor's picture.
Hitler's hysterical torchlight parades, his pagan processions to
the Nazi shrines at Nuremberg and Munich, had their counter-
part in Shintoism. Shinto had its shrines, too, such as the Grand
Shrine at Ise, dedicated to Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, and
the shrine at Yasukuni, on a hill in Tokyo, where the spirits of
Japan's warriors and her modern war dead were enshrined.
The great shrines were the centers of public and state affairs.
They were foci of nationalism. Into Ise Bay, Admiral Togo
steamed with his victorious fleet after it had defeated the Rus-
sians; there he "reported" the victory to Amaterasu. To Ise also
went Hirohito to report his accession to the throne, to echo
Jimmu's cry, "Hakko Ichiu." To Ise went Japan's premiers and
cabinet officers, all to report great events. At Ise, too, Amaterasu's
spirit learned that Japan had surrendered.
Such shrines were elaborate affairs. They were rebuilt about
every twenty years at public expense, and the removed structures
were broken into splinters and sold as talismans to a gullible
public. Schoolchildren were dragooned into annual pilgrimages
to the great shrines, giving a fillip to their inculcation with
Japan's divine mission.
The lesser shrines (there were 1 10,000 Shinto shrines in all, of
108 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
which about 250 were of the grand variety) were centers of
nature worship, ancestor worship, phallicism and assorted witch-
ery. Some shrines had replicas of the sacred mirror, treasure and
sword. Others sold charms and amulets to the faithful. Women
who wanted easy childbirth went off to one shrine in the moun-
tains where they purchased bits of gravel that had been rubbed
by the priests against a mystic "mother stone" in some inacces-
sible recess. In shape, the mother stone resembled the abdomen
of a pregnant woman. Other shrines dispensed bits of paper that
were supposed to purge intestinal parasites.
Every year Japanese functionaries visited households through-
out the land and put the bite on the "faithful" for a few yen
for Shintoism. Woe betide the housewife even a Christian
who did not make a contribution. In return she received a bit of
"divine flax" wrapped in a twist of paper. Can you imagine an
Irishman refusing a bit of shamrock on St. Patrick's Day? Can
you imagine an Englishman shunning a bet on the Derby? Can
you imagine the minor civil servant in New York refusing to
shell out for a Tammany block party?
The faithful also made contributions at the shrines. These
averaged $800,000 a year. The government budget put in
another $2,000,000 or thereabouts of taxpayers' money. The
priests were on the public payroll. And big shrines such as Ise
made more money from renting out forests and other lands
owned by the shrines.
For forty-five years, until MacArthur came, there was a
Bureau of Shrines inside the Home Ministry. Shintoism was
part and parcel of the national government. It was a firm spring-
board for aggressive war.
Brigadier General Kenneth R. Dyke, whose section at Allied
Headquarters prepared the directive outlawing State Shinto,
THE WAY OF THE GODS 1 09
summed it up neatly. "Shintoism," he said, "was one of the
most successful public relations and promotion jobs I have ever
been privileged to review/' (In peacetime, Dyke had been a
successful advertising and promotion man in soap and radio.)
In December, 194510 borrow a line from an irreverent song
popular among Americans in Tokyo "the Shinto hit the fan."
Under Dyke's supervision and MacArthur's imprimatur, a young
naval lieutenant from Ohio, William K. Bunce, got out a sharp
directive. It ordered the Japanese government to end its sponsor-
ship and financial support of State Shinto. It required removal
of all forms of Shinto from public schools. It forbade any State
or official participation in Shinto rites. It freed all Japanese from
any compulsion to believe in or profess Shinto.
It preserved, however, all forms of non-State Shinto, or sec-
tarian Shinto, that contained no militaristic or nationalistic ele-
ments, on an equal legal basis with all other forms of religion. And
it permitted any Shinto shrines that had a real religious follow-
ing to exist on voluntary contributions, if they could.
The directive also required the censoring and rewriting of all
school texts that embodied Shinto doctrine. So cleverly had the
Japanese woven Shinto into history, geography, ethics and
morals courses that these had to be suspended for several months
while completely new texts were prepared.
The directive further ordered the removal of the "god shelves"
or kamidana from all public offices, institutions, schools and
It still left the Emperor as the spiritual head of Japan, a pos-
sible rallying point for chauvinistic Shintoists of the future. But
MacArthur, in ordering freedom of speech and the press, had
made it possible for the people to discuss the Imperial Institution
openly. And Lieutenant Bunce thought that public discussion of
IIO STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
the alleged divinity of the Emperor, bringing that belief into the
light of day, would do most to rob it of its dangers. Time will
Lieutenant Bunce conceded that if the Japanese wanted to
continue believing that the Emperor was superior to other rulers,
nothing could be done about it. He pointed out that peoples
of other nations thought similarly of their leaders and rulers.
He expressed the hope, however, that the elimination of govern-
ment control of Shintoism would prompt the Japanese people
to "take a saner view of the whole picture/* And General Dyke
thought it was "reasonable to assume that with the withdrawal
of government support, Shinto will wither and go."
Soon after issuance of the directive, the chief Shinto shrine
functionary, Prince Nashimoto, was tossed into Sugamo prison
by Mac Arthur as a war-criminal suspect. The prince, a former
field marshal, had urged military reservists, just two days before
the end of the war, to fight on, and he said that sooner or later
the terrible enemy would be destroyed. Nashimoto's apprehen-
sion alarmed Hirohito and the palace guard. For the prince was
within the royal circle.
Politicians came whining to headquarters. They said such a
distinguished old gentleman should not be placed in cold, dank
Sugamo prison. Brigadier General Elliot R. Thorpe, Mac-
Arthur's counter-intelligence chief, recalled that Allied prisoners
of w r ar hadn't had much heat while in Japan, and he said it
was too bad that the Japanese, when they built Sugamo, had
not thought of installing an efficient heating system in it.
Later, Nashimoto was removed to private custody; finally, he
was released without explanation.
The outlawing of State Shintoism left Japan with a waning
sectarian Shinto that claimed 17,000,000 adherents; a thriving
Buddhism that claimed 45,000,000; and Christianity. The latter
THE WAY OF THE GODS III
faith included 100,000 Roman Catholics, a roughly equal num-
ber of Protestants, distributed among the Presbyterian, Epis-
copalian and Congregational sects; and about 90,000 others who
were Baptists, Quakers or members of other groups. Of Con-
fucians there was no accurate count.
Freedom of religion, as ordered by MacArthur and guaran-
teed in the new Constitution, left the way open for a strength-
ening of Christianity. In the first year of occupation, about
1 60 missionaries were cleared for re-entry to Japan. They came
back to find much of their church property destroyed by air
raids, and their remaining churches and schools desecrated by
the Japanese during the war. MacArthur ordered the govern-
ment to restore Christian teachings and property to such de-
spoiled institutions as St. Paul's College, Tokyo.
The old guard among the Japanese hoped that Christians
would establish a united Christian church in Japan. That shows
how little they understood the Catholics, for one thing, or the
ambitions of other groups, for another.
It had long been accepted in Japan that the leader of non-
Catholic Christians was Toyohiko Kagawa, a lay preacher, a
misty-eyed mystic and darling of the missionary set who had
strong beliefs, many of them anti-democratic and certainly anti-
American. His writings and teachings were neatly exposed one
day by Barnard Rubin, columnist in the Army newspaper, Stars
and Stripes. For this and other pains he took as a good reporter,
Mr. Rubin was later forced to quit the staff. MacArthur's head-
quarters labeled him a Communist, and that meant he had to go.
Japan has had Christianity since the visit of St. Francis Xavier
in 1549. The good saint probably shuddered when the atomic
bomb hit Nagasaki. For Nagasaki had been a center of Catholi-
cism in Japan; the Japanese said the bomb killed some 20,000
Catholics there and destroyed many churches.
ON A T-SHAPED BRIDGE in the center of Hiroshima there is
a symbol of what will happen to the last man in the last terri-
fying moment of the world. Burned into the asphalt, as though
carefully etched by a master artist, are the footprints of a man.
Behind them are the four hoofmarks of a donkey. Man and beast
started across the bridge at fourteen minutes past eight on the
morning of August 6, 1945. They reached the center one minute
later. They never reached the other side. Their bodies, like
those of thousands, were never found.
To a world, tired and ill, but throbbing with the expectancy
of victory, President Truman announced from the White
House: "We have spent two billion dollars on the greatest
scientific gamble in history and won."
In the atomic bomb plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a general
mopped his brow and telephoned his wife. There was a strange
excitement and relief in his voice. "I suppose youVe read the
morning papers," he said. "Well, now you know. It was a new
type of bomb an atomic bomb. Thank God it worked!"
In Hiroshima, a half-naked woman, burned about the face
ATOMIC PEACE 113
and body, one arm gone, crawled out from the wreckage of
her burning house and gave birth to a child. She died shortly
afterward. No one knows if the baby survived.
Three days later, at precisely 11:02 on the morning of Au-
gust 9, a second bomb fell this time on the city of Nagasaki.
The atomic bomb had come of age; but in the milli-moment
of destruction, when the bombs burst over Japan, the remnant
of man's moral argument against the bombing of cities disap-
peared completely. The atomic armament race began, and the
end of mankind and the world hove into sight.
It was inevitable that science would discover the secret of
atomic energy, but 40 per cent of the nuclear physicists, who
had worked on the bomb, had been against the use of it on a
city. The other 60 per cent, had they known then the awful
carnage it was to cause, might, too, have been against its use.
From a purely scientific standpoint, the development of atomic
energy had been a triumph for the scientists, but, unwittingly
or not, they had presented mankind a hara-kiri knife on a velvet
To correspondents and observers, who visited the two cities
shortly after our forces landed in Japan, two questions presented
themselves: (i) Should the bomb have been dropped? (2) Is
this the way the world will end?
The authors can safely say at least 90 per cent of the cor-
respondents felt it should not have been dropped, and everybody
who visited the two places and saw the unimaginable destruction
by the atomic bomb, knew a perfect blueprint for the plan of
mankind's destruction had been completed.
Much has been written about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and
the authors do not intend to burden the reader with a lengthy
account here, but what happened must be repeated time and
114 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
time again until the public realizes the terrors the atomic bomb
holds in store for them and the world. 1
We do not know today just how many people were killed
in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We can only guess.
The plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki was not as effi-
cient as the uranium bomb used on Hiroshima. One-third of
Nagasaki's twelve square miles was wiped off the map, while
nearly three-quarters of Hiroshima's seven square miles was
pulverized and laid waste.
The two cities had between them a population of approxi-
mately 650,000 before the bombing, but two pumpkin-shaped
bombs dimensions unknown killed, at the very least, 200,000.
No one can say with certainty exactly how many were slaugh-
tered; the number can only be estimated. Thousands seem to
have disappeared into thin air under the terrific heat released
at the instant of explosion. Thousands more were burned alive
in the huge crematories that the two cities suddenly became,
and their bodies never were found. In July, 1946, charred,
shriveled skeletons were still being found beneath the ruins.
Today, bulldozers, clearing the piled debris, turned up blackened
bones, teeth and skulls.
The Japanese estimated that in Hiroshima alone 100,000 were
killed, with another 100,000 injured, and these figures are
accepted by many people as being approximately correct. Figures
released by Supreme Headquarters early in 1946 for Hiroshima
are today considered to be out of date. They were: 78,150,
killed; 13,983, missing; 9,428, seriously injured; 27,997, slightly
injured making a total of 129,458, killed, injured and missing.
1 The authors feel the most detailed and complete document on the subject
is John Hersey's Hiroshima. It should be printed in every known language
and given free to the people of every country.
ATOMIC PEACE 115
No official figures have been issued for Nagasaki. The most
recent estimate, admittedly a Japanese estimate, for both cities,
gave a total of 320,000 killed, missing and injured. Indeed, this
may well be, but it is doubtful if final figures will ever be
The horror of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to those who visited
the bombed cities is unforgettable. If you put a finger on a tiny
fly and press it hard . . . that is what happened to the unfor-
tunates within a 2,ooo-foot radius of a point directly beneath
the explosion. Everything was laid flat. Nothing in that zone
survived, for every building or living being was hit by a force
equivalent to six tons per square foot. Farther from the im-
mediate death zone, at a point 6,500 feet from the center, every
living thing was either killed or terribly injured by the blast.
The only buildings left standing were those which had been
specially reinforced to withstand earthquake. The other struc-
tures, however, were not tinderbox affairs, as calming stories
indicated, but were approximately of the same average construc-
tion as frame buildings in the United States or Europe. Other
cities are, therefore, no less vulnerable to atomic bombs than
were Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
First, came the unbelievable heat, which seared everything
with a terrible blow-torch effect. People directly beneath were
instantly vaporized. Buildings caught fire. Girders and metal
work twisted and collapsed. Farther away, clothes suddenly
burst into flames. People's flesh became charred and black and
peeled off in long, crackling strips. Water evaporated, and fish
were instantly grilled. Wheat in near-by fields burned furiously,
while at a distance of two miles it suddenly ripened. Trees a
mile away began to smolder. The shadow of a soldier, working
on a tank in Nagasaki, was stenciled neatly onto its side. Pat-
Il6 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
terns on women's kimonos, especially if of a light color, were
etched onto their bodies. Men's suspenders, belts and buttons
were tattooed onto their wearers. Every person within one mile
of the flash at the explosion point received burns of varying
degrees and all this happened in one instant.
The blast was the most deadly. Screaming people, already
burnt beyond recognition, were hurled through the air at fan-
tastic speeds. Their bodies were squeezed and mashed to a
pulp. In some cases, their insides ripped open as the natural
gases of their bodies burst out under the awful pressure.
Exceeding by far the strength of a hurricane, the blast tossed
burning buildings into the air. It lifted trees and telephone poles
like match sticks. It sent heavy vehicles high into the air, like
huge projectiles. It lifted heavy machinery out of concrete beds.
It twisted girders. It pushed over heavy concrete walls. It tore
and twisted and wrecked, and then it was gone. The dead lay
everywhere in its wake. Weeks later, when the bodies were
collected, disintegration had been so complete they had become
almost liquid. It seemed as if they had been sprayed, inch by
inch, with a huge flame-thrower and then pounded from head
to toe with mammoth sledge hammers.
The only lucky ones in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were those
killed instantly. The injured really suffered. Some had been
blinded by the flash. Many had their arms and legs violently
wrenched off. Others had their faces horribly burnt to unrecog-
nizable pulpy masks. Still others had become quite insane.
Many were crushed to death or burned alive in their flaming
houses. There were no rescue parties they had been wiped out
along with the police force and fire brigades. People just lay
where they had fallen or had been hurled. Many were pinned
ATOMIC PEACE 117
beneath wreckage and could not move . . . these waited for the
flames to put an end to their misery.
Survivors had no time to stop to help the injured, who begged
and pleaded for help as they lay beneath the ruins. Everyone
who could walk made for the open country anywhere to get
away. Dazed, hysterical women, clutching their babies, some
of whom were dead, streamed out of the burning cities. To
get to the roads it was necessary to crawl over the ruins, for
the tiny streets had been blocked by the piles of masonry and
debris. Some were cut off, unable to reach the avenues of escape.
These perished in the flames. Children ran wild in the ruins.
Some of the less burdened survivors brought many out; but
many children, half-crazed with fear, were lost in the inferno
and roasted alive.
Then there were the living dead, those who apparently had
not been injured but died a few hours or days or even months
later. These were the people who had been drenched with the
infinitesimal atomic particles and gamma rays, which flashed out
with the speed of light when the bombs exploded. These frag-
ments and radiations actually a form of terrible heat, a type
of super X-ray penetrated deep into their bodies, attacking the
blood cells and the tissues of brain, heart and liver. The white
blood corpuscles, the disease-killing agents of the blood, grad-
ually died, and the person's blood count fell. The usual symp-
toms were that the victim suddenly felt exhausted and tired,
the hair fell out, the teeth became loose. The skin became
flecked with tiny red spots, as blood oozed beneath from broken
blood vessels. With this acute form of anemia, a cut or insect
bite invariably meant death, for it was impossible to stop the
flow of blood. In the majority of cases, the victim felt no pain
Il8 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
and lay in bed, possibly for weeks or months, until death finally
There was no escape from the insidious rays within the im-
mediate vicinity of the explosion. Even people who were safe
or thought they were safe behind several feet of concrete, were
saturated by them. Indeed, there would have been greater casual-
ties from radiation but for the fact the bombs were set to explode
at heights calculated to give the greatest blast effect while mini-
mizing the radio-active effect. Had the bombs exploded lower,
the death-dealing rays would have covered a much larger area.
As it was, at least 25 per cent of the known casualties came
from radiation. Many people whb left the cities directly after
the explosions did not return, and they died months later
in other parts of Japan from radiation causes. It is possible
these deaths have not been included in any official set of figures
for either of the cities.
The undernourished condition of the victims, the shortage
of doctors and medical supplies were perhaps the greatest factors
in increasing the awful death roll from radiation causes. Many
people, not so seriously injured by the rays, survived and are
living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today, but in January, 1946,
there were still people in hospitals throughout Japan waiting
to die, their blood counts steadily dropping.
Why did we, with the Japanese already reeling against the
ropes under the blows of our 6-29*5; with Saipan, Guam, Iwo
Jima, Okinawa and the Philippines wrenched from the enemy's
grasp; and knowing from breaking down their codesthat
Japan was near the end, plunge the world into atomic hysteria?
The Japanese knew all was lost when the Russians threatened
to enter the war. Our combined chiefs of staff had known at
ATOMIC PEACE 119
Yalta that Russia would enter the war three months after the
defeat of Germany, after the necessary troops had been shunted
to the Asiatic front. Therefore there seems less reason, as we
look back on it, for using the atomic bomb, if that use was
simply to defeat the Japanese.
When our troops landed in Japan, they found the Japanese
had literally been beaten to their knees long before the atomic
bomb was dropped. The terrible pounding of the 6-29*5 had
been so thorough, the Japanese knew the end was in sight. We
also knew this. Yet we dropped not one, but two atomic bombs,
and coolly killed a quarter of a million people.
Was the dropping of the atomic bomb, however, a legitimate
military experiment on a live enemy target?
Were the military experts in Washington aware of how close
Japan was to defeat? We must have known of their blasted
hopes ever since the battle of the Coral Sea, when the Japanese
codes were first mastered.
Was the 'bomb dropped simply to justify two years experi-
mentsto justify the outlay of two loillion dollars?
From what a senior officer, attached to the Manhattan District,
told one of the authors a year later at Bikini, this did have an
important bearing on the decision to drop the bomb. "The
bomb/* he said, "simply had to be a success so much money
had been expended on it. Had we failed, how would we have
explained the huge expenditure? Think of the public outcry
there would have been! Very few people knew about it, and
when President Roosevelt died we began to feel very worried
indeed. There was nothing on paper. There were no direct
orders, everything had been kept completely secret. We did not
know but that the very people who were in on the secret in high
government quarters might have been the first to jump on the
120 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
band-wagon, shouting they had known nothing about it. The
whole business was fantastic, and there was no way out. The
bomb simply had to be a success. As the war in Germany rushed
to a close, work in the plants was speeded up. Then, when Ger-
many surrendered, we expected the Japanese to quit straight
away. Frankly, we thought the Pacific war would finish before
we had a chance to use the bomb. As the time grew shorter,
certain people in Washington tried to persuade General Groves,
director of the Manhattan Project, to get out before it was too
late, for they knew he would be left holding the bag if we
failed. The relief to everybody concerned, when the bomb was
finished and dropped, was enormous."
Was Japan, therefore, the testing ground? Were the Japanese
merely the guinea pigs?
The Japanese were quick to believe this. They had fought
a barbaric war. They had subscribed to no code of treatment for
war prisoners and civilian internees. Yet they quickly labeled
the bomb an atrocity. The cry rose, "We were sacrificed, mar-
tyred, to end the war!" The surrender premier, Prince Higashi-
kuni, put it this way: "If the war had ended a few months ago,
where would the Allies have dropped it? There was nowhere
else to drop it, to try it out, except on Japan, as the war had
not finished. But don't you think it was a little inhuman?"
There were those in the United States, as well as in Japan,
who suggested the use of the bomb had been a deliberate psycho-
logical attempt to frighten Russia or others who might err from
the narrow and slippery path of the promised peace of the
The Japanese propaganda effort included many untrue stories
from the now defunct Domei News Agency, relating all sorts
of harrowing details from the atomic-bombed cities; and to get
ATOMIC PEACE 121
the real details it was necessary to talk to many survivors and
check and recheck their stories.
One such story put out was that rescue workers who entered
the cities up to ten days after the explosion died from radio-active
effects shortly thereafter. Another was that a black gas was
given off by the bomb which suffocated many thousands directly
after the explosion.
Allied experts who inspected both sites found much of the
propaganda was medically false. They found whatever radio-
activity remained was too light to harm people in the area. But
the Japanese did not give up.
Early in 1946, a flood of fantastic stories reached Toyko about
middle-aged women, past menopause, who suddenly had begun
to menstruate and become girlish again. Eggless hens were sup-
posed to have suddenly begun to lay. Women whose menstrua-
tion had stopped after the bombing found they were once more
regular. Then came a story that some Japanese women, finding
themselves pregnant for the first time in years, put it all down
to "Mister Atomic Bomb!"
The experts knocked this propaganda on the head, but they
agreed some people had been made temporarily sterile following
the explosion. This was to be expected. X-ray treatment often
induces a temporary sterility. (In some countries where steriliza-
tion is permitted this method is used.)
Then came the "rebuild the atom-bombed cities" propaganda.
The new mayor of Hiroshima and the governor of the prefecture
made a strong plea to eleven visiting correspondents to "listen to
the cry of the people, and use your good influence to have the
Allies rebuild Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
If the materials, like bricks, cement and girders, were supplied,
they said, Japanese labor would erect "new, beautiful cities,
122 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
monuments to peace and democracy." They were surprised when
the correspondents asked who was going to rebuild Pearl Har-
bor, Nanking and Manila. "I didn't know they were destroyed,"
said the mayor, in astonishment. "This is very surprising."
His plea for rebuilding the cities actually found support at
a conference of Protestant clergymen in Columbus, Ohio. Pos-
sibly they had not been stung by Winston Churchill's remark,
earlier in the year, when other clergymen had protested about
the bomb: "Obviously, they had no intention of proceeding to
the Japanese front."
No effort was made by the local government authorities to
set up temporary shelters for the homeless in either of the two
cities until early in 1946, and it seemed the two places were being
deliberately left as ghastly memorials to man's first use of the
atomic bomb as a weapon of war. The uninjured, who had fled
to the hills, gradually returned to spend the winter in lean-to's,
made from rusty, corrugated sheets, placed against the ruins of
To the Japanese of those cities, the bomb had no political
meaning. To them it had meant a terrible, churning ball of
flame, which left a graveyard behind it, and nothing else.
But within the first year of peace and the atomic age the
Western World began to realize the awful potentialities of the
atomic bomb. General MacArthur, who had not known of the
bomb until the very last moment and had suggested it be
dropped on Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, which had es-
caped bombing, or that the bomb be used to cause a tidal wave
to rush in and inundate the land, put it this way, "The Generals
are now ready to destroy themselves."
Most of the jitters, strangely, seemed to originate in the
United States, possessor of the bomb. Major General Leslie
ATOMIC PEACE 123
Groves ordered the destruction of Japan's five cyclotrons. These
machines had certainly been used, among other things, for
atomic research before and during the war, but the Japanese
government had not financed the scientific work to any great
extent. They were obsolete machines and considered useless
for atomic research by some scientific authorities. But their value
in other scientific fields was great, and the order for their destruc-
tion, therefore, seemed silly and thoughtless.
"The order for the destruction of Japan's puny cyclotrons is
stupid to the point of constituting a crime against mankind,"
said the scientists at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who had worked
on the atomic bomb. "It is as disreputable and ill-considered as
would be the burning of Japanese libraries or the smashing of
Japanese printing presses," cried others. The scientists suggested
the machines be dismantled and given to needy hospitals or
scientific institutes in America or elsewhere for scientific re-
search, but on direct orders from the War Office, the cyclotrons,
reputedly worth several million dollars, were destroyed.
The message for their destruction came to General Mac-
Arthur, with Secretary of War Patterson's signature on it. Actu-
ally, General Groves issued it, and Patterson's signature auto-
matically went on the bottom of the command. The head of
the Scientific and Economic Section of Supreme Headquarters,
Colonel R. C. Kramer, advised General Mac Arthur against it.
Messages flashed between Tokyo and Washington, but so much
delay ensued that the time limit of the order expired. The final
decision lay with General Mac Arthur. Earlier, the Supreme
Commander had issued a directive, banning all scientific re-
search "which might lead to the making of atomic bombs in
Japan." This order fitted well into the picture.
There were those, however, in Tokyo, who felt MacArthur
124 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
could have delayed destroying the precious scientific machines.
The Great Man had, time and time again, dodged certain orders,
simply because he had not agreed with them. He had suggested
alternatives, which had been accepted. Yet on this occasion he
stuck to the letter of the law.
General Eisenhower, who had once served under MacArthur
in the Philippines, tried desperately to save the machines. He
had been only a few days in office as Chief of Staff when he sent
an urgent message, ordering the five cyclotrons be dismantled
and shipped to the United States. The message (we are told)
arrived one day late.
Assuming the message had arrived in time, one wonders what
MacArthur's reaction would have been, for it was known there
was no love lost between the two five-star generals. At any rate,
Eisenhower was unable to save the machines. The engineers
were already at work on them with cutting-torches and pickaxes
in an orgy of destruction. The largest of them, which included a
huge electro-magnet weighing 359 tons, in Nishina laboratory,
Tokyo University, was dismantled and smashed within a day
and the parts dropped into Tokyo Bay. Others at Osaka and
Kyoto, much smaller machines, were dismantled and destroyed
on waste ground by heavy charges of explosives.
Yoshido Nishina, celebrated fifty-five-year-old Japanese scien-
tist, cried like a child as the cyclotron in the laboratory which
had been named after him was smashed to pieces. All he could
say was, "Ten years' work gone beneath a sledge hammer." A
student of England's great scientist, Lord Rutherford, and friend
of Nils Bohr, one of the main contributors to atomic research,
the little Japanese could not understand the wanton destruction.
Neither could other scientists throughout the world.
"A liigh authority' gave the instructions," said General Mac-
ATOMIC PEACE 125
Arthur, in an official statement. That "high authority" was
Secretary of War Patterson, who took full responsibility and the
adverse publicity without a murmur. Everybody passed the
buck, including MacArthur, and Patterson became the scape-
When it eventually leaked out the order had come from
General Groves, senior officers of the Manhattan District
promptly stood up for their chief. It was not Groves. It was one
of his staff, they said. This officer is supposed to have said when
the matter was later investigated, "Well, I didn't know what a
cyclotron was, but I knew it had something to do with atomic
research." One of the few who heard this excuse wryly re-
marked, "If he had been a Russian, the Japanese scientists would
have been promptly executed."
From Tokyo, it seemed the destruction of the cyclotrons was
the first sign of nervousness. It was only the start. The bomb itself
presented the world with the real terror. Could atomic energy be
controlled: 5 That was the problem; and those who faced it
realistically knew there was only one control outlaw the bomb
and control the sources of atomic energy.
A visit to Hiroshima or Nagasaki convinces one the atomic
bomb far transcends all other problems in the world today. There
is no time to delay . . . the atomic arms race is in full swing.
The bombs used on Nagasaki and Hiroshima had the destruc-
tive power of twenty thousand tons of TNT. Today the United
States can produce bombs one thousand times more powerful.
General MacArthur told three correspondents in an off-the-
record interview in November, 1945, that the United States
could produce a bomb a thousand times more powerful than
those used on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The secret was kept by
the correspondents, but early in January, 1946, an industrialist
126 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
visiting Japan was told the same thing by the Supreme Com-
mander. He did not keep his mouth shut. Returning to the
States, he gave a muddled interview partially disclosing the top-
secret information. Not until January, 1947, was it revealed
officially that the United States could produce such a bomb. In
the Infantry Journal, John J. McCloy, former Assistant Secre-
tary of War wrote: "Given the same intensive effort which was
employed during the war toward the production of the atomic
bomb, we were within two years at the close of the war of pro-
ducing a bomb ... of approximately one thousand times the
power of the present bombs."
The emphasis is on the building of "bigger and better" bombs
in the absence of international agreement. The world is now
ready to commit suicide whenever it wants to.
At 'precisely 8:15, on the morning of August 6, 1946, the
sirens throughout Hiroshima wailed once more. And in the
debris of their city, -which had felt the full force of the first atom
bomb one year before, the 180,000 survivors gathered to pray
for their dead. They stood there, motionless, for one minute in
silent prayer, as the sirens wailed. Perhaps the sirens were
wailing for the world, too. . . .
Had you asked them, the survivors would have told you that
one atom bomb, anywhere, constitutes the greatest threat to
mankind and the universe , . . for they know more about it than
the scientists, generals, politicians and moralists. They have felt
its force; they have tasted its fire; they have been awed by its
SUZUKI-SAN, the Mr. Smith of Japan, did not feel that the
atomic bomb and the end of the war meant his liberation. He
had no inner sense of guilt about the war; he had just done as
he was told by his betters. In war he had proved himself a bar-
barian in temporary release from the fetters of feudalism that
bound his mind. In peace he wondered, just what is this thing
called democracy? How does it work? What do I do now?
His mind, his habits, had been going in one direction for
centuries. He was such a hero worshipper that he soon began
to worship MacArthur instead of the Emperor. He had lived
in a mental, social, economic, political straitjacket. Overnight
he was cut loose from it. His first reaction was to expect the
Americans to slip him into a new one of their own making.
He did not know that under the occupation he was to get his
first chance to enjoy his birthright of freedom. He and his
nation had been thoroughly beaten militarily, but his new masters
still had to break down the mental barriers that stood between
them and a permanently peaceful Japan. In defeat, the Japanese
got his first real break; in victory, the Allies took on a tremendous
128 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Nearly a century before, Perry had "opened" Japan to the
Western World. MacArthur was to open the West to Japan.
The comparative handful of Japanese who had traveled,
studied, done business in the outside world since the time of
Perry came home with certain ideas. They did not return
'Westernized" or "democratized." Mentally, they retained al-
most all of their Japanese attitudes. They installed in their
mother country only those Western ideas or ways of doing
things that would give Japan a belated industrial revolution,
that would enable her to catch up if possible with the flashy,
powerful money-making countries they had seen. They gave
Japan a facility for cut-rate imperialism. They put in a system
of business that benefited the few at the top and enslaved the
rest. They did nothing for the farmer, who until September 2,
1945, the Day of Surrender, had been a serf.
The millions of Japanese who had to stay at home were bound
to their jobs, their overworked farm acres, by a feudalistic social
set-up that had improved only slightly from contact with non-
Japanese ideas. Never had Japan had a genuine agrarian revolu-
tion or evolution.
