Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Japanese slaughtered 5,000 Koreans on Tinian? 2

The massacre of Koreans in "Unbroken"

Hillenbrand mentions this episode twice, though totally unrelated to the story of Zampeini.  She must have a persuasive source.

First it appears in an episode where the Japanese guards learned a news about Saipan;
"That same month, American forces turned on Saipan's neighboring isle, Tinian, where the Japanese held five thousand Koreans, conscripted as laborers.  Apparently afraid that the Koreans would join the enemy if the American invaded, the Japanese employed the kill-all policy.  They murdered all five thousand Koreans." (p. 354 in my paperback)

You know, Saipan fell on July 9, 1944 and the Marines turned on Tinian on July 24, 1944, in only two weeks.  So, she means the brutal Japanese Army murdered 5,000 Koreans almost at one time.  Is it that easy to kill 5,000 human beings? Doesn't any one of them resist or fight back?  For this part, I feel like she describes them as helpless, powerless cattle or something.

At the same time, the brutal Japanese were afraid of Koreans because they might join the Americans and revenge them, according to Hillenbrand.  If they are that powerless, it won't matter even if they join the enemy.  

She presents two contradictory images of Koreans. Her description...confusing, weird...

For the second time, it appears in Chapter 32.  In the beginning of Chapter 32, she depicts the joy of POW's at the surrender of Japan.  Then, suddenly she starts listing up the Japanese so-called brutal conducts;
"In its rampage over the east, Japan had brought atrocity and death on a scale that staggers the imagination...(so much cruelty)...Thousands of other POW's were beaten, burned, stabbed, or clubbed to death, shot, beheaded, killed during medical experiments, or eaten alive in ritual acts of cannibalism....(and more)...
In accordance with the kill-all order, the Japanese massacred all 5,000 Korean captives on Tinian, ...They were evidently about to murder all the other POW's and civilians in their custody when the atomic bomb brought their empire crashing down." (pp. 502-503)

I am sure that she needed so much resentment toward Japanese to list up this many.  Now Koreans are called as "captives."  Why she wrote this part?  What is her message to us?  Does she simply hate the Japanese?  Or, she wants to justify the very last part, America's atomic bombings on Japan?

For each part, she repeats "kill-all policy or order."  This phrase comes from "Three All's Policy; kill all, burn all, and loot all," which is Anti-Japan activists' favorite term.  Where did she learn?

Hillenbrand's sources for the massacre in Tinian

She presents two sources for this incident in the back.
First one is;
Eric Lash, "Historic Island of Tinian, " Environmental Services, October 2008, vol. 1, 2nd edition.  

At first I wondered if it is a book, but the publisher is not given.  So, it's not a book.  Then I thought it might be an academic journal called Environmental Services.  But I could not find such a journal.  I also searched with the title of article and/or the author's name.  Nothing hit.  Probably it is something like a pamphlet.

This book is a million seller.  If she emphasizes her accuracy and fairness, she should present something accessible to everybody as a source.  

2ne one is;
Major General Donald Cook, "20th Air Force Today," 20th Air Force Association Newsletter, Fall 1998.

I have got this one.  This is a newsletter issued by 20th Air Force Association.  It is a newsletter, definitely not an academic journal to publish academic research.  

What is 20th Air Force Association?  This is the association of former B-29 pilots under the 20th Air Force during WWII.  The 20th Air Force was formed in 1944 specifically for the bombardment mission on Japan.  The members include ones that carried out the Great Tokyo Air Raid, performed the atomic bombs attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other attacks all over Japan during WWII.

The 509th Composite Group belongs to the 20th Air Force

They have the internet site.

Interesting photos on the site:

Mt. Fuji and B-29's

And one more

It is easy to imagine the members' attitude toward the atomic bombing.

In 1995 there was a controversy about the exhibition project of Enola Gay with the photos of Hiroshima casualties at the Smithsonian Institution.  The members of the 20th AF Association were of course among those who strongly opposed the project.

The source of Hillenbrand for the massacre on Tinian is the article in the issue of Fall 1998;

"There were no Japanese atrocities?" by Lt. General James V. Edmundson, USAF, Retired.
I will post this article in the end of this post.

So, who is Lt. Gen. Edmundson?  I found some pictures.

