Wrap Up Japan

Respice, Adspice, Prospice1

The first part of this book focuses on my life in Japan from my early childhood until the late 1970s. In this concluding section I will explore my outlook on my native country’s past, present, and future from a macro perspective. The lessons I learned over the course of my life demand a brief examination of what I believe to be a failing country. Inserting some insight into Japanese current affairs in light of my multinational experiences may add nuance to the histories I have included thus far: an examination of the past, present, and future prospects of Japan.

War was the absolute focus of attention in Japan in the earlier part of the twentieth century—war against the Chinese, Koreans, Russians, and later the Allied powers. Manufacturing, education, politics, and every other arena were geared toward winning the war. Before Japan threw up the white flag after Truman dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most of the important industrial, political, and commercial cities were bombed—and the infrastructure supporting the Japanese industrial machine was devastated.

Resources were scarce after the war, and the country was dirt poor. With little food and no money, many middle-class people were without water or electricity. The Japanese nation was brought to its knees and forced to live in very inadequate conditions. However, after all of the destruction on both sides, the Japanese nation had to stand and be counted as a part of the ...

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