T Nation

Iwo Jima

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,284834,00.html

Weak sauce. I guess they have the right to do it but the jarhead in me wants to go retake the mother just so we can keep the name.

Mike

Well, bub-

Looks like we got some sore losers.

Uh. What’s the problem here? I understand the value of the heroism and the fame of the battle, but is the vet’s victory there cheapened by them changing the name? Especially since they are just changing it to what the natives have always called their place.

My buddies and I always referred to it as just plain “Iwo”.

Whats in a name? Anyway,whats keeping you from calling it Iwo Jima even if they did change the name?

BFD

Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two.

In the schools in Japan children are taught that Japan was a victim in world war two. They teach that Japan was uniquely victimized because they got nuked. None of the other victim countries in world war two was so cruely victimized.

Taking names Like Iwo Jima off of the map is a crucial step in perpetuating this lie.

The Japanese garrison of Iwo Jima fought almost to the last man. Out of 22,000 men, 20,703 fought to the death only 216 were taken alive. Giving up is not Bushido. The year final member of the garrison surrendered was 1951.

The American casualties were almost just as heavy. 6,825 killed in action, 1,401 died of wounds. 19,189 wounded. This was out of about 70,000 marines who were landed. Some American units suffered one hundred percent casualties.

Iwo Jima was the first of the Japanese home islands to be taken. Because Iwo Jima was a Japanese home island they wanted to give the Americans a taste of things to come.

For every two dead Japanese almost one American died. For every dead Japanese, one American was wounded. This mathematical formula, that was created by the Japanese, on Iwo Jima, was what President Truman was looking at, when he decided to use the atomic bomb.

If Japanese school children of today and in the future look can at a map of Japan and not be able to see a place called Iwo Jima, it then becomes much easier to convince them that Japan was a victim in world war two. Without the context of Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima appear particularly cruel and uncalled for.

Make no mistake this is a very serious matter. Just because after the war there were war crime trials and a handful of people were executed it doesn’t mean that the power structure that started the war didn’t still exist.

The industrialists who owned Mitsubishi, Fuji etc… still owned their business. Many of the politicians and political parties still existed. The black dragon societies who seized power and took the country to war became the Yakuza.

Even today there are groups who want to restore the emperor to his position as the sun god. There have been politicians murdered for speaking out against some of these groups or criticising the emperors role in the war.

The whole arguement that people on the island don’t want to be reminded of the war is spurious. Do you think people in Bataan like their island being associated with the Bataan death march. Or how about the Chinese city of Nanking, Iwo Jima was nothing next to the “rape of nanking”. Or how about what happened to the British garrison at Singapore. I’m sure the Japanese would like to see all these places renamed. I doubt we will ever see them rename Nagasaki or Hiroshima however.

Do you think the people of Oświęcim in Poland like their town being known as Auschwitz. You don’t see the people of Dachau Germany renaming their town despite it’s being the location of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp.

The Chinese by the way are thoroughly pissed off at the Japanese attitude towards their history. It is not cool that the Japanese thumb their nose at the Chinese in this manner when America has a defense treaty with Japan.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two…[/quote]
Well said Sifu!! Right on the money!..

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two.


[/quote]

Hmm. Granted, I don’t know much at all about the current state of Japanese culture. Or, for that matter much about the current renaming other than what the article said.

I suppose the mainland Japanese reasons for the renaming may be as you say. Personally, I think that the islanders themselves have the ultimate right to rename their island (in a pie-in-the-sky sort of way).

I do watch the history channel, and from my (obviously extensive) knowledge of the conflict I do think that Japan is very much trying to deny what they did.

[quote]fireplug52 wrote:
Sifu wrote:
Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two.

Hmm. Granted, I don’t know much at all about the current state of Japanese culture. Or, for that matter much about the current renaming other than what the article said.

I suppose the mainland Japanese reasons for the renaming may be as you say. Personally, I think that the islanders themselves have the ultimate right to rename their island (in a pie-in-the-sky sort of way).

I do watch the history channel, and from my (obviously extensive) knowledge of the conflict I do think that Japan is very much trying to deny what they did.[/quote]

I’ve been to the museum at Nagasaki. There is very little mention of the war and Pearl Harbor. I want to say there is NO mention of them but I cannot trust my memory enough to make that bold an assertion.

I do recall there being a giant map of the city where they point out all the schools, hospitals, orphanages ect while leaving out barracks, industrial complexes and the like. It very much makes it look as if the evil USA came out of nowhere to bomb these people. I got more than a few dirty looks being in the building.

The Japanese are very much in denial about a great many things including the war. That said, I love Japan and I am not sure I think the bomb should have been dropped although a ton of good came from it.

mike

I have several things to say. First I doubt anybody in Japan really cares about the name change, except some locals. Also I don’t see how changing the name makes a difference to Americans. Jima(shima) literally means “island”. Apparently the Japanese soldiers didn’t really know the name of the place so just stuck “island” to Iwo.

Second is the exaggeration of what Japanese schools teach children. Yes there are right wingers who have alot of issues with WW2. There is lobbying to change what kids are taught in school. Yes there are textbooks that do whitewash WW2.

