What to learn from Japan in 1945?

3 min readMay 7, 2022


Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

Japan started the war against US, gambling on a quick victory based on many unrealistic assumptions.

  • Japan would destroy the US pacific fleet by surprise and dominate the pacific ocean, threatening west coast of US
  • Americans, spoiled by materialism, would not have the determination to make the sacrifices needed to win the war, be it suffering under the threat of war or sending their sons to die in brutal battles
  • The democracy of US would see the people forcing the government to sue for peace with Japan, in case the government would want to fight

Therefore, long before 1945, when the Americans showed their determination to stop at nothing short of Japan’s “unconditional surrender”, the fate of Japan was doomed.

To me, that point was as early as Doolittle’s bombing raid of Tokyo, merely 4 months after Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese realized that as well, especially at the top.

Photo by David Edelstein on Unsplash

However, Japan was so slow in their reactions.

The “peace” or “negotiation” process started so late and was done only half “officially”. To the last minute when the Soviets declared war on them, they were still hoping Russia could help them get a peace deal.

While the reasons were many and very very complicated, one undeniable fact was that they did not realize or were not willing to accept that they had lost the war totally.

They wished to keep their overseas colonies and maintain their influence in their “Pesperous Circle” etc etc.

But they had no leverage against the US. “Unconditional surrender” was the only way out.

So Japan dragged on, each day suffering more losses until they became the only country on earth that was attached by A-bombs.

Photo by Tianshu Liu on Unsplash

But once they surrendered, their obedience totally surprised the occupying force.

In such a populated country, from east to west, from south to north, no one even fired a single shot at the occupying force.

But merely 3–4 weeks ago, the Japanese were still preparing to fight the invaders with bamboo spears and kitchen knives.

Now they greeted the occupiers as distinguished guests, with bows and smiles.

Photo by Jase Bloor on Unsplash


  • Always check the reality — where are we really?
  • Adaptability is a virtue.




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