CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

What Losing a War Does to a Nation’s Psyche

70 Years After World War II, Japanese Elites Are Still Haunted by Despair and Shame

In the spring of 1976, while visiting the Tokyo Zoo, I was confronted with the unforgettable sight of an aging former Japanese soldier, wearing a ragged army uniform and cap, and bowing before all who entered.

One of his legs had been amputated. A begging bowl before him, he bowed as low as he could to Japanese families coming to see the newly arrived pandas. A few placed coins in his bowl quickly and moved on. It was a shockingly sad sight, with an aura of shame, silence, and neglect …

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