Ghost of war: the sinking of the Awa maru and Japanese-American relations, 1945-1995

Front Cover
Naval Institute Press, 1997 - History - 373 pages
0 Reviews
Here for the first time is the full story of America's greatest error in the submarine war against Japan and the effect it has had on Japanese-American relations ever since. On the night of 1 April 1945, the USS Queenfish sank the Awa maru, sending more than two thousand men, women, and children to their deaths. The attack occurred despite the United States's guarantee of safe passage to the ship as a carrier of food and medicine to American and Allied prisoners of war. Washington promised to indemnify Tokyo for destroying the passenger-cargo vessel, yet not one penny was paid to the Japanese after the war, and Americans soon forgot about the tragedy. For the Japanese, however, it became a symbol of their victimization in and recovery from the Pacific war. Fluent in Japanese, Roger Dingman draws on extensive archival sources and interviews in Japan and America to tell why this error occurred, what the U.S. Navy and the two governments did to put the disaster behind them, and how radically different American and Japanese public memories of the Pacific war emerged from it. He shows how competition between American and Japanese would-be salvagers of the ship and the treasure it allegedly carried led to the perpetuation of contradictory and flawed understandings of the war.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Relief to the Prisoners
Mission of Mercy
The Queenfish Gets Her Kill

7 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information