Dear General MacArthur: Letters from the Japanese During the American Occupation

Sodei Rinjiro, Author, John Junkerman, Editor, John Dower, Foreword by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers $32.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7425-1115-6
Unexpectedly, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, head of the occupying forces in postwar Japan, was met with abundant respect there. In fact, respect is one of the milder attitudes and emotions in evidence in Dear General MacArthur: Letters from the Japanese during the American Occupation, assembled and annotated by Sodei Rinjiro, MacArthur biographer and professor emeritus at Hosei University, Tokyo. Letters of gratitude for kindnesses to POWs, for replenishing the fishing industry, for being ""able to live in peace""; requests to repatriate families from overseas and to refrain from trying the emperor; reports of anti-U.S. sentiment; and heaps of gifts, including many likenesses of the general, are among the hundreds of adoring communications in the book. Less congratulatory letters were scarce, but one Hiroshima resident, for instance, sent her book about the bomb's effects (published in 1949, after the U.S. relaxed the ban on such materials). This fascinating book is ideal for cultural studies curricula. 30 b&w photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
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