Though the amount of schools that use this textbook are miniscule(literally, amounting to a fraction of 1 percent). There are right wingers in the government like any other country. I do think that Japanese kids don’t know enough history, though I would hazard to guess that kids in other countries do not alot about history.

I have yet to meet a Japanese person who really thought WW2 was a good idea or that Japan was right. The aftermath of the war isn’t as clear cut as people think though. Many of the war criminals who should have been put in rail were not by the occupation.

Many were deemed useful by the occupation. It is ironic that today Shinzo Abe who is the Prime Minister and is right wing is the grandson of Kishi who held alot of responsibilty for the war and was deemed a war criminal but was let free. Most Japanese do not agree with the right wingers.

Also there is a big difference between the Yakuza and the right wing groups. That difference is that many Yakuza are not ethnically Japanese. Many were oppressed Koreans and Chinese. Right wingers are noted for there hate for other asians who are not Japanese. These two groups thus do not get along.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

I would like to add this. In addition to the things I said, I do love the Japanese people and their culture.

I also do understand that there is a cultural difference between the Japanese and us westerners. One thing that plays a huge role in Japanese culture is the concept of shame. If you tell Japanese kids that their grandparents did something shameful they will feel a need to be ashamed as if they were responsible themselves.

On the other hand for a lot of westerners who have live in a culture that is heavily influenced by Christianity the concept of confessing ones sins is a big deal.

Noone in the west blames the generations that were born after the war for what happened. But they do look at how open and honest they are about it.

It wasn’t easy for the Americans to come to terms with what they did to the American Indians. But if you watch a lot of westerns you can see how they have become more open about it. Most except for the most extreme nutjobs will tell you it was shameful and they don’t want to repeat it.

If you look at the way the US handled Japan to the rest of the wars they fought, it was different. All previous and post wars were bombed with strategic placed bombs on military targets. Japan had a city bombed that destroyed women, children, men and military.

This bombing was not just parts of a city that had military significance, with just some civilian casualties, it was all out destroy everything there. It worked and Japan surrendered. If Germany or Russia did something like that, it would have caused outrage, but because it was the US it was ok.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two.


[/quote]

Good post. This is exactly what I was thinking.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two.

In the schools in Japan children are taught that Japan was a victim in world war two. They teach that Japan was uniquely victimized because they got nuked. None of the other victim countries in world war two was so cruely victimized.

Taking names Like Iwo Jima off of the map is a crucial step in perpetuating this lie.

The Japanese garrison of Iwo Jima fought almost to the last man. Out of 22,000 men, 20,703 fought to the death only 216 were taken alive. Giving up is not Bushido. The year final member of the garrison surrendered was 1951.

The American casualties were almost just as heavy. 6,825 killed in action, 1,401 died of wounds. 19,189 wounded. This was out of about 70,000 marines who were landed. Some American units suffered one hundred percent casualties.

Iwo Jima was the first of the Japanese home islands to be taken. Because Iwo Jima was a Japanese home island they wanted to give the Americans a taste of things to come.

For every two dead Japanese almost one American died. For every dead Japanese, one American was wounded. This mathematical formula, that was created by the Japanese, on Iwo Jima, was what President Truman was looking at, when he decided to use the atomic bomb.

If Japanese school children of today and in the future look can at a map of Japan and not be able to see a place called Iwo Jima, it then becomes much easier to convince them that Japan was a victim in world war two. Without the context of Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima appear particularly cruel and uncalled for.

Make no mistake this is a very serious matter. Just because after the war there were war crime trials and a handful of people were executed it doesn’t mean that the power structure that started the war didn’t still exist.

The industrialists who owned Mitsubishi, Fuji etc… still owned their business. Many of the politicians and political parties still existed. The black dragon societies who seized power and took the country to war became the Yakuza.

Even today there are groups who want to restore the emperor to his position as the sun god. There have been politicians murdered for speaking out against some of these groups or criticising the emperors role in the war.

The whole arguement that people on the island don’t want to be reminded of the war is spurious. Do you think people in Bataan like their island being associated with the Bataan death march. Or how about the Chinese city of Nanking, Iwo Jima was nothing next to the “rape of nanking”. Or how about what happened to the British garrison at Singapore. I’m sure the Japanese would like to see all these places renamed. I doubt we will ever see them rename Nagasaki or Hiroshima however.

Do you think the people of Oświęcim in Poland like their town being known as Auschwitz. You don’t see the people of Dachau Germany renaming their town despite it’s being the location of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp.OUT FUCKING STANDING post

The Chinese by the way are thoroughly pissed off at the Japanese attitude towards their history. It is not cool that the Japanese thumb their nose at the Chinese in this manner when America has a defense treaty with Japan.

[/quote]

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Actually fireplug there is a very very serious problem here. The problem is this. In Japan there has been a genuine lack of honesty about world war two.

In the schools in Japan children are taught that Japan was a victim in world war two. They teach that Japan was uniquely victimized because they got nuked. None of the other victim countries in world war two was so cruely victimized.

