What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Bombing of Hiroshima

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
Joined
4 Apr 2021
Messages
399
Reaction score
409
I know this is a sensitive topic. We just covered the bombings of Japan, but I have a big question and want to see the Japanese view on it. What did the Japanese think of their government when they made the decision to not surrender after the first bombing of Hiroshima? And is it true that leaflets were dropped on the Japanese cities? Did anyone see them? Just wondering. Did America really give a chance for surrender? What is your view?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
4,443
Reaction score
1,803
There's quite a long thread on this topic here if you care to read through it.

However first I suggest reading this. I bet it's a lot more in depth and makes more sense than what your American teachers or textbook taught you.
 

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,783
Reaction score
582
The main reason Japan surrendered when it did was not because of the atom bomb, but because they thought the Americans would spare the life of the Japanese Emperor, whereas the Japanese were (correctly ) convinced the rapidly approaching Russian Communist Army would quickly hang Hirohito.
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,722
Reaction score
1,624
I spent 3 or 4 days in Nagasaki. It struck me that the city seems to be in a giant bowl formed by the hills/mountains around it which made the effects of the blast stronger. The museum there was something to see.


nm.jpg
 

Lothor

Freelance proofreader
Moderator
Donor
Joined
26 Sep 2015
Messages
1,405
Reaction score
905
The main reason Japan surrendered when it did was not because of the atom bomb, but because they thought the Americans would spare the life of the Japanese Emperor, whereas the Japanese were (correctly ) convinced the rapidly approaching Russian Communist Army would quickly hang Hirohito.
mdchachi - Fascinating article! Never heard that very persuasive view before.

Buntaro - I hope I'm not being too pedantic here, but I would have taken out (correctly). You can't make a judgment on correctness on predicting an event that never actually happened!
 
Last edited:

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,783
Reaction score
582
I disagree. The Japanese assumed that, if the Russians had got to Tokyo first, they would have strung Hirohito up by the end of a rope, and that is exactly what would have happened. So their assumption was correct.
 

Majestic

先輩
Joined
12 Oct 2013
Messages
2,405
Reaction score
1,482
Well, unfortunately none of this is giving Jhopesstrawberry a view inside the mind of the average Japanese person. I think it may be safe to say that the views in Japan are as varied as they are in the US - and the issue is probably so sensitive that you won't find our Japanese contributors to this site willing to weigh in on it in public.

Regarding the leaflets: there were two types. The "LeMay Leaflets" were dropped on major cities (including, apparently, Hiroshima) before August 6th. The second type of leaflets were dropped after the atomic bombing.

Regarding the "chance for surrender", of course Japan could have surrendered at any point in the war. Japan wanted to hang on to territories that they had held from before the war (Manchuria, Korea, and Taiwan, I think - anyway, its all information available on the internet) and they wanted to ensure the safety and dignity of the emperor. The US wasn't having it. The US said basically "surrender first, then we'll talk about the details". This is the famous (or infamous) "Unconditional Surrender" that the US was insisting on. Germany had surrendered unconditionally in May, and the US wasn't interested in anything less from Japan. At the end of July in 1945, the US said that Japan should surrender unconditionally, or else the entire country would be bombed flat. This is the gist of the Potsdam Declaration.
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
Joined
4 Apr 2021
Messages
399
Reaction score
409
Well, unfortunately none of this is giving Jhopesstrawberry a view inside the mind of the average Japanese person. I think it may be safe to say that the views in Japan are as varied as they are in the US - and the issue is probably so sensitive that you won't find our Japanese contributors to this site willing to weigh in on it in public.

Regarding the leaflets: there were two types. The "LeMay Leaflets" were dropped on major cities (including, apparently, Hiroshima) before August 6th. The second type of leaflets were dropped after the atomic bombing.

Regarding the "chance for surrender", of course Japan could have surrendered at any point in the war. Japan wanted to hang on to territories that they had held from before the war (Manchuria, Korea, and Taiwan, I think - anyway, its all information available on the internet) and they wanted to ensure the safety and dignity of the emperor. The US wasn't having it. The US said basically "surrender first, then we'll talk about the details". This is the famous (or infamous) "Unconditional Surrender" that the US was insisting on. Germany had surrendered unconditionally in May, and the US wasn't interested in anything less from Japan. At the end of July in 1945, the US said that Japan should surrender unconditionally, or else the entire country would be bombed flat. This is the gist of the Potsdam Declaration.
People are saying the leaflets weren’t dropped until after the bombing, so I guess that’s why many people didn’t evacuate? I still can’t believe how much the story has changed after reading that first article. I feel really bad for the people.
2F281CA0-383B-41C0-9833-2BEE99B4D76E.jpeg
 

Majestic

先輩
Joined
12 Oct 2013
Messages
2,405
Reaction score
1,482
Well - let me split this in two:

1. Did the US drop some generic leaflets on Japan? The answer is a definite YES. The LeMay Leaflets were dropped all over Japan before August, but they weren't a specific atomic bomb warning. They weren't intended just for Hiroshima. They were kind of an intimidation, or "scare" tactic. Anyway, they were a real thing - just not a particularly humanitarian thing, and not a specific warning to Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

2. Did the US give a specific warning about the atomic bomb to Japan so that civilians could evacuate? No, not at all.

Sad but true.
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
Joined
4 Apr 2021
Messages
399
Reaction score
409
Makes me wonder how heartless that government really was. How heartless the war was in general. How they go to sleep at night😭
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
4,443
Reaction score
1,803
Makes me wonder how heartless that government really was. How heartless the war was in general. How they go to sleep at night😭
It's easy when you treat the enemy as less than human. It happens to this day as we classify some people as "Other" even in our own society. It seems to be endemic to the human condition.
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,722
Reaction score
1,624
During the war and after our government and Hollywood pumped out tons of different propaganda designed to make people hate the Japanese and to think of them as sub-human. When I was at Boy Scout camp one summer , about 10 of the older male counselors who had fought against the Japanese talked about their hate for the Japanese and boy was it strong. I can remember watching WWII movies about the Japanese and by the end of the movie , you wanted them all dead. When I wrote home about marrying my Japanese girlfriend , my father told me if I did , don't bother coming home.

j1.jpg j2.jpg j3.jpg
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
Joined
4 Apr 2021
Messages
399
Reaction score
409
During the war and after our government and Hollywood pumped out tons of different propaganda designed to make people hate the Japanese and to think of them as sub-human. When I was at Boy Scout camp one summer , about 10 of the older male counselors who had fought against the Japanese talked about their hate for the Japanese and boy was it strong. I can remember watching WWII movies about the Japanese and by the end of the movie , you wanted them all dead. When I wrote home about marrying my Japanese girlfriend , my father told me if I did , don't bother coming home. View attachment 83659 View attachment 83660 View attachment 83661
I saw some of these propagandas in the textbooks but not as bad As these pictures. Way to go America🙄 but that was the way to make money and send more people to the war I guess.
 

Lothor

Freelance proofreader
Moderator
Donor
Joined
26 Sep 2015
Messages
1,405
Reaction score
905
I saw some of these propagandas in the textbooks but not as bad As these pictures. Way to go America🙄 but that was the way to make money and send more people to the war I guess
I'm not sure about the money aspect, but a common theme of war is the dehumanisation of the enemy, which makes it psychologically easier for soldiers to kill them. Unfortunately it happens a lot in peace too: some of the Japanese far right have referred to Koreans as cockroaches, and watch out for the use of verbs normally applied to animals, e.g., the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron referred to 'swarms' of immigrants crossing the Mediterranean.
 
Top Bottom