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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10087/11982

Title: Killing the Rising Sun における原爆投下の正当化と、日本の言い分
Other Titles: How the Atomic Bombings Are Justified in Killing the Rising Sun, and a Response from Japan
Authors: 横山, 孝一
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2018
Publisher: 群馬工業高等専門学校
Citation: 群馬高専レビュー,(36),9-20
Abstract: This is a critical essay on Bill O’Reilly’s American best-seller, Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan (2016), which, soon introduced through the Internet, shocked some Japanese intellectuals. Considering the pitiless, ill-intentioned content for the Japanese, the book will never be translated into Japanese and probably remain unknown to ordinary people in Japan, many of whom like the United States. The writer of this essay, a Japanese scholar of comparative literature, analyzes how the atomic bombings are justified in Killing the Rising Sun, and criticizes the book using relevant materials, like the TV drama The Pacific produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hunks, which describes how innocent patriots like Eugene Sledge were to become coldblooded killers through the bloody battles against Japanese counterparts in Pacific islands like Peleliu; such theme is so universal that the series still has fans in Japan. The Japanese translation of Tears in the Darkness: the Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, a wonderful book by Michael & Elizabeth Norman, also has succeeded in moving the Japanese readers with the two different perspectives of America and Japan, and the authors’ sympathetic attitudes toward the ex-enemies. For example, the so-called beasts did not use Japanese swords so often as the fans of Killing the Rising Sun might imagine: in Mr. and Mrs. Norman’s book, a Japanese officer used his precious weapon just after he knew that the captive had stolen some money from one of his dead soldiers. Bill O’Reilly, on the contrary, only tells stories about good Americans fighting bad Japanese. Since he uses the present tense showing how America comes to drop the atomic bombs, it is understandable that his hatred is keen enough to appreciate Truman’s decision to kill hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians even though the president seems to have regretted to know that innocent women and children also died the most violent deaths ever known in human history. As Yuko Tojo, granddaughter of war-time prime minister Hideki Tojo, was welcomed by American veterans, offering flowers at the memorial service for the US marines in Peleliu in 1999, Japan and the United States are now close friends, having forgiven each other. Japan’s war crimes were severely punished at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and other trials in foreign countries such as China, the Philippines, and Russia. Nearly one thousand Japanese were executed, some of whom had been wrongly accused and spent their agonizing last days. General Iwane Matsui, one of the unfortunate, had respected China and had ordered all his soldiers to maintain military discipline, but was hanged for the now-called Rape of Nanking. Having built Koua-Kannon (a statue of the Goddess of Mercy for the Rising Asia) in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, the retired general had prayed every day for the souls of both the dead Japanese and Chinese soldiers. The Kannon statue still exists tenderly preserved by an elderly nun and her supporters. The world will admit that the Japanese are now peace-loving people. The atomic attacks are justified in Killing the Rising Sun in four ways: 1) by insisting that the Japanese were beasts; Tojo was a Hitler; Emperor Hirohito was incompetent, 2) by regarding the bombings as rightful revenge to Pearl Harbor, 3) by stressing that the two bombs saved “hundreds of thousands” of American soldiers, and 4) by mentioning that Bill O’Reilly was born thanks to the atomic bombs which saved the life of his future father who was about to take part in MacArthur’s land invasion of Japan. In answer to these, 1) The Japanese soldiers were not beasts, let alone women and children. Their violent acts were due to the nature of war itself. Somehow O’Reilly has omitted the last important sentence from the diary of a Japanese medical doctor who joined the killing of Chinese villagers: “War is truly terrible.” Tojo was no Hitler at all: as a believer in the future world free of racial discrimination, he let his subordinate Major General Higuchi save many Jews from the Nazis in Manchuria in 1938. No one can deny that the Emperor was a well-respected man leading the postwar Japan spiritually from the ashes to one of the wealthiest nations in the world. 2) Even the Tokyo trials rejected “the sneak attack.” The fact was, Japan was compelled to fight the unwanted war by President Roosevelt. 3) As Samuel J. Walker clarifies, the large number was a myth. Instead, “thousands” was said during the war. 4) Only this cannot be denied. It was a good thing that his father was alive. Yet it is more reasonable for Mr. O’Reilly to be grateful to the hundreds of thousands of Japanese substitutes, not to the terrible bombs. The Japanese people prefer to let bygones be bygones. In May 27, 2016, President Barak Obama said in Hiroshima, “We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 in Japanese men, women, children; thousands of Koreans; a dozen Americans held prisoners.” The US President was welcomed even by the aged, atomic bomb survivors. In conclusion, let us just set aside the heated disputes, and pray for all the war victims even if they were enemies. Mourning the dead is of crucial importance for world peace.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10087/11982
ISSN: 2433-9776
Appears in Collections:第36号(2017)

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