Journey to the Missouri

Journey to the Missouri

Journey to the Missouri

Journey to the Missouri

Excerpt

This book tells of the critical period leading up to the surrender of Japan in September, 1945. It is largely based upon first-hand experience of that stirring drama which was both painful and poignant. A proud nation stood at the crossroads of life and death. By accepting defeat for the first time in her long history she chose to live. It was only after a prolonged struggle between the contending forces that this choice was finally made. The issue was an intensely grave one, involving as it did a possible loss of men and material beyond the power of arithmetic to compute. In fact the capitulation of Japan saved the lives of several million men. How, then, was Japan brought to her knees to sue for peace?

I have tried to set down the facts as I know them in the way of a dispassionate historian, but in unguarded moments my emotion, all the stronger for suppression, may, I fear, have betrayed me. History devoid of emotion is no better than a marionette show, since after all it must deal with a human drama chequered with the joys and sorrows of the players who strut and fret their hour upon its stage. History is, I hold, idle letters written upon perishable pages but for the exultations and sufferings of those human creatures who give it life. However, I do not pretend to be a playwright. I am a humble mason whose self-appointed task is to erect a modest cenotaph to the vanished empire whose glory and grandeur are now forever consigned to the realm of memory.

The lines of Rossetti,

"War that shatters her slain And peace that grinds them as grain,"

have never been more true than today. We have learned anew, victors and vanquished alike, that the sword and slaughter do not solve the woes and wants of mankind. For even as victory crowns the victor so shall it crucify him. Still more so in the atomic age. We Japanese who have drained to the dregs the bitterness of de-

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