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Walter LaFeber's The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Throughout History (New York, 1997) is an extremely impressive study, utilizing American and Japanese documents.  As impressive as LaFeber's account is, his coverage of the Okinawa issue is brief.  John Welfield's An Empire in Eclipse: Japan in the Postwar American Alliance System--A Study in the Interaction of Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy. (Atlantic Highlands, NJ, 1988) looks at the domestic Japanese politics affecting the American alliance. Akio Watanabe focuses on the formation of Japanese attitudes on the Okinawa issue in The Okinawa Problem: A Chapter in Japan-U.S. Relations. (Melbourne, Australia, 1970). He argues reversion was a "measure of the 'maturity' of the new alliance on the one hand and the re-emergence of the defeated nation on the other." Roger Buckley, US-Japan Alliance Diplomacy, 1945-1990. (Cambridge, England, 1992) emphasizes the American side of the relationship. Frederick L. Shiels, America, Okinawa, and Japan: Case Studies for Foreign Policy Theory. (Washington, D.C., 1980) is a dated and confusing work about key American decisions on Okinawa.


There are a number of works on the battle of Okinawa. Ronald H. Spector, Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan. (New York, 1984) offers a nice half-chapter summary. Accounts from Marine Corps veterans dominate the memoir literature. William Manchester, Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War. (Boston, 1980) and E. B. Sledge, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. (New York, 1990) offer powerful chronicles of life in the trenches. Victor H. Krulak's First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps. (Annapolis, 1984) is a study of amphibious warfare, but Kurlak offers some interesting comments about inter-service relations on Okinawa. Henry Berry, Semper Fi, Mac: Living Memoirs of the U.S. Marines in World War II. (New York, 1982), and Patrick O'Sheel and Gene Cook, eds., Semper Fidelis: The U.S. Marines in the Pacific, 1942-1945. (New York, 1947) are collections of Marine reminiscences. Robert Leckie's Helmet for My Pillow (New York, 1957) is another Marine memoir, and his Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II. (New York, 1995) is a short account that emphasizes the Marine role.  The final columns of journalist Ernie Pyle focused on the Marine Corps, starting this dominance. These essays are included in David Nichols, ed. Ernie's War: The Best of Ernie Pyle's World War II Dispatches. (New York, 1986) Gerald Astor corrects some of this imbalance with Operation Iceberg: The Invasion and Conquest of Okinawa in World War II--An Oral History. (New York, 1995).

Japanese accounts of the battle are few. The highest ranking Japanese officer to survive the battle explains the actions of the 32nd Army in Yahara Hiromichi, The Battle for Okinawa. (New York, 1995). Fading Victory: The Diary of Admiral Matome Ugaki, 1941-1945. (Pittsburgh, 1992) shows the battle from the point of view belonging to the architect of the kamikaze campaign. Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, Japan at War: An Oral History. (New York, 1992) present the views of civilian survivors.

Official histories of the battle are quite good. Roy Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, and John Stevens, Okinawa: The Last Battle. (Washington, 1948) is the U.S. Army study, while Benis M. Frank and Herny I. Shaw, Victory and Occupation. (Washington, 1968) is the Marine Corps text. Samuel Eliot Morrison's History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, v. 14, Victory in the Pacific, 1945. (Boston, 1960) is a quasi-official work. Morrison had the support of the Navy in writing and researching this series, and received a commission to write the official Navy histories, but a commercial press published the books. Many of the volumes in the series list Morrison as the author even though another wrote the study. Thomas M. Huber's Japan's Battle for Okinawa, April-June, 1945. Levenworth Papers No. 18 (Ft. Levenworth, KS, 1990) is an Army study of Japanese defensive efforts.

None of the principle American leaders at Okinawa have yet been the subject of a biography. The biographies of the supporting figures are brief when discussing the battle, E. B. Potter, Nimitz. (Annapolis, 1976); Thomas B. Buell, The Quiet Warrior: A Biography of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance. (Boston, 1974); and Barbara Tuchman, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45. (New York, 1970).

The best monograph is James H. and William Belote, Typhoon of Steel: The Battle for Okinawa. (New York, 1970). George Feifer stresses the agony of war in Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb. (New York, 1992), but often overstates or misinterprets events and circumstances. A short account about an important engagement in the battle is James H. Hallas, Okinawa: The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill (Westport, CN, 1996).  Benis M. Frank's Okinawa: Touchstone to Victory (New York, 1970) is a shorter version of the official Marine history.


