Recently, I received a comment on this website from a gentleman by the name of Douglas Shinsato. I had mentioned his name in my blog, posted exactly two years ago today, as one of the two very important translators. I responded to him immediately via email. Because of its relevance to what is happening in today’s world, I am taking the liberty to share my response to him – with some slight modifications in order to clarify my thinking. Here is my response:
Dear Mr. Shinsato:
What an honor to hear from you! Your work was instrumental in providing me with the missing link about the fate of the Japanese Imperial Family after WWII. Your contribution is beyond measure in terms of our understanding of how the U.S.-Japan relationship was shaped immediately after Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces. It also provided a fascinating look at Mr. Fuchida’s character, allowing us to better understand him and gain respect for him as a human being.
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Joe Yoshiya Fuchida, the son of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida. And I thank you for letting me know. From what I had read in the Preface of the book by Seiichi Nakata, I can almost picture the son’s basement, filled with boxes upon boxes full of additional materials from his father. I hope all of them will be preserved – in a museum in the U.S. – as historical treasures for the future generations to decipher and better understand Captain Fuchida’s thought processes. Who knows – they may give us some clues in terms of how to deal with the modern-day version of brain-washed masses, who are committed to dying for their version of supreme being; i.e., emperor vs. allah.
Those of us who live in the civilized world see their acts as pure evil. To me, the similarities are uncanny between the pre-surrender Japanese soldiers and the Muslim Extremists today. Two completely different cultures, separated by geography and decades, and yet very similar human events.
Then again, Japan’s brainwashing of its masses lasted for less than 77 years; Muslim’s, for over 1,400 years and still counting. So, as horrific as it was, crushing Japan’s evil ways was perhaps a piece of cake by comparison. It took the Allied Forces just four years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Post 9/11 on the Twin Towers in New York, it has already been 15 years – with no end in sight in terms of the fight against worldwide terrorism.
Japan’s unconditional surrender enabled some of us, such as Mr. Fuchida and myself, to uproot ourselves out of the old world – and embrace the Western culture – in order to break the cycle of violence for the sake of future generations of humanity. I wonder if such a scenario is even a remote possibility for Muslim Extremists who have been inculcating their children to hate and kill the infidels for generations upon generations. Even Thomas Jefferson had to deal with the Muslims in Tripoli!
I digressed with random thoughts… Again, thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.
I learned a lot more about the attack and Captain Fuchida from Mr. Shinsato through a 55-minute program, which was hosted and recorded by the East-West Center. If you are a history buff of the Pacific War, this is a must-see video. I am very much looking forward to reading Mr. Shinsato’s book, “101 Lesser Known Facts about the Attack on Pearl Harbor,” to learn even more about the historic event. My parents’ generation of Japanese paid a huge price – in the form of heavy bombings by the Allied Forces after the Pearl Harbor attack. During any war, innocent civilians – and not those who plan it – are the ones that suffer the most from the events that are beyond their control. The physical and psychological scars of the war shaped my parents’ generation of Japanese and their outlook on life. For better or for worse, the way they were, in turn, shaped the way I view the world today.