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How Japan’s Death Cult Led to Hiroshima

27 May @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

How Japan's Death Cult Led to Hiroshima

In the 1930s Japan developed a death cult, whose origins lay in a government-directed propaganda campaign after the overthrow of the Shogunate in 1868, when the ruling military cliques restored an Imperial system of government with Emperor Meiji as the Godhead central to the constitution and spiritual life of the nation.

A bastardised Bushido cult emerged, combined with a Social-Darwinist belief in Japan’s manifest destiny to dominate Asia. In the Pacific War (1941-45) this resulted in the murderous brutality of Japanese forces (including in their treatment of POWs and civilians) and a kamikaze ethos.

Francis Pike, author of Hirohito’s War, The Pacific War, 1941-1945 [Bloomsbury 2015] examines the rise of this death cult and concludes that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were used to bring the war to a speedy end and to save the lives of American troops, not, as has been argued, to prevent Soviet entry into the war against Japan.


27 May
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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16-18 Queen Square
Bath, Bath & North East Somerset BA1 2HN United Kingdom
01225 312084
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