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John Dower on: MacArthur Leaving Japan
John Dower DOWER: In a way, the occupation ended on this imperial note, where the two emperors of the occupation period, the two sovereign figures, the two authoritarian figures, said farewell. MacArthur left for the airport and was given a good sendoff by the Japanese government. In his memoirs, I believe MacArthur says that two million people lined the streets and the police calculated that two hundred-thousand people actually lined the streets. That sounds about right to me, because MacArthur always tended to exaggerate things by a factor of ten.

School children were given time off and if you look at the pictures from the period, you'll see school children standing there, waving Japanese flags and American flags. And so he was seen off and some of the outpourings were really emotional, the people saying, imagining--this is an editorial in one of the newspapers, the Mainichi Newspaper--imagining him going, saying, what was almost like a liturgical prayer: "General, General, General, you have left us, did you see the fields of ripening grain, this is the bountiful harvest, which is like the harvest that you have left for us." It was very, very emotional.

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