Lt. Gen. James V. Edmundson was stationed in Hawaii when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, and he was flying over Tokyo Bay when the Japanese representative sighed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on Missouri in 1945.

What is his article about?  The article is in pp.5-6 of the Newsletter.

He sounds very upset about the Enola Gay exhibition project in 1995.  He calls the scholars who originally planned this project as revisionists.  He accuses them, claiming that they are trying to label Americans as the aggressors, while the Japanese were simply trying to defend their country.

He lists up so called Japan's brutalities just as Hillenbrand did; the Rape of Nanking, in which Japan murdered 200,000 Chinese (it was 200,000 in 1998!), the Bataan Death March, killing of 100,000 Filipino civilians, and more.

Then, finally, he mentions the Japanese massacre of 5,000 Koreans.  As it is important, I will copy all of his words.

"I am personally aware of another event that has received no public notice, but demonstrates who the real racists-and butchers-were in that war.  The B-29 group I commanded was stationed on the island of Tinian during the war's final months.  Several years ago, some of our members went back to Tinian, and, at the invitation of the local government, dedicated a monument to the Americans who lost their lives flying from there.  It was a colorful ceremony.  But our people saw another monument on Tinian, placed by the Republic of Korea, to commemorate the 5,000 Korean civilians who had been taken to Tinian by the Japanese as slave labor, mostly to cut sugar cane.  Once it became obvious to the Japanese that the Americans were about to land on Tinian, they summarily executed the 5,000 Koreans, to prevent their ever helping Americans.
These are not nice stories, but are true and documented, and while it seems a shame to bring them up now that Japan is a Free World ally, they deserve re-telling so long as our brilliant young professors insist that we were the bad guys in that long-ago war."

What do you think of his words?

You know, he implicitly confesses that he did not know such massacre when he was stationed in Tinian for the last few months of the war!

The battle of Tinian was over in August 1944, and the New York Times article reported there were 2400 Koreans in Tinian in February 1945.  And Lt. Gen. Edmundson did not know the incident though he was there for the last few months of the war.  The number does not match.  There was no benefit for the Japanese Army when the enemy was about to come.

This is the source that Hilldenbrand presented for the Japanese massacre of 5,000 Koreans.  Lt. Gen. Edumundson did not visit the site by himself, or did not see the monument by himself.  He is simply telling the story that he heard from someone else.

Only with this source, Hillenbrand tries to give another label of brutality to the Japanese. Is her research fair and accurate? It can't be!  We don't accept this.

Tinian...five thousand...

I did a bit more research about this.  Then, I found the monument of Koreans with captions.  I found this on the site of Hotel called Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino.  It is the historic site guide page.

This is the monument for Korean casualties in the Marianas;

Caption says, "Korean monuments - These monuments were erected to honor Korean civilians, mostly laborers, killed during the battle of Tinian.  About 5,000 Koreans died in the Marianas during World War II."

You can find this monument on any other tourism site of Tinian.

It is very confusing, yes.  But, 5,000 Koreans died (not slaughtered by Japanese!) in the Marianas, not in Tinian only.  Probably Edmundson's fellow misunderstood, or Edmundson himself was confused, or distorted the story because he was outraged at that time.  But no massacre on Tinian.

Wikitravel of Tinian also says that the monument on Tinian is to commemorate 5,000 Koreans died in the Marianas.
"The exact figure is unknown, however, it is understood that approximately 5,000 Korean civilian laborers died in the Marianas during the Pacific War.  There is a small cluster monuments on the island placed there in their memory."

Plus, Japan and Korea never get along well after WWII.  Korea never fails to claim "apology and compensation" for any minor flaw by Japan.  For this matter, however, we have never heard such a request.
I searched by typing Tinian, island, and massacre in Hangul.  The results were all about aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Why Hillenbrand needed to insert this episode twice even though it is totally unrelated to Zamperini and the source was so unreliable.  Is this by her own intention?  Or did anyone ask her to do so?

The article of Lt. Gen. James V. Edmondsun (pp.5-6 of the Newsletter)

The Japanese slaughtered 5,000 Koreans on Tinian? 1

Accurate and Fair

The author Hillenbrand writes the episode of the Japanese massacre of 5,000 Koreans twice in "Unbroken," even though it is not directly related to Zamperini's life.

