Japanese memoirs in English

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Owen, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I know Jeff - Slipdigit - mentioned he bought a few Japanese WW2 memoirs printed in English awhile back.
    I don't know of any.
    Who has read any ?
    Can you list them here.
    (Books you've actually read not just Googled )
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    An obvious one to start the list off:

    Tales by Japanese Soldiers

    Tales of Japanese soldiers.jpg
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

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  5. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  6. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    "Tales By Japanese Soldiers," as above, and these two come to mind.

    "Three Pagodas Pass" is written in the usual Japanese style which is everything truly well-done and striving forward with a touch of handkerchief dabbing, and never mind the consequences, and if I did tread on your foot well I never noticed, etc., Full of detail about the Japanese units who organised the work. More of a reference book.



    This one is quite different. Nothing grates about the style. A superb piece of scholarship which deserves to be better known. Not memories as such, but fascinating. Available at Kew library bookshelves.


    timuk likes this.
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    The ones I have bought and read are:

    Zero Fighter, Syoko Wantanabe. the author was a pilot involved in the development of the Claude and Zero fighters, then flew as a naval combat pilot during the war. He described the collapse of the Naval Air Arm and throughout the war. Before and early in the war, completed aircraft were towed 20 miles or so by ox cart from the factory to the airfield, where they were departed after acceptance.

    The Last Zero Fighter Dan King. First hand accounts compiled by the author, showing different aspects of the air war in the PTO. Describes extensively the training program and issues.

    Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles As Seen Through Japanese Eyes. Tamichi Hara Excellent read. Describes the campaigns Hara participated in and give a glimpse of the inner workings of the lower levels of the IJN.

    Not a Japanese account -- Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War. John D Lukacs. Riveting. As the title indicates, the story of the escape by several US captives of the Japanese at Davao, Mindanao. I did not realize how tenuous the hold the Japanese had on the island through most of the war. One of the escapees was William Dyess, for whom Dyess AFB was named.
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I forgot about this book:

    Midway, the Battle That Doomed Japan, Fuchida and Okumiya, US Naval Institute Press, 1955.

    The Battle of Midway from the Japanese point of view. It was quite interesting. The authors talked about the decision making that was going on and that how many of the Japanese admirals were greatly concerned about the plan.
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  10. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

  11. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Recent research has shown that Fuchida's book is riddled with inaccuracies and deliberate falsehoods. See Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully, Shattered Sword: the Untold Story of the Battle of Midway.
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    It was a 1955 book. I read it with a grain of salt.
    TTH likes this.
  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    I enjoyed reading this one very much but I've since learned it was panned by historians


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