Pearl Harbor and Its Spiritual Aftermath

I was born December 5, 1941, two days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into the Second World War.

Many years later I could hardly believe that I was shaking the hand of Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese pilot who had led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Even more astonishing, I met Fuchida at an American church where he had just preached.

After the war Fuchida became a Christian, and then an evangelist, proclaiming the Gospel throughout Japan and the world. Fuchida had been moved by Christian testimonies, and gave his life to Christ after reading a tract by a former American POW in Japan, Jacob DeShazer, who had returned to Japan as a missionary.

DeShazer would not have been there had it not been for the American general who was hailed as Japan’s conqueror, but who also opened the way for the Christian Gospel to enter Japanese society.

General Douglas MacArthur faced immense challenges when he was assigned to help the Japanese rebuild their nation following the devastation of the Second World War. The country’s national pride was broken, government in shambles, economy shattered, and educational system in ruins. Atom bombs had leveled much of the major cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan, MacArthur had been given sweeping powers to reconstruct the society and its infrastructure. MacArthur may not have been a theologian, but he read his Bible daily, carrying it with him everywhere he went. Though he likely knew few details of the doctrine of God’s transcendence, MacArthur intuitively sought to set its principles at the core of the new Japan.

MacArthur felt that “the problem” with the human race and wars “basically is theological.” This, he said, “involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the last two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace Henley