Recall her words in an interview; 

"It is an understatement to say that I am a driven researcher. I spent seven years on this book because I was researching so obsessively, trying to find every source there was and cross-checking every fact against other sources to be sure my reporting was accurate and fair.  In the back of the book, I listed every source for every fact, so anyone who doubted an account could verify it."

From Interview of Laura Hillenbrand, the author of "Unbroken" on US-Japan Dialogue on POWs

I will keep in mind these words. 

The Japanese have never heard of the incident before.  What kind of source does she present?  Is she fair to the Japanese?

The Battle of Tinian

First, where is Tinian? What is the Battle of Tinian?
Map of Saipan and Tinian

Tinian is a part of the Northern Mariana Islands, located only 3.5 miles southwest of Saipan.  It was under the Japanese control since 1918.  The Battle of Tinian began by the landing of the U.S. Marines on July 24, 1944.  Prior to this battle, the U.S. had already occupied Saipan.  
U.S. Marines are wading ashore on Tinian
A Marine guy is patrolling around a destroyed Shinto shrine.

After the capture of Tinian by the U.S. on August 1, 1944, Tinian became a base of the B-29 bombers that attacked the Philippines,  Okinawa, and mainland Japan. A part of the B-29's that carried out the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945 came from Tinian.  The two most famous B-29 bombers, Enola Gay and Bockscar, departed Tinian for dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in  August 1945.
B-29's are about to leave Tinian West Field for bombing over Japan in 1945.

Because Saipan had been already taken, the situation was imminent. The enemy was about to land Tinian.  Wouldn't it be better for the Japanese Army to save bullets and get prepared for the battle rather than killing its own people Koreans?  

Seventy Years After the Battle...

This year the 70th Anniversary Reunion of Honor ceremony was held to pay tribute to both U.S.and Japanese veterans who fought in Saipan and Tinian.

Koreans on Tinian

How many Koreans were living on Tinian at that time?  According to Wikipedia, by June 1944, there were about 15,700 Japanese citizens including 2,700 Koreans and 22 ethnic Chamorro. Other sources present the same number.  

A natural question:  how could the Japanese Army kill 5,000 Koreans on Tinian given that the population was about 2,700?  Why did Hillenbrand fail to confirm Korean population on Tinian?  She tried her best to be accurate, right?

How about the Korean population after the Battle of Tinian?  There is a New York Times article dated Feb 5, 1945, reporting 2,400 Koreans living in Tinian gave some donation to the United States.

"Koreans on Tinian Give $666 to U.S. -Grateful for Liberation from Slave Labor Under Japanese, They Contribute to War-"

In summary, it says, being impressed with the U.S. rule, 2,400 Koreans living on the island gave $665.35 to the U.S from their earnings.  These Koreans were taken to the island by the Japanese as slave labor on the sugar plantations 6 years ago.  Once Tinian was freed, the Koreans attacked the oppressors(!). Under the U.S. rule, they run their own government and the job opportunities are provided by the U.S., etc.

You can find a copy of the article here:

Twenty four hundred Koreans remained on Tinian in February 1945.  And the article never mentions the massacre by the Japanese.  If it had taken place, for sure the article would have talked about the incident very loudly.  Because in Feb.1945, Japan and the U.S. were still under the war.  That would be a nice propaganda to the world!

Hillenbrand uses so many New York Times articles as reference in this book.  Why didn't she pick this specific one?

This number, 2,400 Koreans, matches one provided by a Japanese researcher.  In the article, the author reports that Korean survivals are in total 2,341 in August 1945; 905 male adults, 451 female adults, and 985 16 years or under. 

The same article says that Korean casualties on Tinian was 50. This number was provided by the research of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (now the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare) in 1977.

The source is
Tsushima, Hideko (2008-03), "Returning from the Northan Mariana Islands to Japan After World War II: A Study on the Migration of the Hachijou Islands," Hakusan Review of Anthropology, vol.11, pp.147-166.  You will find Table 1 in p.152.

So, why  Hillenbrand mentions the slaughter of 5,000 Koreans on Tinian Island, even twice?  What is her source to verify the existence of the massacre? 

(to be continued...)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Korean Officers and Soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army

Japan Killed Koreans?  No Way!

My previous post titled "Portrayals of Koreans in Unbroken" mentioned that there were Korean officers and solders in the Japanese Army during WWII.  Today I would like to introduce some Korean officers and soldiers.  

