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MacArthur's office offers glimpse of history

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© 2012 AFP

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Is it only going to be open temporarily? I'd love to visit

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I prefer to call him the Supreme Commander "for" the Allied Powers. (SCAP)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They ought to liven it up a little by putting a wax figure of the general on the chair behind the desk.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ah MacArthur, the most overrated, egotistical, self important, self loving person of the 20th century.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"stripping the emperor...of his divine status" The emperor's (et al) claim to divinity was a tenuous one. In Japan's ancient history, the word "kami", which many now interpret to mean "god or goddess", was just as often used to denote a position of power. So, for example, the "sun goddess" could just as easily have been a queen or other regional authority figure. But, for the sake of argument, let's say the sun goddess was really divine and that the first emperor came from her. How much of that divinity could possibly remain after so many successive generations of that status being passed through murder, infidelity, ambition, and greed?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Surely that bust wasn't originally there...

Kumibo

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the desk has no drawers

Out in the west we have a name for desks with no drawers: a table.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Ah MacArthur, the most overrated, egotistical, self important, self loving person of the 20th century.

Well thank the American people they voted for Eisenhower instead of this nutjob who wanted to start WWIII by killing millions of Chinese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

what are the viewing times and address , i might pop in !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If MacArthur really wanted Japan to be free from fear and superstition he would've deposed the monarchy. Didn't happen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm interested to know how this office will be presented to the Japanese public. What will signs, explanations, etc say?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But the emperor whose home he could see from his window would never face a court.

One of the biggest mistakes made following the war. That along with not making it mandatory for all Japanese kids to learn the history behind the war to ensure that further generations would be like they are today; seriously in the dark.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How much of that divinity could possibly remain after so many successive generations of that status being passed through murder, infidelity, ambition, and greed?

You're looking at 'god' through Abrahamic assumptions that it is a just and omnipotent being. Most polytheist religions perceive god as having the same vices and virtues as humans and live among them. Each god can be cruel or compassionate or both, and there is no moral lesson from how they act at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One of the biggest mistakes made following the war. That along with not making it mandatory for all Japanese kids to learn the history behind the war to ensure that further generations would be like they are today; seriously in the dark.

But that would jeopardize US-Japanese relations, at least in its current status that is in America's favor.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Japanese should symbolically rewrite the their own Japanese constitution in that office. Don't cherish it, like it's some precious heirloom.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Wanting to expand the Korean War into a world war and not minding that would kill heaps of Chinese people. Using the Emperor of Japan as a tool for controlling the population.

Doesn't that all seem..a bit ironic?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If MacArthur really wanted Japan to be free from fear and superstition he would've deposed the monarchy. Didn't happen.

They would just find something else to worship.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My father was his Aide to Cultural and Religious Affairs throughout the Occupation. Oh the stories he used to tell about MacArthur...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They would just find something else to worship.

Now we know that can be a harmless group of 12 year old girls, a republic would best suit Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But that would jeopardize US-Japanese relations, at least in its current status that is in America's favor.

I wonder, if they would have studied it, then they would realize the benefits that they have received for being allies with the US and the reason for the bases being in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder, if they would have studied it, then they would realize the benefits that they have received for being allies with the US and the reason for the bases being in Japan.

I'm sorry, I didn't have any anti-Chinese agenda on my mind, at least not on this topic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Im currently reading a book about the immediate post-war years called "Embracing Defeat". MacArthur was idolized and enjoyed hero warship by the Japanese eclipsing perhaps even the Emperor. That all changed when he compared them to a nation of 12 year-old children on his return to the US a few years later.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"...<The Public Opening of MacArthur Memorial Room> Limited Period : July 17th (Tue)~July 22nd(Sun) 2012 Open Hour : 10:30~15:30

The number of visitors will be limited to 200 persons per day..."

http://www.dai-ichi-life.co.jp/english/news_release/2012/pdf/index_004.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's amazing, he was the man! He may have his flaws but he returned to the Philippines to save us from the Japanese imperial rule and for that we are forever grateful and he has our respect. He kept his word. Think I'll drop by on Friday.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If japanese were to be grateful people, they should make a holiday for the General, because the general is the one responsable for why japan is a rich nation today and not speaking Russian in Hokaido, they dont need all this crazy made up holiday they have now, i mean, marine day? coming of age day, what the heck is that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If japanese were to be grateful people, they should make a holiday for the General, because the general is the one responsable for why japan is a rich nation today

No, it's the engineers and scientists who gained heaps of experience from the war and had to find work in the civilian sector after the dismantling of the Japanese military industrial complex are the ones who made Japan great again. You could say MacArthur was responsible for forcing these talented minds into building cars and televisions.

and not speaking Russian in Hokkaido,

what's wrong with the Russian language, have you got something against Russian culture? Japan could use a working second language. Did MacArthur try and make widely spoken English a working second language for Japan? nope.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

That's amazing, he was the man! He may have his flaws but he returned to the Philippines to save us from the Japanese imperial rule and for that we are forever grateful and he has our respect.

yes, I for one agree absolutely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you know what i am talking about, the Russian was going to occupy Hokkaido too, not just the northern islands, the General stop then.

No, it's the engineers and scientists who gained heaps of experience from the war and had to find work in the civilian sector after the dismantling of the Japanese military industrial complex are the ones who made Japan great again.

