Friday, February 20, 2015

Japanese Surrender

We wrap up World War II Week with this picture of the ceremony where Japan surrendered to the United States. This happened in 1945 aboard the USS Missouri.  When I was a child I was able to go onto the Missouri, and I remember they had a big plaque where the surrender was signed.


  1. To all who sacrificed, both abroad and at home, thank you.

    1. Amen. And to those still serving our country.

  2. The USS Missouri is currently moored in Pearl Harbor next to the Arizona memorial. And yes they have a big plaque on the deck where it was signed. They also have the articles of surrender on display. It's an awesome tour.

  3. Hey, my great-grandfather and grandfather are in that picture! My great grandfather, James L Kauffman, is the one looking to his right in the front row. My grandfather, Draper L Kauffman, is somewhere in the back. I grew up around a copy of this photo!

  4. I remember seeing a copy of this picture in a bio of Hirohito I read not long ago. Notice that the Japanese are wearing very formal Western clothing, while the US general (is it MacArthur?) is in fatigues. I remember wondering what the US servicemen in the background were thinking while this ceremony was going on. They were not standing at attention. Had it been going on a very long time? Were they assembled in a hurry? Were they just enormously relieved that now the war was over and they would be going home to their families before too long? And what were the two Japanese men thinking? Humiliation? I'm sure they were, among other emotions. Hirohito never did stop thinking he was a god, and neither, really, did his top officials. For all the importance of the event, it's a very human photo. The decades since have made Japan and the US important allies, but at that moment, the signing of the surrender didn't make them think alike. That took many years.

  5. The sailors do not owe this strangely dressed Japanese anything. They were probably mustered to watch history being made.