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Japan's Longest Day Paperback – 10 Jul 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd; New edition edition (10 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770028873
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770028877
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.5 x 13.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A fascinating story, fraught with heroes and heroism." -Village Voice
"A splendid example of popular history: informative, instructive, exciting, and convincingly factual." -Pacific Affairs
"Fast-paced ... and written with infinite care and skill." -Camden Courier-Post
.,." an insight into the traditions and values of prewar Japan, particularly regarding the position of the Emperor." - John M. Allison, Saturday Review



"A fascinating story, fraught with heroes and heroism." -Village Voice
"A splendid example of popular history: informative, instructive, exciting, and convincingly factual." -Pacific Affairs
"Fast-paced ... and written with infinite care and skill." -Camden Courier-Post
, .." an insight into the traditions and values of prewar Japan, particularly regarding the position of the Emperor." - John M. Allison, Saturday Review


"A fascinating story, fraught with heroes and heroism." -Village Voice
"A splendid example of popular history: informative, instructive, exciting, and convincingly factual." -Pacific Affairs
"Fast-paced ... and written with infinite care and skill." -Camden Courier-Post
.,." an insight into the traditions and values of prewar Japan, particularly regarding the position of the Emperor." - John M. Allison, Saturday Review



"A fascinating story, fraught with heroes and heroism." -Village Voice


"A splendid example of popular history: informative, instructive, exciting, and convincingly factual." -Pacific Affairs


"Fast-paced ... and written with infinite care and skill." -Camden Courier-Post


..". an insight into the traditions and values of prewar Japan, particularly regarding the position of the Emperor." - John M. Allison, Saturday Review


About the Author

THE PACIFIC WAR RESEARCH SOCIETY, a Japanese group made up of fourteen members, devoted eight years work to the research for this book. The group also compiled The Day Man Lost: Hiroshima, 6 August 1945.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This historical account is a thriller! Interestingly, from the Japanese point of view,having very interesting details. I know the main line of events, including the attempted coup. But it is quite sinister to read how far the "hawks" were willing to go. Indeed, the emperor later said that he had feared a coup, but that was earlier - and the attempt that was made in 1936, was struck down. Hirohito was firm then, and again in
August 45. His role during WW2 is still disputed, but nevertheless I think he cared about his people ( unlike Hitler, who wanted the German people to
go down with him...). And,of course, the army`s role was central, and it had dominated Japan`s policy since the 30ies. But the leading heads of
the army obeyed their emperor - grudgingly, and some of them commited suicuicide . So the war ended without further bloodshed.

As stated above: A thriller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f3c97b0) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9edd5abc) out of 5 stars Historical thriller. In doubt until the last moment. 8 Aug. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great explanation of the Japanese point of view, by the Pacific War Research Society, a group of Japanese scholars.
This book allows us to look into the violently conflicting decision-making processes among the leaders, eventually leading to the surrender of Japan. After you read this book, you will understand what a close-fought thing that surrender was. Many of the Militarists were so opposed to surrender that they were willing to kidnap or kill the Emperor, who was regarded as God in their belief system! They were willing to do anything--absolutely anything--in order to prevent the Emperor from making the Surrender declaration. The best way to describe the efforts of the Militarists to continue the war is: insane and inhuman.
Many of the leaders absolutely KNEW that they were going to be totally defeated, but they intended to keep fighting to the last man, woman, and child in Japan. They had saved up weapons, ordnance, and fuel for the final battles. They did not care if their resistance forced the Americans to flatten and burn every city, factory, farm, house, human, crop, and animal in Japan. What would come after the war was of no concern to them whatsoever. These leaders had been pleased by the fanatic defense of Okinawa wherein thousands of civilians gave their lives willingly, even as their soldiers and kamikazes killed thousands of Americans and sunk or damaged 300 ships. They expected an even more fanatic and glorious defense of the main islands. The guaranteed deaths of millions of their own citizens through battle and starvation meant nothing to them, compared to the twisted concept of honor that they worshipped.
When you see the forces arrayed against the surrender, you can understand that only the atomic bombs (both of them; read the book) could end the war in a timely manner and with far less loss of life on both sides. Many people judge the morality or necessity of the atomic bombings without considering any context at all, and conclude that we didn't need to do it or that we were horribly immoral for having done it. These events took place in the midst of a war, not a historical vacuum. This book provides the context of the beliefs and attitudes that drove the Japanese to fight rather than surrender. Thankfully, the Emperor was sufficiently demoralized by the atomic bombs that he made the courageous decision to surrender.
Do not miss this book! It is an exciting story in addition to being a major work of historical reporting. Someone should make a major movie from this book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc88a80) out of 5 stars How does one surrender ? 16 Jan. 2003
By Stephen Ho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A very well written account of the Japanese government in the last days of the 2nd World War especially on their difficult decision to surrender to the Allies.
As the Japanese never expected defeat, but as it became clear that they could not win, the surrender became one of the most difficult exercise for the Japanese government and for the Emperor to make. I have always thought it was a simple surrender but how wrong I was.
This book is a thriller, which pleasantly surprised me - it has the palace intrigues, asassinations, failed coups, sepukus, plots and sub-plots, acts of heroism as well as treachery. At times it became hard to follow and I had to re-read certain sections because so many characters were involved and so many discussions took place between them.
But in the end, it was well worth it.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fd5fc78) out of 5 stars Japan's Longest Day - Pacific War Research Society 14 Aug. 2005
By James Rondo Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second copy for me. This has to be one of the best thing written about what REALLY went on with Tojo, Hirohito and other cabinet members regarding the "proper" response to the Potsdam Declaration after the A-bombs had been dropped.

