Viewpoint of vanquished

WHILE on Hiroshima, there’s this granddaughter of Hideki Tojo, the wartime prime minister of Japan, who’s making a valiant attempt to clear the name of her grandfather. Yuko Tojo has been arguing that although her grandfather, who’s hanged for war crimes after Japan’s defeat in the WWII, as the prime minister was responsible for the country’s conduct during the war, he wasn’t personally responsible for the war crimes.



Having responsibility and doing bad things are different, points out Yuko in her media interviews. A thin dividing line, you might say.

Yuko’s campaign to repair her grandfather’s image coincides with the ongoing debate about WWII and Japan’s role in it. The hanged PM, who became the symbol of Japanese militarism, is one of 14 war criminals honoured at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine.

Yuko has argued that post-war history was tampered with by the Allies and that "Japanese spirit right down to the bottom of our hearts, was dyed with this version of history." But this has always been the case. History has invariably accepted what is called the victor’s version of war. History is rarely told from the viewpoint of the vanquished.


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