Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The reconstruction of self and society in early postwar Japan 1945-1949 Griffiths, Owen 2000

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-ubc_2000-486400.pdf [ 18.15MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0089764.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0089764-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0089764-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0089764-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0089764-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0089764-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0089764-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

T h e R e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f S e l f a n d S o c i e t y i n E a r l y P o s t w a r J a p a n 1 9 4 5 - 1 9 4 9 by O w e n Gr i f f i th s B.A., The University of Victoria, 1989 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F D O C T O R O F P H I L O S O P H Y i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Department of History) We accept this thesis^as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 19,99 @ O w e n G r i f f i t h s 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. 1 further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of W A ^ O ^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) T h e R e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f S e l f a n d S o c i e t y i n E a r l y P o s t w a r J a p a n 1 9 4 5 - 1 9 4 9 Abst rac t This dissertation examines a moment of unprecedented crisis in Japan's modern history - the crisis of defeat - and the impact it had on the Japanese self-image. Defeat unleashed a wide range of responses, from profound despair (kyodatsu) to a sense of new life (shinsei). Just as the material destruction of defeat defined the landscape of Japan's cities, so too did the coexistence of these two emotions create the psychological ground from which public discussion about Japan's past, present, and future emerged. From these discussions arose two interrelated debates, one concerning who was responsible for war and defeat, and the other focusing on the defects in the national character. In both cases, many Japanese believed that the resolution of these debates was a necessary first step in constructing a peace-loving, democratic nation. The deconstruction of the national character was akin to the process of negation through which many Japanese people believed they could discard the "sins of the past" and move smoothly forward into the new postwar world order. It is in this context that Tanabe Hajime's "philosophy of repentance" (zangedd) is relevant, both as a model and a metaphor for the Japanese attempt to overcome the past. Ultimately, however, Tanabe's road to salvation was not taken by many, partly due to the intellectual difficulty of his message, but also due to the re-emergence of the Emperor whose reconstruction as a symbol of new life circumscribed the public debates over war responsibility and the deconstruction of the national character, leaving unresolved fundamental questions concerning the Japanese peoples' relationship with their own past. Drawing on a broad variety of primary sources, this study explores these debates and the Emperor's resurrection in a brief but intense four-year period after Japan's defeat. Any appreciation of later postwar history must begin from this era. Through the experiences and memories of the "generation of the scorched earth" (yakeato jidai) we can gain new insights into Japan's re-emergence as an economic power, the preoccupation with "new," and the enduring sense of particularism that predominates in Japan today. ii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgement v I n t r o d u c t i o n : Self and Society in the Turning Point 1 Preamble: A Statement on History and the Past 1 Identity, History, and Early Postwar Japan 6 Coverage and Periodization 20 P a r t O n e : Kyodatsu a n d Shinsei C h a p t e r O n e : The Yakeato Jidai 26 Descent into Hell: July 1944 - August 1945 30 Their Master's Voice: Enduring the Unendurable 48 New Life Among the Ruins: "Now I Have Interest 60 C h a p t e r TwoiKyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market 78 New Life in the Black Market 87 The Treasure Trove 98 Sabotage and the Black Market 109 Daraku and the Black Market 120 P a r t T w o : R e p e n t a n c e a n d R e s p o n s i b i l i t y C h a p t e r Th ree : Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance 127 Zangedd: The Way of Repentance 132 Tanabe's Critique of Reason 147 Repentance and the Logic of Species (Shu no Ronri) 164 iii Chapter Four: The Debate Over War Responsibility 180 Ichioku Sozange - One Hundred Million in Remorse 184 Senso Sekinin versus Haisen Sekinin 200 Damasareta ron (We Were Deceived) 208 Kyodo ron (We Collaborated) 215 Japanese Intellectuals: Deceivers and Deceived 220 Chapter Five: The Deconstruction of the National Character 228 Rationality and Science as "Other" 235 Cast Off "Old Stupid Habits" 241 The "Shackles and Fetters" of the Family 257 A Sick "Maladjusted People": The Victor's Discourse 278 Chapter Six: The Emperor's New Clothes 296 American Pre-Surrender Planning and the Emperor 302 The Emperor's Resurrection 310 The Emperor and the People 321 The Ningen Senden and the Emperor as "New Man" 329 The Busiest Man in Japan 340 Hirohito, Tojo, and War Crimes 359 Epilogue: The Corner Turned 372 Wakon/Ydsai Revisited 380 Directions for Future Research 390 Bibliography 394 iv A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s This dissertation has been a long journey, both professional and personal. Along the way, I have had help from many; in particular, my adviser Bill Wray of UBC. In addition, thanks goes to the members of my dissertation committee, Ed Hundert, Glen Peterson, and Steve Salzberg, and to my other graduate school professors, A l Tully, and Alex Woodside, all of whom made the experience intellectually challenging. I also want to thank my friends and colleagues Cyril Welch and Andrew Nurse of Mount Allison University. Finally, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Hayashi Naoko whose friendship and generosity over the years made my experiences in Japan particularly memorable. This work is dedicated to Hayashi-san, and to the memory of my good friend and teammate, Bob Fidler, who died tragically in Yokohama in January 1996. v Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point Introduction: Self and Society i n the Turning Poin t A S t a t e m e n t o n H i s t o r y a n d t h e P a s t Some years ago in an introductory anthropology course, a few months before my first Japanese adventure, the instructor offered a working definition of culture as "the arbitrary imposition of symbols upon a natural environment."1 This became the touchstone for our subsequent explorations into the world of cultural anthropology. For many years this lesson remained dormant in my memory, locked away in that dark place reserved for forgotten experiences. It was only when I began a more intensive study of history that the dark place was illuminated and the memory revived. Since then, and despite a certain uneasiness about the degree to which symbolic construction is arbitrary,2 I have grown to appreciate this definition of culture because it is central to an 1 This definition came from the introductory lecture given by Bruce Smith, a sessional instructor in Anthropology 100 at the University of Victoria in January 1985. ^The term arbitrary refers to the fact that the use and manipulation of symbols is a human act in that we actively participate in the production of symbolic meaning rather than, as Socrates would argue, have symbolic meaning emerge naturally from the inherent properties of the things themselves. For Socrates discussion on the origins of language, see the "Cratylus," in Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (eds), The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Princeton University Press, 1963, pp. 421-74. Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point appreciation of historical interpretation as a culturally-mediated project, and one that addresses two fundamental issues of human existence: the creation of meaning and the definition of self. The imposition of symbols, be they oral, visual, or material, represents the process by which humans make sense of the world around them.3 It is the way we "know" the world. But constructing knowledge of and giving meaning to the world is not objective in any absolute sense because the performer of the action cannot separate him or herself from the performance. To know the world is to possess it but it is also to be possessed by it.4 When we impose meaning on the world through the utilization of symbols we create a structure into which we, ourselves, are incorporated. This is true whether we speak of historians 30ral symbols are utterances while visual symbols are textualizations of those utterances (words on a page) as well as any two-dimensional rendering such as a photograph or an image projected on a television screen. Physical symbols are similar to their visual counterparts with the difference being that the former are three-dimensional. A reproduction of a work of art in a book is a visual symbol whereas the actual piece of art as well as the book itself are physical symbols. ^Edward Said, Orientalism, Vintage Books, 1979, esp. pp. 32-49. As I write this dissertation about a particular moment of lapan's past by selecting and combining various symbolic forms - documents and my own written words -1 take possession of it in the sense that I choose the symbols and the manner in which they are organized. I possess it because I am the one who made it. At the same time, I am possessed by it because the choices I make and the product I create also define me. If accepted by my committee, this dissertation wil l define me as a professional historian whose speciality is Japan. More fundamentally, however, in the process of constructing this work I have created an identity by locating myself not only in the world of professional historians but in the larger world of which my history of Japan is a part. I impose order on the world with symbolic forms which in turn defines my relationship with, and position in, that larger world. 2 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point interpreting the past or historical subjects acting in the past. Self-identity is therefore inexorably tied to the symbols we use, just as historical wri t ing is inseparably linked to identifying and interpreting the myriad symbolic forms employed by people in the past. In the discipline of history we find that creating and ordering the past through the use of symbols and defining one's relationship to that constructed past are both the cause and effect of historical inquiry. Given the "insurmountable gulf between the actual past [the past as it was for those who lived it] and any account of that past [the past as constructed through historical writing]," the degree to which we can "know" the past depends on the efficacy of the symbols wi th which we construct i t . 5 Put more bluntly, we can only know the past by creatively selecting and combining certain symbols in textual form - a history book, novel, or fi lm for example - and then offering them as a representation of the past. The engagement between past and present, however, is a mediated one. O n the one hand, the symbols wi th which we construct the past are all grounded in the present, as is the historian who performs the action. In this sense history is as ^ D a v i d Lowenthal l , The Past is a Foreign Country, Melbourne, 1985. p. xx i i . See also A l u n Muns low, Deconstructing History, Routledge, 1997. 3 I n t r o d u c t i o n : Self a n d Society i n the T u r n i n g P o i n t m u c h a p r o d u c t of the present as it is of those w h o actual ly l i v e d i t . 6 O n the other h a n d , the constructed past is ac tua l ly i m p o s e d o n the present i n the f o r m of the text so that the engagement b e t w e e n the past a n d present p l a y s itself out i n dialect ic f a s h i o n w i t h the constructed text m e d i a t i n g between the actual past a n d o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of it . Rather t h a n s i m p l y c l a i m that the past c o n t i n u a l l y w e i g h s o n the present, it is m o r e accurate, a n d m o r e to the p o i n t , to say that the past is b o t h the cause a n d effect of the present insofar as the interpretat ions that w e construct define o u r l o c a t i o n i n the present as w e l l as d e l i m i t the re la t ional space b e t w e e n past a n d present themselves. There are b a s i c a l l y three s y m b o l i c forms h is tor ians use to construct interpretat ions of the past: m e m o r y - o r a l recol lect ions of the past; h i s t o r y -w r i t t e n w o r d s a n d t w o - d i m e n s i o n a l images about a n d f r o m the past; a n d relics -t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l objects or " m a t e r i a l r e s i d u e s " constructed i n the past a n d ^This is a paraphrase of Ibn Khaldun's famous statement that men are more a product of their times than they are of their fathers. 7 After writing this I came across a similar statement by Henri Bergson who said that "the present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause." Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution (L'Evolution Creatrice), 1907. 4 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point handed down to the present. Since we cannot know the past in a direct experiential sense, we are forced to rely on memory, artifacts and, above all, written documents from which we fashion our understanding of what has preceded us. It is in this sense that historical writing is metaphorical insofar as all interpretations of the past utilize symbols to describe, analyze, or bring to life a world that is beyond our ability to know directly. In addition to the comprehensive use of primary sources and convincing logical construction, the persuasive power of historical writing therefore depends on the selection of evocative metaphors, grounded in the present and imposed on the past. History is a dynamic project, one that is constantly being reformed as the past and the present relentlessly pursue the future. SLowenthall., pp. 185-259. Hybridized material symbols should also be included in the third category (relics) because over time the distinction between the original structure and any subsequent additions or restorations becomes blurred to the degree that the hybrid structure itself takes on an authoritative unity. Louisbourg and Port Royal in Canada and Osaka Castle in Japan are but three examples of such hybridized symbols. Osaka Castle, for example, includes structures that did not exist in the original plans but have been incorporated into the "history" of the castle as if they had always been there. A slightly different example from the "relic" of Port Royal wi l l further illustrate my point. We can travel to this reconstruction in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley for a glimpse of how the early French explorers lived in those first difficult years after arriving in the new world. However, a glance at the door frames and especially the beds wil l reveal that these men were extremely short by today's standards, yet the actors who recreate their roles for summer tourists are of average height. This does not necessarily make a "lie" of Port Royal as a historical relic, but it does demonstrate the degree to which the present impinges on the past through historical representation. 5 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point I d e n t i t y . H i s t o r y , a n d E a r l y P o s t w a r J a p a n In this dissertation I explore the relationship between defeat and the reconstruction of Japanese identity by focusing on the language the Japanese used to comprehend what had happened to them. I begin from the premise that identity formation can be understood as a historical process and that it can be analyzed by examining both the continuities and changes in the language and other symbolic forms used to describe the world and one's location in it. Ever since the foreigner's reappearance in Japanese waters in the late eighteenth century, successive generations of Japanese have struggled to define themselves in relation to a rapidly changing world. The Meiji Restoration further complicated these efforts as people gradually, and at times reluctantly, sought to locate themselves in relation to the larger world and also to their newly-emerging nation-state. As the nation grew so too did the plurality of voices, all laying claim to a special understanding of the relationship between the subjects (shimin) and the state that claimed to represent them.9 This gave rise to a series of crises over the definition of self and society and of individual and nation. The political upheavals of the Bakumatsu/Meiji era, the social debates over the ^For an excellent discussion of the diversity of ideological production in the Meiji era, see Carol Gluck, Japan's Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period, Princeton University Press, 1985. 6 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point individual and the state in the Meiji/Taisho transition, and the "denaturing of politics"10 and public debate with the rise of Showa militarism are all examples of an emerging crisis consciousness in which questions about what it meant to be Japanese took central stage. In each case, discussions of Japanese selfhood were undertaken with reference to an external "other," either in the form of the state itself from which all individual identity was to be derived, or a foreign nation to which Japanese selfhood was counterpoised - and frequently found wanting. The increasing recognition of and engagement with the external world is itself evidence that the debates over Japanese identity represented a distinctly modern project. Sociologist Anthony Giddens has argued that one of the principal features of modernity is reflexivity: "the susceptibility of most aspects of social activity, and material relations with nature, to chronic revision in the light of new information or knowledge."11 Giddens was speaking principally about North American society in the late twentieth century, but his comments are equally applicable to Japan at any point in its modern era. The Japanese have always been 1°The phrase is Gluck's. Ibid., pp. 49-60. 11 Anthony Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Oxford, 1995, p. 20. 7 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point a reflexive people in the sense that religious and spiritual matters have been infused with the language of rebirth (saisei), reconstruction (saiken), and restoration (saiko). Accompanying this language was the belief that renovation or new life could be achieved through the process of negation. One of the earliest modern examples of the power of negation, both for the individual and for the nation, was Japanese Christian leader and founder of the "non-church" (mukydkai) Uchimura Kanzo who stated in 1897 that negation through repentance was the "humble acknowledgement of the supremacy of the Eternal Law of Justice, from which no man or nation - not even Japan - can be exempt..."12 Nearly one hundred years later Ienaga Saburo echoed this sentiment from a secular perspective, arguing that "historical progress that follows the universal principle of mankind becomes possible only through actual practice grounded in an infinite repetition of self-negation."13 Whether understood as a path to spiritual enlightenment or a law of historical change, negation has 12 Uchimura Kanzo Chosakushii (The Collected Works of Uchimura Kanzo), vol. 3, Iwanami Shoten, 1954, cited in Ienaga Saburo, "The Historical Significance of the Tokyo Trial," in Hosoya Chiharu et. al., The Tokyo War Crimes Trials: An International Symposium, Kodansha, 1986, pp. 165-66. 13lbid., p. 165. Another example of negation as a catalyst for change is filmmaker and critic Oshima Nagisa who in 1961 stated that "...the law of self-negating movement is not merely a law of production or of the filmmaker, but a law of human growth and of the development of the human race - a law of the movement of things." Oshima Nagisa, "The Laws of Self-Negation," Cinema Biweekly, Apr i l 1961, reprinted in Cinema, Censorship, and the State: The Writings of Nagisa Oshima, 1956-1978, translated by Dawn Larson and edited by Annette Michleson, MIT Press, 1992, pp. 53. 8 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point figured prominently throughout Japanese history as the means by which new life could be created. The most profound expression of this idea, however, emerged from the ruins of the yake ato jidai, the era of scorched earth. The early postwar years were an intensely reflexive period when defeat compelled the Japanese to engage their past as an "other" and then negate it as a means of constructing a new sense of self. Defeat initiated a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and created a sense of disruption so acute that many Japanese believed that their world had irrevocably changed. As such, defeat functioned as a discourse in the sense that it became a structure the Japanese people were compelled to act in rather than one they simply acted with.u One of the clearest articulations of the discourse of defeat was the "turning point" (tenkanki), a phrase that reverberated throughout Japan in the early postwar years. For some the turning point was marked by the Emperor's "end of war" speech on August 15, 1945; others linked it with his "Declaration of Humanity" on January 1, 1946; still others identified it in the executions of Tojo Hideki and the other six Class "A" war criminals on December 23, 1948. Regardless of the moment at which it was invoked, however, the central question in each instance 14l have taken this definition from Said whose own understanding of discourse came from Michel Foucault. Orientalism, pp. 3, 14, 94. 9 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point became, in the words of Hanada Kiyoteru, "How do we live in the turning point?" (Fukkeiki ni ika ni ikiru ka).15 The responses to this question were varied. Some people were plunged into the abyss of despair (kyodatsu), while others revelled in a sense of liberation and new life (shinsei). These two extremes formed the basic structure of the discourse of defeat; within them were contained all possible responses available in early postwar Japan. The polar extremes of kyodatsu and shinsei were not mere binary opposites where the appearance of one precluded the existence of the other. Nor were they causally linked in a temporal sense with one necessarily giving way to the other. They were in fact a coexistential pair whereby the presence of one necessitated the appearance of the other. The interplay of kyodatsu and shinsei functioned as a dialectic process whereby one element (kyodatsu/thesis) called into existence its other (s/zmsez'/antithesis). Shinsei also functioned as the negation of kyodatsu, as manifested in the numerous attempts to eradicate all vestiges of the dark valley (kurai taniwa). With these two extremes as its defining structures, defeat became both the ground from which new life sprang 1 ^ Hanada Kiyoteru, Fukkdki no seishin (The Renaissance Spirit), quoted in Yamakami Shotaro, "Fukkdki no seishin no shohyo (A Review of 'The Renissance Spirit'), Rekishigaku Kenkyu, 128 duly 1947), pp. 45-48. I have translated the particle "ni" in Hanada phrase as "in" rather than "at" because life "in" the turning point evokes a stronger sense of involvement and comes closer to my definition of discourse. 1 0 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point and a narrative structure in which the Japanese people attempted to reinvent themselves as peace-loving and democratic by shedding their "irrational" past and adopting the language of rationality and science borrowed from their former enemy "other." To paraphrase Racine, the Japanese peoples' only hope lay in their despair. Defeat may have been imposed on the Japanese people but, in its wake, they incorporated it into their own narrative as a symbol of postwar identity. The immediate physical manifestation of kyodatsu was the charred rubble of Japan's cities. Amid these urban wastelands were the ubiquitous black markets (yatni ichi) which dotted the countryside like a social disease. Given the paucity of statistics about Japan's economy in the early years following defeat, it is difficult to gauge accurately the extent of the black market or assess in any quantitative manner its impact on the Japanese people. However, I have used newspaper accounts and personal recollections to illustrate the importance of the black markets to the daily life of the Japanese people and the extent to which these memories have remained part of the identity of the yake ato sedai (the generation of the scorched earth). While the black market became the ultimate symbol of moral decay for most, it was also the site of new life for some, one of the few outlets of entrepreneurial creativity in a world of economic stagnation 11 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point and hardship. Together, the black market and the destruction of Japan's cities defined the landscape of early postwar Japan and became enshrined in historical memory long after the material residue of defeat had vanished. As daily life was played out in the litter of Japan's urban spaces, the discourse of defeat initiated an intense debate over who was responsible for this tragedy. Originally articulated as a debate over war responsibility (senso sekininron), it quickly devolved into a discussion about who was responsible for Japan's defeat (haisen sekininron). I explore the evolution of this debate, from the government's initial calls for collective repentance in the name of the Emperor and the media's angry response, through its transformation from responsibility for war to defeat, to finally absolution of Hirohito and the executions of Japan's war criminals - an event that for some marked the complete negation of Japanese militarism. In the course of this debate the Japanese people were inescapably drawn into a prolonged re-examination of their own identity which turned the debate inward, away from questions about the war's origins and its prosecution. As a product of the discourse of defeat, this preoccupation with self created a closed system from which escape was virtually impossible. Ultimately, the Japanese people were trapped by the logic of their own self-reflection and remorse so that they became both the subject of the debate as well as the object of 1 2 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point its resolution. This became the starting point for a new construction of Japanese particularism which coexisted paradoxically with the widespread calls for universality in the form of democracy and science. The internalization of the debates surrounding the reconstruction of self and the evolution of a new postwar Japanese particularism began with the issue of war responsibility, but then fed into a prolonged discussion of the Japanese national character. Two positions emerged from the former: one arguing that the Japanese people had been deceived by their leaders, and the other maintaining that the people had in fact supported them, at least passively. Regardless of where one stood on this issue, all participants agreed that the irrationality of the Japanese character lay at the root of the problem. Defeat was thus understood as a product of Japanese servility, imitativeness, and blind obedience - all wrapped in the cloying mantle of feudalistic familialism. Japan's past became an "other," to be discarded, overcome, or negated with the tools of rationality and science which were themselves viewed as universal and absolute. In the end, however, the Japanese people simply exchanged one particularism for another; the degree to which universalism was advocated in the early postwar years was matched only by the extent to which the Japanese people understood the "sins of the past" (kako no zaiaku) to be unique to themselves. Here I concur with anthropologist 13 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point Aoki Tamotsu who described the early postwar years as the era of "recognizing negative distinctiveness (hiteiteki tokushu no ninshiki).16 For many Japanese, the journey from despair to new life demanded reflection [hansei), repentance (zange), and atonement (tsugunau) for the sins of the past. One individual who exemplified this process was Kyoto University philosopher Tanabe Hajime whose own spiritual rebirth in the fires of defeat became the starting point for the construction of a new religious philosophy that would overcome reason and allow individuals to live in social solidarity with each other. He called it "The Way of Repentance as Philosophy" (Zangedd toshite no tetsugaku).17 Zangedd represented an ideal type of salvation, and one that was ultimately not chosen. At the same time that Tanabe was advocating the negation of the reason-based self, most other Japanese were embracing reason as the only alternative to prewar irrational particularism. Despite Zangedd's failure to attract many adherents, it does stand as a metaphor 16Aoki Tamotsu, Nihon bunkaron no henyb: Sengo nihon no bunka to aidentiti (Changes in the Discourse on Japanese Culture: Postwar Culture and Identity), Chuokoronsha, 1990. p. 28. 17Zangedd can be translated as "the way of repentance" and as "metanoetics" meaning beyond cognition. For a more detailed discussion of the significance of these two meanings see Chapter Three. 14 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point for Japan's engagement with modernity itself. With its language of crisis, despair, and rebirth, Zangedd represents one man's answer to Japan's ongoing struggle to define and redefine itself within the rapidly changing world of the twentieth century. The Japanese did indeed try to reinvent themselves in the early postwar years, as have many others throughout the modern world in times of crisis, and 1 ft they clearly did so, in John Dower's phrase, "with the materials at hand." They simply did not do it in the way that Tanabe had hoped. Rather than using the spiritual means of faith (shin) and witness (sho) that drove the self's negation and subsequent rebirth in Tanabe's religious philosophy, most Japanese people employed the language of rationality (gorisei) and science (kagaku) which they believed would purge the irrational from the Japanese character and permit the resurrection of a truly peace-loving, democratic nation. However, both efforts were predicated on the belief that redefinition or reinvention was possible and indeed necessary if Japan was to again take its place in the new postwar world. In this context, we should see Tanabe himself as a synecdoche for the Japanese people's engagement with the modern world. His lifelong attempt to synthesize various elements of classical and European philosophy with traditional modes of Japanese thought highlights one of the defining problems of modern Japan since 1 Sjohn Dower, "The Useful War," in Dower, Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays, New Press, 1993, p. 10. 