The rank and file had always lived in wood and paper houses.
Suzuki-san did not know modern plumbing, decent sanitation,
cleanliness in the kitchen. He lived on an improper, inadequate
diet of rice and fish which contributed to his facial ugliness, his
bad teeth, his notoriously poor eyesight, his affinity for tuber-
He had an antiquated, hidebound family system that made
slaves of the women, automatons of the children.
He used a weird language, a tongue borrowed from the
Chinese and polished slightly by Korean, Manchurian and Poly-
nesian influences. Astounding as it may seem, Suzuki-san has
never been able to read, speak or write his own language with
fluency. The outside world has long been fed the idea that Japan
as a nation is 85 to 90 per cent literate. The trouble with that
is, it just isn't true. Approximately that percentage of Japanese
cannot understand their complex language sufficiently to be able
to read with understanding their own newspapers.
Japanese is written in characters, or ideographs, which were
borrowed from the Chinese. There are about 56,000 such ideo-
graphs (or word, syllable, and idea pictures) in the language. In
his lifetime the average educated Japanese if he's intelligent-
may acquire facility with 15,000 to 20,000 such ideographs.
The average Japanese of the "masses" does not comprehend
some of the phrases, ideas and meanings used by the Emperor
in his formal, stilted rescripts. He cannot read a simple news
story in his daily newspaper without the benefit of side-writing,
or explanatory notes, which the papers run alongside the main
items or editorials. The newspapers which incidentally are set
by hand because no linotype has yet been invented that could
contain and set the vast number of intricate characters employ
a reduced "vocabulary" of five to six thousand ideographs. The
common man has command over three to four thousand of
How can you expect a Japanese among the "masses" to grasp
readily such a radically different concept as "democracy" when
he cannot follow more than the routine of current thinking in
his own country? How can you expect the Japanese schoolchild
to take readily to our way of life when in the lexicon of Nip-
ponese youth there is no such word, no such concept as "civics"?
Abolition of these Chinese-derived ideographs that have been
such a mental barrier, and their replacement with Romaji, or
the Roman alphabet, was formally proposed in 1946 by the
130 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
American Education Mission to Japan. This plan already had
been undertaken by officers in MacArthur's headquarters in
revamping the educational system, and they were building upon
the fact that Romaji had been taught in Japanese schools on a
limited scale with excellent results. In fact, tests over a long
period showed that a Japanese boy or girl could pick up Romaji
in a few months, as against the six to eight years needed ta
acquire a working knowledge of the ideographs.
The abolition of the ideographs (except as a classical study)
would not affect the present "sounds" of the Japanese language.
These sounds would simply be written phonetically in Roman
letters. And this would permit the use of linotypes in setting
up newspapers, books and magazines. It would bring the world's
great literature and thought within the reach of millions of
Japanese without the laborious process of picture-writing. It
would simplify and codify the sounds employed in the Japanese
language, which vary from district to district and region to
region. And in time it might be possible to eliminate the dif-
ferent types of the same language that are used on different
layers of social and economic society in Japan, so that the Em-
peror and the man in the street could understand one another
as the American understands the voice of the President speaking
from the White House, or the Briton that of the Prime Minister
in the Commons or the King at Buckingham Palace. Moreover,
the use of Romaji would facilitate the study of Japanese by
foreigners and enable us to fathom the Oriental mind to a
The old guard in Japan is not overfond of Romaji and the
proposal to substitute it for the ideographs. It means a break
with the past, an opening up of the Japanese mind, which
would bode ill for the old order of things and the rigidly strati-
fied social system of Japan.
If Suzuki-san did not know his own language, he naturally
did not know much of what went on in his own country. Politi-
cally, Suzuki-san was unconscious. That led to his undoing at
the hands of the Tojos. Suzuki-san was content to let others
handle the politics; he placed supreme confidence in his leaders;
the State-supported "religion" of Shinto taught him blind, un-
swerving obedience to authority and to the Imperial Institution.
Suzuki-san was his own prisoner.
And Mrs. Suzuki was the prisoner of her husband under the
ancient custom of primogeniture and arranged marriages. Under
proposed changes in Japanese marriage laws, the consent of
parents will not be necessary where both principals are adults.
Marriage would require only the consent of both principals.
That really is revolutionary in a country where the parents do
the matchmaking, often of children who have not known or
seen each other.
Proposed changes in the laws would abolish the institution
of "the head of the house," who with rare exceptions is a male
and has the legal right to make all the major decisions involving
individuals in the family. The head of the family has had power
to approve all marriages, divorces and adoptions within the
family; to approve any change of residence by a family member,
to expel any member if the decisions of the head were not
It was Japanese custom, too, to ignore the widow in making
a will. Estates were left almost entirely to the first-bom son;
sometimes to an illegitimate heir if there was no legitimate one.
Now the widow is to rank with the children in receiving a stipu-
lated share of an estate; no longer will a wife become financially
132 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
incompetent upon marriage; no longer will a wife's adultery
constitute a crime.
General MacArthur gave women in Japan the right to vote
for the first time, and he gave them the right to hold elective
office. Thirty-eight women were elected to the Diet in April,
1946, and they have become a vocal group in the first freely
elected Japanese parliament. The new Constitution specifically
provides that "all natural persons are equal under the law and
there shall he no discrimination in political, economic or social
relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family
Suzuki-san always felt somewhat inferior to the foreigners he
aped. And when he held the whip, as he did early in the war,
he loved to use it with swaggering brutality on the white man
and of course any "inferior" Orientals like the Chinese and
Filipinos. His cruelty cannot be explained racially, or it would
be logical for the Chinese and Koreans to match him in blood-
thirstiness. But it can be laid to the Japanese belief fostered by
the military and taught in the schools that the Japanese people
were of divine origin and fated to rule the world.
The ancient feudal lords, the Daimyos, who surrounded them-
selves with a class of professional soldiers known as Samurai,
exalted prowess in war and established the cult of the sword.
If a Daimyo were wronged, his followers had to exact vengeance.
If a follower could not agree with the ideas of his master, he
was expected to disembowel himself. Human life was of small
value. The Japanese proved that in this war, both by their own
conduct toward Allied prisoners and by the formation of the
Kamikaze or suicide corps of airmen who found glory for them-
selves, their ancestral warriors and the Emperor in dashing
themselves to death against American warships.
Japanese arts and literature have always exalted the military
spirit, the ideals of the sword, disdain of life. ("The 47 Ronin,"
a classical "masterpiece" on Japan's stage until MacArthur out-
lawed it, was typical of the glorification of vengeance by the
sword that has persisted in Japan.)
In politics, the Japanese conducted government by assassina-
tion. This was notably so in the mid-twenties and thirties, when
anyone deemed too pacificistic, too "Western" in mind, was
quickly dusted off by gangsters operating for the secret societies,
such as the Black Dragon. Now all such societies have been
prohibited by MacArthur; time will tell whether their members
have gone underground. The Black Dragon leader, Yoshihisa
Kuzuu, a seventy-two-year-old patriarch who looks as amiable
as your grandfather and as distinguished as an international
scientist, is in jail awaiting trial as a war criminal. He was at
liberty for months until the authors caught up with him and
exposed him to the Counter-intelligence Corps. Kuzuu blandly
denied, as he proffered tea and delicious sliced tomatoes to his
newspaper guests, that he or the Black Dragon Society had been
responsible for any of Japan's political murders. But he conceded
that some members might have done someone in on their own
The Black Dragon was typical of the vehicles which used
the native talent of the Japanese for homicide in pursuit of
"patriotism." Shintoism was the final embodiment of sword and
Emperor worship. According to its faith, no one could sin in
defense of the Emperor, and the soldier who died in battle
entered a special heaven.
Poor little Suzuki-san was a sucker for this sort of business.
Especially the Suzuki-san from the farm who was the backbone
of the Japanese army and navy. The rough clod from the country
134 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
made good military material. He asked no questions, killed his
quota of foreigners and, if he survived, retired to the farm with
a comfortable military pension.
The feudal, Shinto-practicing, emperor-worshipping Suzuki-
san never had more fun than when he mistreated the inhabitants
of the International Settlement at Shanghai, raped Nanking,
herded defenseless Filipinos into churches and set fire to the
structures. In lovely old Kyoto, the so-called "art center" of
Japan that had the smart international set by the ears before
the war, the Japanese glorified their barbaric acts by building
a shrine that is featured by an Ear Mound. The mound contains
the pickled ears and noses of more than 30,000 Koreans and
Chinese who were butchered in the sixteenth century.
The Suzuki-san who did not get drafted in this war never
believed the atrocity propaganda aimed at him by Allied short-
wave radio. For one thing, he could hardly understand the
atrocious Japanese that was spoken. For another, it was worth
his life to be caught listening in. For a third, he liked his own
Now he's getting a taste of his own medicine. Under Allied
control of the Japanese press and radio, these media are present-
ing regular installments of the true story of the war to Suzuki-san,
who now is pretty shamefaced, although he still doesn't quite
believe it was his fault.
But the schoolchildren of Japan, the Suzuki-sans of the future,
are learning from the ground up. Their history books have
been scrapped and new ones written. (In the higher schools, all
courses in ethics and morals were halted, pending their revi-
sion.) The new texts now being used emphasize that a Japan of
non-divine origin fought "an unreasonable war" brought on by
military oppression of the people, and that in this war Japan was
Continuing the theme of discrediting the military, the new
histories admit that the Manchurian "incident" occurred because
"the power of the fighting services became dominant in politics
and economy/' The rape of Nanking is soft-pedaled, however,
to the extent that the tots are informed that Imperial troops
devastated the city. The so-called China "incident" is now taught
as "a protracted war."
Suzuki-san, Jr., is also informed that the attack on Pearl
Harbor was a sneak attack. He is told that the Imperial Navy
could not advance after Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal;
that one after another key islands like Saipan, Iwo Jima, the
Philippines were taken, and finally Japan was encircled.
In closing, the new histories recite:
"The aim of the occupation is to establish peace and order
in Japan, to overthrow the fighting services, to eliminate all
militaristic thoughts, to give freedom to the people and to recon-
struct Japan through democracy.
"For this purpose, the Constitution has been revised, many
systems reformed, the Zaibatsu, who controlled the economy of
Japan, have been overthrown. The establishment of a demo-
cratic state has been sought through democratization of the
economy and freedom of religion.
"The government and the people are endeavoring to build
up a peaceful Japan through collaboration with Allied Head-
quarters for the attainment of the aims of the occupation. The
new politics has begun. This time, without failure and with
united efforts, we are in a position to convert Japan into a demo-
It has often been said that democracy takes root in the soil.
136 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
It certainly springs from the idea that man shall be free, within
limits, to enjoy the fruits of his labor. And so it was that Mac-
Arthur ordered the Japanese government to prepare a far-
reaching program for freeing Japan's farmers from their long
This is one of the fundamental reforms, one of the most
important aspects, of the occupation. It parallels the effort to
break up the power of the Zaibatsu, the ruling financial cliques
who backed every expansionist move ever made by Japan, who
took all the profits of industry and let the workers sweat it out.
Basically, the land reforms proposed by MacArthur will enable
the farmer to stop being a share-cropper for the rest of his life.
Sometimes he has paid more than half the yield of his over-
worked acreage as rent for his land. The plan is to enable him
to buy a farm on long-term, low-rate financing. The large landed
estates, including Hirohito's, are to be broken up for sale.
The one catch was that the Japanese government, in plan-
ning a detailed law to meet MacArthur's directive, fixed it so
that the landowner would surrender for sale only those acres he
owned in excess of twelve, against an original proposal to put
the maximum at five. This had the effect of withholding some-
thing like half of Japan's arable land from compulsory sale.
Suzuki-san who worked a farm had about two and a half
acres from which to grub a living for his large family. Two
years ago, half of Japan's farmers (there were 5,500,000 "farm
households" and roughly 20,000,000 persons engaged in agri-
culture) tilled less than 1.3 acres each. In China the average
farmer had 3 acres; in Korea, 3.5. In the United Kingdom,
the grower of brussels sprouts, cabbage and turnips enjoyed 10
acres. In the United States, the average farmer had 47. In
Canada, it was 80.
More than 80 per cent of Japan's farmers were tenants, wholly
or partially. They paid rents, usually in rice, the staple crop,
that amounted to half or more of the annual yield. And the rents
were calculated at a fixed amount over a period of years on a
"base" year, which the landowner usually saw to it was a good
year. So, in a lean crop year, Suzuki-san paid a rent he could
not afford. Sometimes his yield was so poor that he had to go
into the open market and buy rice or another crop at the going
price and turn it over to his landlord as rent.
Since the end of the war, rents and land values have sky-
rocketed in Japan, as the result of inflationary pressures and the
increased competition for land from the great numbers of de-
mobilized soldiers and the numbers of urban dwellers who are
anxious to return to the country.
Suzuki-san the farmer had another burden: interest rates on
loans. These were normally 3 to 10 per cent higher than on
commercial loans. The average indebtedness of each farm house-
hold was 1,000 yen, or $66 at the present rate of exchange
inside Japan. It doesn't sound like much in dollars, but it's
tremendous inside Japan; and it's a debt that Suzuki-san never
seems to clear up. He keeps on borrowing to retire current
indebtedness. In the middle of the war, when Japan's people
probably enjoyed the war boom as much as did those of any of
the other powers, only two of each five farm households could
live on their agricultural income.
Moreover, government fiscal policies discriminated against
agriculture in favor of industry and trade. Direct taxes on agri-
culture were 70 to 100 per cent greater, usually, than those paid
by business proprietors.
The farmer in Japan had joined cooperative movements for
his protection, but these were easily dominated by the large
138 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
landholders or proprietor-farmers, and in time, especially under
stress of war, they were taken under the wing of the govern-
ment for obvious reasons. The government was authoritative.
It left no choice of crops to be grown. It established crop quotas.
It prevented the farmer from growing anything for his own
needs or for his own economic advantage.
These agricultural cooperatives came in time to be agrarian
Zaibatsu, to coin a term. Their members piled up savings in
a central agricultural bank to the tune of something like forty
billion yen ($3,000,000,000). This meant that the landlord
farmers had a powerful interest in security, in the status quo,
in business as usual. They were a source of pressure upon the
government. And they were potential bidders for the stocks and
bonds of the real Zaibatsu, the industrial, financial, commercial
clans which under the surrender terms were to be dissolved and
their holdings broken up for all time.
The possibility was interesting: Could the landed gentry of
Japan either by themselves, or working through dummies, ac-
quire the corporate interests of the forty or more big commercial
holding companies which were marked for liquidation? Would
it be simply a transfer of capital ownership from one clique to
another, from one conservative class to another? Or, in certain
cases where industrialists were also farmers, would they buy
up their own "liquidated" holdings?
The farmer had never even had a gamblers chance at pros-
perity. To keep his chin anywhere near the level of the flood
of debt he had to have more labor for his acres. The easiest way
was to beget children. As Owen Lattimore remarked, "In Japan
the crop per acre has been increased by increasing the aches
of the cropper."
The farm problem in Japan is still unsettled as this is written.
Suzuki-san, as we have made him out so far, is a rather dull
fellow. That's not quite fair to him, or to the Allied authorities
who have to deal with him. In many ways, Suzuki-san is pretty
smart, pretty sharp. He's a good buy-sell man in an Oriental
sort of way. He keeps his ear to the ground, or his eye on the
market, whichever you prefer.
We quote a letter of November 16, 1945:
To the Tokyo Correspondent,
New York Herald Tribune.
With a view to creating more friendship between America
and Japan, and also introducing to the Japanese public the
latest Broadway Hit Melodies, we have decided to record by
special permission the selections as per attached sheet by U.S.
4th Marine Regiment Swing Band, Yokosuka Naval Base, start-
ing at i P.M. November I9th (Monday) in our studio.
Your presence shall be greatly appreciated.
Columbia Gramophone Co. of Japan, Ltd.
That was typical of Suzuki-san as we came into Japan. Let's
do business with the enemy; time's a-wastin'.
They made a good buy-sell business, too, out of the biography
of MacArthur, which was pressing the million mark. They
pestered American correspondents for luncheon and dinner lec-
tures on "democracy," to which they invited hundreds of unwit-
ting Nipponese at a few yen a head; the correspondent got
nothing but a meal of whale meat or fishheads, occasionally a
well-done dinner of beef, leeks and other vegetables cooked in
a sugar sauce, or shrimp and fresh fish dipped in batter and fried
in deep fat.
Suzuki-san also was after articles on "democracy" for the
140 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Japanese magazines. If he could get them for nothing, so much
the better. But he was also willing to pay $100 for an article.
And, to spare you the trouble, you didn't have to write it.
Suzuki-san invited you to lunch, brought along two professional
hecklers and a facile interpreter, who could take shorthand
notes in Japanese. As the hecklers heckled, the note-taker took
notes. At intervals the American prisoner would demand and
receive a translation back into English of his answers to im-
portant questions. And many times the American found that
amazing liberties had been taken with his words and meaning.
The seance usually boiled down to: When are you Americans
going to give up and go home?
Suzuki-san was eager for knowledge. And sometimes he was
blunt. Such as the questioner at one of these sessions who said
quite frankly the Japanese had been controlled and pushed
around for a long time by Tojo and the others, and bigosh, here
was MacArthur doing the same damn thing. We asked him if
he wanted Tojo back. He was silent.
But others wanted to know, almost pathetically, how they
could become democrats and get on with life. They didn't know
what the word democracy meant. We couldn't define it in the
one phrase they had patience for. We told them we had fought
for it 170 years ago in the United States and were still per-
fecting it, still patching its fabric, tinkering with its machinery.
We asked them if they expected us to hand to them, nicely
wrapped and on a silver platter, the gradual fruition of the
American dream that we find even in these days of shortages,
strikes, quarrels, selfishness, lynchings, bureaucracy, bigotry,
Bilbo, Talmadge, Father Coughlin and Gerald L. K. Smith.
Yet you could not suspect the motives of the middle-aged
Japanese who asked us plaintively about the fate of the hundreds
of thousands of Japanese in our Western states who had been
"relocated." He had heard nothing but horrors from his own
And you choked just a bit on the plea of another: What
would happen to him if he addressed a petition to MacArthur
on the food question? You told him the right of petition was one
of the things we had fought for, had established, long before in
America and in England. You told him to go ahead and write
a letter to MacArthur on any subject he wished.
And Suzuki-san did write. Mrs. Suzuki did too. She asked
MacArthur when her soldier-husband would be brought back
from Manchuria. A middle-class businessman complained about
favoritism to the rich and to the farmers. A farmer complained
that the city dwellers were squeezing him. An elderly Jap who
had lived in the United States wanted permission to keep his
Other writers of MacArthur's fan mail wanted the General to
step up the electric current, increase the rice rations, curb the
black market. A possible soap-opera fan said if he and his
associates could form the "Rinse Association of Japan" they
could clean up domestic politics in short order. A lawyer-doctor
wrote: "If there were an Oliver Cromwell in Japan, Hirohito
no doubt would pursue same fate as Charles I." Most letters
thought the occupation policies were sound. Most said that
Americans were "okay," and some indicated surprise at the dis-
This was revealing and welcome. But many years, many men-
tal barriers stood between us and the Japanese. For the Nip-
ponese are still to shy or too polite to speak without careful
thought; they refrain from too frank discussions among them-
selves of their own problems, and are inclined to tell the Allied
conqueror only what they think the conqueror wants to hear.
Some of the schoolchildren were less inhibited than their
142 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
parents. "We read in the newspapers about democracy and we
hear much talk/' said a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. "But if we
ask about this in our classrooms, we are told to be still and just
memorize our lessons."
That is a quotation from a letter written a year after the occu-
pation began. It showed that the top-level Japanese in the Min-
istry of Education one of the key points in the occupation-
were still obstructing American directives; that the occupation
looked good on paper, but would be a long time in having effect
down to the humblest hamlet in Nippon.
"In our civics class/' said another girl, "the principal told us
the only reason Japan had to be democratic was because she had
lost the war."
These girls were eager about other things. "Do American girls
help their mothers; 3 " "What is student government?" "How do
you define American efficiency?" "How do American girls wear
their hair and how do they dress?"
An elementary school teacher admitted: "None of us know
what the words liberty' and 'democracy' mean. No one has
A younger teacher confessed privately that any teacher in her
school who expressed interest in studying and adapting forms
of democratic education, such as classroom discussions, was
branded as a Communist by other teachers.
Naval Captain Benton W. Decker, who commands fleet
activities at the American base at Yokosuka, found that bureau-
crats in the Japanese Home Ministry were still interested in
re-establishing industries that would perpetuate the city as a
naval base. When he wanted to improve local roads and the
water-supply system, he found that all the Japanese do "is stall
and say it can't be done."
"I tell them to forget all this folderol about tea ceremonies
and flower arrangement and get in there and do some real work,"
Captain Decker said.
For all their faults, for all their quirks, the Japanese still have
a sense of humor. Without prompting, they laughed heartily
at a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado," in
which the authors poked sly fun at the Japanese upper crust of
the Meiji Era.
And they got a kick out of a modern play called 'Tarzan."
It was the story of a Japanese left on a South Pacific island when
the war ended. He found, while awaiting repatriation, a "Tar-
zan" who turned out to be Japanese. The ape-man is brought
back to Japan. He advertises vitamin pills at a Western-style
carnival. Eventually "Tarzan" realizes he has become a tool of
moneymakers. He returns to the jungle amid thunderous ap-
Such is Suzuki-san, a strange, complex fellow, but worth
understanding if we are to have peace in the Pacific. You just
cannot write him off as a defeated enemy and let someone else
refashion his mind.
Today, in a sense, Suzuki-san is a ward of the United
Nations, or should be. He is the problem child, the unwanted
child, of the Orient. Left alone, he would flounder in apathy,
in inability to use his new opportunities. Much as you might
detest the slant-eyed barbarian who bludgeoned your brother
on the Death March from Bataan or violated your sister at
Hongkong or Singapore, deep down inside you felt that you
had to take him in hand, give him an appreciation of life, wean
him from his Oriental disdain of life, his preference for death,
his disregard of the sanctity of the human body.
144 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Suzuki-san is gradually losing his hatred of the Occidental.
He has to, of course, if he is to live on. He is finding out that
we're not bad fellows after all, even if we bungle things a bit
and behave like screwballs now and then.
The top-level Japanese will never like us, despite their hanker-
ing for Western ways, modes of dress, comforts, foods, ways of
making money. We must make up our minds that we cannot
do business, now or ever, with this type of Japanese. We must
not play ball with him. We must not be timid or hesitant in
kicking out the phonies from Japanese political life.
We must be on guard against the old guard in Japan. They
are trying to kill us with kindness, with geisha dinners, with
handsome presents (including girls for homesick men), with
amusements. The old guardsmen want us to go home soon,
before our ideas sink into the mass of Japanese. They rubbed
their hands in glee when one general suggested even casually
that we'd be going home in a year if the Japanese behaved
For the Japanese has been well schooled in the art of good
behavior. He can turn on the obedience and the charm, and he
knows he can fool the gullible ones among the Allied officers
The longer we stay in Japan, the less the old-timers like it.
For the disillusion of Suzuki-san with his former bosses is grow-
ing, however gradually. The bitterness of defeat, the promise
of the future, are jogging the little man's consciousness. Every-
thing we do in Japan makes Suzuki-san more conscious of him-
self, of his latent powers. That is bad, very bad, for the upper
crust, which is fighting a rear-guard action against the occupa-
tion with all sorts of obstructionism and blandishments, in-
cluding the geisha girl the Madame Butterfly of 1947.
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947
There is nothing so sad as to be born a woman in Japan.
THE MEN WHO had fought through the hot Pacific islands
without ever seeing a Dorothy Lamour in a sarong though their
wives thought the jungles were full of them found in Japan
a woman without curves, but a woman nevertheless, and a
woman who was willing.
She was flat-faced and flat-chested, and badly in need of a
bath (one piece of soap was her year's ration). She wore a
baggy wartime trouser-suit, "mompei," of synthetic material
made from wood pulp, and she clacked along the street in
wooden stiltlike sandals, called "geta." The nails on her fingers
were cracked and broken, and her hands were calloused and
rough from fourteen to sixteen hours a day at the factory lathe.
Her teeth were bad, or if she had had the money to see a dentist,
her mouth was full of shiny metal-alloy teeth. Her ankles did
not taper. She went straight up and down and was '"beef to the
heel like a Mullingar heifer,'* as the Irish would say. She was a
tired, disillusioned and, above all, ugly little woman, who had
146 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
known nothing but hardship for as long as she could remember.
But the Japanese woman had a certain winsomeness, a certain
ability to wear a beautifully colored kimono and mince demurely
along the street with downcast eyes. The cherished silken
kimono, brilliantly colored, with a wide obi of matching colors,
binding her tightly about the midriff, hid the fat ankles and
lack of curves and gave her a grace and femininity all her own,
and the G.I. was badly in need of femininity.
The G.I. had formed a mental picture of Madame Butterfly
long before he reached Japan. He had heard of the charm and
dignity of the Japanese woman, her delicacy and graciousness.
In his magazines and school books, and in tourist agency adver-
tisements, he had seen pictures of a woman with an elaborate
hair-do, a stringed instrument over one shoulder, and a fan
coyly held before a face that wore a come-hither look.
The G.I. thought that every Japanese woman was a geisha,
and that a geisha was someone you went to bed with, just as he
had imagined all French girls were bed companions. Nobody
had told him that this was not the case; but in Japan, as in
Europe, he soon learned by experience he was wrong. The
geishas, he found, were a fast-disappearing class of professional
entertainers, who lived respectable suburban lives with their
husbands and children. The prostitutes were the ordinary kind
found in any country.
During the war, Japan's girls of all classes went into the fac-
tories, if their homes or the rice planting in the hot, smelly,
paddy fields did not keep them busy. Madame Butterfly was
streamlined for war, and the fan-fluttering beauty, so well known
to tourists, was tossed out of her kimono by order of the govern-
ment, and into the drab dress of a factory worker. Her towering
coiffure, built on a wicker cage, disappeared, and her hair was
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 147
clipped short, in a slick bob. She worked in the arsenals and
aircraft factories, in the coal mines and steel mills. The trams
and trains were run by her. She slept and ate in dormitories
attached to the factory, where she was as carefully regimented
as any Japanese soldier in the field. Her salary was about two
dollars per day, and she worked twenty-seven days out of every
thirty-one. She was vital to Japan's war economy, for the ladies
of Nippon made up more than half of Japan's industrial labor
force, which numbered in all eleven million workers at the
end of the war. And Madame Butterfly had another important
duty to produce new sons for the Emperor, and it made no
difference to "Charlie" who the fathers were.
The honored geisha profession almost went out of existence
during the war. The mobilization of Japan's womenfolk for
industry left the geisha schools empty. The geisha "waiting
houses," or exclusive geisha restaurants, where wealthy Japanese
went in peacetime to eat an expensive meal and watch his
favorite geisha perform to the music of the guitar-like samisen,
were closed by order of the government, and those which tried
to remain open were eventually forced to put up shutters be-
cause of the lack of food.
With the war over, and thousands of young G.I.'s seeking
excitement, the commercially minded Japanese knew there
would be an entertainment boom. The G.I.'s wanted geishas,
but they wanted a 1946 model, a fast-stepping, high-kicking jit-
terbugging girl, who could speak a little English, would not mind
a little petting and more, if the occasion presented itself. Japan's
suave showmen knew the G.I. had plenty of money from many
long months on Pacific islands, and would spend it for fun,
without hesitation or stint. They knew he was lonesome and
bored, and would get even more lonesome and bored during the
148 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
long months of occupation ahead. He was the perfect patient
for the injection he was about to receive, and they knew it and
were "so very happy to oblige."
With a kitty of well over two million dollars, the geisha entre-
preneurs went to Japan's small villages and towns and through
her underworld and bought up girls. It was an easy matter, for
thousands of girls had lost their jobs with the ending of hostilk
ties. Families were poor, and were only too glad to sell their
daughters for a price of about one thousand dollars. And, too,
the selling of girls was not new in Japan. It had gone on for
centuries, and the Japanese did not think it was terrible.
The new crop of so-called geishas (a real geisha has to serve
an apprenticeship of seven years) went through a fast, stream-
lining glamour course. "Okay, honey/' "Oh, yeah, sweetheart?"
and "How beautiful you are, Mr. Yank!" was the "English"
taught them. At a later date, after they had mixed with the
G.I.'s, their vocabularies and education were considerably broad-
ened. Then it was not uncommon to have a kimonoed beauty
explain, with a very dead-pan expression, that she was a "red-hot
momma"; or say, "How do you do, you old son of a bitch," on
They were taught billiards, too. Just why is not known. The
G.I.'s were not interested in billiards. Card games, including a
peculiar brand of bridge and poker, and popular songs were also
parts of their curriculum. For some reason, they were all taught
the four songs, "You Are My Sunshine," "Don't Fence Me In,"
"Shine On, Harvest Moon" and "The Rose of Tralee." The
"students" found these difficult to sing in English, so they sang
them in Japanese. They tried hard, but hearing a geisha singing
'The Rose of Tralee" was like hearing a dog howl at the moon.
They were taught to dance. Their teachers found that the
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 149
kimono did not lend itself very well to the dance step of the
average G.I. it was too tight. But the illusion of the pre-war
geisha could not be lost at any cost, so the kimono remained,
and the geishas struggled.
With the new crop completely trained, Tokyo and other major
cities blossomed overnight with places of entertainment. The
"formal opening" of the "New House of Dance Joy," Tokyo's
"Storky Club," and the "Heaven and You Club" was announced
in all the newspapers. Large, lurid signs outside extolled the vir-
tues of these establishments. One was outstanding:
"Please to come in and dance with beautiful geisha, Mr. Yank,
to music of Susuki Kato and His Sixteen Hot-Shooters. Ten
dances, two bottles of beer: 30 yen."
It was then the trouble started. The dancing partners found
the G.I. was no foxtrotter or waltzer, but a maniac who raced
about the floor, scooped them off their feet, tossed them over his
hips and swung them in the air, while he tap-danced or high-
kicked at the same time. The unfortunate taxi-dancers would
stagger weakly across the floor in a lather of sweat at the end
of a dance and pass out. They could justly use their newly ac-
quired expression, "This beats the hell outa me!"
A minor revolution occurred in their ranks. Nobody had told
them about the Lindy Hop or the Conga. They went on strike.
Their work was too hard, and their shoes were wearing out.
Higher wages, short dresses and a manual laborer's food al-
lowance were their demands. Japan's showmen grudgingly
agreed it was hard work being a modern Madame Butterfly.
In the meantime, Japan's houses of prostitution were working
overtime. The red-light districts of Tokyo and the naval base
of Yokosuka had never done such business. And for many
months, both the Army and the Navy tolerated a situation which
150 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
has been quite rightly called "J a P an>s secret weapon." In Feb-
ruary, 1946, just six months after the landing of the occupation
forces, it was admitted by Colonel Phillip Cook, Chief Surgeon
of the American Eighth Army, that the venereal disease rate
among the troops had increased alarmingly. Twenty-seven per
cent of the men were infected with syphilis or gonorrhea, and
the figure was rising rapidly.
