August 12 (1945)

Title: August 12 (1945). Originally in Japanese and then translated in English by Hikaru Tajima.

Ownership of Document: The National Security Archive, George Washington University.

Type of Primary Document: Diary of Sokichi Takagi.

Unique Physical Characteristics: The diary entry appears to be typed by way of typewriter which is different from most diaries because they are usually handwritten.

Date(s) of Document: August 12, 1945.

Author of Document: Sokichi Takagi, Rear Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Audience of Document: The audience was mainly for Takagi because it seemed to just be a daily recording of events and thoughts of his own.

Key Information About This Primary Source: 3 Things the Author Said That I Found to be Important. A. The first thing that I saw that was important in this diary was on the second page of the diary was,” It may be inappropriate to put it in this way, but the atomic bombs and the Soviet entry into the war are, in a sense, God’s gifts.”

The second thing that I see as being important is on page 3 of the diary,” I have long been advocating the conclusion, not because I am afraid of the enemy’s attacks or because of the atomic bombs or the Soviet participation in the war.”

The third thing that is important is on page 3 and it says,” The most important reason is my concern over the domestic situation.”

B. Why I Think the Author Wrote the Document. I think that this document was written for the benefit of the person writing down his daily life’s events. It served his purpose of him being able to write down his interactions with others and his opinions on matters that were going on around him.

C. Evidence in the Document That Helps Me Know Why it was Written. On the 2nd page to 3rd page, Takagi is voicing his own views and opinions about the war which shows his writings on a more personal level. You can see his own views about the war with this phrase,” I have long been advocating for the conclusion” and you can also possibly get a glimpse at the personality of Takagi with the comment on the 2nd page,” If they suggest that they are not sure whether they can succeed, I think you should stop being lenient and dismiss both the Chief and the Vice Chief, then install Ozawa.” I think by looking at the way he writes it just shows that he was just recording his events in his life.

D. Two Things the Document Tells Me About Life in the Place and at the Time it Was Written. At least for Takagi, life wasn’t that bad considering most of the people in the world were in a state of suffering. His writing doesn’t give us a glimpse of any type of suffering or dismay in his area that he is in so it would seem that life is going to normal. The one thing that you can see that hints towards some form of dismay that at least concerns Takagi is something that he refers to as the domestic situation although he doesn’t really go into detail of what that is.

E. A Question For the Audience As I mentioned above, Takagi mentions something called “the domestic situation”. So my question is what is the domestic situation that Takagi is talking about? Because to him, this is more of a concern than the atomic bombs or the Soviet entry into the war.

Dalton J. Long, University of Oklahoma, March 1, 2018.

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