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HirohitoYasnuri Kawabata General Douglas Macarthur
ThailandTokyoManchuria


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HIROHITO

The emperor of Japan during the Second World War. He was born on April 29, 1901 to the Japanese Emperor Yoshihito. Hirohito took over the reigns of government as prince regent in 1921 when his father retired from office as a result of bad health. On January 26, 1924 he married Princess Nagako Kuni, by whom he had 7 children, 5 daughters and 2 sons.On December 26, 1926 the Emperor Yoshihito died and Hirohito ascended the throne.

On the occasion of his becoming emperor, Hirohito stated that he wished domestic harmony and peace with other nations, but it was during his reign that Japan invaded and occupied much of Asia as well as attacking the territories of Great Britain and the United States.

The official view of the Allied forces was that responsibility for Japan's part in the Second World War lay with the military and various industrial and financial groups,but not everyone agrees with this point of view. Peter Wetzler in his book entitled "Hirohito and War : Imperial Tradition and Military Decision Making in Prewar Japan" argues that even though Hirohito was not able to personally dictate policy, he was part of the decision-making process and that his motivation for supporting the military's action were to insure the survival of the imperial household.After Japan's surrender to the Allies in 1945, Hirohito was permitted to continue as emperor of his country (under the direction of a allied forces military governor up untill 1952 when the peace treaty took effect). In 1946 Hirohito officially disclaimed the fact that he was divine to the public. In 1947 a new constitition went into effect in Japan which stripped him of all authority in the government.

The Emperor died on January 7 1989 at the Imperial palace in Tokyo.

To see a picture of the Emperor Hirohito click here.

Click here to read an article written on the 100th anniversary of his birth.


YASNURI KAWABATA

Yasnuri Kawabata was born in Osaka Japan in 1899. He was the author of the novels "The Master of Go" and "The 1000 Cranes". In 1968 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for literature becoming the first Japanese writer to ever win the award. Kawabata had originally wanted to be a painter before becoming an established writer in Japan during the 1920's.

Kawabata was a close friend and mentor to Yukio Mishima. He was 46 years old when they first met. While still a law student at Tokyo Imperial University, Mishima brought Kawabata a short story entitled "Tobacco" and Kawabata liked it enough to recommend it to a magazine editor. The short story was not well received on its publication in Japan, but it did succeed in introducing Yukio Mishima to the world of Japanese literature.

In Japan it was customary for a younger writer to have an older, more established writer as a sponsor.

Yasnuri Kawabata committed suicide in 1972.

For more about Yasnuri Kawabata, click here and then click on Yasnuri Kawabata's name on the following page.


GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR

United States military general, born January 26, 1890 in Little Rock Arkansas. He was the leading United States military commander in Asia during the Second World War. Macarthur began his military career in 1899, after he graduated from West Point Military academy. Between 1913 to 1915 he served in Japan,the Philippines, and Mexico. From 1916 to 1917 he served on the general staff. He served in the First World War becoming a brigadaire general in 1918. In 1930 President Hoover appointed Macarthur to be the chief of the general staff of the army. He was the youngest officer since General Grant to hold that position. He retired from the army at the end of 1937.

He was recalled to active duty on July 26, 1941 and on December 8, 1941 was named commanding general of the Far East Command. He led the American and Philippino troops against the Japanese, but he was forced to retreat from Manila in the Philippines on December 26, 1941. On October 20, 1944 Macarthur invaded the Philippines and by July 5, 1945 the Japanese were driven from the island. He arranged the terms of surrender ending the Second World War. He accepted the terms of surrender from the Japanese emperor Hirohito on September 2, 1945 on board the United States battleship Missouri ending the war in the Pacific. He was then made Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan.

On June 27, 1950 President Truman ordered both air and naval forces under General Macarthur's command to help drive out the North Korean's invasion of South Korea. After General Macarthur had made a series of public statements arguing for a more aggressive war against the Chinese, on April 11, 1951 General Macarthur was dismissed by President Harry Truman for what President Truman described as "General Macarthur's inability to give his full support to the policies of the United States." After his dismissal from the military, General Macarthur accepted the chairmanship of Remington-Rand Corporation. Before taking up his post, he made the Republican keynote address speech, sharply criticizing the Truman administration.

General Douglas Macarthur died on April 5,1964.


Click here to read a article about General Macarthur


MANCHURIA

An area in Northern China. Manchuria is composed of three provinces : Heilungkiang, Kirin, Liaoning, and the eastern part of the Inner Mongolian area. Manchuria is about 600,000 square miles or 1/6 the total area of China. Manchuria is China's chief industrial area. It is rich in mineral resources as well as farmland.

Manchuria is one of the oldest areas inhabited by human beings in east asia. Archeologists have found remains that date back to the Paleolithic era. Manchurian history has been recorded at about 1000 BC. Southern Manchuria was integrated into the Chinese empire at about the 3rd century BC. Aggressive tribes from Manchuria have invaded Northern China and expanded their rule into China Proper.

Beginning in 1895, Manchuria would begin to become one of the world's trouble spots. Different powers would occupy Manchuria at different times from 1895-1945. In the beginning,Russia controlled much of Northern Manchuria. From 1937 till the end of the Second World War, Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria as well as conquering much of Asia. After the Second World War, Manchuria became integrated into China Proper.


Tokyo

The national capital of Japan. As of the 1995 population census, Tokyo has a population of 11.7 million people. The city was founded in 1456 and in 1590 it became the capital of the shoguns, while the emperors lived in Kyoto. When the shogun era ended in 1867, the emperors moved to Tokyo (formerly called Yedo) and Tokyo became the national capital of Japan. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see a larger image of a map of Japan.

THAILAND

A nation in Southeast Asia, formerly known as Siam. The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, which is located in the southern part of the country near the Cambodian border. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see a larger image of a map of Thailand.



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