Terasaki Hidenari, Pearl Harbor, and Occupied Japan

Terasaki Hidenari, Pearl Harbor, and Occupied Japan : A Bridge to Reality

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This book sheds light on Japanese intelligence and propaganda activities in the United States prior to Pearl Harbor, Japanese attempts to use American isolationists and pacifists in 1941, and Japanese and American efforts to save Emperor Hirohito from being tried as a war criminal during the U.S. occupation of Japan. It utilizes the American cracking of the Japanese diplomatic code, FBI surveillance and wiretapping records, and the personal papers of Americans with whom Terasaki Hidenari had contact to conclude that he wanted peace between the United States and Japan in 1941 and worked to preserve the imperial institution following the war.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 298 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 12.7mm | 589.67g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739134000
  • 9780739134009

Review quote

Terasaki's career has largely been remembered today because of the writings of his widow, who wrote a hagiographic biography, Bridge to the Sun, which became a bestseller and a Hollywood movie. In a masterful biography based on numerous archival sources including the Magic transcripts, Roger Jeans provides a far more nuanced picture, revealing that Terasaki was actually head of Japanese intelligence and propaganda in the Washington Embassy and considered Japan's key spy in the Western Hemisphere by the U.S. government. This study is a must read for those interested in the diplomatic events leading up to Pearl Harbor as well as those interested in the American occupation of Japan. It provides new perspectives on the decision to exempt Emperor Hirohito from the war crimes tribunal and the writing of his monologue on his war responsibility. -- Parks Coble, University of Nebraska By extensive archival research, Roger Jeans gives us a much more nuanced view of Terasaki Hidenari, a complex and important figure both before and after the Pacific War. After the Japanese surrender, the multi-lingual Terasaki became an important link between the Emperor, who feared war criminal charges, and the American occupation. Jeans tells Terasaki's personal story in the context of broader historical forces, including the postwar mythical uses of his career and marriage as a 'bridge' between Japan and America. The book is an important contribution to our understanding of this turbulent wartime era. -- Richard Rice, Asia program at University of Tennessee Chattanooga This book offers a thoroughly researched and carefully crafted biography of a now almost forgotten Japanese diplomat who played important roles in U.S.-Japanese relations both immediately before and immediately after the war. U.S.-educated and married to an American, Terasaki was at home both in Japan and the United States and was committed to maintaining a peaceful relationship between the two countries. But, at the same time, he was suspected both by U.S. and Japanese authorities, who believed that a person's loyalty should be just to one nation. This book offers a splendid opportunity to ponder questions of transnationalism as the reader follows the fascinating story of a man who developed trans-Pacific friendships at extremely trying times. -- Akira Iriye, Charles Warren Research Professor of American History, Harvard University This brief but well-organized study features meticulous research and will be of interest to students and scholars interested in modern Japan. Recommended. CHOICE A carefully researched, extraordinarily detailed account of what Terasaki did during the last eleven pre-Pearl Harbor months and the first three years of America's postwar occupation of Japan. The Journal Of Military History Roger Jeans has written a fascinating account of Terasaki Hidenari, diplomat, patriot, husband, spy. Jeans' superb historical detective work uncovers numerous misperceptions about Terasaki and reconciles the contradictions of a complex personality caught between two worlds. This even-handed account is a sobering reminder of the pitfalls of using the past to advance contemporary agendas. -- Edward J. Drea, author of Japan's Imperial Army This is a comprehensive and readable account of Terasaki's life. Journal of Japanese Studies Footnoted in detail, this is an informative study...This is a straightforward, jargon-free biography aimed at teasing out the details of a complex life in challenging times. Accessible to undergraduates and the general public it illuminates both the road to Pearl Harbour and the road to Japan's postwar system. Pacific Affairs Was the Japanese diplomat Terasaki Hidenari a master spy and double agent, or was he a saintly peacemaker who desperately attempted to avert war between Japan and the United States? Roger B. Jeans sets out to challenge both of these simplistic views and, instead of recycling cliche's and stereotypes, ventures back to the available sources to painstakingly reconstruct a more complex and comprehensive image of the man who acted as a 'bridge' between two nations, Japan and the United States, during two national crises: the outbreak of the Asia Pacific War and the Allied Occupation of Japan. Japanese Studiesshow more

About Roger B. Jeans

Roger B. Jeans is Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of History Emeritus at Washington and Lee University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1. Beginnings Chapter 3 2. Washington, 1941 Chapter 4 3. Countdown to War Chapter 5 4. Last Hope for Peace Chapter 6 5. Interlude Chapter 7 6. Imperial Servant Chapter 8 7. Purge Survivor Chapter 9 Epilogue: Myth and Historyshow more