Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan

By Robert K. Fitts | Go to book overview

34

The attack on Pearl Harbor did not surprise or upset Eiji Sawamura. On December 7, 1941, Sawamura sat in a staging area on the Micronesian island of Palau, awaiting orders. Soon he would board a crowded transport as part of a massive assault group. He did not know where he would land, but he hoped that he would get to fight the Americans, whom at this point he considered to be little more than animals.

Like most Japanese Sawamura supported his country’s military expansion and did not question the decision to go to war. Since 1890 when the Meiji government announced the Imperial Rescript on Education, all Japanese schoolchildren had been trained to obey the emperor and state. Joseph Grew told readers of his 1942 book Report from Tokyo:

In Japan the training of youth for war is not simply military
training. It is a shaping… of the mind of youth from the ear-
liest years. Every Japanese school child on national holidays
… takes part in a ritual intended to impress on him his duties
to the state and to the Emperor. Several times each year every
child is taken with the rest of his schoolmates to a place where
the spirits of dead soldiers are enshrined…. Of his obligation
to serve the state, especially through military service, he hears
every day…. The whole concept of Japanese education has
been built upon the military formula of obeying commands.1

As a result of this education, most Japanese believed that the Western powers were not only thwarting Japan’s right to control Asia through the so-called Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere

-284-

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Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Recurring Japanese Characters ix
  • Prologue xiii
  • Part 1 - "When I Say I’Ll Do Something, I Bet My Life on It." 1
  • 1 3
  • 2 12
  • 3 22
  • 4 31
  • 5 34
  • 6 39
  • 7 43
  • 8 55
  • 9 65
  • Part 2 - "Babe Ruth… Is a Great Deal More Effective Ambassador Than I Could Ever Be." 83
  • 10 85
  • 11 88
  • 12 98
  • 13 104
  • 14 113
  • 15 120
  • 16 131
  • 17 137
  • 18 142
  • Part 3 - "The Japanese Are Equal to the Americans in Strength of Spirit." 179
  • 19 181
  • 20 183
  • 21 196
  • 22 198
  • 23 208
  • 24 210
  • Part 4 - "There Will Be No War between the United States and Japan." 219
  • 25 221
  • 26 229
  • 27 234
  • 28 240
  • 29 249
  • Part 5 - "To Hell with Babe Ruth!" 259
  • 30 261
  • 31 266
  • 32 271
  • 33 281
  • 34 284
  • 35 293
  • Appendix 1- The All American Touring Party 299
  • Appendix 2- Tour Batting and Pitching Statistics 301
  • Appendix 3- Tour Game Line Scores 303
  • Acknowledgments 307
  • Notes 311
  • Bibliography 325
  • Index 335
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