Friday, November 29, 2013

From Pearl Harbor to Calvary by Mitsuo Fuchida

I read a lot of books about World War II, but rarely from a Japanese point of view.  This booklet, written in 1951, tells the story of Mitsuo Fuchida, the man who led the first wave of attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941.   It is a powerful testimony of how God turns enemies into brothers.  

From Pearl Harbor To Calvary relates not only Fuchida’s story, but also the stories of others who should have been embittered by the war: Peggy Covell, a young woman whose missionary parents were killed by the Japanese and Jacob DeShazer who had been a POW in a Japanese prison camp. 

When he retired from the military, Fuchida became a farmer, but he struggled with depression:    

Why was I still alive when men all around me had died like flies in the four years of conflict? Gradually I came to believe that I had been supported by some great unseen power.  My sullenness began to be diffused and dispelled by a sense of gratitude.  Moreover, as I continued to live in close relation to the earth through the plants and the cattle, and the other aspects of farm life, I was gradually led to think in terms of a Creator of all these things. . . .  Formerly the “War catechism” had been the sum total of my ideology. . . . I set my mind to the problem of what would be the proper way for Japan to exist as a nation.   Finally, I arrived at a conclusion.  I concluded that the only way for the Japanese to survive and prosper and find a place in the sun again would be through the doctrines of peace, irrespective of other nations’ conditions. . . . Impelled by a desire to warn my people, I determined to send out into the world a book entitled “No More Pearl Harbor” no matter how insignificant my work might be.  As my writing progressed, however, I came to realize that in my appeal for no more Pearl Harbor, there must be an assurance among men of the transforming of the power of hatred to the power of true brotherly love.  But how was that transformation to become a reality?. . .  The problem resolved around a person.  Who, I asked myself, could accomplish the task of banishing suspicion and war.  My mind turned toward God, the Creator of all things.

When he heard about Peggy Covell’s kindness to Japanese POWs in the U.S., he could hardly believe it:   

It was a beautiful story but I could not understand such enemy-forgiving love.  Where did man find such love?  I had never heard of people returning good for evil.  I desired all the more to discover this source of power that could remove hatred from the hearts of people and change them into friendly, loving individuals.  Only when I found that answer could I write a satisfactory conclusion to my book.  

He then writes of his encounters with various others who learned to forgive their enemies through faith in Jesus Christ and concludes the book with his own change of heart.   A quick and interesting read.


Farm Girl said...

thank you for sharing about this book I am going to see if I can find it on Amazon. Just the excerpt you gave is incredible. Have you read Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Dibler Rose?" That is one of my favorite books and this one makes me think of that. I bet it is incredible. Thank you

Jessica Snell said...

wow, what an ending!

Carol said...

An unusual viewpoint of the war; thanks for sharing it.