Who was Aggressive? Focus on A Note to Roosevelt

Please watch this video while you read the article below.

We will have to examine who was really aggressive and who was not from 1853 to 1945 by focusing on a note to Roosevelt sent by Rear Admiral R. Ichimaru of the Imperial Japanese Navy who fought and died in Iwo Jima. His biography is briefly described below to give you some idea of what he really was.

Rear Admiral Mr. Rinosuke Ichimaru
-Born in Saga Pref. (one of 7 Prefectures on Kyushu island) on September 20, 1891
-Graduated from Karatsu Middle School (classified as middle school under the old educational system of Japan) on March 31, 1910
Note: Karatsu Middle School was originated from Shidou Kan established as Karatsu Han School in 1823. After Meiji Restoration, it was re-established as the English language school by inviting a lecturer named Mr. Takahashi Korekiyo (who later became Viscount Takahashi, Prime Minister of Japan). He studied English language and American culture in a private school run by the missionary James Hepburn in Yokohama and went to the United States of America for his academic pursuit there. However, he was swindled by Mr. Eugene M. Van Reed an American trader doing business in Yokohama and lost all his money prepared for his study in the U.S.A. while he was staying at his parents' home. And, Mr. Reed's parents (Mr. Takahashi's host family) sold him to the Brown family in Oakland, California. He managed to return back to Japan in 1868 and became an English teacher.
-Graduated from the Imperial Navy Academy in 1913
-Became Rear Admiral on May 1, 1942
-Commander of 27 Air Flotilla on August 10, 1944
-Became Vice Admiral when killed in action on March 17, 1945
Note: He was a well-known naval pilot and became a rear admiral and commander of 27 Air Flotilla at Iwo Jima. With all his aircraft destroyed by American carrier raids, he put his 2300 men under command of the Army commander Kuribayashi.

Now, let me focus on a Japanese word Sakoku 鎖国 to show if Japan was aggressive or not.

Before the arrival of Commodore Perry in Japan, the closed door policy (Sakoku 鎖国)  had been practiced from around 1630s to 1853 so as to minimize its interactions with the foreign countries by allowing a few countries to trade in the specially established trading posts (these trading posts could be defined as "special economic zone").

There is nothing wrong with the closed door policy Japan enforced during the period simply because it had every right to pursue its policy of developing its own culture and economy as an independent nation.  In other words, all Japan had pursued in those days was a non-aggression policy with a greater emphasis on the development of its domestic demand driven economy.

The arrival of Commodore Perry was a beginning of "White Peril" to Japan and its people. Japan was in fact observing what was going on outside Japan through the channels established to trade with a few trading partners in the designated areas. Japan was well aware of the fact that other Asian nations had already became colonized by the western powers. Japan feared that the country would soon become the next target of being colonized if nothing was done. One important fact we all have to remember is that what Japan did was to abandon its closed door policy and at the same time to absorb technologies (most of Japan's gold reserves flowed out of Japan for this purpose). Nothing was free at all. No mercy was shown to the Yellow race and no grant aid existed in those days. 

With the comments and information above bearing in mind, please read the following. I have written the article focused on "A Note to Roosevelt", knowing that almost all Americans will find it unacceptable at all and some may find it offending to them. However we may interpret the note to the President of the United States, we should accept the historical fact that the note was sent addressed to Roosevelt.

As Rear Admiral R. Ichimaru of the Imperial Japanese Navy states in his note to Roosevelt, Japan has encountered a number of crises as well as the undesired conflicts with the other nations. Now, it is time for us to think again who was aggressive and who was not aggressive.