The first reason is that I want to challenge Hillenbrand's view toward Koreans.  The story of massacre in Tinian is hardly unlikely.  

The second reason is that nowadays I find some people misunderstand that Korea and China fought against Japan during WWII.

For example, this is the video of the Shangri-La Dialogue, where Japan's PM Abe addresses his keynote speech.  After the speech, a Chinese officer asks a question,

 "...Yasukuni Shrine, ...Millions of Millions of peoples of China and Koreans ... have been killed by the Japanese Army..."  

The question starts around 35:00.

Japan killed millions of Koreans?  No way!  Actually Japanese and Koreans fought against Chinese!  (but not against the Chinese Communist Party, they were hiding in the mountains.)

I find this misunderstanding in western media and other media, even Iranian media.  What is going on?  Have Chinese and Koreans started another propaganda campaign?

Korean Officers and Soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army

Korean Officers

Lieutenant General, Prince Imperial Yeong, or Prince Yi Un, with his Japanese wife Princess Yi Bang-ja (nee Princess Masako of Nashimoto).  He spent almost all his life in Japan.  Fearing Prince might take over his position, the first president of Rep. of Korea did not allow him to return to Korea. 

Colonel, Prince Yi Wu, who was killed by the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Lieutenant General Hong Sa-ik, who was executed in Manila as a war criminal by the Allied after WWII.

He was Korean in the highest rank in the Imperial Japanese Army.  Here is a Korean news article in 1920, proudly reporting that he joined the Army College.
 See,  Koreans could use Hangul during the annexation period!

Major General Kim Suk-won, who commanded about 2,000 servicemen in Sino-Japanese War. After independence of Republic of Korea, he served the Korean Army, where his rank was Brigadier General.

Korean Soldiers

Almost all Korean soldiers were volunteers. Conscription was introduced in the Korean peninsula only in 1944.  But Japan had surrendered when Korean draftees were still under training.

This is a video about Korean volunteers in the Imperial Japanese Army, showing people celebrating the departure of Korean volunteers in the peninsula, their physical exam, and stats. At 2:18, an old veteran appears.  He says, in Korean, that he fought for Japan, risking his life, and starts singing Japanese songs.  He still remembers Japanese!

Impressive are the stats.  In 1938, out of 2,946 applicants, 406 volunteers were admitted.  In 1940, out of 84,443 applicants, 3,060 were admitted.  In 1942, out of 254,272 applicants, 4,077 were admitted.  The number of applicants kept increasing.

Do you think miserable Koreans were forced to volunteer?  If they didn't want to join, they didn't have to.  The selection was quite competitive.  They had to risk their lives in the battle field.

Korean Kamikaze

There were around twenty Korean Kamikaze pilots.  Among them is Captain Tak Kyung-hyun or Fumihiro Mitsuyama in his Japanese name.

 Just like many other Kamikaze pilots, he was trained in Chiran, Kagoshima Prefecture.  His famous episode was that the night before leaving for his mission, he sang Arilang, or a Korean folk song to Tome Torihama. 
Tome Torihama is remembered as mother of Kamikaze pilots.  Running a small restaurant in Chiran, she took a good care of Kamikaze's.

Tome Torihama with six Kamikaze pilots.

President Park Chung-hee!

And we shouldn't forget this guy.  Former Korean President, and the father of the current President Park Geun-hye.
Park Chung-hee graduated from Changchun Military Academy of the Manchukuo Imperial Army as the top of his class and then joined the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, where he graduated as the third.in his class.  He was a lieutenant in Japan's Kwangtung Army at the end of WWII.
As Korean President, he brought a remarkable economic growth to his country.

With many Korean officers and tons of Korean soldiers, could the Japanese Army kill Korean workers in Tinian?  Hillenbrand's view is quite biased.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kill-All Polcy? Chinese Propaganda!

kill-all policy, kill-all ...what's this?

Is the "kill-all" something  a common phrase among English speakers?  I had no idea. Simply killing all people around?  Soon I found this phrase is a special term to disgrace the Japanese.

Reading through the book "Unbroken," I have come across this phrase several times, the kill-all policy or the kill-all order. 

