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BrianY
11-15-2016, 02:58 PM
I've been reading quite a lot about the WW2 war in the Pacific recently but all of the books were written by Americans. Does anyone know of any non-fiction accounts of the war written by Japanese authors or written from their perspective/experience?

skuthorp
11-15-2016, 03:02 PM
Political views or personal experiences?
I doubt that much of the pre-war political writings have been translated other than in a historical content and not by the Japanese. There is a RW nationalist faction in Japan however that may have.

BrianY
11-15-2016, 03:06 PM
Personal experience would be great but also a historical account of battle planning and operations . The US authors talk about this stuff of course but not in any great detail.

ETA - I'm looking for books that are along the lines of "Letters From Iwo Jima" (which now I think of it is a book I should read...) as well as historic accounts along the lines of Ian Toll's books.

skuthorp
11-15-2016, 03:10 PM
Much of the pre-war Japanese high command were indicted for war crimes etc. I doubt they wrote much but I'm sure there will be some writings by the allied military tacticians.

Gerarddm
11-15-2016, 04:06 PM
B. H. Liddell Hart wrote an very illuminating book post-war called The German Generals Speak. He interviewed almost every surviving German general of note to get their views on what happened, and why. A very engrossing book. Pity he did not do the same for the Japanese, or that no one else has done, either ( AFAIK ).

Cuyahoga Chuck
11-15-2016, 05:49 PM
Even at this late date the Japanese have assiduously scrubbed their history books of stories of their imperialist intentions and the war crimes that were committed to try and achieve it.

PeterSibley
11-15-2016, 05:56 PM
Our local library has this .
Japan at War: An Oral Historyby Haruko Taya Cook (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17417.Haruko_Taya_Cook), Theodore F. Cook (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17416.Theodore_F_Cook)

I've read it and found it enlightening .

A review .... http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31040.Japan_at_War

Keith Wilson
11-15-2016, 06:00 PM
Here, try this one (https://www.amazon.com/Japan-at-War-Oral-History/dp/1565840399/ref=pd_sim_14_2/153-2152993-9252935?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TZ2RJT2WZ22ZWH8Q7ZDM). I haven't read it, but it looks interesting. I read this one (https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Unforgettable-Japans-Greatest-Fighter/dp/B0025ZXCQW) a very long time ago, and I don't remember much other than that I liked it.

Hugh Conway
11-15-2016, 06:01 PM
ETA - I'm looking for books that are along the lines of "Letters From Iwo Jima" (which now I think of it is a book I should read...) as well as historic accounts along the lines of Ian Toll's books.

came across this
http://www.nettally.com/jrube/Genjirou/genjirou.htm

The Bigfella
11-15-2016, 06:02 PM
I've been reading quite a lot about the WW2 war in the Pacific recently but all of the books were written by Americans. Does anyone know of any non-fiction accounts of the war written by Japanese authors or written from their perspective/experience?

Does anyone know of any non-fiction accounts of the war written by American authors?

Actually, I'm only half joking.... A lot of truth was well and truly covered up on both sides of that conflict.... and a hell of a lot of what happened is totally ignored if the Americans (for example) weren't directly involved.

I've had first person discussions with, for example, a Chinese Malaysian who lived through the occupation. Very illuminating and very different to what I'd ever read. The stories I've come across in places like Timor and Laos that relate to WW2 are stunning. I'm doing research on Indonesia at present.... they suffered 5+% deaths of the total population at the hands of the Japanese... other parts of the Pacific, such as Nauru, up to 15%

skuthorp
11-15-2016, 06:32 PM
My father, who had personal experiences of the results of the Japanese treatment of occupied civilians and POW's, left me a book called Knights of the Bushido. It explained his attitude to the Japanese for the rest of his life.
Rather horrifying and definitely nowadays not PC I'd say. An account of war crimes trials and testimony.
https://www.amazon.com/Knights-Bushido-History-Japanese-Crimes/dp/1853674990

Hugh Conway
11-15-2016, 06:35 PM
I'd say that the Americans/Europeans/Anzacs/Russians are dominant in the narrative currently.

Bob Adams
11-15-2016, 06:40 PM
Does anyone know of any non-fiction accounts of the war written by American authors?

Ian my friend, you are nothing if not predictable!