Here is a translation of the note sent to President Franklin Roosevelt by Rear Admiral R. Ichimaru of the Imperial Japanese Navy before he was killed in action in Iwo Jima on March 1945.
A Note to Roosevelt
Rear Admiral R. Ichimaru of the Japanese Navy sends this note to Roosevelt.
I have one word to give you upon the termination of this battle.
Approximately a century has elapsed since Nippon, after Commodore Perry’s entry to Shimoda, became widely affiliated with the countries of the world. During this period of intercourse Nippon has met with many national crises as well as the undesired Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, the World War, the Manchurian Incident, and the China Incident. Nippon is now, unfortunately, in a state of open conflict with your country.
Judging Nippon from just this side of the screen you may slander our nation as a yellow peril, or a blood thirsty nation or maybe a protoplasm of military clique.
Though you may use the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour as your primary material for propaganda, I believe you, of all persons, know best that you left Nippon no other method in order to save herself from self-destruction.
His Imperial Highness, as clearly shown in the “Rescript of the Founder of the Empire” “Yosei” (Justice), “Choki” (Sagacity) and “Sekkei” (Benevolence), contained in the above three fold doctrine, rules in the realization of “Hakko-ichiu” (the universe under His Sacred Rule) in His Gracious mind. The realization of which means the habitation of their respective fatherlands under their own customs and traditions, thus insuring the everlasting peace of the world.
Emperor Meiji’s “The four seas of the world that are united in brotherhood will know no high waves nor wind” (composed during the Russo-Japanese War) won the appraisal of your uncle, Theodore Roosevelt as you yourself know.
We, the Nippon-jin, though may follow all lines of trade, it is through our each walk of life that we support the Imperial doctrine.
We, the soldiers of the Imperial Fighting Force take up arms to further the above stated “doctrine”.
Though we, at the time, are externally taken by your air raids and shelling backed by your material superiority, spiritually we are burning with delight and enjoying the peace of mind.
This peacefulness of mind, the common universal stigma of the Nippon-jin, burning with fervour in the upholding of the Imperial Doctrine may be impossible for you and Churchill to understand.
I hereupon pitying your spiritual feebleness pen a word or two.
Judging from your actions, white races especially you Anglo-Saxons at the sacrifice of the coloured races are monopolizing the fruits of the world.
In order to attain this end, countless machinations were used to cajole the yellow races, and to finally deprive them of any strength.
Nippon in retaliation to your imperialism tried to free the oriental nations from your punitive bonds, only to be faced by your dogged opposition. You now consider your once friendly Nippon a harmful existence to your luscious plan, a bunch of barbarians that must be exterminated.
The completion of this Greater East Asia War will bring about the birth of the East Asia Co-Prosperity Area, this in turn will in the near future result in the everlasting peace of the world, if, of course, is not hampered upon by your unending imperialism.
Why is it that you, an already flourishing nation, nip in bud the movement for the freedom of the suppressed nations of the East.
It is no other than to return to the East that which belongs to the East.
It is beyond our contemplation when we try to understand your stinted narrowness.
The existence of the East Asia Co-Prosperity sphere does not in anyway encroach upon your safety as a nation, on the contrary, will sit as a pillar of world peace ensuring the happiness of the world. His Imperial Majesty’s true aim is no other than the attainment of this everlasting peace.
Studying the condition of the never ending racial struggle resulting from mutual misunderstanding of the European countries, it is not difficult to feel the need of the everlasting universal peace.
Present Hitler’s crusade of “His Fatherland” is brought about by no other than the stupidity of holding only Germany, the loser of the World War, solely responsible for the 1914-1918 calamity and the deprivation of Germany’s re-establishment.
It is beyond my imagination of how you can slander Hitler’s program and at the same time cooperate with Stalin’s “Soviet Russia” which has as its principle aim the “socialization” of the World at large.
If only the brute force decides the ruler of the world, fighting will everlastingly be repeated, and never will the world know peace nor happiness.
Upon the attainment of your barbaric world monopoly never forget to retain in your mind the failure of your predecessor President Wilson at his heights.
-Rear Admiral Ichimaru
Reproduction based on his note to President Franklin Roosevelt written in the old Japanese





  四方の海 皆はらからと思ふ世に 










Translation of the original note written in the old Japanese into the modern Japanese.





















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