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Rhode Island’s “Victory [Over Japan] Day” Holiday May Fall Victim To Ongoing Historical Purge

Rhode Island’s “Victory [Over Japan] Day” Holiday May Fall Victim To Ongoing Historical Purge

“But amid the national reckoning on racism, those calls [to change the name] have been renewed … some downtown Providence shops are taking part in a campaign called #RenameVictoryDay and have signs in their windows suggesting the holiday be called “Mayor’s Bay Day,” “Lobster Roll Day,” or “Surf and Sand Day.””

Every year we remember Victory Over Japan Day, later known as VJ Day, now celeberated only in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, with the shortened more politically correct name “Victory Day” because apparently historically accurately remembering over whom we had a victory is forbidden.

This year I missed the Rhode Island holiday, which is the second Monday in August, because it came earlier in the month (August 10) given how the calendar fell than usual. Today, August 15, is the actual day Japan’s Emperor broadcast surrender and the true Victory Day (the formal surrender papers were signed on September 2, 1945).


Scroll through the Victory Day tag for our prior coverage.

This video from 3 years ago gives some background:

This could be the last Victory Day in Rhode Island, as part of the movement to erase history sweeping the country. AP reports:

Rhode Islanders are renewing the push to change the state’s unique but controversial Victory Day holiday, which is being observed Monday….

Over the years, there have been unsuccessful efforts by state leaders to discontinue or rename the holiday amid concerns that the day, which is sometimes referred to as “V-J Day” or “Victory Over Japan Day,” carries negative connotations, WPRI-TV reports.

But amid the national reckoning on racism, those calls have been renewed. An online petition launched last month suggests changing the name to something more inclusive such as “Celebrate Rhode Day.”

The Providence Journal reports that some downtown Providence shops are taking part in a campaign called #RenameVictoryDay and have signs in their windows suggesting the holiday be called “Mayor’s Bay Day,” “Lobster Roll Day,” or “Surf and Sand Day.”

It’s not clear what will happen. The Providence Journal reports that political leaders are mostly giving a “no comment’ on the subject:

The Journal last week reached out to a dozen of the state’s high-ranking elected officials and 2020 candidates for their takes on whether Victory Day is ripe for a change.

Gov. Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio all had the same response: no comment.

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner “believes it is appropriate to celebrate the end of the second world war as a victory over fascism,” spokesman Evan England wrote in en email. “Thousands of Rhode Islanders sacrificed themselves for the cause of democracy, and their example is especially important today given the troubling rise of extremism and totalitarianism both abroad and at home.”

Even Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, who has waded into cultural battles before (he has proposed reparations for Black and indigenous city residents) steered clear of the Victory Day debate.

With Governor Gina Raimondo seeking to remove “Providence Plantations” from the state name, even though historically it had nothing to do with slavery, it’s only a matter of time.

The Featured Image if from a video of Victory Day in Hawaii we play every year.


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This is marxist cancel kulture in full throttle mode. One of the first parts of the “marxist revolution” is to cancel the history of the past. No history, no path to remember the totalitarians murdered 100 million opponents. No prior reference point to acknowledge the superiority of the American way of life. And the on-going riots, portrayed by the fellow traveler media as “response to systemic racism, are the next phase. The fellow traveler media want people to believe the rioters “represent 50%” of the population when they actually are only a few thousand. The rioters in Seattle, Portland and the west coast are mostly white. The looters in Chicongo are black and just opportunists. Unless and until people start dropping these rioters in their tracks, this nonsense will continue.

JusticeDelivered | August 15, 2020 at 8:14 pm

There is no doubt in my mind that nuking Japan was in our best interest. Japan started the ware, we finished it.

Japan had been exceptionally brutal, abusing our POWs. They are really lucky that American did not continue to produce nuks to immediately use to take out more of their cities.

Long before China stealing American intellectual property, Japan was doing so. The same was true with unsavory business practices.

I am not suggesting that we reject Japan now, but it is always wise to understand history.

    Japan had been exceptionally brutal, abusing our POWs. They are really lucky that American did not continue to produce nuks to immediately use to take out more of their cities.

    After they had already surrendered?! That would have been an act of barbarism on a par with anything they or the Germans did.

    That’s why we didn’t drop a bomb on Germany. By the time we had the bomb they’d already surrendered, and it is not acceptable to do that.

      Louis Davout in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2020 at 5:28 am

      Just stow it for once… That is not the message I garnered…

        Milhouse in reply to Louis Davout. | August 17, 2020 at 11:30 am

        That is exactly what he wrote. If you didn’t “garner” it, whatever that is supposed to mean, the problem is with you. JusticeDelivered is constantly writing such barbaric things, almost as if he were a leftist moby, looking to gain support for the most outrageous things so he can point to this as a “hate site” or some such thing.

