Why is the legacy of the war with Japan still so bitter? What was it that motivated two extraordinary Australians to venture to Japan in the immediate aftermath? And how did they contribute to the jopurney from war to peace with Australia, and within Japan itself? This book makes available for the first time a treasure trove of hitherto unpublished documents on Japan in the war years and immediate postwar occupation and recovery. The documents consist of newsletters, newspaper articles, texts of radio broadcasts and letters written by Frank William Coaldrake, a pacifist and priest and the first Australian civilian to enter Japan after the war, with his wife Maida. Frank and Maida formed a team of participant observers in the challenge of a nation confronting its past and trying to find hope in a future while occupied by foreign powers. This is a rare and comprehensive collection of first hand accounts of Japan by two astute observers. The daily struggle against starvation is interspersed with issues such as war atrocities, the atomic bombings, the status of the Imperial Family, the British monarch and labour unions.
The text is illustrated with photographs taken by Frank Coaldrake. With an introduction by William H. Coaldrake, son of the authors.
William H. Coaldrake is Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia.