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Rokuro Hidaka, Japan’s voice of conscience, silenced at 101

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When Japan initiated war with the United States with its Dec. 7, 1941, attack (Dec. 8, Japan time) on Pearl Harbor, Rokuro Hidaka, a noted sociologist after hostilities ended, was a university student.

Following news of the attack, frissons of tension and unease spread among Japanese university students as they faced the prospect of being forced into early graduation and called up for military service.

But many university professors in Japan reacted quite differently to the outbreak of war.

Hidaka heard academics at his university talk about “feeling refreshed” as uncertainty over the course of the nation’s relationship with the United States had finally come to an end. They also said “the sky had cleared up as the dark low-hung clouds had disappeared,” according to........

© The Asahi Shimbun