Leyte 1944: Return to the Philippines (Campaign)
by: Campaign Series – World War II – Pacific Asian
Product rating: 4.0 with 1 reviews
The loss of the Phillipines in 1942 was the worst defeat in American military history. General Douglas MacArthur, the ‘Lion of Luzon’, was evacuated by order of the President just before the fall, but he vowed to return, and in August 1944 he kept his word when he led the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War to date on the island of Leyte. This is the full story of that fateful battle, one of the most ferocious campaigns of World War II and one of huge strategic and symbolic significance. Preceding it had been the largest naval battle ever fought: the battle of Leyte Gulf, in which the Imperial Japanese Navy was decisively crushed. This paved the way for four divisions of Lieutenant-General Krueger’s Sixth Army to spear-head the assault. In the face of stubborn Japanese resistance, including the first systematic use of kamikaze attacks, the US forces ground slowly forwards before another amphibious assault took the vital position of Ormoc in the last decisive battle of the campaign.
Based on extensive research in the US Army’s Military History Institute, along with other archival and veteran sources, this important study sheds new light on the operation that saw the US finally return to the Phillipines and in doing so placed another nail firmly in the coffin of the Japanese Empire.
Posted in Japan Tagged with: Campaign, Campaign Series - World War II - Pacific Asian, Leyte, Philippines, Return
To Hell and Back: The Last Train from Hiroshima (Asia/Pacific/Perspectives)
by: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Product rating: 5.0 with 2 reviews
Drawing on the voices of atomic bomb survivors and the new science of forensic archaeology, Charles Pellegrino describes the events and the aftermath of two days in August when nuclear devices, detonated over Japan, changed life on Earth forever.
To Hell and Back offers readers a stunning, “you are there” time capsule, wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino’s scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written.
At the narrative’s core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand—the Japanese civilians on the ground. As the first city targeted, Hiroshima is the focus of most histories. Pellegrino gives equal weight to the bombing of Nagasaki, symbolized by the thirty people who are known to have fled Hiroshima for Nagasaki—where they arrived just in time to survive the second bomb. One of them, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, is the only person who experienced the full effects of both cataclysms within Ground Zero. The second time, the blast effects were diverted around the stairwell behind which Yamaguchi’s office conference was convened—placing him and few others in a shock cocoon that offered protection while the entire building disappeared around them.
Pellegrino weaves spellbinding stories together within an illustrated narrative that challenges the “official report,” showing exactly what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and why.
Also available from compatible vendors is an enhanced e-book version containing never-before-seen video clips of the survivors, their descendants, and the cities as they are today. Filmed by the author during his research in Japan, these 18 videos are placed throughout the text, taking readers beyond the page and offering an eye-opening and personal way to understand how the effects of the atomic bombs are still felt 70 years after detonation.
Posted in Japan Tagged with: Asia/Pacific/Perspectives, Back, from, Hell, Hiroshima, Last, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Train
Kendo: Culture of the Sword
by: University of California Press
Product rating: 5.0 with 4 reviews
Kendo is the first in-depth historical, cultural, and political account in English of the Japanese martial art of swordsmanship, from its beginnings in military training and arcane medieval schools to its widespread practice as a global sport today. Alexander Bennett shows how kendo evolved through a recurring process of inventing tradition,” which served the changing ideologies and needs of Japanese warriors and governments over the course of history. Kendo follows the development of Japanese swordsmanship from the aristocratic-aesthetic pretensions of medieval warriors in the Muromachi period, to the samurai elitism of the Edo regime, and then to the nostalgic patriotism of the Meiji state. Kendo was later influenced in the 1930s and 1940s by ultranationalist militarists and ultimately by the postwar government, which sought a gentler form of nationalism to rekindle appreciation of traditional culture among Japan’s youth and to garner international prestige as an instrument of soft power.” Today kendo is becoming increasingly popular internationally. But even as new organizations and clubs form around the world, cultural exclusiveness continues to play a role in kendo’s ongoing evolution, as the sport remains closely linked to Japan’s sense of collective identity.
Posted in Japan Tagged with: Culture, Kendo, Sword, University of California Press