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Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' strikes a nerve in Japan

178 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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Normally, I have no interest in Branjelina or the films they're involved in but if this raises world attn. to the rightward lurch in Japan great.

30 ( +36 / -6 )

This makes me so angry. Especially the double-sided nature of it:

"Clint Eastwood’s 2006 “Letters From Iwo Jima,” which focused sympathetically on a gentle commander, played by Ken Watanabe, was favorably received here."

You can't even begin to approach 'sensitive' topics without outrage like this from the increasingly nationalistic population, calling it lies, untrue, etc. Honestly, grow a pair of balls.

37 ( +43 / -6 )

And the buzz on social networks and in online chatter is decidedly negative over the film that depicts a U.S. Olympic runner who endures torture at a World War II prisoner-of-war camp.

Some people are calling for a boycott of the movie, although there is no release date in Japan yet. It hits theaters in the U.S. on Dec 25

This is a fairly sanitized version of what has been reported here in the states for several days now. Here they are saying that right-wing groups there have labled Jolie a "demon", and called the movie "racist". In fact NBC had a one-hour special about the movie and the controversy earlier this week. Seems to me that if Japan is a truly strong country, then there does not need to be an attempt to keep opposing points-of-view from being shown. This smells like out-and-out fear of the truth to me -- the best defense is a good offense.. For the record, NBC reported that 40% of American POW's in Japanese camps died, versus only 1% of German-held ones.

33 ( +37 / -4 )

The Cove was and The Interview will not be shown here. Now this Unbroken.

I'm sorry but I've read of a few rare incidents of cannibalism by soldiers starving and dying on the islands, so i disagree with the shinto priest who claims that there was absolutely non during the war.

I find this increasing whitewashing of history to be maddening.

As far as censorship is concerned, I'm not seeing much of a difference between China and Japan when it comes to content that runs counter to their political agenda.

32 ( +35 / -3 )

But there was absolutely no cannibalism, said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. That is not our custom.

Whilst WW2 amnesia or outright denial is endemic in Japan, thankfully it is well remembered and/or documented by those who were actually there.

As it happens I was reading my Grandfather's WW2 diary about a fortnight ago. He was posted to places like Rabaul, Cape Gloucester, Numfoor and other islands around New Guinea. He records the fact that because the Japanese guys they were fighting against were starving they kept trying to break into the mess tent at night to steal food and were repeatedly getting shot in the process. He also records the fact that as the Japanese killed American and Australian troops on patrol, they would eat the corpses because subsequent patrols kept finding the evidence. The diary records the horror of this.

My other Grandfather fought on Bougainville in 1944/45 and told similar stories.

Not liking the idea of something certainly does not mean it didn't happen. As they say, war makes dogs of men.

38 ( +40 / -2 )

jerseyboy Dec. 13, 2014 - 07:08AM JST For the record, NBC reported that 40% of American POW's in Japanese camps died, versus only 1% of German-held ones.

So you don't consider 6 million Jews to be a POW?

-23 ( +7 / -30 )

Tamarama, I just recently reviewed Ichikawa's Nobi, which depicts cannibalism as well as the general depravity of war. Perhaps the best anti-war film ever made. No such cinema can be seen by the youth of today, enraptured by zero fighters and the wonderful ascetics who flew above the squalor on the ground.

The evidence of cannibalism has been around ever since the war. See Wiki and its source material:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes#Cannibalism

21 ( +24 / -3 )

We should all embrace this chance to consider the cases of state sponsored torture and atrocities in light of recent news and the desire of authorities to rewrite history. But there is a lot of blame that must be shared and many governments are complicit. The case of Unit 731 is a good example, where atrocities were carried out by Japanese authorities and then covered up by the US government, which wanted to use the "research" findings for its own purposes.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

So you don't consider 6 million Jews to be a POW?

sfjp330 -- Nice red-herring. Japan's skirts are hardly clean when it comes to mass war crimes -- the hundreds of thousands killed at Nanjing, the "comfort women", Unit 731, etc. Why don't you debate the topic at hand -- the treatment of POW's? Or are you afraid to, just like the right-wingers who want to ban the movie?

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Every August we will see TV documentaries on how evil the US was and all the attrocities commited, every year, same feed. When anybody else does the same thing about Japan, oh my, they have commited some unforgiveable sin. Im not interested in the same feeds, propaganda and stories I can get anywhere in Japan; Im interested in historical fact. I have read many of the books, like warriors of bushido and Hirohito. I find the whitewashing of history to be a crime itself. The canabilism story is one I have heard about, but not allot of information is out there. I am very interested to see this film. These ding bat right wingers are only making it worse for themselves. Why? Because the more you condemn something,the more attention it will get.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

jerseyboyDec. 13, 2014 - 08:15AM JST Japan's skirts are hardly clean when it comes to mass war crimes -- the hundreds of thousands killed at Nanjing, the "comfort women", Unit 731, etc. Why don't you debate the topic at hand -- the treatment of POW's? Or are you afraid to, just like the right-wingers who want to ban the movie?

Did Japanese do worse than the Nazi's? Then why do you defend German treatment of POW's? Germany's skirts are hardly clean when it comes to mass war crimes-- the hundreds of thousands killed at Auschwitz concentration camp and network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps operated by the Third Reich. If you look at Nazi invasion of Russia, Poland, France, and their neighboring countries, there is no defense for their actions.

-23 ( +3 / -26 )

Then why do you defend German treatment of POW's?

Because that is the subject at hand. Or cannot you grasp that? Why are you trying so hard to push the discussion in an un-related direction?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Unfortunately war denial is a part of the Japanese repertoire when it comes to history. Whatever glorifies their history, they love to accept and whatever makes them appear the opposite is quickly denied, but to some extent. But i do think we are all guilty of that to some extent. I am sure that shintoist priest is guilty of that, but here is something that is in Wikipedia. Believe it or not. It all REALLY depends on what you would like to believe. Most of it comes down to what you really want to believe. I am not sure if it is true or not. Should it be dismissed? If a General's supplies are cut off does he turn to cannibalism to survive? I have no idea. But if you are in war and have seen all kinds of hell and want to survive, it does seem like the most likely alternative. Anyway, here is what was written in Wikipedia.

Many written reports and testimonies collected by the Australian War Crimes Section of the Tokyo tribunal, and investigated by prosecutor William Webb (the future Judge-in-Chief), indicate that Japanese personnel in many parts of Asia and the Pacific committed acts of cannibalism against Allied prisoners of war. In many cases this was inspired by ever-increasing Allied attacks on Japanese supply lines, and the death and illness of Japanese personnel as a result of hunger. According to historian Yuki Tanaka: "cannibalism was often a systematic activity conducted by whole squads and under the command of officers".[105] This frequently involved murder for the purpose of securing bodies. For example, an Indian POW, Havildar Changdi Ram, testified that: "[on November 12, 1944] the Kempeitai beheaded [an Allied] pilot. I saw this from behind a tree and watched some of the Japanese cut flesh from his arms, legs, hips, buttocks and carry it off to their quarters ... They cut it [into] small pieces and fried it."[106]

In some cases, flesh was cut from living people: another Indian POW, Lance Naik Hatam Ali (later a citizen of Pakistan), testified in New Guinea and stated:

"... the Japanese started selecting prisoners and every day one prisoner was taken out and killed and eaten by the soldiers. I personally saw this happen and about 100 prisoners were eaten at this place by the Japanese. The remainder of us were taken to another spot 50 miles [80 km] away where 10 prisoners died of sickness. At this place, the Japanese again started selecting prisoners to eat. Those selected were taken to a hut where their flesh was cut from their bodies while they were alive and they were thrown into a ditch where they later died."[107]

Perhaps the most senior officer convicted of cannibalism was Lt Gen. Yoshio Tachibana (立花芳夫,Tachibana Yoshio), who with 11 other Japanese personnel was tried in August 1946 in relation to the execution of U.S. Navy airmen, and the cannibalism of at least one of them, during August 1944, on Chichi Jima, in the Bonin Islands. The airmen were beheaded on Tachibana's orders. Because military and international law did not specifically deal with cannibalism, they were tried for murder and "prevention of honorable burial". Tachibana was sentenced to death, and hanged.[108]

Should these things be discounted?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

FINALLY an article about this film here on JT. I was starting to think the topic had become a State SECRET.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

“Even Japanese don’t know their own history, so misunderstandings arise,” said Takeuchi, who heads his research organization, the Japan Culture Intelligence Association.

Geez... with the LDP rewriting history as fast as their fingers can type it's no wonder.

This ends up on my list of "Best Lines of the Year 2014 DOH! Version!"

11 ( +13 / -2 )

jerseyboyDec. 13, 2014 - 08:28AM JST Because that is the subject at hand. Or cannot you grasp that? Why are you trying so hard to push the discussion in an un-related direction?

If you didn't know, the three principal partners in the Axis alliance were Germany, Italy, and Japan. If you didn't know, the mass murders committed by these axis powers were related.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

I don't mind the movie is going to theaters. But I think it's difficult to screening in Japan. Who would like to see a movie that defame their ancestor? Also it is created by baseless fact.

-44 ( +1 / -45 )

although most Japanese have never eaten dolphin or whale meat.

The author of this article, is mistaken.

Almost every single Japanese person I have talked to has eaten whale meat at least once, normally in one of the government-sponsored school lunches. To be fair most of the younger Japanese people said it stank, it tasted awful and they'd never eat it again, but the point is that MOST Japanese people HAVE eaten whale meat.

Whatever happened to basic fact-checking? How did an article containing an obvious and outright lie ever make it to publication?

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

I am not sure the movie will be successful in USA. USA people usually favor Space related fictions than real histories. Or monster movies and Animes. Or sexy movies.

-37 ( +3 / -39 )

Yuya, I'm afraid it is not baseless. The man the story is about is real, look him up. He came and visited Japan and went to the place he was held.

There are countless accounts of cruel acts by the Japanese Army, perhaps you should do some reading.

30 ( +31 / -1 )

Japan: "Let's bury our heads in the sand just that bit deeper".

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Like I have been saying for ages Japanese know next to nothing about what they did in the Far East & SE Asia, this blurb outlines the gross ignorance & daft denial its way beyond the pale!

Seems to Japan is in dire need of a good review of the 1930-45 period around the 70th anniversary!!

I cant even imagine Japan how stupid Japan is going to make itself look on this anniversary, scary, stupid idiotic, its bloody insane!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Toshiko's right, though this movie may be based on a true story it will be difficult for me to watch it. as for those fighting as to which army was less cruel than another during the war

actually none were: all had their faults regarding prisoners, the US shot many when they had no one to take them back behind lines, the Russians did much worse, Germans may have treated some well but others went to the Gestapo- but at least they were considered human - unlike the Jews, Gypsies and Jehovah Witnesses in the concentration camps.