"kill-all,..., kill-all, ...  "

"...the Japanese employed the kill-all policy.  They murdered all five thousand Koreans." (p.354)

" ...In accordance with the kill-all order, ..." (p.502)

I searched this kill-all thing and found this:

"Three All's Policy; kill all, burn all, and loot all."

The kill-all something comes from this specific phrase.  Many people with the anti-Japanese sentiment claims this policy was implemented by the brutal Japanese Army in China.  The phrase is associated with Japanese cruelty.

It is very easy to show that this phrase was created by Chinese speaking people.  The Japanese speakers can never come up with this kind of words.

Let's study about Chinese characters.

In Chinese characters the phrase is written as;

三 光 作 戦

Japanese and Chinese people both use Chinese characters.  But the same character has different meanings sometimes.  We did not have much interactions for more than 1000 years until the 19th century.

Look at the characters one by one.

三         means three for both Japanese and Chinese

光    is confusing.

作戦  means policy or missions for both Japanese and Chinese

So, the problem is the middle one,   光

For Chinese speaking people, this character means;

   "bare, used up, or exhausted" as well as "light, or shine."

 So, the word implies cleared or eliminated.
Chinese people should be able to feel 三 光 作 戦 somthig brutal.

For Japanese speaking people, it simply means "light or shine."
 So, 三 光 作 戦  is "three-light" policy

 How come three lights are related to "kill all, burn all and loot all?"

Now you can tell the one who came up with this "Three-All Policy" is among Chinese speakers.

By the way, who taught this phrase to Hillenbrand?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Portrayals of Koreans in "Unbroken"

Hillenbrand's Description of Koreans...

One of the most shocking episodes in the book is the Japanese massacre of 5,000 Koreans on Tinian, which I have never heard of.  Before discussing trustworthiness of this episode, let me talk about Hillenbrand's description of Korean people in her book.

Hillenbrand portrays the Koreans as powerless, miserable slaves just as she does POW's detained in Japan.  I found the way she describes Korean people in her book quite insulting and inappropriate.  

She does not seem to have done much research about Japan-Korea relationship at that time.

Koreans during Japan's Annexation of Korea(1910-1945)

Did Japan steal all Korean's wealth during the annexation period?  No!  Unfortunately, the Korean peninsula had been in a chaotic situation for a long time.  Thus, Japan invested into Korea with the tax money from mainland Japan.

Infrastructure was built.  Here are pictures of Namdaemun Boulvard in Seoul in 1880's and 1936.

Japan established 5,213 elementary schools all over the peninsula, resulting in a dramatic increase of the literacy rate from 3.8% to 80%.

Did Japan prohibit the Koreans from learning Korean language?  No, here is the textbook.  The top is one type of Japanese script, katakana and the bottom is Korean script, Hangul.  

Yes, they had to learn both for communications.

Japan established higher education institutions as well.  For example, the current Seoul National University was formerly Keijo Imperial University, one of the most prestigious universities.

Koreans were allowed to enter the Imperial Japanese Army Academy.

Korean population doubled from 13 million to 25 million and their life expectancy was extended from 24 years to 56 years during the annexation period.

Korean people had a right to vote in mainland Japan. (the ethnic Japanese did not have a right to vote outside mainland Japan, either.) 

Though not perfect, Koreans were treated almost equally with Japanese.

Fore sure, Korean people under the annexation were not miserable slaves.

If you are interested in the Japan-Korea annexation, I strongly recommend this book:

"The New Korea" by Alleyne Ireland (in English with Japanese translation)

Koreans Portrayed in "Unbroken"

Koreans appear in "Unbroken" in two episodes.  One is in the episode when Zamperini was detained in Omori camp.  Second episode is the massacre in Tinian.  Hillenbrand mentions this incident twice.

Omori Camp Episode

First, the Omori camp episode.  Hillenbrand claims that the POW's in Omori were treated as slaves.
One day, Zamperini's colleague POW handed in a bag of stolen rice to a Korean driver in exchange for an English laguage paper. (p.399 in my paperback version)

My first question is, giving stolen rice to someone else? Weren't the POW's starving?  The description of Omori in "Unbroken" is full of contradictions, in my opinion.

There is another book about Omori camp titled "Clutch of Circumstance" written by Lewis W. Bush. Here is the Japanese version.

This book will give you quite a different perspective about POW's life in Omori camp.  

