Letters From Iwo Jima

NickOtani's picture
Submitted by NickOtani on Tue, 2007-07-17 22:26

This was a great anti-war movie, showing the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective. There were the fircely patriotic Japanese who considered it an honor to die for their country and treated less committed colleagues with contempt, and there were the ordinary young husbands with pregnant wives. They just wanted to do their jobs and go home. They captured an American soldier and treated him, even though he later died, and they found a letter on him from his mother, who told him the same kind of things their mothers told them, about doing what is right because it is right.

Humans are humans, regardless of what nationality they are or what language they speak. They are recognizable as humans. Some are kind and some are cruel.

Thousands of people died on that little island in two days, from both sides. The Japanese were told to hold out at the cost of their lives. They were told not to expect to return home alive. They were over-run. They ran out of ammo, supplies, and everything. They were like cornered rats in those caves.

It was an important movie for the Japanese as well as Americans. Japanese people do not learn much about Iwo Jima in school. It is important to watch the special features also and hear the comments of the actors and Clint Eastwood at the world primier and press conference.

bis bald,

Nick


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Excllent Movie

Jason Quintana's picture

"This is exactly how I experienced the movie. The totalitarian bastards were presented as such, as experienced by a young Japanese soldier and the defenders’ commander.

The only leap the viewer is asked to make is to believe that some Japanese soldiers and commanders viewed the totalitarian bastards just as you do."

That was my impression of the movie too. I don't want to give it away, but much of the film details the desperation of Japanese soldiers looking to escape from their own comrades because they didn't want to commit mass suicide or launch any more suicidal raids. They knew the battle was over and that if they wanted to live they needed to surrender.

One of the most outstanding films of last year and quite an achievement by Eastwood. There are a lot of good directors out there, but it is very difficult to make a movie in a foreign language that is geared toward a foreign audience.

- Jason

Nips

NickOtani's picture

Incidentally, would you have preferred I used the epithet, “Bastard Nips"?

I quess this would be okay with me. It depends on how someone means it, but I like Nips better than Japs. Nippon is the Japanese name for Japan. And Nipponese means Japanese. It's kind'a like calling Americans Yanks.

BTW, that's a neat story about your grandfather. Did he ever listen to Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin or go see Joe Dimagio? Eye

bis bald,

Nick

That sucks...

Jameson's picture

... true Neanderthalian bigots...

My grandfather was a bigot, but not a Neanderthal. He fought in the same vicinity as your pop’s 442nd in Italy. Lost a lot of good mates - and his wife who walked out on him and his 3 young boys while he was busy fighting the “Eye-Tie bastards”. To his dying day refused to eat spaghetti. Having said that, he learned their language and saved an Italian baby whose mother had stopped producing milk, visiting her every day for weeks with a makeshift formula made from his ration of sweetened condensed milk.

Go figure…

I agree with that

NickOtani's picture

There are also bastards on the American side who consider all Japanese people evil simply because they are Japanese. You see my father as a hero, but he was refused service in certain resturants when he returned home, with purple hearts and a bronzed star, simply because he was the wrong color.

bis bald,

Nick

“I remain dubious of films

Jon Letendre's picture

“I remain dubious of films that try to put friendly faces on totalitarian bastards. They deserve contempt – not our understanding – and should be remembered throughout time for the evil they represented.”

This is exactly how I experienced the movie. The totalitarian bastards were presented as such, as experienced by a young Japanese soldier and the defenders’ commander.

The only leap the viewer is asked to make is to believe that some Japanese soldiers and commanders viewed the totalitarian bastards just as you do.

You're welcome, Nick...

Jameson's picture

Smiling

However... I remain dubious of films that try to put friendly faces on totalitarian bastards. They deserve contempt – not our understanding – and should be remembered throughout time for the evil they represented.

Incidentally, would you have preferred I used the epithet, “Bastard Nips"?

“This was a great anti-war

Jon Letendre's picture

“This was a great anti-war movie”

I watched it about a month ago and liked it. (I got it pay-per-view, so missed the special features, too bad.)

I didn’t get anything anti-war from it, but rather, anti-fanatical. Through the eyes of the Japanese kid and the general, we saw their fanatical compatriots as lunatics.

Thankyou...

NickOtani's picture

for a more friendly and empathetic post. Yes, there were dirty bastards who declared war on the West, but their skin color should be irrelevant. You said my father was a hero, not a "yellow" hero. I agree. The Nazis were wretched krauts, not "white" wretched krauts. And, yes, the Italians had people like Sinatra and Dimagio to represent them. They looked like good Americans. We didn't have any Japanese or Asian superstars back then. Asian people played roles as servants and idiots, and they were usually white people playing the parts of Asians. Bruce Lee became a leading man with whom non-Asian people could identify, but he was the first I can think of. Even he got turned down for the part David Carradine played in Kung Fu. Producers thought he wouldn't be accepted by the majority of Americans.

There are also Germans around here who have to sort of hide their heritage. They may call themselves Dutch and open Dutch pastry shops. German pastry just won't sell.

My Grandmother is dead now, but she did not complain much about her ordeal. My aunt and other family friends I've met down-play the discrimination they faced. The Japanese are known for being sort of "quiet" about this, but some of us think even this is a stereo-type. I'm not trying to come-off as bitter, but I do think high school students these days need to know about this history.

Beyond that, I think there is enough we can all share in common as humans. There is good literature from many cultures which touches us, regardless of our color.

bis bald,

Nick

You make a good point, Nick…

Jameson's picture

It doesn’t seem at all fair that the families of those men who fought in the war were interned; personally I wish there could have been a better system of screening ‘potential threats’, which gave special dispensation to families that had clearly demonstrated their loyalty to America.

