Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

This book never would have found its way into print without the help of many others. I owe a huge intellectual debt to my friend Stefan Tanaka. Some years ago, he introduced me to Alltagsgeschichte (history of everyday life), an approach developed to explore the contributions of ordinary Germans to the Nazi regime that proved useful when I began to read and analyze wartime Japanese...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

On July 4, 1992, I started reading the “last letters” of special attack pilots—known outside Japan as kamikaze—that I had been collecting for several years. I remember the date because it seemed ironic that I was reading these letters on that most patriotic American holiday. Over the next two years...

Part 1. The Home Front

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1. We Are All Home-Front Soldiers Now

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pp. 11-34

Japan had done much to prepare its people for war. By December 7, 1941, the country had been at war for almost three and a half years already. This began in July 1937 when men from a Japanese army unit stationed outside Beijing provoked a firefight with Nationalist Chinese troops, and the Japanese government used the incident as a pretext for invading...

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2. "No Luxuries until the War Is Won"

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pp. 35-58

The horrors of World War II are well known: historian John Dower tells us that nearly fifty-five million people died in that conflict and estimates that “several million to fifteen million” died in Asia alone.1 But the huge losses suffered by the Japanese and Japanese colonial subjects during...

Part 2. The Evacuated Children

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3. Making "Splendid Little Citizens"

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pp. 61-89

In December 1943 the Japanese Ministry of Education encouraged those living in metropolitan areas to send their primary school– aged children to live with relatives in the countryside. Accordingly, four months later, in April 1944, when Tokyo officials made the same recommendation, 64,659 students were sent to live with relatives. Osaka officials made...

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4. Monitoring the Evacuated Children

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pp. 90-110

Of the 1,303,200 children evacuated from Japanese cities to the safety of the countryside, 857,000 were sent by their families to live with relatives. The remaining 446,000 were moved by their schools in a collective evacuation (shu¯dan sokai) that posed huge logistical challenges for administrators...

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5. The "Food Problem" of Evacuated Children in Wartime Japan

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pp. 111-124

Several formidable problems faced the teachers who accompanied the 446,200 students moved by their schools to the countryside beginning in the summer of 1944.1 Along with the administrative and pedagogical challenges of moving so many children from the cities to rural villages and continuing...

Part 3. The Last Resort

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6. Learning How to Die

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pp. 127-154

Americans have long been fascinated by the Japanese pilots who flew off on one-way missions in the last ten months of the Pacific War. In fact, the word kamikaze is now part of American popular culture and has given us, among other things, the name of a cocktail, a computer game, and a heavy metal band; kamikaze even is used as an adjective to mean...

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7. Popular Resistance to the Wartime Government and Its Policies

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pp. 155-172

In the summer of 1944, someone in Shizuoka Prefecture, in central Japan, began writing angry letters to To¯jo¯ Hideki, the prime minister; his wife; General Hata Shunroku, commander of the Second General Army based in Hiroshima; the prefectural governor; the head of the Greater Japan National Defense Women’s Association; the head of the Patriotic Women’s...

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8. The "Jeweled Sound"

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pp. 173-190

The war ended as dramatically as it began. On Tuesday, August 14, 1945, a radio broadcast informed the country of “an important announcement at noon tomorrow.” At dawn on Wednesday, August 15, 118 American carrier–based aircraft launched a final series of attacks, triggering air-raid warnings in the Tokyo area.1 At 7:21 a.m., the Japanese were told...

Glossary

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pp. 191-194

Notes

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pp. 195-218

Bibliography

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pp. 219-226

Index

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pp. 227-238

Back Cover

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pp. 239-239