Even today we here of France being party to sending Jews to be gassed

In the US we even interred all Japanese- removing their right to freedom, property, right to vote, right to own items including bank accounts. they came out of the camps with nothing but the clothes on their backs

then the US started dealing with the Nazis post war

so who were the good guys?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Censorship - one of the ugliest practices a nation can adopt.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

"“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Classic! It's not generally a custom of anyone in the world, these days, save some tribes people don't know much about, maybe, but in times of war and when desperate some will do anything to survive -- including the Japanese, who are also human, by the way. Anyway, if it's not about them suffering in history in a movie, and if it shows them doing others wrong, it's generally not well accepted here. It's amusing to watch people who love Jolie (because she loves Japan) struggle with the, "bb-b-b-b-b-but I thought she LIKED Japan!" while they take everyng personally.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Deal with it, Japan. Whether they show it or not in Japan, the rest of the world will be able to see it.

Takeuchi acknowledged Jolie is free to make whatever movie she wants, stressing that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget

Some things are not for YOU to forgive. Yes, FORGET is the key word here.

“Even Japanese don’t know their own history, so misunderstandings arise,” said Takeuchi, who heads his research organization, the Japan Culture Intelligence Association.

You can say that again! Just about as much research as that done for creationism theme parks.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

They seemed to have no problems with Pearl Harbour and To end all wars. The latter however wasn't a blockbuster and seems to have slipped under the radar. As far as I can see it went straight to video - but its portrayal of POWs is also harrowing. The right wing attempts to boycott this film make it all the more important it should be released

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"Even Japanese don't know their own history, so misunderstandings arise" said Takeuchi, who heads his research organization, the Japan Culture Intelligence Association.

Loved your response, Yubaru. Can't trump that, so I'll just add my ditto to the "Best Lines of the Year 2014 DOH! Version!" In addition, "culture intelligence" is up there with the best oxymorons in this instance.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They need to read the accounts from any of the Books about the Kakoda campaign and the battle of the beach heads Buna Sanananda and Gona for a full account of Japanese cannibalism and the imperial Army orders that sanctioned it.

The Australian soldiers attitude to the Japanese was very much formed by what they had seen done to their mates.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

History is the story of the the people. Which people? Why the people writing the story. School text book history in all countries is basically state propaganda to justify that country as it is now. All history is slanted interpreted as needed which is why one must read a wide variety of accounts of a single event to even guess what might have actually happened.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

toshiko: I am not sure the movie will be successful in USA. USA people usually favor Space related fictions than real histories. Or monster movies and Animes. Or sexy movies.

e.g., historical movies like "Titus", 1999 film version of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus", Sir Anthony Hopkins headlining, $20M budget, $2M box office.

For more extreme examples with severer consequences see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_office_bomb#Studios_pushed_into_financial_ruin

0 ( +2 / -2 )

you never hear about the bad things the allied did during the war yet wiki is full of them, how many years later you have movies re enforcing Americana and spreading hate toward the Japanese, how many of those men from ww2 still live, the new generation shouldn't be held to the lasts actions, how many movies tell of American Japanese taken away from their homes for doing nothing but being who they are, I guess Iraq should have the right to tell the story of gitmo and forced arrest during the night of people who didn't do anything. I hate movies like this, I love movies like the one did by clint, at least they try to give a honest look at both sides, although I won't be a person who deny that bad things probably happened, like all things its written from a perspective of a person held captive and living under stress, your view of things will be different. I find it funny all these years later some Americans still hate Japanese for Pearl, yet Germany or no other nation is still hated..I won't be watching the movie, why because like "the great raid" or tom hanks hbo series, they portray japanese as non human mindless charging drones with no humanity behind a people clearly that should not be portrayed as such. If Americans show this movie as "fact" then they should read real history, look at Argo, Ben Afflack replaced canada with the cia even when canada did all the work yet most americans think the cia saved them from iran........when even carter said it was canada that did

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

The problem with Japanese like the shinto priest is that they will only ever trust documents produced by Japanese people. Information collected by foreigners is only accepted if a Japanese person has approved it, otherwise it's ignored or disparaged.

What's more, the Japanese destroyed nearly all their own damning documents at the end of WW2. Hence the national state of ignorance.

This filtration of reality is a major reason why Japan continues to annoy the rest of the world, whether it's the West or Asia.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Anyone who condemns a movie before even seeing it is a fool with no opinion worth hearing.

And mind you I am not talking about people who have concerns and misgivings before watching; that is understandable. I am talking about people calling for a ban already. They range from idiots to those with very obvious and selfish motives and neither group really gives a damn about Japan in fact. Idiots because they can't, and those with selfish motives because they only care about themselves.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

one should compare the reflections on the WWII in the far east against the same in Europe. After the war Japan was occupied and any apology and remorse was conditioned by influence of the occupying country. Because the area was politically divided only countries friendly with USA got any consideration so China, North Korea and Vietnam where left to be dealt with only recently. In today's situation where Dollars and natural resource control is only thing that counts every country is trying to get as much concessions as possible by what ever means possible and that is why Japan is grilled continually about its past. Not that Chinese and Koreans care so much for the past but they want to grab as much of the present by using the past. In Europe Germans and their collaborators murdered, tortured and raped more than Japanese. Comfort women or "Soldaten Drolen" where held around every German military installation. Killing of 100 for 1 was widely practiced, in some places all villages would be executed and several occasions complete high school with all students and teachers got massacred for connection to resistance. However German atrocities where quickly listed, Germans admitted them and quickly expressed their regret but also their alleged "inability to stop Hitler from forcing them down that path" Because of the quick spread of communism they never had to do much towards the countries that suffered most under their aggression. Now that those countries are gone western ways all of them being poor and beggars they do not ask for any apologies but rather are happy with any economic crumbs that Germany sends their way in exchange for total allegiance to the still superior German race. Japans Problem is that most of the countries around it are wealthy powerful economies and they can afford to play the blame game on Japan. So I think the time is here to tell them: "Yes things did happen, we will let you have pleasure to make detailed accounts for your own use and your own political need but we do not need to approve or disapprove this details we are expressing one and general apology. Subsequent to this we will not continue this discussion and have no intentions to unearth the ax of war and beg all sides to stop living in the past and work together for the better future"

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Who would like to see a movie that defame their ancestor? Also it is created by baseless fact.

Perhaps you would like to try and prove to the world that it's baseless then. Go on. Show us how it's baseless. Because unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary - which the world KNOWS about as fact - and just because you don't like it and don't want to believe it, doesn't automatically make it untrue.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Perhaps the most senior officer convicted of cannibalism was Lt Gen. Yoshio Tachibana (立花芳夫,Tachibana Yoshio), who with 11 other Japanese personnel was tried in August 1946 in relation to the execution of U.S. Navy airmen, and the cannibalism of at least one of them, during August 1944, on Chichi Jima, in the Bonin Islands. The airmen were beheaded on Tachibana's orders. Because military and international law did not specifically deal with cannibalism, they were tried for murder and "prevention of honorable burial". Tachibana was sentenced to death, and hanged.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I find it funny all these years later some Americans still hate Japanese for Pearl, yet Germany or no other nation is still hated..

I find it funny that you find it funny. It's all in the attitude. Japanese show clearly, no matter how many ambiguos quasi-apologies they utter, that the do not regret their actions. I suppose that's what people can sense. Germans feel a whole lot more educated on the issue, since their government has not, and does not, engage in trying to sweep the dirt under the rug in the name of patriotism and "love of country". Japan just cannot escape it's island mentality.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I wonder what happened to Japan in the last 10 years or so. Great japanese movies like "Human Condition" "Nijushi no hitomi" The Burmese Harp" and others would not be possible to screen in Japan now without being attacked by the nationalists. Many japanese people say those nationalists are just a minority but if so then why is the majority silent?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

It's comical to see the posters here coming out from under, feverishly spouting off arguments like: "But they did it, too! Germany was bad, too. America was bad, too!"

As if, somehow, this would excuse Imperial Japan's actions.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and 'a priest' (LOL) in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

"That is not our custom"!? So for other cultures, it is their custom to eat people? LOL. Desperate people can fall to almost any depths to survive-Japanese included. There are many more educated Japanese that do not deny this historical fact but in fact have endeavored to uncover and expose this shameful part of Japanese history. Check out "The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On" (ゆきゆきて、神軍 Yuki Yukite Shingun. It was made by a Japanese.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is just another proof to show how the Japanese Government tries to conceal their past time history of evil acts. What they don't want you to know, they try to conceal it from you in the best way that they can.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"Many japanese people say those nationalists are just a minority but if so then why is the majority silent?"

Because the typical Japanese, especially the younger generations are very apathetic, indiffferent , and have absolutely no interests beyond their work, J pop groups, sports. Very few Japanese would barely haven opinion on such matters, never mind speaking up about it.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I really wish Japan would just face up to the past - so that everyone can forget about it. Admit there were comfort women and pay restitution to however many of them may still be alive. Bite the bullet and deal with the rape of Nanking, and then move on.

Japan was an extremely aggressive player in the events leading up to and during WWII; admit it already so that everyone in the region can just move on.

I've been living in Japan for the past 20 years - and I also happen to have been an Asian History major in college. I love this country and I love living here, but theJapanese governments refusal to deal with the past is causing so many problems in the present that it hardly seems worth the effort of denying it at this point.

It also doesn't really jive with the whole Japanese tradition of accepting responsibility for ones mistakes. There are territorial issues now over some islands that really aren't all that important, but which keep being placed in a larger historical context so they are given all this deep historical meaning. It's pointless and I suspect, ultimately going to ve disadvantageous for Japan.

China is a political, and I am afraid, military behemoth in Asia that needs to be dealt with in a practical manner, and continually having the past dredged up isn't doing anything positive for Japan. One final point to consider is that WWII ended in 1945 - no one in power in Japan had anything to do with what happened during the war. I know that memories are long in this part of the world, by 70 years is a long time to hold a grudge.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yuri Kageyama makes a boo boo at the end of the article. Quote: "some politicians dispute the role of Japanese soldiers in the Rape of Nanjing, which began in 1937, in which 300,000 Chinese were killed. They say that is a vast overcount."

