Memoires of Japan 1946
(A People Bowed But Not Broken)
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Having served as a member of the Allied Forces' Occupation of Japan, Bernard Smith has produced a book about the time he spent in Japan in 1946 in the city of Iwakuni, near Hiroshima, both of which cities are located on the east coast of Japan alongside its beautiful Inland Sea. Except for his rather mystifying visit to Tokyo in the summer of 1946, his entire book is based almost entirely on his personal diary, and notes which he wrote while aboard his homeward bound ship at the end of his tour of duty at the end of that year, crucially when the events he describes were still very fresh in his mind. He writes about the utter devastation and despair under which people were living after the horrors of Hiroshima, about the Japanese peoples' response to the Allied Occupation, and the resilience and fortitude with which they faced up to their troubles. As opposed to formal and official documents, Bernard Smith writes about human suffering and the harsh conditions under which people were living. He tells us of his meetings with families, with whom he found relaxation from the gloom and with whom he became very friendly. He also describes how the people faithfully continued to follow their traditional Japanese customs and culture, the observance of which he believes sustained them and helped them begin their ultimate recovery.
Trafford Publishing, 9781466963092, 210pp.
Publication Date: October 18, 2012