15 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point the days of bunmei kaika (civilization and enlightenment) and wakon/ydsai (Japanese Spirit/Western Learning). Tanabe's path to personal salvation was clearly a road not taken by many in the early postwar years, but there was another, more potent example of resurrection for the Japanese people. This was of course the Emperor himself whose own phoenix-like emergence from ashes of defeat was unquestionably a case of a constructed symbol being imposed on a natural environment. To illustrate the transformative power of rationality and science in the early postwar years I examine in the last chapter the manner in which the Emperor himself was resurrected as the quintessential "postwar new man" (sengo shinjin): tracing his reincarnation from his end of war message and his "Declaration of Humanity" speech, to his absolution from war responsibility and war crimes, and his enshrinement in the new constitution as the "symbol of the State and of the 1 Q unity of the people." Although defeat symbolized an absolute disruption between past and present for 1 ^ The new postwar constitution was promulgated on November 3,1946 and went into effect on May 3rd the following year. Article One specifically concerned the Emperor and reads in full: "The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his power from the wil l of the people, in whom resides sovereign power." For a full English reprint of the constitution, see David John Lu, Sources of Japanese History: Volume Two, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1974, p. 193 -97. 16 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point many Japanese, the perdurance of the imperial institution became a medium of temporal and spacial continuity linking past and present and uniting all Japanese in their drive to reconstruct a brighter future. That the Emperor endured despite the destruction of his empire also helped to reinforce a renewed sense of Japanese particularism. He became, in effect, virtually the only remnant of wakon that remained standing in the early postwar years, to which the yosai of rationality and science could be conjoined to create new life. Throughout this process the very visible hand of the occupation was operative, beginning with the American government's decision not to prosecute Hirohito as a war criminal, since, in Joseph Keenan's words, he "had been in the power of 'gangsters'."20 This decision not only absolved the Emperor of any responsibility for war or defeat, but it also helped to unite him and the Japanese people as victims by perpetuating the fiction that both had been "deceived and misled... into embarking on world conquest."21 The wartime attempts of Japanese political 20xhis phrase is attributed to Chief Prosecutor George Keenan in reply to a question by tribunal President Sir William Webb. The source is a New York Times article of January 14, 1949, although Richard Minear states that he was unable to find this conversation in the trial records. Minear, Victor's Justice: The Tokyo War Crimes Trial, Princeton University Press, 1972, p. 117. 21 This phrase comes from Article Six of the Potsdam Declaration, reprinted in Lu, Sources of Japanese History, p. 173. While the declaration did not specifically state that the Emperor had been misled, Keenan's statement, together with other evidence I shall introduce later, clearly suggest that he too was intentionally presented as one of the deceived. 17 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point elites to protect the Emperor and preserve the kokutai paralleled the efforts of American politicians and planners who sought to use the Emperor as a political tool with which occupation reforms could be enforced peacefully. Even when it seemed to Japanese authorities early in the occupation that the Americans were trying to paint Japan red, both sides were in reality on the same page when it came to the Emperor's political utility and his future. A consideration of these parallel processes naturally leads to a discussion of the American occupation itself. In bringing to life a collection of disparate voices which illustrate the concern over Japanese selfhood, I have discussed G H Q only insofar as it is directly relevant to specific issues in my own narrative.22 The policies enacted by GHQ to demilitarize, democratize, and then to repoliticize Japan under the umbrella of containment have been covered in many studies and there is now large body of literature in Japanese and English relating to this 22since this dissertation is principally concerned with the Japanese voice in the early postwar years, I have chosen to use GHQ, rather than SCAP, as the designation for the occupation administration because it is the one used overwhelmingly by Japanese writers. John Dower has recently published a new study of this era (Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, W. W. Norton & Co/The New Press, 1999) which intersects with my own argument in a number of areas, especially in its concerns with the Japanese voice. However, where my argument focuses specifically on the reconstruction of self with reference to two particular public debates - war responsibility and the national character - Dower's is a sweeping examination of virtually all aspects of early postwar Japanese society. 18 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point subject. It is not my intent to downplay the American impact on the history of early postwar Japan, but I do wish to shift the focus so that the Japanese voice predominates. For my purposes the importance of the American side of postwar Japanese history lies first in American power to define the very contours of defeat through its aerial bombing campaigns during the war. The sheer extent of urban destruction must be appreciated in order to understand the milieu in which the Japanese people discussed their past and their future. Secondly, I am specifically interested in the physical presence of the occupation forces as a stark contrast to the defeated world they created. Healthy, well-dressed and well-fed with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of food, cigarettes and money, American troops were a painful reminder to the Japanese people of just how far the Japanese had fallen. In that same capacity, however, the Americans were also a model to which the Japanese could aspire to create new life. I do not argue that the Japanese people wanted to become like Americans, but American power in victory and presence in occupation validated the universal truth of rationality and science for many Japanese. 23part of my reason for becoming interested in the Japanese peoples' side of the occupation stemmed from the fact that, while the quality and scope of the writings on this topic are quite high, most works tend to focus on the occupation as a political event, highlighting only the words and deeds of Japanese and American elites. I originally conceived this project as an examination of economic reconstruction issues, but as I began my research I discovered that there was much more going on in these years than just discussions of the economy. I am indebted, however, to Dr. Joe Moore of the University of Victoria for making me aware of the dynamism of the early postwar years in the first place. 19 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point Finally, G H Q and the American government were instrumental in the Emperor's absolution from war crimes. In doing so, they permitted the pillar of prewar Japanese particularism to emerge unscathed while all around him people "burned with indignation over who was responsible" or engaged in self-loathing at their own pitifulness. Here, I agree with Herbert Bix that the American decision to absolve the Emperor was the most important and lasting legacy of the occupation.24 C o v e r a g e a n d P e r i o d i z a t i o n Recent years have witnessed the appearance of some excellent scholarship on postwar intellectual history, in particular on the debates over subjectivity (shutaiseiron).25 I have drawn on some of this material for my own story, but my principal intent has been to bring to life the voices of the Japanese people 24See Herbert Bix's excellent essay "Inventing the 'Symbol Monarchy' in Japan, 1945-52," Journal of Japanese Studies, 21:2,1995, pp. 319-363. 25See, for example, J. Victor Koschmann, Revolution and Subjectivity in Postwar Japan, The University of Chicago Press, 1996; "The Debate on Subjectivity in Postwar Japan: Foundations of Modernism as a Political Critique," Pacific Affairs, 54:4 (Winter 1982-82), pp. 609-631; Andrew Barshay, State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan: The Public Man in Crisis, University of California Press, 1988; and Naoki Sakai, Translation and Subjectivity: On 'Japan' and Cultural Nationalism, University of Minnesota Press, 1997. 20 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point themselves - the everyman and woman - which have been a neglected aspect of the English-language literature on Japan. In this sense, my work represents an amalgam of intellectual and social history. I have utilized personal interviews, diaries, and retrospective accounts about people's experiences of Japan's defeat. However, the single largest primary source for my narrative is Japan's print media. This of course begs the question of whether media, in any form, can be considered to represent the voice of the people - an important issue but one that I will not address here. Because my dissertation is a study of the language of early postwar Japan, an analysis of this language as a collection of symbols which represented the world of a defeated nation is more germane to my purpose than the motives and intentions underlying the language itself. Taken as a whole, my sources represent a wide cross-section of the Japanese public in the early postwar years. Newspaper editorials are balanced by letters to the editor and personal interviews. The opinions of Japan's intellectual and scholarly elite are counterpoised with myriad small publications from youth groups, labour unions, and bereaved family and soldiers associations. Accounts from the mainstream urban print media are augmented with opinions from local publications throughout Japan. While they are by no means exhaustive, my sources do have sufficient breadth and depth to provide an accurate 21 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point representation of the language used by the Japanese people to articulate their understanding of the world and to redefine their location in it. 2 6 With the exception of the first chapter which describes the impact of American aerial warfare on the Japanese islands, my story covers the period from Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945 to the execution of the seven Class "A" war criminals on December 23, 1948. Using Japan's surrender as a starting point is fairly straightforward, but my choice of ending may be less so. By the time Tojo and his comrades were put to death, three and a half years had passed and much had changed. Most cities and towns still bore the scars of war and belated reconstruction, and millions still struggled to eke out a living. But there were also unmistakable signs of new life. Food accessibility had improved considerably, with the fears of widespread starvation now only a bad memory. Magazines advertized all manner of consumer products in stark contrast to a few years earlier when penicillin and vitamin supplements were about the only marketable products. Production, too, had improved comparatively, especially 26ln gathering these materials, I have benefitted from the work of a number of fine Japanese scholars, especially Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Yoshida Yutaka, and Nakamura Masanori. I am also grateful to Dr. Moore who not only introduced me to the documents of GHQ's Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS) but also purchased microfilm copies and desposited them in the MacPherson Library at the University of Victoria. It is somewhat surprising that these documents have been neglected by historians given that they cover both Japan's mainstream print media as well as local publications from every region in Japan. 22 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point once inflation began to subside. All these signs provide evidence that life, while a long way from good, was getting better. An even more powerful example of change, however, was the language itself. Whereas in the early years the public domain was replete with the language of responsibility, repentance, and remorse, by the late 1940s most discussions centred on economic reconstruction and the peace treaty. The debates over responsibility and the national character did not simply die away; they remained part of the currency of the public domain, although their value diminished considerably. The executions of Japan's war criminals witnessed a brief reflowering of the language of remorse and repentance, as well as a flurry of discussion about the Emperor's own war guilt. By 1949, however, most people's attention, and that of the press, turned toward reconstruction. It is in this sense that I argue that the executions closed the book on one phase of postwar history. The complete history of the reconstruction of Japanese self and society in the postwar years has yet to be written.27 Here, I will highlight certain aspects of that history which have not been well covered to date. In doing so, I want to 27l wrote this before reading Dower's new study which unquestionably comes closest to achieving completness in terms of Japan's postwar social reconstruction. It is also the best example to date of an occupation-era history written with the Japanese people at the centre. 23 Introduction: Self and Society in the Turning Point contribute to the story of modern Japan which places the Japanese people themselves squarely at the centre of their own history. The early postwar years remain unparalleled in intensity and dynamism, yet much of the language used to describe experiences of this time resonates throughout Japan's entire modern era. Therefore, this era can function as a metaphor for Japan's one hundred and fifty-year engagement with modernity. Despite the disruption of defeat, the early postwar years remain continuous with the past and the future as discussions of Japanese identity still flow into and out of the era of scorched earth. 24 The Reconstruction of Self and Society in Postwar Japan, 1945-1949 P A R T O N E : KYODATSU A N D SHINSEI Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai On September 12, 1945, ten days after Japan's official surrender aboard the USS Missouri, Japan's major dailies carried the story of Tojo Hideki's attempted suicide at his home in the Setagaya ward Tokyo.1 Accompanying the story was a grainy photograph of a blood-stained Tojo recovering from his ill-fated attempt to shoot himself in the heart. Looking weak and helpless, he hardly resembled the allegedly evil mastermind of Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. He had instead become an unwitting symbol of post-surrender Japan: exhausted, disillusioned and, most of all, defeated. On the same day, printed directly below Tojo's photograph in the Asahi newspaper was a small advertisement announcing the upcoming publication of Japan's first postwar magazine called Shinsei (New Life). The creation of publisher Aoyama Konosuke and editor Murofuchi Takenobu, Shinsei was founded to publish the work of such writers as Nagai Kafu, Miki Kiyoshi, and Masamune Shiratori whose work had been banned by the government during 1 Tojo's suicide attempt on September 11th followed directly on the heels of SCAP's announcement that he would be tried as a Class " A " war criminal. See Asahi Shimbun, September 9, 1945 for the story and photograph. 26 Chapter One: The Yakeato fidai the war. Murofuchi also wanted to use the magazine as a forum for discussing and advancing democratic ideals which he fervently hoped would become the foundation of a new postwar society. Shinsei came to life using paper from the Kaizo publishing house and the high-speed presses of the Nikkei newspaper company. The inaugural issue hit the streets on November 1, 1945 under the dual title of Vita Nova and Shinsei, the former name apparently taken from Dante's Divine Comedy. It sold out in one day at the per copy price of one yen and twenty sen, about the cost of three sweet potatoes or two cups of milk.4 The juxtaposition of these two images on the front page of the Asahi newspaper -the near-death Tojo and the new life magazine - symbolized the very essence of early postwar Japan. While Tojo represented a past that most Japanese wanted to 2Kimoto Itaru, Zasshi de yomu sengoshi (Postwar History Through Magazines), Shincho Sensho, 1985, p, 12. Murofuchi had previously been the editor of Kaizo and Nihon Hydron. According to the recollections of writer Nagao Kazuo, Murofuchi and economic analyst Miyake Seiki planned the publication of Shinsei at Murofuchi's home only a week before, with Miyake taking an advisory role. Ibid, p. 13. 3 Although Kimoto says the magazine's title came from the Divine Comedy, it is more likely that Murofuchi borrowed the name from Dante's 1292 vernacular work, La Vita Nuova, which he wrote to celebrate his love for Beatrice Portinari. 4lbid. p. 12. Prices come from Iwasaki Jiro and Kato Hidetoshi (eds) Showa sesoshi, 1945-1970 (A History of Showa Social Conditions), Shakai Shisosha, 1971, p. 357 and Iwasaki Jiro, Bukka no seso hyakunen (One Hundred Years of Social Prices), cited in Kazoku Sogo Kenkyukai (ed), Showa kazokushi nenpyo (A Chronology of Showa Family History), Kawaide Shobo Shinsha, 1990, p. 167. 27 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei forget in a present that was painfully inescapable, Murofuchi's magazine offered the promise, however small, of a better, brighter future. War, defeat, and occupation had brought unprecedented misery, humiliation, and despair (kyodatsu) to the Japanese people, many of whom feared that their nation would never again rise beyond the ranks of a third- or fourth-rate power. At the same time, these same epoch-making events became the catalysts for Japan's phoenix-like rebirth and, therefore, of new life (shinsei) itself. Even as Japan emerged from the early postwar years, the shared memory of both despair and liberation continued to temper and shape Japanese attitudes about the past, present, and future. To use philosopher Tanabe Hajime's description of repentance (zange) as a metaphor, kyodatsu and shinsei became "the site of an absolute light source that shone without extinguishing the darkness."5 The sense of new life emerged directly out of the very site of despair, without ever eradicating the traces of its origins. Perhaps for this reason the early postwar years are called the yake ato jidai (the era of scorched earth), refering both to the generation which came of age during that time and to the era itself.6 The shared ^Tanabe Hajime, Zangedd toshite no tetsugaku, (The Way of Repentance as Philosophy), Iwanami Shoten, 2nd. edition, 1947, p. 2. ^The yake ato jidai is also called the yake ato sedai when referring to the generation which came of age in the early postwar years. 28 Chapter One: The Yakeato jidai experience of the yake ato jidai defined the very nature of early postwar Japan and created the physical and psychological context in which the debates over the reconstruction of self and society occurred. This experience also evolved into a collective memory which continued to inform future action long after the physical remnants and conditions of defeated Japan had disappeared. This story begins with an account of Japan in the dark valley. In order to understand how the debates about self and society emerged and progressed throughout the early postwar years and how they affected later developments in postwar Japanese society, it is necessary to fully grasp the situation in which the Japanese people found themselves at the end of the war. This chapter will discuss the extreme manifestations of kyodatsu and shinsei by examining the physical and psychological impact of two particular "events": the American aerial warfare campaign and the Emperor's "end of war" announcement. Chapter two will then examine the ubiquitous presence of the black market (yami ichi) as a defining structure of Japan's degraded status. 29 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei D e s c e n t i n t o H e l l : J u l y 1 9 4 4 - D e c e m b e r 1 9 4 5 In August 1945 Japan's major urban centres were wastelands of rubble. For more than a year they had borne the brunt of the American civilian bombing campaign, first by conventional high explosives, then by incendiary firebombing, and, finally, by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.7 Civilian bombing strategies had of course been employed by both Japan and Germany in the 1930's, a practice which had initially shocked the moral sensibilities of the peacetime American public and had resulted in a series of presidential condemnations, including the following 1939 speech by Franklin Roosevelt: The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities that have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenceless men, women, and children... has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.8 With astonishing speed, however, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7 According to the United Stated Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS), from the fall of the Marianas in July 1944 until February 1945 American bombing strategy focussed on daylight bombing from high altitude (30,000 feet), using high explosives and targeting mainly aircraft production facilities. Opposition was heavy, losses ran about 3.6%, and target accuracy was only 10%. From March to August 1945, the Americans shifted to nighttime bombing at low attitude (7,000 feet), targeting urban areas with incendiary bombs. This information comes from, pp. 16-17. ^Quoted in John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, Pantheon Books, 1986, p. 39. 30 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai 7/8, 1941 transformed civilian bombing from an object of horror and loathing into a lethal weapon in the American government's wartime policy of unconditional surrender. In retrospect, it appears that the American leaders took Joseph Grew's 1942 pronouncement literally when he stated that "only by utter physical destruction or utter exhaustion can [Japan] be defeated."9 Grew had been the American ambassador to Japan for ten years and was probably the United States' most respected expert on that country. In his first six months back home, he hammered away in fire and brimstone fashion at the dangers of taking the "utterly ruthless foe" too lightly, once going so far as to state that Japan eventually intended to "bivouac on the White House lawn."1 0 Grew began to modify his yellow peril rhetoric by the summer of 1943, arguing that there were reasonable men among the Japanese, the so-called "liberal elements" with whom the American government might be able to negotiate a peace.11 By this time, however, the American public had been gripped by a visceral hatred of the Japanese: partly a legacy of decades of anti-Oriental sentiment, but more ^Quoted in Ibid., p. 113. Grew made this statement shortly after being repatriated from Japan in 1942. For an excellent discussion on the evolution of aerial warfare strategies in the interwar years see Michael S. Sherry, The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of Armageddon, Yale University Press, 1987. 1 ^Quoted in Dower, War Without Mercy, p. 113. 1 "1 Howard B. Schonberger, Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952, Kent State University Press, 1989, p. 21. 31 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei immediately of the dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor and the years of brutal jungle warfare that followed. Slogans like "Remember Pearl Harbor - keep 'em dying" and "Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs" fueled the flames of racial hatred and, after the fall of Saipan in July 1944, the American air force was finally able to act on Grew's 1942 statement with a vengeance.12 About the same time that the civilian bombing campaigns began, the US Marine magazine Leatherneck captured perfectly the American wartime mood. Under a cartoon of a buck-toothed, slant-eyed insect with the title of "Louseous Japanicas," the caption carried the following message: The first serious outbreak of this lice epidemic was officially noted on December 7, 1941... To the Marine Corps... was assigned the gigantic task of extermination... But before a complete cure may be effected the origin of the plague, the breeding grounds around the Tokyo area, must be completely annihilated.13 It very nearly happened. In the last twelve months of the war, the Americans dropped 160,800 tons of bombs on Japan's four main islands. This was a tiny fraction of the bombing that Germany had sustained but, given the prevalence and density of wooden buildings in Japan, the results were similarly 1 ^ Quoted in Dower, War Without Mercy, p. 36. The latter phrase is attributed to Admiral William Halsey, commander of the South Pacific Force, and the former is a US Marine motto from 1942. 13lbid, p. 185. See also Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Bomb, Vintage Books, 1995, p. 428. 32 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai destructive. In the last six months of the war the Americans dropped 104,000 tons of bombs on Japan's cities, destroying almost half of the total urban areas targeted and thirty to forty percent of all private homes. On the night of March 10th alone, 250 B-29s obliterated fifteen square miles of Tokyo, destroyed one million buildings, and killed or wounded 185,000 people,15 all in two and half hours. In the final two acts of what Dwight MacDonald called "Gotterdammerung without the gods,"16 the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed both cities and killed or wounded over 200,000 people, including Korean labourers and American prisoners of war. The prophecy of 14The total bomb tonnage dropped on Germany was 1,360,000, more than eight times the amount dropped on Japan. Figures are taken from, p. 16. 1 Slbid. About fifty-five percent, or 100,000, were deaths. See Hara Akira, "Kiishu to kokumin seikatsu," in Arisawa Hiromi (ed), Showa keizaishi (Showa Economic History), Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha, 1976, p. 237. 1 ^Dwight MacDonald, "The Decline to Barbarism," P o l i t i c s II (August-September 1945), reprinted in Paul R. Baker (ed), The Atomic Bomb: The Great Decision, The Dryden Press, 1976, p. 142. MacDonald, a radical intellectual and the founder of P o l i t i c s , was one of the first and most vociferous critics of America's deployment of the atomic bombs. He believed that their use demonstrated the complete lack of humanity in American society. Unfortunately, given MacDonald's marginal status in that society, his writings reached only a small number of people, mostly other like-minded individuals. For a brief discussion of his role in the American intellectual community and his vehement anti-war stance see William L. O'Neill , A Better World - The Great Schism: Stalinism and the American Intellectuals, Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1982, pp. 76-81. 17, p. 23-24. Calculating the number of deaths from the two bombs is problematic due the lack of accurate statistics from this time and also due to the insidious, creeping effects of radiation poisoning. For example, between September 1956 and August 1965 the Hiroshima A-Bomb Hospital alone recorded 210,954 outpatient visits. The Committee for 33 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei aerial warfare proponent, Giulo Douhet, some twenty years earlier that "[t]here will be no distinction any longer between soldiers and civilians" had become horrific reality for the hundreds of thousands of Japanese people who were killed or injured in the bombings. This systematic destruction of Japan's sixty-six major urban centres by aerial bombing marked the horrific beginnings of the yake ato jidai. In 1949, the Economic Stabilization Board (Keizai Antei Honbu) reported that approximately one quarter of Japan's national wealth (¥64.3 billion) had been the Compilation of Materials on Damages Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (eds), Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical, and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings (trans. Ishikawa Eisei and David L. Swain), Basic Books, Inc., 1981, pp. 545-46. This report also places the total casualties from the two bombs closer to 250,000. Anyone wishing to better understand the agony of the atomic bombings, as much as that is possible 54 years after the fact, should visit the private museum housing the astonishing wall murals of Toshi and Iri Maruki in Higashi Matsuyama, just North of Tokyo. These huge paintings, completed over many years by the Marukis, far surpass in emotional intensity the A-Bomb exhibits in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I am indebted to John Dower and lohn Jukerman for introducing me to the Marukis and their murals through their documentary film, Hellfire, shown at the Kokusai Koryu Kaikan, in Tokyo, 1991. "•^Quoted in Sherry, The Rise of American Air Power, p. 9. Estimates of civilian casualties range from 690,000 to 806,000. The former figure is from the USSBS and the latter comes from a 1949 Keizai Antei Honbu (Economic Stabilization Board, ESB), quoted in Ando Yoshitake, Jugonen senso no isan (The Legacy of the Fifteen-Year War), in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 241. The USSBS placed the number of Japanese combat casualties at 780,000 but this figure seems much too low. The ESB calculated the total Japanese military deaths since 1937 as 1,740,955, quoted in Dower, War Without Mercy, p. 298. 34 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai destroyed during the war, most of which was due to the bombing campaigns. Effectively, this meant that Japan's national wealth in 1945 was the same that it had been in 1935, leading economist Nakamura Takafusa to conclude some years later that "the accumulation of... ten years was wiped out in one stroke."20 It is hard to appreciate exactly what it meant for the Japanese to lose a decade of national wealth; macro-economic statistics of this sort cannot accurately convey the impact that aerial warfare had on the lives of the Japanese people. In its most immediate sense, however, it meant that one in four Japanese families were homeless and roughly the same percentage of small shops or stores destroyed. Moreover, about twenty percent of all consumer goods and personal belongings perished in the bombing raids. It must be stressed here that aerial warfare was primarily an urban tragedy. Of the more than two million buildings damaged or destroyed, over ninety-five percent were in Japan's sixty-six major urban centres.21 Virtually no one in Japan's cities escaped the ravages of war unscathed. 