By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

23 November 2009

Prisoners of the British, Japanese Soldier's Experience in Burma

Actually this is Japanese book written in Japanese and first published in Japan as "Aaron Shuyojo (Aaron Camp.)"

It was later translated into English. The book wasn't very popular in Britain. But in Japan it has become one of the most famous book of POW experience in the second world war. The writer Yuji Aida, who was drafted to the imperial army became captive in Burma by British military after Japan surrendered. He wrote the book after he came back home.


I learned about this book since former Air Force Chief, Mr. Tamogami, who was dismissed after releasing controversial essay in public quoted this in his speech to justify Japan's aggression in the war. To say it was the war to liberate Asians from white dominated nations.


The below is what I was impressed in the book including what Tamogami quoted.


1. When the prisoners complained about the treatment, British officers said "That was what exactly your military did to us."

2. When one of soldiers in his corp apologized to the British for the war, the British preached him not to apologize because he believed he fought against Samurais.


3. When the prisoners went to female officers' house to clean, they met naked women hanging around not being embarrassed by their presence.


4. British higher ranking officers were taller than their low ranking subordinates and spoke different English because the high ranking people were from elite class.


5. Burmese were friendly to Japanese because they had been oppressed by the British under colonization.


What Mr. Tamogami quoted was No.3. The writer's analysis of why they weren't embarrassed was that they did not see Asians including Japanse as same human race. Asians were regarded as livestocks or animals, they should have reacted differently if white men came into their house. White racism was more sophisticated than Japanese one because Europeans had raised livestock in order to make a living so they got used to treating other people inhumanely. White people's brutal act was systematic rather than emotional. That was how he viewed.


I don't agree with his opinion. Japanese did systematic slaughter in the past. Like 731 Unit in Manchuria, and mass-murder of POW in Nanjing, China, 1937.

Recently Japanese people have become hostile to westerners and more nationalistic, so such thing was brought up.

However, I wonder if you, white reader would agree with the writer's points of view?

Are white women react not embarrassed if Asian male stranger came into the locker room when they are naked? If a stranger was white man, they would be embarrassed? Or vice-versa?   


18:21 Posted in Books, Britain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: racism, war, military

The comments are closed.