Turns out that most of the pap spouted today about Hirohito being stubborn, intent on winning at all costs, and so on is just that - pap. His primary interest was the welfare of his people and the preservation of the polity. It was Tojo and others who wanted to fight to the death. Astonishing to learn that the broadcast of the "Voice of the Crane" (expressing his unwarlike wish to surrender so minimize destruction and death) had to be done in secrecy and so on. Astonishing insights from Japanese Historians examining their own documents first published in Japanese in 1965, 20 years after the war ended, when they were able to interview most of the many surviving principals - only one refused to be interviewed.

Should be mandatory reading for anyone seriously interested in the last 24 hours before the Surrender of Japan. Information was actually being withheld from Hirohito about the progress of the war by generals but he still got the picture and understood. The best thing he could do to discharge his sacred obligation to secure the welfare and interest of His People was to surrender -with conditions about preservation of the position of Emperor - but not because he was warlke, rather because he understood that the role of Emperor embodied the spirit of the populace and Its preservation was in the best inerest of the country. To lose the Emperor would be to lose the heart and soul of Japan.

The book actually reads like a gripping historical novel even though it is wriitten with the dry unembellished style of academicians & scholars.
HASH(0x9ef422f4) out of 5 stars This book was written by Japanese researchers in the 1970s ... 5 Dec. 2014
By Larry W. Jewell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written by Japanese researchers in the 1970s, and it is based on interviews with the people who were involved if alive and by written sources when they weren't. The book shows how close run a thing the surrender of Japan was. The militarists were unwilling to give up fighting simply because Japan was completely defeated. Gen. Onishi, the guy who thought up the "Special Attack Corps" (i.e., the kamikazes) offered to sacrifice 30,000,000 Japanese in defense of the homeland. Young officers and enlisted men were trying to capture the Emperor and "protect" him from the people who had accepted defeat. They tried to find and destroy the records of the Emperor's orders to the country to "bear the unbearable".

This book stands as warning to any country that lets militarist capture it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9edd5dbc) out of 5 stars On the Eve of the Surrender 28 Dec. 2008
By H. Kojimoto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A unique view into the workings of the Imperial Palace, the struggle between the militarists and the civilian leadership. What is incredible is how uninformed Gen. Tanaka, Commander of the Eastern District Army, responsible for the defense of Tokyo and the Kanto Plain , was with regard to the coup taking place within the Palace grounds by dissidents in his own command until the final hours.Still a fascinating account of the last 24 hours before the Surrender. The Toho film of the same name, with an all-star cast, is worth viewing if you like the book.
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