Most independent sources put the figures at between 40,000 to 200,000, according to Wiki. The highest number suggested is by some Chinese, at 300,000. Kageyama's writing makes it sound as if 300,000 is an established fact, a surprising position for a supposedly neutral journalist to take. Taking sides with Chinese right-wingers, ignorance of the issues, or a slip of the pen?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@jerseyboy

For the record, NBC reported that 40% of American POW's in Japanese camps died, versus only 1% of German-held ones.

Also for the record, Americans aren't the only casualties worth counting. There were far more non-American POWs. 60 percent of the 5.7 million Soviet POWs died at the hands of the Germans.

The German respect for human life in those years was not high, so you have no point to make on that account.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I am confused; according to Fox News, torture is good when the CIA does it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Takeuchi acknowledged Jolie is free to make whatever movie she wants, stressing that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget." those last 3 words "forgive and forget" after reading the following article "Abe's base aims to restore past religious, patriotic values" on this page, plus all the other rhetoric from those same politicians I find the "forgive and forget" does not ring true.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Censorship - one of the ugliest practices a nation can adopt.

It's worse as well when media follows along in lock-step with the government. They become the puppet.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@proxy

confusing POWs with actual terrorists?? I'm sorry but people who kill innocent people for fun don't deserve to have any rights.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I urge anyone who doubts that cannabilism occurred to watch the following clip and full movie of "The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On":

http://youtu.be/67MbYJ4TY48 http://youtu.be/FDkrunQwoLc

Also, I hope Japanese people consider the nature in which their societal relationships are NOW, in relatively peaceful times, and how those relationships may have been unbearable in tougher times. An element of cruelty underlies some of their hierarchical functioning.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Alexa431...really....the innocent people tortured by the CIA deserved it because................please fill in that blank.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@proxy

You need to be informed the people who were tortured were stationed at guantanamo bay. a place which TERRORIST who committed heinous crimes were imprisoned. Yes they do deserve to be tortured for information, they were NOT innocent. Apparently these days is popular to hate on the victim and love the perpetrator...

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Alexa431Dec. 13, 2014 - 11:13AM JST

@proxy You need to be informed the people who were tortured were stationed at guantanamo bay. a place which TERRORIST who committed heinous crimes were imprisoned. Yes they do deserve to be tortured for information, they were NOT innocent. Apparently these days is popular to hate on the victim and love the perpetrator...

You need to stop blustering and learn your facts. The Congress report clearly states that no one was tortured at Gitmo because Gitmo was under US military jurisdiction and the detainees receive protection from cruel behavior under US mikitary law. The policy of torture was exclusively a CIA one.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

confusing POWs with actual terrorists?? I'm sorry but people who kill innocent people for fun don't deserve to have any rights.

According to the Geneva convention, they do.

You need to be informed the people who were tortured were stationed at guantanamo bay. a place which TERRORIST who committed heinous crimes were imprisoned. Yes they do deserve to be tortured for information, they were NOT innocent.

Some of them were innocent, and were wrongly swept up post 9-11. Do you feel that these innocents deserved being tortured for information they didn't have?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I am not sure the movie will be successful in USA. USA people usually favor Space related fictions than real histories. Or monster movies and Animes. Or sexy movies.

If anything you have just put in a great reason here to watch the movie. By itself it's a topic worthy of discussion particularly at this crossroads of Japanese history with Abe attempting to rewrite (whitewash) the past.

The more people talk against it gives others all the more reason to watch it!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Alexa431 -

(1) Not all the torture took place in Guantanamo.

(2) Not all those tortured, in Guantanamo or elsewhere, were terrorists. Some were sold for cash by their neighbours. One al-Qaida individual turned in his old college professor because he gave him bad grades. Some just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many have since been declared to have been wrongfully imprisoned, and some (not all) released. The CIA didn't even know who some of the people were.

(3) Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, that's a cornerstone of the Western system of justice.

(4) No one is 'hating on' any victims.

people who kill innocent people for fun don't deserve to have any rights

How's about people who torture innocent people to get information they already have?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

My grandfather was a medic in the Pacific during WW2, he was a broken man after seeing what the Imperial Japanese Army perpetrated. Cannibalisation was certainly not the worst the Japanese perpetrators committed. The top tier of political leaders know what their grandfathers did and desperately what everyone to forget the barbarous actions of their actions. Sadly the rest of the world remembers?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Thus no-one EVER in the history of the war participated in cannibalism. He said it is not our custom so. It must be true.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Those that do not learn from (or ignore in Japan's case) from the past are destined to repeat it. Abe and his silly governent are pandering to the lowest elements of Japanese society (nationalism) and it looks like what China and Korea have been warning along is coming true. Japan's true nationalisttic/dangerous colors are starting to show again. I hope Canadian bacon is not on the menu.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Yuya Kokie-

I don't mind the movie is going to theaters. But I think it's difficult to screening in Japan. Who would like to see a movie that defame their ancestor? Also it is created by baseless fact.

Sooooooo.....you were there then to say such a statement with complete authority? Well, by all means, please DO tell us what is was really like back then!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As Japan's economy goes from bad to horrid, Tohoku bleeds and Fukushima spills, Japan under Abe and the LDP drops further into denial, totalitarianism and hysterical fantasyland nationalism. A fine way making enemies and alienating friends. This film is not the last to remind the world of Japan's wartime atrocities. It is past time for the Japanese to admit the truth and move on.

The irony is that Japan has not committed war crimes and gone to war in nearly 70 years. Today, the US is prime war criminal and torturer, which plenty of Americans not only admit but hate.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I wonder if Japan will ban reruns of Gilligan's Island? Especially the one episode where a Japanese soldier wearing pop bottle glasses captures the castaways cause he thinks WW2 is still on! LOL!!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

toshiko: "Or sexy movies."

You do know that Japan is responsible for the most vile and prevalent pornography on the planet, right? I mean, even in the MAINSTREAM comics you have brother and sister love, or mothers 'loving' their sons a bit too much and not quite in a normal mother-son fashion. Now, add that to the entire fetish industry that makes billions off it in this nation, including kiddy porn ("It's called "art" here, of course), so don't suggest that American's are obsessed with 'sex movies' and so cannot understand a historical drama that Japanese people refuse to admit is based on fact.

I really can't stand the mentality of Japanese or other people who take a movie like this as criticism and react personally, except of course that I KNOW they are people who are so utterly insecure and angry with their own lives that they live through what others do. These are the same people who will walk around and brag about the Nobel prize wins, not as a mere source of national pride, which is fine, but as a kind of personal accomplishment as though they themselves had done it. Jolie is NOT insulting Japan or its people -- she loves the country and of course comes here often for premiers -- she is merely portraying parts of history and the brutality we can commit during war. These things happened, and the Japanese should not feel anger about such portrayal, nor should they feel personally that the movie is saying THEY are bad. Grow up, people.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Japanese politicians have Japanese constituencies. Especially considering the overweighting of rural votes, wouldn't expect too much to change on official impressions of WWII.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some IJA officers ate enemy livers and hearts not out of hunger so much as for supposed warrior "stimulant" effects.

Also, there was a high level IJA written directive to the effect that it was ok to eat people if there was no other "food" available. As Japanese supply logistics were notoriously poor the practise of grabbing civilians for the pot was practised in place like China and New Guinea.

President George Bush senior was shot down by the Japanese in WW2 when he was a naval aviator, but he was rescued. However, one of his close friends was also shot down, captured by the Japanese and supposedly eaten, which may have been on Bush's mind when he once puked on the Japanese PM during a state dinner in Japan.

Of course other armies and peoples have resorted to cannibalism when faced with starvation, but it seemed to be almost a casual practise by the IJA in WW2...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Many japanese people say those nationalists are just a minority but if so then why is the majority silent?”

Ignorance, apathy and that whole kugi-deru thing. Keep your head down, embrace your place in the hierarchy and give up any float along bereft of conscience.

But also fear: Former Asahi reporter Takashi Uemura says “Threats of violence have cost him one university teaching job and could soon rob him of a second. Ultranationalists have even gone after his children, posting Internet messages urging people to drive his teenage daughter to suicide.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/world/asia/japanese-right-attacks-newspaper-on-the-left-emboldening-war-revisionists.html?_r=0 Not to worry though—our own resident rightist would claim the western press is merely making this kind of stuff up.

“I don't mind the movie is going to theaters. But I think it's difficult to screening in Japan. Who would like to see a movie that defame their ancestor? Also it is created by baseless fact.”

Setting aside your ludicrous closing line, if a nation is afraid to own up to its past it is hardly surprising when they’re poised to repeat it. At this point, it looks baked into the cake. When, no longer if.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

how many movies tell of American Japanese taken away from their homes for doing nothing but being who they are

Mar044 -- maybe you should do 30 seconds worth of homework before you spout your anti-U.S. rantings:

Feature films about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans include: American Pastime (2007) Focuses on internees' use of baseball as a source of entertainment while living in camp[1] Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) Come See the Paradise (1990) Follows an interracial family separated by the wartime incarceration program[2] Day of Independence (2003) A Nisei teen immerses himself in baseball after his parents decide to return to Japan rather than remain in camp in the U.S.[3] Farewell to Manzanar (1976) Made for television adaption of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's memoirs of her time in the Manzanar concentration camp Forgotten Valor (2001) Written and directed by Lane Nishikawa, a Nisei veteran remembers his experiences during WWII[4] Go for Broke! (1951) Based on the real life story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated army unit of Japanese American men, many of whom served while their families were incarcerated on the home front Hell to Eternity (1960) Biopic about Guy Gabaldon, a Mexican American Marine who was adopted by a Japanese American family at age 12 and went on to serve in WWII while his adoptive family was interned in Manzanar If Tomorrow Comes (1971) Made-for-TV movie following the romance between a Nisei man and a white woman at the start of WWII[5] Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) Adaption of the novel by David Guterson[6] Strawberry Fields (1997).

As you can see, they date back over 60 years. American moviemakers, and audiences, have not shied away from a harsh look at our conduct towards Japanese citizens during the war. Why is this movie creating such an issue for Japan 70 years after the fact?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Sorry but there have been first-hand accounts of cannibalisms seen by Australian troops - in Australia. "That is not our custom" cannot be applied in war - the things that the Imperial Army did defy belief...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Japanese feeling would be more understandable for all who believe context of this movie is all based on the fact, if they see a movie depicting the process of dropping atomic bombs and the chaos happening in two cities. Some of the Innocent citizens were melted and some others were left half dead by the two types of atomic bombs, an uranium bomb in Hiroshima and a plutonium bomb in Nagasaki. This fact is the evidence that it was a human experimentation conducted by the US. If they had really wanted to end the war, one drop would have been enough. I hope the human experimentation movie happened in Hiroshima should be produced for better mutual understanding that all humans can be inhumane in a war.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

There is also a Broadway show (playing now) that details George Takei's time in the internment camps.... Hollywood has never been afraid of showing the awful truth-especially if it's America....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese wartime cannibalism is well known and well documented.

