Burma under the Japanese: Pictures and Portraits

Burma under the Japanese: Pictures and Portraits

Burma under the Japanese: Pictures and Portraits

Burma under the Japanese: Pictures and Portraits

Excerpt

In this little book Thakin Nu, Prime Minister of Burma since it regained independence on 4 January 1948, relates what he saw of Japanese rule in Burma. It has the value of contemporary evidence, for it was written between August and November 1945 during the first months of the British reoccupation when he vainly hoped that at last he had achieved his long-cherished project of abandoning politics for literature. He was too close to the events for any complete and formal history and aimed merely at making his own contribution to a series of accounts by others who had shared with him the task and risk of governing the country under the Japanese while at the same time organizing resistance against them. He confined himself accordingly to his own personal experience, thinking that others would supplement it with particulars on which they were better informed. But most of them were still active in the political arena and no other account has yet been published. No one else, however, was so well qualified by experience to tell the whole story, or was more free of bias for or against Dr. Ba Maw Ba Maw, then head of the Government. For Thakin Nu before the war was a leader in a rival group and yet, under the Japanese, he was closer to Dr. Ba Maw than most of Dr. Ba Maw's own group, and was also his main channel of communication with the men who were plotting against his Government. Thakin Nu took no part in the fighting and he hardly mentions the war until it swept him away as a refugee in the final Japanese retreat. Apart from this, however, little happened in which he was not concerned, so that the record of his personal experience presents a chronicle of the general . . .

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