The Bigfella
11-15-2016, 06:40 PM
My father, who had personal experiences of the results of the Japanese treatment of occupied civilians and POW's, left me a book called Knights of the Bushido. It explained his attitude to the Japanese for the rest of his life.
Rather horrifying and definitely nowadays not PC I'd say. An account of war crimes trials and testimony.
https://www.amazon.com/Knights-Bushido-History-Japanese-Crimes/dp/1853674990

These days, I'm less interested in the individual acts of savagery and more interested in the cultural and strategic influences that led to the conflict. There's much to be learnt there... from the American restrictions on resources to the blind ignorance of how the Americans would respond to Pearl Harbour. With the benefit of hindsight, MacArthur sure wasted a lot of lives too... but that gets swept under the cloak of overall victory.

The Bigfella
11-15-2016, 06:42 PM
Ian my friend, you are nothing if not predictable!

Look deeper, my friend. As you should remember, I've always been a fan of the results achieved by the US Navy's submarine fleet in the Pacific War. They nailed the Japanese war effort... but the idiot with the corn cob pipe played better to the Hollywood writers.

PeterSibley
11-15-2016, 06:58 PM
Here, try this one (https://www.amazon.com/Japan-at-War-Oral-History/dp/1565840399/ref=pd_sim_14_2/153-2152993-9252935?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TZ2RJT2WZ22ZWH8Q7ZDM). I haven't read it, but it looks interesting.

I read it an recommended it above.

TomF
11-15-2016, 07:05 PM
Not Japanese, but I've been rereading Clausewitz' "On War". And bits of Machiavelli's "The Prince". Nominally because The Lad has been writing a paper on the threat and use of force in international relations, but it has also seemed fitting this week, somehow.

Jim Bow
11-15-2016, 07:22 PM
For a possibly new experience, try the Showa series of 4 graphic novels by Shigeru Mizuki. Book 1 is Japan 1929-1939. Book 2 is 1939- 1945. The author was drafted into the IJA in 1943, and lost an arm in New Guinea. The books are parallels of both military history, and his personal life.
Getting used to his form of storytelling is interesting, as is starting on the back page and moving forward.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AK8LGFaT6Do/U7n3CBAS5tI/AAAAAAAACso/HHyWlMSjTkY/s1600/510DeGdT3aL._SL500_.jpg
https://www.drawnandquarterly.com/sites/default/files/images/wsyiwyg/14/06/SHOWA2_13.jpg

Clan Gordon
11-16-2016, 06:56 AM
A very good book on the Pacific War and the lead-up to it (perhaps the most important aspect) was written by the American JOHN TOLAND. That book was THE RISING SUN, 1970, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1971. It was probably the first book in English to tell the history of the Pacific War from the Japanese point of view rather than the American.

He was married to a Japanese lady from 1960 - which may have helped with the research and translation etc.

It was based on original and extensive interviews with high Japanese officials who survived the war, and chronicles the Empire of Japan from the military rebellion of February 1936 to the end of World War II.

Of course the Pacific War spanned a huge area - so any book (even one as big as this) will struggle to do justice to all aspects.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-16-2016, 07:38 AM
Just a snippet. One striking feature was the failure to implement a convoy system; the IJN had modelled itself far too closely on the RN. I have been told that the men who rose to prominence in OSK Line, Mitsui Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and K Line in the Fifties were those who had formed a deputation to call for a convoy system early in the war.

Chris249
11-16-2016, 08:22 AM
I think there's been significant recent research that indicates that the IJN did have detailed plans for a convoy system well before the war, as of course did the RN. They had the early Kaibokan escorts and old destroyers and torpedo boats as escorts. Some say, however, than the IJN had not progressed its philosophy since their experience working with the RN in the Med in WW1.

There may have been issues with having enough escorts to run a proper convoy system but IIRC that was partly due to the wholly over-stretched nature of the Japanese forces, and the fact that they never really had the chance to use the more efficient system of amassing more merchant vessels into a smaller number of bigger convoys, since the forces were so thinly stretched over such a vast area. Some also say that the initial very poor performance of US submarines (something they definitely fixed) led the Japanese to believe that convoys were less necessary.

I think this information may come from sources like Squadron Leader Mark L Bailey's PhD thesis, but the relevant website has crashed again.

bobbys
11-16-2016, 11:24 AM
I talked with my dad a lot to get his perspective .

He said it was a complete brutal fight, no mercy given nor taken.

I shall spare the details.

However on Saipan he was in charge of Japanese prisoneers..

They were treated very well in fact much better then Americans In the brig.

They told him , hey we were lied to and feel embarressed..

These warriors that had fought to the death a month before were guarded by one seabee with a pistol...

The pistol was unloaded.

They did stone work on Saipan..

All were very happy to be alive.

Dad said people are people..

Dad and the prisoneers built a movie theater on the beach.

They knew holdouts were watching in the hills.