For months the houses were allowed to continue, and even
when they were placed out of bounds, it was impossible to deny
the G.I. his pleasure. Long queues of soldiers, four abreast,
could be seen standing, waiting their turn, outside these sordid
hovels. Some of the girls worked twenty-four hours a day, and
it was not unusual for a house to have on its books at least five
hundred girls, working in shifts.
Instead of stamping the whole thing out at the start, the Army
set up prophylactic stations directly opposite each string of
whorehouses. After standing in the queue for several hours, the
G.I. would enter the house, and when he left very shortly after-
ward he was supposed to visit the prophylactic station. However,
many drunken G.I/s would stagger out and never reach the
station. These lads would regret it several days later.
Just outside Tokyo, an exclusive and expensive red-light
district consisted of several hundred densely cluttered, shacklike
stalls. Sitting at the window of each one would be a heavily
painted prostitute, who would shyly hide her face behind a
fluttering fan as you passed. The actual appointment would be
made by the local pimp, who also acted as a watcher for the
military police. He would stop you and try to sell one of his
syphilitic beauties to you for an hour or so. "There is the 'Beau-
tiful Flower/ Mr. Yank" . . . "only seventeen yen, Mr. Yank, and
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 15!
very very new" . . . "or 'Rose Blossom' . . . many like her,
Mr. Yank, only one hundred yen. . . ."
As he talked to you, heads would appear at each window.
Waving green or red lanterns illuminating the signs over each
door. There was the "Brother and Sister House," and the "Love
House," or the one with the mahogany sign swaying gently in
the evening breeze with simply "Whorehouse" plainly written
across it. As you tried to get away from this disgusting little
man the price would get lower and lower, until finally he would
hiss and bow and shuffle off into the shadows. The same thing
would happen as you passed the next string of houses, until you
reached the end of the twisting, garishly lighted street.
At the first sign of a raid, the pimps would blow shrill,
piercing whistles, and in an instant the lanterns would be ex-
tinguished, the heads would disappear from the windows, and
the street would become vacant. The M.P/s, bursting into the
houses, would find nothing but several prostitutes, apparently
asleep, and a very irate madame, who would create a great com-
motion at the intrusion and very reluctantly allow them to
search the house. Long before this, the G.I/s would have made
good their escape by the back door.
The larger, cheaper houses were situated on the main road
between Yokohama and Tokyo, and at one time it was estimated
they served a thousand enlisted men a day. The girls who
worked in these places seemed quite unaware of their plight.
They looked quite happy, though it was plain that many of
them were syphilitic. There were large open sores on the hands
and feet of many of them. Most of them had spent the greater
part of their lives in bondage, trying to pay off debts which
could never be paid off. They did not appear to receive periodic
152 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
medical examinations from Japanese doctors when they were
supposed to, and when several American doctors examined a
group of sixty, fifty were found to be in the advanced stages of
Still there was no stopping the G.I. He saw their condition,
knew he was taking a chance, and he was willing to take it.
The real fault lay at the door of the occupation authorities, who
allowed this situation to continue. A hue and cry in the world's
press forced the matter out into the open. When Cardinal Spell-
man visited the naval area of Yokosuka, late in the fall of 1945,
the red-light districts were promptly put out of bounds to all
ranks. However, the following day, the houses were re-opened,
and business started again as usual.
The returning Japanese soldiers were found to be riddled
with venereal disease, and it is believed they were the principal
cause of the increased rate of syphilis in the "houses." The
"comfort girls," who had journeyed with the troops, went back
to their former houses, and they were found to be 90 per cent
infected. Although these facts were known, they were not told
to the G.I. or sailor. No great effort was made by local com-
manders to discourage promiscuity, though the overall policy
of the Army and the Navy has always been to suppress prostitu-
tion to safeguard the health of their men. The- occupation forces
totaled some 200,000 men by the beginning of 1946, and had
action not been taken in the months between January and July
of that year, it was estimated 50 per cent of them would have
been infected. As it was, however, an all-out medical drive re-
duced the figure from 27 per cent in January to 13.5 per cent
in July. This figure, though still high, was low in comparison
with the rate among American troops in Germany. In August,
1946, authorities in the American Zone in Germany revealed
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 153
venereal disease had hit an all-time high. In every thousand
men, three hundred and five were infected, while among the
Negro troops (numbering approximately 30,000), the figure
was estimated as seven hundred in every thousand.
The up-hill fight against the profession in Japan began late
in 1945 when General MacArthur abolished licensed prostitu-
tion. But this had little effect. The authorities found it was too
difficult to watch and control. The girls, after being released
from their debts, wandered about, not quite knowing what to
do with themselves. They either became street-walkers ("roten-
imbai," or open-air prostitutes), as the Japanese called them, or
they wound up in another red-light district.
Officials at headquarters scratched their heads one day in
despair when they were officially notified by the prostitutes that
they had formed a union to fight the street-walkers, who were
encroaching on their "preserves." They asked General Mac-
Arthur to take steps against the street-walkers, and in a neat
letter, written in English, stated their case.
"Through your kindness, we 'reception girls' were released
from the restriction of freedom, which derives from the loan
with our employer. And now we have awakened to democratic
ideas and are filled with hope for a free life. But against our
will, we must say we cannot provide for ourselves without con-
tinuing this calling in this place that has enough sanitary ar-
rangements. For now we have no ability and fund by which
we can be independent and make an honest life. But we are
striving to make an honest life as soon as possible.
"And this time we have organized ourselves into a self-
governing body, aiming at mutual aid, sanitation and cultivation.
We shall be very happy to have your sympathy and mercy."
This letter, childish and simple as it is, is a good example
154 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
of how the women of Japan look on MacArthur even the prosti-
tutes knew their case would get a hearing.
Licensed prostitution had been a source of great revenue to
the Japanese government through taxation. Sold at the age
of fifteen or sixteen by ignorant parents, usually peasants, the
girl signed a contract, which immediately placed her in debt.
The madame of the house to which the young girl was sent
would supply her with rich kimonos, obis and other garments,
which would be charged against the young probationer at twice
or treble their value. The young girl's only hope now was that
some rich Japanese would buy her out of debt. This often hap-
pened. A new girl, untouched, would be advertised as such to
a few very select clients, who would be invited to come and
look at her. Having seen her in all her naked beauty, the clients
would then bid for her. Sometimes a girl was bought outright
and taken home by the purchaser. She would never know free-
dom, but this at least was better than a lifetime of service in a
house of prostitution. If she was not bought, the highest bidder
would have the pleasure of breaking her in. Then a few days
later she would be returned, a frightened, nervous child, to begin
The house took about 90 per cent of all she earned. If she
was very beautiful she earned good money, but few beautiful
ones remained in the houses. They were bought for private use.
In the prescribed government contract, which the young girl
signed, it was clearly stated that all debts would be "paid back
by degrees from my profession. Seventy-five per cent of my
earnings, however, shall he your due as your income, and the
remaining twenty-five per cent shared to me as my income. And
fifteen per cent of the above-mentioned proportion to he my
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 155
income shall be appropriated to repay ,my debt, the remainder
being pocket money."
She was forced to borrow money from the house because her
own pocket money, no matter how much she earned, was always
small. This loan would have to be paid back with interest. When
she needed new garments, the house would supply them, and
this amount would be added to her debts. Thus, no matter how
hard the girl worked, she could never pay off her debt.
It was not surprising, therefore, that young girls begged
officers and enlisted men to buy them. "If you do not take me
away, I will die here. . . ."
Many young girls, when the Tokyo Press Club was seeking a
staff, begged to be employed, for their parents were threatening
to sell them into houses of prostitution. (Twenty-two girls were
hired for the club, and seven of these were found to be suffering
from syphilis.) With the occupation army gradually increasing,
there was a brisk market for young girls, and their only escape
from being sold by their parents was to run away and get a
job with the Americans.
The situation was accentuated by the fact the Army and
Navy were apparently allowing the G.I.'s full freedom. Naval
Chaplain Lawrence L. Lacour brought the whole thing out into
the open. In a letter which was read from the Senate floor by
Senator William A. Stanfill of Kentucky, the Chaplain charged
the local naval authorities at Yokosuka were "permitting unre-
stricted access by all men on liberty in the Yokosuka area to
houses of prostitution where the venereal disease incidence
among the prostitutes is considered 100 per cent. The control is
the prophylaxis administered by naval corpsmen on duty in the
"I observed," the Chaplain wrote, "in company with four
156 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
other chaplains, a line of enlisted men, four abreast, almost a
block long, waiting their turn at the Yokosuka house. M.P/s
kept the lines orderly and permitted only as many as could be
served to enter at a time. As men were admitted to the lobby,
they would select a prostitute (there were one hundred and
thirteen on duty that day), pay the ten yen to the Japanese
operator and then go with the girl to her room.
"True, many of the men were the type one might expect to
patronize such a place, but the bulk of the customers' were
younger men. The open accessibility of prostitutes in this place
has been a factor contributing to the first sex experience of some
of my men."
The Chaplain's letter had the desired effect. The red-light
districts in the area were put out of bounds, and guards posted
on them. The streets of houses were "attacked" by a small army
of soldiers, carrying cans of paint and brushes. Large "Out of
Bounds VD" signs in yellow were painted on the doors. But
even this did not stop the G.I. When one district closed, he
somehow managed to find the new one which had just opened.
Girls were also used as "presents" by the Japanese "higher-
ups" who were seeking favors from the occupation forces. This
occurred to a correspondent, Duane Henessy of Associated Press,
who was surprised one day to find a very charming young
Japanese, complete with her baggage, waiting for him by his
desk at the press headquarters. The perplexed correspondent did
not know what to do about it. It took some fancy talking to make
the donor take back the girl!
Real geishas, 1946 models in fact, any girl who could wear
a kimono and look like a geisha were thrown at the occu-
pation forces at parties and dinners. If a general was the guest
of honor at a banquet, he and his staff would be surrounded by
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 157
beautifully-dressed young Japanese girls. They were taught that
Americans liked to drink, and so at dinners, they encouraged
the Yanks to drink great dollops of sake, or rice wine. One
American general the authors know got a bit fed up with all
this tomfoolery, and he neatly turned the tables. He brought
a jug of bourbon to a geisha dinner held in his honor, and en-
couraged the geishas to match his dollops of sake with dollops
of bourbon. The geishas will never forget him. In short order,
they were passing out like flies all around the dinner table.
While they were losing much face, the general sat there, looking
quite happy as he drank his sake", and he smiled at the surprised
looks on the faces of the Japanese businessmen who had ar-
ranged the dinner. Needless to say, they did not get the favors
they were seeking.
There was a strange tie-up between the geishas and the giant
Sumo wrestlers. These mountainous males grunted and heaved
in a circular sanded ring to the shrill screams of delight from
their lady fans. The geishas and the wrestlers, in ancient Japan,
had been of the same social status and occupied a certain
honored place. The geishas were regular patrons at the cham-
pionship matches, and several rows of front seats were always
reserved for the Japanese beauties.
One birdlike, emaciated, forty-five-year-old geisha was arrested
in Japan early this year for claiming to be a "goddess." It took
thirty Jap policemen to take her into custody. Her bodyguard,
one of her disciples, a 38o-pound champion Sumo wrestler,
cracked their heads, threw tables, chairs and anything else he
could lay his hands on, and only desisted when the tiny Japs
brought him groaning and grunting to the ground by sheer
weight of numbers.
The "goddess," known to her disciples as 'White Light,"
158 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
claimed that General MacArthur, Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek,
along with other world leaders, were "minor gods" under her.
She had been collecting $16,000 a month in the province from
Japanese people whom she had successfully convinced of her
The "goddess" told Margaret Parton of the New York Herald
Tribune that she was "particularly impatient with General Mac-
Arthur because he does not seem to recognize that he is a minor
god under my command."
It is probable that Japan's underworld played a large part in
helping "White Light" collect the monthly rake-off from her
disciples, for the geishas have always had a strange fondness
for the men of the underworld. These men had their own caste
system, their own rules of procedure and methods of operation
in each other's territory. In many ways, they were the most
honest men in Japan. They cared not for emperor, police or
occupation forces, and went quietly about their business of
keeping other gangs out of their preserves. They caused as little
trouble as possible for the police, who were, in fact, in deathly
fear of them. And they were admired and upheld by the Japa-
Probably members of the best-organized vice system in the
world, they did not look on themselves as gangsters but as
keepers of law and order. Each district had a chief, deputy
chiefs, brothers and junior brothers, who were all controlled by
the big chief, a quiet little gray-haired man who lived in Tokyo.
They didn't go in for murder, unless it was absolutely necessary,
and rows between members of various districts were always
settled over a conference table under the guidance of the big
chief. Satisfaction on both sides was generally obtained when
the offender chopped a finger off his left hand and sent it to
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 159
the chief of the district. Everybody was then appeased, and a
geisha dinner usually followed. It was always possible to tell
a gangster in Japan by the number of fingers on his left hand.
The big chief had only two left on his.
The gangs controlled all types of crime, from petty thievery
to prostitution. They bought and sold girls and kept a steady
supply flowing into the houses. They controlled gambling and
the black market. Although they soaked the rich for "protection"
money, they never stole from the poor. A free-lancer, who tried
to operate in a district, might wind up minus his ears when the
matter was reported to the local gangsters' association. If a
burglary took place in a village, it was rarely the police who
were notified by the Japanese, but the local crime boss.
The most lucrative side of their business was, of course, white
slavery. The abolishment of prostitution in Japan will be prop-
erly enforced only when the gangs, who procure the girls, are
There was no formal ban on "fraternization" by General
MacArthur, as there had been in Germany at first. (The British
contingent, which arrived early in 1946 and took over the areas
of Hiroshima and Kure, was forbidden to "fraternize," but this
may have been because of the high venereal disease rate in the
district.) In troublesome areas such as Sasebo in southern Japan,
where disgruntled Japanese ex-servicemen were flocking home
from China, Marine Major General Schmidt slapped a 6 P.M.
curfew on enlisted men, and an 8 P.M. curfew on officers. This
ended night-time "fraternization" in the area. However, General
Krueger (now retired) of the Sixth Army, allowed as how he
l6o STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
had not seen any "fraternization" but scrutinization! General
Eichelberger, of the Eighth Army, a stickler for military eti-
quette and smartness, finally cracked down on the sloppier type
of G.I., who ogled and fondled the Japanese girls in public.
General Eichelberger ruled this out once and for all. G.I.'s were
forbidden to offer girls cigarettes, candy or gum. They were
not allowed to take them out to dinner, all restaurants being
put out of bounds. Nor could they take the girls to army messes,
movie theaters, swimming pools or the beach. It took a long
time to make these rules effective, but as far as General Eichel-
berger was concerned, the honeymoon was really over.
It was regrettable that the G.I. had been introduced at the
beginning to the fake geishas and prostitutes. They believed
these to be typical of Japanese womanhood. But as the months
passed, and headquarters gradually tightened the reins, many
of the cabarets and fun houses were closed. Only certain ap-
proved dancing places were allowed to remain open, and in these
the G.I. met a better type of girl. He began to realize that
Japanese women were not all phony geishas.
In the tiny villages and towns he was also meeting the average
Japanese girl and housewife, and unwittingly he was playing
a major role in breaking the feudalistic bonds which had held
Japanese women for centuries. He found in the Japanese woman
a childlike, pleasant and hospitable person with an avid curiosity.
She had been told if the Americans ever landed in Japan she
would be raped and her family slain. Thus, when the first troops
landed, she took to the hills, obedient, docile and unemotional
as always. When she returned to her village she found no one
killed or raped. In fact, the dreaded American soldiers had not
even touched the Japanese soldiers. It is possible this was the
dawn of understanding for the woman of Japan.
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 l6l
She found the "terrible" Yanks played with her children and
gave them candy and gum. Her children liked Mr. Yank very *
much, so she asked him to come and share her humble repast
with them, no matter what it was.
The war to her had meant years of hardship and misery, but
she had never complained. She had never been allowed to
complain. In school, she had been taught that her only duty
was to bring into the world as many children as possible so as
"to increase the population so that the national aims will be
accomplished." She had never been sure what the national
aims were, and she was never told. The menfolk - would have
considered it "indecent" had she shown any interest in her
country's foreign affairs. Her mother had not inquired, so she
Always subservient to the man, she did not know freedom such
as the American and the British woman enjoyed. She thought
she was free. She did not know she was shackled to an ancient
feudal system which kept her inferior to the man. If she was of
the upper classes, she had a little more freedom and was allowed
to follow certain cultural pursuits such as painting or playing
the three-stringed samisen. But if she belonged to the peasant
class, she produced children and toiled in the fields, and she had
no time for anything else. She believed in the Emperor; he was
the beginning and the end of everything. He was the reason for
living; he was Japan. After him, came her husband and her
children. Her children absorbed what tenderness and love she
could feel, for they were hers, though nothing else was. If
the Emperor ordered her to produce children, she produced
children. If he ordered them off to war, they went to war. If they
were killed, then they had died for the Emperor. All pain and
1 62 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
grief were stifled. They had died for the Emperor and Japan.
She was not to weep; she had performed her duty.
She was not supposed to ask questions, and she had no say
whatsoever in the running of her own country. But what hap-
pened to the Japanese woman when her country lost the war?
When the men, who had always run the country, failed, did
a great revolution take place within her? Up to the very last
hour she had been told Japan was winning the war. She had
believed that, as she had always believed everything she was
told. But now everything had collapsed about her.
Historians of the future may well examine this feminine
revolution; for one day Japan's women were docile and re-
strained, and the next they became a force in a country which
had always treated them as slaves and human incubators.
Letters for "The Great Marshal MacArthur," which at first
trickled in, soon arrived in torrents. They asked about democ-
racy and the outside world. They wondered why MacArthur
was being so kind to them. Some promised to cooperate in every-
thing he asked. Some even wanted to have children by him.
It was evident that the thinking of the average woman was:
'We have always been slaves and inferior to the men. Now our
men have failed us and Japan, and we must take the lead. You
offer us a new life. Tell us what to do, and we will do it."
MacArthur realized that in the woman of Japan he had a
powerful force for the future peace in Japan, and one of his
first acts was to give them the vote and allow them to run for
office in the government. This had an extraordinary effect on
the women of Nippon. They suddenly realized their importance
in the new Japan. Instead of spending the evening in her home,
after a day's work in the fields, the peasant woman hurried
off to a meeting in the village or to a lecture in a near-by town.
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 163
She listened to men of the occupation forces tell her about other
countries and how the women took an active part in the running
of those countries. In some remote villages, the women would
gather at a certain time each day to have the Stars and Stripes
read to them by a member of the occupation forces who could
speak Japanese. The G.I.'s in lonely parts of the country found
they were in great demand. These friendly ambassadors were
helping to usher in an era of freedom that Japanese women were
determined to have.
It had its funny side, too. One G.I. went to great trouble one
evening at a dinner given -in his honor to explain, through an
interpreter, how every home in the United States possessed a
refrigerator. This impressed the women greatly, and at a
women's meeting a few days later one of the speakers, who had
been present at the dinner, told her listeners refrigerators were
essential to the new Japan. >
"Every democratic nation/' she said, "has refrigerators. If /
Japan is to become a great nation, we must have refrigerators
Everyone then asked what was this "refrigerator," and the G.I.
had to mount the platform and explain, with the help of an
interpreter. The interpreter found it difficult to translate the
exact meaning, and so when the audience left, they were not
sure whether this "democratic refrigerator" was an evil machine
or a form of government. But whatever it was, every woman
The G.I. was also eagerly sought after because he possessed
American magazines and, above all, army rations. Pictorial maga-
zines, such as Life, had a remarkable effect. The women could
not read them, but they would follow the pictures. The young
girls in one village changed their hair-do's after seeing one issue
164 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
of Life. Advertisements showing bright new cars, clothes and
cigarettes all meant one thing democracy. They did not know
what democracy really was, but they were determined to find
Of course, the G.I. greatly endeared himself to the housewife
because of his rations. The peasant had always eaten well.
Even when the war ended, the tiny farming villages were well
off in comparison with the cities. But the peasant woman was
strangely surprised at the canned food the G.I. offered. She
found she liked it. But there was, also, something else. The
authors remember giving a one-pound can of bacon to a farmer's
wife, and she said simply, when she had discovered its contents,
'What sort of a great land is this which provides the soldiers of
its emperor with such wonders?" That bacon was the piece de
resistance at the evening meal, but it was the way the strips had
been neatly packed in the can that was the amazing wonder to
this housewife. The American soldier and everything he had
came from the land of democracy to the Japanese women, that
land and its way of life was to be their pattern for the future.
One of the first demonstrations of Japanese women occurred
in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Japanese miners
refused to work the coal mines there because they claimed the
mines were old and the equipment rotten. When the strike
began, the women in the district called a general meeting. One
of them, who was later elected to parliament, told them, "The
miners, your husbands, fathers and brothers are striking for
betterment of conditions throughout the whole laboring class.
This is in the interest of you women too. You may be house-
wives, who never go underground, but the food you eat, the
clothes you wear, the houses you live in depend on the issue.
You cannot be onlookers. Do something/*
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 165
There and then, the women, in a swarm of more than a thou-
sand, descended on the officers of the company, demanded to see
the officials, and then stated their case. It did not end the strike,
but it startled the men, who simply could not believe it. Never
before had Japanese women acted like this!
The men were aghast at another development in the occu-
pation. Japanese actresses began to kiss on the screen, a la Holly-
wood. And the Japanese public flocked hungrily to American
films which showed boy meeting girl in a passionate clinch.
A bright young reporter named Ernest Hoberecht, of the
United Press, may go down in history as the man who put the
kiss into Japanese films. The story goes that Ernie gave purely
professional lessons in the American-style kiss to a young Japa-
nese starlet; then he wrote a scenario about the romance between
a G.I. and a Madame Butterfly. The starlet starred in the film,
which packed them in.
The awakening was more noticeable among the peasant class
than among their richer, middle-class sisters. Many of the latter,
besides having been educated in Japan, had traveled abroad, or
had gone to colleges in the United States or Europe. These had
returned to Japan with Western ideas and Western clothes, and
though they had a little more freedom, they were still not sup-
posed to meddle in the matters which were considered to be
exclusively the work of their menfolk. It was far more important
for a young woman of the upper classes to know the strict eti-
quette of the Japanese tea party or tea ceremony than it was for
her to take up a career. And for a woman in her position to
participate in politics, or even discuss them, was an unheard-of
thing in Japan!
Most of the homes of the upper classes had a tiny hut in the
back garden, known as the tea pavilion, where the ancient
1 66 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
ritual of the tea ceremony, or Cha-no-yu, took place. It was a
picturesque performance, but it didn't quite make sense to the
G.I. The tea ceremony is, in fact, a tea party given to a special
guest. The G.I., thinking it was a real party, was greatly sur-
prised when he was shown through a tiny garden, containing
a small stream or well, to the pavilion, which was merely a tiny
house, perhaps ten feet square. He crawled through a two-foot-
high sliding door, in one of the sides of the building, and inside,
found himself in a room entirely bare of furnishings, with the
exception of a parchment hanging on one of the paper-latticed
walls. A few strokes of a paint brush illustrated the parchment.
This was a poem, emphasizing the beauty and simplicity of the
With the other guests, the G.I. sat at one side of the room,
and if he understood Japanese he would hear the guests ad-
miring everything the poem, the room, and particularly himself,
the guest of honor. (The guest of honor was supposed to be
admired above everything else at the tea ceremony.) After a long
enough time had elapsed to allow the guests to admire every-
thing, the hostess made her appearance. She would bow low to
her guests, and a servant behind her would bring in a brazier of
charcoal with a copper dish in its top containing boiling water.
Several tea bowls, a water dipper, a thin bamboo spoon, a small
lacquered jar containing the green powdered tea, and a wooden
whisk would also be brought in. The hostess then prepared the
In absolute silence, during which the guests were supposed
to meditate, they watched their hostess go through the ritual
of the ceremony. First each tea bowl, about the size of a large
coffee cup, was carefully washed out with hot water. Then a
spoonful of the green tea was put into the first tea bowl, water
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 1947 167
poured on it, and the whole potion beaten into a froth with the
wooden whisk. It was then handed to the guest of honor, who,
after admiring the beauty of the cup, drank the tea, either in
one gulp or in three small ones. The other guests then received
their tea bowls, and the same procedure took place. Before the
war, the guests received small, thin pieces of sweet rice cake,
but now the sugar shortage eliminated this delicacy.
To the G.I., the green tea was very bitter, and the whole
business left him bored. He liked the simple peasants much
better. But his rich hosts were never the wiser. The G.I. was
too smart for this. He knew they, too, were interested in their
future, and he found he was the guest at many tea ceremonies
where he was plied with their questions about America and other
countries, and above all, about the new democratic Japan.
Madame Butterfly took an active part for the first time on
April 10, 1946, in the future governing of her country. Wearing
her best kimono and getas, the geisha girl, the peasant woman,
the upper-class beauty and the prostitute flocked to the polls on
this day to cast their vote in Japan's first democratic post-war
election. They came from the remotest tiny villages, carrying
their babies on their backs, many of them walking all night to
be first at the election booth to cast their ballot. Even the girls of
the upper classes, wearing their most precious finery, left their
rich houses, for it was a great event, in fact, a holiday. This
day celebrated the first step toward the emancipation of Japa-
The men were silent and amazed. They had not thought it
possible that their women would turn out like this. But they
had; and Madame Butterfly upset Japan's post-war political
applecart completely. Slightly less than half of all the votes were
cast by women; and of the eighty-two women candidates, thirty-
1 68 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
nine were elected. The women of Nippon had thrown off
restraint and taken the lead.
The new women members of the Diet were received rather
coldly by the men. This did not deter them one bit. They
promptly formed an association known as "a feminine club of
members of parliament." In an opening speech, the president
of the newly formed club stated that though they belonged to
different parties it was necessary to "concentrate the power of
women in parliament by throwing overboard party differences"
and to "take up any problem, even the tiniest, the settlement of
which the power of woman alone can accomplish." Once more
the men gasped. But they could say nothing. Japanese women
were in the Diet to stay!
Another important fact, which they reluctantly accepted, was
that the women had the powerful backing of Supreme Head-
quarters. In their hands, General MacArthur saw a brake against
other Konoyes or Tojos, who might once more plunge Japan
into war. Their showing at the polls was, to the Allies, the most
encouraging feature of the first year of the occupation.
But some of the old Japanese felt very bitter about the new
Japanese woman. Their entry into politics meant only one thing
to them trouble. They were nostalgic for the old-fashioned
pre-war geisha, and were proud of her entertainment talent.
One tearful old professor, mellow after two beers, begged the
authors to "Venez, goutez nos geishas ... it is there you will
savor the real Japan."
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAcARTHUR
AN INNOCENT-LOOKING, white-haired, kindly-faced officer in
his mid-forties sat benignly behind a desk in a second-floor
office at MacArthur's headquarters in the early months of the
In many ways he was the most feared man in Japan. As head
of the Counter-intelligence Corps, he was the Allied police
chief, a sort of J. Edgar Hoover of the F.B.I, on an international
scale. He kept the roster and records of Japan's war criminals
and other undesirables; he liked, with a twinkle, to call it his
Social Register. His name was Elliot Thorpe, and he came from
Rhode Island. He was a brigadier general one of the so-called
"Little Men" around the Big Chief, MacArthur, men who did
a tremendous lot of hard work for the occupation and got some
credit but none of the glory.
General Thorpe was a career man in the Army. At the out-
break of the Pacific war he was military attache in Java and got
out one jump ahead of the rapidly advancing Japanese. Pos-
sessed of a curious mind he's always picking up bits of fascinat-
ing but seemingly valueless information and putting them
170 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
together like a jig-saw puzzle he wandered into Washington
and asked to see the military intelligence file on Java. It con-
sisted of a few travel pieces from the National Geographic Maga-
zine and a typewritten article by some fellow who had visited
Java before, during or just after the first World War.
This was a shock to General Thorpe, and he won't forget it.
It was typical of the lack of attention we had paid to things
Oriental before the war. And it is one reason why General
Thorpe suggested, when he returned to Washington in 1946,
that 100 high-ranking West Point graduates be assigned to
Japan each year to live among the Japanese in their cities,
learning the language and customs and filing reports on what
In that way, General Thorpe reasoned, you would build up
an intelligence file on the Japanese and their country and you
would build up within the Army for the future, if needed
a corps of men who knew something about the Orient.
Not that we had no intelligence on Japan. But it could have
been better. It could have been more detailed. And we could
have used thousands more men in the armed forces with even
a rudimentary knowledge of the Japanese language. Even now
in peacetime, we should be training hundreds in the languages
of the peoples who are the problems, the question marks. The
Army officer of today should be required to speak with some
facility one of these four languages: Russian, Chinese, Japanese,
German. French, Italian and Spanish have their importance,
but they are not the ones on which we should be concentrating.
Better intelligence on Japan, for example, would have ob-
viated some of the mistakes we made early in the occupation,
when men who had been dead for some time appeared on the
lists of war criminal suspects; when dead Black Dragons were
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 171
supposedly live fugitives from justice; when the Black Dragon
chief wandered on the loose for three months; when war corre-
spondents who had known Germany and Japan were sometimes
one step ahead of the military in pouncing upon Japanese war
criminals; when menaces like Tojo and Konoye were free for
weeks on end to visit their friends, implant their ideas for
Japan's future in a young generation of diehards; when the
head of the Liberal Party (Ichiro Hatoyama) who was about
to become prime minister was debarred under the "purge"
directive at the last minute after he had been unmasked as
pro-Fascist by Allied correspondents in Tokyo.
The fumbles of early occupation days cannot be laid at Gen-
eral Thorpe's door. The weaknesses in general intelligence on
Japan stemmed from fundamental and long-standing Allied
failures and indifference to the Orient. Konoye's suicide and
Tojo's bungled effort were failures in the chain of command
that went on up to high levels and across the seas to Washington,
London and other capitals. Men such as General Thorpe were
agents of policy rather than creators of it. They acted on the
decisions of others. They could supply information, but then
had to wait for the green light.
But on the policy side, General Thorpe and his staff were
responsible for two of the major MacArthur directives that, on
paper at least, were big steps toward the remaking of Japan.
