“I Am Not A Very Timid Type …”

The American public, reeling from a series of defeats at the onset of World War II, was thrilled by the dramatic announcement that, on April 18, 1942, a flight B-25 medium bombers had successfully struck Tokyo and other targets on the Japanese mainland. To keep the enemy off-balance rigid security was imposed on the details of the surprise carrier-launched raid. “Shangn-La,” a smiling President Franklin D. Roosevelt replied when asked where the attack had originated.

 

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As Well As The Art Of Diplomacy, There Are Also The Arts Of Diplomacy

On any list of events that have altered the course of history the opening of Japan to foreign trade in 1854 must surely rank high. While the United States was pushing its boundaries westward to the Pacific and reaching the early stages of industrialization, Japan lay cradled in the tight shell of its own seventeenth century. Under an absolute ban on intercourse with the rest of the world imposed in 1638, Japanese citizens could not leave the islands, and foreigners could not enter them.Read more »

Japan Strikes: 1941

Sixteen years before Pearl Harbor an English naval expert uncannily prophesied in detail the war in the Pacific. Now comes evidence that the Japanese heeded his theories—but not his warnings

As soon as Imperial Japan destroyed the Russian Navy in a spectacular sea battle at the Straits of Tsushima in 1905, a rash of would-be Cassandras began to foretell the day when the rays of the Rising Sun would spread eastward across the Pacific, bringing Japan head-on into conflict with the United States.Read more »

The Siege of Wake Island

An eyewitness account of the World War II battle in the Pacific.

For the United States forces in the Pacific, the first months of World War II were a time of unremitting disaster. Undermanned, outgunned, and hardly prepared for a struggle of such magnitude, our scattered garrisons could hope only to delay and hinder the Japanese onslaught until the nation’s war machine grew strong enough to contain it. One of the most gallant of these desperate holding actions was the defense of Wake Island in December, 1941.

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When Perry Unlocked The “Gate of the Sun”

Japan’s feudal, shut-in history suddenly came to an end when the bluff American commodore dropped anchor in Tokyo Bay

Throughout the mid-1830’s there raged in American naval circles, as veil as in Congress when defense appropriations came up, a debate on the wisdom of introducing into our sail-driven frigate fleet a revolutionary new method of propulsion—steam. Most captains as well as congressmen were opposed to the innovation. It was costly. It was uncertain. Sailors knew nothing about machinery and did not want to learn. There had even been a near-mutiny when a Navy crew refused to hoist out firebox clinkers from an experimental floating battery designed by Fulton.

The Man Who Discovered America

The story of Manjiro, the shipwrecked waif; of the kindly captain from Fairhaven; and of how Japan, hidden away from the world, learned strange news of other lands

In 1841, before Commodore Perry had opened up Japan, before any Japanese had set foot in America, a fisherman’s boy was transported by a chance of history to Massachusetts. This is his story, condensed from a new book by Hisakazu Kaneko, published by Houghton Mifflin Co. Manjiro, The Man Who Discovered America is a true account, so strange and charming that it reads like a fairy tale.

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