Some came in after watching their fellows treated do well..

Dad said he was pizzed they shot at him after the battle so they left food at the edge of the airstrip with notes, please don't shoot at us., come on in ...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-16-2016, 12:01 PM
I think there's been significant recent research that indicates that the IJN did have detailed plans for a convoy system well before the war, as of course did the RN. They had the early Kaibokan escorts and old destroyers and torpedo boats as escorts. Some say, however, than the IJN had not progressed its philosophy since their experience working with the RN in the Med in WW1.

There may have been issues with having enough escorts to run a proper convoy system but IIRC that was partly due to the wholly over-stretched nature of the Japanese forces, and the fact that they never really had the chance to use the more efficient system of amassing more merchant vessels into a smaller number of bigger convoys, since the forces were so thinly stretched over such a vast area. Some also say that the initial very poor performance of US submarines (something they definitely fixed) led the Japanese to believe that convoys were less necessary.

I think this information may come from sources like Squadron Leader Mark L Bailey's PhD thesis, but the relevant website has crashed again.

Thanks,Chris.

That is very interesting.

Harvey Golden
11-16-2016, 12:20 PM
"No Surrender: My Thirty Year War" by Hiroo Onoda (1974) is a a fascinating read and an incredible story.
http://wpmedia.news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/onoda1.jpg

amish rob
11-16-2016, 12:24 PM
Harvey,
Is that the dude from the Philippines? I do believe I read that book many moons ago, and forgot the title.

Peace,
Robert

BrianY
11-16-2016, 12:27 PM
Thanks all. Some good stuff here.

bobbys
11-16-2016, 01:14 PM
"No Surrender: My Thirty Year War" by Hiroo Onoda (1974) is a a fascinating read and an incredible story.
http://wpmedia.news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/onoda1.jpg
.

I have the book, he left out all the farmers he killed.

Harvey Golden
11-16-2016, 02:35 PM
Harvey,
Is that the dude from the Philippines? I do believe I read that book many moons ago, and forgot the title.

Peace,
Robert

Yes. Here's the Wiki page, which has much info left out of his book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroo_Onoda
He only died 3 years ago.

amish rob
11-16-2016, 02:37 PM
Yes, yes, yes. Thanks, buddy. I remember being so impressed with that guy's resolve and resourcefulness.

Thank you for the link, Harvey.

Peace,
Robert

PeterSibley
11-16-2016, 04:17 PM
There is a book called "The Boneman of Kokoda" that is an extremely interesting story too. A Japanese soldier who fought in all the Japanese theatres of war then spent years after the war searching the Kokoda track battlefield for the bones of dead comrades and a repatriating them.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6554373-the-bone-man-of-kokoda

http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1316779047l/6554373.jpg

bobbys
11-16-2016, 04:23 PM
There is a book called "The Boneman of Kokoda" that is an extremely interesting story too. A Japanese soldier who fought in all the Japanese theatres of war then spent years after the war searching the Kokoda track battlefield for the bones of dead comrades and a repatriating them.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6554373-the-bone-man-of-kokoda

http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1316779047l/6554373.jpg..

Dad told me he ran a bull dozer and dug a mass grave on Saipan.

I told him They were looking for those graves.

Dad was a bit sore though and refused to tell me..

I have a rough idea and wrote to a outfit over there looking.

I have not done all the research yet and I'm a bit torn of I should pursue it..

however they had to bury bodies fast in the heat.

woodpile
11-16-2016, 04:33 PM
I know it won't get much mileage here, but Bill Oreilly's "Killing The Rising Sun" is a good read.

Jim Bow
11-17-2016, 12:45 AM
Then, there's the story of this poor SOB:

He Fought For Three Different Armies in World War II, Never by ChoiceThe strange story of Yang KyoungJonghttp://res.cloudinary.com/dlrnxbmrt/image/upload/c_fill,f_auto,fl_lossy,g_center,h_450,q_80,w_750/v1/baf21f93-2f04-4814-830c-aa6e4e3264c8/hmqqwrq2vxwevl4h9da8.png


http://historybuff.com/he-fought-for-three-different-armies-in-world-war-ii-never-by-choice-J0obd2wyA8rQ

PeterSibley
11-17-2016, 12:57 AM
..

Dad told me he ran a bull dozer and dug a mass grave on Saipan.

I told him They were looking for those graves.

Dad was a bit sore though and refused to tell me..

I have a rough idea and wrote to a outfit over there looking.

I have not done all the research yet and I'm a bit torn of I should pursue it..

however they had to bury bodies fast in the heat.

It's their children and grandchildren who want to know Bobby .