* Japanese schools: Historical trends -- 20th century First Showa era 1940s Saipan (1944)

Japanese Historical School Trends: The 20th Century--First Showa Era Saipan (1944)

Figure 1.--Here a Japanese Army officer explains to the children at their school about Saipan and what they must do about it. There is a series of images here. We see the children solemly listening. The mood is distinctly different than after Pearl Harbor. Then we see more of the officer's speech his blood boilsand his conclusion. Of course what he does not remind the children about is who launched the War against tghe arrogang Americans. .

The United States by 1944 had seized many islands from the Japanese Many like Tarawa were tough fights because the Japanese were dug in and refused to surrender. Even in hopless engagements the Japanese refused to surrender. The Jaapnese casualties could be 10 times that of the Americans. The Americans, however, always won. This was largely because after Guadalcanal, American industrial power began to kick in and the Imperial Navy did not oppose the various American island invasions. The Marianas, especially Saipan, were different. The Japanese knew why the Americams wanted the Marianas. They knew about the long-range B-29 Superfortress with bases in the Marianas coiuld raech the Home Iskands. This is why Japan launched the Ichi Go offensice in Central China to over tun the airfields being built for the B-29s. They dud just that. But American naval power and the small size of the Mariana Islands limited defensive forces, although they were substantial. This time the Imperial Navy finally opposed the American invasion. They wanted to pull a Guadalcanal. Air bases on Saipan and Guam could support the carrier and surface naval assault. It was the first time in 2 years that the Imperial Fleet had sortied in force. The Result was the Battle of the Philippines Sea--the last important carrier battle. It proved a disaster for Japan, what Anericans refer to as the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot. The Japanese contolled media had been reporting nothing but great victories. A bright 10-year old armed with a map could tell that something was wroing. The map of Japanese expansion ended June 1942. Not only was the Empire no longer expanding, but some positions were no longer mentioned. The military finally came clean when the Saipan was taken. The Americans not only broke into the Empire's inter defense ring, but the Home Island were now within range of American bombers. And Saipan had an actual Japanese civilian population--the First Japanese civilians captured by the Japanese. As on othger islands, the Japanese soldiers fought to tje death or commiottef suicice. One niatavle navail mcommander was Adm. Nagumao, the coomader of the carrier task firce that attacked Pearl Harbor. He signaled Tokyo, "Hell is upon is." before committing suicide. The Americans were used ton that, but than many of the civilians began commiting suicide. That was something that they were not used to. It was tge first vtime the Americans had encountered Jaoanese civilians. In Japan they were lauded as heros.


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Created: 1:28 PM 10/12/2020
Last updated: 1:28 PM 10/12/2020