Friday, May 22, 2015

"angry with his brother without a cause" - A Chinese Communist Army Officer in 1945 Summer

Mt. Fuji Viewed from a Tokyo Suburb

A Chinese Communist Army Officer in 1945 Summer

A retired general of the Japanese Self-Defense Force, Mr. Genkawa,  was 12 years old or so when WWII ended or the Empire of Japan surrendered to the US on August 15, 1945.

At the time, Genkawa's family happened live in a city of Manchuria, north east China, that had been under control of the Imperial military (till the Soviet Army started to invade Manchuria several days before August 15), though formally Mnchuko was an independent country.  As the boy's father was an Imperial Army officer, he had to travel to another city for post-war procedures to control Imperial troops.  So, he instructed his son to go to a certain town where his friend lived.

However,  a turmoil after the war was so bad.  The friend of his father also faced a difficult situation as Chinese, Manchus, Koreans, and Russians started to attack Japanese civilians now getting ready to go back to mainland Japan.  Young Genkawa had to leave the family of his father's friend to live and work in a restaurant run by a Korean.

The young boy Genkawa worked hard in the restaurant while being treated badly by the Korean master and observing violent acts of invading Soviet soldiers.  Finally he decided to run out of the restaurant to see his father.  The poor Japanese boy alone in Manchuria immediately after WWII got on a train secretly as the railroad line led to an area where his father must have been with ex-Imperial troops.  But he was captured by Chinese communist soldiers in the train.

Despite his fear, the boy was helped by a certain officer of a Chinese communist troop.  The officer had pity for him.  The officer treated boy Genkawa kindly to protect him.  And since it was impossible for the boy to find and meet his father in the post-war turmoil in Manchuria with full of Chinese and Soviet soldiers, the officer sent him to an organization of Japanese citizens waiting for a chance to return to Japan.

But, unluckily to Genkawa, the organization could not feed him eventually as almost all the assets of the Japanese citizens had been stolen or forcibly taken away by Chinese, Manchus, Koreans, and invading Soviet troops.  Genkawa had to live on a farm run by a Chinese family.  It was a cruel life for the 12-year old boy.  He was used by the host family like a slave.  He was desperate.

Then again, the Chinese officer, who had helped Genkawa in the train, happened to know the plight of the boy.  The officer invited him to work in his troop unit.  So, Genkawa started to work as a kind of attendant of the unit.  Chinese soldiers were satisfied with Genkawa's work.  They liked the Japanese boy.

In August 1946, Genkawa heard news that the Japanese-citizen organization he had once sought help from was to finally leave Manchuria by train and ship.  Genkawa wanted to join them, so that he asked his dismissal from the Chinese military unit.  But Chinese soldiers now so familiar with the boy strongly requested him to stay.  Yet, the Chinese officer finally persuaded other soldiers to allow Genkawa to return to Japan.

Genkawa could return to his hometown in Japan in September 1946.  Then one month later, his parents could also very luckily came back to their old house in Japan.  The family was reunited.

Nonetheless, life in Japan after WWII was so severe.  Genkawa's family became so poor that he could not go up to university due to a lack of a source for school expenses.  But he found that the newly built National Defense Academy didn't collect tuition fees but paid a salary to students who were regraded as a kind of public officers.  So, young man Genkawa became a member of the inaugural class of Japan's National Defense Academy.

Now 81-year-old Genkawa looked back on his past life as an officer of the Japanese Self-Defense Force.  He had sometimes a stark difference in opinion with some senior officers who were ex-Imperial Japanese Army officers.

He also thinks that the military of the Empire of Japan was for the Emperor but the Self-Defense Force is the military of the people.  Based on his experiences in Manchuria immediately after WWII, ex-General Genkawa stresses that Japan should not launch or be involved in war.  He is cautiously watching how the Japan-US Security Treaty is managed and put into actual operation.

Anyway, it is a lesson of profound significance that the largest benefactor of a Japanese Self-Defense Force general, one of graduates from Japan's National Defense Academy as  a member of the inaugural class, was a Chinese communist army officer he happened to meet in Manchuria in the dangerous summer of 1945.

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Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.