Aftermath Historical Context

Mary Yukari Waters
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Although Waters published "Aftermath" in 2001, the work is set in Japan right after the end of World War II. On August 14, 1945, following several military defeats and the United States' dropping of an atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan's emperor Hirohito surrendered unconditionally to the Allied powers, which included the United States, France, and Great Britain. Japan had been devastated during the war, with all its major cities except for Kyoto suffering from severe bombing damage. Following Japan's surrender, the Allied powers led by the United States occupied Japan from August 1945 through April 1952. General Douglas A. MacArthur was the first supreme commander of the occupation.

In 1947, a new Japanese constitution went into effect, with the emperor losing all political and military power and becoming instead a figurehead (a head of state without real power). The constitution forbade Japan from maintaining an army or leading...

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This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Aftermath Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Aftermath from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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