October 15, 2017

Blue Orchid (7)

In Embracing Defeat, John Dower documents the orgy of corruption and looting that took place in Japan during the few shorts weeks after Hirohito's public address announcing the surrender and before the post-war Occupation formally began.

The emperor's loyal soldiers and sailors seemed to have metamorphosed overnight into symbols of the worst sort of egoism and atomization. Officers as well as enlisted men engaged in looting, sometimes on a grand scale, and police reports expressed fear that public disgust would extend upward to "grave distrust, frustration, and antipathy toward military and civilian leaders," even "hatred of the military" in general.

During the Occupation, all that loot spilled onto the black market, which was made worse by the efforts of the Occupation forces to suppress it (as with Prohibition and organized crime, the yakuza was reborn during this era).

Recall from Poseidon of the East that the emperor indeed has no interest in the bureaucracy. But his willingness to delegate will prove a very successful approach to governance.

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