Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 191 – Lifting the Lost, Part 9

This week: what, in the end, did the Occupation mean — for both the occupied and the occupier?

Listen to the episode here.


Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Dr. Dower’s editorial on the Japan-Iraq comparison.

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.


Pro-MacArthur Demonstration in New York, 1951

Truman’s decision to fire Douglas MacArthur was not only unpopular in Japan but in the US as well; it contributed to a plummeting approval rating and to Truman’s ultimate decision not to attempt a run for a second, complete term.


The early days of the National Police Reserve, which eventually became the modern Japan Self-Defense Forces.

Shigeru Yoshida Signs Security Pact

Yoshida Shigeru signs the 1951 San Francisco Treaty, which went into effect the following year.


Kishi plays golf with President Eisenhower.


Kishi at the Yankees game.


In an ironic twist, Japan was also caught up in America’s newest attempts at nation-building; JSDF personnel were deployed outside of combat zones to assist in reconstruction efforts.


Episode 190 – Lifting the Lost, Part 8


Episode 192 – No Country for Young Women, Part 1


  1. The second leg of the June 23rd double header broke a 10-game Yankees win streak, not 20+.

    Note – I’m not a Yankees fan, but recall the American League streak from Money Ball.

    Great podcast, btw.

  2. Jason

    I think the allied experience rebuilding West Germany was pretty similar to Japan’s experience. The allies came in there with all these ideals for a new peaceful Germany yet as the Cold War began in earnest they put people (in some cases former SS and Gestapo) affiliated with the Nazi government back into positions of power and thousands more simply melted back into the private sector. Meanwhile various German companies, or their subsidiaries, who profited during the war and the Holocaust either stayed in business or grew stronger (Allianz, VW, BMW, Krupp, Seimens, etc.).

    But given all of that Germany has the best Holocaust and genocide education in the world. That’s not because the US Army put a rifle next to the country’s proverbial head and forced them to do this. Instead, it was really in the 1960s (after the arrest and trial of Eichmann) did younger West Germans began asking uncomfortable questions to their parents about their activities during the war. This led to even more trials of war crimes perpetrators that continue to this day. The result was a real commitment to understanding and repairing Germany’s legacy that continued post reunification. Meanwhile Japan seems to still be debating whether or not the IJA did anything wrong in Korea or China. That doesn’t happen in Germany.

    Why do you think that Germany and Japan are so different in this regard?

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