They constructed the early directive which granted freedom
of speech and thought, and revamped the notorious Japanese
police system, abolishing the "thought control" police. And they
fashioned the political purge directive of the first winter which
debarred all militarists and ultra-nationalists from all top layers
of government, education and other official life in Japan and
set up a screening system (Japanese-operated, however) whereby
172 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
office-holders were to be sifted and the bad ones thrown out
so that they might no longer influence the people or the course
The purge hit the top brackets of the Japanese civil service
and then moved on to the 3,384 candidates who hoped to run
for the 466 seats in the Diet in the April 1946 elections. Of
these, 252 were disqualified by the purge directive's terms, and
nine of the total elected to the Diet were removed later. By the
end of the first year of the occupation, the Japanese claimed
they had carried out a substantial part of the purge by barring
or disqualifying from public office more than 186,000 persons
suspected or proved of ultra-nationalist or militarist persuasion or
There were two jokers in this. One was that only about 900
Japanese had been kicked out of their jobs; the rest were merely
barred from getting jobs in which they could influence the
The second joker was that the Japanese were by no means
through the task of screening 400,000 educators for similar pur-
poses. They had screened only 212,846 members of the school
system and actually had removed only 107.
A third joker had been removed. This was Tamon Maeda,
who for the first nine months of the occupation was Education
Minister, and before the war was director of Japan's propaganda
mill in New York, the Japan Institute. Until headquarters
woke up to Maeda, he had been "helpful" in molding the policy
and machinery for revamping Japan's educational system.
Maeda and the old-timers in the Education Ministry were
those who helped to slow up the impact of the purge on the
schools. They worked in the prefectures of Japan, far from
the eyes of Allied Headquarters. The so-called screening com-
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 173
mittees which were set up at prefectural levels to scan the
teachers' qualifications played county and ward politics in a
big way. Teachers who should have been tossed out found they
had "cousins" on the screening committees who juggled the
records. Frequently an official who had been bounced from the
Education Ministry at Tokyo landed on his feet in a prefectural
educational association and resumed selling his particular brand
MacArthur finally cracked down and said the prefectural
screening committees themselves would be screened. If more
than 50 per cent of a committee's membership was purged, then
all the teachers it had screened would be put through the mill
Constantly turning up in the school system were Japanese
like the teacher at Sasebo, on the island of Kyushu, who told his
class that democracy was a "sin" and that he preferred to be
hanged or otherwise killed by the occupation forces rather than
give up his militaristic and imperialistic ideas. He was a former
School systems in provincial towns and cities remained much
as they had been, despite the introduction of revised history
books. At one boys' school, students were threatened with
"flunking" because they protested against retention of a teacher
who was a notorious militarist. At a girls' school, a sixth-grade
teacher was demoted to a sewing class because she urged class-
room discussions of controversial topics. At a primary school,
teachers were ordered not to explain why one of the state Shinto
shrines was being demolished.
The purge also extended to the Japanese publishing world.
Editors and leading writers for newspapers and magazines were
ousted, some of them (especially from Tokyo's three big dailies)
174 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
by their own staffs, long before the purge directive took effect.
Headquarters arrested Inosuke Furuno, long the head of Japan's
propagandistic Domei news agency, as a war criminal, but later
released him. He was one of a collection of Japanese Goebbelses.
In the same group was Taketora Ogata, long-time cabinet secre-
tary and Board of Information chief, whose arrest was unduly
At first the purge directive, issued January 4, 1946, hit such
men as career officers in the Army and Navy, heads of secret
patriotic societies and executives of the financial groups and
companies that exploited the territories occupied by Japan. It
cut like a scythe through the ranks of the political parties which
were tuning up for the April elections and preparing to put back
in the Diet a group that would have been stooges for the old-line
But the January directive did not go far enough to suit many
officers at headquarters, for it did not touch civil servants below
the rank of "Chokunin" (imperial appointments). Preliminary
drafts of the directive as prepared by General Thorpe's office
were passed around to various section chiefs. They scissored out
parts they didn't like. The result was a directive far less harsh
than Thorpe had intended.
Later, under successive nudgings from headquarters, the
Japanese government, issuing "interpretations" of the original
directive, extended it to include additional classifications, such
as the press. It was extended, for example, to former Ambassa-
dors of Japan in Germany and Italy from 1937 to the surrender;
to all who had important roles in negotiating treaties with the
Axis or in puppet states in Manchuria, China and Siam, or who
had a hand in financial enslavement of those countries; to key
officials of war-production companies; to members of wartime
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 175
cabinets and their special sections; to officers of a score of banks
and exploitation companies which financed and developed
Japan's fifteen years of aggression.
The elimination of some officeholders under the terms of the
purge was delayed from time to time, where the Japanese gov-
ernment could prove their services were temporarily needed.
Often there was suspicion that too many were being retained
in this fashion.
Headquarters itself was not inclined to push the purge too
rapidly. This was on the ground that you could not yank hun-
dreds of thousands of persons from government offices overnight
and expect anything but chaos to result. Headquarters looked to
a more gradual weeding out of the undesirables.
Japan's housecleaning had scarcely got under way when
General Thorpe, like so many other brigadiers who had done
good work for their country, was "busted" one rank back to
colonel. Thorpe was nothing if not a realist. He knew that the
Japanese would interpret his loss of "one star" as a merited
demotion rather than a piece of red tape on the part of the
American Army. He knew that in Japanese eyes, he had "lost
face." He knew that his effectiveness in the policing job would
be impaired if not destroyed. And so he came home.
Later, he received an Oak Leaf Cluster to his Distinguished
Service Medal, and the citation said, in part, that "his measures
. . . were an important contribution to successful occupation and
administration of Japan."
One officer who did not get his star, and who for this and
other reasons was eventually lost to the occupation, was Colonel
Raymond C. Kramer, a former New York department-store
executive and an economic wizard who gave up a brilliant mer-
176 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
cantile career to serve his country. At forty-four, he was Mac-
Arthur's chief economist and was handed the job of breaking
up the Zaibatsu, or financial cliques, those moneyed families
which had a stranglehold on Japan's financial and commercial
life and which had been part and parcel of fifteen years of
Kramer had unlimited energy, an extraordinary capacity for
analyzing complicated situations, an equally extraordinary capac-
ity for work, and boundless enthusiasm for his job. But he had
enemies in Washington, and even his own sturdy physique felt
the strain of the high-pressure days of the occupation. One star,
pinned to this officer's shoulder, probably would have kept him
at headquarters for a longer time. But he was only human after
all, and he was serving at great personal sacrifice. He went home
and an artillery man was handed his job.
We suspect that Colonel Kramer was too efficient and set
too fast a pace for the run-of-the-mine Army officer. He left them
gasping. He had the Japanese on the ropes, too.
Koyata Iwasaki, president of Mitsubishi Honsha, one of the
biggest financial combines, used to sit up late at night with
Kramer, amicably plotting the dissolution of these great trusts.
After one such session Iwasaki handed Kramer a glittering hara-
kiri knife, and said with what amounted to a smile:
"Inasmuch as you are forcing Japanese industry to commit
hara-kiri, perhaps you would like to have the knife."
As Colonel Kramer saw it, the breakup of the Zaibatsu was
the key to economic democracy in Japan. It was, moreover, the
key to economic peace in the Orient. Colonel Kramer argued
that if you were going to destroy Japan's war potential, you
would have to destroy the monopoly power of the few families
as well as destroy the factories that made the guns, ships, tanks
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 177
and airplanes. For the power of the Zaibatsu over Japan's econ-
omy was unparalleled in any other capitalistic, industrialized
country. It was a case of i per cent of the people controlling 99
per cent of the business.
Just fifteen of these gigantic combines turned out 5 1 per cent
of Japan's coal, 69 per cent of the aluminum, 50 per cent of
the paper and pulp, 20 per cent of the rayon, 88 per cent of
the steam engines, 69 per cent of the locomotives, 50 per cent
of the airplanes, 88 per cent of the soda, 43 per cent of the
ammonia sulphate, 33 per cent of the silk, 49 per cent of the
synthetic dyes and 30 per cent of the explosives.
Banks controlled by the Zaibatsu houses held 57 per cent of
the assets and 71 per cent of the loans and advances of all or-
dinary banks. The Zaibatsu banks held 99 per cent of the assets
of all of Japan's savings banks. They controlled 69 per cent of
all trust company assets, 74 per cent of fire-insurance company
assets, 38 per cent of life-insurance company assets.
The Zaibatsu had a grip on basic industries, on basic finance.
There was no diffusion of business initiative in Japan, no re-
ward for individual enterprise. There was little or no "middle
class" such as developed in England and the United States
under the industrial revolutions. Successive Japanese govern-
ments had played along with and married into the financial
families since feudal times. Wages were held down, labor unions
Blocked, political independence stifled. The Zaibatsu were the
paymasters of the Tojos and all the other rabid militarists who
planned the major moves of Nippon.
Never had Japan had a Sherman Anti-Trust Act, a commis-
sioner of corporations, a Federal Trade Commission, a Securities
and Exchange Commission. In Japan, business had grown to
bigness that reached absolute monopoly. The Zaibatsu were
178 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
collective trusts of unrelated enterprises. They were unholy al-
liances, in Colonel Kramer's words, of enterprises that had no
business being under one roof.
The House of Mitsui was a beautiful example of the Zaibatsu
technique. It showed how one family exercised financial control
by acting as a unit under law, custom and family rules. There
were eleven official Mitsui families, all operating as a unit under
family rules. All major decisions were made by a family council
of family heads. An individual member of the family could
be dismissed for incompetence. Family members could not en-
gage in business without consent of the council.
Mitsui had substantial investments in 173 companies. The
parent holding company and its twenty-two major subsidiaries
had total operating capital of more than seven billion yen. At
pre-war rates of exchange, this was about $2,333,333,333. Many
of the 173 Mitsui subsidiaries had subsidiaries of their own.
One had 185.
Dating back 300 years to Sokubei Mitsui, who broke from
the warrior tradition to enter the mercantile business as a brewer
of sak the House led in foreign trade, mining, machinery,
chemicals, shipbuilding, lumber, rubber, metal, banking, in-
surance, trusts, real estate, fertilizer, shipping, textiles and paper.
It was the outgrowth of feudal days when trading companies
and merchants lent money to the government and obtained
favors in return, such as coal mines. Mitsui got in on the
ground floor with the militarists and imperialists during the
nineteenth century. It put its money mostly on the side of the
emperors, an investment that paid off until the end of the war.
One of the seventeenth-century Mitsuis started a money-
lending business in Kyoto. He branched into dry goods. In the
middle of the last century the Mitsuis were issuing paper money
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 179
for the central government and local feudal lords. They founded
cotton mills, paper mills, and silk-reeling plants.
In Japan's wars, Mitsui did well for itself by lending money
and selling goods to the government. When the wars paid off
with colonial gains, Mitsui was able to invest in Korea, Formosa,
China and Manchuria. In less lush times, Mitsui gobbled up
smaller companies that were having trouble.
With its control of banking, Mitsui, like the other Zaibatsu,
turned its finances into simple, internal bookkeeping. Financial
capital in Japan was hardly more than a revolving fund, revolv-
ing among the big families like Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo
and Yasuda. Those were the "Big Four." Fifteen other Zaibatsu
were identified in the early months of the occupation. By the
end of the first year, forty Zaibatsu groups had been "identified"
as if under a microscope. They involved more than 1,2,00 sep-
It would take a Solomon to unravel the intricacies of Zaibatsu
finance. There was tremendous pyramiding of capital, inter-
locking of directorates, agreements to share technology, credit
arrangements. Someone who knew Wall Street, like Colonel
Kramer, could make a start on the job.
It was complicated, too, by the compulsory cartelization which
the Japanese, like the Germans, instituted during this war.
This program required business firms to join "control associa-
tions" (most of which have not been liquidated) which estab-
lished production quotas and allocations, fixed prices and wielded
tremendous economic influence. Of course, Zaibatsu executives
usually headed the most important control associations. Such
groups were important factors in slowing Allied directives for
reconversion of Japanese industry in the first occupation year.
l8o STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
In the provincial factory towns they slowed sizzling fast balls
from MacArthur to gentle curves.
The breakup of the Zaibatsu was proceeding slowly at the
time of this writing, but it was proceeding. Allied nations had
already seized foreign properties of the Zaibatsu, which were
roughly 14 per cent of their total assets. About 5 per cent more
of their assets would be taken in Japan's reparations, with
priority going to removal or stripping of war plants controlled
by Zaibatsu interests.
Zaibatsu power also was threatened by Colonel Kramer's pro-
grampromulgated by MacArthur, worked into detail by the
Japanese government for stiff taxes and a capital levy. There
was to be a 100 per cent tax on all war industries, and a tax
steeply graduated up to 100 per cent for all other corporations
and individuals. And to make the profiteers show their hidden
deposits, a new yen issue was to replace the old. On top of this,
there was to be a capital levy at rates as high as 70 per cent.
MacArthur and Kramer were determined to show the Japa-
nese that war does not pay. For this purpose they included
Hirohito in the war profits tax and capital levy plans. The over-
all yield from both measures was expected to be well over
100 billion yen, or 33 billion dollars at pre-war rates, which
wouldx provide a cushion for putting government finances on a
After conferences among Kramer and the leaders of the Big
Four Zaibatsu, a basic plan was evolved for smashing these
economic monopolies. Only part of it has gone into effect be-
cause there are some "bugs" in it that will bear examination.
The plan, as put forward by the Japanese government, called
for formation of a "holding company liquidation commission,"
to be Japanese-manned but subject to Allied control. All securi-
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR l8l
ties, cash and other assets were to be transferred from the Big
Four holding companies to the liquidation commission. All
holding company directors and auditors were to resign and
retire from public life.
The commission would give the holding companies receipts
for such transferred properties, but the receipts would be non-
negotiable, non-transferable and ineligible for use as collateral.
Then the holding companies' shares were to be sold publicly
at controlled prices and in controlled amounts, with identifica-
tion of the new shareholders and their financial backing re-
quired. After such public sale, the receipts originally given to the
Zaibatsu would be redeemed with bonds to be issued by the
Japanese government. These would not be payable for ten years.
They would be non-negotiable, non-transferable (except by
inheritance) and ineligible as collateral. The bonds would be
paid off, when due, from the proceeds derived from the sale of
the properties and shares of the liquidated holding companies.
Preference was to be given in sale of the Zaibatsu shares to
employees of the companies involved. None of the Zaibatsu was
to be given permission to buy back any property.
"Eternal vigilance/' said Colonel Kramer, "will be needed
to make this plan work and to prevent puppets from getting
control of the Zaibatsu shares."
The American government was not satisfied with this pro-
gram beyond the stage of the formation of the liquidation com-
mission and its possession of Zaibatsu assets. A special mission
soon went out from the State Department to look into the ques-
tion, and it formulated recommendations that were secret at the
time of writing. They were to be hashed over in the Far Eastern
Commission at Washington and sent out to MacArthur as policy
directives for implementation.
182 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Those who studied the original Zaibatsu dissolution plan
wanted to be sure about several things. Some thought the scheme
to pay off the Zaibatsu with government bonds did not penalize
the Zaibatsu financially and created a vested, conservative clique
of bondholders who could still exercise great influence in gov-
ernment policy. The one hope was that the stiff war-profits tax
and capital levy would wipe out the Zaibatsu bondholders, or
at least cripple them.
Second, there was doubt whether the public at large in Japan
even the Zaibatsu employees had the money to buy up the
shares that would be dumped on the market. Or, it was asked,
if they did buy them, would they be acting as dummies for
higher-ups in the pay of the dispossessed Zaibatsu families?
The State Department group of experts that looked into the
question came back with this one: "Do alternative groups exist
in Japan which have the funds and the ability to replace the
They pointed out that savings by individuals in Japan were
ordinarily scanty and badly distributed. But during the war
years savings skyrocketed, and a total of 10 million Japanese
individuals were able to amass savings that in 1944 totaled 80
billion yen. These were liquid savings, exclusive of savings in
currency. This total was ten or more times the amount needed
to buy up Zaibatsu holdings. 1
Such savings were reflected partly in the Postal Savings Sys-
tem and the Central Cooperative Bank of Agriculture and For-
estry, in which they totaled 57 billion yen. These cooperatives
have plenty of money and are looking for industrial properties
to purchase. One trouble is that the agricultural cooperatives
have come to be dominated by the government and by large
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 183
The question that was asked, therefore, was: Would you
exchange a conservative industrial class for a conservative agrar-
ian class? Would you merely create a new Zaibatsu?
There was another group in Japan that might bid for Zaibatsu
holdings: the small and medium businessmen who had been
crowded out during the war but still had the industrial know-
how, even if not too much cash.
The answer may be nationalization (as the British have pro-
posed for the war industries of the Ruhr). But that's a short cut
from feudalism to socialism, or from feudalistic capitalism, if
you will. The-, Americans are still in the driver's seat in Japan,
and we have no reason to suspect they are willing to drive that
A third star at MacArthur's headquarters was Brigadier Gen-
eral Kenneth R. Dyke, a New York advertising and radio execu-
tive who had seen the occupation of Germany as a youngster
in the first World War. During the second World War he
had handled information and education activities for the troops
in MacArthur's command. In Japan, he took over Civil Informa-
tion and Education for the Japanese.
It was Dyke's job to watch over the mental intake and output
of the defeated enemy. He generally did a good job. It was not
his fault that the Japanese slowed the effect, in the rural schools,
of the directives revamping the educational system. He had no
police force at his call to check on compliance. The program
was sound. It encompassed the rewriting of textbooks; the screen-
ing of 400,000 educators under the "purge" directive; and intro-
duction of the Roman alphabet. Besides this, he started the ball
rolling on the re-education of Prince Akihito.
Two other major jobs that General Dyke tackled were the
184 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
remaking of the Japanese press, radio, stage and screen along
free, democratic lines, and the cutting of fetters that made
millions of Japanese slaves to the State-sponsored religion of
Shintoism, the "Way of the Gods."
The press, radio and theater had been tools of the military
and the government in Japan. To Dyke was handed the task
of making them free. Ironically, he had to be sure that the press
did not become so free that it impaired the success of the occu-
pation. So a censorship office was set up. It worked, actually,
under General Thorpe's section of headquarters, but it worked
closely with General Dyke's office because he supplied much of
the new material for which the censors were to ensure a proper
break in the press.
Dyke had to tell the Japanese the true story of the war. It
was the story, factually, of Allied victories, Japanese defeats.
And it was the story of Japanese war guilt, of war criminality,
of war excesses. The press had to print large doses of it, week
by week. It was effective. It started the Japanese thinking about
the causes of their defeat. It gave the country a sense slowly,
of course of its responsibility for the disaster. It discredited the
military. It let the people know what a long road lay ahead to
Further, Dyke's office saw to it that the Japanese had access
to all possible information about the democracies and how they
worked. This involved everything from establishing libraries on
dull, constitutional subjects to importing the best three or four
dozen American motion pictures, for which the Japanese were
General Dyke and his staff reviewed all Japanese movie
scenarios and the manuscripts of stage plays. They scanned old-
established repertoires in the classical and popular theaters,
THE LITTLE MEN AROUND MAC ARTHUR 185
weeding out the themes of blood lust, the cult of the sword, the
ideal of revenge.
Dyke and the censors who were attached to General Thorpe's
office had their hands full with the Japanese press. But they
made it so free that inside of a year it was even taking veiled
cracks at the occupation policy. This was permitted, however,
on the theory that criticism was healthy if it was not subversive,
if it was constructive and not combative to the broad purposes
of the occupation. However, when the Japanese editors over-
stepped the bounds or cut corners, Dyke was after them like
a terrier after a rat. There were frequent suspensions of papers
for twenty-four hours because their contents strayed from the
path toward freedom.
Finally, Dyke came home too. Like Colonel Kramer, he had
served at great personal sacrifice. He had to think of his own
future in radio. And some of the old-timers at headquarters
were not sorry to see him go. He was far ahead of them in his
knowledge and ability at public relations, and they assumed
that anyone with so much on the ball must have been left of
center, or slightly pink. Dyke, too, had become, according to
headquarters, too big, too intelligent, for his brigadier's breeches.
Another on MacArthur's staff had been there since the pre-
war days in Manila. He was public relations man and actual
chief censor during the war and in the first two months of the
occupation. But when MacArthur's strict censorship of the Al-
lied press corps was abolished, the correspondents put the skids
under the General's publicity man and censor Brigadier Gen-
eral LeGrande A. Diller.
"CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE.
"THANK YOU for helping me attain my goal of seeing that
General MacArthur got credit for everything in the Pacific and
making sure that he was appointed Supreme Commander." So,
to his G.I. staff in Tokyo, said Brigadier General Diller, one of
the little clique who had been with the New Mikado since the
dark days of 194041-42.
Diller's job during the war and in the first two months of
the occupation had been to sell MacArthur to the rest of the
world. The General didn't need any "selling," as a matter of
fact. He was a leader, a brilliant military man in many ways,
colorful, and a personality in his own right. But, with the help
of sycophantic correspondents who scrambled for small favors,
and aided by a ruthless system of censorship which was political
as well as military, the Public Relations Office of MacArthur's
headquarters built MacArthur into a demigod.
Now, the General wasn't any more divine than Hirohito. He
was a human being, like the rest of us, and he made mistakes,
like the rest of us. But you never would have suspected either
fact from the lush, purple prose that poured out of headquarters
"CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 187
during the war. The communiques were as resounding as the
Declaration of Independence, as romantic as a novel by Harold
Bell Wright. High officers who served under MacArthur and
who were privileged to read the top-secret operational dispatches
as various battles progressed on the long road back from Aus-
tralia have confessed privately that they shuddered when they
compared the stark dispatches with the fulsome communiques.
And the G.I. up forward who was still getting shot at and seeing
his buddies -killed got just a bit tired of reading that the war
was all but over and the enemy completely befuddled. Worst
of all, the taxpayer and war-worker back home was inclined to
slack off on the job when he read day after day that the war was
just a breeze out in MacArthur's part of the Pacific.
The censorship under MacArthur was strictly controlled by
the Public Relations Office. This was not only a contradiction of
functions, but it violated accepted War Department practice.
One side was supposed to put out the news and help corre-
spondents get it. The other was the watchdog of military se-
curity. In MacArthur's command you hardly ever knew who
was a censor and who was a publicity agent.
The principal rule of censorship was: you cannot contradict
the official communique even when it is wrong. In Australia,
at the outset of the trip back to the Philippines, correspondents
understood that communiques would not always be strictly ac-
curate, because it was an Oriental theater of combat, and face-
saving meant a lot in the Orient.
The inaccurate communiques were many. But the correspond-
ents could do nothing unless they wanted to get out, go home
and tell the story there. Nothing was more useless to a news-
paper than a correspondent whose credentials had been lifted.
In Japan, as we have noted in the Navy story, a team of Navy
1 88 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
historians was informed by MacArthur: "I have nothing particu-
lar to say to you, gentlemen, except that your history shall agree
with my communiques."
In Europe, the communiques issued by General Eisenhower
generally agreed with history. Eisenhower told his field com-
manders: "I consider the correspondents to be quasi-staff of-
In the Pacific, General Diller said the correspondents were a
bunch of "two-bit palookas and sportswriters." Some of those
palookas had been all over the world as correspondents for lead-
ing newspapers and agencies. They had been shot at and
bombed long before war came to the Pacific. They were to
remember the epithet on October 6, 1945, the day that military
censorship was lifted in Tokyo.
That was not long after correspondents had been prohibited
from giving a truthful description of how they were fended
off from the American Embassy in Tokyo at bayonet point (the
bayonets were American, too) when they tried to get close
enough to give a visual, factual account of the emperor's visit
to MacArthur. Harold Isaacs, then correspondent for Newsweek,
drew the retort classic when he protested to General Diller and
asking the whys and wherefores of such censorship:
"Well, call it whimsy, if you like. . . ."
Whimsy, that was the word for it. There had been more of
the same for a time under Admiral Nimitz in the Central Pacific,
until the Navy Department and half a dozen correspondents
conspired to "ax" the public relations officer. The Admiral
didn't know what was going on; he was a fighting man and he
had his hands full.
On the ending of censorship in Tokyo, Kelley was able to
report and the New York Herald Tribune stood by him that
"CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 189
"one of the most disgraceful episodes of the war" had been
terminated. He had been subjected, along with most of the
press corps, to autocratic control, insults, arrogance and old-
The public, which was entitled to a free press within security
limits, was often given a distorted view of the war's progress.
Through censorship, the belief was spread that American arms
hardly ever suffered reverses, that our commanders never made
mistakes, that our enemies never taught us lessons, that the
Allied occupation of Japan was a bang-up success from the
In the Philippines, censorship operated politically to prevent
truthful reporting of the fact that many Filipinos did not want
independence; that Filipinos engaged in looting and other vio-
lence. A communique claimed that Manila had fallen when the
battle had just begun. Eyewitness stories of the terrible destruc-
tion wrought to the capital were blue-penciled or held up.
Nor could we tell what a hard battle it had been to wrest
the Clark Field-Fort Stotsenburg area on Luzon from the Japa-
nese. Homer Bigart (later awarded the Pulitzer Prize) was
greeted on arriving at headquarters on Leyte with a plea that
he begin his job by answering an "unfair" review in the Herald
Tribune of a laudatory book on MacArthur. Later he was in-
formed that he could send his magnificent eyewitness story of
a "lost battalion" if he just called it a lost "patrol."
And at the opening of the battle of Leyte, radio correspond-
ents who had recorded in advance some remarks by Vice Ad-
miral Thomas C. Kinkaid (whose ships of the j\\\ Fleet brought
in the troops) were informed that the speech would not be
permitted to go on the air.
"Nothing" said General Diller, "shall "be said or done this
1 90 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
day to detract from the personal publicity or glorification of the
MacArthur, you see, was setting foot again in the Philippines.
On Leyte, too, an over-optimistic communique disclosed after
two weeks of battle that the end of the Leyte-Samar campaign
was in sight. (The battle was to be a hard one, and it lasted
three months.) General Diller explained to the correspondents:
'There's an election back home in a few days, and we've got
to stay on the front page."
General Diller gave way in November 1945, to Brigadier
General Frayne Baker, an affable, politically-wise National
Guardsman from North Dakota. Doors that had slammed in
our faces at headquarters suddenly flew open. We began to get
the news. But this was too much for the old-time section chiefs;
they instituted censorship at the source. They wouldn't talk
without "clearance" from public relations officers; they wanted
questions in advance.
So sensitive was headquarters to the free play of world opinion
that it had daily digests of American dispatches radioed back
from Washington. It was a quick check on "loyal" correspond-
Today General LeGrande A. Diller holds the rank of colonel.
The War Department's post-war shuffle of brigadier generals,
reducing many of them to the rank of colonel, was in many re-
spects a very bad plan. Some should never have been reduced;
but in the case of "Killer" Diller, taking away the silver star
was praiseworthy and commendable. In fact, if the "two-bit
palookas and sportswriters" had been asked for their advice on
the matter, they would have suggested that the thin-lipped Diller
be given a rank not exceeding that of corporal.
It seemed to the press that Diller spent his short life as a
CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. ... 19!
general trying to curry favor with General MacArthur. Indeed,
after the first few weeks of the occupation, correspondents noted
that there was a strange parallel between Hirohito's personal
adviser, the Marquis Kido, and the Supreme Commander's
propagandist. For example, Hirohito was carefully guarded from
all visitors, and even from the members of his own government
by his faithful servant. The foreign minister might have an
audience with the "Son of God" only if Kido wa's present.
The star-spangled Diller employed the same tactics with corre-
spondents and visitors. There were people who spoke nastily
about General MacArthur, calling him such names as the
"Second Divinity" or "The New Son of Heaven," and it is
possible that Diller believed them and took a few pages from
Kido's book. A correspondent representing an important syndi-
cate, paper or magazine which idolized the Great Man could
have an audience with him as soon as he arrived in the theater.
The bad boys, those nasty people, who tried to tell the story
of the occupation with a little more objectivity, and who were
not above criticizing the Great Man, found that he was always
"too busy" to see them. In fact, the General's mouthpiece would
remark in a voice filled with pain, "How can you possibly disturb
the General at a time like this?" or, with a slight note of stern-
ness, would ask irritably, "Just what is it you want to know?
The General has no time for silly questions," or with some other
remark would delay or prevent altogether an interview with
This occurred to such "two-bit palookas" as William McGaffin
of the Chicago Daily News, Robert Cochrane of the Baltimore
Sun, Richard Lauterbach of Life, David Brown of Reuters,
Lachie McDonald of the London Daily Mail, and many others.
If a correspondent "saw the light," then all his troubles were
192, STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
over. Of course, there were other ways to deal with a wayward
correspondent. If he left Japan for a short visit to Korea or
China, then it suddenly became very difficult to get back.
Some of these methods were carried on after Diller handed
the reins over to Brigadier General Frayne Baker. Gordon
Walker of the Christian Science Monitor, a correspondent who
did a good job and criticized General MacArthur on many occa-
sions, found after a visit to Korea that he was no longer welcome
in Japan. Some nasty people say that General Baker did not want
him back, while there are others who suggest the Great Man was
not particularly happy about the Christian Science Monitor being
represented at all in Japan.
One of the authors spent nearly seven months trying to inter-
view the Supreme Commander. The event did not take place
until the day before his departure. It had become noticeable that
all correspondents were welcome to an off-the-record interview
just as they were about to leave. This was called by the ir-
reverent, "getting the MacArthur line for editors only/' One
correspondent came out of the Supreme Commander's oak-
paneled office, after such an interview, looking slightly flushed.
The General had talked for nearly one hour and at the same
time had shaken a half-empty match box rhythmically up and
down within two feet of the visitor's nose. The Supreme Com-
mander showed clearly how thin-skinned he was toward criti-
cism of any kind during that interview.
"Why are the British papers playing the Russian game?" the
Supreme Commander asked at the start of the interview. There
was no answer, because the General answered it himself im-
mediately. "There is a letter in the London Times, criticizing
me and the whole occupation, written by Sir Robert Craigie
(pre-war British Ambassador to Japan). There was a silence for
CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. ... 193
a moment. "That," said MacArthur, with a note of finality in his
voice, "is playing the Russian game." There was no reply.
Diller, of course, had a number of devoted assistants particu-
larly a certain Colonel Richard Powell, among others whose
main purpose in life seemed to be to misguide correspondents,
and the fact that, in doing so, they succeeded in misleading the
public on many occasions apparently never struck them. They
lived well, never stepped out of line, and the only warlike
sound they heard was perhaps a door banging behind a frustrated
There were some among them, such as Lieutenant Colonel
Luther Reid, who tried to do a good job and were conscious of
Diller 's attitude to the press. These officers honestly endeavored
to help, but were themselves controlled.
Diller and Co. were expert at passing the buck. If the public
relations section issued an order affecting correspondents, it was
always "after careful consideration by General MacArthur."
