Friday, May 25, 2012

"standing in the temple" - Emperor of Japan vs. General MacArthur

An East Part of Tokyo Metropolitan

Emperor of Japan vs. General MacArthur

On September 27, 1945, the Emperor of Japan visited General MacArthur, the supreme commander of the allied forces, at the US embassy in Tokyo where the General of Army started to live after landing on Japan on August 30.

It was the first historic meeting between the Emperor and General MacArthur, though they met total 11 times in the US embassy till MacArthur's official departure from Japan in 1951.
At the time when the Emperor decided to go out of the Imperial Palace and see the victorious supreme commander, there was still a possibility that the Emperor would be indicted in the Tokyo Tribunal of War Crimes as the gravest war criminal for the Pacific theater in WWII.  President Truman did not order to arrest and judge the Emperor, but other allied nations, such as the Soviet Union, intended to handle the Emperor as a war criminal.

So, General MacArthur did not welcome and greet the Emperor at the entrance to the embassy.  The General was in a room when the Emperor was guided into his official house.  Then only the Emperor and his interpreter were admitted in an inside room; other Japanese officials were left behind.

But there was an old Japanese man named Sadakichi Funayama who had been working in the US embassy as a kind of butler for the family of the US ambassador since days before the Pearl Harbor Attack. (He left the job while the Empire of Japan and the US were engaged in the Pacific War but was reemployed again after the war.)  It was Funayama who received the Emperor at the door.  Funayama also brought cups of coffee to the Emperor and the General, while catching a glimpse at the situation of the room.  And after the historic meeting, Funayama found that the Emperor did not touch the coffee cup.

So, there were only two Japanese witnesses of the meeting: the Japanese interpreter and Funayama.  But the Emperor and the General promised each other to keep secret what the two talked about, though the General later disclosed contents of their conversation in his memoir.  And, as time went by, contents of a report regrading the conversation the Japanese interpreter filed to the Japanese Government came to be known to the Japanese public.  So, today, it is known that the Emperor said with courage to the General that he would take responsibility for the war if necessary.

However, as the Emperor did not take coffee in this first meeting, the General would not offer coffee in subsequent meetings between the two held ten times in six years.  But Funayama said that after each meeting with the Emperor, MacArthur hurried to take a cup of coffee as he did not drink anything during conversation.

General MacArthur never visited the Imperial Palace to meet the Emperor during his stay and governance in Japan.  And the Emperor did not come to a Tokyo airport to see the General off when he officially left Japan forever in 1951.

But it is well known today that in order to peacefully occupy Japan with his troops after the war, General MacArthur needed the Emperor keeping his status so that no Japanese would feel psychologically and spiritually challenged or humiliated by the winner of WWII as the Emperor was revered so much by the Japanese people and ex-Imperial generals, officers, and soldiers.

And when the first meeting of the Showa Emperor and General MacArthur ended, the General took the Emperor to the door of his official residence in the embassy unlike the start of their meeting, paying full respect.

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Act 5:25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
Act 5:26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
Act 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
Act 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.