1 SNakamura Takafusa, Nihon keizai: Sono seicho to kozo (The Growth and Development of the Japanese Economy), Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1978, p. 143. Again, readers should be reminded that obtaining accurate statistics for this period is extremely difficult, partly due to the lack of verifiable records and partly due to rampant inflation which skewed the value of the yen. Arisawa Hiromi, using the 1945 yen value, placed the total of Japan's economic losses at ¥49.3 billion. Arisawa and Inaba Hidezo (eds) Shiryo: Sengo nijunenshi (Documents Relating to Twenty Years of the Postwar Era), vol. 2, Nihon Hyoronsha, 1966, p. 2. 20Nakamura, Nihon Keizai, p. 143. 21 These figures come from the 1949 ESB report, reproduced in Uchino Tatsuro, Sengo nihon keizaishi, Kodansha Gakugei Bunko, 2nd edition, 1987, pp. 22-25. 35 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei Even those who fled the cities returned only to find the world they knew reduced to rubble. The bombings caused an estimated out-migration of between 8.5 and 10 million people from the cities to the countryside, resulting in the massive de-population of Japan's major urban centres. The government never enacted a forced evacuation plan for adults during the war but it did for children, beginning in June 30, 1944 when the cabinet announced its "Outline Encouraging the Evacuation of Schoolchildren" program. During the next twelve months, nearly half a million school children from grades one to six were evacuated from a dozen different cities according to school group.2 2 Once the bombings began in earnest, however, adults fled the cities like blood pouring from a dying soldier. By the summer of 1945, the population of Japan's six major cities was less than half of what it had been in 1940 2 3 With the war's end, this trend then reversed itself as many returned to the cities in search of their homes and their loved ones. Shanty towns and make-shift shelters of every description sprang up among the rubble of Japan's cities but chronic food shortages resulted in daily 22xhomas Havens, Valley of Darkness: The Japanese People in World War Two, University Press of America, 1986, pp. 161-173. 23United States Strategic Bombing Survey used the figure of 8.5 million, but Thomas Havens claims that it was closer to 10 million, although he did not provide a source. Valley of Darkness, p. 167. 36 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai pilgrimages to the country to beg, barter, and sometimes steal, food from the local farmers. One of the more common sights in those days were trains - those that still ran - leaving the cities, jammed with people clinging to the sides, balancing on the roofs, and hanging out the windows.24 One report estimated that as many as 900,000 people made the trek from Tokyo to the countryside in search of food. 2 5 Along the tracks children scoured the area for discarded bits of coal and anything else that would burn. The rural areas had escaped the bombings for the most part but were now hardpressed to support the masses of people fleeing daily from the cities. In the two years following surrender, rural Japan would have to find food, shelter, and employment for over six million repatriated soldiers and civilians returning from abroad under the orders of the Allied Occupation.26 In its comparison of the effects of civilian bombing on German and Japanese cities during the war, the US Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that the 24According to the ESB report, approximately thirty percent of Japan's transportation infrastructure was destroyed during the last year of the war. Uchino, Sengo nihon keizaishi, p. 25. ^Monthly Summation of Non-Military Activities in Japan and Korea, SCAP-GHQ, vol.11, November 1945, p. 118. Cited in Jerome B. Cohen, Japan's Economy in War and Reconstruction, University of Minnesota Press, 1949, p. 378. 26Yoshimi Yoshiaki says that 3.51 million soldiers and 3.55 million civilians were repatriated after the war. Kusa no ne no fashizumu: Nihon minshu no senso taiken (The Roots of Fascism: The War Experiences of the lapanese People), Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 5th edition, 1988, p. 267. Havens uses similar figures in Valley of Darkness, p. 172. See also Uchino, Sengo nihon keizaishi, p. 27. 3 7 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei firebombings in Japan had unintendedly wiped out rats and vermin and purified drinking water more effectively than they had done in Germany: incendiaries as wrathful, divine cleansing agents. These claims notwithstanding, death from disease exacted a heavy toll. The continual movement of people, resulting in a massive transient population, unwashed and underfed, created a fertile environment for the spread of disease. In the first eighteen months following Japan's surrender the Japanese people were wracked by a series of epidemics. In March 1946 alone smallpox and eruptive typhus epidemics raged throughout Japan with over 62,000 reported cases. Altogether, between August 1945 and December 1946 there were 239,872 cases of dysentery reported with 44,714 deaths. Diphtheria accounted for 229,971 cases and 12,870 deaths, while typhus and paratyphoid fever claimed 193,559 victims and 25,106 lives.27 Tuberculosis was also a serious problem, especially among those who worked in munitions factories and coal mines, many of whom were Korean and Chinese labourers.28 Severe shortages of medicine, equipment, trained staff, and facilities hindered 27Kawaide Shobo Shinshahen (eds), Showa yon'nen umare, cited in Showa kazokushi nenpyo, p. 167. 28ln my neighbourhood of Ichikawa called Konodai, there is a Korean community whose presence dates back to late 1945. Konodai was originally an army training ground but after the war the government established a tuberculosis sanatorium for the Koreans who had worked the coal mines. Those who survived were permitted to stay in the area and eventually received title to small plots of land near the site of the old sanatorium. This information comes from an interview with Suzuki Hideo, December 14,1995. 38 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai the war on disease but it was again lack of food that loomed as early postwar Japan's most pressing problem. The food problem, or shokuryd mondai as it was called, was actually a legacy of Japan's war with China. Well before Pearl Harbor, government rationing of scarce resources, including food, and official price controls became commonplace. In three short years, from the outbreak of the war with China in 1937 until 1940, Japan's rice situation deteriorated from surplus to shortage, largely due to the dramatic reduction in imported rice from Korea and Taiwan. 2 9 The government responsed by initiating a program of rice rationing in 1940 which was so unpopular that the short-lived government of Admiral Yonai Mitsumasa (January-July 1940) was sarcastically dubbed the "no-rice cabinet." The "no-rice" label was a pun on the prime minister's name, but the origins of the joke demonstrate that food shortages were a pressing concern long before Japan's 29ln 1938 Japan imported about 15 million koku of rice. This figure dropped to about 10 million in 1939 and then plummeted to 3 million in 1940. One koku of rice was generally considered to be sufficient to feed one adult for one year which meant that the number of Japanese who could be fed by imported rice fell from 15 million people (about 20% of the population) to only 3 million (4%) in the space of just three years. Arisawa argued that severe drought in Korea, rising colonial administrative costs, and the reluctance of colonial farmers to sell their rice in Japan were the main reasons for such a precipitous decline. See Arisawa (ed), Shozva keizaishi, pp. 228-29. Of course, once the Americans went on the offensive in the war, food importation was further hampered by massive shipping losses. 39 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei surrender and even prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor itself. When rice rationing began in 1940, each person was permitted only 330 grams of rice per day, but wheat and potatoes were still freely available. Under the 1940 Food Administration Law (Shokuryo Kanriho), however, potatoes and all grains were also rationed and were often used as substitutes, along with beans, to fill the per diem rice ration. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941 daily caloric intakes for Japanese adults stood at 2105 calories, most of which came from official rations. This declined slightly to 1927 calories in 1944, but only 1405 calories came from official rations. By the end of the war, urban Japanese were averaging somewhere between 1300 and 1750 calories per day, a good portion of which had to obtained on the black market.31 The tragic irony for the Japanese people was that their physical ability to perform ever greater feats of sacrifice for the sake of the nation, as the government was consistently urging them to do, was inversely proportional to the steady decline in the availability and quality of food. Shortages became even more acute once SOAdmiral Yonai's name was made up of two characters: "yo" meaning rice; and "nai" meaning inside. However, the sound of the last character could also mean no or not; hence, the prime minister became known as Admiral "No-Rice." Havens, Valley of Darkness, p. 50. SlOuchi Tsutomu, "Shokuryo sosan' (increasing Food Production) in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, pp. 229-30 and Havens, pp. 129-32. 40 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai American bombing began in earnest and in the last three months of the war about half of the daily staple ration was being substituted with potatoes and grains other than rice.3 2 Compounding the problem was the fact that the bombings together with the mass exodus of people from the cities threw the food distribution system into a state of chaos from which it did not emerge until 1947. In those last, desperate days a slogan of protest seeped through the cracks of the government censorship and policing agencies which typified the mood of the time: "Empty bellies can't fight a war" (Hara ga hette wa senso dekinu).33 With Japan's defeat the food problem became even more severe. Official rations provided a paltry 1200 calories per day as the rice ration itself fell another ten percent to 297 grams, about the equivalent of one cup. Frequently, even this meagre offering was replaced by potatoes or beans.34 Like other statistics of this era, the accuracy of caloric intake figures are problematic. Some studies have argued that caloric intakes were as low as 1050 calories while still others claim 32Despite the government's efforts to increase rice production, it declined precipitously from 1942. By 1945 it had plummeted by almost half from 1942 levels (1937=100; 1942=100.6; 1945=59). Nakamura, Nihon keizai, p. 141. 33Quoted in Ando Yoshitake, "Kitoku zetsubo sengen" (Proclamation [of Japan] on the Verge of Despair and Death) in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 231. 34lJchino, Sengo nihon keizaishi, p. 44. See also Royama Masamichi, Nihon no rekishi (The History of Japan), vol. 26, Yomigaeru nihon (Japan Restored to Life), Chuo Koronsha, 1971, pp. 66-67. 41 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei that they ranged somewhere between 1170 and 1290 calories per day. Regardless of which set of numbers one takes, however, it seems clear that the fears of an empty rice bowl were as commonplace as the rubble which defined Japan's cities. In December 1945, the Welfare Ministry's Central Wage Committee worked out a minimum monthly wage program of ¥450 that would provide the following caloric intake standards for a family of five: husband - 2160; wife - 1900; first child - 2000; second child - 1800; third child - 1350.36 Even with these new standards, however, the committee acknowledged that families would still have to buy food on the black market in order to maintain the daily nutritional requirements. This effectively drove up the cost of living to about ¥1000 per month, more than double the planned minimum, which in turn drove many 35Mikiso Hane said that official rations provided only 1050 calories per day, but provided no source. See Peasants, Rebels, and Outcasts: The Underside of Modern Japan, Pantheon Books, 1982, p. 247, and Modern Japan: A Historical Survey, Westview Press, 1992, p. 343. Uchino used the figure of 1170 calories for 1945 and 1290 for 1946 but he did not provide a source either. "Infure to shokyuryo kiki" (Inflation and the Food Crisis), in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 258. Cohen said that Tokyo residents were averaging 1352 calories per day in November 1945, in contrast to rural dwellers who were consuming around 2000 calories per day. Japan's Economy in War and Reconstruction, p. 477. 36 The caloric standards for the children were based on age: the first child between 11 and 14, the second child between 8 and 10, and the third child between 2-4. Reported in Nagasaki Shimbun, February 5, 1946 and translated by the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS), Press Translations and Summaries, reel 62, social series 247, item 4, University of Victoria, MacPherson Library, Microfilm Department. ATIS operated from September 1945 to August 1949, providing English translations and summaries of Japanese newspapers and magazines to all departments under the command of GHQ. All citations taken from these records will hereafter be referred to as ATIS. 42 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai Japanese into the arms of black marketeers in search of their "daily bread." At any rate, the plan's life span proved to be as short-lived as a cup of rice in the hands of a hungry Japanese. Rampant inflation, another legacy of the war, rendered all such plans inoperative in the early years following Japan's defeat. The food problem was especially hard on children.37 One study done in 1946 concluded that the average grade six student in that year was the approximate height and weight of the average grade four or five student in 1937. Another study conducted by the Physical Education Section of the Tokyo Metropolitan Office in December 1946 reported that fourteen-year old boys weighed on average six kilograms less that their counterparts in 1939.39 The survey covered 19,000 boys and 18,000 girls in the Tokyo area between the ages of seven and fourteen. The oldest boys were hardest hit but every age group not surprisingly showed weight reduction. The survey also urged the resumption of the school lunch program, suspended since April due to the lack of fuel, and pegged the cost of a hot lunch at about 50 sen (100 sen = ¥1). A year earlier the ministries of Forestry S^Despite the relatively decent nutritional standards for most of the war, infants born in 1942 were lighter and shorter than those born just two years earlier because of deteriorating diets for women. Boys were 1.8 centimetres shorter and 209.4 grams lighter while girls were 2.3 centimetres shorter and 235.3 grams lighter than babies born in 1940. Havens, Valley of Darkness, p. 137. 38Arisawa and Inaba (eds), Shiryo: Sengo nijunenshi, vol 2, p. 8. 39Reported in the Mainichi Shimbun, December 11, 1946. 43 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei and Agriculture and Education had tried another tack. Having recognized that the food problem would worsen significantly, they created a plan to increase food production (Shokuryo Sosan Keikaku) whereby all national schools would grow their own food for school lunches. The plan, which was largely a continuation of a similar wartime program begun in 1941, met with mixed results due to the shortage of fertilizer, tools and labour.40 In the months following Japan's surrender school attendance declined precipitously as many students were pressed into family service in the daily search for food. Various municipal governments as well as the Ministry of Welfare continued their surveys of child health throughout the postwar years but it was not until the early 1950s that Japanese children began to recover from the nutritional deprivations of the "dark valley." War and defeat had literally stunted the growth of an entire generation of Japanese children. By the end of 1945, fears of mass starvation were heightened by the daily coexistence with the spectre of death. Historian Irokawa Daikichi recalled seeing trucks on their way to the crematorium, piled high with the corpses of those who 40^Asahi Shimbun, December 29, 1945. Reproduced in Iwasaki and Kato (eds), Showa sesdshi, p. 42. 44 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai had starved to death. Newspapers fuelled these fears by regularly providing grisly details of the number of deaths from starvation in Japan's major cities. Periodically, sensational events would occur that reinforced the fragility of life in the yake ato jidai. On October 12, 1945, the Mainichi Shimbun reported that Kameo Hideshiro, a German language teacher at the Tokyo Higher School, had died of starvation. Under the headline of "The Sacrifice of One Who Refused to Eat on the Black Market" (Yami o kuwanai gisei), the article explained that Kameo died because he had tried to subsist on official rations alone. The article reprinted an entry from Kameo's diary which read, "I can no longer understand the way of our nation. With controlled wages and food rations, I simply cannot get by." 4 2 Kameo's death was played up in the press as a sort of tragic morality play designed to highlight the plight of the Japanese people in the face of evil government policy. This tragedy was rerun again in 1947 with more sensational results when the media reported the starvation death of Tokyo District Court judge Yamaguchi Yoshitada who also refused to buy food from the black market. In Socratic 41lrokawa Daikichi, The Age of Hirohito: In Search of Modern Japan (trans, Mikiso Hane and John K. Urda), The Free Press, 1995, p. 37. ^Mainichi Shimbun, October 12, 1945. Reproduced in Iwasaki and Kato (eds) Showa sesdshi, 1971, p. 40. 45 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei fashion, he argued that even bad laws (in this case, the Emergency Countermeasures Act which fixed staple food rations) must be obeyed by the people. In his diary, written shortly before his death, he vowed to "fight the black market and die of starvation." "My daily life," he wrote, "is a march toward certain death."43 Another, more bizarre death over food occurred in March 1946 when the famous Kabuki actor Kataoka Nizaemon, his wife, and two children were hacked to death with a hatchet wielded by twenty-two year old Iida Toshiaki who had been staying on the family property. According to one newspaper account, Iida thought he was being cheated on his food rations by Kataoka's wife. He claimed that he was receiving only two meals a day instead of three and that one of these meals was only rice gruel (kayu). After being scolded by Kataoka's wife for his behaviour, Iida apparently grabbed an axe and, in a rage, killed the entire family. 4 4 Events such as these illustrate the extremes of despair, both moral and immoral, 43Q Uoted in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, pp. 258-59. See also Mikiso Hane, Eastern Phoenix: Japan Since 1945, Westview Press, 1996, pp. 10-11. 44Asahi Shimbun, March 23, 1946. Reproduced in Iwasaki and Kato (eds), Showa sesoshi, p. 33. See also Edward Seidensticker, Tokyo Rising: The City Since the Great Earthquake, Harvard University Press, 1991, p. 208. 46 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai to which some people were driven in the chaos of early postwar Japan. As such, they are not necessarily representative of the people at large. However, it is often by examining the extremes of a given situation that we can better appreciate the conditions with which most people struggled on a daily basis. As mentioned earlier, in late 1945 the press was awash with rumours of mass starvation and wild speculation that as many as ten million would perish.4 5 These, too, were extreme exaggerations, fuelled by media criticism and public anger, both directed toward government incompetence and corruption. But the ubiquity with which the fear spread indicates the degree to which food, or the lack of it, was foremost in the minds of countless Japanese. Many did die in that first year after the war but mass starvation was averted by the large-scale importation of staple foodstuffs from the United States beginning in the spring of 1946.46 These food imports were particularly crucial since only a 45TJchino, "Injure to shokuryo kiki," in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 257. 46xhe exact amount of food shipped from the US to Japan is uncertain. Using a Foreign Ministry report, Uchino said that 1.42 million tons of food were imported from the United States in 1946, Sengo nihon keizaishi, p. 63. However, according to a magazine account of the time, shipments of 2,250,000 tons of wheat and rice began in March 1946, following MacArthur's request for emergency food imports from the American government. Contemporary Japan (May-August 1946), vol. xv, pp. 294-95. Kawai Kazuo claimed that over 800,000 tons of food were sent to Japan over a one-year period beginning in the spring of 1946, but Royama said that 1,613,315 tons of staple foods and 43,474 tons of canned goods were shipped between November 1946 and October 1947. Kawai, Japan's American Interlude, University of Chicago Press, 1960, pp. 137-38; and Royama, Nihon no rekishi, p. 67. 47 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei few months earlier in December 1945 the government had announced the worst rice harvest in forty-two years. Japan's population was about seventy-two million in 1946 but the rice crop was sufficient to feed only thirty-nine million. 4 7 Tatami maker, Akiya Tetsu, remembered scouring the fields outside of Tokyo for rice grains and rice straw. "Ichikawa had mostly escaped the bombings," he said, "but we never had enough to eat and I could never find enough rice straw to make the tatami mats to sell for food... Today, no matter how full I am, I still like to eat a bowl of white rice at the end of a meal."48 In the spring of 1946, N H K began its "man on the street" (gaito rokuon) interview series; not surprisingly, the first question posed was, "How are you eating?"49 T h e i r M a s t e r ' s V o i c e : E n d u r i n g t h e U n e n d u r a b l e Eight years of wartime deprivation and one year of intensive destruction transformed not only the urban landscape of the Japanese home islands but the 47Reported in Contemporary Japan January-April 1946), vol. xv, p. 145. 48personal Interview with Akiya Tetsu, Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture, September 14, 1990. 49Cited in Iwasaki and Kato (eds), Showa sesoshi, p. 47. 48 C h a p t e r One : The Yakeato Jidai l ives of its residents as w e l l . Th i s was kyodatsu i n its mos t immedia te , p h y s i c a l fo rm, the era of scorched earth i n w h i c h an entire generat ion came of age a n d for w h i c h the memor ies of this era s t i l l l inger . L i k e A k i y a Tetsu w h o s t i l l del ights i n his b o w l of rice, w h e n m a n y of the scorched earth generat ion i n d u l g e i n such s m a l l pleasures as a g o o d m e a l today, they often do so w i t h these images f i r m l y i m p r i n t e d o n thei r m e m o r i e s . 5 0 C o m p o u n d i n g the t r auma of such a miserable d a i l y existence was the psycho log ica l shock of E m p e r o r H i r o h i t o ' s "end of w a r " rad io broadcast at n o o n o n A u g u s t 15, 1945 w h e n the Japanese learned for the first t ime that they were a defeated people . The Imper i a l Rescr ipt was actual ly p r o d u c e d over a four-day p e r i o d beg inn ing o n A u g u s t 10th. It was drafted b y S a k o m i z u Hisa t sune and "cleaned u p " b y t w o scholars of classical Chinese , K a w a d a M i z u h o and Y a s u o k a Masaa t su . H i r o h i t o then recorded it o n the even ing of A u g u s t 14 th . 5 1 M a k i n g no direct reference to defeat (haisen) or surrender (kdfuku), the E m p e r o r stated o n l y that Japan had accepted the Joint Dec la ra t ion of A m e r i c a , E n g l a n d , C h i n a and the 50ln the years I lived in Japan, I spoke to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of elderly Japanese about their memories of this time. Whatever else they recalled, virtually everyone began with memories of being hungry and cold. 51 Sakomizu was the Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Suzuki Kantaro cabinet. Herbert P. Bix, The Showa Emperor's 'Monologue' and the Problem of War Responsibility," Journal of Japanese Studies, 18:2,1992, p. 300. 49 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei Soviet Union. To our good and loyal subjects: After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining to Our Empire today, We have... ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of the Joint Declaration... Despite the best that has been done by everyone - the gallant fighting of our military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people - the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest... The hardships and sufferings to which our nation is to be subjected hereafter will certainly be great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all ye, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering the insufferable.,53 The ambiguity of the Emperor's words, the archaic, stilted court language, and the scratchy quality of the recording, however, did not obscure for most Japanese what the Emperor could not put into words: Japan was a defeated nation for the first time in its history. The Emperor's broadcast unleashed a torrent of emotions, the two most extreme 52xhe Emperor never mentioned the Potsdam Declaration by name, referring to it only as the "Joint Declaration" (kyodo sengen). My reading of the original comes from the reprint published in the Asahi Shimbun, August 15, 1945. ^Translation by Leonard Mosely, Hirohito: Emperor of Japan, pp. 335-36. Quoted in Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Showa: An Inside History of Hirohito's Japan, Athlone Press, 1984, pp. 184-85. Italics mine. 50 Chapter One: The Yakeato fidai of which were incredulity and death. In the early morning hours of August 15th, before the speech was broadcast to the nation, War Minister A n a m i Korechika, unable to either suffer or endure the ignominy of defeat, took his own life by the ritual performance of seppuku.5^ In the days that followed, more than five hundred military men committed suicide, including Generals Sugiyama Gen, Tanaka Seiichi, Honjo Shigeru, Yoshimoto Sadaichi and Vice A d m i r a l Onishi Takijiro, the creator of the Special Attack Force (Tokkotai), better known as the kamikaze.55 Former Welfare Minister K o i z u m i Chikahiko and former Education Minister Hashida Kunih iko also took their l ives . 5 6 These deaths, it was reported, were acts of remorse and atonement to the Emperor for "the great crime" (daizai) of having lost the w a r . 5 7 S^Asahi Shimbun, August 16, 1945. Anami, together with Army Chief of Staff Umezu Yoshijiro and Navy Chief of Staff Toyoda Soemu, were the three members of the Supreme Council who opposed Japan's acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. Those in favour were Prime Minister Suzuki Kantaro, Foreign and Greater East Asia Minister Togo Shigenori, and Navy Minister Admiral Yonai Mitsumasa. The Emperor cast the deciding vote in favour of acceptance, an action that contributed to his postwar reincarnation as a man of peace. For further discussion on the Emperor's own reconstruction, see Chapter Six. 55Every major daily carried the stories of these suicides. See, for example, Mainichi Shimbun, August 14-16,1945. 56Both men were ministers in the Tojo cabinet. Koizumi held his post for the entire duration of the Tojo government (10/18/41 - 7/22/44) but Hashida was replaced in April 1943, briefly by Tojo himself and then by Okabe Nagakage 57The phrase is General Anami's who wrote in his will, "With my death I wish to humbly apologize to his Majesty for the great crime." Asahi Shimbun, August 16, 1945. 51 P a r t O n e : Kyodatsu a n d Shinsei U n l i k e A n a m i a n d others w h o took their o w n l ives i n the n a m e of the E m p e r o r , some m i l i t a r y m e n refused to bel ieve that Japan's surrender w a s the true mani fes ta t ion of the I m p e r i a l W i l l . M o g a m i Sadao, a n air force c a p t a i n a n d f ighter p i l o t s tat ioned at Ichigaya i n T o k y o , recal led l i s t e n i n g to the r a d i o w i t h an air of r e s i g n a t i o n , h is first t h o u g h t b e i n g the phrase mei fa, the C h i n e s e v e r s i o n of sho ga nai or it can't be h e l p e d . S u d d e n l y , a g r o u p of y o u n g officers r u s h e d into h i s r o o m s h o u t i n g , " W h a t are y o u d o i n g ! A c c e p t the P o t s d a m D e c l a r a t i o n ! The e v i l subordinates of the E m p e r o r are t h i n k i n g this. That cannot be the true m i n d of H i s I m p e r i a l Majesty!" V i s i b l y s h a k e n b y their m e n a c i n g tone, M o g a m i c a l m l y suggested that they go to the general staff headquarters for c lar i f icat ion. O n a r r i v i n g there, h o w e v e r , M o g a m i f o u n d the same scenario b e i n g p l a y e d out w i t h y o u n g officers s c r e a m i n g , " W e ' l l behead the e v i l subordinates of the E m p e r o r . " A f t e r f i n a l l y r e c e i v i n g c o n f i r m a t i o n f r o m P r i n c e M i k a s a , the E m p e r o r ' s y o u n g e r brother a n d air force staff officer, M o g a m i spent the rest of the d a y c o n v i n c i n g other units that accept ing the P o t s d a m D e c l a r a t i o n w a s i n d e e d the w i l l of the E m p e r o r . 5 8 58This story comes from Mogami's recollections of August 15,1945, translated and reprinted in Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, Japan at War: An Oral History, The New Press, 1992, pp. 455-57. 52 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai Disbelief and denial also manifest themselves in an attempted coup, planned by other fanatical young officers who believed that Japan's plight was the fault of a coterie of individuals surrounding the Emperor. Even before the speech was aired, these radicals plotted to assassinate the Emperor's "evil advisers" and to prevent the rescript from being broadcast. The plot was foiled when military leaders refused to go along but not before Mori Takeshi, commander of the First Imperial Guard Division, was murdered by the conspirators. General Anami was sympathetic to the conspirators but even he refused to go against the Emperor's wishes.59 His only way out was death. The reactions of the Japanese people also included acts of atonement through death. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, thirty-five civilians killed themselves in the two weeks following the Emperor's speech, mostly young men. The newspaper stated that these men, like their military counterparts, felt they had not done enough and so wanted to apologize to the Emperor with their lives.60 The suicides and the attempted coup, however, were acts involving only a small percentage of the Japanese people. For the majority, shock and remorse were far more common responses. In November and December of 1945, the 5 9 M i k s o Hane, Modern Japan, pp. 338-39. ^Mainichi Shimbun, August 29, 1945. 53 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei USSBS polled many Japanese about how they felt on hearing that Japan had lost the war (Nihon ga senso ni maketa toki, anata wa do kanjimashita ka). The most common responses were remorse (kokai), sorrow (hitan), and regret (zannen), followed by surprise (odoroki), shock (shogeki), confusion (konwaku), and relief (kyusai).61 Former Toyota president, Toyoda Eiji recalled translating the Emperor's speech to bewildered workers because they could not understand what he was saying. Having grasped, in translation, the significance of the broadcast, the workers simply dropped what they were doing and silently left the building. Shinsei magazine editor, Murofuchi Takenobu, also found himself having to explain the meaning of the message to his younger friends and colleagues, many of whom just sat immobile, staring at the walls. 6 3 Yoshioka Genji, later a bureaucrat specializing in Japan-China relations, was a boy at the time of the Emperor's speech and, like many younger Japanese, could not understand the meaning of the words crackling and hissing from the radio in his home. He knew it was 61 The survey results are reproduced in Yoshimi, Kusa no ne no fashizumu, pp. 262-63. 62Toyoda Eiji, Ketsudan: Watakushi no rirekisho (Determination: My Life), Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha, 1986, p. 125. 63Murofuchi Takanobu, "Aratanu nichi no tame ni" (For the Sake of a New Day), Shinsei (November 1945), p. 2. 54 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai serious, though, because all the adults around him were crying. Confused and uncertain over what had happened, Yoshioka decided it was best to cry along with them.6 4 For eighteen-year old Yamamoto Mitsuo, the Emperor's speech created conflicting emotions. Elation at being alive and despair over Japan's future mingled inside him, leading to a prolonged sense of spiritlessness or apathy (mukiryoku).65 In a newspaper article written on the first anniversary of Japan's defeat, even Shidehara Kijuro, Japan's second postwar prime minister, recalled standing at attention in the Nihon Club crying "in spite of myself."66 Whether these were tears of joy or sorrow is difficult to say. Perhaps they were both. Like the Emperor, Shidehara referred only to the war's end (senso shiiketsu) so it is possible that he shed tears of joy for this and tears of sorrow for the defeat he could not bring himself to mention. 64Yoshioka Genji, Yakeato shonenki (A Chronicle of the Scorched Earth Years), Tosho Shuppansha, 1981, p. 39. 65Quoted in Yoshimi, Kusa no ne no fashizumu, p. 263. Matsumoto was a student in Shiga, but like many teenagers was recruited into factory work at the end of the war. At the time of Hirohito's broadcast, he was working at Sumitomo Metals in Shiga. 66jyf Shimpo, August 15, 1946, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel, Political Series , Item 1. 55 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei Not all responses were acts of atonement or apology, however. There were some for whom despair was displayed as anger, sometimes directed toward the Emperor himself. After listening to Hirohito's speech one old man cried out bitterly: "This is stupid. If the war could be stopped by the emperor simply raising his hands and surrendering, why didn't he end the war sooner for us? Your Majesty, because of this my sons have all died in vain, a dog's death."0' The old man likely echoed the thoughts of thousands of Japanese people who had lost sons and fathers in battle. Many of those people did not give voice to their thoughts as he did, but they carried such sentiments in their hearts nonetheless. Naturally, public accounts of that day dwelt not on anger but on the "bitter tears" (ketsurui) being shed in remorse for defeat. Drawing on the Emperor's invocation of the "one hundred million people" (ichioku shiisho), an Asahi Shimbun editorial the following day led with the headline, "The Autumn of One Hundred Million Tears."68 The next day the Mainichi Shimbun described the mournful gathering of Tokyo residents in front of the Imperial Palace, in tears with hearts torn asunder, prostrating themselves before the Emperor in remorse for Japan's defeat. Like the young men who would take their own lives 67Qiioted in Irokawa, The Age of Hirohito, p. 35. For the Japanese original, see Mainichi Shimbun (ed) Nagoya daikushxi (The Great Nagoya Air Raid), Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1971. 6&Asahi Shimbun, August 15, 1945. 56 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai soon thereafter, many in the crowd were heard begging the Emperor's forgiveness, as if convinced that simply more effort on their part would have led to a different outcome. One man sobbingly proclaimed, "I was bad. I didn't really exert myself to the utmost. I am to blame." A woman in the same crowd could only choke out, "I am so sorry." Even the trees wept.69 The bitter tears of the one hundred million (ichioku no ketsurui) was of course an exaggeration, matched only by the understatement of saying that the war had simply ended. The one hundred million (ichioku) itself was a legacy of wartime propaganda designed to inculcate a sense of unity among the Japanese people, despite the fact that the population of Japan was only about seventy million at the time. In the heady days following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 the Tojo government introduced the phrase, "one hundred million hearts beating as one" (ichioku isshin), as a demonstration of the glorious Japanese spirit, and designed to spur the people on to ever greater feats of sacrifice for the nation. As the war turned badly for Japan a new phrase was proposed in the Diet by the army and navy in late 1944: ichioku tokko, the one hundred million as a suicide squad. Lauded in the press and recommended as a major policy by the Tojo cabinet, ichioku tokko promoted the idea of collective sacrifice unto ^Mainichi Shimbun, August 16, 1945. 57 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei death. With slogans such as this, the Japanese government made it clear that there would be no civilians in the Pacific War, just as Douhet had predicted. In those last, desperate days as the Japanese military were arming the people with little more than bamboo spears in anticipation of an American invasion, yet another slogan was born from the government's propaganda machine: ichioku gyokusai (one hundred million as a shattered jewel).71 The phrase "shattered jewel," little known at the time, was drawn from classical literature urging warriors to die in a final blaze of honourable glory; that is, to choose death over dishonour. 7 2 Like ichioku tokko, ichioku gyokusai was simply a euphemism for group suicide (shudan jiketsu). The latter term was never used during the war, lacking as it did any patriotic reference to honour or glory. In his recollections of the war years, Kinjo Shigeaki painfully remembered how as a teenager in Okinawa he was given two hand grenades by an army sergeant who instructed 70Dower, War Without Mercy, pp. 232, 352-53. For the media's promotion of this idea see, for example, Asahi Shimbun, December 28, 1944. 71 The Americans had laid plans for two invasions of the Japanese home islands: Operation Olympic in northern Kyushu in November 1945 and Operation Coronet near Tokyo the following March. For a discussion of the Japanese military's attempt to prepare for the invasions see Havens, Valley of Darkness, pp. 188-191. See also Ienaga Saburo, The Pacific War: World War II and the Japanese, 1931-1945 (trans. Frank Baldwin), Pantheon Books, 1978. 72j0hn W. Dower, "Sensational Rumours, Seditious Graffiti, and the Nightmares of the Thought Police," in Dower (ed) Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays, The New Press, p. 102; and War Without Mercy, pp. 231-33, 352. 58 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai him to "throw one of them at the enemy and use the other to engage in gyokusai." As it was, he never had the chance to use the grenades. An even worse fate awaited. He and his older brother, caught up in the insanity of family members killing each other during the Battle of Okinawa, strangled their mother, younger brother, and younger sister out of fear of them being captured by the enemy. For Kinjo, August 15th reinforced the nightmare of that day. The more I recovered my normal mind," he said, "the more strongly the abnormal came back to me."73 Judging from newspaper accounts of the time, the one hundred million were shattered, not by dying in a blaze of glory, but from drowning in a river of tears shed in response to Japan's defeat. There was neither honour in the charred ruins of Japan's cities nor glory in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. The Emperor's speech, when it finally came, was not so much a surprise - the physical destruction of Japan had seen to that - as it was a shock to find that all the effort and all the sacrifice had been wasted. It certainly evoked no surprise for journalist Okada Satoshi who was stuck thousands of miles away on Irian Jaya with the Japanese army. Having heard of the war's progress on his friend's shortwave radio and having been deluged with pamphlets dropped from 73Kinj6 Shigeaki, "Now they call it 'Group Suicide'," in Cook, et. al. (eds), Japan at War, pp. 363-66. 59 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei American planes informing him of Japan's defeat, Okada felt only bitterness. On the day he finally did hear the Emperor's speech (August 17th), read to him and his comrades by their commander, Okada called it "the day of despondency" (kyodatsu jotai no hi). Watching his comrades sobbing at the news, he reflected on what it was everyone had been fighting for. "Who would have imagined," he thought, "that it would have come to this."74 New Life Among the Ruins: "Now I Have Interest" The events of August 15th and its immediate aftermath marked the second major turning point in Japan's modern history, and in both cases the United States figured prominently as catalyst. However, unlike the Meiji Restoration, Japan's first turning point, war, defeat, and occupation had a direct and palpable impact on the entire nation which, as we have seen, expressed itself as shock and despair.75 August 15th, in particular, became the day of despondency for many, 740kada Satoshi, Senchu - Sengo (War and Aftermath), Tosho Shuppansha, 1976, pp. 168-69. 75Theodore Cohen has argued that defeat and occupation actually marked the "third turn" in Japanese history, the first being the importation of the Chinese writtenlanguage, Confucianism, and Buddhism in the seventh and eighth centuries. Theodore Cohen, "Prologue: The Third Turn," in Remaking Japan: The American Occupation as New Deal, The Free Press, 1987, pp. 1-2. 60 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai the day that bitter tears were shed and the day that bitter memories were formed. This is a common image of a world at war: destruction, death, privation and, ultimately, defeat. For the victors, of course, August 15th was a day of jubilation, the images of which are familiar to all of us who have viewed that day vicariously through the lens of peace. Yet, for many of the defeated as well, August 15th was also a day of liberation. Even before MacArthur swept into Japan like a latter-day divine wind, many Japanese saw their nation's defeat as the symbol of a new beginning. The image of August 15th as the day of one hundred million bitter tears (ichioku ketsurui) is indeed a powerful one and it has endured throughout the postwar years in various forms. It is also an exaggeration of the same magnitude as saying that one hundred million or even seventy million hearts beat as one during the war. In truth, tears of the bitter variety were not the only ones being shed; tears of joy and of relief also fell like rain on that August afternoon. And it is the existence of both the bitter and the joyful tears that demonstrates the dynamic interplay between abject despondency (kyodatsu) on the one hand and the sense of new beginning or new life (shinsei) on the other. In light of the many public displays of remorse reported in the press, some Japanese were cautious about how to express their pleasure. Suto Ryosaku 61 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei captured the feelings of many Japanese when she recorded in her diary that "[although most people think that defeat is extremely unfortunate, in their hearts they generally seem relieved."76 Tanaka Chiharu echoed this sentiment, recalling that she cried upon hearing the Emperor's speech but only because everyone else was crying too. "Secretly I was elated. It just didn't seem proper to show it at the time."77 Never one to concern himself with appropriate behaviour, Yoshida Shigeru showed no compunction to be circumspect. Nor was his response to Japan's surrender as equivocal as that of his former boss in the Foreign Ministry, Baron Shidehara. After hearing the Emperor's speech, Yoshida celebrated at the home of his friend Konoe Fuminaro, drinking so much whiskey that he passed out on the train home and missed his stop.78 In retrospect, it is clear that Yoshida had more reason to celebrate than did Konoe. He went on to become the most powerful political figure in the early postwar years, forming five different cabinets between 1946 and 1953. Konoe's joy, on the other hand, was short-lived. 76Quoted in Havens, Valley of Darkness, p. 193. ^Interview with Tanaka Chiharu, Narashino City, Chiba Prefecture, November, 17, 1994. 78Richard B. Finn, Winners in Peace: MacArthur, Yoshida, and Postwar Japan, University of California Press, 1992, p. 7. 62 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai In December 1945 he committed suicide at his home the night before he was to be arrested as a Class "A" war criminal. In a rather bizarre ending to the story, Yoshida rented Konoe's former house in 1946, choosing to sleep in the same room in which his old friend had committed suicide.79 These examples suggest that the Emperor's broadcast on August 15th represented not only an end but a new beginning as well, one that symbolized a radical break with the past, a turning point (tenkanki) where the past had collapsed into the singularity of the present which in turn offered boundless possibilities for the future. Saito Mutsuo captured poignantly the sense of ending and beginning, of kyodatsu and shinsei, in his recollections of August 15th and its immediate aftermath: I felt full of regret and bitterness, but at the same time I also thought: 'Perhaps I am going to survive. Perhaps this thing they call peace is going to come...' The next day...[w]hen I arrived in Kiryu, I suddenly understood for the first time that peace had come. Every window was lit up, and along every street stretched great lines of light. I just stood and stared, as if I was seeing it for the first time in my life. I had never realized that electric lights could be so This sense of ending and beginning, of death and rebirth, became a recurrent 79john W. Dower, Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878-1954, Harvard University Press, 2nd. Edition, 1988, p. 305. SOMorris-Suzuki, Showa: An Inside History of Hirohito's Japan, p. 186. 63 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei theme in the early postwar years. The New Year's editorial in the Hokkoku Shimbun, for example, characterized 1945 as a cursed and a blessed year, while journalist Matsumura Tamotsu pronounced that August 15, 1945 was both Japan saddest and happiest day. Such sentiments were a clear recognition that, whatever else defeat and occupation might mean, Japan had finally emerged from the dark valley into the light of a new age (shin jidai). This sense of transformation was also manifest in the frequent calls for the Emperor to proclaim a new era beginning on August 15th. One man even argued that the entire sweep of Japan's history should be rewritten with defeat and the Emperor's speech as the starting point of a new era (shin jidai no shuppatsuten). For a number of years following the war, calls for a new era would be resurrected in the press, particularly on the yearly anniversaries of Japan's defeat.83 The spirit of new life accompanying Hirohito's broadcast was also manifest in the speed with which people attempted to resume some semblance of normal life. 81 Hokkoku Shimbun, January 1, 1946 and Matsumura Tamotsu, Minami Nihon Shimbun, August 2,1946, both translated and reprinted in ATIS, reel 4 , social series 106, Item 7 and Reel 18, Social Series 298, Item 8 respectively. ^Yomiuri Shimbun, August 8, 1946. 83See, for example, Yomiuri Hochi, December 9, 1945; Asahi Shimbun, August 15, 1946; Mainichi Shimbun, August 15, 1947; Nihon Keizai Shimbun, August 15, 1949. 64 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai Writing two months after Japan's surrender, Murofuchi Takanobu remembered that in the days following the radio broadcast a new saying - "Now I have interest" (Itna, kybmi o motte) - spread throughout the country.84 For the first time in many years the Japanese people had reason to live beyond the strenuous tasks of "air defense... fire prevention drills, [and] the heavy job of digging air raid shelters..."85 The immense task of climbing out from under the rubble still loomed ahead but this time many Japanese people believed that they would toil for a peaceful future rather than merely digging themselves deeper into the dark valley of war. To this end, a small group of scholars, journalists, and bureaucrats gathered in Tokyo on August 16th to discuss the prospects for Japan's future.86 Ten men attended that first meeting, including Tokyo University economist Ouchi Hyoe who recalled: 84Murofuchi Takanobu, "Aratanaru hi no tame ni," p. 2. S^Havens, Valley of Darkness, p. 192. 86xhese men became known as the Special Survey Committee, or SSC (Tokubetsu Chosa Iinkai). The committee produced Japan's first postwar reconstruction plan published in March 1946 under the title of Nihon keizai saiken no kihon mondai (The Basic Problems for the Reconstruction of Japan's Economy). A complete reprint plus meeting records and other related documents can be found in Nakamura Takafusa (ed) Shiryo: Sengo nihon no keizai seisaku koso (Japan's Postwar Economic Policy Plans: Selected Documents), vol. 1, Nihon keizai saiken no kihon mondai, Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1991. Hereafter referred to as Shiryo. The importance of this document and the influence of the SSC members will be discussed in more detail in Chapter Five. 65 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei ...that for about a year after the war I often went to this burnt-out South Manchurian Railway building and in that cold, unheated place we discussed Japan's future... [w]ith all the elan of patriots of the Meiji Restoration.87 Arisawa Hiromi, a colleague of Ouchi's and one of the central figures in Japan's economic recovery remembered the sense of freedom evident at the meetings: ...[tjhere were no restriction on what people could say and everyone was enthusiastic and serious in their efforts to gather information and make plans for a new Japanese economy.88 One of the group's founders, Okita Saburo, best captured the shinsei spirit, illustrating both the sense of freedom and the excitement of a new beginning: A cheerful atmosphere was also engendered by the feeling of liberation as wartime proclamations and restrictions were ended; everyone was eager to build a new society upon the ashes of the 87Quoted in Okita Saburo, Tohon seiso: Watakushi no rirekisho (My Life: A Hurried Mission between East and West), Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha, 1981, pp. 59-60. Ouchi was a prominent member of many postwar reconstruction research groups and was even touted as finance minister in the first Yoshida cabinet. In the early postwar years he wrote extensively on the need for lapan to rejoin the global community through membership in the IMF, and he was also an advocate for the establishment of some kind of a world federal state. For a personal account of Ouchi's prewar and postwar associations, see his Watakushi no rirekisho (My Life), Chikutosha Shoten, 1951. 88Arisawa Hiromi, Gakumon to shiso to ningen to (Scholarship, Thought, and People), Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1957, p. 203. Arisawa was one of the most influential and enigmatic figures in the economic reconstruction debates. He was a key member of Yoshida's economic advisory body, known widely in the early postwar years as the Professor's Group (Kyoshi Kumon Gurupu), which later became the Coal Committee where priority production (keisha seisan hoshiki) was born. For more information on this, see his interview in Nihon Keizai Kikakucho, Sengo keizai fukko to keizai antei honbu (The Economic Stabilization Board and Japan's Postwar Economic Reconstruction), Okurasho Insatsukyoku, 1988, pp. 77-99. For his influence on economic planning and Japan's postwar energy policy see Laura Hein, Fueling Growth: The Energy Revolution and Economic Policy in Postwar Japan, Council of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, 1990, and Bai Gao, "Arisawa Hiromi and His Theory for a Managed Economy," Journal of Japanese Studies, 20:1, 1994, pp. 115-53. 66 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai old.89 While many of Japan's intellectual elite were making plans for Japan's future, and trying to secure their position in that future, others expressed the spirit of shinsei in a more indulgent but no less profound manner. For many urban women, August 15th became known as "the day fashion resumed" (oshare saikai no hi). In reaction to the drab, colourless war years, women suddenly began to wear lipstick and brightly patterned kimonos, both of which had been frowned on as examples of self-indulgent luxury during the war but were now symbols of freedom with which Japanese women indulged with abandon (kaihokan o hitaru).90 Along with the shedding of tears, whether bitter or joyful, came the shedding of the hated monpe, the peasant pantaloons that women had been forced to wear during the war. Ever since the spiritual mobilization campaigns began in earnest in 1937-38, successive Japanese governments had attempted to curb luxury and extravagance by urging the wearing of monpe for women and civilian uniforms ^Tohon seiso, pp. 60-61. Originally trained as hydro-electric engineer, Okita later became know as an "economic bureaucrat" (kanryo ekonomisuto) and wrote extensively on reparations and Japan/Asia relations. For an account of his attitudes concerning the role of economists in Japanese society, see Okita Saburo, Ekonomisuto no yakuwari (The Role of the Economist), Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha, 1973. 3®Sh6ioa kazokushi nenpyd, p. 159. 67 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei for men. In addition, cosmetics and permanent waves were banned in 1940, the same year that the National Defense Women's Association began posting middle-aged matrons on street corners to shame well-dressed women into exercising greater self-restraint in their daily life. The dreaded evils of luxury and extravagance were never fully eradicated and the government never went so far as to pass Tokugawa-style sumptuary laws on fashion. Nonetheless, what the government could not do by fiat was largely accomplished by the growing textile shortages as the war progressed. As Thomas Havens has astutely pointed out, the only law that forced men to don civilian uniforms or women to wear monpe was the "law of supply and demand."91 There were some who attempted to continue the wartime campaigns following Japan's surrender, arguing that luxury and extravagance were every bit as dangerous to the "New Japan" as they had been to Japan at war. Ten days after the Emperor's broadcast, one of the nation's leading female activists and a prominent member of the wartime Greater Japan Women's Association, Ichikawa Fusae, established the Women's Committee on Postwar Countermeasures (Sengo Taisaku Fujin Iinkai). At its first general meeting on September 11th, the Committee drafted a five-point plan which included the 91 Havens, Valley of Darkness, p. 20. 68 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai commitment to "continue wearing monpe... on a daily basis as the functional clothes best suited to [rebuilding."92 In the end, Ichikawa was purged by SCAP in 1947, not for her monpe advocacy, but for her alleged militaristic activities during the war. It is doubtful whether the postwar campaigns were any more effective than those of wartime. Most likely, "economic laws" were just as crucial in determining what people wore after the war as they had been before surrender. If media reports are any indication of the state of early postwar women's fashion, then it seems that women who could wear patterned kimonos and dresses did so. Magazines and newspapers were filled with pictures of well-dressed urban women, buying the latest magazines, or shopping at the black market. A 1946 New Year's Mainichi Shimbun article reported to its readers that nary a monpe-clad women could be seen on the streets of Tokyo. 9 3 Women also exercised their subjective preferences and expressed their new-found sense of freedom through 92sheldon Garon, Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life, Princeton University Press, 1997, p. 183. ^Mainichi Shimbun, January 1, 1946. Reprinted in Mainichi Shimbunsha (ed), Ichioku no showashi (The Showa History of the One Hundred Million), vol. 5, "Senryb kara kdwa e" (From Occupation to the Peace Treaty), 1975, p. 52. The newspaper's comment was a clear exaggeration, designed to reinforce its disdain at conspicuous consumption on the part of postwar women. The monpe-clad women was a common sight during the early postwar years but increasingly so were their well-dressed counterparts. 69 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei the purchase and wearing of heretofore unavailable items. In Osaka shortly after the emperor's speech, accessories flew off the shelves as women adorned their hair with colourful nets, ribbons and berets, all of which signified a sense of release and liberation.94 The colour of choice was, of course, red: the symbol of good fortune. Manifestations of new life were also found in other consumer products, particularly in the choice of brand names for one of postwar Japan's most valuable commodities: tobacco. At the end of 1945, Japan's first postwar cigarette was marketed under the very name of Shinsei. The white package adorned with pretty flowers and emblazoned with the red characters for "New Life" symbolized the new age in much the same way that women's red-coloured hair accessories represented a release from the grey realities of war and defeat.95 Shinsei cigarettes were followed quickly by three other brands in early 1946 carrying the names Peace, Hope, and Hikari (Light). Lining up these four cigarette brands in any order, one would have a concise but accurate dictionary of Japan's new postwar language. These words became something of a postwar mantra, S^shdzva kazokushi nenpyd, p. 159. 95A photograph of Shinsei cigarettes can be found in Mainichi mukku: Sengo gojunen (Mainichi Mook: Fifty Years of Postwar History), Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1995, p. 21. Mook represents the Japanese habit of borrowing foreign words and then rendering them into katakana (one of the phonetic syllabaries). In this case, mook is a combination of magazine book. 70 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai signifing a break with the past and the dawn of a new era, as if through the mere consumption of the names one could imbibe the very values the products symbolized.9 6 A useful supplement to this leafy postwar lexicon was also found in the magazine industry, especially after the enactment of the Civil Liberties Directive in October 1945. In the eighteen months following the war hundreds of new magazines came into existence, while still more were resurrected from wartime banishment. According to the Japan Publishing Association, there were only about 500 magazines receiving paper allocations at the end of the war. This number then exploded to 1737 in 1946 and 1882 in 1947.97 The actual figure was probably much higher since official figures did not include the myriad small publications and broadsheets which purchased their paper on the black market or the equally ubiquitous "pulp" magazines called kasutori bunka after the moonshine of the same name (kasutori). Sales and publication figures for even official publications are sketchy at best but press runs for many magazines often 96peace and Hope are still sold in Japan today, as premium brands costing ¥30 more than regular brands, and are consumed primarily by men of the yake ato jidai. S^Kimoto, Zasshi de yomu no sengoshi, pp. 16-17. See also Tokyo Daigaku Shakaikagaku Kenkyujo, Sengo zasshi mokuji sohen (A Collection of Postwar Magazines), 2 vols., Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1976, and Sasaki Senichi, "Magazines in Postwar Japan," Contemporary Japan (July-September 1950), vol.xix, pp. 380-84. 71 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei ran into the tens of thousands. When the first issue of Shinsei went on sale in November 1945, for example, the queue of eager buyers stretched from the magazine's sixth floor office all the way out into the street and around the 98 corner. Like the Shinsei magazine and cigarette, the titles of these publications provide us with further linguistic evidence of Japan's new postwar vocabulary. Titles like Shin Jidai (New Age), Shinjin (New Person), and Shin Seinen (New Youth) flooded kiosks throughout Japan's cities, all of which reflected a profound sense of having broken with the past. Other titles like Ho-pu (Hope), Kibo (Hope), Riberaru (Liberal), Jiyu (Freedom), and of course Shakaishugi (Socialism) and Demokurashii (Democracy) openly expressed the aspirations of a people starved for the very ideals contained in the titles of these publications." After years of oppression and enforced conformity the Japanese people had again found their voice. Amid the despair, hunger and hardship a path to a new world lay open and, for a time, anything seemed possible. 98Kimoto, Zasshi de yomu no sengoshi, p. 17. Somewhere between 130,000 and 360,000 copies of the first issue were sold. Kimoto offers both figures, the former coming from the recollections of Aoyama Konosuke and the latter from anecdotal evidence at the time. Kimoto, p. 12. Showa kazokushi nenpyo (p. 163) also uses the figure of 130,000, although no source is given. 99Sengo zasshi mokuji sbhen, vol. 1, pp. 2-6. 