Rapes during the occupation of Japan were war rapes or rapes committed under the Allied military occupation of Japan. Allied troops committed a number of rapes during the Battle of Okinawa during the last months of the Pacific War and the subsequent occupation of Japan. The Allies occupied Japan until 1952 following the end of World War II and Okinawa Prefecture remained under US governance for two decades after. Estimates of the incidence of sexual violence by Allied occupation personnel differ considerably.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan. This foreign presence marks the only time in Japan's history that it has been occupied by a foreign power. The country became a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s by Roosevelt. The occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, and effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was fully restored.
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Marine and Army forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The 82-day battle lasted from April 1 until June 22, 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were planning to use Kadena Air Base on the large island of Okinawa as a base for Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands, 340 mi (550 km) away.
By 1945 U.S. troops were entering and occupying territory with a Japanese civilian population. On February 19, 1945, U.S. troops landed on Iwo Jima, and on April 1, 1945, on Okinawa. In August 1945, Japan surrendered and Allied occupation troops landed on the main islands, starting the formal occupation of Japan. The Allied occupation ended in most of Japan on April 28, 1952, but did not end in Okinawa until May 15, 1972, when the terms of the Treaty of San Francisco went into effect.
Iwo To, known in English as Iwo Jima, is one of the Japanese Volcano Islands and lies south of the Bonin Islands. Together with other islands, they form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The highest point of Iwo Jima is Mount Suribachi at 161 m (528 ft) high.
During the Pacific War the Japanese Government frequently issued propaganda claiming that if the country was defeated Japanese women would be raped and murdered by Allied soldiers. The government used this claim to justify orders to soldiers and civilians in areas which were invaded by Allied forces to fight to the death or commit suicide.
Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies, religious organizations and the media can also produce propaganda.
According to Calvin Sims of The New York Times : "Much has been written and debated about atrocities that Okinawans suffered at the hands of both the Americans and Japanese in one of the deadliest battles of the war. More than 200,000 soldiers and civilians, including one-third of the population of Okinawa, were killed".
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
There is no documentary evidence that mass rape was committed by Allied troops during the Pacific War. There are, however, numerous credible testimony accounts which allege that a large number of rapes were committed by U.S. forces during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
Documentary evidence is any evidence that is, or can be, introduced at a trial in the form of documents, as distinguished from oral testimony. Documentary evidence is most widely understood to refer to writings on paper, but the term can also apply to any media by which information can be preserved, such as photographs; a medium that needs a mechanical device to be viewed, such as a tape recording or film; and a printed form of digital evidence, such as emails or spreadsheets.
In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter.
Okinawan historian Oshiro Masayasu (former director of the Okinawa Prefectural Historical Archives) writes:
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.
Soon after the U.S. marines landed, all the women of a village on Motobu Peninsula fell into the hands of American soldiers. At the time, there were only women, children and old people in the village, as all the young men had been mobilized for the war. Soon after landing, the marines "mopped up" the entire village, but found no signs of Japanese forces. Taking advantage of the situation, they started "hunting for women" in broad daylight and those who were hiding in the village or nearby air raid shelters were dragged out one after another.
According to Toshiyuki Tanaka, 76 cases of rape or rape-murder were reported during the first five years of the American occupation of Okinawa. However, he asserts this is probably not the true figure, as most cases were unreported.
Peter Schrijvers finds it remarkable that looking Asian was enough to be in danger of rape by American soldiers, as for example happened to some of the Korean comfort women that the Japanese had by force brought to the island.Schrijvers writes that "many women" were brutally violated with "not even the least mercy".
Marching south, men of the 4th Marines passed a group of some 10 American soldiers bunched together in a tight circle next to the road. They were 'quite animated', noted a corporal who assumed they were playing a game of craps. 'Then as we passed them', said the shocked marine, 'I could see they were taking turns raping an oriental woman. I was furious, but our outfit kept marching by as though nothing unusual was going on'.
Although Japanese reports of rape were largely ignored at the time, academic estimates have been that as many as 10,000 Okinawan women may have been raped. It has been claimed that the rape was so prevalent that most Okinawans over age 65 around the year 2000 either knew or had heard of a woman who was raped in the aftermath of the war. Military officials denied the mass rapings, and all surviving veterans refused the New York Times' request for an interview.
Professor of East Asian Studies and expert on Okinawa Steve Rabson said: "I have read many accounts of such rapes in Okinawan newspapers and books, but few people know about them or are willing to talk about them".Books, diaries, articles and other documents refer to rapes by American soldiers of various races and backgrounds. Masaie Ishihara, a sociology professor, supports this: "There is a lot of historical amnesia out there, many people don't want to acknowledge what really happened".
An explanation given for why the US military has no record of any rapes is that few – if any – Okinawan women reported abuse, mostly out of fear and embarrassment. Those who did report them are believed by historians to have been ignored by the U.S. military police. A large scale effort to determine the extent of such crimes has also never been called for. Over five decades after the war has ended the women who were believed to have been raped still refused to give a public statement, with friends, local historians and university professors who had spoken with the women instead saying they preferred not to discuss it publicly. According to a Nago, Okinawan police spokesman: "Victimized women feel too ashamed to make it public".
In his book Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb, George Feifer noted that by 1946 there had been fewer than 10 reported cases of rape in Okinawa. He explains that it was: "partly because of shame and disgrace, partly because Americans were victors and occupiers".Feifer claimed: "In all there were probably thousands of incidents, but the victims' silence kept rape another dirty secret of the campaign". Many people wondered why it never came to light after the inevitable American-Okinawan babies the many women must have had. In interviews, historians and Okinawan elders said that some Okinawan women who were raped did give birth to biracial children, but that many of them were immediately killed or left behind out of shame, disgust or fearful trauma. More often, however, rape victims underwent crude abortions with the help of village midwives.
According to George Feifer the majority of the likely thousands of rapes were committed in the north, where the campaign was easier and the American troops were not as exhausted as in the south.According to Feifer it was mostly troops landed for occupation duty who committed rapes.
According to interviews carried out by The New York Times and published by them in 2000, multiple elderly people from an Okinawan village confessed that after the United States had won the Battle of Okinawa three armed African American Marines kept coming to the village every week to force the villagers to gather all the local women, who were then carried off into the hills and raped. The article goes deeper into the matter and claims that the villagers' tale – true or not – is part of a "dark, long-kept secret" the unraveling of which "refocused attention on what historians say is one of the most widely ignored crimes of the war": "the widespread rape of Okinawan women by American servicemen".
When the Marines started to confidently carry out their weekly ritual unarmed, the villagers reportedly overwhelmed the men and killed them. Their bodies were hidden in the nearby cave out of fear for retaliation against the village, a village secret until 1997.Since the killings, the cave has been known as Kurombo Gama, which is translated either as "Cave of The Negros" or, less commonly, "Niggers' Cave".
Almost all rape victims were silent about what had happened to them, which helped to keep the rapes a "dirty secret" of the Okinawa campaign.The main reasons for the women's silence and the low number of reported rapes was, according to George Feifer, the American role as victor and occupiers, and feelings of shame and disgrace. According to Feifer, while there were probably thousands of rapes, fewer than 10 rapes were formally reported by 1946 and almost all of those were connected to "severe bodily harm".
Several factors contributed to few telltale American rape-induced pregnancies coming to term; many women had become temporarily infertile due to the stress [ dubious ] and malnutrition, and some who did become pregnant managed to abort before their husbands returned.
According to Thomas Huber from the Combat Studies Institute, Japanese soldiers also mistreated Okinawan civilians during the battle there. Huber writes that rape was "freely committed" by Japanese soldiers who knew that they had little chance of surviving due to the Army's prohibitions against surrender. These abuses contributed to a post-war divide between Okinawans and mainland Japanese.
Having historically been a separate nation until 1879, Okinawan language and culture differ in many ways from that of mainland Japan, where they often were discriminated against and treated in the same manner as Chinese and Koreans.
In 1944 heavy American air-bombings of Naha had left 1,000 dead and 50,000 homeless and sheltering in caves, and US naval bombardments contributed additionally to the death toll. During the Battle of Okinawa between 40,000 and 150,000 residents died. The survivors were put in internment camps by Americans.
During the fighting some Japanese troops mistreated Okinawan civilians, for example taking over the caves they sheltered in and forcing them out into the open, as well as killing some directly who they suspected of being American spies. During the last months of desperate fighting they were also unable to supply the Okinawan population with food and medicine.
Japanese propaganda about American atrocities had led many Okinawan civilians to believe that when the Americans came they would first rape all the women and then kill them. At least 700 civilians committed suicide. [ citation needed ] The Americans also provided food and medicine, something the Japanese had been unable to do. In view of the propaganda claiming that American policy would be rape, torture and murder, the Okinawans were often surprised at "the comparatively humane treatment". Over time, Okinawans would become increasingly despondent with the Americans, but at the time of surrender the American soldiers were less vicious than had been expected.American soldiers did sometimes deliberately kill Okinawan civilians, though American official policy was to not kill them.
In the period after the Emperor of Japan announced that Japan would surrender, many Japanese civilians feared that Allied occupation troops were likely to rape Japanese women when they arrived. These fears were, to a large part, driven by concerns that the Allied troops would exhibit similar behavior to that of Japanese occupation forces in China and the Pacific.The Japanese Government and the governments of several prefectures issued warnings recommending that women take measures to avoid contact with occupation troops, such as staying in their homes and staying with Japanese men. Police in Kanagawa Prefecture, where the Americans were expected to first land, recommended that young women and girls evacuate the area. Several prefectural authorities also suggested that women kill themselves if they were threatened with rape or raped and called for "moral and spiritual education" to enforce this view.
In response, the Japanese government established the Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA), military brothels to cater to the Allied troops upon their arrival, though most professional prostitutes were unwilling to have sex with Americans due to the impact of wartime propaganda.Some of the women who volunteered to work in these brothels claimed that they did so as they felt they had a duty to protect other women from Allied troops. These officially sponsored brothels were ordered closed in January 1946 when the Occupation authorities banned all "public" prostitution while declaring that it was undemocratic and violated the human rights of the women involved. The closure of the brothels took effect a few months later, and it was in private acknowledged that the main reason for closing down the brothels was the huge increase in venereal diseases among the soldiers.
Assessments of the incidence of rape by American occupation personnel differ.
John W. Dower has written that while the R.A.A. was in place "the incidence of rape remained relatively low given the huge size of the occupation force".Dower has written that the incidence of rape increased after the closure of the brothels, possibly eight-fold, and According to one calculation the number of rapes and assaults on Japanese women amounted to around 40 daily while the R.A.A was in operation, and then rose to an average of 330 a day after it was terminated in early 1946". According to Dower, "more than a few incidents" of assault and rape were never reported to the police.
Buruma states that while it is likely that more than 40 rapes took place each day, "most Japanese would have recognized that the Americans were far more disciplined than they had feared, especially in comparison to the behaviour of their own troops abroad".
According to Terèse Svoboda "the number of reported rapes soared" after the closure of the brothels, and she takes this as evidence that the Japanese had been successful in suppressing incidents of rape by providing prostitutes to the soldiers.Svoboda gives one example where R.A.A. facilities were active but some not yet ready to open and "hundreds of American soldiers broke into two of their facilities and raped all the women".
In contrast, Brian Walsh states that while the American occupation forces had a criminal element and many rapes occurred, "there is no credible evidence of the mass rape of Japanese women by American soldiers during the occupation", and claims that this occurred are not supported by the available documentation.Instead, he writes that both Japanese and American records demonstrate that that rapes were uncommon, and the incidence was no greater than that in modern American cities. Walsh states that there were 1,100 reported cases of sexual violence by Allied troops throughout the occupation period, though this figure likely understates the actual incidence given that many rapes are never reported. Walsh has noted that the estimates given by Dower and several others would mean that "the U.S. Occupation of Japan would have been one of the worst occurrences of mass sexual violence in the history of the world", something which is not supported by the documentary evidence.
Similarly, Michael S. Molasky, Japanese literature, language and jazz researcher, states in his study of Japanese post-war novels and other pulp literature, that while rape and other violent crime was widespread in naval ports like Yokosuka and Yokohama during the first few weeks of occupation, according to Japanese police reports, the number of incidents declined shortly after and were not common on mainland Japan throughout the rest of occupation.
Up until this point, the narrative's events are plausible. American soldiers stationed abroad did (and still do) commit abduction, rape, and even murder, although such incidents were not widespread in mainland Japan during the occupation. Japanese police records and journalistic studies indicate that most violent crimes committed by GIs occurred in naval ports such as Yokosuka during the first few weeks after the Americans arrived in 1945, and that the number declined sharply thereafter. The above passage from Chastity also points to issues which are central to a serious consideration of prostitution in postwar Japan: for example, the collaboration between police and medical authorities in enforcing a regime or discipline against women working outside the domestic sphere, the economic exploitation of female labor through regulated prostitution, and the patriarchal valorization of chastity to an extent that rape victims are left few alternatives but prostitution or suicide".
Some historians state that mass rapes took place during the initial phase of the occupation. For instance, Fujime Yuki has stated that 3,500 rapes occurred in the first month after American troops landed.Tanaka relates that in Yokohama, the capital of the prefecture, there were 119 known rapes in September 1945. At least seven academic books and many other works state that there were 1,336 reported rapes during the first 10 days of the occupation of Kanagawa Prefecture. Walsh states that this figure originated from Yuki Tanaka's book Hidden Horrors, and resulted from that author misreading the crime figures in their source. The source states that the Japanese Government recorded 1,326 criminal incidents of all types involving American forces, of which an unspecified number were rapes.
Historians Eiji Takemae and Robert Ricketts state that "When US paratroopers landed in Sapporo, an orgy of looting, sexual violence and drunken brawling ensued. Gang rapes and other sex atrocities were not infrequent" and some of the rape victims committed suicide.
In contrast, Walsh states that while there was a "brief crime wave" during the early phase of the occupation, "there was, relatively speaking, little rape" during this period.
According to Svoboda there are two large events of mass rape recorded by Yuki Tanaka at the time that the R.A.A. brothels were closed down in 1946.
General Robert L. Eichelberger, the commander of the U.S. Eighth Army, recorded that in the one instance when the Japanese formed a self-help vigilante guard to protect women from off-duty GIs, the Eighth Army ordered armoured vehicles in battle array into the streets and arrested the leaders, and the leaders received long prison terms.
Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand troops in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) also committed rapes. The commander of the BCOF's official reports state that members of the BCOF were convicted of committing 57 rapes in the period May 1946 to December 1947 and a further 23 between January 1948 and September 1951. No official statistics on the incidence of serious crimes during the BCOF's first three months in Japan (February to April 1946) are available.Australian historian Robin Gerster contends that while the official statistics underestimate the level of serious crime among BCOF members, Japanese police often did not pass reports they received on to the BCOF and that the serious crimes which were reported were properly investigated by BCOF military police. The penalties given to members of the BCOF convicted of serious crimes were "not severe", however, and those imposed on Australians were often mitigated or quashed by Australian courts.
According to Takemae and Ricketts:
A former prostitute recalled that as soon as Australian troops arrived in Kure in early 1946, they 'dragged young women into their jeeps, took them to the mountain, and then raped them. I heard them screaming for help nearly every night'. Such behavior was commonplace, but news of criminal activity by Occupation forces was quickly suppressed".
Allan Clifton, an Australian officer who acted as interpreter and criminal investigator wrote
I stood beside a bed in hospital. On it lay a girl, unconscious, her long, black hair in wild tumult on the pillow. A doctor and two nurses were working to revive her. An hour before she had been raped by twenty soldiers. We found her where they had left her, on a piece of waste land. The hospital was in Hiroshima. The girl was Japanese. The soldiers were Australians. The moaning and wailing had ceased and she was quiet now. The tortured tension on her face had slipped away, and the soft brown skin was smooth and unwrinkled, stained with tears like the face of a child that has cried herself to sleep.
As to Australian justice Clifton writes regarding another rape that was witnessed by a party of card-players:
At the court martial that followed, the accused was found guilty and sentenced to ten years penal servitude. In accordance with army law the courts decision was forwarded to Australia for confirmation. Some time later the documents were returned marked 'Conviction quashed because of insufficient evidence'".
American Occupation authorities imposed wide-ranging censorship on the Japanese media, which was imposed on 10 September 1945 and continued until the (1952) end of the occupation,including bans on covering many sensitive social issues and serious crimes such as rape committed by members of the Occupation forces.
According to Eiji Takemae and Robert Ricketts, Allied Occupation forces suppressed news of criminal activities such as rape; on September 10, 1945, SCAP "issued press and pre-censorship codes outlawing the publication of all reports and statistics 'inimical to the objectives of the Occupation'".
According to Teresa Svoboda the Japanese press reported cases of rape and looting two weeks into the occupation, to which the Occupation administration responded by "promptly censoring all media".However, Walsh states that the press reported few cases of rapes before the censorship began. For instance, the final article which included any discussion of rapes by Allied forces in the Asahi Shimbun (published on 11 September 1945) stated that none had taken place.
Following the occupation Japanese magazines published accounts of rapes committed by American servicemen.
The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) was the title held by General Douglas MacArthur during the Allied occupation of Japan following World War II. It issued SCAP Directive to the Japanese government, aiming to transform it into a non-terrorist nation.
The Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA) was the largest of the organizations established by Occupied Japan to provide organized prostitution to prevent rapes and sexual violence by American troops on the general population, and to create other leisure facilities for occupying Allied troops immediately following World War II. The RAA "recruited" 55,000 women and was short-lived, lasting just over four months until January 1946.
This article is about the history of the Ryukyu Islands southwest of the main islands of Japan.
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The Manila massacre involved atrocities committed against Filipino civilians in the City of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, by Japanese troops during World War II at the Battle of Manila. The combined death toll of civilians for the battle of Manila was about 100,000.
Allied war crimes include both alleged and legally proven violations of the laws of war by the Allies of World War II against either civilians or military personnel of the Axis powers.
The Australian 34th Brigade was an Australian Army brigade. The brigade was formed in late 1945 following the end of World War II as part of the Australian contribution to the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan. In late 1948 it was renamed the 1st Brigade.
The Aftermath of World War II was the beginning of an era defined by the decline of all European colonial empires and simultaneous rise of two superpowers: the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US). Allies during World War II, the US and the USSR became competitors on the world stage and engaged in the Cold War, so called because it never resulted in overt, declared hot war between the two powers but was instead characterized by espionage, political subversion and proxy wars. Western Europe and Japan were rebuilt through the American Marshall Plan whereas Central and Eastern Europe fell under the Soviet sphere of influence and eventually behind an "Iron Curtain". Europe was divided into a US-led Western Bloc and a Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. Internationally, alliances with the two blocs gradually shifted, with some nations trying to stay out of the Cold War through the Non-Aligned Movement. The War also saw a nuclear arms race between the two superpowers; part of the reason that the Cold War never became a "hot" war was that the Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear deterrents against each other, leading to a mutually assured destruction standoff.
On November 2, 2002, U.S. Marine Corps Major Michael Brown attempted an indecent assault on a Filipina bartender in Okinawa, Japan. The bartender accused Brown of attempting to rape her and of throwing her cell phone into a nearby river; Brown denied the rape charges. The victim later recanted and attempted to withdraw the accusation, though prosecutors presented evidence that she had received a cash payment just before doing so.
Tatsuhiro Ōshiro is a Japanese novelist and playwright, born and living in Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands.
Wartime sexual violence is rape or other forms of sexual violence committed by combatants during armed conflict, war, or military occupation often as spoils of war; but sometimes, particularly in ethnic conflict, the phenomenon has broader sociological motives. Wartime sexual violence may also include gang rape and rape with objects. It is distinguished from sexual harassment, sexual assaults, and rape committed amongst troops in military service. It also covers the situation where girls and women are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by an occupying power.
United States war crimes are the violations of the laws and customs of war of which the United States Armed Forces are accused of committing since the signing of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. These have included the summary execution of captured enemy combatants, the mistreatment of prisoners during interrogation (torture), and the use of violence against civilian non-combatants.
As Allied troops entered and occupied German territory during the later stages of World War II, mass rapes of women took place both in connection with combat operations and during the subsequent occupation. Most Western scholars agree that the majority of the rapes were committed by Soviet servicemen, while some Russian historians maintain that these crimes were not widespread. The wartime rapes had been surrounded by decades of silence. According to Antony Beevor, whose books were banned in 2015 from some Russian schools and colleges, NKVD files have revealed that the leadership knew what was happening, but did little to stop it. Some Russian historians disagree, claiming that the Soviet leadership took some action.
German military brothels were set up by Nazi Germany during World War II throughout much of occupied Europe for the use of Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. These brothels were generally new creations, but in the West, they were sometimes set up using existing brothels as well as many other buildings. Until 1942, there were around 500 military brothels of this kind in German-occupied Europe. Often operating in confiscated hotels and guarded by the Wehrmacht, these facilities served travelling soldiers and those withdrawn from the front. According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels. In many cases in Eastern Europe, the women involved were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military and police round ups called łapanka or rafle.
The Katsuyama killing incident in 1945 was a killing of three African American Marines by Okinawans from the Katsuyama village near Nago, Okinawa, after the Battle of Okinawa, shortly before the end of the war in the Pacific. Many years later some of the villagers confessed that every weekend three black United States Marines had allegedly been visiting the village around that time and every time they violently took the village women into the hills with them and raped them. When the Marines started to confidently carry out their weekly ritual unarmed, the villagers reportedly overwhelmed the men one time and killed all three. Their bodies were hidden in the nearby cave out of fear for retaliation against the village, a village secret until 1997. Since the killings, the cave has been known as 'Kuronbō Gama,' by locals which translates to the "Cave of The Dark Skinned Boys".
Rape during the liberation of France is documented both during and after the advance of United States forces across France against Nazi Germany in later stages of World War II.
The Yumiko-chan incident refers to the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl named Yumiko Nagayama by a 31-year-old American soldier stationed in Okinawa, that took place September 3, 1955, ten years into the U.S. occupation of Okinawa, which at that time was not part of Japan. It was noticed at about 8 p.m that she was missing, when she didn't come home from playing outdoors.
Time of Fallen Blossoms is 1951 book written by Allan S. Clifton. Clifton was an Australian intelligence officer with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. It is a memoir of his time in Japan in 1946 during the post-war occupation. Clifton had studied Japanese for 12 years and worked as an interpreter. His book contained accounts of Australian soldiers' mistreatment of Japanese Prisoners of War (POWs) after the Japanese surrender and gang rapes of Japanese women by Australian soldiers in Japan. The book was controversial in Australia as a result, and he was subsequently discredited by the Australian Army.