Even President George Bush (the father) has narrowly escaped being eaten by Japanese.The livers of his comrades were served as sukiyaki for Lieutenant-General Yoshio Tachibana and his senior staff.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/1445167/George-Bushs-comrades-eaten-by-their-Japanese-PoW-guards.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is a shame to see Japan at this point increasingly denying their own past. Heartbreaking actually.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Screen the movie, judge the historic merits accordingly.

'The Railway' from a personally point of view, presented reflection, reconciliation, finally forgiveness. It is a milestone in the way the utter futility of war and humanities capacity for brutality can be witnessed without posturing to judgemental righteousness. Understanding the history is the lesson of paramount importance

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Patriotism is one of the worst things ever conceived, losing the ability to be objective and humble and blindly siding with your country just because you were born there

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think that people should now stop bringing WW2 again and over again. All countries involved have plenty of blood on their hands. There were no "good" guys... The more this only subject comes up, only more problems and damage it'll bring. Let the dead finally rest in peace and focus on future. Why do people need that desperately to accuse, judge and bring all that stuff back endlessly? Are these morons so nostalgic of the war?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I find the outrage here totally amusing.

Koreans are always told to "get over it, it's been 70 years, why can't you forget and forgive, Japan already apologized bla bla bla".

Well now that Japan's whitewashing is going beyond just Korea and China, and involving USA, Europe, the responses are totally different. I guess it's one thing to offend some old Asian ladies who couldn't read and write that nobody cared about, calling them whores, but it's another to offend white people - now that's a whole different ball game.

Well... it's been over 70 years, you people should move on! why can't you forget and forgive? Japan already surrendered and paid for their war crimes against POW's, with two atomic bombs. Forgive and forget!

Now do you people finally see the frustration and anger of Koreans every time Japan white washes one more piece of history, another step towards a total wash that they're close to completing? Now do you understand why Koreans still do not trust what the Japanese politician says?

Koreans, after dealing with the Japanese for centuries, know Japanese very well. The only reason why Japan has been peaceful for 70 years is because of the American forced democratic values that value peace and pacificsm. Without those American values that were imposed onto Japan, things would have turned out completely different because the same type of mindset and culture that lead Japan to war, was never dismantled by the victors after the war.

But now the current Japanese government is attempting to get rid of that safety valve that was installed by the US. Once that valve goes, and with the way the Japanese economy is imploding, there is no guarantee that Japan won't become more fascist and more militarily aggressive to turn the internal problems to project the problems onto her hated neighbors.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I haven't seen "unbroken" yet and will reserve judgement on Angelina Jolie or Japan's reaction until I see the film. In the animal/Insect world many/most species eat each other so are we so much superior or think we are than the rest of this planet's inhabitants.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Complete and utter BS!

I have been to museums in PNG and seen photos of the human nabe that the Japanese troops were forced to eat because they ran out of food.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Forget about the milquetoast Japanese "anti-war" movies mentioned in the article. There are others (unavailable in Japan) that pull no punches: Fukasaku Kinji's "Under the Flag of the Rising Sun", "Riben Guizi" (Japanese Devils). "Nobi" (Fires on the Plain) has some harrowing scenes. "City of Life and Death" and "Don't Cry Nanjing" are two Chinese films that show the brutality of the Japanese army in China. Another "banned in Japan" film "Pochi no Kokuhaku" (Confessions of a Dog) exposing the corruption of J-cops and the cover-ups by their chums in the supine J-mass media, is available from the BFI.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I saw the NBC Today show that interviewed the Japanese actor who played the leader of the camp guards. He was the main antagonist that abused the POW's. He was asked by NBC, if he was afraid of the reaction in Japan. The young man said yes he was very afraid that he would be ostracized and there could be death threats against him. I would say that he is screwed himself. No Japanese entertainment company will ever contact him again for an acting job in Japan. And he'll be harassed with threats from Japanese nationalists until he leaves the country.

As for Japanese reactions, I've read their on-line reactions to this movie, they're absolutely incensed. And to head off the inevitable, I will state that some of the Japanese are entirely blaming this onto the Koreans - specifically 3000 Korean camp guards that were assigned to Japanese POW camps who were abused by the Japanese, then became abusive themselves towards the POW's.

If you want to read how the Japanese set up their prison systems for the POW, there's an old book written by a Japanese author, a professor at Hiroshima University, written back in 1997.

http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Horrors-Japanese-Transitions-Asia-America/dp/0813327180

This book also describes how 3000 Koreans were press ganged into POW camps with false promises in the beginning, then beaten to submission like dogs, then beaten again, when the POW's didn't behave. They were there to control the POW's as a statement of racial hierarchy by the Japanese, and to save the Japanese manpower for the battle fronts. Then after the war, the Japanese used the Koreans again, by blaming most of their own war crimes against the POW's, onto the Koreans. If you look at the number of war criminals hung at at the Tokyo war trial, a huge ratio of lowest ranked Korean POW camp guards were executed, as opposed to the Japanese who were in charge, and who were mostly to blame but to a large degree let off the hook. The book mentioned, has a fantastic detail of one of the biggest miscarriage of justices ever in war crimes. It's a must read if you want to learn about the Japanese POW camps and what really went on.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Harp of Burma" (ビルマ の 立琴) accurately reflected a Buddhist reaction against war, and still deserves to be seen even if the production values are not high. The bones and cadavers of all the dead IJA soldiers should still say something about the recklessness of Japan's leaders who led the country into a disastrous war and the irresponsibility of Japan's current leaders who want to deny what happened, including what went on in colonized Korea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hotmail, you miss the point.

Well... it's been over 70 years, you people should move on! why can't you forget and forgive?

I think for the most part people are perfectly happy to forgive, in fact most western cultures - from which a fair portion of JT posters seem to originate, come from a culture that values forgiveness linked to Christian traditions advocating it's virtue.

But to forget? No, for a host of reasons, least of all is that it allows people like Mutsuhiro Takeuchi leverage to attempt to re-write or censor history. That is unacceptable, deceitful and sinister. My grandfather, mentioned in my first post, bore witness to the cannibalism as he was there - Takeuchi was not, and therefore is either plainly denying facts or simply has no idea what he is talking about. Either way, it's unacceptable. I never heard my Grandfather say anything bad about the Japanese and I think he accepted that war was horror and made men mad, but I guarantee you he never forgot. And neither should he have.

Of course, the other problem with idiots like Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, is that they inflame tensions and perpetuate the process of revisiting Japan's wartime past because they cannot accept the truth. They make forgiveness more difficult by their ignorance/arrogance. Without his comments, this thread would barely exist at all.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You have to learn how to live with holocaust,

Why not put it in a different age, or a different time, or just say we have been out of this world for a long time, some 2 or 3 hundred years, but now we are east Asians and time is moving fast.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Today, the US is prime war criminal and torturer, which plenty of Americans not only admit but hate.

Plenty of Americans admit it? I wouldn't say like that, especially if the criticism is from foreign people, who are often labeled like "anti-American" for this reason, plus American war crimes are not punished. Hollywood can make some movies about American war crimes, but you have always at least one good guy in them, to show also the human side of the Americans, like if the bad ones were exceptions. And I wonder how many theaters in the US would show Iraq movies about American war crimes, where you see rapes and other atrocities, telling also American lies that let the ongoing war happen.

For tons of years, we saw American movies about how bad the native Americans were, when the whites were the real criminals who raped and killed the natives. One of the biggest genocides in the human history, or maybe the biggest one, since the native Americans are almost disappeared.

In war, most of soldiers become monsters. Rapes, mass murders and also cannibalism, are things that basically every army did to some extent. Anyway, the only army that nuked a country was the US one. Americans have this "beautiful" unicity and they likes their own version of history, that tells that using atomic bombs was necessary. They accept only their own version of the facts. Of course, Japanese nationalists being in denial about their own war atrocities are wrong, I'm not saying they are right. But people who try to portrai the Japanese army like worse than the Nazis or others, are in denial as well.

Another interesting fact is that Hollywood could help to produce such kind of movies in delicate hystorical moments like this, when nationalism is very strong everywhere. I'm not saying censorship is right, but this kind of movies could be used like propaganda (specially if they are very biased) and increasing already existent tensions. It would be better to reflect on some topics in more peaceful times. But all they care is money, and Chinese market is huge. This movie will be a huge hit in China.

About cannibalism in Japanese army, I think it happened for sure. But this isn't the point.

P.S. Germany's situation is more complex than you think, don't think everything has been solved. The signs of what the Naziz did are still there and the current behaviour of Germany is feeding anti-German feelings in Europe, with countries like the Greece that see them acting like they were superior again, and ask for war compensation.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I want to see the movie to make up my own mind......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yuya Koike: " But I think it's difficult to screening in Japan. Who would like to see a movie that defame their ancestor? Also it is created by baseless fact."

Okay, Yuya, so what parts of the movie did you especially dislike, and which scenes specifically are 'created by baseless fact'. Oops! That's right. You weren't born then and so do not actually know what happened, and, uh, you haven't seen the movie yet. Doh!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

We havent seen this movie, and for sure like all hollywood movies there will be an equal mix of fact and make believe fiction.

Let's see it snd then we will know for sure what this movie is all sbout.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

anti american are simply that, therefore we can confidently ignore his posts.

No surprised, don't worry. I'm used to these kind of rants. Only the Americans can criticize the Americans.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I think its important to note that some movies depicting some pretty realistic, basically factual and horrible actions by American troops have not all been well received in America. Consider the reaction to the movie Redacted (2007). Usually even America's anti-war films make American soldiers look cool to some degree. Even the evil ones you at least respect for some martial skill or something. Redacted showed you mostly soldier that were either evil A-holes or pathetic sycophants and they did not look cool at all.

And that is so often the way American movies portray the Japanese and the Germans too. The portrayal of Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima was an exception to the rule. I still have not seen a movie showing Shunsaku Kudo like that.