7 2 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai There were many other expressions of new life in the popular culture of early postwar Japan, yet each was tinged with the world of sorrow and despair from which they had sprung. On October 10, 1945, not two months after Hirohito's words stunned the nation, Japan's first postwar movie, Soyo Kaze (Zephyr), was released and immediately became a smash hit. A simple story about the relationship between a young woman and a young repatriated soldier who had shaved his head to become a monk, Soyo Kaze was actually planned in June before the war ended. The theme song for the movie, the "Apple Song" (Ringo no uta), written by Saito Hachiro with music composed by Mashiro Mokutada, also became a huge hit, selling 125,000 copies by the end of 1947.100 Akai ringo ni kuchibiru yosete Damate mite iru aozora Ringo wa nanimo Iwanai keredo Ringo no kimochi wa Yoku wakaru Ringo kawai ya Kawai ya ringo 1 0 1 To the red apple My lips draw near The blue sky watches In silence The apple, too is silent, yet I know how it feels What a lovely apple Oh, what a lovely apple 1 ^ Information for this story comes from Oshima Yukio, Ningen kiroku: Sengo minshushi (A Human Document: Postwar People's History), Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1976, pp. 215-22. 1011 am indebted to Sugita Michiko for teaching me the words to this song. The translation is mine but a slightly different version can be found in Seidensticker, Tokyo Rising, p. 180, and Dower, Embracing Defeat, pp. 172-73. 73 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei The simple lyrics and lively melody helped to make the song so popular that it became something of an anthem of the early postwar years, describing a prosaic world of primary colours and small, but exquisite pleasures. Seidensticker has argued that its popularity may have been due to the "utter want of a message, and indeed of meaning."102 However, it would be a mistake to dismiss the powerful symbolism of the song, especially given the context in which it was created and the experience of Namiki Michiko who made it famous. Like the movie itself, the "Apple Song" was the product of the last, desperate days of the Pacific War. Lyricist Saito recalled that "under the intolerable gloom of the air raids, I wanted to write a bright cheerful song."1 0 3 Amid the destruction of early postwar Japan, the "Apple Song" became a symbol mediating between the extremes of liberation and despair. Born from the bleak underground world of the air raid shelters, it represented people's cherished but unfulfilled dreams; communing with nature in a peaceful world of bright, vivid colours. The apple itself was deeply symbolic. Its colour of course represented good fortune, but even more significant was possession of the thing itself. By the end of the war apples had become prohibitively expensive luxuries. In late 1945 one apple cost I02ibid v p. 180. 10SQuoted in Oshima, Ningen kiroku, p. 216. 74 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai about ¥ 5 on the black market, the equivalent of about two kilograms of rice. 1 U 4 The popularity of the song was therefore due in part to the difficulty of acting out the image it invoked. Sitting under a blue sky eating an apple was an extravagance that few Japanese could enjoy, yet anyone could experience it vicariously through the simple, dream-like world created by the song. The significance of the apple and its rarity was captured through two events, both involving Namiki Michiko. There is a scene in the movie where the female protagonist throws an apple into the river, which of course was not actually done in rehearsal. During the shooting, however, Namiki did inadvertently throw a real apple into the river, but then immediately dove in the moment filming was over to retrieve the precious treasure. Following the movie's release, Japan's National Broadcasting Network (NHK) held its first popular song contest in Tokyo and Namiki was one of the performers. As she sang Ringo no uta, she tossed small apples into the packed crowd which swarmed to catch the little prizes. Like lyricist Saito, Namiki herself embodied the interplay of kyodatsu and 104pi v e yen represented about two and a half percent of an office worker's monthly wages in November 1945 (¥200). In terms of today's yen, that would be about ¥7000, based on a monthly wage of ¥300,000. A single ¥5 apple, therefore, would be about equal to one week's groceries today. 7 5 Part One: Kyodatsu and Shinsei shinsei. She experienced the horror of the March 10th firebombing of Tokyo, narrowly escaping death by being resuscitated by a stranger after she jumped into the near-boiling Sumida river to escape the searing heat of the firestorm. For the rest of her life she carried with her the facial scars of that night, as she did the memory of her mother who died in the river. The following May she joined the Overseas Condolence Association (Jokai Imondan) with the vague hope of seeing her brothers who had been away fighting for many years. She never saw her brothers while in Asia. And her father, she later learned, died when the boat evacuating him from Saipan was sunk en route to Japan. After returning to Tokyo in July, Namiki renewed her contact with Shochiku, and it was there that she met director Sasaki Yasushi and composer Mashiro who got her the movie role and the song that briefly propelled her to stardom.105 There are perhaps many like Namiki whose stories, great and small, exemplify the emergence from the dark valley of war into the light of a new day. Namiki is particularly significant, however, not only for what she experienced but also for what she represented to millions of Japanese people. Through the pleasing melody of the "Apple Song," Namiki became synonymous with the aspirations of early postwar Japan where despair not only dictated the terms of daily 10^Sasaki was the director of Soyo kaze. Oshima, Ningen kiroku, p. 216. 76 Chapter One: The Yakeato Jidai existence but which also became the ground from which new life would spring. Japan is a land with a long tradition of tragic endings, but Namiki's story closes for now on a happy note. In the fall of 1946, a young soldier being repatriated to Japan heard the "Apple Song" for the first time on the ship's radio. Asking a friend who the singer was, he was astonished to learn that it was none other than his sister, Michiko. He somehow managed to send a telegram to her at Shochiku Studios saying that he was coming home. After disembarking, Namiki's brother rushed to his sister. There, on the sound stage of an old ocean liner, very similar to the one used to film Soyo kaze, they embraced in tearful reunion. 1 0 6 This emotional meeting of brother and sister illustrates dramatically the extremes of life in the twentieth year of the Showa era: truly Japan's most cursed and most blessed year. 106ibid., p. 217. 77 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei i n the Black Market Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market N a m i k i Michiko 's trial by firebombing and subsequent rise to fame demonstrates the dialectic interplay of kyodatsu and shinsei i n the context of an indiv idual life. This chapter w i l l explore that interplay more intensively at a broader socio-economic level. N o account of this period can ignore the economic problems and controversies that raged i n the years immediately following surrender, since the resolution of these debates determined the course of Japan's subsequent economic recovery. It is not my intention, however, to provide a direct analysis of the early postwar economic debates or of economic reconstruction itself. 1 This has been done by numerous Japanese and non-Japanese scholars, and there is now an extensive literature dealing with Japan's rise from the ashes of defeat to the pinnacle of economic stardom. 2 Rather, i n keeping with the theme of 1ln an earlier paper ("Japanese Capitalism and Postwar Reconstruction Policy, 1945-1950: The Roads Not Taken"), delivered at the Toho Gakkai in Tokyo in 1991,1 argued that the economic reconstruction debates essentially boiled down to two debates: stability first or production first; and heavy industry versus light industry. This analysis was in part based on Chalmers Johnson's groundbreaking work MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925-1975, Stanford University Press, 1982. Unlike Johnson, however, I chose to focus on what was not done as opposed to what was. 2See, for example, Arisawa and Inaba (eds), Showa nijunenshi, Nakamura, Nihon keizai, and Ando Yoshitake (ed) Nihon keizai seisakushiron, Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1976. In English, see Johnson, Tsuru, Japan's Capitalism, and Hein, Fueling Growth. For a good account of labour's struggle to secure a share of the benefits from economic reconstruction, see Joe Moore, 78 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei identity and the re-creation of self, I want to explore in more detail the relationship between the socio-economic consequences of defeat and the Japanese peoples' daily life. To do this, I will look specifically at the black market (yami ichi) which was the principal social space in which daily life was played out. The interaction of millions of Japanese with the black market became a defining feature of the early postwar years and thus formed an important component of historical memory about those years. Just as physical destruction and the Emperor's speech served to stop time - to periodize - an ending and a beginning, so too did the black market provide a context with which this change or transformation could be identified. The origins of Japan's postwar economic woes can be found in the war years themselves, but it was within the context of defeat that these problems were magnified with such crippling effect. Inflation, stagnant production and unemployment were the most pressing economic problems in the early postwar years, yet each was intimately linked to the existence of the black market. It is possible to construct a linear narrative in which this sector can be connected causally with the other socio-economic factors that characterized these years. For example, the vibrancy of the black market was inversely proportional to the Japanese Workers and the Struggle for Power, 1945-1947, University of Wisconsin Press, 1983; and John Price, Japan Works, Columbia University Press, 1997. 79 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market gradual resumption of industrial production. The first two years following Japan's defeat saw both the peak of black market activity and the nadir of industrial production. Conversely, when production began to pick up in late 1947 there was a corresponding drop in black market activity. However, it may more useful to understand the socio-economic milieu of defeated Japan as an Esher-like phenomenon whereby each element flowed from and into each other.3 In this sense, the causal links between the black market and the other elements in Japan's socio-economic structure are less important than the overall impact that the totality of these elements had on people's daily lives. By drawing the focus away from the black market as a causally-related phenomenon and toward that of a structure embedded in the very fabric of postwar society we can begin to see it as a metaphor which defined early postwar life and then subsequently shaped the memories of those years. In this sense, the black market functioned like a discourse in which virtually everyone was compelled to act.4 Like defeat itself, the black market became a 3Here I am referring to Philip Esher's famous Mobius strip, the internal and external surfaces of which appear to be the same. ^Discourse had been defined by many commentators as a structure that defines the very thing it seeks to describe. In the early postwar years the black market functioned in a similar manner, defining the limits of what was possible in terms of daily existence. For an understanding of discourse in this sense see Medan Sarap, An Introductory Guide to Post-structuralism and Postmodernism, Routledge, 1988 and Frederic Jameson, The Prisonhouse of Language: A Critical 80 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei structure the Japanese people acted in, rather than one they acted with. The distinction is an important one because it highlights the degree to which people are thrown into a pre-existing environment that is not of their own making and one which demands the utilization of a specific language in order to function and to make that environment intelligible. Here, a comparison with the prewar and wartime ideology of kokutai may serve to illustrate my point. The ubiquity of black market activity following Japan's defeat was so overwhelming that the Japanese people became trapped within its structure in a manner similar to the way in which many had unwittingly become trapped by the discourse of kokutai and tennd-sei during the war. The Japanese may not necessarily have believed in Japan's prewar ideology but they were rarely able to extricate themselves from it, and those who did manage to escape often did so at the cost of their lives.5 The tragic stories of the two men mentioned in the last chapter who starved to death rather than purchase food on black market were, in a moral sense, not unlike those of Japanese dissidents who languished or died in prison during the war for Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism, Princeton University Press, 1972. ^Even those whose lives were relatively untouched by wartime propaganda still found their behaviour, especially their speech, circumscribed by those who sought out "dangerous thoughts." For one such account of a wartime university student, see Kato Shuichi, A Sheep's Song, pp. 158-86. 81 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market refusing to support an ideology they did not believe in. Just as kokutai countenanced no opposing spiritual viewpoints during the war, neither did the black market allow for alternative means of material support after defeat. Another way we can understand the black market as a discourse is by examining the language associated with it. In strictly economic terms, the black market was the most direct expression of Japan's early postwar kyodatsu jotai, and was therefore linked to the problems of inflation, unemployment, and stagnating production. The black market was also associated with two frequently heard phrases that characterized daily life in early postwar Japan: uridashi and take no ko seikatsu. Uridashi simply means putting something on the market or holding a sale, but in the early postwar years it became associated specifically with the act of putting one's belongings on the market in order to survive. The take no ko seikatsu (the bamboo shoot life) essentially described the same practice but in a collective rather than individual sense. With rampant inflation and inadequate food rations, Japanese people regularly bartered their clothing, jewellery, and family heirlooms with farmers to buy food or sold those items directly on the black market for hard currency or food. Bamboo shoots are a crisp and tasty ^Conversely, those who recanted their beliefs in prison under coercion and torture, a process known as poltical apostasy, or tenko, were often seen as immoral in the early postwar years in the same way as were those who profited from the black market. The process of tenko has been a controversial issue in postwar Japan. For an exhaustive study of this, see Shiso no Kagaku Kenkyukaihen (eds), Tenko, three volumes, Heibonsha, 1969. 82 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei delicacy, one of the favoured flavours of springtime, which can be peeled off layer by layer. Metaphorically, this is what many Japanese people were forced to do: peel off their belongings little by little to buy food. Another way of looking at this phrase is to consider that consumption of the bamboo shoot precluded the possibility that it will grow into a tree to be used for other purposes or simply to be gazed upon through the years. It is in these two senses that the take no ko seikatsu can be understood from a Japanese point of view. The only difference perhaps lies in the fact that the Japanese of the early postwar years parted with their belongings, not for some fleeting but exquisite taste sensation, but simply to fill their empty stomachs. The black market was not merely a symbol of economic collapse; it was also the manifestation of the moral decay of a defeated nation. In some ways Japan's moral "descent into hell" was seen as an even more serious problem than economic reconstruction because it wove itself into the very fibre of Japanese society. Selfishness, corruption, and decadence were all linked directly to the existence of the black market and so became intertwined with discussions of the Japanese character which were themselves a product of defeat. Postwar immorality was also connected with two highly controversial issues, hoarding and indemnity payments, both of which were decried in the press as clear evidence of the moral bankruptcy of Japan's leaders. 83 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market Despite the widespread view that the black market was the evil symbol of Japan's fall from grace, it was also paradoxically the stage on which new life was created. Given the sorry state of Japan's economy, the black market was, by default, one of the only avenues of employment or outlets for entrepreneurial activity in the early postwar years. This was not out of choice, but of out the simple need to survive, particularly for those who had no jobs, no families, or no belongings to sell. Thousands of farmers, repatriated soldiers and civilians, and Korean and Chinese labourers gravitated to the black markets throughout urban Japan. For some it offered the promise of a better life and thus became part of the language of shinsei and the new Japan. Anada Yoshihachiro, for example, escaped the poverty of tenant farming in Toyama Prefecture during the war and after kicking around at odd jobs in Tokyo finally found his new home at the Ameyokocho black market near Ueno Station selling manju, a steamed bun with a red bean centre.7 Morii Sugeo, too, found new life on the black market. A lacquerer conscripted into one of wartime Japan's many factory armies, Morii took his small sum of separation money at the end of the war and began buying up lacquer goods on the black market. In a few months he was back in business: an old job in a new life. Morii unabashedly remembered ^Oshima Yukio, Ningen kiroku, pp. 38-40. 8 4 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei that he was one of the many "opportunists" (jikyoku binjosha) in the early postwar years. For them, the black market was just the place.8 Many children also began their new postwar lives in the yami ichi. Ten-year old Fujita Akiko from Osaka recalled how her entire family existed off the black market after her father lost his job at an auto factory at the end of the war.9 One day her parents recieved a package of clothes and foodstuffs from their relatives in Aiichi; carefully secreted between the items were layers of huge yellowish-brown tobacco leaves. Initially, Akiko's parents were frightened since sending and receiving tobacco, a controlled commodity, was illegal. Nonethless, the precious leaves provided the only means of support for their family of six. As the weeks passed, cigarette production became a family enterprise. Akiko's mother would finely cut the leaves, while Akiko and her elder brother would practice rolling; after many false starts and ruined cigarettes, they finally got the hang of it. "It was just like rolling sushi," she said. 1 0 Dad would carefully cut of the ends and then everyone would package the cigarettes in bundles of ten, secured with paper tape: 10 cigarettes, 30 yen. Later, when production began to pick up, they 8This story comes from Yoshimi, Kusa no ne no fashizumu, pp. 281-82. ^This story comes from Oshima, Ningen kiroku, pp. 317-18. 10lbid., p. 317. 85 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market turned their shop into a legitimate wholesaling business, but in those early years black market tobacco was all that stood between them and possible starvation. "It let us breathe a little," Akiko remembered.11 In his collection of stories about life in the past war years in Japan, Oshima Yukio described the black market "as one of the unmistakable points of origin for postwar peoples' history." Enriching few and impoverishing many, the black market was both the scourge of the consumer and the salvation of the entrepreneur. It became the very meeting point for kyodatsu and shinsei, the place where opportunity and hardship came together to define the nature of existence in early postwar Japan. 11 Ibid., p. 318. 12lbid., p. 38. Oshima worked for the Mainichi Shimbun for many years in Tokyo and Nagano. Born in 1937 in Minani Senju, Tokyo and educated at Waseda, Oshima would have seen first hand the power of the black market and the hold it had on the daily lives of the Japanese people. 86 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei N e w L i f e i n t h e B l a c k M a r k e t A legacy of wartime rationing and material shortages, black market activity exploded at the end of the war. 1 3 Within a few months of surrender there were an estimated 17,000 individual black markets scattered throughout Japan's cities and towns.14 By October 1945 Tokyo alone was home to some forty-five thousand open-air street stalls (roten), employing about eighty thousand people. A mere five yen would purchase a street stall license and quasi-title to about twelve square metres of roped off area in which to do business.16 Vendors would periodically have to fork out protection money or "shoba sen" to the gangsters (yakuza) who quickly came to dominate the black market trade. According to one account, nearly ninety percent of all the street stalls in Tokyo were under the control of yakuza gangs through the Street Stall Tradesmen's 13For a good account of wartime black market methods and operations see Maeda Yasuyuki, "Zeitaku wa geki da," in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, pp. 185-88. 14Tjchino, "Injure to shokuryo kiki," in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 258. I^Showa kazokushi nenpyd, p. 162. 16Reported in Yomiuri Hochi, December 22, 1945. Five yen was the going rate at this time for a street stall in Shimbashi and was probably high compared to the cost in smaller cities and towns. The information on the size of the street stalls comes from Oshima, Ningen kiroku, p. 37. 87 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market Cooperative Union (Roten Dogyo Kumiai). Given the destruction and food and material shortages at this time, many people asked where the immense amount of black market goods came from. Much of the food that found its way into the labyrinth of urban street stalls came from farmers and fishers who could make considerably higher profits selling on the black market than at official prices. This was clearly a powerful incentive for producers to subvert the food distribution system. Farmers would withhold part of their food delivery quota and then sell it later on the black market or sell it directly to the millions of city dwellers who commuted daily to the countryside to buy food. To make matters worse, the distribution system itself was woefully inefficient, even when farmers did sell their food through government channels. In Tokyo, for example, staple food distribution was twenty to thirty days behind in the spring and summer of 1946.18 Regular delays in the food distribution system throughout Japan's urban centres made black market 1 ^ Protection money figures come from Ibid, p. 40. For the yakuza connection see David Kaplan and Alec Dubro, Yakuza: The Explosive Account of Japan's Criminal Underworld, MacMillian, 1986, p. 53. Until the postwar years, yakuza ran the gambling businesses throughout Japan but were not generally involved in other illegal activities. After Japan's defeat, yakuza moved into a host of new businesses inclduing protection, construction, drugs, and prostitution. It is likely that many criminal groups, like the average citizen, got started or re-started in the black market after the war. 18Nakamura Takafusa (ed) Shiryo, vol. 1, p. ix. 88 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei shopping even more of a daily necessity. It is in this sense that we can understand the black market as a structure in which people were compelled to act. Whether one was a farmer motivated by gain or an urban consumer driven by survival, the acts of individual Japanese contributed to the further expansion of the black market and ever higher rates of inflation. While the black market grew out of natural necessity, the policies of the first two postwar governments, headed by Prince Higashikuni and Baron Shidehara respectively, literally, breathed new life into it and sent the inflationary spiral to dizzying heights.19 Immediately following Japan's defeat, both governments proceeded to pay out huge sums in indemnity payments to Japanese companies for their support of the war effort, arguing that these monies would allow companies to resume production which would in turn curb inflation and solve the unemployment problem.2 0 This issue became one of the first major controversies of the postwar years. Business leaders and bankers naturally supported the government position, maintaining that without the indemnities 1 ^ The Higashikuni cabinet was formed two days after surrender and lasted until October 9, 1945. The Shidehara cabinet held power until May 22, 1946, when the first elected postwar government under Yoshida Shigeru came to power. 20See the interviews with Ishibashi in the Asahi Shimbun, January 19, 1946 and February 21, 1946. After his purge, Ishibashi wrote a nine-part series on inflation where he justified his earlier economic policies. Nihon Keizai Shimbun, October 21 - December 5, 1947. 89 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market there would be massive bank failures which would bankrupt small and large investors alike.21 Critics, for their part, charged that the indemnity payments only served to enrich big business at the expense of the people. In a radio program in the winter of 1945 Tokyo University economist Ouchi Hyoe publicly castigated Finance Minister Shibusawa Keizo's support of the indemnities as nothing more than "reckless valour" (ban-yu o furue).22 Ultimately G H Q sided with Ouchi, purging in the process Shibusawa's successor, Ishibashi Tanzan, for his support of the indemnity payments.23 By July 1947, the indemnity payments had been cancelled, but not before Japan's first two postwar governments paid out an estimated ¥26.5 billion to dozens of companies, much of it disbursed immediately following Japan's surrender before GHQ was up and running. 2 4 21 Some officials like the Bank of Japan's Research Bureau chief, Yamamoto Yoneji qualified their support by arguing that indemnity payments should be made contingent upon a complete reorganization of the Japanese business and financial sectors. Others like Reconstruction Finance Bank Vice-President Suehiro Kojiro wanted to tax away the indemnities and the windfall profits resulting from them and then use that money to stabilize prices for food and other consumer necessities. For these views, see "Zadankai: Nihon keizai wa ika ni seiri sareru ka" (Round Table Discussion: How is Japan's Economy to be Reorganized?), Jitsugyd no Nihon (September 1946), 49:3, p. 6-13. 22Q u oted in Nakamura Takafusa, "Senji hosho uchikiri," in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 278. 23rbid., p. 277. See also Sharon Nolte, Liberalism in Modern Japan: Ishibashi Tanzan and his Teachers, 1905-1960, Berkeley University Press, 1987, pp. 295-99. 24rjchino Tatsuro, "Injure to shokuryo kiki," in Arisawa (ed) Showa keizaishi, p. 256. Writing a year after GHQ prohibited further indemnity payments, Kimura Kihachiro claimed that, all told, ¥46 billion had been dispersed with the complete blessing of the Bank of Japan. 90 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei At the same time, the Higashikuni cabinet relaxed wartime price controls on perishable goods which caused an explosion in the prices of fruits and vegetables. In the first seven months after the war wholesale prices rose an astonishing 295 percent. With an August 1945 base of 100, the wholesale price index rose to 273 in 1946, 874 in 1947, and then ballooned to 2377 in 1948.25 Wages, too, rose during this period, driven both by inflation and labour's new-found political voice. However, they could not keep pace with the rate of inflation; wages were twelve times higher in 1947 than they had been in 1945 but retail prices were fifteen times greater.26 These calculations, however, were based on official prices which were many times cheaper than black market prices. In October 1945, for example, black market prices for miso (soy bean paste) and shbyu (soy sauce) were forty-five times higher than official prices. Satsumaimo (sweet potatoes) were forty times Kimura Kihachiro, Infure-shon no kenkyu: Nihon infure-shon no rironteki bunseki (Studies in Inflation: A Theoretical Analysis of Japanese Inflation), Ginza Shuppansha, 1948, pp. 116-17. 25Keizai Kikakuchohen, Gendai nihon keizai no hatten, Okurasho Insatsukyoku, 1976, p. 19. These figures, taken from the IMF's International Financial Statistics, used 1937 as the base year and 1945 as 442, but I have adjusted the figures to reflect 1945 as the base year. This provides a better understanding of inflation's progress following Japan's defeat. See also Nakamura Takafusa, Nihon keizai, p. 160. Kimura argued that the rise in the wholesale price index was much more dramatic than most experts admitted. Using Bank of Japan figures, he argued that the wholesale price index had increased six times by June 1946 alone. Kimura, Infure-shon no kenkyu, p. 138. 26jerome B. Cohen, Japan's Economy, p. 459. 91 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market and fresh saba (mackerel) sixty times higher, while hakumai (white rice) was a staggering one hundred and thirty-two times more than official prices.27 Prices for services also jumped in the early postwar years. Between 1946 and 1948 the cost of electricity increased twenty-two times, water fifty times, and rail transportation thirty-five times. Not only were Japanese urban residents financially worse off than in the past but they were probably more dishevelled and dirtier than they had ever been in living memory. By 1947 a haircut cost about forty times more than it had done when the war ended while the price of a hot bath, assuming enough soap could be found to make a bubble, was nearly fifty times higher.28 Japanese newspapers were filled with letters to the editor documenting the hardships of urban workers. In December 1945 a young elementary school teacher offered her monthly budget to the Tokyo Shimbun as evidence of her plight. Her expenses were more than twice her income of ¥126 but even more tragic was the fact that food and fuel either bought on the black market or purchased in the countryside accounted for seventy-five percent of her total 27Fish and sweet potato prices come from an October 1945 Metropolitan Police Department survey, reprinted in Oshima, Ningen kiroku, p. 41. Rice, miso, and shoyu prices come from an October 10, 1945 Asahi Shimbun report, reprinted in Keizai Kikakuchohen, Gendai nihon keizai no hatten, p. 20. 