New Year’s Day 1942

Pacific Paratrooper

Carl Mydans, "Life" mag. photographer Carl Mydans, “Life” mag. photographer

While the people of Japan celebrated New Year’s Day in their usual fashion, debts were paid, people thronged to the Meiji Shrine to throw coins at midnight and for good luck, red daruma dolls were purchased, all this was topped off with the news of military success against the Allies.  But all this gaiety did not please the military.  They were aware of just how arduous the war was going to be and strict discipline must be maintained.  General Muto said:  “The first step is to replace Tojo as Prime Minister.”  (Tojo had been opposed to the military aggression.  He had to go.)

Japanese visiting Yasukuni Jinja during the New Year's period. Japanese visiting Yasukuni Jinja during the New Year’s period.

The Japanese in the Philippine Islands celebrated differently.  They closed in on Manila from two directions.  The southern troops were slowed about 40 miles out due to the amount of bridges that had…

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3 thoughts on “New Year’s Day 1942

  1. Whatever we think of them today, you have to give the Japanese credit for being hard fighters, good soldiers, and for showing dedication to their cause. They caught us out in Singapore and Malaya, and initially inflicted similar embarrassments on the Americans in the far east too.
    It was a long struggle to win them all back. Many brave men had to suffer and die because of poor preparation, and a woeful underestimation of the Japanese military capabilities.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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