Certainly it’s true that a far greater number of Japanese Americans were interned during the war than German Americans or Italian Americans (about 10:1), and I think there is a case for unwarranted prejudice, and that Reagan’s apology was deserved.

Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio were true-blue Americans, Nick – I don’t think they needed to prove themselves as patriots.

My Nan, a Canadian, recounted many stories of her German mother having to steel herself during the war against all manner of prejudice, but I don’t recall her ever being bitter about it. She was rational enough to understand the attitudes of those families who were losing sons to the wretched krauts.

I fear I have offended you with the “yellow” slur. I’d ask you to keep the epithet in context of your discussion regarding those dirty bastards who declared war on the West.

Nick: "Do you hate the

NickOtani's picture

Nick: "Do you hate the Americans who put Japanese people living in American in relocation centers, violating their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

Nope, that was a fair call given the context. It was sad that most of them were loyal to the US, but desperate situations call for harsh measures. Maybe if we interned the Muslims they'd start speaking up and defining themselves as patriots who love America and abhor Muslim terrorists.

It's good that you respect the second generation Japanese Americans who fought for America, but you think it's okay that their parents and family members were deprived of their rights. You think it was a fair call. We were at war also with Germans and Italians, but they didn't have yellow skin. Was it fair that the Japanese were sent to relocation centers while Frank Sinatra and Joe Dimagio weren't?

bis bald,

Nick

Sorry, dropped off my radar...

Jameson's picture

Nick: "Do you hate the Americans who put Japanese people living in American in relocation centers, violating their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

Nope, that was a fair call given the context. It was sad that most of them were loyal to the US, but desperate situations call for harsh measures. Maybe if we interned the Muslims they'd start speaking up and defining themselves as patriots who love America and abhor Muslim terrorists.

Nick: "My father fought to secure those rights in the 442nd division during WWII. Do you include him, because he is Japanese, in the group you denounce as yellow skinned bastards?"

Your father was a hero in my books. The Nisei volunteers were famous for their “Go for Broke” bravery and staunch loyalty to America - appropriate that their emblem was Liberty’s torch.

Nick: "If your kids make friends with Arabs or Japanese people, would you be okay with that?"

Yep, provided they met certain moral guidelines, or were at the very least open to reason. I have every confidence that my girls, Isabella and Camille, will develop the necessary tools for making this discrimination themselves.

Nick: "...yet you characterize all Asians as yellow skinned bastards"

I didn't actually: I called them cunts and yellow bastards and I was referring to those Asians slaughtering Americans (of all races and creeds) who were fighting for our freedom. Try not to drop the context, Mr. Bis Bald, especially when you create it.

Korean slave workers

michael fasher's picture

didnt the Japanes have Korean slaves on Iwo Jima,I know they had large numbers of Okinawin slaves on Okinawa

I'd like to hear an answer too

NickOtani's picture

But, I guess, if Jameson doesn't want to reply, I understand.

bis bald,

Nick

Nice work there Nick!

Rick Giles's picture

Still there, Glenn?

The people are waiting for your reply.

Do all "yellow skinned bastards" attack rights?

NickOtani's picture

Okay, so you hate everyone who attacks the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Do you hate the Americans who put Japanese people living in American in relocation centers, violating their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Not every member of the groups you denounce is guilty of attacking rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, yet you characterize all Asians as yellow skinned bastards. My father fought to secure those rights in the 442nd division during WWII. Do you include him, because he is Japanese, in the group you denounce as yellow skinned bastards? If your kids make friends with Arabs or Japanese people, would you be okay with that?

bis bald,

Nick

I hate everyone

Jameson's picture

who attacks the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...

Are you serious?

NickOtani's picture

Although I can't respect bigotry, which I think is irrational by definition, I respect you for being honest, not just trying to play me in some way. I'd like to know a little more about your bigotry. Is it just for groups of people associated with attacks on America, or is it for all non-Americans? Is it for all people who disagree with you on some issue? Do you think some humans are less than human, less than rational creatures who deserve natural rights? I'm anxious for you to respond to my post The Bigot at the Bar, which is now on the Dissent forum. You also haven't responded yet to a few other of my posts on that forum, like my asking you what guides that initial choice to be rational.

bis bald,

Nick

Yes...

Jameson's picture

there was a certain element of that in Flags, but I didn't come out of it feeling sorry for the yellow bastards... oh, and yes Nick, I am a bigot.... Smiling

Both of these movies are

Erik Christensen's picture

Both of these movies are morally repugnant because Eastwood tries to give moral equivalence to both imperialistic Japan with the USA. The fact is, both sides were not morally equivalent, but it was only the USA who was morally in the right. Of course, being the Anarcho-Libertarian Eastwood is, is it no wonder he re-wrote the epistemological history of WWII with lies?

Are you a bigot?

NickOtani's picture

You sound a lot like those committed Japanese soldiers who condemned anyone not as patriotic as they. Not all of them were like that. And, I don't paint all Muslims with the same broad brush.

I once posted something called The Bigot at the Bar. It was removed from the Objectivist Living board, but it might still be on RoR. It is certainly on the Atlas Society's general discussion forum, and it is on my board. Have you read it? I think I will post it next in the dissent forum.

bis bald,

Nick

Sounds like appeasing bullshit to me...

Jameson's picture

Let's get something straight here, Nick: the WWII Japs were fucking cunts; expansionist, blood-thirsty, death-loving cunts!!! Sound like another group we hold in utter contempt?

I saw Flags of Our Fathers and liked it. Haven't seen this one yet... not sure I will now. I expected more from Hollywood's only libertarian director.

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