I'm inordinately pleased. In the midst of the hell of trying to pack to move and working on another translation project and having a final stab at Himiko (sleep? who needs it — I have COFFEE!) the finished version of a recent translation project has shown up. Of course, I have to talk about it.
The work is one of the projects that I'm quite interested in, and it's one of the translation assignments I was most particularly pleased with — not so much for the job aspect, but because of what the assignment was. As I told someone once, this wasn't a job, it was a mission.
The work in question is a book called The Tokyo Trials and the Truth of "Pal's Judgment" by Prof. Watanabe Shôichi, a man I would very much like to meet some day. Allow me to briefly quote from the introduction to the book, and from a short "about the book" notice:
Regardless of what you know (or think you know) about World War Two, take a few hours (it’s a short book) and read this examination of the opinion of one of the judges whose job it was to decide the facts. Maybe... just maybe... you might find an opinion or two changed a bit.Few in the West are familiar with the name Radhabinod Pal. This is a pity.
Pal, a contemporary of Gandhi and Neru, was an Indian jurist who was noted for his attention to legal detail and his devotion to the rule of law. He was the Indian representative on the bench of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (better known as the Tokyo Trials), which was MacArthur’s answer to the Nuremberg Trials.
Of the eleven judges at the Tokyo Trials, only Pal had specialized in international law. At the general meeting of the Association of International Law in 1937, he was inaugurated as one of the association’s chairmen. (Afterward, he was also twice elected chairman of the United Nations International Law Commission — serving in 1958, and again from 1962 to 1967.) Many of the other justices, in fact, were no longer active jurists, but rather politicians in the various nations of the Allied Powers who had returned to the bench from their official governmental positions.
The critical factor, though, that makes Justice Pal so noteworthy, and makes him truly stand out from his ten colleagues, is that his was the lone dissenting voice in the convictions of Japan’s accused Class-A war criminals. Basing his position strictly on the law and the rules of evidence, Pal maintained that the Tokyo Trials were in error.
What was the result of his dissent?
By diktat from the GHQ, his verdict was not allowed to be published in Japan during the period of occupation, and it was not publicized in the West. To this day, Pal’s Judgment (as it ultimately came to be called) remains virtually unknown outside Japan; inside Japan, it is the subject of considerable debate.
Pal wrote his own dissentient verdict wherein he explained his position, meticulously documenting each and every point of disagreement and providing a detailed history of the War back through Japan’s involvement in China in the 1920s. For his pains and efforts, after the trial his views were censored by SCAP, his verdict lay unpublished, and his arguments went unheard.
In this book, The Truth of “Radhabinod Pal’s Judgment,” author Watanabe Shôichi condenses Pal’s lengthy and occasionally complex arguments down to an easily digested and quick read. ...
Only in the past few years has Pal’s Judgment come to be disseminated, though it is still virtually unknown in the West. It is possible that, with a judicious reading of Watanabe’s book, readers having an unbiased eye and a mind willing to accept that not all may have been as we were told may even come to acknowledge the same thing that none other than Douglas MacArthur himself admitted when he spoke before Congress in 1951 that, “Their purpose ... in going to war was largely dictated by security.”
You can download the entire book (it’s only 120 pages) in PDF from the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact. Here is a direct link to the PDF file: http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/63_S4.pdf
(Oh... the LJ is sengokudaimyo.livejournal.com )