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Postwar Japan

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Chapter Summary

In May 1945, Allied firebombs demolished Hasegawa Nyozekan's Tokyo home. A scant three months later, the Soviet Union entered the war, American atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war ended, and Japan was left ruined and devastated. Nyozekan had dedicated his career to promoting the growth of liberalism in Japan. In many ways postwar Japan represented a vindication for Nyozekan. With defeat came the Occupation of Japan, an essentially American affair managed primarily by General Douglas MacArthur. Since the Meiji period, Japan had focused on rapid industrial and military development as a way of catapulting itself into the ranks of the advanced nations. Nyozekan's support for the United Nations was part of his faith in the future of a world civilization. Some of the foreign visitors Nyozekan entertained at Hachioso were people he had met during his five-month trip to the U.S. in 1956.

Keywords: General Douglas MacArthur; Hachioso; Hasegawa Nyozekan; Meiji period; Postwar Japan; Soviet Union

10.1163/ej.9781905246496.i-144.15
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