July 31, 2014
Poseidon of the East (30)
One way to read Atsuyu is as a politician who rose high riding the tide of public opinion and thought he was on top of the world when the wave disappeared out from under him.
From the early days of the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government was challenged by a series of attempted coups carried out by high-minded idealists and ideologues who always pledged ultimate fidelity to the emperor. Although put down in short order, these insurrections proved popular in the public imagination and had the effect of pushing the government further and further to the right in an effort to outflank public sentiment.
The high-water mark was undoubtedly the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was celebrated with wild acclaim. The Japanese public thought it was the final act of a hot war with the east and a cold war with the west that had stretched on for a decade. It was in fact only the beginning of an unimaginably bloody end.