        Once an enemy has surrendered you cannot bomb them any more. No matter how much they deserve it.

    FOTin1943 in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    My Dad worked for Westinghouse Electric outside Pittburgh PA, including the WWII years; war-related manufacturing was done there. After WWII I remember him and other neighbors who worked at the wame plant talk about “Japanese Junk” because it copied, pilfered, etc. (and sold at lesser prices) Westinghouse’s and others products.

Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender on the radio at noon 75 years ago today. Legal Insurrection is the first (and only) place I’ve seen it mentioned.

My wife is Japanese and our children are half Japanese and I say “Hell No!” don’t rename it.

Almost every year in August people I talk with can’t believe I think dropping the atomic bombs was absolutely the right thing to do.

At the end of the war, my wife’s father was a child being trained in school along with his classmates to attack invading allied troops with sharpened bamboo poles. Living in Kyushu (the southernmost of the four main islands and the point where the invasion was planned to begin) he might have very well ended up dead.

My wife’s mother was born nine months after my wife’s grandfather, who’d been given up for dead, walked back into his hometown to his wife and children.

It was a terrible time in Japan’s culture. They did horrific things. They needed to be forced into unconditional surrender.

Hours AFTER the Japanese listened to the emperor announce surrender on the radio, this is what happened to U.S. POW’s in my wife’s hometown of Fukuoka at Mount Aburayama. It’s a large hilly area now popular for having picnics and barbecues. I’ve been there. But I had no idea of the atrocity that had been committed there against our troops, hours after the emperor announced surrender on August 15. Dear Rhode Islanders, think of these men when you’re asked to change the name. Thanks to LI for remembering the 75th anniversary.

“At 3:00 in the afternoon of August 15, 1945, a truck filled with Japanese soldiers and seventeen blindfolded and handcuffed Americans drove out the front gate of Western Army Headquarters in Fukuoka, Japan. Three hours earlier, the Japanese guards had listened to the emperor read a statement ending the Pacific war. The truck arrived at the Aburayama execution grounds at 3:30. The soldiers ordered the American prisoners, all captured pilots or flight crew, out of the truck. Weak from six weeks of poor diet and little exercise, the prisoners quietly obeyed. They were led to a neighboring field bordered with bamboo groves and made to sit in the late afternoon sun. After a brief discussion, the Japanese divided into groups and stationed themselves at four different sites around the field. The first three execution squads were led by Lt. Noboru Hashiyama, an officer attached to the headquarters unit, and lieutenants Teruo Akamine and Ichiro Maeda, both assigned to the Air Defense Section of Western Army Headquarters. Leading the fourth was a probationary officer from the Guerrilla Unit, which was made up of officers receiving guerrilla warfare training at Fukuoka.

One by one, the prisoners were led to the different sites and made to sit with their legs extended out front. At one end of the field, Hashiyama beheaded the first prisoner with two strokes of his sword. Nearby, Akamine also executed a prisoner. Behind a bamboo thicket, the shouts of Maeda’s squad and the probationary officers filled the air as they began executing their eight prisoners. Col. Yoshinao Sato, chief of the Air Defense and Air Intelligence Unit, along with his aide, Lt. Hiroji Nakayama, arrived just as the executions began. Hashiyama asked Sato if he would permit Nakayama, who was known as an expert on bushido, to participate. Sato ordered his aide to instruct the young officers in the correct procedure.

Nakayama explained that “etiquette, according to old customs, demanded that the neck not be completely severed; this was supposed to be insulting to the person being beheaded.” To demonstrate, Nakayama drew his sword and washed it in water from a bucket. Then, moving quickly toward a prisoner, he cut the man’s throat from the side through the neck artery, killing the flyer at once but leaving the neck not entirely severed. Then, before the man fell to the ground, Nakayama swung the sword around and cut the flyer’s neck from the front, still not entirely cleaving the head. According to Nakayama, this was “the true method of execution as I have read in books of old Japanese customs.” Upon Sato’s request, he executed a second prisoner in the same manner.

Meanwhile, Maeda, in the bamboo grove, executed one flyer and presided over the executions of three others. To their right, still in the bamboo, the probationary officers killed the remaining prisoners. According to a second-class private, Yasuo Motomura, one of the flyers at that location was struck with “karate blows around the diaphragm. The prisoner fell down groaning with pain, but immediately tried to run away. At that instant the prisoner was cut down with a sword.” Within minutes, all seventeen American prisoners lay dead upon the ground. All had been killed by sword blows to the neck. Their bodies were covered with grass mats and loaded on the truck for transportation to the crematorium. Word was also passed that all persons who participated in the executions should keep silent, clean their swords, “and see that blood or small pieces of bone had not remained on it… to be sure that no evidence of the execution remained on it.”

