This week, we talk about what it took to make a peace on paper a peace in fact. With millions of Japanese civilians and soldiers scattered across Asia, what would it take to get them all home again?

Listen to the episode here.


Barshay, Andrew. The Gods Left First. 

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat. 

Spector, Ronald. In the Ruins of Empire/



Japanese POWs debarking at Yokosuka. After a brief “de-orientation” period they were released into the public.


Japanese POWs in Siberia. The Soviets proved easily the most brutal of potential captors for the Japanese.


Repatriation proved difficult for children in particular. Some families were forced to leave them behind in order to escape; others, like this girl, were separated from their families in the chaos or were the only ones to make it to a port.


Japanese troops preparing to board ships headed from China to Japan. The white box carried by the man in front holds the ashes of one of his comrades.


Ahiko Tetsuro circa 2011.