They rarely accepted responsibility for anything. Diller cracked
the whip over the correspondents during the war, but two
months after the end of the Pacific struggle, it broke in his
Sure of MacArthur's backing on everything, confident that
he had the "two-bit palookas and sports writers" tied down, Diller
decided to ration the number of correspondents from all over
the world coming into Japan and Korea. Wearing his "100
mission" crusher-hat (he had never been attached to the Air-
force), and with the huge silver stars hanging from his shoul-
ders, Diller told a group of correspondents it was simply "a
question of billeting." Colonel Powell, tall and gaunt, his eye-
brows meeting over his eyes, stood by his chief, ready to repel
1 94 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
The quota was not complimentary to Great Britain. It "al-
lowed" that country only four "specials," and Reuters News
Agency was not considered on a par with American agencies
such as Associated Press and United Press. The British news
agency was granted very few press representatives in Japan and
none at all in Korea. Though the bulk of the press allotments
went to the United States, the American correspondents stood
solidly with the British correspondents and those of seven other
countries in refusing to accept the quota plan because of the
principles involved. The public relations section blamed the
War Department and General MacArthur in the same breath,
but it was generally believed the quota had been the handiwork
of "Killer" Diller. The quota had its good points, for it unified
the correspondents for the first time, and it resulted in the
forming of Tokyo's first press club, known throughout the Far
East today as "No. i Shimbun Alley/'
The "counterattack" began when a general meeting of all
correspondents took place in Radio Tokyo, and the "Tokyo
Correspondents' Association" was founded, with Howard Han-
dleman of International News Service as the first president and
one of the authors as secretary. Diller's ears must have burned
during that first meeting, for he was referred to in very uncom-
plimentary terms. It was clear the "two-bit palookas and sports-
writers" were fed up with being pushed around. It was decided,
at this first meeting, to notify (officially) the Supreme Com-
mander that the association would set up its own press hostel
and provide accommodation, no matter how bad, for all corre-
spondents "whatever his creed, race, or color," arriving in Japan.
The quota died a sudden death. Already smarting under the
outburst of stories which followed the lifting of censorship,
Diller was once more lashed by hard-hitting, bitter stories in
"CALL rr WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 195
such papers as the New York Times, New York Herald Tribune,
Christian Science Monitor, News-week, Time and others. Gen-
eral MacArthtir was also sharply criticized for "applying dicta-
torial powers to the world's press." Diller cannot have been very
popular with his chief as a result unless, of course, the quota
had been the Great Man's idea. This, however, the correspond-
ents were unable to confirm. The Supreme Commander,
whether he had been the originator of the quota or not, saved
Diller's face by issuing a directive abolishing it. This ruling
had the proviso, however, that the correspondents would billet
themselves. Shortly after, "Killer" Diller left for a "forty-five-day
rest" in the United States. When he returned, General Baker
was sitting in his chair. For the first time, it seemed Diller's
wrist had been severely smacked by his chief.
The correspondents, meanwhile, were house-hunting for
premises which would be suitable for setting up a press club.
In an alley behind Supreme Headquarters they found a large
five-story building, which seemed to fit their purpose. The
building, a Japanese restaurant called the Marunouchi Kaikan,
smelled of fish. It was filthy from basement to roof, and was
badly in need of repair, but the rain did not come in, and, above
all, there was a bar.
Headquarters made it clear that, though they would help to
install certain necessary equipment, such as showers on all floors,
sit-down toilets instead of Japanese porcelain slit-trenches, field
cooking ranges in the kitchen instead of dilapidated charcoal
affairs, they would not requisition the building. Taking over the
restaurant and signing a lease with its owner was to be left
entirely to the correspondents' association.
Now, the "upside-down" methods of the Japanese are well
known, and the three correspondents who were delegated the
196 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
job of securing the building by the association ran around in
circles for weeks, trying to find somebody who had power to
sign a lease. Apparently, several parties were interested in the
building, and somehow they had heard the building was about
to be taken over by the Army for the press, but that the corre-
spondents were willing to pay the rent.
The only person found was the restaurateur, the original
lessee. He, however, had a landlord, who paid rent to a second
landlord, who owned all the buildings in the block. This gentle-
man, in turn, paid further rent to the Mitsubishi Company,
which controlled everything.
It was impossible to get them all together at the same time
for the negotiations to begin, and none of them would act with-
out the others being present. Endless discussions took place at
which much sake was drunk and much double-talk handed out
but no agreement reached. The three "negotiators," at the end
of two weeks, were completely mixed up, for they did not
know who had power to lease the building. Was it the original
lessee? The number one or number two landlord? Or was it
the Mitsubishi Company?
They finally lost their already badly frayed tempers and told
the original lessee and the Mitsubishi Company that if they
could not bring all parties together so that the matter might be
discussed, then the correspondents* association would ask the
Army to requisition the building. The bluff worked. Discussions
took place, and a lease was prepared and signed by the original
lessee. How it was worked out with number one and two land-
lords and the Mitsubishi Company, the correspondents never
found out. The most important clause in the lease stated that
the owners of the building would make "incidental repairs." A
wrangle then began between the various interested parties as
CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. ... 197
to who the "owners" really were. They all wanted to have a
crack at the rent, but nobody wanted to pay for the repairs.
The "incidental repairs" were considerable. The building was
a contractor's nightmare. The boilers and the pipes for the
heating system had been requisitioned by the government for
munitions. The sewers were choked, and somebody had stolen
the manhole covers. The heavy doors to the banqueting rooms
on every floor had been removed. The elevator did not work
because somebody had taken several parts of the motor. The
archaic lighting system was always exploding; the fuses had
been removed and "jumped" with heavy electric wire. To top
it all, one hundred panes of glass were missing. There was fresh
water only in the kitchen, and the electric motor which ran the
refrigeration room wouldn't work.
Then there was the dirt. Years of accumulated rubbish had
been thrown in the back yard, providing a breeding ground for
all sorts of multilegged things which, when they were disturbed,
crawled out to peer at the new tenants. Rats ran across the
kitchen floor, even with people in the room. The kitchen walls
and ceiling were black with the soot of decades.
The Army supplied a contractor, who for a time worked
under the direction of an engineer officer. Some fifty Jap laborers
hammered, painted, and scrubbed night and day for nearly two
weeks, until the contractor began to show some nervousness
about his bill. The Japanese who signed the lease said he was
not going to pay. Number one and two landlords said they had
no intention of paying. Mitsubishi had not made up their minds.
Then the Japanese government came into the picture. They de-
cided Mitsubishi would pay. Mitsubishi promptly said it was not
their affair, as they did not own the building they only collected
part of the rent. The correspondents persuaded the contractor
198 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
to continue, even though they didn't know who was going to
At the end of a month the contractor, still very worried, but
urging his men on to finish the repairs by a certain date, esti-
mated that the bill would come to six thousand dollars. One
thing was certain the correspondents had no intention of paying
for the "incidental repairs." The work, however, was going
ahead. Showers had been installed; banqueting rooms had been
partitioned; toilets had been put in; the elevator and the sewers
had been fixed. New glass showed in the windows, though the
Japanese were constantly putting ladders through them. The
kitchen had been scraped and repainted; brand-new field kitch-
ens now replaced the Japanese cookers; doors were hung; win-
dow sashes were renewed; and the refrigerator now worked.
Meanwhile, General Diller's promised supply of blankets,
sheets, pillow-cases and beds arrived. In order to get the press
men out of the Dai-Iti Hotel, to make room for the hundreds of
colonels and other officers who arrived every week, Diller had
the beds and other equipment flown from Manila in two special
C-47's. To give Diller his due, he did not let the correspondents
down on his part of the deal.
There was still no sign of the boilers, pipes or radiators for
heating the building. The contractor explained that the Japanese
government did not know where the heating equipment was.
The Japanese government official, who visited the press club
daily, told a different story. According to him, the Japanese
government was not responsible for restoring the heating system,
even though they had taken it out in the first place! Then came
the old question, which was becoming very familiar to the ears
of correspondents. If, he asked, the heating system was put back,
who was going to pay?
"CALL rr WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 199
Donald Starr of the Chicago Tribune, an experienced trouble-
shooter with the Japanese he had a running fight each week
to bring out the Tribunes overseas edition put it to the Japa-
nese government official bluntly.
"You took the boilers, pipes and radiators out so that they
would be turned into shells and thrown back at us. Now you
put the damned things right back again.
"Let Mitsubishi pay, and they can charge you. Then the
Japanese government can put the whole thing against the bill
for the occupation. You know damned well you'll never pay that
Several weeks elapsed before the Japs decided to return the
radiators and pipes, but on hearing more work was to be added
to the already long list, the contractor threw up his hands and
threatened to quit. He was pacified and promised everything
but a house in the country by the correspondents, who by this
time were themselves feeling worried. Just who was going to
pay for all this work?
Meanwhile, the Army had given the press club a cook and
an assistant. They began to recruit a staff, and the morning
after advertisements appeared in the local press a queue of
nearly 2,000 had gathered about the doors of the club. They
rioted twice, as they tried to push through the doors to the
table where Robert Cochrane of the Baltimore Sun, Donald
Starr and one of the authors sat with the Army cook, inter-
viewing applicants. Some spoke English, others a mixture of
Japanese and Chinese, others just stood before the table and
giggled. And everybody seemed to have the name of Suzuki.
There were cooks who had never been in a kitchen; barmen
who had never opened a bottle of beer; boilermen who had never
200 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
seen a boiler; typists who had never typed; and so-called geishas,
who wanted to do other things besides work.
They all had one idea to get into an American-run estab-
lishment where it would be warm during the winter, and espe-
cially where there was the rosy prospect of food. They did not
want wages. They wanted to be paid in food, and many of them
left when they were told the club could not hire them on that
Out of the 2,000 applicants, seventy were employed. Two
excellent barmen who were promptly named Smithy and Jack-
son were chosen. Some twenty waitresses, who were later known
as "Cochrane's children" (after Robert Cochrane, who taught
them how to walk straight and set tables, not to mention the
art of setting a plate of soup down before a guest, instead of
pouring it down the back of his neck), began work immediately,
cleaning and scrubbing. These girls, all about sixteen to twenty,
were tired-looking, shabby little creatures who needed help, for
most of them had suffered greatly during the war. Their clothes
were filthy and verminous, and few of them had shoes. An
Army nurse, Lieutenant Rosella Browning of New York, without
whom the club would never have opened, took over the job of
restoring the femininity these nervous little creatures had once
possessed. "Brownie," an excellent "moonlight-requisitioner,"
procured from somewhere several parachutes and from the silk,
togged out the waitresses. Stockings, shoes and underwear seemed
to come out of the blue. She saw to it that the girls bathed
twice a day, brushed their hair and manicured their nails. She
even found lipsticks, powders and creams, and showed them
how to use them. She saw to it they had absolute privacy in the
dormitory, which the club provided for them, and their own
bathroom and toilets. After a week of bathing, and eating regular
CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. ... 2OI
meals, the waitresses became new people, but at the end of two
months they had put on too much weight. They were bursting
out of their new clothes. Their diet had to be carefully watched,
as the American food proved much too rich after years of rice
and soya beans.
Then there were the room boys, the boilermen, the dish-
washers, chefs and cooks, a carpenter and two little boys aged
twelve, who had walked ten miles to get jobs and insisted on
being porters. The place swarmed with people, and everybody
seemed to bring their brothers and sisters and sometimes their
parents to work with them. The correspondents knew they had
hired seventy workers, but within a few days this number had
increased to at least a hundred. They had to be carefully weeded
out and watched. Half of Tokyo wanted to work in the new
Laborers, painters, plumbers and electricians crawled all over
the building, pushing in pipes and knocking down walls, while
the new staff cleaned and scraped and scrubbed. Then the DDT
unit from the Army arrived and sprayed the whole place from
top to bottom, leaving behind a pungent smell of kerosene
which lasted for days. Everything was confused and in the
confusion somebody started knocking off the silver.
When an inventory was taken, spoons, knives, plate and
china had disappeared. For the first time, the Army authorities
really became interested. A search was instituted and the mis-
sing articles, along with much more, were found in a basement
in the next building. The restaurateur had been busy moving
club property out during the hours of darkness. From that time
on, a careful watch was kept.
The correspondents were extremely busy. Day after day
trucks would pull up outside the club with liquor from the
202 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Navy, or food from the Army, or PX supplies from the Air
Force. Everybody was subscribing. The various Army units,
remembering favors from the correspondents, helped nobly.
General Eichelberger presented the club with a radio; the Red
Cross gave hundreds of records and a phonograph.
Then came the great day. The name of the street was officially
changed by the correspondents to "Shimbun Alley," meaning
Newspaper Alley, and the ist Cavalry division presented the
club with a huge white sign, which was hung over the door.
Correspondents also placed at strategic points all over Tokyo
yellow signs, pointing out the way to the new club. That night,
the correspondents, in a body, cleared out of the Dai-Iti Hotel
and into the club. The plumbers and painters were still plumbing
and painting, but the bar had officially opened and drinks were
on the house. The first dinner was a great success, though the
Japanese cooks put too much pepper in the soup and forgot to
fry the steak until the very last moment. But nobody complained.
The opening was slightly marred by the contractor, however,
who, without realizing the importance of the occasion, had to
start asking the same old question who was going to pay?
Somebody told him not to worry . . . Hirohito and General
MacArthur were personally looking into the matter. He bright-
The club became famous for three things. One was the
food and the cooking, which was considered the best in Tokyo,
and credit for this must go to two correspondents, Robert
Cochrane of the Baltimore Sun, and, later, Duane Henessy of
the Associated Press, who bought supplies from the Army and
Navy and in local markets. The running of the kitchen was in
the hands of Sergeant Santo Licata of New Jersey, who became
so good that the brass hats pinched him for their own mess!
"CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 203
The second thing was the bar. It was the only one in the
city where one could get scotch. At first, things were rather
confused. If you asked Smithy or Jackson for an old-fashioned,
you always got beer. If you asked for a Martini, or a Tom Collins,
you still got beer. After a while they began to sort themselves
out so that if you asked for a Martini, you got an old-fashioned
. . . but apart from a few mistakes, the bar was an enormous
Two correspondents, Larry Tighe of American Broadcasting
Company and Thomas Shafer of Acme, who was born with
a cigar in his mouth and hasn't stopped chewing one since,
kept the liquor cellars well supplied. Shafer once calmly bought
up the entire liquor supply of a naval unit which was returning
to the States, and commandeered two trucks to haul it fifty
miles from the coast. There was enough in the two trucks to
last the club one year.
The third thing was the overcrowding. There were five to
six people in some rooms, and you were never sure who you
would find occupying your bed! One Australian correspondent
slept on the floor under his bed and put his gear on the bed,
because he claimed there wasn't enough space when his room-
mates were present to fasten a button, let alone find space for
his equipment. As far as he was concerned, it was a sort of
"under the bed" strike. It worked he was eventually given
Life in the club was made exciting by several incidents which
occurred during the first two or three weeks. The air-condition-
ing plant, which conducted fumes from the stoves in the kitchen,
caught fire just after dinner one night, and the long metal
chimney which ran up the side of the building became red-hot
within a few moments. The correspondents stopped drinking
204 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
just long enough to put it out, then began again as if nothing
had happened, though they groused a bit because the bar had
closed for five minutes!
Another night, a correspondent who had imbibed too much,
decided to try out his Colt forty-five and blew a hole through
the door of the elevator, while people scattered in all directions.
On yet another occasion, a well-known correspondent, after
a hectic party, returned to the club about 4 A.M. one morning
with a horse. He led the horse into the lounge and very seriously
told the animal how lucky it was not to be a correspondent.
The conversation continued along those lines for some time,
until the neighing of the animal brought other correspondents
to the scene. The horse was put out and the correspondent put
to bed, protesting that his best friend had been thrown out in
Then there was the incident of the dog. A certain corre-
spondent, who will remain unnamed, had a small dog which
persisted in leaving his "visiting card" beside another corre-
spondent's bed. This gentleman invariably trod in it when he
got up in the morning. Eventually he warned the dog's owner
that although he was a very great friend of his, he would per-
sonally leave his "visiting card" by the owner's bed if he didn't
teach his dog better manners.
Another correspondent, with bad nerves, was strongly ad-
vised to live somewhere else, when he complained that the con-
tractor's men had partitioned his room four times, and each time
in a different direction. They had pulled the plywood walls
down again and again in his room, moving nearer and nearer
to his bed, until he felt he had become a victim of claustro-
Another correspondent claimed he had nearly been "crowned"
"CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 205
one afternoon when a pipe pushed through the ceiling by one
of the plumbers stopped on his pillow just one inch from h'is
head. The Japanese staff tried to do their very best, but it was
a Japanese "best" which was just not good enough. One corre-
spondent asked the Japanese porter one night to wake him at
6:30 A.M. the following morning to catch an early plane. He
awoke the following morning at 9:30. He had, of course, missed
his plane. Under the door he found a note from the porter. It
read as follows: "Good morning, sir, it is now 6:30." After a
while a resident either became a nervous wreck or accepted
everything without turning a hair.
A few weeks after the club actually opened, it was officially
opened with a formal dinner and dance. Nearly the whole of
Supreme Headquarters was invited, but General MacArthur,
the guest of honor, felt he could not attend without accepting
many other invitations. The offer for better relations between
the press and MacArthur thus failed. The General, however,
sent the correspondents four boxes of PX cigars. . . .*
The opening, which was the first big social event in Tokyo
since the arrival of the occupation forces, established the club
throughout Japan. The most unhappy man there that night was
the contractor, who hung around the kitchen still wondering
who was going to pay for all the work.
The guests, who numbered close to six hundred, did not
know of one wangle which had been pulled only an hour before
they arrived and might have ruined their dancing. It was over
the piano, which had been borrowed for the occasion three days
before, from Radio Tokyo. The wrong date had been given to
the young Japanese musical director, in charge of all instru-
* Nearly eighteen months later, in March 1947, MacArthur visited the club
to give his first on-the-record press conference since before Pearl Harbor.
2o6 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
ments in Radio Tokyo, and he had been promised the piano
would be returned the day after it was borrowed. Two hours
before the party began, two representatives from Radio Tokyo
arrived in a truck to take back the piano, which, according to
them, should. have been returned the day before. While one of
the committee stalled them on the ground floor, the piano was
up-ended and put into the elevator on the third floor. The
committee member swore no piano had been received and offered
to let the two Japs search the building. They began searching
the first floor, then went to the second, and when they reached
the third the elevator with the piano in it went down to the
first floor. It remained there until the fourth and fifth floors had
been searched. Then when the men from Radio Tokyo came
down, the elevator went up again. The two Japs apologized
and left, and the elevator took the piano back to the third floor
again, where the club's ballroom and theater were located. The
piano was safe for the moment, but shortly afterward the Japs
returned, saying they had been assured the piano had been
delivered to the club three days before. Once more they con-
ducted a search. Once more the elevator shot up and down
with the piano in it. Finally they gave it up and left. Everybody
After the opening, many majors and colonels apparently got
the idea that they could use the club any time they liked. The
correspondents made it quite clear they could come in only
as a guest of a correspondent. The press remembered only too
well the signs which had hung over partitions in the dining
room of the Dai-Iti Hotel, stating plainly: "Colonels and Majors
only/' They also remembered the order which forbade them
to enter the front doors of the Imperial Hotel and forced them
to use a side entrance.
"CALL IT WHIMSY, IF YOU LIKE. . . ." 207
The public relations section decided to talk the matter over
with one of the committee. A certain colonel put it this way:
"After all, the Army did procure the beds, blankets and linen
for you. They also gave you stoves and kitchen utensils. There
is very little to do in the city, and some colonels, majors and
other ranks once in a while might like to drop in for a drink,
but you people have ruled them out. Tell me, won't the com-
mittee consider it?" The answer was a definite no. The colonel
was not abashed. "Before you go," he said, "tell me why the
ruling was imposed."
The committee member, with his hand on the doorknob,
smiled. "Oh," he said, "call it whimsy if you like. . . ."
JAPAN'S DECADE and a half of aggression required a supine
political system that could be manipulated to suit the warlords.
It had to be a streamlined set-up. It had to negate political
parties, as the West knows them. It had to be a system that
would vote "yes" when the whip was snapped. It had to be a
system that would ask no embarrassing questions about the
military budget, about foreign policy.
The foundation for a militaristic political machine was laid
in the "Meiji" Constitution of 1889, which supposedly made
Japan a liberal country but actually made a mockery of political
democracy. Under that Constitution, now supplanted by the
Constitution of 1946-47, Japan had a legislature, or Diet, of
two houses, the House of Representatives and the House of
The old Diet could enact new legislation, within limits. It
had no voice in foreign affairs other than the right to put ques-
tions to cabinet members. It had only limited power over the
budget, and none whatever over the budget figures submitted
by the Army, Navy and Air Force. If it failed to pass a budget
TOJOS TAMMANY 209
which the cabinet sent in, the budget of the preceding year was
A cabinet could remain independent of the Diet. It could
ignore a vote of no confidence if it (the cabinet) was willing
to accept the previous budget. Moreover, the cabinet did not
necessarily represent the party which had won a general election.
This happened in 1930, when the Minseito, or moderate party,
won the elections to the Lower House by 273 to 174, but the
government was organized by the conservative party, known as
the Seiyukai. It happened again four years later, when Minseito
again won only to have a series of political assassinations of
moderate, Western-minded Japanese. And whatever group
formed a cabinet, it did not have the choice of War and Navy
ministers. These were dictated by the War and Navy Depart-
Further, the Emperor retained the right of supreme veto
over the Diet. He could order the lower house dissolved and
new elections held. And he named each new prime minister
upon advice of the Lord Privy Seal, who, as we know, in recent
years was the Marquis Kido. Tojo was Kido's choice.
Under the old Constitution, the lower house of 466 was
elected for four years, but only by men of twenty-five and over.
Now the voting age has been extended to women and it has
been lowered to twenty-one. Moreover, women may now be
elected to the House.
The upper house, or House of Peers, was a strange assortment
of aristocratic, hereditary and imperially nominated, privileged
characters. It included princes, marquises, counts, viscounts,
barons, men nominated for distinguished service, four from the
Imperial Academy, and wealthy men appointed from the class
of highest taxpayers. It totaled about 400. Sumner Welles has
210 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
called it an "oligarchy of aristocrats." The new Constitution
has wiped out the peerage and substituted an elected House of
Councillors, whose members hold office for six years. It is much
like the American Senate, constitutionally.
Not long after the first World War the political parties in
Japan came more and more under the domination of financial
interests, including the Zaibatsu. And the Zaibatsu in turn took
their orders from the military. The line of power from the
Tojos through the Diet was unbroken. If Japan had won this
war, that power might have been unbroken for ages to come.
Japanese politicians held office at the pleasure of secret soci-
eties and youthful hot-bloods. Those in the Diet who dared
speak out were liquidated. The masses of voters knew nothing
of what went on. They had been taught blind obedience through
the State religion, Shinto.
The rank and file voted as the ward heelers told them to.
They did so even in the elections of 1946, the first so-called
"free" elections under the occupation banner. And the millions
of women who voted in that election for the first time voted
largely as their husbands told them to vote.
Aiding the political gangsters under the old order were the
police. Japan had long been the world's most police-ridden
country. The policeman had long been the symbol of espionage,
of oppression. He controlled thoughts as well as deeds. He was
not a protector, not a friend, not the guardian of liberty. By
nature the Japanese had been, and will be, copyists. In their
police they were original: German Nazis and Italian Fascists
Independents or liberals under the old order were only a
handful, and they were liberal in name only. Never in the last
seventy-five years has Japan had a large, cohesive, influential
TOJO'S TAMMANY 211
liberal or progressive movement. By Western standards, Japan's
liberals were extreme conservatives, or worse.
With control of politics, the militarists had control, too, of
the press, the radio, the screen, the stage, the education system.
The press took its party line from the Cabinet Ministry of
Information, run by a succession of Japanese Goebbelses. The
radio was a government show too. The schools took one radio
program, piped efficiently throughout the land for compulsory
listening periods every day. Appropriately, the radio fountain-
head station in Tokyo had the call letters, JOAK.
Less than ten years after the first World War, Japan, in her
repression of political freedom, banned the Communist party
and conducted a roundup of its members and sympathizers.
Under the catch-all laws that provided for maintenance of public
peace and order, profession of Communism was a criminal of-
fense. Some ten thousand suspected Communists were brought
in for questioning. Thousands of these were to live in dank
cells for the next fifteen years or more, until MacArthur ordered
them all released. Some preferred to stay in jail. Their homes
had been burned; they still had enemies among the extremists
of the Right.
One of those who came out of jail was Kyuichi Tokuda, a
fifty-two-year-old former lawyer who founded Japan's Com-
munist party in 1922 and was its general secretary in 1928 when
he was arrested. His wife and son had died of police brutality.
Out of the same prison came Yoshio Shiga, forty-four, former
editor of Communist and proletarian publications in Tokyo.
They came out of jail swinging a lot of outmoded political
shibboleths, but their main purpose was fixed, immutable and
right down the party line from Moscow. They were soon joined
by another Japanese Communist named Sanzo Nosaka, who
212 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
was repatriated from China and had up-to-date ideas for revival
of the party.
Within a year the Communists claimed more than 15,000
members. They staged hunger marches; they booed the Emperor,
screamed praise for Mac Arthur. They wooed the Social Demo-
crats, and lost. They founded a newspaper, Akahata, or Red
Flag. They captured only five seats in the Diet that was elected
in April 1946.
One of the five elected was Tokuda. So vociferous was he in
demanding the ousting of Hirohito that a Right extremist and
defender of emperor-worship, Motoaki Fukuda, filed charges
of lese majesty under a law that had, curiously, remained on the
books. Later the charges were dropped.
In the old Japan the police and the ward heelers kept tight
rein on the people through the "neighborhood associations." The
social and economic structure of Japan had long been based on
neighborhood cooperatives, akin to block committees in the
American political machines. The associations were useful. They
got out the vote on election day. They offered an instrument
for espionage on the thoughts and actions of association mem-
bers. And in wartime the government used the associations for
distribution of rationed items.
The associations remain a feature of Japanese life today.
Until they are replaced or their power limited, they will be a
danger to success of the occupation. Not long ago, for example,
Allied Headquarters found that adherents of the outlawed
"religion" of State Shinto were still using the associations to
levy tribute upon the citizenry, much in the manner that a
Tammany henchman in New York would dun his local cronies
for tickets to the policemen's or firemen's ball.
For war purposes, Japan's ruling cliques found more than
ten years ago that they needed better machinery at the top levels
TOJOS TAMMANY 213
of government. They seized control of Manchurian affairs in
1934 by forming a special Manchurian Affairs Board in the
cabinet. In 1936 they established the Cabinet Planning Office,
which a year later, after the outbreak in China, became the
Cabinet Planning Board. It was to mobilize Japan and unify
national policy. It has been described as an "economic general
War needed human resources, and so in 1938 the Japanese
found they had a Welfare Ministry, with charge of health,
physical training, labor and compensation. War needed propa-
ganda, and the cabinet was saddled with a special Board of
Information that controlled press, radio, censorship and amuse-
ments and saw that all these media followed the official "line."
The war in China was so successful that the cabinet had to
have a China Affairs Board, with the prime minister as presi-
dent, and with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Army
and Navy as vice presidents.
Politically, however, the militarists found they needed one
authoritarian party to back this system of strong, central govern-
ment. In 1940, under the sponsorship of Prince Konoye, then
premier, there was founded the Imperial Rule Assistance As-
sociation, an extra-parliamentarian society that would "assist"
Hirohito to get things done smoothly. It linked the Diet, the
cabinet, big business and secret societies.
The political parties, such as the Minseito and the Seiyukai
which were run by the Zaibatsu anyway were dissolved, and
the I.R.A.A. was launched in October, 1940, with Konoye as
its president. A year later Konoye was out as premier, Tojo was
in, and the I.R.A.A. was taken over, lock, stock and barrel by
the military. A corollary organization known as the Imperial
Rule Assistance Political Society was formed in 1942.
These were Top's instruments for making the Diet a rubber
214 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
stamp for his actions. In the elections of April, 1942, the Tojo
government, through the I.R.A.A., "sponsored" 337 of the
lower house's 466 members. Tojo never had to worry about a
majority. (MacArthur's purge directive has since barred any of
these To jo-approved politicians from returning to the Diet.)
Tojo went on to combine in himself the office of premier
and war minister. And the war minister in Japan, like the Navy
minister, was responsible to no one else in the cabinet or gov-
ernment. No one had power to compel the military to explain
their budget requirements. The occupation authorities found
in the public treasury millions of unexpended yen which the
military had obtained by outright plunder.
The old-line Zaibatsu were not completely under Army con-
trol until 1942, when Control Associations were established for
each major industry to integrate them with the war economy.
They controlled raw materials and production schedules. (They
persist today, and are a major factor in delaying reconversion
of Japan's industries to peacetime uses; they are still a means
of softening the impact of Allied directives at the prefectural
and city levels.)
On top of this setup Tojo and his gang established the Minis-
try of Greater East Asia Affairs, which took over the old China
and Manchurian boards of the cabinet and wrested control of
foreign policy in the growing empire from the Foreign Ministry.
Tojo was now a twentieth-century Shogun, who made of the
Emperor a prisoner, a puppet; a monarch in name only. No
underground, no clandestine opposition bothered Tojo; he did
not have the problems of Hitler and Mussolini in this respect.
Geographically, modern, liberal ideas could not infect Japan.
There was no island of liberal neutrality and freedom such as
Switzerland to the south of Germany. There was no France
west of Japan as there was west of Germany. There was only
TOJOS TAMMANY 215
a sprawling, teeming, incoherent and corrupt China. And to the
northwest was a totalitarian Russia.
Unlike Germany and Italy, and unlike France, Norway and
other lands that were occupied during the war, Japan had no
"cells" of exiled Japanese abroad who could work for restoration
of their country's freedom. About the only "cell" abroad was a
unit of Japanese terrorists in Brazil who still live in the hope that
the Japan of Tojo will return.
Moreover, those who had left Japan and had studied abroad
returned before the war with the blueprints of developments in
commerce, industry and diplomacy. Mentally, they made little
impact on their mother country. And many of the thousands
of Japanese who had settled in the western United States and
were in protective custody under the "relocation" authority
during the war preferred to go home after Japan's defeat;
democracy had not taken root in them; they preferred the deso-
lation of Japan. Some who went back insisted until they'd
passed a day on Japanese soil that Japan had won the war, that
the American ship that took them home did so under the terms
of "American" surrender, that the American troops they saw
in Tokyo and Yokohama were there merely to effectuate Amer-
ica's "capitulation." Such is the power that propaganda had over
the Japanese mind.
The end of the war, the liberation of political prisoners by
MacArthur, the cutting of the fetters from the press, the widen-
ing of suffrage, the beginning of the political purge all these
took the lid off in Japan. But the political pot did not boil over
furiously. Politically, there was much lethargy. A people who
did not know the use of the vote or any alternatives to the
repressive governments they had had could not be expected to
spring to action and make a clean sweep of the past.
21 6 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Five main parties emerged. They were the Liberals, the Pro-
gressives, the Social Democrats, the Cooperatives and the Com-
munists, and that was the order of their strength in the lower
house of the new Diet that was elected April 10, 1946, in the
first "free" elections in Japan since 1931.