Memoirs about the role of Japan and Okinawa, mainly Japan, in U.S. foreign policy during the occupation and early Cold War period are plentiful. Dean Acheson provides an informative account in Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department. (New York, 1969), as does George F. Kennan in Memoirs, 1925-1950. (Boston, 1967). Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, 2 vols. (Garden City, NY, 1955-56) and Omar N. Bradley, A General's Life. (New York, 1983) are less useful. John Allison served as John Foster Dulles' primary aid during the Japanese peace treaty negotiations and offers an informative and entertaining story in Ambassador from the Prairie or Allison in Wonderland. (New York, 1970). Australian Foreign Minister Percy Spender's Exercises in Diplomacy: The ANZUS Treaty and the Colombo Plan. (New York, 1969) is highly useful and informative. Sir Alan Watt's Australian Diplomat: Memoirs of Sir Alan Watt. (Sydney, Australia, 1972) and Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, The Measure of the Years. (London, 1970) are also helpful.

For events in Japan, one will be disappointed, but hardly surprised by Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences. (New York, 1964). MacArthur, or his ghost writer--the authorship is still disputed--wrote a tribute to himself. Yoshida Shigeru, Kaiso Junen [Turbulent Decade], translated into English as The Yoshida Memoirs: The Story of Japan in Crisis. Yoshida Kenichi, trns. (London, 1963) is better. The most useful first person account, however, is from the general's political advisor, William J. Sebald, With MacArthur in Japan: A Personal History of the Occupation. (New York, 1965). Other memoirs include Alfred C. Oppler, Legal Reform in Occupied Japan: A Participant Looks Back. (Princeton, NY, 1976), and Justin Williams, Sr., Japan's Political Revolution under MacArthur: A Participant's Account. (Athens, GA, 1979).

Edited collections of documents also provide contemporary point of views. Dwight Eisenhower, The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, v. 7, Chief of Staff. (Baltimore, 1978) has important information about Army views. The Changing views of the Department of State are easily traced in Anna Kasten Nelson, ed., The State Department Policy Planning Staff Papers, 1948. vol. 2. (New York, 1983). The concerns of New Zealand are presented in Ian McGibbon, ed., Undiplomatic Dialogue: Letters Between Carl Berendsen & Alister McIntosh, 1943-1952. (Auckland, New Zealand, 1993).

There are number of biographies for figures of this era. MacArthur studies are almost a sub-field all its own. The best and most detailed biography is D. Clayton James, The Years of MacArthur, 1880-1964. 3 vols. (Boston, 1970-1985). Courtney Whitney, MacArthur: His Rendezvous with History. (New York, 1956), Charles A. Willoughby and John Chamberlain, MacArthur, 1941-1951. (New York, 1954), William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964. (New York, 1978) offer versions that are generally positive. On the other hand, Michael Schaller is quite critical in Douglas MacArthur: The Far Eastern General. (New York, 1988). There are also several books on John Foster Dulles. Theologian Mark Toulouse's The Transformation of John Foster Dulles: From Prophet of Realism to Priest of Nationalism. (Macon, GA, 1985) is a study of his religious beliefs. Leonard Mosley looks at his family in Dulles: A Biography of Eleanor, Allen, and John Foster Dulles and their Family Network. (New York, 1978). Ronald Pruessen, John Foster Dulles: The Road to Power. (New York, 1982) is the first volume in a two book biography. John Dower, Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1978-1945. (Cambridge, MA, 1978) is the best English language book on the Japanese prime minister. Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made--Acheson, Bohlen, Harriman, Kennan, Lovett, McCloy. (New York, 1986) is a collective biography of several important American policy makers.

There are several interesting monographs for this time period. Masumi Junnosuke, Postwar Politics in Japan, 1945-1955. Lonny E. Carlile, trns. (Berkeley, 1985) is a study of Japanese domestic politics. Akira Iriye, The Cold War in Asia: A Historical Introduction. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1974) examines the end of the U.S.-Japanese rivalry. Joyce and Gabriel Kolko, The Limits of Power: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1954. (New York, 1972) blame the Cold War on the U.S. Marc S. Gallicchio examines the origins of the Cold War in the Far East in the appropriately titled, The Cold War Begins in Asia: American East Asian Policy and the Fall of the Japanese Empire. (New York, 1988). An effort to secure foreign markets for Japanese goods is the principal reason for a Cold War in Asia according to Michael Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia. (New York, 1985). Ronald McGlothlen, Controlling the Waves: Dean Acheson and U.S Foreign Policy in Asia. (New York, 1993) is a study of foreign policy that sees Japan and Acheson as central to the process. Richard B. Finn, Winners in Peace: MacArthur, Yoshida, and Postwar Japan. (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1992) is a study that is quite positive in tone. Howard B. Schonberger, on the other hand is quite critical in Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952. (Kent, OH, 1989). For the Japanese perspective, see Martin E. Weinstein, Japan's Postwar Defense Policy, 1947-1968. (New York, 1971). Readers can find an Australian point of view in either Glen St J. Barclay, Friends in High Places: Australian-American Diplomatic Relations Since 1945. (Melbourne, Australia, 1985) or Roger Buckley, Occupation Diplomacy: Britain, the United States and Japan, 1945-1952. (New York, 1982). W. David McIntyre presents a New Zealander perspective in an impressive, highly researched study, Background to the Anzus Pact: Policy-Making, Strategy and Diplomacy, 1945-55. (Christchurch, New Zealand, 1995).

