The long road to Tokyo: Japanese aggression in China, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific, with special attention to books about the Rape of Nanking, Japanese fighter planes and pilots, the Burma campaign, and the Hiroshima bomb

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JAPAN AT WAR, 1931-1945

comfort woman

The 'comfort women'

The New York Times has an op-ed by Mindy Kotler about Japan's "denialism" with respect to the sex slaves of the Second World War, whom the Imperial Japanese army and navy knew as "comfort women." These were mostly Koreans recruited to work in the home islands but then diverted against their will to front-line brothels. Other nationalities, including Dutch and American prisoners, were also forced into prostitution. According to Kotler, the current Japanese premier is walking back the 1993 Kono Statement that acknowledged the country's guilt in this matter, in what was widely regarded in Asia as a long-overdue apology to the women who were violated in this fashion.

The run-up to Pearl Harbor

An excellent book! Eri Hotta was born and raised in Tokyo but educated at Princeton and Oxford, so she has mastered both languages and uses them well. How often have you picked up a book whose author can say offhand that all the translations are hers? To be sure, the title is somewhat deceptive: Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy. Don't imagine that you are getting one of those "year" books that try to squeeze a whole civilization into twelve months. Hotta often delves into the recent past, and sometimes even to events at the turn of the century and earlier, notably the Sino-Japanese War of 1895 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. She has been criticized for letting Japan off too easily, and for stressing American responsibility for the run-up to war. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Japan's long war:

The Hiroshima files:

The Japanese Army Air Force files:

Why's a Zero?

Kamikaze, cannibals, & other mysteries:

Books & stuff:

Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942
Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers: "Every page contains a new tidbit of information and rich, long-forgotten detail."

Rising Sun Over
Rising Sun Over Burma - Wild Eagles and Flying Tigers - How Japan Remembers the Battle. Kindle edition.

Remains: a story of the Flying Tigers
Remains: a story of the Flying Tigers: "A cracking good yarn" (Air&Space magazine)

A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's
War on Terror
A Vision So Noble: How would John Boyd have dealt with Osama bin Laden?

Lady & the Tigers
The Lady and the Tigers: Olga Greenlaw's 1942 account of her year with the Flying Tigers in Burma and China. Paperback or Kindle edition.

100 Hawks for China - the story of the shark-nosed P-40 that made the Flying Tigers famous. An e-book for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.

The Last Raid: How World War II ended, August 1945
The Last Raid: How World War II ended, August 1945 - a 'thousand-plane raid' was the last act in a war that began eight years earlier. For the Amazon Kindle.

AVG Confidential: A Flying Tiger Reports to the U.S. Navy Noel Bacon on Japan's planes and pilots and and how to combat them. For the Amazon Kindle and other e-book readers.

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford