Originally published 04/23/2013
Just one year after Emperor Meiji proclaimed the Japanese Empire in 1868, he ordered the construction of a majestic new Shinto shrine in Tokyo. The Yasukuni Shrine was to record the names of every man, woman and child who died in service of the new empire. And it was to be a place of worship, part of a larger effort to make the empire something of a state religion. By the time Japan collapsed in defeat at the end of World War II, more than 2 million names had been added to the shrine.For more than 75 years, Yasukuni was a symbol of Japan’s imperial mission; both were officially sacred. The shrine was considered the final resting place of Japanese soldiers, colonists and others who served the imperial expansion that had plunged all of East Asia and eventually the United States into a costly and horrific war.
Originally published 04/07/2013
Murray Polner: Review of Richard Rashke's "Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals" (Delphinium, 2013)
Murray Polner, a regular HNN book reviewer, wrote No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran and When Can We Come Home, about Vietnam War resisters.
Originally published 03/18/2013
Ieng Sary, who co-founded Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge movement in 1970s, was its public face abroad and decades later became one of its few leaders to be put on trial for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people, died Thursday morning. He was 87.His death, however, came before any verdict was reached in his case, dashing hopes among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes stemming from the darkest chapter in the country's history.
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