Book details MacArthur's efforts to fill Japanese 'spiritual vacuum' after World War II

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(ENInews). In the wake of the destruction and surrender of the Japanese empire in August 1945, a "spiritual vacuum" emerged that the country's de-facto ruler, General Douglas MacArthur, sought to fill with religious and quasi-religious beliefs still new to Japan, from Christianity to Freemasonry.

That is the focus of a recently published study of the Occupation years of 1945 to 1952 by Japanese investigative journalist Eiichiro Tokumoto. In "1945 Under the Shadow of the Occupation: The Ashlar and The Cross," Tokumoto documents MacArthur's efforts to persuade missionaries to intensify their efforts among the Japanese population in hopes of providing a counterweight to the growing appeal of communism in the earliest days of the Cold War.

"There was a complete collapse of faith in Japan in 1945 -- in our invincible military, in the emperor, in the religion that had become known as 'state Shinto,'" says Tokumoto, referring to spiritual practices dating back several millennia that in the decades before World War II became a kind of state religion. It became closely associated with the growth of militaristic nationalism that led Japan into war in China and later with the United States and its allies....

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