The Liberals garnered 150 seats, the Progressives 106, the
Social Democrats 97, the Cooperatives 85, and the Communists
were a poor last with 6. But it was only their first six months of
legal activity in more than fifteen years. (Twenty-two other
seats went to minor parties.) Thirty-eight of the new repre-
sentatives were women, including a Social Democrat named
Mrs. Shizue Kato, the former Baroness Ishimoto. She was
known as the Margaret Sanger of Japan for her advocacy of
birth control. Another woman elected was Kyo Kiuchi, an edu-
cator, who was the only woman on the Progressive ticket.
The party labels worn by the Progressives and Liberals were
misleading, and Allied Headquarters might do well to change
them so that voters in future elections will not be fooled. For
the platforms were vague generalities; the party memberships
were holdovers from the Minseito and Seiyukai groups that had
been swallowed by Tojo. The effect of the purge barred about
90 per cent, or all but 27 members, of the old Tojo Diet from
re-election, but it took effect so short a time before the elections
that there was genuine belief that the candidates who got in
were merely "stooges" for the old-line politicians, who, though
purged, operated on the sidelines.
Actually, the Progressives were conservative in outlook and
program. The Liberals, who topped the poll without getting
a clear majority, were only slightly less conservative. Both parties
were old men's clubs; the outgoing Diet certainly looked like an
old men's home.
A guiding spirit of the Progressives later barred from the
TOJOS TAMMANY 21 7
Diet was Yosuke Tsurumi, widely known in the United States
before the war as a lecturer and writer. He wanted General
Ugaki, former governor-general of Korea, or Prince Konoye to
head the party. That's a sample of how progressive it was.
As for the Liberals, their stooge and former leader was Ichiro
Hatoyama, who would have become prime minister in May
1946, had not American correspondents exposed his past. As it
was, MacArthur waited until May 4, the day before Hatoyama
would have taken over from the aging Baron Kijuro Shidehara,
who had married a daughter of the House of Mitsubishi and
was the only replacement that Japan found in the early months
of occupation for Prince Higashi-kuni, the soldier-playboy who
had made the rounds of Paris.
When Hatoyama was cut down by MacArthur belatedly,
on the ground that Headquarters had been waiting for the
Japanese government to take action the premiership passed to
another so-called Liberal, Shigeru Yoshida, who had been Am-
bassador to the Court of St. James and had, in fact, been clapped
in jail by the Japanese secret police for his pacifism. Whereas
Shidehara in his first press conference had pleaded guilty to
not having read any of MacArthur's directives when he became
premier, Yoshida, as Shidehara's foreign minister, said he thought
Japan's old constitution was democratic enough and that the
Zaibatsu really were not so bad after all and had not profited from
Yoshida clung stubbornly to office for five months, convinced
that the Liberals alone could make the transition in Japan from
war to peace. He hoped to remain in office until a peace treaty
was signed; by that time, the roots of the "Liberal" party would be
strong. But the Liberals faced a purge of their rural strength
through application early in 1947 of the MacArthur house-
cleaning directive to prefectural levels. And another general
2l8 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
election was expected in 1947, as well as local elections, which
were hurdles that Yoshida would have to get over.
Hatoyama's undoing was an interesting story, and had it not
been for American correspondents who exposed him, it is a
good bet that MacArthur's staff would never have got wise to
him. Such was the state of their intelligence system.
Hatoyama boasted openly that he would be prime minister.
He forgot about one man, a skinny little fellow with a racking
cough and a shock of bushy hair. He was Kentaro Yamabe, a
Communist who had spent four years in solitary confinement
because of his political beliefs. He was a dangerous thinker,
under Japanese law. The Home Ministry long ago had banned
one of his pacifist pamphlets.
In his files Yamabe had an interesting book. Its title was
Sekai no Kawa, or The Face of the World. Its author was
Hatoyama, and he wrote it after a trip to Europe in 1937.
An industrious reporter for the Chicago Sun, Mark Gayn,
borrowed the book and had it translated privately. Lo and be-
hold! There was Hatoyama, lyrical in praise for Hitler and
Mussolini, and proposing importation to Japan of their ruthless
methods in dealing with labor.
Other evidence about Hatoyama came to light. There were
election speeches from 1942, upholding the doctrine of terri-
torial expansion by means of war. As chief secretary of the
Tanaka cabinet from 1927 to 1929, he had been instrumental
in strengthening the peace preservation law that stifled free
speech and freedom of assembly, that made possible the terror-
istic seizure of tens of thousands of persons advocating simple
reforms. He had stated, too, that the true cause of the war in
Manchuria and China was anti-Japanese sentiment in China,
stirred by England and America. He had gloated that the cabinet
TOJO'S TAMMANY 21 9
had discarded its previous weak-kneed diplomacy toward Eng-
land and America.
Hatoyama, himself wealthy and backed by other wealthy men,
including Japanese rubber interests, gave $40,000 to the Liberal
party, and spent nearly double that amount on furthering his own
election from a Tokyo district. He claimed that his liberal views
had excluded him from Konoye's and Tojo's Imperial Rule Assist-
One night a week before the elections the Allied correspond-
ents at Tokyo had Hatoyama around to the press club for a
social evening and a forum discussion. They taxed him with
quotations from his book and speeches. Confused and con-
founded, he defended himself on the ground of political ex-
pediency. He said the book was eight years old, that others had
misjudged Hitler and Mussolini's intentions, too. He asserted
he had later called Hitler a liar and Mussolini a country boy.
The correspondents hit him with another. They asked him
why he had condemned China as unfit for self-government. He
said he had been mistaken about Chiang Kai-shek, who, he
thought, could not unify China. He said he had been afraid
China would go Communist, and he claimed that Anthony
Eden, former British Foreign Secretary, could testify that he,
Hatoyama, had tried to end the China Affair. (He admitted
that the Hatoyama plan for doing this called for forfeiture by
China of six northern provinces.)
It took headquarters a long time, too, to get after Chuzo
Iwata, a Zaibatsu adviser who miraculously stayed on as Minis-
ter of Justice in the Higashi-kuni and Shidehara cabinets, the
first two of the occupation.
Other so-called Liberals may be purged. The Russians are
after Hitoshi Ashida, former Welfare Minister in the Shidehara
220 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
cabinet, who was one of the chief mourners at Konoye's suicide
and a trumpet for the wartime Foreign Office as writer for the
government-dominated Nippon Times.
Japan's political set-up will have to be watched as closely as
anything else in Japan, to prevent the Hatoyamas from climbing
back. The authors believe that for the next ten years no Diet
should be elected for more than a year at a time, instead of the
four years provided in the new Constitution, as in the old. This
will give fresh talent and new political forces a chance to emerge.
And it will give Allied Headquarters an opportunity to screen
frequently all candidates and those who are elected, providing
a more frequent check on their performances, past and present.
Under prodding from headquarters, the first peacetime Diet
did accomplish a few things, It passed the new Constitution,
put through a record budget of the equivalent of $8,000,000,000
at the present artificial military exchange rate of 15 yen to the
dollar; set up a model labor law protecting labor's right to or-
ganize but prohibiting strikes of government and municipal
employees; put through the general principles of land reform
advocated by MacArthur; adopted his plan for a capital levy,
which will range from 25 to 90 per cent on fortunes over the
equivalent of $6,600, will hit 500,000 persons and will raise
The Diet also wiped out a government and bank debt of
more than six billion dollars in the form of war damages owed
The road to true political democracy promises to be long
and hard in Japan. Genuine liberals and progressives were in-
deed delicate flowers in the first year of the occupation. They
needed protection from the old guard of Japanese, who were
fighting a delaying action against the occupation and seiz-
TOJOS TAMMANY 221
ing every chance to sow seeds of discord among the Allies.
Yoshida, while foreign minister in the Shidehara cabinet,
sought the aid and sympathy of British correspondents against
the sternness of MacArthur directives. Two British correspond-
ents early in December, 1945, were invited to lunch with
Yoshida and on arriving found that American correspondents
had been discreetly "forgotten." They were told not to tell
American correspondents that they had lunched with the for-
eign minister, but "if by chance they find out, tell them that
my daughter invited you . . . please don't mention me. . . ."
After a fine luncheon of black-market delicacies, Yoshida asked:
"Just how soon do you think it will be before we have the
British in here? For, as you can see, there are far too many
American experts." According to Yoshida, the Americans were
making "fools of themselves" with the Japanese people, and
though he would "hate to be quoted" what was really needed was
a British occupation. The two correspondents fully "agreed"
with him and after this song and dance prepared to leave. As
they were climbing aboard their jeep, they were told by his
secretary that if they were ever short of liquor in the press club
to let him know and the matter would be attended to.
Yoshida fully expected the correspondents to put out a story
to the effect that the Americans were "botching" the occupa-
tion and that the Allies would be better off if the British were
in the driver's seat. Instead of writing the story, both corre-
spondents reported the matter to General Thorpe, Chief of
Yoshida was on the mat the following morning. According to
him, he had been "misquoted" and it was all "a dreadful mis-
take." Thorpe believed the correspondents' version, and told
them that it was just another effort to split the Allies. It was
typical of the methods of the Japanese old guard.
THE MAcARTHUR CHARTER
ON OCTOBER n, 1945, General MacArthur was in fighting
mood. He had been in Japan six weeks. The critics in Washing-
ton and in some portions of the American press were croaking
like a pondful of frogs on a summer night. The State Depart-
ment, without prior consultation with MacArthur, was broaching
a scheme for an Allied Advisory Council of four nations to sit
with the General in Tokyo, and for a Far Eastern Commission of
eleven powers with policy-making authority to sit in Wash-
The General let it be known that if any nation (particularly
Russia) had veto power over his actions, he would quit and go
home. He had no intention of becoming a super-policeman or a
(In December, 1945, when the Advisory Council and the Far
Eastern Commission became realities under the decisions of the
Moscow Conference, MacArthur cut loose with two blistering
statements, saying he'd never been consulted on the scheme, but
promising to do his best to make it work. Nowadays, the Far
Eastern Commission, sitting far off in Washington, hardly ever
THE MAC ARTHUR CHARTER 223
bothers him except to change a semicolon in a directive or a
tonnage figure in reparations projects. And the Advisory Council,
sitting in Tokyo, is advisory and nothing more. MacArthur sees
to that; Russian and British ideas and suggestions are promptly
squelched if they seem to cast doubt on the wisdom of any action
by Supreme Headquarters.)
On that same day in October, 1945, MacArthur summoned
Baron Shidehara, the seventy-three-year-old prime minister, and
read him the riot act. He told him bluntly to reform the social
order of Japan as swiftly as possible. He slapped a five-point pro-
gram for this at Shidehara.
Japan, MacArthur told Shidehara, would have to install:
Suffrage for women
Freedom of speech and of religion
Liberalization of schools
Democratization of industry
Unionization of labor
Shidehara was downcast as he rode down in the elevator.
MacArthur 's parting shot had been that this would "unquestion-
ably involve a liberalization of the Constitution."
The Japanese fielded the shot deftly. Hirohito promptly ap-
pointed Prince Konoye to form within the office of the other
war criminal, Marquis Kido, a Constitutional Problem Investiga-
tion Commission. That was simply a stalling device.
Headquarters claimed that Konoye had no sponsorship of
MacArthur in dealing with the Constitution. But it took Mac-
Arthur nearly three weeks to disavow Konoye publicly, and then
only after a bitter press campaign in the United States.
MacArthur hastily made it clear that Konoye's link with the
constitutional question dated only from October 4 to October 5,
224 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
his last forty-eight hours as deputy premier in the collapsing
"surrender" cabinet of Prince Higashi-kuni. The revision prob-
lem, MacArthur said, was handed later to Shidehara as the new
prime minister, and any further connection of Konoye's with the
constitutional puzzle was only because of his link with the im-
It seemed a pretty lame explanation, but in any case Konoye's
suicide ended the matter. The work of revising the Constitution
got under way slowly.
Japan's political parties had their ideas on the subject, too.
Run by old-line machine bosses, they all wanted to retain the
Emperor. The Communists were the only exception. They listed
Hirohito as a war criminal and wanted the emperor system
wiped out. Later they found it expedient to declare that if the
Japanese people wanted it, the Imperial Household might con-
tinue to exist.
MacArthur's directives were coming hot and heavy in those
early months, and the beginnings of constitutional reform stirred
the diehards. They crept around to high officers at headquarters
with whining pleas of "Take it easy!" General Baker, Mac-
Arthur's press relations man, always had the answer:
"If you think we're tough, we'll go right home and let the
Russians take over!"
Little was heard of the new Constitution until March 5, 1946,
when Hirohito put out an Imperial Rescript expressing his desire
that the Constitution of the Empire "be revised drastically upon
the basis of the general will of the people and the principle of
respect for the fundamental human rights."
Next day the draft of the new Constitution was issued. Offi-
cially, it was declared the handiwork of the Japanese govern-
ment. Anyone who reads it carefully and compares it with the
THE MAC ARTHUR CHARTER 225
American Constitution and the Declaration of Independence can
pretty well guess that MacArthur wrote most of it himself.
The General was so proud of it that he said privately he
would not change a comma to please the Russians or anyone
else. That was when the Russians said the Americans had pulled
a fast one in getting out the Constitution. Such a job, the Rus-
sians held, was to have been reserved for later agreement by all
the Allied powers.
Just how much of MacArthur's style went into the new Con-
stitution is plain from the fulsome wording of its articles, which
will be found in detail in the Appendix. He drew heavily upon
the United States Constitution and upon that bundle of laws,
decisions and precedents that make up the unwritten British
In its most revolutionary provision, the new MacArthur Char-
ter renounced war "forever," banned the maintenance by Japan
of an army, navy or air force. It whittled down the Emperor to
the status of a constitutional monarch, abolished the peerage,
revamped the political structure to make the Diet supreme and
the cabinet responsible to the Diet. It gave the Japanese a Bill
of Rights such as the barons of old England had had to wrest
from King John at Runnymede, such as the Americans of colo-
nial days paid for with their lives, and which, even today, is still
being perfected against the resistance of the Bilbos, the Ku
In its very first article the new Constitution places sovereignty
squarely in the hands of the people. It states: "The Emperor
shall be the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people,
deriving his position from the sovereign will of the people."
Again, in Article III:
"The advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for
226 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
all acts of the Emperor in matters of state and the Cabinet shall
be responsible therefor."
And in Article IV:
"The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state
functions as are provided for in this Constitution. Never shall he
have powers related to government.
"The Emperor may delegate his functions as may be provided
And this, Article XXXVII:
"The Diet shall be the highest organ of State power, and shall
be the sole law-making authority of the State."
In the old Constitution, which dated from 1889 and exempli-
fied the concept of autocratic authority, the Emperor was head of
the State in an absolute sense. He was sacred, inviolable. He
exercised sovereignty with the assistance of state bodies. He is-
sued ordinances for carrying out laws. He determined the organ-
ization of the armed forces, declared war, made peace. The Diet,
although its lower house of representatives was elected and its
upper house of peers appointed by the Emperor, was subordinate
and subservient to the Emperor and to his Privy Council, which
advised him on all affairs. Moreover, in military affairs the chiefs
of the army and navy staffs had absolute control, and sought the
Emperor's consent only as a matter of courtesy.
But in 1937 and afterward, when Japan was streamlining its
government to meet the needs of aggression, various extra-
Constitutional bodies were developed which concentrated power
in the hands of the military clique and made the Emperor a
The Cabinet Planning Board was one such body. So, too, was
the Cabinet Information Board (only recently wiped out by Mac-
Arthur). The Greater East Asia Ministry was a third. And the
THE MAC ARTHUR CHARTER
larger industries which were the backbone of war-making power
were integrated into the Japanese national economy through the
formation of control associations, which forced all concerns, large
and small, into line with government policy. These associations
exist today and are a major influence in slowing the impact of
the occupation directives on the reformation of Japan's social and
In Article IX, the Japanese went all out for peace. The Con-
'War as a sovereign right of the nation, and the threat or use
of force is forever renounced as means of settling disputes with
"The maintenance of land, sea and air forces, as well as other
war potential, will never be authorized. The right of belligerency
of the State will not be recognized."
No other modern state had ever abrogated its right to make
war, or at least its physical power to defend itself. This, possibly,
was the reductio ad dbsurdum in fulfilling the Cairo and Pots-
dam plans for de-militarizing Japan. It certainly went far beyond
the liberal treatment accorded to Italy and other Axis satellites
on military matters in the Paris treaties of 1947. And we must
take exception to MacArthur's insistence on holding up Japan, in
this action (prompted by headquarters), as a model for all the
rest of the world to follow.
That sort of thing stuck in one's craw. For the Japanese have
not been models of probity and no mere legislative trick can con-
fer on them the right to pose as the peacemakers of the world.
The Japanese probably suspect there is something "phony"
about that part of the Constitution. Debate on the Constitution
as it went through the Diet showed that the minds of the ruling
class were by no means made up on renunciation of war capacity.
228 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Premier Yoshida himself went on record as saying that this was
a question that might well be taken up after the peace confer-
ence. And Hitoshi Ashida, influential member of the powerful
Liberal r party, observed with some sophistry that Japan might
even be refused by the United Nations as a member if she did
not possess some armaments. He said Japan would not be in
position to execute the obligation to offer an armed force for
The Japanese also argued that a defenseless country would be
prey to international schemers and would invite aggression. They
held that without a guarantee from the United Nations or a
strong Pacific power, they should be permitted defensive arms.
The new Constitution also doomed the peerage and guaran-
teed to the people fundamental human rights to life, equality,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness, with freedom of speech,
religion and assembly.
MacArthur plunged ahead with the new Constitution without
asking or getting much assistance from the other "Allied" powers.
He got some objections from the Russians, but these made no dif-
ference. The Russians thought that the future Constitution was
something that should be the subject of very careful deliberation,
and that under all the Cairo, Yalta, Potsdam, Moscow and other
"solemn" agreements it should have been reserved for thrashing
out much later. Further, the Russians were angry because even
the first drafts of the revised Constitution confirmed their worst
fears: the Imperial Institution and all that it meant to the
Japanese was to be preserved even in the mothballs of a con-
stitutional monarchy, and in time could be dusted off, shaken
loose, polished up and put forth as a thing of beauty and a joy
forever. Time will tell whether they were right; they certainly
had a good point.
THE MAC ARTHUR CHARTER 229
But MacArthur wasn't taking the advice. The Constitution was
jammed through the routine red tape with minor changes, just
as all the major directives that will change the face of Japan were
pushed through in the first six to ten months of the occupation.
And so the Emperor whom Mr. Lattimore has so aptly called
Japan's "Sacred Cow Number One" is still with us. The pasture
has been considerably reduced in acreage; even if the Americans
take all the milk, the grass is still a very lush green.
The Constitution handed a new life to the Japanese on a
silver platter. It was a brand-new, shiny gadget, the product of
175 years of American, and centuries of English democracy.
Whether the Japanese can ever make this gadget work is some-
thing else again. Only time and at least 100 years of it will tell.
Already it is making itself felt, taken in conjunction with the
early and basic MacArthur directives which put into effect on an
immediate, emergency standing the fundamental reforms that
were to be written into the Constitution.
Debate in the lower house of the Diet has proved within the
past year that the Japanese political consciousness can be de-
veloped. The Diet clearly became conscious of its new role as
chief organ of the government. The speaker of the House, Senzo
Higai, was even forced to resign because he attempted to have
modified a provision of the draft constitution. This was a healthy
and distinctly un-Japanese recognition that the majority must
Yet there were disquieting signs. State Minister Kanamori
held that the new Constitution did not alter what he called the
eternally unchangeable nature of Japan's national structure. And
Prime Minister Yoshida insisted that the charter did not alter
the "fundamental political character" of Japan.
Hirohito went cheerfully about his business, his wings sharply
230 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
clipped. The people no longer prostrated themselves before him;
it was "Charlie" who doffed his hat and bowed to them.
Red-flag processions began to wind through Tokyo's down-
town streets. There were riots by Communists, by Koreans, by
hungry men on Prime Minister Yoshida's doorstep. Police
guarded the processions, and stepped into the other demonstra-
tions only when stones began to fly. Such things were not
possible in Japan a year before.
Women were voting for the first time in their lives, and they
were being elected to public office. They were rebelling against
the slavery of the bedchamber and were talking of birth control.
The press was increasingly free, although MacArthur kept an
eye on its performance. It purged itself of its militaristic writers,
but still had to depend on the financial support of men who had
been party to Japan's expansionist program.
Freedom of worship was restored. Labor unions garnered mil-
Lions of workers, but they staged destructive strikes which Japan
could ill afford.
But the first year was only the beginning. The masses had
not read the Constitution, let alone understood it. It will take
years for the document to make a real, lasting impact on Japan;
they will be dangerous years and will require a vigilant occupa-
tion or at least control over political parties and government
performance, including interpretations by the judiciary.
Out in the far provinces the Constitution made only a ripple.
Ward politicians still went their way; reform of the educational
system was slow and was often defied. Another potential war
criminal, Welfare Minister Yoshinari Kawai, turned up right in
the cabinet nearly a year after these basic reforms and purges
got under way. His writings showed him to be, among other
things, an admirer of Hitler and Tojo. Again, it was a news-
THE MAC ARTHUR CHARTER 231
paperman, Ralph Chapman, of the New York Herald Tribune,
who exposed him first, just as the press had exposed Hatoyama,
the potential premier.
One of the biggest tests of the Constitution will be Japan's
ability to revive economically. For food shortages, unemploy-
ment, inflation, strikes these are current things in Japan that
weaken the tenuous roots of democracy.
The democratic pattern for Japan is in the new Constitution.
But Japanese democracy is in its infancy. It will have to be like
the carp, the ancient, symbolical Japanese fish which fights its
way upstream. It is one of the strongest-willed and the most
stubborn of fish.
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
TODAY, the Japanese are still in a state of semi-paralysis; their
future is still a gamble. On paper, the occupation is a great
success from the Allied and non-Russian point of view. In
practice, the occupation will have to last a generation or more
before we can really determine its success, or its failure.
We can check off certain beginnings of democracy in Japan,
but, like the one swallow, they do not make a summer. We can
note the burgeoning of free speech, the growth of political
democracy, the emergence of healthy trade unionism. But we
can note the slowness some of it necessary in reforming the
education system, in the purging of undesirables from various
levels of society and occupations.
And we can view with some misgiving the tendency of
present Allied authorities, including General MacArthur, to
"play ball" with some of the heirs apparent of the old order.
We can view with uneasiness and irritation tne tendency on the
part of West and East to turn Japan into a battlefield of ideolo-
gies; the hesitancy on the part of the United States and Great
Britain to make the policy for Japan truly an Allied policy
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 233
in the sense that full weight is given to China and Russia; the
aggressive determination of the Russians to proclaim that nothing
is good which is not Russian.
In Japan, as in Germany, we are running the grave risk that
the country will become a pawn in the struggle for power be-
tween the Western and Eastern blocs. For the Japanese are still
flat on their backs and showing only faint signs of new life.
Their army of 5,000,000 has been disarmed, demobilized and
most of it returned home. Their war factories have been smashed
or silenced by defeat, and await removal for the reparations ac-
Industrially, the Japanese are producing only a limited amount
of the necessities of peacetime life. Mentally, they are stagnant.
Politically, they are taking only the first few faltering steps on
the road to rehabilitation.
The Japanese must be taught to walk, talk, think and play
all over again. Whether we like it or not, they are the wards
of the United Nations. They are the problem children of the
Orient. They can become an important factor in peace, or the
breeding ground of a new and terrible atomic war.
The Japanese problem needs our best brains, our undivided
attention, our unlimited patience, our unfailing vigilance. Un-
fortunately, our supply of gray matter is limited; our attention
is diverted to side issues like Trieste, the Dardanelles, Iran;
our tendency is to look for miracles overnight, for a lasting peace
to come full-blown from the heads of Molotov, Marshall, Attlee
anc], Bidault; our vigilance lags because of our inherent indiffer-
ence to the Orient.
But we can make a beginning on the Japanese problem. We
have, in fact, made a beginning. Let us not think it is the end
234 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Above all, let us not tackle the task as one of building Japan
into a buffer state or a useful ally or base in another war.
Strategically, of course, the prospect is inviting to military-
minded men in the United States, in Great Britain, in Soviet
We need only quote from an illuminating interview with
Major General Charles A. Willoughby, General MacArthur's
chief intelligence officer, to show how firmly this notion takes
root in the military mind. General Willoughby told the Hearst
press early in 1946 that MacArthur's expert handling of the
Japanese occupation would one day make Japan a strong ally of
the United States. (Yet in their Constitution the Japanese re-
nounced war, gave up their army and navy, barred all but
civilians from the government.)
Said General Willoughby: "The situation in Japan today
parallels the situation we had in the Philippines from 1904 to
about 1908. During that time our fair treatment of the Filipino
insurrectionists won them over to us, and when the time came,
the Philippines fought gallantly at our side/'
One may fairly ask: If the Japanese are to be our allies, for
what purpose and against whom? Obviously, the Russians
unless we intend to take on the Chinese or the British or the
Filipinos in the Orient.
Such talk is extremely loose, and extremely dangerous. And
we have had other examples of it from "our side." It amounts
to needless needling of the Russians and a gross misunder-
standing of the desires and hopes of the average American.
We have, for example, the unnecessary pointing up of the
situation by General MacArthur in his statement on the first
anniversary of the occupation. He said that Japan might become
a "dangerous springboard for war" because it is a focal point of
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 235
"impinging ideologies/' And he suggested that Japan might fall
prey to the "philosophy of the extreme, radical Left" because of
the suddenness with which it had been torn from a theory and
practice of life built upon 2,000 years of history, tradition and
The General then launched into a thinly veiled attack on
Communism. It was an attack which did our relations with
Russia no good. He said:
"The ideologies of the extreme too often gain converts and
support from the true liberals, misguided by slanted propaganda
and catch phrases which hold as 'reactionary' all things which
spring from the underlying concept of the past. Such propa-
ganda seeks too often to exploit the knowledge common to all
men that sociological and political changes from time to time are
mandatory if we would keep our social system abreast of the
advance of civilization.
"Should such a clash of ideologies impinge more directly
upon the reorientation of Japanese life and thought, it would
be no slight disadvantage to those who seek, as intended at
Potsdam, the great middle course of moderate democracy, that
a people so long regimented under the philosophy of an ex-
treme, conservative Right might prove easy prey to those seek-
ing to impose a doctrine leading again to regimentation under
the philosophy of an extreme, radical Left."
To guide the Japanese along the path of true democracy,
General MacArthur added, will require all the patience, deter-
mination and statesmanship of the democratic peoples.
"The goal is great," he concluded, "for the strategic position
of these Japanese islands renders them either a powerful bulwark
for peace or a dangerous springboard for war."
Just the day before this statement turned the spotlight on the
236 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
fact that the Japanese main islands occupy roughly the same
strategic position in relation to the Asiatic mainland that the
British Isles do to Europe, six members of the House of Rep-
resentatives of the United States had been closeted with Mac-
Arthur for a long session. When they came out, what they told
reporters made screaming headlines, which we can only deplore.
The six representatives advocated a strong and mobile Ameri-
can striking force in the Pacific to meet the threat of Russian
encroachment and the "imminent danger of another Pearl Har-
bor" in Korea and Alaska. This was completely irresponsible. It
was war-mongering at its worst.
The Russian spokesman at Tokyo, Konstantin Popov, was
restrained in his comment. Such statements, he said, "are not
likely to contribute to strengthening the general cause of peace
and security in this part of the world."
Now, the authors of this book are not Communists. One is
an American who votes the straight Republican or straight Dem-
ocratic ticket, or mixes them, as he sees fit. The other is an
Irishman (who knows what war in his own country is like).
We just want to see fair play on both sides, and an end to this
interminable public debating of the merits of rival "ideologies,"
whether in Tokyo or Paris or Berlin or New York; we want a
moratorium on oratory. The great issue is not Communism versus
Democracy; it is simply peace peace for the world's millions,
which include our former enemies.
Japan is essentially a problem for the United Nations to
handle. It is more than a problem for the Big Five or the Big
Four, or for the eleven nations represented on the Far Eastern
Commission at Washington, which is supposed to determine
overall policy for Japan but which seems to have become lost in
a sea of semantics.
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 237
Those who would seize a United Nations problem, such as
Japan, and subvert it to their own purposes or ideas, are, in our
opinion, failing in their duty. They are failing as tutors of the
Japanese and in their obligations to the United Nations.
MacArthur and those around him who echo his voice speak
of Japan as the no man's land of the future. The General speaks
now of "the Muscovite" bulging his muscles, lusting for power;
during the war he spoke of "the Jap" and "the Boche." He
makes it clear that he will have no interference with the ad-
ministration of Japan. He gives grudging acceptance of the
Moscow Agreement setting up the Far Eastern Commission at
Washington and the four-power Allied advisory council at Tokyo.
He does not like the veto power that the F.E.C. on paper,
anyway has over his conduct of the occupation. He told the
advisory council at Tokyo that it would be advisory and nothing
Small wonder, then, that James M. Bertram, adviser to the
New Zealand delegation to the F.E.C., said there was danger of
Allied occupation of Japan becoming a single-power control;
that the outspoken Sir Carl Berendsen, New Zealand's delegate
to the F.E.C., thought that the Yoshida government and the
1946-elected Diet (which had American blessing) had given
Japan a government about as Liberal as "a piece of smelly
cheese." And small wonder that W. MacMahon Ball, British
Commonwealth representative on the Allied Council in Tokyo,
stoutly refused to go along with the statement of George Atch-
eson, Jr., MacArthur's political adviser and chairman of the
council at Tokyo, that within a year after the surrender the
performance of the Japanese government had been such that
its aims and policies were virtually identical with Allied aims
238 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Then there was the incident of MacArthur's "Allied" staff
meetings which made the British rankle. The British sent an
officer along to one of these weekly affairs. He was asked to
leave. Two hours later MacArthur was on the telephone to the
British commander with apologies. The British officer went back
to these staff meetings, but they turned out to be sham affairs,
with the real business done privately upstairs by the regular
As for the Russians, they met repeated rebuffs in the Tokyo
council. Some were merited. But most seemed to be given on
the theory that they had no business raising questions; theirs
not to reason why. And American-professed desires for freedom
of the press were given a strange twist in the handling of three
Soviet newspapermen who had come to Japan for the war
crimes trials. During a lull, they wanted to tour Japan. They
were given an "arranged" tour by MacArthur's headquarters,
which also saw to it that intelligence officers went along and
noted carefully to whom the Russians spoke and what was said.
When the same Russian newspapermen wanted to tour nor-
thern Japan, particularly the island of Hokkaido, they were re-
fused permission. This, on the ground that they had failed to
"appreciate" their previous trip!
It was believed, however, that this treatment of Russian news-
men may have been deliberate policy, dictated from Washing-
ton, where it had long vexed American authorities and the
American press that American reporters were not permitted
freedom of movement inside Russia.
But let's look on MacArthur's side of the ledger. What spurred
him and his officers to such behavior?
Primarily, it had been an "American" war in the Pacific. It
was American blood and American treasure that defeated the
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 239
Japanese, little else. The British and the Australians had made
genuine but only "token" contributions of men and material.
They said they could not spare more. The Australians were
particularly belligerent and free with advice, for a people (as
MacArthur said) who had never really intended to fight north
of the Equator. And the Russians came in at the tail end; all
of Stalin's radio boasting about the "decisive" entry of the
Russians could not alter the fact that American Marines, Navy
and Army, in stemming the Japanese rush at Guadalcanal, in
taking Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, had really won
the war by making it possible for American airpower to be
brought to bear upon Japan.
And MacArthur had had his rebuffs from the British. Early
in the occupation, he had invited the British to take virtually
co-equal status with him in Tokyo. He put it up to the Labor
Government of Clement Attlee in London through the British
commander at Tokyo, Lieutenant General J. H. Gairdner. The
offer was turned down. And so were General Gairdner's re-
quests to London for economic missions, specialists even a pub-
lic relations man to help with the occupation.
Some Americans thought the British wanted the Americans
to "stub their toes" in Japan, and wanted to take none of the
blame for any American failures.
Other Americans, who had known Britain in wartime, said
the British in their struggle for reconversion and rehabilitation
just could not spare any brainpower for Japan. They pointed
out that on the manpower score it took the British nearly six
months to send a token occupation force of 40,000 Empire
troops into Japan.
To some of the American military in Japan, however, it ap-
peared that the British after the war were interested only in
240 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
re-establishing "business as usual" at Singapore and Hong Kong,
with a dash of pepper in proposals for freedom of Burma and
independence of India.
As some of MacArthur 's staff saw it, American hopes for
democracy in Japan were confronted with old-fashioned British
Imperialism creeping up from the southwest, and new-fangled
Russian Communism thrusting down savagely from the north-
west. They figured the Americans were in Japan to hold the
fort against all comers.
There were other things that provoked MacArthur. They
may help us to understand his reactions and his treatment of the
other Allied powers. For many months he could get no hope of
cooperation from the Russians about sending in occupation troops.
The Russians refused to have their men serve under a foreign
commander. MacArthur said he would be the boss, no one else.
Then, too, the Russians cast covetous eyes at Hokkaido, the
northernmost island, which would have given them a strong
foothold in Japan. They already had the Kuriles, thanks to one
of those manifold secrecies of Yalta. They had the northern part
of Korea. They were back in Sakhalin. Would the Sea of Japan
become a Russian lake? MacArthur said no. He suggested that
the British take over Hokkaido. They preferred a warmer
climate. They got the battered area around Kure and Hiro-
shima, and they were told not to stray from this bailiwick.
MacArthur was irked, too, because the Russian military mis-
sion attached to his command had freedom of movement and
was given complete, detailed information about the dispositions
and activities of American forces inside Japan. But MacArthur
was given no such reciprocal information by the Russians as to
their troops in Korea, in Manchuria and elsewhere. He was
rebuffed repeatedly when he asked the Russians of the where-
abouts and treatment given to the 800,000 Japanese soldiers
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 24!
who fell into Russian hands at the war's end. Only a year later
was he told they were strung out in work camps behind the
Russian lines. He suspected they were being infected with
Communism against the day they would be sent back into Japan
to work for Moscow.
The Russian behavior on reparations was another irritant.
When the Red Army pushed into Manchuria and Korea north
of the 38th Parallel, it not only lived off the land but plundered
the factories and mines that legitimately might one day be
operated by the Chinese and the Koreans. The Russians called
it legitimate war booty, rejected all American efforts to check
it, gave only grudging permission to Edwin W. Pauley, the
reparations ambassador, to come inside their lines for a look-see.
Because the American policy was to check off such war booty
against the final reparations bill, the Russians boycotted, month
after month, all preparations by the Far Eastern Commission for
a full-dress reparations conference on Japan. The American de-
sire was to begin removal of machinery from Japan particularly
Zaibatsu machinery to build up the shattered economies of the
Philippines, China and Korea. There was no reason why an
independent Philippine Republic should forever depend upon
American charity. There could be no new, united China without
work for its millions. There could be no independent Korea,
either, without work for its people.
Ambassador Pauley, with MacArthur's help, set forth in the
first winter of the occupation an interim reparations plan which,
with modifications, could have served as the final plan. It stripped
Japan to a peacetime level of economy, cut her off from sources
of raw and war materials, gave her only a limited amount of
merchant shipping; stripped the Zaibatsu industries first; abol-
ished the aircraft industry.
The plan kicked around in Washington for a year. The Rus-
242, STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
sians would not come in on it as long as we insisted on counting
Manchurian war booty as reparations.
Manchurian coal mines became flooded because the Russians
had ripped the machinery and power plants from the best mines;
Manchurian coal supplies dwindled. The people began to tear
out the insides of their homes and burn them for fuel. Industries
were shut down for lack of coal, lack of electric power. Unem-
ployment grew. Experts said the stalling on reparations was
setting back the Far East at least a generation.
The F.E.C. in Washington and the State Department finally
boiled over. Without Russian cooperation, they broached a plan
for removing immediately 15 to 20 per cent of Japan's remov-
able assets to get the industrial wheels moving in needy coun-
tries. The balance would be held, pending the decisions of a
reparations conference, if any.
In Korea, American-Russian negotiations looking toward a
trusteeship stalled because of Russian intransigeance and Rus-
sian reluctance to grant anything like freedom of the press and
freedom of speech to the Koreans. The Russians, in turn, were
cross because they could not understand why we permitted
anti-Soviet, anti-Communistic activity in southern Korea.
There was more on Mac Arthur's side of the ledger. He was
not informed in advance of the Moscow Conference decisions
to set up the advisory council of four powers at Tokyo and the
policy-making Far Eastern Commission at Washington. The
commission had veto power over his actions, a fact which
shocked MacArthur's headquarters. The General issued a bit-
ter statement when he heard of the moves, and said with grudg-
ing acceptance that he would do his best to make the system
Strangely, the advisory council, more than the F.E.C., gave
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 243
the Russians their best chance to needle MacArthur. Naturally
he didn't like it. For the council was on the spot, in Tokyo.
The F.E.C. was far away in Washington. It seemed to be on
In Tokyo, the Russians raised a succession of issues. They
resented the steam-rollering of the new Constitution, which pre-
served the Imperial Institution in modified form. They didn't
like MacArthur's program for trade unionism on the American-
British model, and suggested one of their own which embodied
his and added the novel idea that workers on strike should have
power to seize and operate industries. The British tossed in an
irritant here, too, with a suggestion for socialization of some
Japanese industries, such as the coal mines.
But headquarters, which had seen more than 4,000 unions
formed, with more than 3,000,000 members, in the first year,
charged that the Left was trying to seize control of the Japanese
labor movement in the hope of regimenting the masses under
Leftist leadership in place of the former domination of labor
by the Right.
The Russians questioned, too, the effectiveness of Allied purge
decrees in removing the undesirables from positions of influence.
Here they were on sounder ground, for even Allied observers
in Japan have reported that the process is slow, that it is being
negated in the provinces although it looks good in the central
bureaus at Tokyo; that it will not be successful until it reaches
into prefectural and ward politics.
Russian ideas of a purge naturally did not jibe with American
ideas. It was the difference between shooting and "screening."
The Americans held that life in Japan would be disrupted if
suddenly the top tenth of officialdom were consigned to oblivion.
There was no other skilled tenth ready to step into the vacated
244 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
jobs; certainly the Allies did not have the personnel to run the
Moreover, the Russians wanted expropriation of large landed
estates without compensation to the owners. They wanted ex-
propriation of large industrial holdings, too.
The persistent clamor raised by the Russians in Tokyo, where
they had no real voice in the occupation policies, was in strange
contrast to the mildness and good humor with which they at-
tended sessions of the F.E.C. in Washington, where they had a
voice. This led to the suspicion that the snorts and scuffling in
Tokyo were staged for propaganda purposes, both for consump-
tion in Russia and for encouragement of the weakling Japanese
Communist party. The Russians had a "staff" of several hundred
in the former Soviet Embassy in Tokyo. They needed only a
handful, since they had no occupation troops to worry about.
These were some of the signs that showed all was not well in
Japan, and that it was high time for concerted action by the
United Nations to take the problem in hand.
More than a year after the surrender there was no sign of
a Japanese peace conference. The framework of a treaty had
been staked out in the Potsdam, Cairo and Moscow declarations
and agreements. It should be possible now to write a basic peace
treaty, with details to be filled in by yearly conferences of a
special United Nations commission that should be set up speci-
fically for Japan.
For peace is a living, growing thing. It cannot be laid down
categorically in full and permanent splendor now for Japan any
more than it can be for Germany. But the foundations for a
peace treaty are at hand in both cases. The complete structure
can be added later.
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 245
Take Japan's boundaries, for example. These are, of course,
easier to settle than are Germany's. There are no ethnic prob-
lems, no tricky rivers, no meandering railroads, no customs zones
of friction. Japan, the powers agreed two years ago, was to be
limited in sovereignty to the four main islands and such minor
outlying ones as would be determined later.
It seems clear that the United Nations should have trustee-
ships over, and security bases at, such key islands as Saipan,
I wo and Okinawa. Formosa has been handed back to China,
so that is no problem. Korea, it was decided, should be free,
so that country does not enter the treaty except in reparations.
The new Constitution gives Japan the political framework
for a peace. It demilitarizes, democratizes, renounces war, whit-
tles down the Emperor, provides a Magna Charta.
The Pauley reparations program is as sound a one as we are
likely to find. It gives the Japanese the means of subsistence,
gives them nothing better than the levels of the countries they
despoiled. It would aid China and the Philippines and Korea.
It would put the Japanese back on the seas to a limited extent,
for they are a seafaring people and cannot be held off those seas
It is a sure bet that peace for Japan will not come out of
squabbling in the Allied council at Tokyo or from inaction by
low-echelon diplomats in the Far Eastern Commission at
Washington. It is certain, too, that it will not come if our govern-
ments and our people continue their apathetic attitude toward
the Far East and its problems.
And the authors feel that it will not come unless the occupa-
tion of Japan takes on more of a civilian aspect in its high jobs.
For the military splendid as they were in war are not the
makers of peace. With few exceptions, the people at head-
246 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
quarters in Tokyo are way out of their depth now that they have
to swim in international politics and diplomacy.
Our hope is that the military forces will rapidly be reduced
to the status of policemen and watchdogs, while civilian ex-
perts (although they're hard to find) take on the policy-making
and the running of the big sections at Allied Headquarters that
are concerned with education, economics, government and the
In Germany, for instance, the War Department has repeatedly
begged the State Department to take over administration. To
this, Secretary of State Byrnes replied, "No, thanks." He pointed
out that the Department does not possess the necessary operating
staff. Of course that is true for Japan, too. Where can the ex-
perts be found?
For one thing, there are many capable men in the Army. They
ought to be got out of uniform and kept in Japan with decent
salaries, housing, family life. Many of them are interested in
their jobs, and want to make a career in Japan. There are many
capable men in the State Department, too, who ought to be
on the scene in Japan. That goes for the Far Eastern section
of the British Foreign Office, and, we assume, the Kremlin.
Not only the State Department could contribute brainpower.
There are men in the Commerce Department, the Treasury,
the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Maritime Com-
mission, and even in Congress who could be assigned or
"drafted" to this big job in Japan. Industry ought to be asked
to contribute its share of brainpower, too; steel, shipping, oil,
trade all have men who know something of the Orient.
If we could get top men and their families out to Japan, it
seems to us they could do a double job by living in a model
American community there. This would have to be built, of
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 247
course. But it would be a modern American town, governed by
itself, providing its own essential services. It could be made
a living example of democracy, of democracy in action, for the
Japanese to study at first hand.
But that is something for the future. For the present, let's get
the occupation off its narrow, militaristic base, and plunge now
into the job of writing the peace.
Let's get Truman, Attlee and Stalin together on the Far East.
Some have said it would be better to get Marshall, Bevin and
Molotov together on the Far East, for even if they quarreled
when they met, they at least would be carrying the load, doing
the hard work.
But out of such meetings should come a United Nations con-
ference on the Far East. It's more than a Big Three or Four or
Five job. No set of powers, however big they are, has a monopoly
on the answers about Japan. Let Japan in particular, and China
and Korea and Manchuria in general, be talked over at such a
conference. Let the festering sore of reparations be settled. Let
a basic treaty for Japan be written. Let 70 million Japanese
get on with their lives instead of dwelling in suspense.
Let's give the Japanese a limited sovereignty over their re-
duced acres. By no means should we get out of Japan for at least
a generation. We should maintain veto power over the activities
and performance of the government for at least that long. It
may take a century before they can run on their own. But it
should not be a century before they are admitted to the family
of nations as a member of the United Nations, where they
can learn the new ways of freedom more rapidly than by being
We must be patient about the Japanese problem. But we
must not be lethargic or apathetic. They have run hard in one
248 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
direction for hundreds of years. Only now are they turning in
the opposite direction. We must be patient because they are
a complex people; we must not be lethargic because they are an
energetic people, whose energies can be turned to peaceful pur-
Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, the Japanese have
certain basic good qualities. They work hard. They have under-
standable ambition. They can be taught. The masses are willing
to learn. (We should write off the upper crust; they live on in
the hope that we'll get bored and go home.)
The guideposts to Japan's future say that she shall be made
into an accepted member of the family of nations. But we are
committed, too, to building a strong, independent, united China;
a thriving, independent Republic of the Philippines; a free,
We must see to it that China, above all, is beholden to no
one power, that she can stand on her own. That, like the prob-
lem of Japan, is the task of a century. The two jobs can and
must be undertaken at the same time. When we take the brakes
off the Japanese and give the final blessing to the Chinese, we
should be able to see something like equilibrium in the Orient.
Attainment of that equilibrium should be our basic policy.
It is our hope for peace. It would be based not on the balance
of military forces but upon the natural interplay of resources
and national capabilities. Such a balance, of course, would have
to recognize Russia's new role as a Pacific power; it would have
to take into account the lusty, vigorous infants of the Pacific-
Australia and New Zealand.
Militarily, Japan can be controlled by controlling the sources
of her raw materials. We can compute how much iron ore, how
much oil, how much fertilizer she needs. We can regulate her
WARDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS 249
imports of those essentials. We can make her pay for them with
It should not be difficult to put her economy on a peacetime
basis. She came out of the war in pretty good shape, economi-
cally speaking. There was quite a bit of fat left on the carcass.
She can divest herself of about 9,000,000 tons of steel-making
capacity and still have 2,000,000 tons left each year to meet her
needs. She still has so much steel and aluminum scrap left that
she could go into the export business.
By regulating her imports of bauxite, the aluminum ore, we
can prevent the rebuilding of an aircraft industry.
On the food side, Japan is experiencing temporary shortages.
In time these will be overcome by far-sighted reforms of agrarian
policy, of the sort MacArthur has begun. Japan, our experts
say, could be 85 per cent self-sufficient in food if her agronomy
were improved. Fertilizer is one great need; she has vast internal
capacity for making nitrogenous fertilizers; she does not need to
get back into the import-export business on that account.
We should stimulate the Japanese farmers to become breeders
of livestock. The land area is limited for this, but it can be
done. And we should stimulate the raising of crops other than
the staple of rice. Both measures would improve the diet, and
improve Japanese health and physique.
Correctly handled, Japan in time might become a peaceful,
prosperous small country of the Orient. We certainly cannot
afford to let her become again a vendor of cut-rate, cut-throat
In Japan we must be on guard against the wiles of the hard-
dying intelligentsia, those who speak our language, who under-
stand us better than we do them, and who play upon our foibles
and phobias, such as Communism. It is characteristic of the
250 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Japanese top-layer to propagandize itself these days as the po-
tential leaders of the world toward peace and the first to re-
nounce war. Unfortunately, MacArthur gave this type of. Japa-
nese a good buildup with his over-enthusiastic recommendation
to the rest of the world of the Japanese feat of war renunciation.
For the intelligent Japanese is a quick-change artist. He has
an acute sense of theater, of what will please, what will sell.
He can hop on a bandwagon faster than any Washington
We must never fail to let the Japanese know he was beaten
in this war, man to man, by Allied soldiers, sailors, airmen,
science. Thus will we counteract the insidious Japanese propa-
ganda that Japan bowed only to the atomic bomb, that her
armies were still intact at surrender, that only his gracious
majesty, the Emperor, terminated the war of his own volition.
And we must beware of the wily Nipponese who attempts
to drive wedges among the Allies by playing on our suspicions
of Russia, on Russian suspicions of the Western powers, on anti-
British feeling in the United States, on anti-American feeling in
Britain, on anti-Semitic tendencies everywhere. We must be
careful, too, of the crafty Japanese who suggests that Japan
would not make a bad dependency of the United States, or a
fifty-first state of the Union, after Hawaii and Alaska.
Again we say, the job in Japan is a United Nations job. And
it did not end with the surrender ceremony on the Missouri in
Sagami Bay. Nothing less than the peace of the world is at
stake in the Orient, as in Europe. The British, Russians, Chinese
and others must be brought into whole-hearted sharing of the
policy-making and policing. And Americans must be made to
feel that nothing less than their country's destiny in the Orient
is at stake in Japan, the springboard to the future.
PROCLAMATION DEFINING TERMS FOR JAPANESE
(THE POTSDAM PROCLAMATION)
July 26, 1945
1. WE-THE PRESIDENT of the United States, the President
of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime
Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of
our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given
an opportunity to end this war.
2. The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the
British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies
and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon
Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determina-
tion of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until
she ceases to resist.
3. The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the
might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful
clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now
converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when
applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the
industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The
full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will
mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed
252 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese
4. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will con-
tinue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose
unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the
threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of
5. Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There
are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.
6. There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influ-
ence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan
into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of
peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible mili-
tarism is driven from the world.
7. Until such a new order is established and until there is con-
vincing proof that Japan's war-making power is destroyed, points in
Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to
secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting
8. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and
Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu,
Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.
9. The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed,
shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to
lead peaceful and productive lives.
10. We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race
or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all
war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our
prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the
revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japa-
nese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well
as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
11. Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will
sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in
kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To
this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials
THE MOSCOW CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE 253
shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade
relations shall be permitted.
12. The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from
Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there
has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of
the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible govern-
13. We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the
unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide
proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action.
The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.
THE MOSCOW CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE
The Foreign Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
The United Kingdom, and the United States of America met in
Moscow from December 16 to December 26, 1945, in accordance
with the decision of the Crimea Conference confirmed at the Berlin
Conference that there should be periodic consultation between them.
At the meetings of the three Foreign Ministers discussions took place
on an informal and exploratory basis and agreement was reached on
the following questions.
2. (Far Eastern Commission and Allied Council for Japan) A
Far Eastern Commission Agreement was reached with the concur-
rence of China for the establishment of a Far Eastern Commission
to take the place of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission. The terms
of reference for the Far Eastern Commission are as follows:
I. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMISSION
A Far Eastern Commission is hereby established composed of the
representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United
Kingdom, United States, China, France, The Netherlands, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, India, and the Philippine Commonwealth.
254 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
1. The functions of the Far Eastern Commission shall be:
(a) To formulate the Policies, principles, and standards in con-
formity with which the fulfillment by Japan of its obligations under
the Terms of Surrender may be accomplished.
(b) To review on the request of any member any directive issued
to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or any action
taken by the Supreme Commander involving Policy decisions within
the jurisdiction of the Commission.
(c) To consider such other matters as may be assigned to it by
agreement among the participating Governments reached in accord-
ance with the voting procedure provided for in Article V-2 here-
2. The Commission shall not make recommendations with regard
to conduct of Military Operations nor with regard to Territorial ad-
justments. The Commission in its activities will proceed from the
fact that there has been formed an Allied Council for Japan and will
respect existing control machinery in Japan including the chain of
Command from the United States Government to the Supreme
Commander and the Supreme Commanders Command of Occupa-
III. FUNCTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
1. The United States Government shall prepare directives in ac-
cordance with Policy decisions of the Commission and shall transmit
them to the Supreme Commander through the appropriate United
States Government Agency. The Supreme Commander shall be
charged with the implementation of the directives which express the
Policy decisions of the Commission.
2. If the Commission decides that any directive or action reviewed
in accordance with Article Il-i-(b) should be modified its decision
shall be regarded as a Policy decision.
3. The United States Government may issue Interim Directives to
the Supreme Commander pending action by the Commission when-
THE MOSCOW CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE 255
ever urgent matters arise not covered by Policies already formulated
by the Commission provided that any directive dealing with funda-
mental changes in the Japanese Constitutional structure or in the
regime of control or dealing with a change in the Japanese Govern-
ment as a whole will be issued only following consultation and fol-
lowing the attainment of agreement in the Far Eastern Commission.
4. All Directives issued shall be filed with the Commission.
IV. OTHER METHODS OF CONSULTATION
The establishment of the Commission shall not preclude the use
of other methods of Consultation on Far Eastern Issues by the par-
1 . The Far Eastern Commission shall consist of one representative
of each of the States party to this agreement. The membership of
the Commission may be increased by agreement among the partici-
pating powers as conditions warrant by the addition of representa-
tives of other United Nations in the Far East, or having Territories
therein. The Commission shall provide for full and adequate consulta-
tions as occasion may require with Representatives of the United
Nations not members of the Commission in regard to matters before
the Commission which are of particular concern to such Nations.
2. The Commission may take action by less than unanimous vote
provided that action shall have the concurrence of at least a majority
of all the Representatives including the Representatives of the four
following Powers: United States, United Kingdom, Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics and China.
VI. LOCATION AND ORGANIZATION
i. The Far Eastern Commission shall have its Headquarters in
Washington. It may meet at other places as occasion requires includ-
ing Tokyo if and when it deems it desirable to do so. It may make
such arrangements through the Chairman as may be practicable for
256 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
consultation with the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
2. Each Representative on the Commission may be accompanied
by an appropriate Staff comprising both Civilian and Military rep-
3. The Commission shall organize its Secretariat, appoint such
Committees as may be deemed advisable and otherwise perfect its
Organization and procedure.
r. The Far Eastern Commission shall cease to function when ac-
tion to that effect is taken by the concurrence of at least a majority of
all the Representatives including the Representatives of the four fol-
lowing Powers: United States, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics and China. Prior to the termination of its func-
tions the Commission shall transfer to any interim or permanent
security Organization of which the participating Governments are
members, those functions which may appropriately be transferred. It
was agreed that the Government of the United States on behalf of
the four Powers should present the terms of reference to the other
Governments specified in Article I and invite them to participate in
the Commission on the revised basis.
1 . With a view to the re-establishment of Korea as an independent
State, the creation of conditions for developing the Country on
Democratic principles and the earliest possible liquidation of the dis-
astrous results of the protracted Korean Democratic Government
which shall take all the necessary steps for developing the industry,
transport and Agriculture of Korea and the National culture of the
2. In order to assist the formation of a Provisional Korean Govern-
ment and with a view to the preliminary elaboration of the appro-
priate measures there shall be established a Joint Commission con-
sisting of Representatives of the United States Command in Southern
Korea and the Soviet Command in Northern Korea, and in preparing
THE MOSCOW CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE 257
their proposals the Commission shall consult with the Korean Demo-
cratic Parties and social organizations. The recommendations worked
out by the Commission shall be presented for the consideration of
the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China,
the United Kingdom and the United States prior to final decision
by the two Governments represented on the joint Commission.
3. It shall be the task of the Joint Commission with the participa-
tion of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government and of the
Korean Democratic Organizations to work out measures also for help-
ing and assisting (Trusteeship) the Political, Economic and Social
progress of the Korean People, the development of Democratic self-
Government and the establishment of the National Independence of
Korea. The proposals of the Joint Commission shall be submitted
following consultation with the Provisional Korean Government for
the Joint consideration of the Governments of the United States,
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom and China
for the working out of an agreement concerning a four-power trustee-
ship of Korea for a period of up to five years.
4. For the consideration of urgent problems affecting both Southern'
and Northern Korea and for the elaboration of measures establishing
permanent coordination in Administrative-Economic matter between
the United States Command in Southern Korea and the Soviet Com-
mand in Northern Korea, a Conference of the Representatives of
the United States and Soviet Commands in Korea shall be convened
within a period of two weeks.
The three Foreign Secretaries exchanged views with regard to the
situation in China. They were in agreement as to the need for a
unified and Democratic China under the National Government, for
broad participation by Democratic elements in all branches of the
National Government and for a cessation of Civil strife. They re-
affirmed their adherence to the Policy of non-interference in the
internal affairs of China. Mr. Molotov and Mr. Byrnes had several
conversations concerning Soviet and American Armed Forces in
258 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
China. Mr. Molotov stated that the Soviet Forces had disarmed and
deported Japanese Troops in Manchuria, but that withdrawal of
Soviet Forces had been postponed until February ist at the request
of the Chinese Government and referred also to the primary responsi-
bility of the United States in the implementation of the Terms of
Surrender with respect to the disarming and deportation of Japanese
Troops. He stated that American Forces would be withdrawn just as
soon as this responsibility was discharged or the Chinese Government
was in a position to discharge the responsibility without the assistance
of American Forces. The two Foreign Secretaries were in complete ac-
cord as to the desirability of withdrawal of Soviet and American
Forces from China at the earliest practicable moment consistent with
the discharge of their obligations and responsibility.
ALLIED COUNCIL FOR JAPAN
The following agreement was also reached with concurrence of
China for the establishment of an Allied Council for Japan.
1. There shall be established an Allied Council with its seat in
Tokyo under the Chairmanship of the Supreme Commander for
the Allied Powers (or his Deputy) for the purpose of consulting
with and advising the Supreme Commander in regard to the imple-
mentation of the Terms of Surrender, the Occupation and control
of Japan and of Directives supplementary thereto and for the pur-
pose of exercising the control authority herein granted.
2. The membership of the Allied Council shall consist of the
Supreme Commander (or his Deputy) who shall be Chairman and
United States Member. A Union of Soviet Socialist Republics mem-
ber, a Chinese member, and a member representing jointly the
United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and India.
3. Each member shall be entitled to have an appropriate Staff con-
sisting of Military and Civilian advisors.
4. The Allied Council shall meet not less often than once every
5. The Supreme Commander shall issue all Orders for the imple-
mentation of the Terms of Surrender, the Occupations and control
THE WHITE HOUSE DIRECTIVE 259
of Japan and Directives supplementary thereto. In all cases action
will be carried out under and through the Supreme Commander who
is the sole Executive authority for the Allied Powers in Japan. He
will consult and advise with the Council in advance of the issuance
of Orders on matters of substance, the exigencies of the situation per-
mitting. His decisions upon those matters shall be controlling.
6. If, regarding the implementation of Policy decisions of the
Far Eastern Commission on questions concerning a change in the
regime of control, fundamental changes in the Japanese Constitu-
tional structure and a change in the Japanese Government as a whole,
a member of the Council disagrees with the Supreme Commander
(or his Deputy), the Supreme Commander will withhold the issu-
ance of Orders on those questions pending agreement thereon in the
Far Eastern Commission.
7. In cases of necessity the Supreme Commander may take deci-
sions concerning the change of individual Ministers of the Japanese
Government or concerning the filling of vacancies created by the
resignation of individual Cabinet members after appropriate pre-
liminary consultation with the Representatives of the other Allied
Powers on the Allied Council.
THE WHITE HOUSE DIRECTIVE
UNITED STATES INITIAL POST-SURRENDER POLICY FOR JAPAN
The following is a statement of general initial policy relating to
Japan which has been approved by the President and distributed to
the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers and to appropriate
United States Departments and Agencies for their guidance:
i. ULTIMATE OBJECTIVES. The ultimate objectives of the United
States in regard to Japan to which policies in the initial period must
conform are to insure that Japan will not again become a menace to
the United States or to the peace and security of the world, and to
bring about the eventual establishment of a peaceful and responsible
government which will respect the rights of other states and will
support the objectives of the United States as reflected in the ideals
and principles of the charter of the United Nations. The United
260 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
States desires that this government should conform as closely as may
be to principles of democratic self-government but it is not the re-
sponsibility of the Allied Powers to impose upon Japan any form of
government not supported by the freely expressed will of the people.
The objectives will be achieved by the following principal means:
a. Japan's sovereignty will be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hok-
kaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor outlying islands as may be
determined in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and other
agreements to which the United States is or may be a party, b. Japan
will be completely disarmed and demilitarized. The authority of the
militarist and the influence of militarism will be totally eliminated
from her political and social life. Institutions expressive of the spirit
of militarism and aggression will be vigorously suppressed, c. The
Japanese people shall be encouraged to develop a desire for individ-
ual liberties and respect for fundamental human rights, particularly
the freedom of religion, assembly, speech and the press. They shall
also be encouraged to form democratic and representative organiza-
tions, d. The Japanese people shall be afforded opportunity to de-
velop for themselves an economy which will permit the peacetime
requirements of the population to be met.
2. ALLIED AUTHORITY, a. Military Occupation. There will be mili-
tary occupation of the Japanese Home Islands to carry into effect the
surrender terms and further the achievement of the ultimate objectives
stated above. The occupation shall have the character of an operation
in behalf of the principal Allied Powers acting in the interest of the
United Nations at war with Japan. For that reason participation of
the forces of other nations that have taken a leading part in the war
against Japan will be welcomed and expected. The occupation forces
will be under the command of a Supreme Commander designated by
the United States. Although every effort will be made by consulta-
tion and by constitution of appropriate advisory by the United States
to establish policies for the conduct of the occupation and the con-
trol of Japan which will satisfy the principal allied powers in the
event of any differences of opinion among them, the policies of the
United States will govern, b. Relationship to Japanese Government.
The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government will
THE WHITE HOUSE DIRECTIVE 261
be subject to the Supreme Commander, who will possess all powers
necessary to effectuate the surrender terms and to carry out the
policies established for the conduct of the occupation and the con-
trol of Japan. In view of the present character of Japanese society and
the desire of the United States to attain its objectives with a mini-
mum commitment of its forces and resources, the Supreme Com-
mander will exercise his authority through Japanese governmental
machinery and agencies including the Emperor to the extent that this
satisfactorily furthers United States objectives. The Japanese govern-
ment will be permitted under his instructions to exercise the normal
powers of government in matters of domestic administration. This
policy, however, will be subject to the right and duty of the Supreme
Commander to require changes in governmental machinery or per-
sonnel or to act directly if the Emperor or other Japanese authority
does not satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Supreme Com-
mander in effectuating the surrender terms. This policy moreover
does not commit the Supreme Commander to support the Emperor
or any other Japanese governmental authority in opposition to evolu-
tionary changes looking toward the attainment of the United States
objectives. The policy is to use the existing form of government in
Japan not to support it. Changes in the form of government initiated
by the Japanese people or government in the direction of modifying
its feudal and authoritarian tendencies are to be permitted and
favored. In the event that the effectuation of such changes involves
the use of force by the Japanese people or government against persons
opposed thereto, the Supreme Commander should intervene only
where necessary to ensure the security of his forces and the attain-
ment of all other objectives of the occupation, c. Publicity as to
Policies. The Japanese people and the world at large shall be kept
fully informed of the objectives and policies of the occupation and of
progress made in their fulfillment.
