Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Deep Sea Divers in the Basements"

The details of things get lost in general accounts of history, so hearing about details from people who saw them first-hand makes it real. With that in mind, here's a bit of immediate post-WW-II history for you:

From: KJA
Date: Dec 28, 2006
Subject: Re: Ernie Pyle Area

Just received a hand written letter from a guy who was in Japan in 45. He speaks of buildings in the Yurakucho area needing repairs and scaffolding of bamboo poles. Sea divers with brass helmets and air hoses searched the flooded basements. AND, open canvas stalls selling stuff to G.I.s. He thought those were because many buildings were unusable. I recall them in 1951 long after all buildings were operational, however since most Americans had moved to Korea, the canvass stalls between Yurakucho and Ginza intersection were doomed as was most of the pom-pom trade.


Deep sea divers in the basements... I don't think I've seen that in history books, but it's a practical detail that brings things into focus much more clearly than "The country soon rose from the ruins of WW-II", which is the type of thing you generally get when referring to this period of Japan's history.

Truth - so much stranger and so much more interesting than fiction....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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