And about cannibalism...I bet if you go down to the video store you can find a few domestic Japanese movies about the war that show cannibalism! I saw some that looked pretty brutal judging by the still shots, and one was a gory one about Unit 731! Do the nationalists whine about those too? Nope! I bet they love those movies like no others! Bet on it!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

http://www.warbirdforum.com/cannibal.htm

Here are the photos I saw in PNG when I was there, there are alot more, but the Japanese without a doubt ate POWs during the war due to running out of food.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was told by a Japanese man, who has since died, that while in a campaign overseas, he pitchforked babies while they were tossed into the air. I have no doubt the IJA did commit attrocities and I think its an underlying dark trait lurking in many Japanese people, to be quite honest about it. I dont for one minute believe these were isolated cases. I have seen some pretty nasty stuff Japanese do to each other; its almost like they need a third party to keep themselves in check. This movie, which I am looking forward to seeing, is only telling it how it really is.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@gogogo: I think almost everyone accepts this fact here, except for the Japanese nationalists. The main point is another one, imho. And it's related to how every country actually deals with its own history, not only Japan. But in this thread, and in general, Japan is considered like the only nation with a problem of revisionism, that is false, naturally. And all this bashing for events that happened 70 years ago, strategically useful for some countries, is worsening the nationalism in Japan, because also people who weren't nationalist and apologist, in this kind of mood feel themselves attacked for things they didn't, and they wonder because Japan can't move on when there's plenty of revisionism around the world as well.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I do not understand the inability of so many Japanese to recognize what Imperial troops did in World War II.

As for the movie, although I read the book, I do not think that I want to see the film. I do not have confidence in Ms. Jolie to depicts events from that era accurately.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Visit any reservation in the US and see for yourself.

Man...Are you serious? They were in their own country and now the few survived are confined to reservation, and you think this is NORMAL!!! My head hurts, this kind of obscene logic hurts my head and humanity. Cristoforo Colombo, an Italian guy, is considered the hero who discovered America, but you know what? I'm ITALIAN and I consider him A CRIMINAL WAR who raped and killed tons of innocent people in their country. THIS MEANS ADMITTING THE TRUTH and my nickname isn't "Italianhonor" like the "Americanhonor" that you see here. Some people should learn the meaning of being humble before insulting other cultures and human beings.

I have seen some pretty nasty stuff Japanese do to each other; its almost like they need a third party to keep themselves in check.

Are you suggesting that in Japanese DNA there's something evil, so they need a third party to keep themselves in check (the Americans, of course)? Do you know this is pretty racist? Where is you moral, oh superior human being?

I don't know if this is pure racism or trolling. And I don't know what is worse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to thank those who posted links to the excellent reading material about Tsuji and the canabilism of the IJA. So he became an officer in the NVA? Seems very appropriate and plausible; fighting his former enemy with the VIet Cong. Very interesting stuff.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

turbotsatDEC. 13, 2014 - 09:36AM JST toshiko: I am not sure the movie will be successful in USA. USA people usually favor Space related fictions than real histories. Or monster movies and Animes. Or sexy movies.

e.g., historical movies like "Titus", 1999 film version of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus", Sir Anthony Hopkins headlining, $20M budget, $2M box office.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------=

I was wondering 2014 movie release. Not past. Eastwood's Iwojima film was successful and some more. But those were past success. I will wait if Entertainment Tonight and others will take this as topic when re;eased.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think many Japanese are happy with the current situation.

All they have to do is deny what other people are saying...

deny, deny, deny...

That's easy to do... just deny something...

It's easy to deny the history of WW2 that is presented by the Americans or Chinese.

But they can't do something more difficult.

That is, face up to the bad things that their country did, based on the research of their own historians.

I think there are excellent Japanese historians, doing excellent research, which reveals the bad things that Japan did.

However, the majority of Japanese people have no interest in this.

And many Japanese people prefer to ignore these Japanese historians and instead use their time to deny things that the think are portraying Japan in a bad way.

So go ahead... deny, deny and deny... it's easy.

Something more difficult for Japanese people might be, for example, to read the history of the Japanese occupation of Nauru Island:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Yuki-TANAKA/3441

http://www.47news.jp/CN/200812/CN2008120601000519.html

The fate of the lepers on Nauru is heartbreaking IMHO

Of course, if you check the Japanese language version of Nauru on Wikipedia... not a word about the lepers or indeed any details about Japan's occupation....

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan's version of WWII is totally different and opposite of what the rest of the world has come to know. To the Japanese, they were the victims of the American sneak attack on Japan. Pearl harbour was American's fault, a payback from Japan, for the American sneak attack on Japan. You are dealing with people who think like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhTwRbMVI5A

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@papi

Thats hardly a credible source )

@hotmail, Some excellent reading, I went through the links. Its credible that some IJA officers who had nothing to gain by returning to Japan would of joined the fight against the French in Viet nam.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance then baffle 'em with your bullsnit.....

An appropriate response to any and all naysayers to the reality of what happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Dont make me laugh, there are volumes and volumes of historical data from witnesses and photographs to prove it. What a nonsensical statement and typical propaganda. Should we just dismiss this treasure of sources and information as falsehoods and accept this guys "truth" because he said so?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Let me ask you, WWII's Pacific War, who started it?

As I said, history is more complex than some people think. There's no doubt about the fact Japan is the one that attacked the US. But you must try to understand why they did, and you'll see also how there were American interests involved. I repeat, it's not a matter of "good guys vs bad guys", this is childish as hell, also at the middle school you don't study history this way, even if it is always biased to some extent.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

5Petals, from that book, I took these exerts about the Korean POW's who are largely blamed for the maltreatment of the allied POW's.

"The majority of guards in Japanese POW camps across the occupied territories were young men drawn from places such as Korea and Formosa (now Taiwan) who were press-ganged into service. On May 5, 1942, after the Japanese army had made the decision to employ Formosans and Koreans as POW camp guard, an instruction entitled “Outline for Dealing With POWs” was sent to the chief of staff for the Japanese forces occupying Formosa, Higuchi Keishichiro. The outline detailed two principal reasons for the use of non-Japanese guards in prison camps. One reason was to destroy the lingering sense of superiority attached to white people by many Asian societies that had been colonized and consequently to elevate the Japanese as “white substitutes.” By having Koreans and Formosans guard white prisoners under Japanese command, the Japanese military hoped that the old “pecking order” would be reversed – that non-Japanese Asians would come to see whites as inferior, subjugated people and the Japanese as the “natural” leader of Asia. The other, more mundane purpose was to free up more Japanese men to be sent to the front line. On May 15, 1942, 10 days after the outline had been distributed, the recruitment of Korean and Formosan guards began."

"UTSUMI Aiko of Keisen University, Japan, conducted extensive research on Korean POW guards and found that more than 3,000 young Korean men were "recruited" (that is "press-ganged" or otherwise forced to "volunteer") for the prison guard corps. Many of [them] feared they would be shipped to Japan as indentured servants if they did not join the corps. Others were perhaps attracted by the high pay rates offered - 50 yen a month, a large amount at that time. [They] were classified as civilian employees rather than members of the military, and many hoped this status would prevent their transfer to the front line and ... allow them to be demobilized after their two-year contract was concluded. However, on joining, the new recruits were issued with uniforms, and their basic training was very much military in character, including weapons training. Despite the difference between the promise and the reality of the guard corps, few deserted,possibly because deserters were threatened with court-martial." (p.38)

"The Koreans were trained in Japanese and forbidden to use their native tongue. They were also given Japanese names in place of their Korean names. They were instructed to treat POWs as animals as a way of ensuring their fear and respect. They were trained primarily in the Japanese Field Service Code, and they were frequently beaten by Japanese officers, for no justifiable reason. The Geneva Convention was never mentioned. In other words they were trained as de facto Japanese soldiers, yet their rank of "kanshi-hei" (guard) was lower than that of a private, and there was no possibility of promotion. Clearly the Korean guards ... were treated as second-class soldiers within the forces, bound by the same iron discipline, yet enjoying none of the prestige accorded to Japanese soldiers. Indeed, one of their unstated functions ... was to give the Japanese soldiers someone to look down on, thus strengthening a sense of ethnic solidarity among the Japanese and minimizing the resentment felt by Japanese troops toward their officers The Koreans were "boundary-crossers," neither fully inside nor fully outside the military forces -- inside insofar as the rules to which they were subject, outside insofar as the treatment they were accorded." (p.39)

“The guards’ duties were more than merely to prevent the escape of prisoners. One of their most important tasks was to provide sufficient POW workers each day for the airfield, no matter how many of the prisoners were too sick or unwilling to work. The guards were also responsible for maintaining a sufficiently high rate of work and for administering punishment when work fell short of expectations. Contact between Japanese and POWs was relatively uncommon, whereas the Formosan guards were in daily contact with the POWs. Although the POWs continually complained to the guards about the lack of adequate food, shelter, and medical supplies, the guards were unable to do anything about this situation, subject as they were to Japanese military POW policy. The Formosans were in the unenviable position of being caught between the demands of the POWs and the rule of the Japanese officers. However, they were unlikely to take the demands of the POWs to the Japanese officers, not only because such an act would be seen as softness and failing in their duty but because they might themselves become liable for punishment. When Hoshijima did venture out to inspect the progress on the airfield, the guards’ treatment of the prisoners was routinely worse. On one occasion (according to evidence of one witness) a Corporal Peters was beaten about the head with a baton and blinded in one eye in the presence of Hoshijima.83 However, the POWs made little distinction between the Formosan guards and their Japanese masters and had no sympathy for the guards’ plight.

Thus the frustration of the guards became more intense as the war went on, and it was inevitable that they would turn that frustration on the POWs, the only people over whom they had any power. This was frequently expressed through the administering of beatings on POWs. Beating was a standard disciplinary and “character-building” tool of the Japanese military, and the Formosan guards themselves had been routinely beaten as part of their training. The ethical seriousness of physical assault had thus been greatly diminished in their minds, and they saw the POWs as fair game. As the war turned against the Japanese, the officers began to draw vicarious pleasure from watching the beatings of the POWs by the guards and would also relieve their own frustrations by maltreating the guards, who would then take those new frustrations out on the POWs in a sadistic multiplier effect. It is therefore no coincidence that both the Korean guards on the Burma-Thailand railway and the Formosan guards in Borneo were capable of great cruelty; it was an effect of the power structure that operated within the prison camp system.”

“The leaders of the military forces cover up their responsibility by destroying documents and also tried to put the blame on Korean and Formosan guards whenever possible. For example, about a month after surrender, on September 17, 1945, the minister for the army, Shimomura Sadashi, conveyed a message to all relevant battalions to instruct their men to tell interrogators that ill-treatment of POWs happened because of language and cultural problems as well as the structural problems created by using Koreans and Formosans as prison camp guards. (Awaya Kentaro, Tokyo Saiban Ron (Otsuki Shoten, 1989), pp.286-287) Thus the exploitation of Koreans and Formosans by the Japanese continued even after their defeat.”

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But there was absolutely no cannibalism, said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. That is not our custom.

Except, according to sources, there absolutely was.

To quote Wiki (it has source provided):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism

According to historian Yuki Tanaka, "cannibalism was often a systematic activity conducted by whole squads and under the command of officers"

Another well-documented case occurred in Chichi-jima in February 1945, when Japanese soldiers killed and consumed five American airmen. This case was investigated in 1947 in a war crimes trial, and of 30 Japanese soldiers prosecuted, five (Maj. Matoba, Gen. Tachibana, Adm. Mori, Capt. Yoshii, and Dr. Teraki) were found guilty and hanged.[93] In his book Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, James Bradley details several instances of cannibalism of World War II Allied prisoners by their Japanese captors.[94] The author claims that this included not only ritual cannibalization of the livers of freshly killed prisoners, but also the cannibalization-for-sustenance of living prisoners over the course of several days, amputating limbs only as needed to keep the meat fresh.[95]

You don't have to like it, and you certainly do not have to agree with it...but you can't just blanket statement things/claim they never happened because it doesn't suit you.
4 ( +4 / -0 )

kaynide, that quote is from the same book that I just mentioned above. It's highly recommended for reading, I'm sure Yuki Tanaka is already labeled as a traitor, as more and more people references that book.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are those who will point to attrocities that were committed by US soilders in Vietnam, WW2 etc, and no doubt, they did as you can read all about it, but in Japans case they were commited to justify some racial superority and holy war. If these architects of evil would of won the war, I shudder to think what would of become of their subjects. Would they be treated in a benevolent manner with the holy man at the top and share in Japans prosperity? Or brutalized as inferiors.Was all this attrocity only to rid the empire of nuisance non conformers?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Every time a Japanese person denies a known atrocity, we should claim that Hiroshima was never bombed. If they want to rewrite history, let's rewrite it all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Alex

3rd party just means a referee or intermediary, a go between when those urges start to flare up, if you know what I mean

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Hotmail: Thank you- I did not realize fully. I went with what was on Wiki and briefly checked sources. Will check it out!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Papi2013: he didn't correct himself in any way, it seems he is speaking about DNA. But also if he meant "culturally and politically" as you say, I disagree. About that article: people are bashing Japanese culture, considering it the cause of Japanese imperialism. This is totally absurd. Before the Commodore Perry arrived, Japan was a colonial power? No. Japan also admired classic Chinese culture. Japan started to despise China, following the western feeling towards China. And this is not my opinion, it is history. Japan copied the colonial model from Europe, it didn't create it by itself. So, it's absurd historically to consider Japan as oriented to be a colonial power. Europe is the place where colonialism and racist theories are born. It's also more stupid to think that Japan, today, wants to come back to the "old days". Some nationalistic rethoric doeasn't mean Abe wants to attack the US (when Japan is already full of US bases on its territory, I wonder how some guys can even image such a scenario...!), invade China, Korea or whatever. It's only nationalistic propaganda to win the votes of old people (most of the voters). There's no way Japan wants or is able to start an invasion, and there's nothing in its original culture that brings it to be warmonger, since it just copied Western colonialism, for the rest of its history it was a closed country, and rather peaceful if compared to Europe, where the countries have been in war between them for centuries. Anyway, the US are supporting Japanese rearmament, so why is your government doing this, if it thinks Japan can't be trusted?

3rd party just means a referee or intermediary

That intermediary is the reason why in Asia peace isn't possible, now. Meh. Such a pity you can't see it.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"But he urged Jolie to study history" You mean like how Japanese children are taught to study about their own history truthfully?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Hotmail : Miyavi, the actor who portrayed the prison guard, is a musician first and foremost. He'll do OK. He's basically the Hendrix of Japan. And he's got fangirls all over the world into him because he's cute. If he ends up emigrating somewhere he's got his axe-shredding talent to fall back on. He is also likely to get some juicy offers from Hollywood to act, because the scuttlebutt about Unbroken is that there are some great performances in the film, Miyavi included. So let's not shed tears about Miyavi's prospects post-Unbroken.

This also said: Japan's willful amnesia about the horror of war and the atrocities it committed during WWII is scary because it allows the possibility of militarists ginning up the population for new aggressions. To its credit, Germany has been pretty fearless about the atrocities of the Nazi era. Far-Right parties have to operate underground and there are arrests of neo-Nazis all the time. German students get an unvarnished (more or less) reading of the Nazi era in their history classes. Germany has inoculated itself against a return to militarism and brute-force fascism by openness. It hasn't stopped them from embracing corporate oligarchism of a stripe quite similar to what has taken over the US beginning with Nixon, accelerating under Reagan, and which has become a runaway train since the Bush II (more accurately Cheney) administration. But will we see a Fourth Reich? Likely not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“Unbroken” portrays the story of war hero Zamperini, played by Jack O’Connell, who with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a plane crash, only to be caught by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp."

Those 47 days in the raft weakened the men to the point where they couldn't fight and defeat the Japanese soldiers who captured them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Papi2013: when I said "about that article", I meant this http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abes-base-aims-to-restore-past-religious-patriotic-values indeed I thought you were linking that to me, not a video on YT. Anyway, "Western colonialism" isn't an excuse for Japan nationalism, but it's the origin of "those old days" that you and other Americans fear Japan wants back, so it's absolutely absurd and historically false saying that Japan's imperialism origin is in its own traditional culture. I never said that the abuses against POW didn't happen, and I'm not the user who said that history is written by winners, even though it's basically true, so while we see a lot of the brutality (even if true, I'm not saying it's false) committed by the losers, we see few things about the winners crimes. I only find stupid to think Japan today wants to invade China or other countries, and if you ask me "which is the country that scares me the most", no offence, but it's not China, Iran, North-Korea or Japan, but the US. These days we are seeing how Americans torture people, kill innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and other place without being punished, start "preventive wars" even without ONU approval, in the name of "freedom", and all this is happening NOW, not tons of years ago. But what Japanese did during WWII is more scary than what the US is doing today, apparently, at least for the Americans. Not for me, though, since my country, Italy, is full of American bases as well, and we always fear that the US start a new war for whatever reason that forces us to send our young guys to die even if we, the ordinary people, disagree. We feel useless and hopeless...this sense of oppression, after 70 years of occupation, is becoming heavy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

what else,...

Brainwashed Japanese people censoring the effects of radiations to some extent, thanks to "Atom for Peace" propaganda. This is the reason why Japanese common people accepted that in their earthquake prone country nuclear reactors were built, even though they had been nuked twice. Ironically, the first nuclear reactors in Iran and Pakistan were built under the program by American Machine and Foundry, and you know what the US thinks about Iran nuclear program today...Such a mess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It seems there's a World View of what went on in World War 2 and then many peoples view in Japan. These sort of films have been made for many years, there just aren't many made about Americans because most POW's were British or Asian. The Bridge over the River Kwai, telling British solders POW story was made in 1957!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

I am sure that Mr. Takeuchi didn't like the film that came out back in the 1987 film "The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On" in which a veteran confronted his IJA Sgt about the events that occured in New Guinea and where he states that they didn't (IJA) eat natives but their own dead (IJA). So I guess he thought that film was all just lies.

I think that Japan can't have it both ways in regards to WW2. Some of the far right want to deny what happened in Nanjing and in cases with allied POWs, yet then turn around and denounce the US for fighting back against them just as hard. I have yet to see evidence that places like Singapore, Philippines, New Guinea, and Malaya really wanted the Japanese Army to come in and free them from colonial rule as a cause for war. They show me that, then they can harp all they want.

Live up to your past. As long as you don't try to do it again, I think the world will understand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@5petals

I was told by a Japanese man, who has since died, that while in a campaign overseas, he pitchforked babies while they were tossed into the air. I have no doubt the IJA did commit attrocities and I think its an underlying dark trait lurking in many Japanese people, to be quite honest about it. I dont for one minute believe these were isolated cases. I have seen some pretty nasty stuff Japanese do to each other; its almost like they need a third party to keep themselves in check. This movie, which I am looking forward to seeing, is only telling it how it really is.

A comment like this needs a third party check. If a comment like this is not pure hate or ethnocentrism, what is it? If a Japanese man spoke of people of other nationality in such manner, I am sure you drop an angry "Japanese right-wingers..." post or two.

@papi2013

That has been going on for far too long, it's time people started to speak up and at least put pressure on these people to stop with their BS which is making Japan look real bad in front of the world. If Japanese right are not stopped, then they will continue to make Japan and Japanese look worse.

It seems you and your pals here worry if Japan would go back to its war-hungry, blood-thirsty state. But if you look closely at Japan's international affair, let's say, what did Ultra-right Nazi Abe do to 200 Chinese ships who illegally had broken into Japan's Ogasawara territory to steal million dollar worth of red corals? Or even, Korea's occupation of Takeshima/Dokto (pick one you prefer.) And I hope your country is not currently at a war. Because it will make you look real bad in front of the world.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@NYtoday: I feel less alone now.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most of Japanese don't know their own history. This can be a good educational movie for Japanese.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japans starting to sound more like a controlling dictatorship if their own people don't know the real truth about WW2,

1 ( +5 / -4 )

With the right amount of PR and so called public outrage the studios will fill their pockets with cash.

Now, what I have find funny are the amount of posts from people who have spun this into an anti-Japan government topic. It doesn't matter that the Japanese government hasn't said squat about the movie or tried to ban it. What matters to these people is that they have a chance to politicize this movie and use it against Japan.

What I don't find funny are the posters who tell third hand accounts of tales that no one can substantiate like, I was told by a Japanese man. Yes, he said he was told by a Japanese man, but can he back up what he says he was told with facts? No, he can't. He just tells that tale to people so they can be shocked.

The reality is that people will say just about anything to try and make a point. Even if what they say isn't true.

This is a movie that deals with WWII and how one man lived through it. The Japanese government has not banned it, the Japanese government hasn't censored it and the Japanese government hasn't tried to. But, by the way folks are speculating and second guessing here Japan's government has done all this.

As I always say, the moment political opinions get involved, reality goes out the window.

sfjp330Dec. 13, 2014 - 07:48AM JST jerseyboy Dec. 13, 2014 - 07:08AM JST For the record, NBC reported that 40% of American POW's in Japanese camps died, versus only 1% of German-held ones. So you don't consider 6 million Jews to be a POW?

You should know by now that facts and reality are useless when dealing with political issues.

Jason RolphDec. 14, 2014 - 05:46AM JST Japans starting to sound more like a controlling dictatorship if their own people don't know the real truth about WW2,

Why?