    DaveGinOly in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 15, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Excellent short video here recounting the final days of the Japanese Empire, the dropping of the atomic bombs, and the preparations for the drop of a third bomb when it seemed Japan would fight on:

    The maker of the video, Mark Felton, does some great, short-format videos of interesting and obscure military history, most about WW II, venturing now and then into other time periods. Check out this example about the Second Korean War:

      DaveGinOly in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 15, 2020 at 9:50 pm

      Felton asks at the end of the first video for people to leave answer the question: Would you have dropped the third bomb?

      Here was my reply:

      A leader’s principle duty is to accomplish his mission with the least expenditure of the lives of his troops and his people. The leader is under no obligation to avoid causing the deaths of his enemy’s troops and civilians (who are similarly under the protection of the enemy’s leadership), when avoiding those deaths would sacrifice this principle. That is to stay, a leader’s duty is to the greatest extent possible preserve the lives of his own people even at the expense of the lives of his enemies, and to only consider the lives of his enemies when such consideration is consistent with the first principle and as tactical practicality and strategic necessity permits.

      As Truman, I would have dropped the third bomb.

      LukeHandCool in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 16, 2020 at 3:54 am

      Thanks for the links!

    JusticeDelivered in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 15, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Loss of life on both sides would have very high if we had taken the route of invading Japan. A large number of Japanese children would have died as young soldiers.

      LukeHandCool in reply to JusticeDelivered. | August 16, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Yes. The invasion would have been a blood bath. Look at the numbers for Okinawa … they would’ve been dwarfed.

      In addition, historians best estimates are that for every month the war continued, between 250,000 and 400,000 Asians would die as a result of the Japanese occupation. Every single month.

    healthguyfsu in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 15, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    I appreciate all of the context, but let’s just keep this simple as to why we have nothing to be sorry about.

    -Japan, under a horrible totalitarian regime, started this by attacking us
    -We finished it and netted US and Japanese lives
    -We also sent the Germans a message that probably saved many European lives as well.
    -The only thing we have to be sorry for is weak and infiltrated Dem leadership that sent this information and prototypes to Russia.

    Sanddog in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 15, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    A friend of the family lived in Hiroshima. Her father owned factories and was told it might be a good idea to take the family out to the countryside. That’s how she survived and is still alive today at age 87. Does she blame American for nuking her home town? Not at all. She fully understands why we did it and holds no ill will towards America. She even married an American diplomat and became a naturalized citizen.

    Milhouse in reply to LukeHandCool. | August 16, 2020 at 12:21 am

    Did they face justice for this?

      LukeHandCool in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      Sadly, not really. I spent a day or so trying to find as much information about this and other incidents around the same time in my wife’s hometown of Fukuoka when I first learned about it.

      It seems most involved were given prison sentences, but were let out early soon after the Chinese Communist Revolution for political purposes.

      I also found that eight American POWs were executed on the grounds of my wife’s high school in June of 1945.

      Fukuoka is also the location of the University of Kyushu where all but one of the crew of a downed B-29 (the pilot was sent to Tokyo) were killed in gruesome medical experiments.

      There were a lot of POW encampments in my wife’s hometown, and a lot of atrocities took place there.

      This also took place at Mt. Aburayama, on August 11, four days before the surrender:

      “At 8:30 A.M., a truck pulled up to the rear of Western Army District Headquarters. Thirty-two men got into the back and sat down. Eight of them were Americans. The rest were Japanese soldiers. The truck went out through the rear gate and down the road to a place called Aburayama, several miles south of Fukuoka City. In a field surrounded by dense undergrowth, the prisoners were led down from the back of the vehicle and arranged in a loose line. They were stripped to shorts or pants and forced to watch as Japanese soldiers began to dig several large holes in the ground. The Americans said nothing to each other.

      Shortly after 10:00 A.M., a first lieutenant from a Japanese unit training for guerrilla warfare stepped down forward and brandished a gleaming silver sword. As one of the Americans was prodded forward and forced to a kneeling position, the Japanese officer wet his finger and ran it across the sharp edge of his weapon. Then he looked down at the bowed head of the prisoner and gauged the distance. Suddenly his sword flashed in the sun and crashed against the bared neck. It cut nearly all the way through to the Adam’s apple.

      The line of captives silently watched their comrade die. Some turned away. Others saw the body roll sideways onto the grass.

      A second flier was pushed forward to be killed. A third, a fourth was decapitated. The fifth one was butchered by an executioner who required two strokes to sever the head.

      The Japanese officers introduced a new torture on the sixth prisoner. He was brought in front of a group of spectators and held with his arms behind his back. A Japanese ran toward the American and smashed him in the stomach with the side of his hand. The flier slumped forward but was pulled upright again to receive another karate blow. Three, four times, the powerful chops to the body were repeated. When the victim did not die, his head was cut off.