3. POLITICAL, a. Disarmament and Demilitarization. Disarmament
and demilitarization are the primary tasks of the military occupation
and shall be carried out promptly and with determination. Every
effort shall be made to bring home to the Japanese people the part
played by the military and naval leaders and those who collaborated
262 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
with them in bringing about the existing and future distress of the
people. Japan is forbidden to have an army, navy, airforce, secret
police organization or any civil aviation. Japan's ground, air, and
naval forces shall be disarmed and disbanded and the Japanese Im-
perial General Headquarters, the General Staff, and all secret police
organizations shall be dissolved. Military and naval material, mili-
tary and naval vessels, and military and naval installations, and
military, naval, and civilian aircraft shall be surrendered and shall
be disposed of as required by the Supreme Commander. High offi-
cers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and General
Staff, other high military and naval officials of the Japanese govern-
ment, leaders of ultranationalist and militarist organizations, and
other important exponents of militarism and aggression will be taken
into custody and held for future disposition. Persons who have been
active exponents of militarism and militant nationalism will be re-
moved and excluded from public office and from any other position
of public or substantial private responsibility. Ultranationalistic or
militaristic social, political, professional and commercial societies and
institutions will be dissolved and provoked militarism and ultrana-
tionalism, in doctrine and practice, including military training, shall
be eliminated from the educational system. Former career military
and naval officers, both commissioned and non-commissioned, and all
other exponents of militarism and ultra nationalism shall be excluded
from supervisory and teaching positions, lo. War Criminals. Persons
charged by the Supreme Commander or appropriate United Nations
agencies with being war criminals, including those charged with
having visited cruelty upon United Nations prisoners or other na-
tionals shall be arrested, tried, and if convicted, punished. Those
wanted by another of the United Nations for offenses against its
nationals shall, if not wanted for trial or as witnesses or otherwise by
the Supreme Commander, be turned over to the custody of such
other nations, c. 'Encouragement of desire for individual liberty and
democratic processes. Freedom of religious worship shall be pro-
claimed promptly on occupation. At the same time it should be made
plain to the Japanese that ultranationalistic and militaristic organiza-
tions and movements will not be permitted to hide behind the cloak
THE WHITE HOUSE DIRECTIVE 263
of religion. The Japanese people shall be afforded opportunity and
encouraged to become familiar with the history, institutions, culture,
and the accomplishments of the United States and other democracies.
Association of personnel of the occupation forces with the Japanese
population should be controlled only to the extent necessary to fur-
ther the policies and objectives of the occupation. Democratic po-
litical parties with rights of assembly and public discussion shall be
encouraged subject to the necessity for maintaining the security of
the occupying forces. Laws, decrees, and regulations which establish
discriminations on grounds of race, nationality, creed, or political
opinion shall be abrogated. Those which conflict with the objectives
and policies outlined in this document shall be repealed, suspended,
or amended as required, and agencies charged specifically with their
enforcement shall be abolished or appropriately modified. Persons
unjustly confined by Japanese authority on political grounds shall be
released. The judicial, legal, and police systems shall be reformed as
soon as practicable and thereafter shall be progressively influenced
to protect individual liberties and civil rights.
4. ECONOMIC, a. Economic Demilitariwtion. The existing economic
basis of Japanese military strength must be destroyed and not be per-
mitted to revive. Therefore, a program will be enforced containing
the following elements, among others: the immediate cessation and
future prohibition of production of all goods designed for the equip-
ment, maintenance, or use of any military force or establishment; the
imposition of a ban upon any specialized facilities for the production
or repair of implements of war, including naval vessels and all forms
of aircraft; the institution of a system of inspection and control over
selected elements in Japanese economic activity to prevent concealed
or disguised military preparation; the elimination in Japan of those
selected industries or branches of production whose chief value to
Japan is in preparing for war; the prohibition of specialized research
and instruction directed to the development of war-making power;
and the limitation of the size and character of Japan's heavy indus-
tries to its future peaceful requirements, and restriction of Japanese
merchant shipping to the extent required to accomplish the objectives
of demilitarization. The eventual disposition of those existing produc-
264 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
tion facilities within Japan which are to be eliminated in accord with
this program, as between conversion to other uses, transfer abroad,
and scrapping will be determined after inventory. Pending decision,
facilities readily convertible for civilian production should not be
destroyed, except in emergency situations, b. Promotion of Demo-
cratic Forces. Encouragement shall be given and favor shown to the
development of organizations in labor, industry, and agriculture, or-
ganized on a democratic basis. Policies shall be favored which permit
a wide distribution of income and of the ownership of the means of
production and trade. Those forms of economic activity, organization
and leadership shall be favored that are deemed likely to strengthen
the peaceful disposition of the Japanese people, and to make it diffi-
cult to command or direct economic activity in support of military
ends. To this end it shall be the policy of the Supreme Commander:
(i) To prohibit the retention in or selection for places of importance
in the economic field of individuals who do not direct future Jap-
anese economic effort solely towards peaceful ends; and (2) to favor
a program for the dissolution of the large industrial and banking
combinations which have exercised control of a great part of Japan's
trade and industry, c. Resumption of Peaceful Economic Activity.
The policies of Japan have brought down upon the people great eco-
nomic destruction and confronted them with the prospect of eco-
nomic difficulty and suffering. The plight of Japan is the direct out-
come of its own behavior, and the Allies will not undertake the
burden of repairing the damage. It can be repaired only if the Jap-
anese people renounce all military aims and apply themselves dili-
gently and with single purpose to the ways of peaceful living. It will
be necessary for them to undertake physical reconstruction, deeply to
reform the nature and direction of their economic activities and in-
stitutions, and to find useful employment for their people along lines
adapted to and devoted to peace. The Allies have no intention of
imposing conditions which would prevent the accomplishment of
these tasks in due time. Japan will be expected to provide goods and
services to meet the needs of the occupying forces to the extent that
this can be effected without causing starvation, widespread disease
and acute physical distress. The Japanese authorities will be ex-
THE WHITE HOUSE DIRECTIVE 265
pected, and if necessary directed, to maintain, develop and enforce
programs that serve the following purposes: (i) to avoid acute eco-
nomic distress, (2) to assure just and impartial distribution of avail-
able supplies, (3) to meet the requirements for reparation deliveries
agreed upon by the Allied Governments, (4) to facilitate the restora-
tion of Japanese economy so that the reasonable peaceful require-
ments of the population can be satisfied. In this connection, the
Japanese authorities on their own responsibility shall be permitted to
establish and administer controls over economic activities, including
essential national public services, finance, banking, and production
and distribution of essential commodities, subject to the approval and
review of the Supreme Commander in order to assure their conform-
ity with the objectives of the occupation, d. Reparations and Restitu-
tion. Reparations. Reparations for Japanese aggression shall be made:
(i) through the transfer as may be determined by the appropriate
Allied authorities of Japanese property located outside of the terri-
tories to be retained by Japan, (2) through the transfer of such
goods or existing capital equipment and facilities as are not necessary
for a peaceful Japanese economy or the supplying of the occupying
forces. Exports, other than those directed to be shipped on reparation
account or as restitution, may be made only to those recipients who
agree to provide necessary imports in exchange or agree to pay for
such exports in foreign exchange. No form of reparation shall be
exacted which will interfere with or prejudice the program for
Japan's demilitarization. Restitution. Full and prompt restitution will
be required of all identifiable property, e. Fiscal, Monetary, and
Banking Policies. The Japanese authorities will remain responsible
for the management and direction of the domestic fiscal, monetary,
and credit policies subject to the approval and review of the Supreme
Commander, f. International Trade and Financial Relations. Japan
shall be permitted eventually to resume normal trade relations with
the rest of the world. During occupation and under suitable controls,
Japan will be permitted to purchase from foreign countries raw mate-
rials and other goods that it may need for peaceful purposes, and to
export goods to pay for approved imports. Control is to be maintained
over all imports and exports of goods, and foreign exchange and
266 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
financial transactions. Both the policies followed in the exercise of
these controls and their actual administration shall be subject to the
approval and supervision of the Supreme Commander in order to
make sure that they are not contrary to the policies of the occupying
authorities, and in particular that all foreign purchasing power that
Japan may acquire is utilized only for essential needs, g. Japanese
Property Located Abroad. Existing Japanese external assets and exist-
ing Japanese assets located in territories detached from Japan under
the terms of surrender, including assets owned in whole or part by
the Imperial Household and Government, shall be revealed to the
occupying authorities and held for disposition according to the de-
cision of the Allied authorities, h. Equality of Opportunity for For-
eign Enterprise -within Japan. The Japanese authorities shall not
give, or permit any Japanese business organization to give, exclusive
or preferential opportunity or terms to the enterprise of any foreign
country, or cede to such enterprise control of any important branch
of economic activity, i. Imperial Household Property. Imperial
Household Property shall not be exempted from any action necessary
to carry out the objectives of the occupation.
GENERAL M A cARTHUR'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF A
NEW CONSTITUTION FOR JAPAN
"It is with a sense of deep satisfaction that I am today (March 7,
1946) able to announce a decision of the Emperor and Government
of Japan to submit to the Japanese people a new and enlightened
constitution which has my full approval. This instrument has been
drafted after painstaking investigation and frequent conference be-
tween members of the Japanese Government and this Headquarters
following my initial direction to the Cabinet five months ago.
"Declared by its terms to be the supreme law for Japan it places
sovereignty squarely in the hands of the people. It establishes gov-
ernmental authority with the predominant power vested in an elected
legislature as representative of the people but with adequate check
upon that power as well as upon the power of the executive and the
judiciary to insure that no branch of government may become auto-
cratic or arbitrary in the administration of affairs of state. It leaves
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 267
the throne without governmental authority or state property subject
to the people's will. A symbol of the people's unity, it provides for
and guarantees to the people fundamental human liberties which
satisfy the most exacting standards of enlightened thought. It severs
for all time the shackles of feudalism and in its place raises the dig-
nity of man under protection of the people's sovereignty. It is
throughout responsive to the most advanced concept of human rela-
tions and is an eclectic instrument realistically blending the several
divergent political philosophies which intellectually honest men
"Foremost of its provisions is that which, abolishing war as a sov-
ereign right of the nation, forever renounces the threat or use of force
as a means for settling disputes with any other nation and forbids in
the future the authorization of any Army, Navy, Air Force or other
war potential or assumption of rights of belligerency by the State.
By this undertaking and commitment, Japan surrenders rights in-
herent in her own sovereignty and renders her future security and
very survival subject to the good faith and justice of the peace-loving
peoples of the world. By it, does a nation recognizing the futility of
war as an arbiter of international issue chart a new course oriented to
faith in the justice, tolerance, and understanding of mankind.
"The Japanese people thus turn their backs firmly upon the mys-
ticism and unreality of the past and face instead a future of realism
with a new faith and a new hope."
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION
April 22, 1946 1
CONSTITUTION OF JAPAN
(SIMPLIFIED VERSION SUBMITTED BY JAPANESE, 22 APRIL 1946)
We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected repre-
sentatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for
1 The first draft of the new Japanese Constitution was published on March
6, 1946. A revised draft was submitted by the Japanese Government to SCAP
on April 22, 1946 and is the version which appears here.
268 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all
nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and
resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war
through the action of government, do proclaim the sovereignty of the
people's will and do ordain and establish this Constitution, founded
upon the universal principle that government is a sacred trust the
authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which
are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits
of which are enjoyed by the people; and we reject and revoke all
constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.
Desiring peace for all time and fully conscious of the high ideals
controlling human relationship now stirring mankind, we have deter-
mined to rely for our security and survival upon the justice and
good faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire
to occupy an honored place in an international society designed and
dedicated to the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny
and slavery, oppression and intolerance, for all time from the earth.
We recognize and acknowledge that all peoples have the right to live
in peace, free from fear and want.
We hold that no people is responsible to itself alone, but that laws
of political morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws
is incumbent upon all peoples who would sustain their own sover-
eignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other peoples.
To these high principles and purposes we, the Japanese People,
pledge our national honor, determined will and full resources.
Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the state and of
the unity of the people, deriving his position from the sovereign will
of the people.
Article II. The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded
to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet.
Article 111. The advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be re-
quired for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet
shall be responsible therefor.
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 269
Article IV. The Emperor shall perform only such state functions
as are provided for in this constitution. Never shall he have powers
related to government.
The Emperor may delegate his functions as may be provided by
Article V. When, in accordance with the Imperial House Law, a
regency is established, the Regent shall exercise his functions in the
Emperor's name. In this case, paragraph one of the preceding article
will be applicable.
Article VI. The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as
designated by the Diet.
Article VII. The Emperor, with the advice and approval of the
Cabinet, shall perform the following functions of state on behalf of
the people :
Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, laws, cabinet
orders and treaties.
Convocation of the Diet.
Dissolution of the House of Representatives.
Proclamation of general elections.
Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State
and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and
credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.
Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of pun-
ishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
Awarding of honors.
Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic
documents as provided for by law.
Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers.
Performance of ceremonial functions.
Article VIII. No property can be given to, or received by, the
Imperial House, and no gifts can be made thereby, without the
authorization of the Diet.
RENUNCIATION OF WAR
Article IX. War, as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat
270 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
or use of force, is forever renounced as a means of settling disputes
with other nations.
The maintenance of land, sea, and air forces, as well as other
war potential, will never be authorized. The right of belligerency of
the State will not be recognized.
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE PEOPLE
Article X. The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of
the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights
guaranteed to the people by this constitution shall be conferred upon
the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate
Article XL The enjoyment of the freedoms and rights guaranteed
to the people by this constitution shall be maintained by the eternal
vigilance of the people, and the people shall refrain from any abuse
of these freedoms and rights and shall always be responsible for
utilizing them for the public welfare.
Article XII. All of the people shall be respected as individuals, and
their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, within
the limits of the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in
legislation and in governmental affairs.
Article XIII. All of the people are equal under the law and there
shall be no discrimination in political, economic, or social relations
because of race, creed, sex, social status, or family origin. No peerage
shall be granted. No privilege shall accompany any award of honor,
decoration or any distinction; nor shall any such award be valid be-
yond the lifetime of the individual who now holds or hereafter may
Article XIV. The people have the inalienable right to choose their
public officials and to dismiss them.
All public officials are servants of the whole community and not
of any special group.
In all elections, secrecy of the ballot shall be preserved inviolate,
nor shall any voter be answerable, publicly or privately, for the choice
he has made.
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 271
Article XV. Every person has the right of peaceful petition for the
redress of damage and other matters, for the removal of public offi-
cials and for the enactment, repeal or amendment of laws, ordinances
or regulations; nor shall any person be in any way discriminated
against for sponsoring such a petition.
Article XVI. No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. In-
voluntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited.
Article XVII. Freedom of thought and conscience shall be held in-
Article XVIIL Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No re-
ligious organization shall receive any privilege from the State, nor
exercise any political authority.
No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act,
celebration, rite, or practice.
The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or
any other religious activity.
Article XIX. Freedom of assembly, association, speech, and press
and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. No censorship shall
be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication
Article XX. Every person shall have freedom to choose and change
his residence and to choose his occupation to the extent that it does
not interfere with the public welfare.
Freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest
themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.
Article XXI. Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Article XXII. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent
of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation,
with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. Laws shall be
enacted considering choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance,
choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage
and the family from the standpoint of individual dignity and the
essential equality of the sexes.
Article XXIII . In all spheres of life, laws shall be designed for the
promotion and extension of social welfare and security, and of
272 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Article XXIV. All people shall have the right to receive an equal
education corresponding to his ability, as provided by law.
Every person shall be obligated to insure that all of the children
under his protection receive elementary education. Such education
shall be free.
Article XXV. All people have the right to work. Standards for
working conditions, wages and hours shall be fixed by law. The ex-
ploitation of children shall be prohibited.
Article XXVI. The right of workers to organize and to bargain and
act collectively is guaranteed.
Article XXVII. The right to own property is inviolable, but prop-
erty rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public
welfare. Private property may be taken for public use upon just com-
Article XXVIII. No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor
shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to
procedure established by law.
Article XXIX. No person shall be denied the right of access to the
Article XXX. No person shall be apprehended except upon war-
rant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense
with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended while
committing a crime.
Article XXXI. No person shall be arrested or detained without
being at once informed of the charges against him or without the
immediate privilege of counsel; he shall not be detained without ade-
quate cause; and upon demand of any person such cause must be
immediately shown in open court in his presence and the presence
of his counsel.
Article XXXII. The right of the people to be secure in their homes,
papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be
impaired except upon warrant issued only for probable cause, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be
seized, or except as provided by Article XXX.
Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued
for the purpose by a competent judicial officer.
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 273
Article XXXIII. The infliction of torture by any public officer and
cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.
Article XXXIV. In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the
right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal.
He shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all witnesses,
and he shall have the right of compulsory process for obtaining wit-
nesses on his behalf at public expense.
At all times the accused shall have the assistance of competent
counsel who shall, if the accused be unable to secure the same by his
own efforts, be assigned to his use by the government.
Article XXXV. No person shall be compelled to testify against
No confession shall be admitted in evidence if made under com-
pulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention.
No person shall be convicted or punished in cases where the only
proof against him is his own confession.
Article XXXVI. No person shall be held criminally liable for an
act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he
has been acquitted, nor shall he in any way be placed in double
Article XXXVII. The Diet shall be the highest organ of state
power, and shall be the sole law-making authority of the State.
Article XXXVIII. The Diet shall consist of two houses, namely
the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
Article XXXIX. Both Houses shall consist of elected members,
representative of all the people.
The number of the members of each House shall be fixed by law.
Article XL. The qualifications of electors and members for both
Houses shall be fixed by law. However, there shall be no discrimina-
tion because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.
Article XLI. The term of office of members of the House of Rep-
resentatives shall be four years. However, the term may be terminated
274 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
before the full term is up, by dissolution of the House of Repre-
Article XLH. The term of office of the members of the House of
Councillors shall be six years. Election for half the members shall
take place every three years.
Article XLllI. Matters pertaining to the method of election or
members of both Houses, electoral districts, and method of voting,
shall be fixed by law.
Article XLIV. No person shall be permitted to be a member of
both Houses simultaneously.
Article XLV. Members of both Houses shall receive appropriate
annual payment from the. national treasury in accordance with the
Article XL VI. Except in cases provided by law, members of both
Houses shall be exempt from arrest while the Diet is in session. Any
member arrested before the opening of the session shall be freed
during the term of the session upon demand of his House.
Article XLVII. Members of both Houses shall not be held liable
outside the House for speeches, debates, or votes cast inside it.
Article XLVlll. An ordinary session of the Diet shall be convoked
once per year.
Article XLIX. The Cabinet may call extraordinary sessions of the
Diet. When a quarter or more of the total members of either House
makes the demand, the Diet must be called into session.
Article L. When the House of Representatives is ordered dis-
solved, there must be a general election of members of the House of
Representatives within forty (40) days from the date of dissolution,
and the Diet must be convoked within thirty (30) days from the date
of the election. When the House of Representatives is ordered dis-
solved, the House of Councillors must, at the same time, be closed,
except that the Cabinet may in time of national emergency convoke
the House of Councillors in emergency session. Measures enacted
at such session shall be provisional and shall become null and void,
unless agreed to by the House of Representatives within a period of
ten (10) days after the opening of the next session of the Diet.
Article LI. Each House shall judge disputes related to qualifica-
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 275
tions and elections of its members. However, in order to deny a seat
to any member, it is necessary to pass a resolution by a majority of
two-thirds or more of the members present.
Article LIL Business cannot be transacted in either House unless
at least one-third of the total membership is present.
All matters shall be decided, in each House, by a majority of
those present, except as elsewhere provided in the Constitution. In
case of a tie, the presiding officer shall decide the issue.
Article LIU. Deliberation in each House shall be public. However,
a secret meeting may be held where a majority of two-thirds or more
of those members present passes a resolution therefor.
Each House shall keep a record of proceedings. This record shall
be published and given general circulation, excepting such parts of
proceedings of secret session as may be deemed to require secrecy.
Upon demand of one-fifth or more of the members present, votes
of the members on any matter shall be recorded in the minutes.
Article LIV. Each House shall select its own president and other
Each house shall establish its rules pertaining to meetings, pro-
ceedings and internal discipline, and may punish members for dis-
orderly conduct. However, in order to expel a member, a majority of
two-thirds or more of those members present must pass a resolution.
Article LV. A bill becomes a law on passage by both Houses, ex-
cept as otherwise provided by this Constitution.
A bill which is passed by the House of Representatives, and upon
which the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that
of the House of Representatives, becomes a law when passed a sec-
ond time by the House of Representatives by a majority of two-
thirds or more of the members present.
Failure by the House of- Councillors to take final action within
sixty (60) days after receipt of a bill passed by the House of Repre-
sentatives, time in recess excepted, may be determined by the House
of Representatives to constitute a rejection.
Article LVL The budget must first be submitted to the House of
276 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Upon consideration of the budget, when the House of Councillors
makes a division different from that of the House of Representatives,
and when a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law,
cannot come to an agreement, or in the case of failure by the House
of Councillors to take final action within forty (40) days, the period
of recess excluded, after the receipt of the budget passed by the
House of Representatives, the decision of the House of Representa-
tives will be considered the decision of the Diet.
Article LVIL The second paragraph of the preceding article ap-
plies also to Diet approval required for the conclusion of treaties.
Article LVIIL Each House may conduct investigations in rela-
tion to national affairs, and may compel the presence and testimony
of witnesses, and the production of records.
Article LIX. The Prime Minister, and the Ministers of State, may,
at any time, appear in either House for the purpose of debating on
bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not.
They must appear when their presence is required in order to give
answers or explanations.
Article LX. The Diet shall set up an impeachment court from
the members of both Houses for the purpose of trying those judges
against whom removal proceedings have been instituted.
Matters relating to impeachment shall be provided by law.
Article LXL Executive power shall be vested in the Cabinet.
Article LXIl. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister, who
shall be its head, and other Ministers of State as provided for by law.
The Cabinet, in the exercise of executive power, shall be collec-
tively responsible to the Diet.
Article LX1II. The Prime Minister shall be designated by a resolu-
tion of the Diet. This designation shall precede all other business.
If the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors
disagree and if a joint committee of both houses, provided for by law,
cannot reach an agreement, or the House of Councillors fails to make
designation within twenty (20) days, exclusive of the period of
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 277
recess, after the House of Representatives has made designation, the
decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the
Article LX1V. The Prime Minister shall, with the approval of the
Diet, appoint the Ministers of State. The second paragraph of the
preceding article shall apply to this approval.
The Prime Minister may remove Ministers of State as he chooses.
Article LXV. If the House of Representatives passes a no-confi-
dence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution, the Cabinet shall
resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved
within ten days.
Article LXVI. When there is a vacancy in the post of Prime
Minister, or upon the convocation of the Diet after a general elec-
tion, the Cabinet shall resign en masse.
Article LXVIL In the cases mentioned in the two preceding arti-
cles, the Cabinet shall continue its functions until the time when a
new Prime Minister is appointed.
Article LXV1IL The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet,
submits bills, reports on general national affairs and foreign relations
to the Diet, and exercises supervision and control over various ad-
Article LXIX. The Cabinet, in addition to other general adminis-
trative functions, shall:
Administer the law faithfully; conduct affairs of State.
Manage foreign affairs.
Conclude treaties. However, it shall obtain prior or, depending
on circumstances, subsequent approval of the Diet.
In accordance with standards established by law, administer the
Prepare the budget, and present it to the Diet.
Enact cabinet orders in order to carry out the provisions of this
Constitution and of the law. However, it cannot include penal pro-
visions in such cabinet orders unless authorized by such law.
Decide on general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of
punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
Article LXX. All laws and cabinet orders shall be signed by the
278 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
competent Minister of State, and countersigned by the Prime
Article LXX1. The Ministers of State, during their tenure of
office, shall not be subject to legal action without the consent of the
Prime Minister, but the right to take that action is not impaired
Article LXXI1. The whole judicial power is vested in a Supreme
Court and in such inferior courts as are established by law.
No extraordinary tribunal shall be established, nor shall any organ
or agency of the Executive be given final judicial power.
All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their con-
science and shall be bound only by this Constitution and the laws
enacted pursuant thereto.
Article LXXIII. The Supreme Court is vested with the rule-
making power under which it determines the rules of procedure and
of practice, and of matters relating to attorneys, the internal disci-
pline of the courts and the administration of judicial affairs.
Public procurators shall be subject to the rule-making power of
the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court may delegate the power to make rules for
inferior courts to such courts.
Article LXXIV. Removals of judges shall be accomplished by
public impeachment only unless judicially declared mentally or
physically incompetent. No disciplinary action shall be administered
by any executive organ or agency.
Article LXXV. The Supreme Court shall consist of such number
of judges as may be determined by law; all such judges shall be ap-
pointed by the Cabinet and shall be retired upon the attainment of
the age as fixed by law.
The appointment of the judges of the Supreme Court shall be
reviewed by the people at the first general election of the House of
Representatives following their appointment, and shall be reviewed
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 279
again at the first general election of the House of Representatives
after a lapse of ten years, and in the same manner thereafter.
In cases mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, when the majority
of the voters show that they favor the dismissal of a judge concerned,
he shall be dismissed.
Matters pertaining to the review mentioned in the foregoing
paragraphs shall be prescribed by law.
All such judges shall receive, at regular, stated intervals, adequate
compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of
Article LXXVI. The judges of the inferior courts shall be ap-
pointed by the Cabinet from a list of persons nominated by the
Supreme Court. All such judges shall hold office for a term of ten
years with privilege of reappointment, provided that they shall be
retired upon the attainment of the age as fixed by law. The judges of
the inferior courts shall receive, at regular, stated intervals, adequate
compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of
Article LXXVIL The Supreme Court is the court of last resort
with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regu-
lation or official act.
Article LXXV1IL Trials shall be conducted and judgment de-
clared publicly. Where, however, a court unanimously determines
publicity to be dangerous to public order or morals, a trial may be
conducted privately, but trials of political offenses, offenses involv-
ing the press, and cases wherein the rights of the people as reserved
in Chapter 3 of this Constitution are in question, shall be conducted
publicly without exception.
Article LXXIX. The power to administer national finances shall
be exercised as the Diet shall determine.
Article LXXX. No new taxes shall be imposed or existing ones
modified except by law or under such conditions as law may pre-
280 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
Article LXXXL No money shall be expended, nor shall the State
obligate itself, except as authorized by the Diet.
Article LXXXIL The Cabinet shall prepare and submit to the
Diet for its consideration and decision an annual budget for each
Article LXXXlll. In order to provide for unforeseen deficiencies
in the budget a reserve fund may be authorized by the Diet to be
expended upon the responsibility of the Cabinet.
The Cabinet shall be held accountable to the Diet for all pay-
ments from the reserve fund.
Article LXXX1V. All property of the Imperial Household, other
than the hereditary estates, shall belong to the State. The income
from all Imperial properties shall be paid into the national treasury,
and allowances and expenses of the Imperial Household, as defined
by law, shall be appropriated by the Diet in the annual budget.
Article LXXXV. No public money or property shall be appro-
priated for the use, benefit or support of any system of religion, or
religious institution or association, or for any charitable, educational
or benevolent purposes not under the control of public authority.
Article LXXXVI. A final audit of all expenditures and revenues
of the State shall be made annually by a board of audit and sub-
mitted by the Cabinet to the Diet during the fiscal year immediately
following the period covered.
The organization and competency of the board of audit shall be
determined by law.
Article LXXXVIL At regular intervals and at least annually the
Cabinet shall report to the Diet and the people on the state of na-
Article LXXXVI1L Regulations concerning organization and op-
erations of local public entities shall be fixed by law in accordance
with the principle of local autonomy.
Article LXXXZX. The local public entities shall establish assem-
blies as their deliberative organs, in accordance with law.
THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION 281
The chief executive officers of all local public entities, the mem-
bers of their legislative assemblies, and such other local officials as
may be determined by law shall be elected by direct popular vote
within their several communities.
Article XC. Local public entities shall have the right to manage
their property, affairs and government and to frame their own char-
ters within such laws as the Diet may enact.
Article XCI. A special law, applicable only to one local public
entity, cannot be enacted by the Diet without the consent of the
majority of the voters of the local public entity concerned, obtained
in accordance with law.
Article XCII. Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated
by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds of all the mem-
bers of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people
for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority
of all votes cast at a special referendum thereon or at such election as
the Diet shall specify.
Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be proclaimed by
the Emperor, in the name of the People, as an integral part of this
Article XC1I1. The fundamental human rights by this Constitu-
tion guaranteed to the people of Japan result from the age-old strug-
gle of man to be free. They have survived the exacting test for dura-
bility in the crucible of time and experience, and are conferred upon
this and future generations in sacred trust, to be held for all time
Article XCIV. This Constitution and the laws and treaties made
in pursuance hereof shall be the supreme law of the State and no
public law or ordinance and no Imperial Rescript or other act of gov-
282 STAR-SPANGLED MIKADO
ernment, or part thereof, contrary to the provisions hereof, shall have
legal force or validity.
Article XCV. The Emperor or the Regent, the Ministers of State,
the members of the Diet, judges, and all other public officials have
the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution.
Article XCV1. This Constitution shall be enforced as from the day
when the period of six months will have elapsed counting from the
day of its promulgation.
The enactment of laws necessary for the enforcement of this Con-
stitution, the election of members of the House of Councillors and
the procedure for the convocation of the Diet and other preparatory
procedures necessary for the enforcement of this Constitution may
be executed before the day prescribed in the preceding paragraph.
Article XCV1I. As regards those who hold peerage on the effec-
tive date of this Constitution, their title shall remain valid for their
lives, but no right of peerage shall from this time forth embody
within itself any power of government.
Article XCV11L If the House of Councillors is not constituted
before the effective date of this Constitution, the House of Repre-
sentatives shall sit as the Diet on that date and until such time as
the House of Councillors shall be constituted.
Article XCIX. The term of office for half the members of the
House of Councillors serving in the first term under this Constitu-
tion shall be three years. Members falling under this category shall
be determined in accordance with law.
Article C. The Ministers of State, members of the House of Rep-
resentatives and judges in office on the effective date of this Con-
stitution, and all other public officials who occupy positions corre-
sponding to such positions as are recognized by this Constitution
shall not forfeit their positions automatically on the effective date of
this Constitution unless otherwise specified by law. When, however,
successors are elected or appointed under the provisions of this Con-
stitution they shall forfeit their positions as a matter of course.
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