Taking names Like Iwo Jima off of the map is a crucial step in perpetuating this lie.

The Japanese garrison of Iwo Jima fought almost to the last man. Out of 22,000 men, 20,703 fought to the death only 216 were taken alive. Giving up is not Bushido. The year final member of the garrison surrendered was 1951.

The American casualties were almost just as heavy. 6,825 killed in action, 1,401 died of wounds. 19,189 wounded. This was out of about 70,000 marines who were landed. Some American units suffered one hundred percent casualties.

Iwo Jima was the first of the Japanese home islands to be taken. Because Iwo Jima was a Japanese home island they wanted to give the Americans a taste of things to come.

For every two dead Japanese almost one American died. For every dead Japanese, one American was wounded. This mathematical formula, that was created by the Japanese, on Iwo Jima, was what President Truman was looking at, when he decided to use the atomic bomb.

If Japanese school children of today and in the future look can at a map of Japan and not be able to see a place called Iwo Jima, it then becomes much easier to convince them that Japan was a victim in world war two. Without the context of Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima appear particularly cruel and uncalled for.

Make no mistake this is a very serious matter. Just because after the war there were war crime trials and a handful of people were executed it doesn’t mean that the power structure that started the war didn’t still exist.

The industrialists who owned Mitsubishi, Fuji etc… still owned their business. Many of the politicians and political parties still existed. The black dragon societies who seized power and took the country to war became the Yakuza.

Even today there are groups who want to restore the emperor to his position as the sun god. There have been politicians murdered for speaking out against some of these groups or criticising the emperors role in the war.

The whole arguement that people on the island don’t want to be reminded of the war is spurious. Do you think people in Bataan like their island being associated with the Bataan death march. Or how about the Chinese city of Nanking, Iwo Jima was nothing next to the “rape of nanking”. Or how about what happened to the British garrison at Singapore. I’m sure the Japanese would like to see all these places renamed. I doubt we will ever see them rename Nagasaki or Hiroshima however.

Do you think the people of Oświęcim in Poland like their town being known as Auschwitz. You don’t see the people of Dachau Germany renaming their town despite it’s being the location of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp.

The Chinese by the way are thoroughly pissed off at the Japanese attitude towards their history. It is not cool that the Japanese thumb their nose at the Chinese in this manner when America has a defense treaty with Japan.

[/quote]

I think your post is too generalizing and takes much too simple a view. It isn’t realistic either. This is a problem I always see with the western media reporting on Japan. So many of the articles available are written by journalists with little experience living in Japan.

If they did they would see a huge gap between what the population thinks and believes and what the politicians and Japanese mass media are saying.

Look the LDP party that runs Japan and has run Japan since the end of the war now has right has a cabinet full of conservatives. They want to rewrite the constitution.

They want to re-arm. Now this constitution was written by the American occupation and is an excellent constitution. It forbids Japan from re-arming and taking military action. You do know that it was America that wanted Japan to send troops to Iraq. The Japanese population was against sending Japanese troops to Iraq.

They do not want to engage in any military missions. The US knows this. They also know the only people who would want to have a military again are the right wingers in government. The same people who deny Nanjing and comfort women. Abe the grandson of a war criminal, Aso whose family used POWS as slave labor during WW2.

It is amazingly hypocritical for Americans to complain about these people when America is complicit in encouraging these people. Give me a break. This thread contains the most common, simplistic and stereotypical perceptions of Japanese geopolitics today.

Sifu I enjoyed your post.

Mike I have the same sentiments as you. I don’t think the Marines are going to be updating the name on the memorial anytime soon.

[quote]hedo wrote:
Sifu I enjoyed your post.

Mike I have the same sentiments as you. I don’t think the Marines are going to be updating the name on the memorial anytime soon.[/quote]

Well said Sifu. I attend (and on occasion march in) the sunset parades at the Marine Corps War Memorial (commonly refered to as the Iwo Jima memorial) every tuesday night in Arlington, Virginia. There is no way in hell the name of the battle is going to change. We still have vets from Iwo Jima that come to our parades.

I think those guys will spit in your eye and kick you in the balls if you told them they have to refer to it as Iwo To.
The Japanese can change the name of the island to whatever they want, it will always be Iwo Jima to the Marine Corps.

[quote]laxcdn wrote:
If you look at the way the US handled Japan to the rest of the wars they fought, it was different. All previous and post wars were bombed with strategic placed bombs on military targets. Japan had a city bombed that destroyed women, children, men and military.

This bombing was not just parts of a city that had military significance, with just some civilian casualties, it was all out destroy everything there. It worked and Japan surrendered. If Germany or Russia did something like that, it would have caused outrage, but because it was the US it was ok.[/quote]

Did you forget about the carpet bombing of German cities during WWII and the carpet bombing of Hanoi during the Viet Nam war? Most “tageted bombing” before the 1990’s was simply an attempt to do maximum strategic damage with the available munitions, not an attempt to limit civilian casualties.

The difference is that now we have “smart” bombs with which we can accuratly destroy specific targets although the targeting information is often flawed or the they do occasionally go astry and cause unintentional colateral damage.