Letters to Iwo Jima

Discussion in 'Books and Films' started by gmckee1985, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Member

    Has anyone ever seen this film? It's a work by Clint Eastwood that shows the Japanese side and perspective of the war. It's a pretty slow moving film so it may not be for everybody. But if you have a bit of patience I think most folks who enjoy historical and war movies will find a lot to like about it. It's an excellent film in my opinion.
  2. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

    I would really like to get a little more familiar with the Japanese perspective some time. Is this movie very graphic or is it more about people and relationships? I don't really like it when they get really close up with batter scenes.
  3. wulfman

    wulfman Member

    I agree it is very slow but entertaining nonetheless. The Japanese approached war in a totally different way and that was clearly depicted in the movie. Kill yourself for your country was the mantra. This 5 week battle was the most fiercest and bloodiest in the Pacific in WWII in my opinion.
  4. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Wulf, I think you get '8 out of 10'. The point of honour for the Japnese in WWII, and this applies to those at Iwo Shima, is not necesarily to kill yourself for your country but to fulfill one's obligation to The Emperor -- One's Duty [Giri]. This was a sacred duty, an obligation, a requirment taught to everyone in school from their earliest age. It was part of manditory education, a part of "State Shinto", a part of Japan's national religion.

    Duty to the Emperor [Giri] could be satisfied by killing oneself, but it was preferred that the soldier WIN THE WAR, that they bring victory and glory to the Emperor. To be captured, on the other hand, might enrich the enemy through one's slave Labour, and therefor was to be avoided.

    The Japanese were also taught that the 'hairy barbarians' (enemies) would torture. To avoid a fate worse than death made self-sacrifice seem preferable.

    There is a little known tale of the Pacific War that one American Marine who had a fluency in Japanese learned in childhood was able to talk hundreds of Japanese civilians into entering American lines (surrender) when he could explain that they would not be harmed.

    The differences may seem small but they are important in understanding the psychology of the Japanese before surrender.
  5. Crazy_Niko

    Crazy_Niko New Member

    Great movie, and Flags of our Fathers- too
  6. Banjo

    Banjo Member

    I worked for many years with Joe Rosenthal, who took the picture of the flag raising on Iwo Jima. He always resisted any attempt to cast him as a hero, no stolen valor for him. He became bitter and sour in the postwar years, suspicious that people wanted to use him because of his fame. It was generally agreed that the historic picture pretty much ruined his life and gave it its sarcastic edge. Everything afterward was humdrum and downhill, and he was always being pestered. Driving on assignment with him was always hairy because of his Mister Magoo vision. He clung to the steering wheel and peered blindly over the top through thick glasses. The company eventually decided he was an insurance risk because of this and forced him to retire. I played a small role in organizing the magnificent going-away party thrown for him on Treasure Island by the Marine Corps. The band played, the commandant and assorted politicians spoke, fireboats sent plumes of spray into the air that caught the dying sunset beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh, it was grand, my friends. In later years he magically developed into a sweet old man who lived into his 90s.

    http://www.amazon.com/Great-Liars-T...=1425139437&sr=1-1&keywords=jerry jay carroll
  7. Great movies, including "Flags of our Fathers" as well. I liked it because it had a different perspective than most Iwo jima movies, seeing it from the Japanese side. This is one of the reasons why I like "Tora, Tora, Tora" as well.
  8. Banjo

    Banjo Member

    20th Century Fox fired fabled Japanese director Akira Kurosawa midway through the making of Tora, Tora, Tora. From Wikipedia: "The budget was also cut, and the screen time allocated for the Japanese segment would now be no longer than 90 minutes—a major problem, considering that Kurosawa's share of the script ran over four hours. After numerous revisions, a more or less finalized cut screenplay was agreed upon in May 1968. Shooting began in early December, but Kurosawa would last only a little over three weeks as director. He struggled to work with an unfamiliar crew and the requirements of a Hollywood production, while his working methods puzzled his American producers, who ultimately concluded that the director must be mentally ill. On Christmas Eve 1968, the Americans announced that Kurosawa had left the production due to "fatigue," effectively firing him."

    http://www.amazon.com/Great-Liars-T...=1429222253&sr=8-1&keywords=jerry jay carroll
  9. machineryman

    machineryman New Member

    I've seen it twice and it always fascinate me in every way. It shows perfectly the concept of discipline in Japan at that time during the war. Also the actors and the scenario chosen are indeed wonderful.
  10. superbobby

    superbobby New Member

    I have seen it and I think it was a great movie. Viewing a World War 2 movie from a Japanese soldiers' perspective was a fresh experience. You have to admire their love for country.
  11. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Sooperbob, the reason why the average Japanese was very patriotic and dedicated to the support of the Emperor was due the high degree of education and indoctrination to which they were subjected to since their ealiest personal days. It was the Japanese national policy since the days of the Meiji Restoration (1868), that watershed political moment.

    When the Americans re-opened Japan under Commadore Perry the Japanese changed politically. The long established system of the Shogunate fell and the Imperial House once again arose. As a part of gaining national consistancy the institution of State Shinto was created. State Shinto imposed universal education for "all" citizens. As a part of this education at some point was imposed universal military education combined with universal religious devotion to the Emperor. By the early twentith century the Japanese people were indoctrinated to be militarized worker-bees, a master race.

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