28jerome B. Cohen, Japan's Economy, p. 619. 92 Part One:Kvodatsu and Shinsei monthly outlay. The following March a Kofu railway dispatcher and father of four told a similar tale. Although his wages were double that of the young school teacher, his expenses were three times higher, with two-thirds of it going to black market purchases. He related how women in his community shared face creams and oils among themselves while men saved money by cutting each others' hair. 3 0 In reality, these two people were among the lucky ones since they both had jobs and savings, in the case of the Kofu man, or parents on whom to depend in the case of the Tokyo woman. The real sufferers were those who had neither jobs, nor savings, nor family, and for whom live was a daily struggle to find one meal, let alone three. The final act of the Higashikuni and the Shidehara governments was to increase the amount of yen in circulation which further heightened the inflationary spiral. Finance Ministers Shibusawa and Ishibashi both argued that Japan's inflation was not a true inflation but a distorted form of it, brought about by the shortage of capital and materials. In their view, increased currency circulation would provide the necessary stimulus for companies to resume production which in turn would balance the supply of goods to demand. The end result was ^Tokyo Shimbun, December 6, 1945. SOKotsu, March 1946, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 10, Economic Series 134, Item 2. 93 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market a massive jump in the amount of yen. Between August 1945 and February 1946, the yen notes in circulation doubled from ¥33 billion to ¥65 billion. 3 1 The flood of new yen had exactly the opposite effect intended by Shibusawa and Ishibashi, eventually forcing the government to act at the insistence of GHQ. In February 1946 the Shidehara cabinet introduced the Emergency Financial Countermeasures Act (Kinyu Kinkyu Sochi Rei) designed to stabilize the economy and bring inflation under control. Among the major changes was a currency conversion plan whereby all notes in denominations of ¥10 and over were to be deposited in financial institutions and then converted into the new currency. This effectively reduced the amount of currency in circulation from ¥62 billion to ¥15 billion. Deposits were also frozen so that only ¥300 per month for the household head and ¥100 for each family member could be withdrawn. In addition, the government instituted a ¥500-yen wage limit per month which became known as the "500 yen life" or "gohyakuen seikatsu."32 31 Uchino, in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 256. See also Jerome B. Cohen, Japan's Economy, p. 448. 32Nakamura Takafusa, "Kinyu kinkyu sochi," in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, pp. 274-77. See also Cohen, Japan's Economy, pp. 454-58. The other important features of the countermeasures were a 100% tax on war indemnities, a capital levy, the fixing of official prices, and the establishment of the ESB to oversee the implementation of the measures and to seek ways to increase industrial production. 94 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei Except for a minor buying spree prior to the currency conversion and a brief drop in prices afterward, however, the countermeasures had no long-term impact on the economy as a whole.3 3 Even the positive short-term impact was partially subverted by Japanese government incompetence and/or corruption. For example, advance news of the conversion was leaked which gave some Japanese the opportunity to convert their old notes into denominations of ¥5 or less. Even more absurd was the fact that the Bank of Japan discovered it did not have enough paper on which to print the notes. GHQ approved the use of stamps that could be affixed to old notes, thereby transforming them into new currency. However, aside from the fact that the stamps were easy to counterfeit, they were all initially identical; anyone could remove a stamp from a ¥10 yen note and place it on a ¥100 note. The stamped notes remained in circulation until November 1946. Within six months the volume of new currency exceeded that of the old prior to conversion and continued to rise steadily thereafter. Naturally, prices also rose, rendering the "500 yen life" unmanageable. As inflation proceeded apace, the government raised the wage limit to ¥700 and then to ¥1200, and finally to ¥1800 33Cohen contrasted Japan's currency conversion with that of Belgium around the same time. In the latter case the conversion was announced at noon on a Saturday and put into effect the following Monday. In Japan, the conversion was announced two weeks in advance, ample time for many to convert their notes into small denominations. Japan's Economy, p. 455. 95 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market before abolishing it altogether in the spring of 1948. More significantly, much of the new currency found its way into the hands of black market dealers. The Bank of Japan estimated that by June 1947 thirty-seven percent of all new yen issued was held by black marketeers while consumers held only ten percent.35 This was due to the phenomenon of "shin-en kasegi" or "hustling after new currency," a term applied to those who employed illegal methods of acquiring the new Of. currency. The countermeasures further impoverished most urban Japanese, bringing then into a more intimate relationship with the take no ko seikatsu. This practice was not caused by the countermeasures but they did make matters worse by limiting monthly savings withdrawals. Contrary to Finance Minister Ishibashi Tanzan's assertions that prices would stabilize, they actually soared.37 By December 1946 34ibid., pp. 457-58. 35"Eben-to: Katayotte ita shin-en no yukikata," (Event: The One-sided Disposition of the New Yen), in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 277. The BOJ report also stated that another 29% of the new yen was in the hands of farmers and fisherman, further evidence that much of the economic hardship in the early postwar years was confined to the cities. 3&Asahi Shimbun, September 12, 1946. 3?Media criticisms of the countermeasures were widespread, as were attacks on Ishibashi. See, for example, Yomiuri Shimbun, February 3, 1947; Jiji Shimpb, January 22, 1947; Daiichi Shimbun, January 17, 1947; Tokushima Shimbun, January 26, 1947; Dayamondo Nippo, January 23, 1947. Godo Shimbun, August 6,1947; Shin Hochi August 20, 1947. 96 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei the retail price index in Tokyo was more than double what it had been in March. With deposits frozen, ever greater numbers of people were forced to barter or sell their personal possessions on the black market. There was simply no other way to live. In February 1947 the Tokyo Metropolitan Office released the findings of a survey conducted on 405 households, based on five different job classifications: public officials (15), teachers (29), office workers (90), light industry (197), and heavy industry (74). In each category expenses exceed income, by as much as fifty percent in some cases. According to the survey, the sale of belongings and the consumption of food grown in backyard gardens made up nearly forty percent of the monthly shortfall, while the rest was covered by savings withdrawals and borrowing.3 8 By the end of 1947 reports of fifty percent monthly deficits were widespread throughout Japan. Another teacher, writing in a local weekly magazine, reported that his monthly expenditures exceeded his income by forty percent, with almost sixty percent of those expenditures going to buy food and fuel on the black market. The deficit, he said, was made up by his wife selling her belongings. Bemoaning the lack of books for study or entertainment, the teacher said "if my wife and child are duly fed, my soul must hunger; and if my soul is to be satisfied, my family is bound to starve." So spoke Oda Ichinosuke whose life, 38Reported in Jiji Shimpb, February 24, 1947, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 29, Social Series 149, Item 2. 97 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market by his own account, faced "imminent collapse." T h e T r e a s u r e T r o v e The individual stories of gain and impoverishment, like the daily commutes to the countryside and the images of homeless lying in the subways, have been indelibly stamped on the historical memory of the yakeato generation. There are other stories, less well known, but at the time even more significant for having created the conditions in which individual stories were played out. Hoarded goods (intaizd busshi) and industrial sabotage (kigyd sabota-ju) were two such stories which had a tremendous impact on the growth and perpetuation of the black market. The black market was not simply the primary source of food and household goods; anything could be bought and sold there. The opportunity for huge profits was enormous. Everything from tobacco and alcohol to producers' goods and industrial materials were available at a price. The sources of these latter goods, in S^Dokusho Shimbun, December 10, 1947, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 47, Editorial Series 1915, Item 1. 98 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei particular, were not farms and fishing villages but military arsenals and munitions companies which had effectively shut down production after August 15th. The following quote by a small-time gambler offers a glimpse of what exactly was at stake in the chaotic days immediately following the Emperor's speech: It [the Emperor's broadcast] started it all off. It made thieves of everyone. There were some who wept, of course, but most people were pleased as punch. Up 'till then you couldn't as much as fart without written permission... But now there was this treasure trove... waiting to be cleaned out before the Yanks got it. 4 0 The "treasure trove" of which our gambler spoke was none other than the vast stockpile of food and material held by the military at the end of the war. For nearly a year prior to Japan's defeat, the army had been preparing for an American invasion of the Japanese home islands and had stockpiled huge amounts of military supplies, production goods, and raw materials in anticipation of a long and bloody battle. At the end of the war these supplies remained untouched in arsenals and warehouses scattered throughout Japan. Schools, too, were used to store equipment, as were temples. After learning that the Americans would not bomb Kyoto, for example, the Japanese Army used the Buddhist temple grounds in that city to stash all manner of equipment and supplies, some of which was recovered by the occupation forces but much of 40j Unichi Saga, The Gambler's Tale: A Life in Japan's Underworld (trans. John Bester), Charles Tuttle, 1990, p. 97. 99 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market which simply vanished into nothingness. The two-week period between Japan's surrender and the arrival of the American occupation forces offered bureaucrats, military officials and businessmen a small window of opportunity during which they could dispose of the "treasure trove" along with any documented evidence of its existence. The day after the Emperor's speech, the War Ministry issued an order that all military supplies, except weaponry, be distributed free to prefectural governments or sold at discount prices to private corporations. This violated the principle of unconditional surrender as laid down in the Potsdam Declaration but in the political and social vacuum created by surrender itself there was no one to force compliance with the declaration until the Americans arrived. In that brief period an estimated three quarters of all military stores were disposed of illegally with only a small percentage ever being recovered.42 41 See, for example Klaus Pringsheim's account of his experience working for the occupation after the war. Klaus A. Pringsheim and Victor Boesen, Man of the World: Memoirs of Europe, Asia, and North America (1930s to 1980s), Mosaic Press, 1995, pp. 79-92. Pringsheim was a German national who lived in Japan during and after the war. During the last months before Japan's surrender, he was jailed for being a spy. Upon his release, he worked for the Japanese and then the Americans. One of his first jobs was acting as translator for American patrols charged with the task of ferreting out concealed military goods. 42GHQ did have some success, however; Mark Gayn recorded a number of cases where occupation officials uncovered stashes of ammunition, gasoline, as well as concrete pillboxes, camouflaged as houses, full of military stores. Japan Diary, William Sloane Associates, Inc., 1948, pp. 45-46. 100 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei Rumours of this "treasure trove" were widespread. The army, for example, was said to have buried an untold fortune in gold bullion in Tokyo Bay while another rumour claimed that an equally large motherlode of diamonds was stashed away in a warehouse owned by the Bank of Japan.43 These valuables were never found but the lack of evidence did nothing to squelch speculation. Some of the rumours were substantiated but most simply floated like cherry blossom petals in an April breeze, buoyed by press accounts that titillated a public desperate for any escape from the drudgery of daily life 4 4 It was not until nearly two years later that evidence supporting the rumours actually came to light in the unlikely person of Liberal Diet member Seko Koichi. 4 5 Described by the press as a "little man" with a "peculiar voice," Seko was a five-time Diet member from Wakayama and had once served as vice-43Theodore Cohen, Remaking Japan, p. 338. 44Two of the more fantastic rumours actually proved to be true. In Fukushima Prefecture, millions of dollars worth of machine tools were found stashed at the bottom of Lake Inawashiro. In Okayama Prefecture workshops constructed on top of some eighty tons of aluminum, tin, copper wire, and scrap iron were also uncovered. See Ibid,, p. 344. 45Sek6 himself broke the story of the diamonds, the value of which was estimated between ¥10 and ¥18 billion at 1947 prices. About ¥200 million worth was actually recovered from the basement of a Mitsui Trust Company building on April 5, 1946. See Asahi Shimbun, July 11,1947. See also Seiji, July 12,1947 and Jimmin, July 13,1947, both translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 36, Editorial Series 1812, Item 3, and Reel 37, Political Series 1646, Item 10, respectively. 101 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market minister in the Home Ministry as well as president of the Liberal Party. The story broke as the result of a speech Seko made at a Liberal Party meeting where he alleged that some ¥100 billion worth of supplies had been hoarded and disposed of by the military in collusion with bureaucrats, politicians, and businessmen.47 Seko had in fact uncovered evidence of these wrongdoings in his capacity as vice-chairman of the Hoarded Goods Disposition Committee (Intaizo Busshi Shori Iinkai), chaired by former Finance Minister Ishibashi Tanzan. 4 8 Seko's job was to substantiate the rumours, track down the hoarded goods, and then distribute them through government agencies. In another meeting of Liberal Party members held three days after his initial announcement, Seko claimed that in order to follow up on rumours of hoarded goods he had issued almost two hundred orders, written on the backs of his calling cards, for the 46This information comes from a July 29, 1947 profile on Seko in the Shin Hochi, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 37, Political Series 1883, Item 5. 4 7Cohen (Remaking Japan, pp. 334-50) and Dower (Embracing Defeat, pp. 112-19) are the only English-language authors I have encountered who discuss this case in any detail. Mark Gayn related a Tokyo newspaper story which claimed that 5800 railways cars were used to transport concealed military supplies to the hiding places in Kyushu. Japan Diary, p. 496. 48Sek6 was appointed parliamentary vice-minister in the Home Ministry in June 1946. When the Economic Stabilization Board (ESB) was established in August 1946, Prime Minister Yoshida, despite opposition from ESB chief Zen Keinosuke, set up the Hoarded Goods Committee with Seko at its head. Zen was replaced as ESB head in January 1947 by then Finance Minister Ishibashi Tanzan who remained in that position until he was purged by GHQ in May 1947. In a newspaper interview after his purge, Ishibashi claimed that between ¥50 and ¥100 billion worth of hoarded goods had disappeared. Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 1947. 102 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei discovery and disposal of nearly ¥5 billion worth of such goods. Despite Seko's assertion that most of the information he received was true, however, only about ten percent of the goods were recovered. This, he said, was due to collusion between government officials and black marketeers who had obstructed his efforts to uncover the hoarded goods.49 Seko claimed that a number of high-ranking government officials, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Nishio Suehiro, were involved in the hoarded goods scandal and were consequently trying to hinder his investigation. He also accused the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Board, which was conducting its own independent investigation, of obstructing justice by jailing his sources.50 It seems that Seko, convinced of rampant government corruption, had used a motley assortment of blackmarketeers and brokers as his informants, a number of whom had forged his orders and either absconded with the concealed goods or extorted money from the accused in return for keeping quiet. This, in turn, led to counter-accusations that Seko himself had been profiting from the illegal disposition of hoarded goods. To muddy the waters even further, Nishio then 49Quoted in Nihon Keizai Shimbun, July 14, 1947. See also Theodore Cohen, pp. 339. 5nThe Police Board uncovered 3647 cases of hoarded goods in 1946 but only 200 in the first half of 1947, of which only twenty-five were found to be in violation of the law. The dramatic decrease in cases led to speculation that many of Seko's allegation were unfounded. See Asahi Shimbun, July 27, 1947. 1 0 3 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market sued Seko for libel, arguing that his reputation had been irrevocably damaged by Seko unfounded allegations. Speaking on behalf of the Katayama cabinet, Nishio said that the government would take no action to investigate Seko's claims, but the scandal was simply too big for the government to ignore. Nishio's statement notwithstanding, the Diet established a special committee (Intaizd Busshi Tokubestu Iinkai) to investigate. In light of his mysterious involvement in the affair and his Liberal Party affiliation, Seko was shunted aside in favour of Socialist Party member Kato Kanju who was chosen to head the new committee. Seko then had to endure interrogation by the Procurator General and was also forced to retract his statements against Nishio due to lack of concrete evidence. After that time, Seko's name all but disappeared from the press. The Kato Committee launched an extensive investigation, aided by men from GHQ's Economic and Scientific Section (ESS), and issued a report of its findings 51 For the complete text of the interview see Mainichi Shimbun, July 15, 1947. Kato, a staunch labour activist, became the Minster of Labour in the cabinet of Ashida Hitoshi following the collapse of the coalition headed by socialist Katayama Tetsu. Kato's wife, Shizue, was the former Baroness Ishimoto, whose husband left her for a life of adventure in Manchuria during the war. She was one of the first group of women to be elected to the Diet in 1946, campaigning for the elimination of the old family system (ie no seido) in which women were mere chattels of their husbands, information on the Katos comes from Gayn who knew and admired both of them, Japan Diary, pp. 172-74, 179, 197, 488-89. 104 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei in December 1947. The Kato Report told a story of wholesale theft and looting at the end of the war. Overnight vast stockpiles of materials, enough to equip a four million-man army, disappeared without a trace, to be held back until prices rose or to be leaked out piecemeal onto the black market. Goods held as inventory at munitions companies and other factories throughout Japan also disappeared. Through the process of "civilianization" these goods simply reverted to company ownership as if they had never been the property of the military in the first place.53 Along with the disposal of goods and supplies, mountains of documents were put to the torch within days after the war. For two days after Japan's surrender bonfires could be seen burning outside military offices throughout the country as men scrambled to destroy any potentially incriminating evidence of these illegal transactions.54 The sheer volume of materials involved meant that their disappearance was not simply a case of piecemeal theft and hoarding by individuals. Some, like our gambler, undoubtably partook in looting the "treasure trove" whenever they could but, 52xhe full text of the report was published in Mainichi Shimbun, December 21, 1947. 530n "civilianization," see Theodore Cohen, Remaking Japan, p. 340. 54okita Saburo, recalled how he accidentally met Inaba Hidezo, later an ESB official, while both men were sifting through soon to be destroyed documents. Okita discovered to his relief that Inaba was on the same rescue and preservation mission as himself. Okita Saburo, Tohon seizo, p. 62. A neighbour of mine in Konodai, eighty-year old Matsumoto Seiji, told me one day that he and his friends used joke about the fires, saying that they saw more of Tokyo burning after August 15th than before. Personal interview with the author, October 12, 1996. 105 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market given the speed with which the material disappeared, the only groups with the ability to transport and store such large quantities were big manufacturers or control associations, which were often associated with or headed by the zaibatsu combines, and the military itself. Estimates of the total amount of money involved ranged from Seko's original figure of between ¥50 and ¥100 million to ¥500 billion. 5 5 Calculating the monetary value of these goods is extremely difficult given the absence of documentation and the ravages of inflation which rendered such calculations obsolete on an almost daily basis. However, a partial reconstruction of Japan's wartime expenditures can provide some indication of the amounts involved. Between 1941 and 1945 government expenditures totalled about ¥260 billion. With war expenditures accounting for 31% of government outlays in 1941 and 94% in 1945, a figure of ¥190 billion in total war expenditures (based on 1945 prices) for that four-year period is not unreasonable. If even one tenth of this remained at the end of the war in form of unused stock, the 1947 value of these materials would exceed ¥2.5 trillion, assuming that wholesale prices in mid-1947 55xhe Kato report put the figure at "more than ¥50 billion." Seko's himself had revised his original figure of ¥100 billion upward to ¥240 billion in August 1947, while Mark Gayn claimed an amount of ten billion dollars. For the Seko figure see the Nippon Times, June 23, 1948 and Theodore Cohen, Remaking Japan, p. 344. For Gayn's figures, see Japan Diary, p. 496. 106 Part One:Kvodatsu and Shinsei were 137 times those of August 1945. Aside from the actual amount of money involved, the truth of which will never be known, was the fact that the hoarded goods were the very same materials that Japan so desperately needed for economic reconstruction. Steel, aluminum, pig and scrap iron, copper, rubber, manganese, and zinc were just some of the materials that had vanished, along with clothing, shoes, and foodstuffs. Throughout the latter half of 1947 and early 1948 G H Q did make a concerted effort to locate and recover these goods with the help of the Procurator General's Office and the ESB. Aside from a few individual successes, however, the bulk of the goods were simply never found. 5 7 Too much time had passed since the goods had disappeared. Theodore Cohen has written that the sheer enormity of the scandal was lost on the Socialists whose more immediate and narrow concern was to expose corrupt conservative politicians and, more generally, to embarrass the Liberal Party itself. Nor, he stated, did GHQ fully appreciate the significance of finding the concealed goods. Even the Japanese press spent most of its energies ^Government and war expenditures, as well as inflation rates for wholesale prices, come from Jerome B. Cohen, Japan's Economy, pp. 54-5, 88-90, 448. He used a Bank of Japan survey of wholesale prices showing that, with 1931 prices at 100, wholesale prices rose from 584 in 1945 to 14,029 in July 1948. Theodore Cohen used the figure of ¥280 billion for war expenditures but did not quote the source, Remaking Japan, p. 344. 57Theodore Cohen estimated that less than half the total amount of hoarded goods were ever recovered. Remaking Japan, p. 341. 107 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market on pious denunciations of postwar immorality or on sensational scandal-mongering, rather than trying to uncover what had actually happened. Perhaps as Cohen said, no one was fully able to grasp the amount of money involved or that the materials in question were designed to sustain a four million-man army for more than two years of fighting. Although further examination of this issue is beyond the scope of my dissertation, I would like to speculate briefly on some of the other possible reasons why this important issue never received the treatment it deserved. First, as Cohen himself mentioned, many Japanese officials were worried that had the hoarded goods been uncovered they would have been lost as reparations or would have reduced the amount of aid supplied by the Americans. Second, almost two years had passed by the time Seko made his allegations which made successful recovery of even a small percentage of the hoarded goods extremely unlikely and, at any rate, would have required considerably more resources and manpower than either GHQ or the Japanese government had available. Third, the political will on the Japanese side was weak precisely because many politicians and bureaucrats were directly or indirectly involved. 5 8 Fourth, by 1947 the Americans were fully committed to 58ln addition to Nishio, a number of other Diet members were implicated but never charged in the case, including ESB chief Wada Hiro. The head of the Arms Disposal Committee, Komatsu Takeshi (vice-president of Nippon Steel Tube) was also suspected of having profited from the sale of military supplies. 108 Part One:Kvodatsu and Shinsei supporting these same officials as the vanguard in America's fight against communism. S a b o t a g e a n d t h e B l a c k M a r k e t All in all, there were simply too many factors working against the recovery of the hoarded goods. Nonetheless, the impact of this issue on the socio-economic conditions of early postwar Japan was manifold. Specifically, hoarding created artificial material shortages which hindered production and increased unemployment. It also drove up prices, fanning the fires of inflation that raged across the country like the document bonfires themselves. Tsuru Shigeto, vice-minister of the Economic Stabilization Board in 1947 and author of Japan's first postwar economic White Paper, claimed that hoarding of critically scarce materials immediately after the war was the major cause of inflation.59 This opinion was shared by Minobe Ryokichi, son of the famous "Emperor-as-organ" theorist Minobe Tatsukichi, who argued that an inexorable circular logic had gripped Japan's economy. Hoarding and stagnant production widened the gap between supply and demand which in turn further increased the rate of 59Personal interview with Professor Tsuru, February 13, 1991, Nogizaka, Tokyo. 109 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market inflation. This state of affairs perpetuated the original problems since sitting on stocks or selling them on the black market "would be far easier and decidedly to their [Japanese business] interests."60 The centrepoint of that circle was of course the black market itself, since it was both the source of profit for those who had the goods and the source of goods for those who had no other choice. What Minobe and Tsuru delicately refered to was a business practice known by other more openly critical commentators as "industrial sabotage" (kigyd sabota-ju).61 The industrial community and the zaibatsu in particular, it was alleged, were sitting on their stockpiles of hoarded materials and speculating for enormous profits on the black market while, at the same time, closing factories, laying off workers, and crying poverty in the face of Japan's postwar economic kyodatsu jdtai. In short, the severe material shortages which Japanese business claimed were the reason for stagnating production were actually the product of a fry conscious decision on the part of those very same people not to produce. They were, in effect, the creators of the kyodatsu jdtai. This was the position of the 6nMinobe Ryokichi, "Japan's Economic Rehabilitation," Contemporary Japan (May-August 1946), vol. xv, p. 206. 61 Industrial sabotage was also referred to as capital sabotage (shihon sabota-ju) and production sabotage (seisan sabota-ju). 62See, for example, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, August 15, 1946. 110 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei Japan Communist Party (JCP), whose official newspaper, Akahata, left no doubt as to the causes of Japan's economic problems in a December 1946 editorial. The present economic crisis is an outcome of the capitalists' sabotage and the bureaucratic government's indifferent attitude toward the crisis. A s a matter of fact they [the capitalists] have invested all that there is to be invested in production into speculative fields, thereby aggravating inflation. Such is their policy because speculation brings more profits than production.63 Comments such as this were by no means confined to the extreme left, however. Cri t icism and concern over the effects of industrial sabotage were heard from many quarters. In a June 1946 debate in the economic journal, Jitsugyd no Nihon, moderator Sumida Shoichi argued that industrial sabotage was one of the main causes for the production control initiatives of labour . 