Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Hillenbrand, Laura

Random House, 2010

pp. 42-43

Japan’s imperialism in the 30s and 40s was born of her peculiar situation as a growing and dynamic nation with very few natural resources. Her trade was also stymied by high tariffs in the East and low demand for her manufactured goods. So she started looking around at her rich neighbors. Didn’t they have fabulous natural resources? And weren’t they not supposed to have them? After all, they were Japan’s inferiors. And wasn’t it therefore Japan’s “divinely mandated right to rule them”? Japanese politicians would often remark that there are inferior and superior races in the world and that it was “the sacred duty of the leading race to lead and enlighten the inferior ones.” So Japan’s imperialism was “moved by necessity and destiny.”