Accounts specifically on Okinawa are few. Arnold G. Fisch, Jr., Military Government in the Ryukyus Islands, 1945-50. (Washington, 1987) is a highly detailed official U.S. Army history. Morton D. Morris, Okinawa: A Tiger by the Tail. (New York, 1968) is part memoir of this period, and part op-ed piece against reversion.  The best known work about Okinawa during this period is a work of fiction. Vern Sneider wrote the novel The Teahouse of the August Moon. (New York, 1951). John Patrick wrote the stage, screen, and television versions The Teahouse of the August Moon, A Play by John Patrick. (New York, 1954). Patrick also turned Teahouse into a musical, John Patrick, Stan Freeman, and Franklin Underwood, Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen. (New York, 1971). Sneider wrote another novel about Okinawa set on a fictional island The King from Ashtabula. (New York, 1960).


There are few works on U.S.-Japanese relations and Okinawa in the 1950s and early 1960s. Travel writers produced several books that are useful items in reconstructing the society living on Okinawa at the time. Researchers should look at Isamu Fuchaku, and Mitsugu Miyagi, Gasei Higa, and Zenkichi Toyama, Tours of Okinawa. (Tokyo, 1959); Isamu Fuchaku, and Mitsugu Miyagi, Okinawa at Work. (Rutland, VT, 1965); Gladys Zabilka, Customs and Culture of Okinawa. Revised edition. (Rutland, VT, 1959). Mikio Higa's Politics and Parties in Postwar Okinawa (Vancouver, 1963) is informative, but quite dated.

Political events in Japan were quite dramatic. The best account in English is Masumi Junnosuke's Contemporary Politics in Japan. Lonny E. Carlile, trns. (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1995). In 1960, a series of riots ripped Tokyo asunder as Japan ratified a new security treaty with the U.S. George R. Packard III, Protest in Tokyo: The Security Treaty Crisis of 1960. (Princeton, 1966) explains this episode, putting most of the blame for the event on Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke. Seizaburo Sato, Kenichi Koyama, and Shunpei Kumon, Postwar Politician: The Life of Former Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira. William R. Carter, trns. (New York, 1990) is a life and times biography of a key Japanese political figure.

The U.S.-Alliance is explored in Edwin O. Reischauer, The United States and Japan. (Cambridge, 1950, 1957, 1965). Reischauer became the U.S. ambassador to Japan in the early 1960s, and his memoirs make it clear that Okinawa was an important issue to him. Edwin O. Reischauer, My Life Between Japan and America (New York, 1986).  A new study, based on historical sources is Michael Schaller, Altered States: The United States and Japan Since the Occupation. (New York, 1997).  Schaller devotes considerable attention to the Okinawa issue in the 1960s, but sees economic relations as far more important in the period he studies.


Memoirs for the reversion period vary greatly. U. Alexis Johnson, The Right Hand of Power: The Memoirs of an American Diplomat. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1984) and Henry A. Kissinger, White House Years. (Boston, 1979) are detailed and informative. For those who read Japanese, Wakazumi Kei, the secret envoy Prime Minister Sato Eisaku sent to Washington, provides a look at the other side of the negotiations in Tasaku Nakarishi o Shinzemu to Hossu [Just the Four of Us--I Want to Believe there was No Other Alternative]. (Tokyo, 1994). Richard Nixon mentions Okinawa only briefly in RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (New York, 1978). The development of the President's Nixon's foreign policy views are documented, however, in Jonathan Aitken's Nixon: A Life. (Washington, 1993) and Stephen E. Ambrose, Nixon, vol. 1, The Education of a Politician, 1913-1962. (New York, 1987); vol. 2, The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972 (New York: 1990).

Monographs for this period are quite limited. The Vietnam War was quite unpopular in Japan. Thomas Havens makes this clear in Fire Across the Sea: The Vietnam War and Japan, 1965-1975. (Princeton, 1987). I.M. Destler, Haruhiro Fukui, and Hideo Sato, The Textile Wrangle: Conflict in Japanese-American Relations, 1969-1971. (Ithaca, NY, 1979) is a study of an issue which became a minor complication in reversion negotiations.


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