6 4 The following month in a round table discussion (zadankai) in the same journal, Ikumi Takaichi of the Japan Manufacturer's Association echoed Sumida's opinion. He d id not endorse production control but Ikumi's position is nonetheless surprising in light of 63Akahata, December 13, 1946, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 25, Economic Series 438, Item 5. Italics mine. 64Sumida Shoichi, Kawai Yoshinari, Kono Hisoka, "Tbron: Shihonshugi ka shakaishugi ka - Shokuryo, Injure, Shitsugyo," Jitsugyo no Nihon, 49:6, June 1, 1946, pp. 6-8. Kawai was the Welfare Minister and member of the Upper House and Kono was a member of the Socialist Party. Sumida was one of the journal's staff writers. Although he brought up the issue of sabotage a number of times, neither Kawai nor Kono address it directly. Both were more concerned with how to find the balance between socialism and capitalism through some combination of planning and free market principles. I l l Chap te r T w o : Kyodatsu and Shinsei i n the B lack M a r k e t w h o m he represented. In the same d i scuss ion Inoue H a r u m a r o , an engineer w i t h the M i n i s t r y of A g r i c u l t u r e a n d Forestry , s u m m a r i z e d the p r o b l e m neatly, s ay ing that sabotage was w i d e n i n g the gap between the capitalists and the people w h i c h de l ayed the establ ishment of pos twar Japan's n e w order (shin chitsujo).66 M o s t analyses of indus t r i a l sabotage tended to l i n k this p h e n o m e n a d i rec t ly w i t h in f la t ion w h i l e v i e w i n g the b lack marke t as a mere end p r o d u c t of i m m o r a l business behav iour . In this w a y , in f la t ion itself came to be unde r s tood as the root of a l l economic e v i l . This was the l ine taken b y the F o r e i g n M i n i s t r y ' s Specia l S u r v e y C o m m i t t e e (SSC), w h o s e 1946 report was one of the most in f luen t ia l commentar ies o n the state of Japan's pos twar economy. Inf la t ion is the m a i n factor h i n d e r i n g the r e s u m p t i o n of p roduc t ion . . . S u d d e n rises i n the cost of labour , manufac tu red goods , a n d r a w mater ia ls u n d e r m i n e management p l a n n i n g and , together w i t h the d i f f icu l ty of ob ta in ing r a w mater ia ls a n d a t ight m o n e y s u p p l y , induces indus t r i a l i s t s to refrain, consciously or unconsciously, f rom p r o d u c i n g . Rather than p a y i n g h i g h wages and process ing r a w materials , they d iscover that it is more profi table to sit o n their stocks and w a i t for pr ices to rise. G i v e n the d i m i n i s h i n g appea l of commerc ia l t ransactions based o n s o u n d economic ac t iv i ty , they sole ly pu r sue specula t ive profit . . . Fu r the rmore , w i t h the col lapse of the official p r ice structure, the poss ib i l i ty exists 6 5 i k u m i Takaichi, Inoue Harumaru, Kimura Kihachir6,"Zadankai: Yoshida naikaku no seizai seisaku," J i t s u g y o n o N i h o n , 49:7, July 1, 1946, p. 4. Kimura was the chairman of the journal and a member of the editorial board of the Hokkaido Times. He was also the author of the study on inflation I cited earlier. 66rbid., p. 3. 112 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei whereby firms such as munitions companies, which purchased amounts of raw materials during the war, can make enormous profits. This is one reason for the sabotage of production.67 While recognizing that some companies had indeed stockpiled goods, curtailed production, and dabbled in black market speculation, the authors of the report still presented inflation as a personified entity, creating victims of everyone through the sheer power of its self-sustaining life force. During eight years of all-out war Japan had created an economic monster. Government policies to shift as much of Japan's productive capacity to war production had all but eviscerated domestic consumption, leading to rationing and shortages and, in turn, black markets and inflation. As long as the economy was producing war materials at the behest of the government, inflation and black market activity were limited by a combination of government controls, police surveillance, "economic laws," and fear. With the onset of aerial bombing and the virtual disappearance of merchant shipping, Japan's war economy almost ground to a halt. However, defeat radically changed the situation. Control waned, the police were defanged, and fear was replaced with a combination of despondency and opportunism. One of the few 67Gaimusho Tokubetsu Iinkai, Kaitei nihon keizai saiken no kihon mondai (The Fundamental Issues in the Reconstruction of Japan's Economy: Revised), reprinted in Nakamura Takafusa (ed), Shiryb, vol. 1, "Nihon Keizai Saiken Kihon Mondai," pp. 183-84. Italics mine. This edition of the document was published in September 1946 but an earlier draft was published the previous March. The reprint in Nakamura includes the original text where it differs from the revised edition. Both versions of the report used the word "tazgi/o"instead of the more common "sabota-ju" rendered into katakana. The third edition of the Kdjien defines taigyd as sabotage, which carries with it the connotation of intentionality on the part of the doer. 113 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market things the government was able to control was the transfer of war material and money to civilian control "before the Yanks got it." With the spectre of potentially crippling reparations, wholesale purges, and zaibatsu dissolution, government officials and the business community - the so-called "old guard" -simply dug in their heels and waited to see what would happen. Japanese business, for its part, claimed that material shortages and extensive damage to Japan's industrial infrastructure made it impossible to resume production without outside - that is, American - assistance. Both were exaggerations. Japan's industrial infrastructure was not damaged as badly damaged during the war as many people believed. According to the 1949 ESB report on war damages, Japan still retained 75% of all production goods, 66% of machine tools, and 71% of transportation goods at the end of the war. In addition, there were vast stockpiles of metals, textiles and clothing, paper, and cement.68 Moreover, the worst decline in productivity occurred after the war, bottoming out at less than 10% of 1935-37 levels by the early fall of 1945.69 It was the civilian 68Keizai Kikakuchohen, Gendai nihon keizai no hatten, p. 33. See also Masamura Kimihiro, Zusetsu sengoshi (A Map of Postwar History), Chikuma Shobo, 1988, pp. 44-48. 69Keizai Antei Honbu, "Keizai jsso hokokusho (Report on the Actual Conditions of Japan's Economy), reprinted by the Okurasho Insatsukyoku, November 1970, p. 14, University of British Columbia Library, Vancouver, BC. This was Japan's first postwar economic White Paper, published on July 4,1947 in all Japan's major dailies, and authored mainly by Tsuru Shigeto. Hereafter referred to as "White Paper." All citations and page numbers, however, come from the Okurasho 114 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei sector that was hardest hit by the war, not the industrial sector. With the remaining productive capacity, the huge injection of money from the government's indemnity payments, and the enormous stockpile of hoarded materials, Japan's industrial sector did have the wherewithal to resume production for civilian purposes. The postwar kyodatsu jdtai was real for many Japanese but the business community also used this language as an excuse not to produce. The SSC report was correct in explaining how this situation came about, but by focusing on inflation the committee failed to recognize that it was the self-sustaining force of the black market, rather than that of inflation itself, which made speculative profiteering possible. The black market was so deeply embedded in the structure of early postwar Japanese society that it closed off many other avenues of economic behaviour. A final example to illustrate my point is unemployment, which combined with inflation and stagnant production to form the triumvirate of Japan's economic woes in the minds of many Japanese. Immediately following defeat, companies closed shop and laid off their workers, and within a few months approximately two-thirds of all industrial workers were unemployed. Added to this was the reprint. 70joe Moore, Japanese Workers and the Struggle for Power, p. 88. 1 1 5 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market massive influx of repatriated soldiers and civilians in search of employment or any means of survival. In December 1945, the Ministry of Welfare estimated that 71 the number of Japanese unemployed was between five and six million. This figure was undoubtedly low since it did not include unemployed not registered at employment offices, black market dealers, those partially unemployed, or the millions who left the cities for the countryside.72 Many were concerned that if Japanese industry did not resume production unemployment would swell to three times or more that figure. By mid-1946, talk of ten to fifteen million unemployed was commonplace, and as late as the summer of 1947 fears of ten million or more unemployed were being expressed in official circles. The ESB's "White Paper" claimed that ten million unemployed was possible even if industrial productivity rose to 1935-37 levels. The connection between unemployment and the black market is an interesting one. With Japanese industrial production slowing to a trickle, many unemployed 71 This figure comes from a Ministry of Welfare (Koseisho) study conducted in early 1946. Cited in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 249. 72Moore has correctly noted that unemployment figures for this period are notoriously unreliable, representing the tip of the iceberg rather than its base. Moore, Japanese Workers and the Struggle for Power, p. 258. 73\vhite Paper, p. 21. 116 Fart One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei persons naturally gravitated to the black market in search of work. More lucrative than regular employment, black marketeering was one of the few jobs that promised a decent living and, thus, became an important outlet for Japanese entrepreneurial creativity at a time when the lack of productive employment was one of the most serious barriers to reconstruction. Despite the wage gains made by organized labour, black marketeering still offered a better return on labour, not to mention providing easier access to scarce food and consumer goods. Paradoxically, however, the black market exacerbated the unemployment problem because it offered both the chance for quick profit as well as an escape from the drudgery of whatever regular employment was available. A study done by the Labour Department of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Bureau in November 1945 reported that there were only 25,913 applicants for 37,000 vacancies in the city, meaning that about one-third of the available jobs had no applicants at all. Even more telling, the total number of applicants actually employed was only 6240, a mere seventeen percent of the total number of job vacancies.74 Although it lacked definitive proof, the study concluded that the majority of those not employed likely moved into the black market since there was really no where else 74 Cited in the Yomiuri Hochi, November 17, 1945. The situation for female employment was similar. A study done by the employment office of the Welfare Ministry showed that only 19% of jobs vacancies in offices and factories were filled in January 1946. This figure rose to 44% in April. Reported in Jiji Shimpo, September 1, 1946, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 19, Editorial Series 846, Item 3. 117 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market to go. This was also the assessment of the SSC report which stated that the "tendency of workers to engage in business transactions [on the black market] rather than productive work created a contradictory phenomenon" whereby unemployment rose while job vacancies went unfilled.75 Even those who did hold regular jobs frequently took time off to earn extra income in the street stalls that dotted the charred landscape of Japan's cities and towns. There was also regular, albeit risky, employment to be had as a smuggler, transporting rice and other foodstuffs from the countryside to the cities aboard the trains. These "mules" were frequently women who carried the illegal goods on their backs like babies. Occasionally, unfortunate women would be caught transporting smuggled rice when the bags sprung a leak. Seidensticker relates a story of one hapless women caught by a policeman who informed her that her 77 "baby" was "wetting its pants." Police did regular spot checks and set up inspection points to stem the flow of these goods onto the black market, but, as with most smuggling operations, those who were caught were likely only a small percentage of the total traffic. Police also carried out frequent raids on known 75Nakamura (ed), Shiryo, vol. 1. pp. 184-85. 76Reported in the Yomiuri Hochi, December 22, 1945 77Seidensticker, Tokyo Rising, p. 153. 118 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei areas of black market activity, but as fast as some stalls were shut down others appeared in their place. Black market activity continued to flourish well into 1948; however, rather than succumbing to government crackdowns and police surveillance, the demise of the black market was more a consequence of the same "economic laws" that brought it into existence in the first place. By 1948-49 inflation was slowing, production was increasing, and the worst of the take no ko seikatsu was over. Black market activity continued to flourish, especially in luxury and imported items, but it ceased to exert the stranglehold over the Japanese people that it had done in the early years following surrender.79 For the first few years after the war, however, the black market functioned as both a monopoly and a monopsony, an economic tyrant that demanded unquestioning obedience. 7 8 m December 1946, Home Minister Omura Seiichi announced that 925,748 arrests for black marketeering had been made nationwide in the first ten months of the year, of which 121,000 were referred to the prosecutor's office (kenjikyoku). Reported in Jiji Shimpb, December 23 and 27, 1945, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 6, Economic Series 784, Items 1 & 3. 790ne elderly woman told me the story of her college days in the late 1950s when she and her friend had to go the infamous Ameyokocho black market in Ueno to illegally purchase American dollars for their vacation to the United States. At that time, Ameyokocho dealers sold mostly currency and rare, imported items, primarily from the United States. Personal interview with Nagatani Michiko, Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture, December, 15, 1994. 119 C h a p t e r T w o : Kyodatsu a n d Shinsei i n the B l a c k M a r k e t Daraku a n d t h e B l a c k M a r k e t The foregoing d i s c u s s i o n has been d e s i g n e d to reinforce the idea that not o n l y w e r e i n f l a t i o n , h o a r d i n g , a n d u n e m p l o y m e n t inseparable i n the ear ly p o s t w a r years, b u t that their interact ions can be best u n d e r s t o o d f r o m the p o i n t of v i e w of the p e o p l e b y focus ing o n the b l a c k m a r k e t as the site of b o t h kyodatsu a n d shinsei. In this r e g a r d , it is also i m p o r t a n t to recognize that the b l a c k m a r k e t a n d other re lated p h e n o m e n a w e r e not m e r e l y mani festat ions of e c o n o m i c col lapse b u t of m o r a l col lapse as w e l l . The Japanese people became b o t h v i c t i m s a n d v i c t i m i z e r s i n w h a t ceased to be a n e x c l u s i v e l y e c o n o m i c d o m a i n ; they were i n fact actors i n w h a t became a n a t i o n a l m o r a l i t y p l a y f r o m w h i c h the o n l y escape w a s death. The tragic examples of the T o k y o teacher a n d the Y o k o h a m a judge, d i s c u s s e d i n the last chapter, w h o starved to death o n off ic ial rat ions re inforced the i d e a of the i m m o r a l i t y of a defeated n a t i o n . T h r o u g h i n d i v i d u a l acts of conscience these m e n h a d chosen p r i n c i p l e over p r e s e r v a t i o n a n d h a d d i e d for their beliefs. Their actions w e r e extreme examples b u t they d o i l lustrate that the d i l e m m a fac ing the Japanese p e o p l e w a s b o t h e c o n o m i c a n d m o r a l i n nature. It is not s u r p r i s i n g that the debates over reconstruct ion, w h e t h e r of the self or of the e c o n o m y , were expressed i n the language of m o r a l i t y as w e l l as that of 120 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei economics. One of the most commonly used phrases in discussions of Japan's economy was "evil inflation" (akusei infure).80 Economist Tsuchiya Takao certainly used this language to describe the economic woes of a defeated nation. In a fascinating and prophetic March 1946 article where he advocated a Matsukata-style deflationary policy that anticipated the Dodge Line, Tsuchiya made a direct link between "evil inflation" and immorality.81 Drawing a parallel between the post-Satsuma Rebellion Japan and the early postwar years, Tsuchiya argued that inflation in both eras was characterized by the phenomenon of "moral degeneration" (dotokuteki taihai).82 Lying, deception, theft, and decadence among the citizens of Tokyo were, for Tsuchiya, all examples of dishonour spreading throughout society. These were all the acts of a people "thrown into the abyss" (shin-en ni tozuru) due to the corrupting effects of "evil inflation."83 Tsuchiya did not specifically mention the black market but the acts to which he referred were those of the black market. SOReference to "evil inflation" can be found in the SSC report, in the 1947 White Paper, and in the zadankai cited earlier. The press, too, fequently adopted this terms when discussing Japan's economic problems. See also, Uchino, "Infure to shokuryo kiki," in Arisawa (ed), Showa keizaishi, p. 256. 81 Tsuchiya Takao, "Nihon no infure shi no kyokun (Lessons From the History of Japanese Inflation), Jitsugyo no Nihon, 49:3, March 1,1946, pp. 2-5. 82lbid, p. 3. 83rbid., pp. 3-4. 121 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market Discussions of Japan's moral degeneracy were not restricted to the specialist, economic or otherwise. The press and the Japanese people too debated this issue almost as much as they did the food problem. A little more than two months after the war, an editorial in the Tokushima Shimbun castigated "the shameless attempts of [the] Japanese to live on the sacrifices of others." Referring in part to the profits made by some from the take no ko seikatsu, the editorial bitterly proclaimed that "morality has now forsaken Japan."84 The following month a letter to the editor from "a person without a regular occupation" denounced the moral corruption of war profiteers and demanded its eradication.85 At the end of that hard year, a Tokyo Shimbun editorial criticized both the government and industry for neglecting their obligations to the people by doing nothing to eliminate black market activity.86 The Seko Case, too, elicited plenty of moral outrage in the press. The Mainichi Shimbun, for example, viewed the significance of the Seko Case in terms of political morality. Given the atrocious state of Japanese public morals, it said, politicians of strong moral fibre were needed more than ever. In fact, the editorial saw the Seko Case as a microcosm of ^Tokushima Shimbun, November 27, 1945, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 3, Editorial Series 73, Item 1. S^Asahi Shimbun, December 14, 1945. 86Tofa/o Shimbun, December 31, 1945, translated and reprinted in ATIS, Reel 3, Economic Series 117, Item, 1. 122 Part One:Kyodatsu and Shinsei the moral degeneracy of a defeated nation. One of the most influential and widely-read discussions of moral decay came from burai-ha writer Sakaguchi Ango in his famous essay "On Depravity" (Darakuron).88 Sakaguchi offered the example of Japan's young men who willingly offered to die for the Emperor during the war, but who now had become black marketeers.89 The world had changed, Sakaguchi said, in only six months, but the change was really only in the thin veneer of social conditions (kawatta no wa sesd no uwakawa dake).90 People were as they had always been; "the bravery of the young men in the suicide corps was merely an illusion."91 In a bizarre twist on the concept of new life (shinsei), Sakaguchi asked rhetorically: "Does not human history begin at the place where [the tokkdtai] become black 87Mainichi Shimbun, July 27, 1947. S^ The burai-ha, or decadents, was a group of young postwar radicals who rejected traditional Japanese values. Their avant garde style and intentionally hedonistic lifestyle attracted a wide following in the early postwar years, especially among young people. They also came under heavy criticism as the embodiment of defeated Japan's immorality. The writer Dazai Osamu, who committed suicide in 1948, was a friend of Sakaguchi's and a prominent member of this group. 89Sakaguchi Ango, Darakuron (On Depravity), reprinted in Chikuma Nihon Bungaku Zenshu, Sakaguchi Ango, Chikuma Shobo, 1991, p. 213. 90lbid., p. 213. 91 Ibid., p. 225. 123 Chapter Two: Kyodatsu and Shinsei in the Black Market marketeers? The seemingly smooth transition from dying for the Emperor to black marketeering for oneself illustrated the extent to which Japanese society had become depraved and immoral. With bitter sarcasm, Sakaguchi welcomed this, arguing that only through absolute depravity could Japan's salvation be effected. All nations experience at various points in their history a crisis of morality or ethics and Japan is no exception. Generational change, if nothing else, ensures that the coexistence of generations will produce a re-evaluation of habits, customs and morals. The current criticisms of today's "Generation X" and of the hippies of the 1960s are two North American examples. In Japan we can also see a similar process at work: today, in the 1960s, and during the Taisho era when the emergence of the moga (modern girl) and mobo (modern boy) scandalized Japanese society.93 The early postwar concern about Japanese morality, or the lack of it, was but one example of a society in crisis. What made this crisis unique was defeat itself. The black markets which dotted the urban landscape of Japan like some kind of a social disease were among the most virulent expressions of defeat. The existential world of early postwar Japan was clearly characterized by 92ibid., p. 225. 930n the moga and mobo phenomenon, see Barbara Hamil Sato, "The Moga Sensation: Perceptions of the Modan Garu in Japanese Intellectual Circles in the 1920s," Gender and History, 5:3 (Autumn 1993), pp. 363-81. 124 Part One:Kuodatsu and Shinsei destruction, hunger, and depravity, a w o r l d where many people believed they were l iv ing i n a turning point or standing at a crossroads in their history. Defeat was the natural occasion for this outpouring of emotion and therefore can be understood as the "psychological ground" of being i n the sense that it was the site or location where the Japanese became aware of themselves as a fallen people. In the same way that the black market functioned as an "existential ground" from which escape on the level of daily life was virtually impossible, defeat too was the inescapable beginning/end from which all discussions of reconstruction, by necessity, originated. The early postwar years were, i n the words of two Japanese scholars, "the unconscious point of departure (shuppatsuten) for the postwar generat ion. 9 4 94iWasaki and Kato (eds), Showa sesdshi, p. 44. 125 The Reconstruction of Self and Society in Postwar Japan, 1945-1950 PART TWO: REPENTANCE AND RESPONSIBILITY Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance As we saw in part one, Japanese responses to defeat ranged from profound despair (kyodatsu) to exhilaration over the chance to build a new life (shinsei). The coexistence of kyodatsu and shinsei created a dynamic, anything goes environment in which the Japanese people struggled to come to grips with the world of destruction, hunger, and impoverishment into which they were thrown. While many people understood defeat as a disruption between past and present, Sakaguchi's comment that only the veneer of society had changed may have more accurate than he ever imagined. Defeat revealed the poverty of Japan's prewar and wartime value system and demanded a wholesale rethinking of the principles underlying those values. However, the ubiquity of black market activity exposed the moral bankruptcy of a nation in defeat, one characterized by selfish individualism and the breakdown of traditional forms of social order. Yet, the breakdown of traditional society and the resurrection in its place of (unselfish) individualism was the very goal to which many Japanese aspired in the early postwar years. The Japanese people were thus caught between the "rock" of the past and the "hard place" of the present. To move backward meant a return to the oppressive world that had led to defeat in the first place. To 1 2 7 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility remain standing in the present, however, meant further decline into the abyss of chaos and disorder. Only the unknown - the future - seemed to offer any real possibility for new life. An awakening to this dilemma naturally led to the question: "How do we get there (the future) from here (the present)?" The answers to this question were many, the most important of which will be discussed in Chapter Five. In general terms, however, they all began from a recognition of the need for deep reflection ifukai hansei) on the immediate past and, in some cases, repentance (zange), and atonement (tsugunai). While there was little unanimity on the ultimate form Japanese society should take or on the role Japan should play in the new postwar world order, the language of a defeated nation was replete with these notions. Much of it amounted to empty rhetoric or downright deception, as in the case of many postwar leaders who sought to inculcate the idea of "collective repentance" (sozange) as a strategy of protecting the Emperor and their own positions. Nonetheless, there was a significant number of Japanese for whom the acts of reflection, repentance, and atonement constituted the necessary first steps in their nation's reconstruction. These expressions of penance were most clearly articulated in the debate over war responsibility which is the subject of Chapter Four. Actually, the phrase, 128 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance "war responsibility," was something of a misnomer. Initially, there were numerous calls for an investigation into war responsibility (senso sekinin), but the debate quickly devolved into a discussion over responsibility for defeat (haisen sekinin).1 Thus, reflection, repentance, and atonement were not performed in response to the war's origins or its prosecution; nor were they undertaken in recognition of the suffering inflicted by Japan's military on the people of other Asian nations and on Allied prisoners of war. This was mostly left to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) which, together with the Emperor whose absolution from responsibility and reincarnation into a man of peace, forms the subject of Chapter Six. Rather, reflection, repentance, and atonement squarely focused on the fact of defeat itself. This is why I argue that defeat can be characterized as the psychological ground of being insofar as it was the progenitor of a debate which began the process of 1 The issue of war responsibility continued in the later postwar years but it really took off again in the mid-1970s, particularly through the work of Ienaga Saburo, Inoue Kiyoshi, Yamanaka Hisahi, Takasaki Ryuji, and Sakuramoto Tomio. For a good selection of their writings, see Shunsuke Tsurumi, A Cultural History of Postwar Japan, 1945-1980, Kegan Paul International, 1987, pp. 135-37. In recent years, especially in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of Japan's defeat, a spate of new books appeared in Japanese bookstores addressing the issue of war responsibility. See, for example, Arai Shinichi, Senso sekininron (The Debate on War Responsibility), Iwanami Shoten, 1995; Awaya Kentaro, Tanaka Hiroshi, Hiroto Kiyogo, Mishima Keiichi, Nozota Yoshio, Yamaguchi Sada, Senso sekinin - Sengo sekinin: Nihon to Doitsu wa do chigau ka (War Responsibility - Postwar Responsibility: How Are Japan and Germany Different?), Asahi Shimbunsha, 1996. Unlike the debate at the end of the war, these books focus primarily on responsibility for the war and its prosecution and often seek to locate the issue of war responsibility in Japan in a more global context. Because my own research suggests that for the Japanese people defeat remains the event that marked a turning point in Japan's history, we can perhaps also understand these new publications as a collection of attempts to correct this mentality of defeat. 129 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility reconstructing the Japanese self, as well as becoming the end product of individual and collective acts of soul-searching and penance. Amidst this chorus came another voice counselling repentance. It was the voice of Kyoto University philosopher Tanabe Hajime whose 1946 work, Zangedd toshite no tetsugaku (The Way of Repentance as Philosophy) provides us with a starting point from which we can analyze the relationship between defeat and identity.2 The importance of Zangedd to the reconstruction of self and society in early postwar Japan is manifold. In a world awash in chaos, Zangedd stood as a powerful example of one man's attempt to come to grips with crisis and life in the turning point. Tanabe's emphasis on repentance, remorse, and atonement as a way of reconstructing the self parallelled the efforts of those who sought to perform a similar action through the war responsibility debate. Although he did ^Tanabe was a member of the Kyoto-gakuha, or Kyoto School of philosophers, whose other principal members included Nishida Kitaro and Nishitani Keiji. A second generation of disciples included Takeuchi Yoshinori, Ueda Shizuteru, and Kosaka Masaaki. Of the three principals, Nishida is best known in Europe and North America. Although James Heisig overstates Tanabe's position as the rightful founder of the school, I do agree that without the philosophical disputes between Tanabe and Nishida there probably would not have been a Kyoto School at all. The phrase, Kyoto-gakuha, itself seems to have been coined by the marxist Tosaka Jun who used it as a pejorative epithet to describe the bourgeois ideology underlying much of their work. See James W. Heisig's "Foreward," in Philosophy as Metanoetics, University of California Press, 1987, pp. xii-xiii; and Heisig, "The Religious Philosophy of the Kyoto School," in Taitetsu Unno and Heisig (eds), The Religious Philosophy of Tanabe Hajiime: The Metanoetic Imperative, Asian Humanities Press, 1990, pp. 12-42. This collection of essays will hereafter be cited as RPT. For more on the Kyoto School and its critics, see the essays in "Part Four" of James W. Heisig and John C. Maraldo (eds), Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto School, & the Question of Nationalism, University of Hawai'i Press, 1994. 