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Toda Shigemasa Interview, 21 November 2010, Part 1

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I was born on December 1, 1930. Until the air raids, I spent a pretty normal childhood. Well, both of my parents were blind. They couldn't see, but it was a generally happy life. However, we were bombed by the Americans in 1945 and I lost my mother. As you can see, I also suffered burns myself. I still have the scars. ... ... Even so, I don't feel anger toward the United States... ...even today. I'm not really sure why that is. Anyway, until the time of the raids... it was very... Well, the country was completely militarized... kind of like the country that's divided into two nations today. Japan was a lot like one half of that country. We received an education along those lines. And we were taught that Japan would win the "Great Asian War" against America. The "Great Asian War" was the way they referred to World War II back then. We were raised to believe that Japan would win the war. If all else failed, we were taught to believe in the "kamikaze" or "wind of the gods." The reason for that is that... You know who Ghengis Khan was, right? Apparently a typhoon appeared when Ghengis Khan attacked Japan long ago. Japan was saved by the typhoon. It was crazy to believe that something like that would happen again. But that's what we were taught. We had lots of slogans: "I don't need it till we win!"... Things like that... It really does remind me of that other country. Like I said, my mother was blind. But even she said that Japan was going to lose. Maybe it was her age... ...even though she was only in her forties. Maybe it was a special sensitivity due to her blindness. At any rate, my mother was correct in the end. I think about it more now as an adult. ...the attack on Pearl Harbor... Japan carried that out without making an official declaration of war. When you think about those kind of things... and how much Japan relied on America during the postwar era, I think it would have been much worse for Japan without the United States.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Genre: None
Views: 331
Posted by: japanairraids on Nov 25, 2010

Toda Shigemasa Interview, 21 November 2010, Part 1

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