Has this movie been banned or censored in any way? If it has, please by all means provide a link that shows that it has.

Japan isn't a dictatorship and it's people don't have horns. Japan is a very nice place to live and it's people are well educated and very respectful of others. The people that aren't are few and far between.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Its staggering how the point of this film is so completely missed by so many! Its not about what Country did what or who was right and who was wrong! Its certainly not about Japan bashing. Humans are a warrior race. We have always been and not one race of humankind can say it doesnt have a history of what we now deem to be extreme atrocities to its fellow man. We continue those atrocities today. I am often sickened by the fact that there are starving people in the World and the average American restaurants breakfast is enough to feed a family of four in most countries. Can we feed those starving people? Yes of course we can but we dont because there is no profit in it. Now that is an atrocity to mankind. Films like this need to be shown so that we can see who we were and where we should go. As an American visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki I didnt feel a million hate filled eyes on me. What I found were people viewing the exhibits with a shared understanding that we as human beings should never allow that to happen again. The war was bad and bad things happened. Its easy to sit and stare at your computer screen saying this or that but unless you have experienced the terror of war first hand you have no idea what it does to the human mind. But leave that alone. That is not what this is about. Its a film about finding within yourself the drive, the will, the power to never, under any circumstance, give up. Its about forgiveness. It`s about just how extraordinary human beings can be!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The movie Pearl Harbor was a huge hit here, but there may be too much violence in this movie, judging from the previews. It seems that the evil Japanese protagonist and the US protagonist becomes friends at the end. If Abe gets his wish of remilitarization of Japan, maybe we will be trying to forgive each other again in the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All humans behave in the same way in a real war, its not about countries or races, Its only about that limits end dissapearing in war. But its not a reference for what people do in peace time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

US killed hundreds of thousands of civilian elderly, women and children in fire boming and nuclear explosions. Mention that to Americans and watch the "banal and predictable" reaction.

At least the Japanese took prisoners and most survived. The US didn't take prisoners, they killed surrendering Japanese. The US military intelligence people wanted prisoners to interrogate, but they couldn't get any. They resorted to offering ice cream rewards to any soldier who brought in a captured Japanese soldier alive.

Now, watch the "banal and predictable" reaction (thumbs down) by Americans to what I just wrote. Almost everyone lives in ignorance from the massaging of history by all governments.

Try to find some information in English about Japanese prisoners and see what you come up with. Good luck.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Check out "The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On" (ゆきゆきて、神軍 Yuki Yukite Shingun. It was made by a Japanese.

That is because in the immediate postwar period Japan was a rampantly postwar country. Films to remind people of the horrors they had endured were common. Then when Abe's grandfather, the acquitted war criminal Nobusuke Kishi came to power around 1960 things began to change

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Speaking of something unnerving, LDP are trying to delete "absolutely" from the article 36 of Japanese constitution. "The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden." while the article 97 is going to be totally removed. It might appear as a small change, but why should they need to change it in the first place?

Just in case you are wondering, the article 97 is:"The fundamental human rights by this Constitution guaranteed to the people of Japan are fruits of the age-old struggle of man to be free; they have survived the many exacting tests for durability and are conferred upon this and future generations in trust, to be held for all time inviolate."

Now that the renewed secrecy law allows police to arrest people whom they regard as a threat to "special secret", what will happen to the arrested? Also, what would Japanese militant behave to "terrorist" captives once the military cooperation is set in action, considering the practice of CIA.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"But he urged Jolie to study history"

Yeah right Im sure she will get busy right away and start studying his sanatized version.....

Due to all the excellent links posted here I have become much more informed as to what really went on, some really good info out there about the really nasty that went on. Im sure if this guy read those books he would completly flip the script and school us on what really went on,.

Please be advised Im not a Japan hater. Some of the authors of the books linked here are Japanese. Japanese come in many flavors, not all follow the same beliefs. You can read whatever you want to in my post, it doesnt change my position. I dont take a polarized position;Im not a communist, but not a facist or statist either. I have no dog in either race.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I don't mind the movie is going to theaters. But I think it's difficult to screening in Japan. Who would like to see a movie that defame their ancestor? Also it is created by baseless fact.

Chinese lies. Korean lies. Angelina Jolie and Louis Zamperini are lying. We always heard China and Korea need to get over the past but it looks like Japan itself also still haven't move on from the past and unable to accept reality. Japan,time to accept reality. You guys bring more harm than good during WW2.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As I've said before Japan has no idea what they have to make amends for. Their history classes teach a condensed version of 2000 years of human civilisation. Facts only, and no focus on any particular period. Least of all the Pacific war. What little history they learned is soon forgotten post-school. So at this point asking Japan to make amends is like making a patient with amnesia say sorry

1 ( +5 / -4 )

First of all, this is not a story Jolie made up. It's based on a real person's experiences. Should Zamperini have studied more Japanese history before having his memories set down in writing?

Second, what about movies like Nobi "Fires in the Plain" made by a Japanese with depictions of cannibalism? Or Ningen no Joken "The Human Condition" with its atrocities. Cannibalism is not a Japanese custom obviously!! Any more that dropping nukes is an American custom. But it was wartime. Many many horrors happen during wartime with some men behaving worse than animals. It has nothing to do with race or culture or country. We in America have our Donner Party stories for crying out loud. When people are starving that bad, anything goes.

What do they think the War was? A tea-party that got a little out of hand?

I find it very sad people are rejecting a story based on a real person's experience. Like everything he suffered, means nothing at all...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese government has not banned it, the Japanese government hasn't censored it and the Japanese government hasn't tried to

JBigs,

So what, the govt doenst have to, the pussies that be in Japan will & DO willingly censor ALL the time, you only have to read the :""newspapers"" in Japan to see this, ditto TV(doh!), and at times movies.

Anyone who lived here a while can recall hotels & other venues suddenly cancelling events on Nanjing etc

IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME HERE!!! The govt has the Pussies that Be VERY well trained, patently obvious to anyone paying attention

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Mutsuhiro Takeuchi should read the history of the Japanese forces in Saipan.

It is disgusting to see Japanese revisionists on the rise. Some even believe that the Japanese military was there to liberate the Asiatic countries from their colonial opressors. Nothing is futher from the historical truth.

It would be like many Germans today saying the SS were all nice people who loved humanity.

The biggest dishonor you can do to the souls of the soldiers who fought in the war is to not tell their story, and not include the historic facts. Yes there was mass suffering on all sides. Yes even Japanese soldiers suffered from hunger and atrocities. But that does not mean they themselves did not commit any atrocity becuse they did.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's weird. Japan being uppity over something wartime related? That's never happened before....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well I guess Japan will be rolling up the red carpet when Jolie comes to town again - and all because she decided to tell the truth.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@turbotsat

Either my peeps weren't paying attention in the classroom or the material wasn't covered in their time. Or there was a change in textbooks, perhaps. Still, my point is that it is fine if they don't learn everything in school. If they are interested in the topic, they will learn.

And if anything, school in Japan is dominated by teachers' group like Nikkyoso (日教組), which is a tasty mix of radical leftists, socialists, Maoists, communists and such. They make sure their little kids learn what the evil Japan has done to poor innocent civilians with a detailed description of rape, torture, and murder. They make students cover up the kimigayo page with a piece of paper in a music class so kids can't see it. Right, very censorship they accuse the current government of.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

as long as Japan abdicates it's responsibility to grow up as a nation, forever will it dominate its destiny

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Pardon me, Tamarama, but I hope you get your grandfather's permission to take his diaries to a historian for recording purposes. Every living record the world has from WW2 is dying off. We need to make sure that we capture as many stories as possible before they are gone. Thank you for your story.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Having seen an interview with Angelina Jolie just after the premier of her movie in Sydney, she mentioned that if it gave people something to think about, that was a good thing.

Well, it has certainly worked out that way on JT here.

Her first movie as director, set in the Bosnian conflict highlighting local Islam and ostensibly Christian mixing in an antipathetic environment (In the Land of Blood and Honey 2011) caused similar debate (though not with the unintended side-track of cannibalism!!). However, there seems no mention of that movie here in preceding comments.

Whatever she is, Angelina Jolie has courage to take a story and present it. And on that point, she has courage to face comebacks such as from denialists in Japan.

Yet, with any art, most often people have a choice to engage in it or not. And on this point, unfortunately, people who do see the movie have to put up with the hysterics in voices of people who have not seen the movie. That does not take courage - it takes forbearance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Now, I can't wait to see it.

IF Japan censors it or bans it I'll make it my goal to see it.

At the end of the day, it's HIS(story) and I'll regard it as such. Whether I choose to believe it or not will be based on my own experiences in Japan.

If Japan is worried about whether or not I believe it they need to take into account WHY I would believe. Have I seen anything else that would support this movies projection of Japanese soldiers during the war?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And if anything, school in Japan is dominated by teachers' group like Nikkyoso (日教組), which is a tasty mix of radical leftists, socialists, Maoists, communists and such. They make sure their little kids learn what the evil Japan has done to poor innocent civilians with a detailed description of rape, torture, and murder. They make students cover up the kimigayo page with a piece of paper in a music class so kids can't see it. Right, very censorship they accuse the current government of.

Supporting links please. Every Japanese I've spoken to tells me they have a flick through 2000 years of world history at school, and not much else

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Christopher Glen

If you speak Japanese, quick google search with terms like "君が代 プリント ページ (kimigayo handouts page)" would show countless posts regarding the issue. I had my education in Japan and had two or three Nikkyoso teachers (all elder female) spending too much time on war time gang rapes and skullhead football game as well as censorship of kimigayo page in my elementary school.

If you don't read or write in Japanese, you can google "nikkyoso socialists" or something. I am sure you pick up something. I am not an expert on this, I just stated common sense Japanese people would all know about their teacher's union.

Ebook I found: Japanese Schooling: Patterns of Socialization, Equality, and Political Control edited by James J. Shields

Every Japanese I've spoken to tells me they have a flick through 2000 years of world history at school, and not much else

That sounds about right, unless otherwise you pick world history as a course elective in high school. Still, kids in Japan are pretty well-educated compared to rest of the world. Those who want to study deeper, they will without us spoonfeeding.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

in many parts of Asia and the Pacific committed acts of cannibalism against Allied prisoners of war

I once had an elderly "mentor" of sorts during my university years. He apparently had a relative who was "eaten" by the Japanese during the war (while on military service) for which he harboured a lifelong dislike of Japan. I discovered this later. At the time I was somewhat an apologist for Japan, and attempted to downplay it. After that I never heard from the man again. Many years later, and somewhat wiser about Japan's attitude to their history I can say that this is a very well-timed film by Jolie.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

one of the many unique attributes I have discovered about Japan is that when someone uses Western logic to describe or question an historical event this is uncomfortable to talk about, it must be quickly disqualifed or outright dimissed. I think some of it has to do with the ambiguous "hidding the ugly" behavior common in Asian culture, something I never really explored, but which have been told about.