130 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance not publicly partake in the debate, his plea for sozange (collective repentance) was consistent with the language and temper of the times.3 Zangedo offered the promise of liberation from despair (kyodatsu) by placing the Japanese people on the road to new life (shinsei). It was therefore characteristic of a wave of idealism that swept through Japan in the heady years immediately following defeat when intellectuals and ordinary citizens longed for the establishment of a new international world order founded on peace, harmony, and cooperation. As one of many choices available in the early postwar years, Zangedo also represents a road not taken (tadoranakatta michi) or, at least, "one less travelled by." 4 As such, it can function as a yardstick against which the actual reconstruction of self and society is measured. Zangedo may also offer some insight into the process by which repentance and atonement were transformed or channelled into the ^Tanabe did venture briefly into the public domain between 1946 and 1949 with magazine articles focussing on politics and political ideology. Ienaga Saburo provides a complete list of publications from what he calls Tanabe's "political life" (seiji no seikatsu) in Tanabe Hajime no shiso shiteki kenkyu: senso to tetsugakusha (A Historical Analysis of the Thought of Tanabe Hajime: War and the Philosopher), Hosei Daigaku Shuppankyoku, 1976, p. 229. These articles are also reproduced in Chikuma Shobohen (eds), Tanabe Hajime zenshu (The Collected Works of Tanabe Hajime), vol. 8, Chikuma Shobo, 1963, hereafter refered to as THZ. For a brief assessment of Tanabe's postwar political views, see Koschmann, Revolution and Subjectiveity, pp. 88-95. ^Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken, reprinted in The Norton Anthology of Literature, vol. 2, 4th edition, W. W. Norton and Co., 1994, pp. 1101-02 1 3 1 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility almost single-minded concern with economic recovery. Zangedo: The Way of Repentance In the summer of 1944 as American B-29s were poised to begin their bombing campaigns on the Japanese home islands, Kyoto University philosopher Tanabe Hajime watched with despair and helplessness as his country slowly began its final, inexorable "descent into hell."6 As a citizen, Tanabe shared in the suffering of his countryfolk whose lives had been degraded by the privations of war and by the oppressive weight of government censorship and propaganda.7 As an intellectual, however, Tanabe experienced a crisis of a different order. His was ^This argument has been made by Yoshimi Yoshiaki, "Senrybki nihon no minshii ishiki: Senso sekinin o megutte" (The Peoples' Consciousness in Occupied Japan: Thoughts on the War Responsibility Debate), Shiso, 811, January 1992, pp. 73-99; and Yoshida Yutaka, Nihonjin no sensokan: Sengoshi no naka no henyb, (Japanese Perspectives in the War: Transformations in Postwar History), Iwanami Shoten, 1995. ^This phrase comes from Michael Sherry who used it to describe the dehumanizing effects civilian bombing had on its advocates, the Americans. However, it also accurately captures the horrified reaction of the Japanese people as they witnessed the complete destruction of their cities and towns. See The Rise of American Air Power, p. 117. 7Tanabe did not experience directly the horror of incendiary bombing since Kyoto and its shrines, temples and treasures were spared at the direction of the US government. Tanabe was from Tokyo, however, and, although I have no information on his immediate family, it is possible that he still had relatives living there who suffered or died in the raids. 132 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance the crisis of a "public man/' a civil servant, in fact, whose talents were at all times to be placed in the service of his nation.8 To remain silent effectively meant repudiating the principles for which he as an intellectual and as an educator stood, not to mention neglecting his duties to the state. To speak out, however, required him to be openly critical of the government's suppression of public opinion and academic freedom, a dangerous course of action that he feared might "expose to the enemy divisions in the national consciousness."9 Unable to decide on the proper course of action, Tanabe was finally driven to the brink of exhaustion (kikon ga tsukihateru shi o nashi) by his own indecision.10 A ^Tanabe was a public man in the sense that as a professor in Japan's imperial university system he was also a civil servant, a public employee whose words and deeds were constrained by the limits imposed by national education policy. His work was also public in the sense that it was available to all, even though it is unlikely that any but a small minority of individuals would have read or understood it. On the public man and the problems facing Japanese academics in the prewar years, see Andrew E. Barshay, State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan. See also Byron K. Marshall, Academic Freedom and the Japanese Imperial University, 1868-1939, University of California Press, 1992; and John S. Brownlee, Japanese Historians and the National Myths, 1600-1945: The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jinmu, University of British Columbia Press, 1997. ^Tanabe Hajime, "Jo" (Preface) in Zangedo toshite no tetsugaku,, pp. 1-2. Zangedo was first published by Iwanami in April 1946 and again in November 1947. In 1986, Tanabe's student, Takeuchi Yoshinori, published an English translation in collaboration with Valdo Viglielmo and James W. Heisig under the title Philosophy as Metanoetics, University of California Press, 1986. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are mine and are taken from the 1947 Japanese edition. In this version, the Preface written in October 1945, the Table of Contents (Mokuji) and Chapter One (Zangedo no tetsugakuteki ishiki) are all paginated beginning from page one. Consequently, I will treat the Preface as an essay separate from the body of the text. 10lbid, p. 2. 133 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility man who could not resolve such a problem, he concluded, d id not deserve to be called a philosopher, much less be qualified to teach such an "exalted subject as ph i losophy ." 1 1 There, in the very depths of despair, Tanabe underwent a personal conversion of such intensity that he felt himself to have died and been reborn (shi-fukkatsu) through the compassionate grace of other-power (tariki) in the realm of absolute nothingness (zettai mu)}2 A t the brink of exhaustion..., however, something astounding occurred. In a state of absolute despair, I surrendered to my own penance (zange) which unexpectedly turned me inward toward myself and brought me to a new realization [of my own worthlessness]... By meekly but persistently examining my own inner self I was brought face to face wi th my own powerlessness and lack of freedom.13 The task that now confronted Tanabe was nothing less than the creation of a new universal philosophy that wou ld break through the crisis of reason and also allow the self to awaken to itself. The product of this death and resurrection was Zangedd toshite no tetsugaku. It represented the culmination and synthesis of 11 Ibid, p. 2. 12lbid., p. 9. I have chosen not to follow Takeuchi's capitalizations of Other-power and Absolute Nothingness since Tanabe did not use any highlighting marks or devices in the original text. 13lbid., p. 2. 134 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance more than twenty-five years of philosophical inquiry into the realm of being. Tanabe called it "a philosophy that is not a philosophy" (tetsugaku naranu tetsugaku)}5 This was an appropriate characterization, for Zangedd was at once a philosopher's attempt to transcend all philosophy based on reason as well as an "ordinary and foolish" man's offering to those who, like himself, needed to find their way through the crisis of defeat.16 Tanabe worked feverishly to complete his new project, which he first delivered as a series of retirement lectures in November and December 1944 at Kyoto University. As American bombers continued their relentless assaults on Japan's towns and cities, Tanabe wrote to his student, Takeuchi Yoshinori, shortly after his "conversion": The national mood is extremely sombre, and yet I feel a strange sense of light streaming over me that fills me with an indescribable 14 According to his students, Takeuchi and Kosaka Masaaki, Zangedd represented the beginning of the last of four phases in his intellectual development. This followed a four-year hiatus between 1941 and 1944 during which Tanabe, like many other intellectuals, wrote very little. Takeuchi Yoshinori, "Translator's Introduction," Philosophy as Metanoetics, p. xi, and Kosaka Masaaki, Nishida tetsugaku to Tanabe tetsugaku (The Philosophies of Nishida and Tanabe), Nagoya, Reimei Shobo, 1949, pp. 65-76. 15"Preface," p. 3. 16lbid, p. 14. Tanabe stated in the preface that his offer of Zangedd to the lapanese people was out of gratitude (hdon) to Shinran Shonin, founder of the True Pure Land Buddhist sect, for his own personal conversion. Tanabe's references to himself as "ordinary and foolish" (gusha bombu) -that is, as an everyman - can be found throughout the text. 135 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility gratitude. It seems to me that there can be no other path toward national rehabilitation than for our people as a whole to engage in repentance. M y philosophy of metanoetics may come to have a strange kind of historical objectivity about it . . . i 7 While Zangedd was the product of Tanabe's own personal conversion, he clearly hoped that it would provide a solution for the historically unprecedented crisis that engulfed his country. As such, Zangedd must be understood within the context of Japan's impending defeat. Tanabe himself maintained that he was fated to construct his new system due to the inevitable limits of reason-based . philosophy, 1 8 but it was only in the disruption of war and defeat that Zangedd became truly meaningful. 1 9 Defeat was a disruption in the sense that it revealed the breakdown in the unity between state and individual and therefore raised questions about the very foundations and values of both. Such dire conditions, Tanabe concluded, demanded a new system of thought, one that would break through the current state of diremption (entzweit) which G . W. F. Hegel, on whose work he had laboured for many years, argued was the source and need of 17Quoted in Takeuchi Yoshinori, "Translator's Introduction," p. xxxvii. This letter was written to Takeuchi in July, 1944, a few months before Tanabe delivered his retirement lectures at Kyoto University. 1 ^Zangedd, pp. 31, 35. 1 ^ For a similar assessment, see John Maraldo, "Metanoetics and the Crisis of Reason: Tanabe, Nishida, and Contemporary Philosophy," RPT, pp. 235-55. 136 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance all philosophy. In one of his earliest works Hegel wrote that "[wjhen the might of union vanishes from the life of men and the antitheses lose their living connection and reciprocity and gain independence, the need of philosophy arises." This vanishing union was clearly the cause of Tanabe's distress since neither resistance (teikd) to the state nor cooperation (kydryoku) with it offered a solution to his dilemma. Only through spiritual death and rebirth was Tanabe able to reestablish the unity which he so desperately sought. Zangedd was a philosophy of and for crisis: a crisis of self, of nation, and of identity. To appreciate the dual but interrelated meanings of crisis in Tanabe's philosophy, we must examine in more detail the terms zange and zangedd. Tanabe's personal crisis occurred when he was brought to the painful recognition of his own utter worthlessness through a frank admission of his past sins (kako no zaiaku) and 2nThe word, "diremption," comes from Michael Gillespie's translation of entzweit which he said literally means "intwoed" in the sense of bifurcation or estrangement. Hegel, Heidegger, and the Ground of History, University of Chicago Press, 1984, p. 34. In Hegel's case, the diremption was caused by the internal contradictions in Kant's system, particularly the binary opposition of noumena and phenomena, the overcoming of which Hegel believed could only be achieved through a renewal of speculative philosophy. 21G.W.F. Hegel, The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy (trans. H.S. Harris and Walter Cerf), State University of New York Press, 1977, p. 91. In this version entzweit was translated as dichotomy, but I prefer Gillespie's rendering because it provides a stronger and more violent sense of disruption which is particularly appropriate to Japan's condition toward the end of the war. 137 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility the fervent wish that they had never been committed. However, this recognition also carried with it the understanding that those past sins could never be fully expunged. This plunged Tanabe into the depths of despair, the only escape from which was the practice of zange. Tanabe's understanding of zange (repentance forged in despair) came from his interpretation of Shinran Shonin's Kyogyoshinsho (Doctrine, Practice, Faith, Witness), to which his student Takeuchi Yoshinori had reintroduced him in early 1944.23 Shinran's own spiritual death and rebirth that resulted in his founding of True Pure Land Buddhism became the model or religious precedent for Tanabe's own conversion, for which reason he considered Shinran to be his teacher (kare o shi to sum to iu beki mono de arau). In the first chapter of Zangedo, Tanabe cited numerous passages from Shinran's writing to demonstrate that "the key to understanding the Kyogyoshinsho is contained within zange."15 He acknowledged that Shinran did not explicitly utilize ^Zangedo, p. 4. 23"Preface," p. 8. ^Zangedo, p. 22. 25lbid., p. 23. For Shinran's quotes with which Tanabe makes his point, see pp. 22-24. 138 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance repentance as the foundational discourse of the conversion process. Nonetheless, Tanabe's own interpretation of the Kyogyoshinsho, which he claimed had guided the creation of Zangedo,27 led him to believe that zange in fact represented the basis for spiritual death and resurrection. Thus, repentance (zange) and remorse (zangi) were the necessary first steps without which there could be no salvation or transformation of the self. As the basis or starting point for religious conversion, repentance was the negative side of Zangedo (zange no hiteiteki sokumen), the performance of which invoked its "other" or positive aspect (kdteiteki sokumen): conversion (kaishin).28 Before examining this latter aspect, however, I want to first explore the process whereby the individual self was brought to the abyss of despair. An appreciation of this is central to understanding Tanabe's philosophy and its relationship and relevance to social order. Tanabe began from the proposition that all being was relative (yu. wa sotai de 26lbid., p. 18. See also pp. 17, 20. Tanabe acknowledged that his reading of the Kyogyoshinsho was unorthodox but still maintained that it was a legitimate interpretation, "Preface," p. 5. ^Zangedo, p. 8. 28lbid., p. 7. 139 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility atte) and therefore had to be mediated by something outside itself. Thus, relative and absolute, finite and infinite, being and nothingness all existed in a state of mutual reciprocity whereby each arose simultaneously with the appearance of its other.30 The relative self functioned as the mediatory element of the absolute which defined the self as a finite being in the sense that the absolute permitted it a relative existence. But it was in the self's own attempts to escape the finitude of its being that Tanabe identified the fundamental negative constituent of human existence. This he called radical evil (kongenzai).31 Human sin (zaiaku) was the consequence of the self's ongoing but ultimately futile struggle to determine and affirm itself in the relative, finite world of being. All humans were self-deluding creatures, he said, who, by stubbornly asserting their own independence, presumed themselves to be absolute.32 In Tanabe's own 29lbid., p. 24. 30lbid., pp. 23-24. 31 Ibid., p. 5. 32Tanabe's belief that the capacity for self-delusion lay at the centre of human sin and evil paralleled that of many thinkers in the European tradition. Compare, for example, Adam Smith's argument that self-deceit or self-love was "the fatal weakness of mankind." Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie (eds), Liberty Press, 1982, p. 158. However, Smith maintained that human self-delusion could be overcome by appealing to the approbation or disapprobation of others, whereas Tanabe believed that mitigating self-delusion could only occur through a turn inward by appealing to the absolute. The individual's striving for self-realization was the root of social conflict in Tanabe's thinking which rendered the individual incapable of appealing to the judgement of others. Tanabe would have accordingly rejected out of hand the idea that self-delusion could possibly redound to the public benefit without the 140 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance words, they "absolutized their own relativity" (sonzai no yusei o zettaika shi). The struggle for self-affirmation could only lead to arrogance, due to the self's tendency to lose sight of its own relativity, and to despair, due to the self's inability to transform or transcend itself. Here we can see a parallel with the prewar Japanese state, understood metaphorically as an individual self. The state had presumed itself to be absolute through the ideology of tennd-sei and the rhetoric of spiritual superiority, both of which justified its aggressive acts. Only through defeat could the state be awakened to the folly of its self-deluding behaviour. 3 4 Similarly, when the individual in Tanabe's philosophy was brought to a realization of its own evil, egotistical presumptions, it was drawn out of this world and thrown it back on its own inferiority. The profound sense of despair engendered by this realization then demanded the practice of zange as a means of individual first undergoing conversion through self-negation in the realm of the absolute. 33lbidv p. 25. In biology, yusei means sexual reproduction (as in yiisei seishoku) whereby two cells unite to form a new individual cell. If we consider reproduction, sexual or otherwise, as a means of perpetuating not the species but the individual, then yusei can be understood metaphorically as the self's attempt to project its relativity in such a way as to absolutize itself through the creation of a new form of being. Tanabe called this tendency radical evil because he believed it was endemic to the human condition and therefor the source of all human suffering. 34since zange could only be an act of the self, its application in the context of the state may do injustice to Tanabe's project. However, Tanabe did believe in the principle of collective responsibility which makes the state-as-individual metaphor relevant. This issue will be dealt with more fully later in this, and the next, chapter. 141 Fart Two: Repentance and Responsibility purging the individual of those presumptions. Through zange the self abandoned all pretence of action based on self-power (jiriki) and awoke to the reality of its own utter worthlessness. In the same way that Hegel argued that individuals were responsible for their own evil acts, the recognition of which results in their downfall and in their submission to the judgement of fate, so too does zange mean the ruin and abandonment of the self.35 To describe the process by which the self was negated and then subsequently reaffirmation through zange, Tanabe drew on the concepts of dsd (going toward the Pure Land) and gensd (returning from the Pure Land). In True Pure Land Buddhism dsd characterizes an individual's attempt to shed all worldly desires in an effort to attain Buddhahood. This for Tanabe parallelled the practice of zange whereby the self abandoned all hope of absolutizing itself. Similarly, the gensd phase, or process of returning to this world, was in Tanabe's philosophy akin to the self's rebirth and commitment to live in harmony with other selves.36 The importance of dsd and gensd for Tanabe was therefore not simply ^Zangedd., p. 4. 36The process of oso-genso is remarkably similar to Arnold Toynbee's concept of withdrawal and return whereby a "creative minority" remove themselves from the world for a period of contemplation and afterward return to govern with "charm and vitality." Ironically, in his rather cursory treatment of Japan, Toynbee found no creative minority, arguing rather that the only process that could qualify was puberty! He characterized Japan's alternating cycles of borrowing and isolation as a kind of national puberty which defined Japan in his scheme as a mimetic society. One wonders whether MacArthur had Toynbee in mind when he called Japan a nation of twelve-year olds. For Toynbee's depiction of Japan, see A Study of History, Oxford University Press, vol. 3, pp. 330-35. 142 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance their role in personal salvation, but their relevance to the idea of "fraternity" (kyodaisei) which he characterized as an ideal of social order that reestablished unity by mediating the conflict between equality and freedom.37 Tanabe believed that the process of returning to this world from the Pure Land enabled the "saved" individual to restore social order much in the same way that the bodhisattva functioned in Mahay ana Buddhism (Daijd bukkyo no satsudd).38 To invoke the operative power of genso, however, one first had to leave this world and go toward the Pure Land (oso) through a process of negation that Tanabe called "the practice of one's own death" (jiko e no shi no gyodo).39 In other words, one had to die to oneself in order to be reborn. This was the point at which the positive aspect of zange emerged. Once the despairing individual had exerted itself to the utmost, it had no other recourse 37"preface," p. 8. The translation of kyodaisei is a difficult one. Tanabe contrasted it with the Christian egalitarian ideal of loving one's neighbour, arguing that it was better understood as a principle mediating between freedom and equality, leading to a social order of religious love between older and younger siblings. For a further discussion of this and the role played by oso and genso, see Johannes Laube, "The Way of Metanoia and the Way of the Bodhisattva," in RPT, pp. 316-39. 38"Preface," p. 8. In fact, Tanabe claimed that Shinran had returned to the world to enlighten him. Zangedo, p. 32. 39"Preface," p. 4. Among its many meanings, gyodo refers to particular Buddhist rituals whereby participants chant sutras while walking in single file, clockwise, around a temple and the image of Buddha. The significance of the term lies in the fact that it, like zange, is something to be practiced rather than something to be intuited or revealed. 143 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility than to completely annihilate itself so that no trace remained. Tanabe maintained that this must be a voluntary act in the sense that it could not be urged on by others, at least not before one had practiced it oneself.41 Similarly, zange could not be a rebellious act like suicide which was not a true negation but the mere negative assertion of the self.42 Rather, it had to be an act of "obedient" or submissive despair (zuijunteki zetsubo) in the sense that one willingly surrendered oneself.43 However, the process of death and resurrection involved an apparent paradox: zange was one's own act insofar as the surrendering of one's self was an act of free will; but, at the same time, it could not be one's own act because, through negation, one's self-power (jiriki) had been abandoned in the abyss of despair.44 ^Zangedo, p. 50. 41 "Preface," p. 14. ^Zangedo, p. 33. Takeuchi said that Tanabe had at one point prior to his conversion actually considered resigning from the university and had even contemplated suicide. It is possible that had Tanabe not rediscovered the compassionate teachings of Shinran, he may well have turned the contemplation of suicide into practice. Takeuchi Yoshinori, "Recollections of Professor Tanabe," RPT, p. 5. ^Zangedo, pp. 5, 8-9, 33. 44"Preface," p. 3. 144 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance Tanabe resolved this paradox by introducing the True Pure Land concept of other-power (tariki) to describe the process by which the negated self is reborn.45 The dsd phase was one characterized by jiriki-qua-tariki (self-power-as-other power) whereby the negation of self invoked the simultaneous appearance of its "other" through what he called "the action of no action" (musa no sa). The gensd phase was the converse of this, or tariki-qua-jiriki, whereby other-power re-called into existence the self that had died. 4 6 Thus, Tanabe spoke of zange (repentance and self-negation) and tariki (other-power) as forming a reciprocal bond of mutual transformation whereby zange was realized in this world through the operation of tariki, while tariki was accomplished by salvation through zange. Herein lay the importance of "obedient despair." One surrendered oneself to one's own worthlessness and to faith in the compassionate and transformative 45Both tariki and zange were relatively new concepts in Tanabe's philosophy, stemming from his wartime rediscovery of Shinran. Although an inkling of them can be uncovered in his earlier writings, they found their full expression in Zangedd. See Makoto Ozaki, Introduction to the Philosophy of Tanabe: According to the English Translation of the Seventh Chapter of the 'Demonstratio of Christianity,' Ph.D. dissertation published as vol. 6, Currents of Encounter: Studies on the Contact Between Christianity and Other Religions, Beliefs, and Cultures, Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi B.V., 1990, pp. 13-15. For a further discussion of Shinran's impact on Tanabe's metanoetics see Zangedd, pp. 223-226. See also the articles by Ueda Yoshifumi, "Tanabe's Metanoetics and Shinran's Thought" (trans. Taitetsu Unno), pp. 134-149, and Jean Higgins "Conversion in Shinran and Tanabe: Undergone or Undertaken," in RPT, pp. 134-49 and 150-60 respectively. ^Zangedd, pp. 119-22. In this section Tanabe contrasted Nietzsche's Dionysian/Apollonian transformation with his own concept of conversion, arguing that Nietzsche's idea was founded exclusively on the negative aspect of passive nihilism (juddteki kyomuron) which accorded with Hinayana but not with Mahayana tradition. In the latter tradition, the negation itself contained a negation which became affirmation (of the self), pp. 120-21. 145 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility power of tariki. Strangely... The power that urges me to abandon myself [tariki] is the very same power that restores my negated self. Once I earnestly repent and obediently submit to the fact of my own utter worthlessness, I am miraculously transformed by the very power that negated my existence. My "self" that had performed zange experiences rebirth and salvation through absolute transformation.47 Once the self's right to existence had been denied, salvation could be effected through tariki, which Tanabe claimed was the concrete manifestation of absolute nothingness (zettai mu) acting on the self-negating subject.48 The complete denial of self invoked the other-power of absolute nothingness leading to the death of the self. At the very instant of death or self-negation, other-power invoked its "other" - self-power - leading to the resurrection and the reaffirmation of the self. This process did not simply result in a reincarnation of the self as it had been, but in fact led to a newly-created self, one that would now strive to do good in this world. 47Ibid., p. 6. In the English translation, Takeuchi used the pronoun "we," perhaps to provide a sense of inclusiveness since Tanabe hoped that Zangedd would become a philosophy for all people. However, in the Japanese original, Tanabe himself used the pronoun "I" (ivatashi). I have followed the original because it helps to convey the personal nature of Tanabe's own conversion from which his religious philosophy stemmed. For Takeuchi's English translation, see Philosophy as Metanoetics, p. 5. 4&Zangedo, p. 8. 146 Chapter Three: Tanabe Hajime and the Philosophy of Repentance T a n a b e ' s C r i t i q u e o f R e a s o n To this point I have described the religious aspect of Tanabe's philosophy: the transformation of the repenting self. Clearly, Zangedo reads like a religious philosophy which Tanabe believed Japan desperately needed to lift itself out of its self-imposed disaster. More specifically, spiritual guidance was essential because defeat had caused the Japanese people to fall into a kind of nihilism from which there was no escape because it provided no hope of transformation. Tanabe worried defeat had led his countryfolk into a preoccupation with culture and selfish materialism, which, of course, it had insofar as material existence was the overriding concern of most people.49 This was clearly evident in the black market which drew people into its orbit to the virtual exclusion of other concerns. It was also evident in the behaviour and writings of men like Sakaguchi and Dazai. For Tanabe, the indulgent, hedonistic pursuits of the burai-ha men would never result in the transformation of self or of society because they were absolutizing acts of the self. 49"Preface," pp. 15-16. Tanabe argued that culturalism (bunkashugi/kydydshugi) provided no foundation from which spiritual values could be constructed - values that were central to Japan's rebirth. Tanabe's antipathy toward culturalism stemmed from his belief that it was fundamentally selfish and individualistic and therefore offered no basis for moral life or social order. This critique was laid out early in his career with the publication of Bunka no gairon (An Outline of Culture) written in 1922 and reproduced in THZ, vol. 1, pp. 425-47. For a good analysis of this work, see Ienaga, Tanabe Hajime no shiso shiteki kenkyu,, pp. 35-38. 147 Part Two: Repentance and Responsibility However, while the negative effects of Japan's unprecedented disaster were palpable in every waking minute, defeat, like the process of self-negation, contained within itself a positive or transformative element which offered the chance of redemption if only the Japanese people would not stop at despair but would push through to a true negation of their self-affirming negativity. This negation of self, Tanabe argued, had to be accompanied by a complete negation of reason, since it was reason that defined us as humans and at the same time led us astray in our struggle to absolutize ourselves. Seen from this perspective, Zangedo was a passage from philosophy to religion and then back to philosophy again. Tanabe, like his former teacher Nishida Kitaro, approached philosophy not from a position of the supremacy of being, as he believed was the case in the European tradition, but from a position of nothingness which came from his readings of Zen and True Pure Land Buddhism. 5 0 All science takes some entity or other as its object of study. The point of contact is alw