Liberating Tokyo

Henry Lavelle Stewart tells the following story about entering Tokyo after V-J Day.  “When we arrived in Tokyo, not a living thing could be seen.  No birds, no traffic, no people.  Unoccupied cars lined the streets.  The survivors were still hiding under  ground.  Gradually we were able to coax them to come out.  Their leaders had told them that we would kill all of them.  An old Japanese lady gradually approached me making eye contact all the while.  I wondered if she might have a grenade so I held up my hand for her to stop.  I counted to ten and then decided she didn’t have a grenade.  I then motioned for her to approach. When she reached me she knelt down and began kissing my shoes.  I gently raised her up and pointing to my feet I shook my head indicating No.  I pointed to my face and I smiled.  I next pointed to her face indicating for her to smile also.  She did so revealing very bad teeth.  I gave her a chocolate bar.”  (Stewart, Henry L.  MSS 2350, No. 1495, pp 38-39.)

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