If I were to say the Hiroshima incident never occured, and worked myself into a hissy fit defending my position, most sane people would declare me nuts. If a Westerner learns about an "eater" and questions that information, well you better watch out. Best to blame the foriegn occupier as well. Its interesting, the foriegn occupier with little understanding of east Asian culture and who is to blame for all wrongs in the world, allowed many of the "eaters" to escape justice. One eater, Tsuji, even latter returned to Japan, and served in the post war goverment.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Jolie. I find you to be an extremely controversial woman. Why on earth would you want to bring up wartime issues? Now? @Christmas? IN JAPAN? =) Just wondering babe.

Also I`m not sure about your knowledge of Japanese tradition but I consider that article to be a slight loose face for a country I like.

Peace out people.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

And the buzz on social networks and in online chatter is decidedly negative over the film that depicts a U.S. Olympic runner who endures torture at a World War II prisoner-of-war camp.

Where can I read the "buzz"? I could not find any even in 2ch.

Some people are calling for a boycott of the movie, although there is no release date in Japan yet. It hits theaters in the U.S. on Dec 25.

Who? How? It has not been released even in the US yet.

Others want that ban extended to Jolie, the director - unusual in a nation enamored with Hollywood, especially Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt, who both have reputations as Japan-lovers.

Who? "Some said such and such, and others said such and such." Is this really a news article?

It seems to me more of new marketing technique rather than an article.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It seems to me more of new marketing technique rather than an article.

here come the right-wing denials of historical fact

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@CH3CHO

Where can I read the "buzz"? I could not find any even in 2ch.

I just found a thread in 2ch but its first post was AFTER this article was published (12/13). I also did google "ボイコット unbroken" and the only Japanese result was one blog article with no comments dated back in July 2014.

I can't blame Japanese internet peeps go like, ジャーナリズム(笑)Sad, indeed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I had my education in Japan and had two or three Nikkyoso teachers (all elder female) spending too much time on war time gang rapes and skullhead football game as well as censorship of kimigayo page in my elementary school.

If that is the case, then Abe, Hashimoto etc wouldn't get away with making denialist statements. Nor for that matter would Abe get elected in the first place. Its peoples' lack of historical knowledge in Japan that makes all of this possible. Perhaps your school was the exception to the rule - I know teachers aren't big fans of "kimigayo". However, I know that generally Japanese people know little about their own history. Which suits the government - especially in the case of "Unbroken"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

100% incorrect. It may not have been ritual, but it certainly occurred. It is documented not only on the Australian side, but also the Japanese side through veterans themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

And I assume this learned individual fought in the Pacific War, or perhaps in a past life?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not sure what the big deal is about cannibalism. Dead people are dead. Unless they were killing people for the purpose of eating them, as occasionally happened at sea.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Not sure what the big deal is about cannibalism"

Because in several documented cases, well-fed Japanese offices ate POWs.

First the Japanese tortured them, then chopped off their heads or stabbed them to death with bamboo poles. Then their livers were served to the Japanese officers. George Bush's aircrew suffered this lovely fate. A nurse at the Tokyo Tribunal testified for another gaijin liver incident.

Yep, I'd call that "a big deal."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jeff Lee is right. One of the link s previously posted had some excellent information about the eater Tsuji. I dont see the link now; perhaps the torso of butchered US serviceman is too graphic, but on that site were excellent writings about the subject. Tsuji requested the liver and actually found it quite appetizing, while other diners would not eat it. He was not starving at all.

I commend Anglie for exploring this dark territory. The post reaction to the movie will probably be harder for her than actually making the movie itself. Just look at what the dingbat said; cannablism couldnt of been possible?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The young man said yes he was very afraid that he would be ostracized and there could be death threats against him. I would say that he is screwed himself. No Japanese entertainment company will ever contact him again for an acting job in Japan.

Are you talking about MIYAVI? Hahaha, first, he's not an actor, he's a musician, a good one though, He's charismatic enough to gain fans across the world. Yes, he might take a drop on his Japanese fans, but the rest of the world might love him more. I wouldn't say he's screwed.

I Have been in two of his shows, he is a great artist, but the number of "fangirls" might be less than you think, he's not only appreciated by his looks but also for his music too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow, the truth must really hurt. BTW, you can't hide from the truth forever Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

In the last half of the war, your troops were isolated on small islands with no hope for re-supply. You are welcome to believe whatever you want, but a starving platoon will do what they have to to survive and "custom" be damned. It wasn't the "custom" of Uruguayns to be cannibals, yet the rugby team survivors of an Andes plane crash resorted to that in order to survive until they could be rescued.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Fadamor:

Your seeing what you want to see and disregarding the rest. Yes, some were dying of starvation and abadoned, but the leadership was not. Read up here:

http://www.warbirdforum.com/tsuji5.htm

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

“But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Sorry I got confused. This statement by an IJA general clears it up

"that troops must fight the enemy even to the extent of eating him" and "troops are permitted to eat the flesh of the enemy dead, but must not eat their own dead".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan needs to realise no-one is judging them for the sins of their ancestors in WW2, but rather their persistent denials and prevarication about their transgressions

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Only once but USA news talk shows showed CIA water torture scenes and saiid copied from Japanese torture method/

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess it's time to dust off "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence." I have no delusions about the brutality of war but to ignore it ala Japanese history is to risk repeating it. Christopher Glen nailed it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The big DENIAL is already starting. Takeuchi, you can forget the big lie because Japanese troops practiced cannibalism. I heard from one former soldier who stated that they had to eat curry that had the liver of an American pilot. The pilot was beheaded, then eaten. The soldiers were not starving. Those responsible officers were later tried and eventually hanged on Guam. When I read Hillenbrand's novel, the story was plausible. But knowing the Japanese habit of trying to hide the ugly truth, I am not surprised that many people will stand with Takeuchi.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But the release of “Unbroken” comes at a time some in Japan are downplaying the country’s colonization of its Asian neighbors and the aggressive act carried out by the Imperialist Army during World War II.

I think the article speaks for itself and there is also no doubt on who is the "some".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think this article is intentianally written without the main point why some Japanese got upset. The movie tells that Japanese troops ate prisoners alive and even calls it "a Japanese culture". This is wrong.

Personally I think I want to see the movie if released in Japan. She has adopted asian kids and been good at human rights movements. So I don't think she describes the war in a way that spreads hatred against todays Japanese.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe it's time for Japanese TV to rebroadcast the 1987 Japanese documentary movie ゆきゆきて、神軍

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I read the book last year and in the whole the story is more about an amazing man and not particularly a war story. Zamperini was a world class athlete. He went to the Berlin Olympics and came in contact with Hitler. He endured an extended period adrift at sea then suffered under brutal conditions in a prisoner of war camp. Most would come out of those trying experience bitter and broken. Zamperini turned all this around and was able to forgive the Japanese and lived a very long, happy, and productive life.

He was an amazing and inspiring man. I found myself focusing on the man's strength of character and not so much on the reasons he was placed in those many unimaginable circumstances.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The movie tells that Japanese troops ate prisoners alive and even calls it "a Japanese culture". This is wrong.

Call it what you like. It HAPPENED.

Only once but USA news talk shows showed CIA water torture scenes and saiid copied from Japanese torture method/

All the more reason for Japan to come clean about their past

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Shohei Ooka documents in his book "Fires On The Plain" that cannibalism was very much present during the war.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks like an inspiring movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrjJbl7kRrI All the Japanese reviews I have found say so too. If you search long enough you can find some one in a country the size of Japan to say anything. Then you can publish it as being representative of the nation as a whole. And keep making films about Japanese POW guards. Last year it was "The Railway Man," (2013) but there have been lots, generally with the same type of fanatical, brutal prison guard."The Purple Heart" (1944) "Bridge Over the River Kwai" (1957), "The Secret of Blood Island" (1964) "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence," (1983, JP-UK) "Three Came Home" (1950), "Seven Women from Hell" (1961), "Empire of the Sun" (1987), "Paradise Road" (1997), "To End all Wars" (2001). The Second World War was a long time ago and there are really bad things going on right now. Sure the Japanese don't go in for guilt, nor unlike us, do they go in for recrimination. There are plenty of Japan as victim films, but I have yet to see one that makes the US or UK soldiers out to be despicable, despite there being ample material imho.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

but I have yet to see one that makes the US or UK soldiers out to be despicable, despite there being ample material imho.

Really? What material? And on what point were they despicable? In that they treated their POWs humanely?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From what Ive heard so far from Japanese is that "Angelie hates Japan!" and "timing warui" because of the Olympics. Because I have had the "gaijin experience" there was always no part of me that doubted these things happened to the "inferior" POW. The documentation revealed on this site was shocking but its really not that unbeliveable, but what is unbeliveable is the guy who said it could never happen because its not their custom.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think my wife is what most would call an "average" Nihonjin (although I think she's quite extraordinary).

She tells me that at least one of her great-uncles served in the Imperial Japanese Forces on a remote Pacific island during WW2.

My wife's in Japan at present, with all the kids, whilst I stay home in Australia -- so I can't ask her anything about this subject. But I can guess at her reaction.

Although Japan's WW2 atrocities are well-documented and known of outside Japan, they are not all that well known within Japan. This is not all that dissimilar from American, British, and British Commonwealth knowledge of any atrocities committed by their own military during that time, as our governments tend to gloss over those naughty things our soldiers do in wars, whilst highlighting the naughty things our enemy's soldiers do in the same wars.

For my wife, and for many like her, the news about Japanese cannibalism which would come with this movie would be rather confronting for it would bring the mental image that the beloved and kind great uncle of their childhood memories could quite possibly have been a cruel and vicious eater of humans during his never-spoken-about youth.

For Westerners, this is all rather academic and theoretical, as it does not personally affect our lives or the lives of our immediate families. But for many Japanese, I believe that this matter is far from academic but is instead rather confronting and shocking.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Japan cyber attacked Hollywood over this film, I would totally support Obama standing up to defend the freedom of speech.

Sorry if you can't understand why I would defend this movie but not the other one. I feel like I woke up on a different planet from my own the other day. Where have my fellow humans gone?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rumor in USA. Angela will be Oscar candidate. TV Entertainment rumor s

After /CIA torture stories came out in USA, this movie will be successful in USA

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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