Those Days in Muramatsu: One Woman's Memoir of Occupied Japan

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By Yumi Goto, Introductions by Grant K. Goodman and Elizabeth Schultz


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In the aftermath of the Pacific War and Japan's capitulation, Mrs Yumi Goto and her family lived in the small community of Muramatsu, where they had relocated to get away from Tokyo. Yumi Goto was an English-speaking graduate of one of Japan's top universities for women, and when a contingent of American soldiers was sent to Muramatsu as a garrison force, she became an interpreter. The sudden influx of more than 1,800 Americans into a rural Japanese community was potentially traumatic, and their imminent arrival made the townspeople "depressed and fearful". To everyone's surprise, they found the soldiers to be "open-hearted and humane", and the two sides co-existed peacefully. Those Days in Muramatsu is a testimony to the capacity of ordinary people from vastly different backgrounds to co-exist harmoniously, even in the aftermath of war. 

 

Yumi Goto was born in 1918 and now makes her home in Tokyo. Explaining why she wrote her memoir in English, she said she felt that the Japanese people, once the Occupation would be over in the future, would not want to recall the memories of the period when the nation was humiliated but that Americans would like to read how their young men behaved in Japan. 

Grant K. Goodman (19242014) was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. He was a specialist both in Tokugawa Intellectual History and in Japan's cultural relations with South and Southeast Asia since the Meiji Period.

Publication Year: 2014
174 pages, 229mm x 153mm
Paperback
ISBN: 978-9971-69-793-8

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