Second question is how the POW distinguished Korean from Japanese?  At that time, Koreans in Tokyo could speak Japanese. And why not Japanese? It is more likely to encounter ethnic Japanese in Tokyo.  Because the Japanese are all cruel?  Because they all regarded POW's as slaves?  Instead, Koreans were suppressed by Japanese just as POW"s were?  That's why POW's considered Koreans as their fellows?

Tinian Massacre Episode

Another episode of Koreans is, of course, the Japanese massacre of Koreans in Tinian.  Hillenbrand mentions this even twice.

"...Tinian, where the Japanese held five thousand Koreans, conscripted as laborers....the Japanese employed the kill-all policy.  They murdered all five thousand Koreans." (p.354)

"...Japan had brought atrocity and death on a scale that staggers the imagination...
In accordance with the kill-all order, the Japanese massacred all 5,000 Korean captives on Tinian, ..."

Hillenbrand states that before the landing of the U.S. Marines on Tinian that took place on July 24, 1944, Japanese slaughtered all the Koreans on the island.  

You know, Saipan, only 3.5 miles away from Tinian, had been already taken by the United States on July 9, 1944.  Wouldn't it be better for the Imperial Japanese Army to save bullets and get prepared for the battle with the Marines?  

Why the Japanese Army had to be bothered by killing Japanese citizens?  Koreans were not slaves, but Japanese citizens!

And what is the kill-all policy?  We have never heard of it!

Also, if the author's claim were true, how were the Koreans murdered?  Were they standing in front of soldiers so that they were killed systematically because they were powerless slaves?  Was the killing of 5,000 people that easy?

Again, if the murder were true, what were the reactions of their fellows in Korean Peninsula or mainland Japan?  

And most importantly, what would be the reaction of Korean officials or soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army?  Did they keep silent because they were too coward?

Didn't Hillenbrand realize that there were Korean officials and solders in the Japanese Army.  I bet not!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sources for "Unbroken," "accurate and fair" by Hillenbrand

Accurate and fair?
In an interview, Hillenbrand proudly mentions her extensive research.
Again, here is the link:
Interview with Laura Hillenbrand, the author Unbroken
Go to this site, click "Essays" and then find the interview.

"...I was researching obsessively, trying to find every source,...cross-checking every fact against other sources to be sure my reporting was accurate and fair..."

OK, but it seems to me that when there are two contradicting sources, she tends to choose the one unfavorable to the Japanese. Later, I will talk about "the Japanese massacre of 5,000 Koreans on Tinian"  She mentions this event twice though it is totally unrelated to Zamperini's story. Her sources does not seem so reliable to me.  Actually no one has ever heard of such a massacre before. This (unrealistic) episode also shocked the Japanese.

So, I would present sources that she did not pick for her book as well as those used there.

Japanese sources
There are Japanese written sources in the reference.  The important one is Watanabe's note in the Japanese magazine called "Bungei Shunju," April 1956.   "Bungei Shunju," or 文芸春秋 is Japan's quality magazine, which any Japan specialists must have heard of .
In her book, it is written as "Bingei Shunjyu" all through the reference. "Bungei" means literature in Japanese, but "Bingei" does not make any sense.

Also, Shukan Kinboyi in p.727 does not make sense.  It has to be Kin-yo-bi, which means Friday. No one, the author, assistant (if any), editor and others did not realize before the book was published.

I am not making fun of her mistakes in Japanese.  I want to emphasize the fact that she does not have much knowledge of Japanese.  A natural question is, without having its knowledge, how she collected those Japanese sources. Bungei Shunju issued in 1956?  Only a small number of libraries holds it in Japan.  Who helped her?

With her chronicle disease and lacking knowledge in Japanese, how did she collect all those sources?

Japanese people angry? Yes, and we are worried about our future generations.

The author's purpose; disgracing the Japanese?
I read an interview of Hillenbrand on the site of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs.  You may find it below;

On this site, you click "Essays," and then find "Interview with Laura Hillenbrand, the author of Unbroken."

In this interview, Hillenbrand emphasizes that she tried hard not to make a stereotype of (evil) Japanese. As a result, the book has not caused any anti-Japanese sentiment among American readers.

"...I’ve received thousands of letters, emails and other correspondence from readers. Almost none of them have expressed ill-feeling towards Japan...
   ...I presented them (Japanese) as distinct individuals, some good, some bad..."