Japan was just lucky, look at all the other country the US have invade so far, dont tell me those country dont have talented people, and don't forget the leaching japan been doing off the American Economic for the past 50 years, that is what bring japan to where it's today, just like what is China is doing today.

anyway, i will like to discus about this Neojamal, unfortunately my english is limited.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hoserfella

Im currently reading a book about the immediate post-war years called "Embracing Defeat".

It's a fascinating read, that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MacArthur's defense of the Philippines was shameful. He had several hours notice before the Japanese attacked and did nothing. He retreated, leaving behind several months worth of supplies. He was critical of General Wainwright for surrendering rather than fighting to the last man. In his final speech before fleeing, he was asked to say We shall return rather than I shall return. He refused to do so. In accepting the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri, he had to be ordered by President Truman to have General Wainright stand next to him, because he didn't want him anywhere near him and the photographers. Originally the Philippine Islands were to be bypassed in the push to Japan, but due to his constant pleading, Admiral Nimitz finally relented. His Medal of Honor is a medal without merit.

If you want to be impressed with an American General, read about Omar Bradley. And incidently Ike served under MacArthur in the Philippines, and was referred to as the best clerk he ever had.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“I did not know that the office was occupied by Mr MacArthur before I was hired,” a young company spokesman confessed to AFP during a tour.

By the way, who is this MacArthur guy...?

He played with Beckham on Manchester United right...?

LOL...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@danako

MacArthur's defense of the Philippines was shameful. He had several hours notice before the Japanese attacked and did nothing. He retreated, leaving behind several months worth of supplies. He was critical of General Wainwright for surrendering rather than fighting to the last man. In his final speech before fleeing, he was asked to say We shall return rather than I shall return. He refused to do so. In accepting the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri, he had to be ordered by President Truman to have General Wainright stand next to him, because he didn't want him anywhere near him and the photographers. Originally the Philippine Islands were to be bypassed in the push to Japan, but due to his constant pleading, Admiral Nimitz finally relented. His Medal of Honor is a medal without merit.

Never knew that... I knew that he wasn't all he was made out to be though... Certainly after what he did to the WW1 vets:

General Douglas MacArthur who led 200 Cavalry, 400 armed troops, tanks and other armored vehicles against AMERICAN citizens and veterans of WW1 as they marched on the capital demanding they receive their promised compensation.

But he's our bastard, and certainly not as bad as Westmoreland.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

While MacArthur's (non) defense of the Phillippines on Dec 8 1941 was shameful, by the end of the war he had pretty much gotten it together. Many of the policies he introduced in Japan would never have seen the light of day had it been left to the Japanese politicians of the time. (For one instance - giving Japanese women the ability to vote). The only real criticism I have of the period between the surrender and the Korean War is the shameful desire MacArthur and the rest of the United States had in continuing to punish the Japanese people. After the U.S. gutted the cities during the war through firebombing, MacArthur ignored the economic straits the country was in for over two years. This was not an oversight, it was intentional. The phrase used to describe it was they were going to "let the Japanese stew in their own juices for a while." People starved for lack of food, and the massive influx of demobilized soldiers sent unemplyment through the roof, yet the "Supreme Commander, Allied Forces in Occupied Japan" did nothing until it had been determined that they had "stewed" long enough. This inaction by the ersatz ruler of the country directly led to the entrenchment of the black market for basic living necessities, and a further expansion of Yakuza activites. MacArthur's neglect of the very people he was ruling over was harshly brought to light when a judge, who had been hearing cases of people caught trying to steal food for their families, died - of starvation. He told his wife to only serve him the allotted ration that the interim government said was enough for a person (something like 700 calories a day). He felt it was unfair to be prosecuting people for illegally obtaining food when his family was doing it too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Ch1, I fully agree with you there. Westmoreland, who thought that Americans would be impressed with body counts and kill ratios. I will give this to MacArthur, his Inchon landing was brilliant. And it has frequently been said that he never lost a man he didn't need to. His strategy was not to seek the enemy but let them crawl thru the jungle to us. He did recognize the need to have the Emperor and Tojo was the willing pawn to this plan.

For those of you that referenced "Embracing Defeat", check out "Hirohito, and the Making of Modern Japan", by Herbert Bix. It dispells some of the myths about Hirohito and the war.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is actually a small plaque on the front of the building, in one of the corners (behind the granite exterior), explaining the significance of the building as the GHQ (general headquarters).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Fadamor

While I will concede that postwar Japan was certainly not a good place to be for the average Japanese, and I'm sure, if he had the will, Macarthur could have did more. But it's not as simple as he let the Japanese starve for two years, there was a lot going on in the world, many asian countries were 10x times worse off than Japan, the instigator and cause of every other pacific countries woes. With the same token, just as very little was taught in the west about Japans atrocities in asia, I.E. China, Nanking, The U.S. was far more concerned with postwar Europe, and implementing The Marshall plan, Japan was a distant 3rd or 4th. And there were plenty of food relief efforts undertaken by the occupation for the people of Japan, unfortunately, they were minuscule in scale for what was actually needed. As for the Yakuza reference, American troops actually escorted door-to-door delivery of food supplies (when available), not too mention, they personally saw to it that Emperor was guarded, yes by U.S. Military personnel.

Yes, postwar Japan was a bad place to be, but it wasn't much better for the last three years of the Japanese war effort. Their own government had them eating roots and weeds out of any empty field they could find, long before the war even ended. So don't tell me that it was because of American and Marcarthur. Had the Japanese surrendered a few years earlier, it might have been a different story.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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