Well, in the book, when Zamperini was detained in a camp, he met only a few good Japanese. But most Japanese characters are evil in this story.  And, on the surrender of Japan, the author suddenly deviates from his story and lists up "Japanese atrocities." 

"...Japan had brought atrocity and death on a scale that staggers the imagination...They were evidently about to murder all the other POW's and civilian internees in their custody when the atomic bomb brought their empire crashing down." (Chapter 32,pp.502-503)

To me, she seems to emphasize the brutalities of Japanese.

Reactions: Hillenbrand has ever imagined the Japanese' reaction?

The American's reaction:
There must be readers who never have anti-Japanese sentiment after reading this book. At the same time, however, I hear many cursing words against Japanese on Youtube or any other site related to "Unbroken."
I am afraid that the anti-Japanese sentiment among the Americans might even deepen after the movie is released.

The Japanese reaction:
First of all, has she never imagined the reactions among Japanese?  Because the book is not supposed to be translated into Japanese? C'mon!, it is the 21st century!  Even the most conservative Japanese go online.  We know what's going on!

Out of Hillenbrand's list of Japanese brutality,what makes Japanese most angry is cannibalism episode as well as the massacre of Koreans on Tinian.  Cannibalism!

"...Thousands of other POW's were...or eaten alive in ritual acts of cannibalism..." (Chapter 32, p.502)

We have never heard about such a ritual in Japan. If she had the minimum knowledge of Japanese religion, history, culture, and its people, she would not believe cannibalism by the Japanese. She seems inspired by the penalty of slow slicing or the lingering death penalty (凌遅刑 in Chinese characters)and cannibalism on the continent.

Japanese people are angry.  The author Hillenbrand and the movie director Angelina Jolie are now called racists.  And we are very worried that, eventually, 30 years later or 50 years later, those episodes would be believed all true and the future generation of the Japanese are blamed for them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why the movie "Unbroken" not coming to Japan?

I checked out the IMDb site and learned that the movie "Unbroken" will be released in the U.S., Some European countries, and Singapore only.  How about Japan?  Hollywood movies are usually released in Japan almost simultaneously with the United States, because it is a lucrative market.

The book is never translated into Japanese, the movie is not coming...sigh.

Angie's visit to Japan
Last week Angelina Jolie visited Japan for the promotion of "Maleficent."  Over there, she only talked about nice things; she loves Japan, she always enjoys sushi, etc., and never talked about the movie directed by her.  This attitude of hers irritated many Japanese.  Though it might be very hard to tell our anger on our face, we were mad at her.  There was some protest during her stay.

Here are some flyers circulated on Twitter.  Warning; the second one might be quite shocking.

Angelina Jolie, the devil in human form
Remember the Cruelty of the Allied!
These are links to the images.

Unnecessary episodes for the story line
Beside the anger toward the director Angelina Jolie, what makes Japanese outraged most are episodes that Hillenbrand inserted in the book though they are totally irrelevant to Zamperini's life.  Among those episodes are "POW's were eaten alive in ritual acts of cannibalism" (p. 502 in my paperback version), "the Japanese massacred all 5000 Korean captives on Tinian" (p.399 and p.503, twice!), and John Falconer saying "(upon seeing aftermath of Hiroshima), it was beautiful" (p.509).

I will discuss first two episodes later, but the third one!  Can Hillenbrand read that part in the presence of Hiroshima victims???  Is this part included in the movie?

My question is why she included these episodes in her book.  Without them, she should have been able to write a nice inspiring story of Louis Zamperini.  The end of the book presents tons of resources, some of which were in Japanese.  Then, who collected those information?  Obviously she is not a Japan specialist, and she was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome while writing this book.

Did Hillenbrand want to create a resentment between Japan and the U.S.?  Or, did anyone else behind her want to see us hate each other again?


I would like to discuss some episodes in "Unbroken" by Laura Hilllenbrand.  My intention is not to disgrace the life of Louis Zamperini.

The book is creating a controversy in Japan. Too bad, not many Japanese knew about this book until recently because it is not translated into Japanese. 

The book contains episodes that are highly unrealistic.  They are not even related to the life of Zamperini.  And the sources for the episodes are not reliable.  We would like to know what was the author's purpose. 

Does she want to create a resentment between the two countries?