      The seventh prisoner suffered the same cruelty from men practicing the art of killing with their bare hands. When he too survived the vicious karate, one of the officers, angered by his own failure, rushed up and kicked him in the testicles. The prisoner fell to the ground, his face contorted by nausea and pain. He pleaded, “Wait, wait,” but his tormentors had no pity. He was pulled into a kneeling position while the captors debated another manner of execution. They settled on kesajiri. Another sword glinted in the sun over the bowed form and cut down through his left shoulder and into the lungs. The American died in a froth of blood.

      The last prisoner had seen seven men hacked to death before his eyes. His last moments were a blurred image of blood, steel slashing through skin and bones, cries of pain from his friends and shouts of glee from his enemies. Now he knew it was his turn. He was pushed into the center of the maddened group of soldiers, who made him sit down on the ground. His hands were tied behind him. Ten feet away, another officer from a guerrilla unit raised a bow and placed an arrow on it. The American watched as the Japanese pulled it back, sighted on him, and let go. The arrow came at his head and missed. Three times the officer shot at the American, and the third arrow hit him just over the left eye. Blood spurted out and down his face.

      Tired of the sport, his captors prodded him into the familiar kneeling position and chopped his head from his body. On the field of Aburayama, eight torsos stained the meadow grass.”

We can say it millions of times: but until we take start taking back our schools from the malignant freaks investing them, abandon all hope.

“Rhode Islanders are renewing the push to change the state’s unique but controversial Victory Day holiday, which is being observed Monday….”

Actually, AP is upset that Schicklgruber and his band of merry socialists lost WWII.

December 7th can be renamed “Somebody Did Something Day.”
(Native-born and raised in Rhode Island here. Been on the Left Coast now for some 29 years now but for a one-year stint in NH around 2000.)

    henrybowman in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 18, 2020 at 3:09 am

    Juet call it “Reparations Day” and get it over with. No reason to waste effort going through the traditional mummery of having socialists rename it to several other things before inevitably getting there.

Call it American Technology Day.

Words have meaning. It’s called Victory over Japan Day. Less than this is inaccurate revisionist history. Typical Leftist tripe.

    Milhouse in reply to Romey. | August 16, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Victory Day is a better name, because it celebrates our victory on both fronts. On Aug 15 the war was over, and we won. If this day celebrates only the victory over Japan then why not have a holiday on V-E Day too?

      FOTin1943 in reply to Milhouse. | August 17, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      No … 2 days to be remembered: VE Day and VJ Day. I grew up in the Pittsburgh PA area knowing what those days were and what awful times they concluded; among our families and friends and neighbors we counted those women and men who served in the military (and supported the USA at home). To put those 2 days into a single one is toooooo much like what the USA sadly did in sweeping aside Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday into that single, often-ignored “Presidents'” Day – except for government employees getting paid to not work.

The father of a friend of mine worked on the Manhattan Project. In later years when he would (often) be asked whether he had any regrets he would answer, “Yes, I have one regret: That we couldn’t get it done in time to drop on Germany”.

Serious question because I don’t know the answer: Do they still say that we shouldn’t question their patriotism? I used to hear that often 10-20 years ago. “How dare you question our patriotism?” I don’t recall hearing it lately; is that just my tuning them out, or are they now OK with it, having officially renounced patriotism?

    LukeHandCool in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I remember watching the late, great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan around this time of the year many years ago on one of the Sunday morning news talk shows.

    A couple of the guests voiced their doubts that the atomic bombings were necessary.

    Then Moynihan spoke. Paraphrasing as best as I can remember, he said,

    “I was a young marine at the time preparing for the initial invasion of Japan. There were no preparations to bring us home … because most of us wouldn’t be coming home. It was pretty much a death sentence.”

    Those younger guests who had voiced their condemnation of the atomic bombings remained silent after Moynihan’s words.

    The unwise certitude that comes with the privilege of growing up in comparatively peaceful times brought by the sacrifices of a previous generation.

The Friendly Grizzly | August 16, 2020 at 5:05 am

I’m old enough to remember Armistice Day. I don’t know why it was changed to Veteran’s Day.

First – thanks Coolhandluke for your story – it does provide some context

1) The estimated number of lives saved was approx 2-2.5 million. 500k+ americans , 1m+japanese, 1m+ chinese (the war was still going on in china.
2) The destruction of japanese war culture brought forth a new culture of peace whereby, the current japanese culture is a productive nation

That conversion and germany’s conversion was one of the greatest benefits of Roosevelt/churchill/truman’s demand for unconditional surrender. That result should not be forgotten in vain and in the revisionary history.

    Milhouse in reply to Joe-dallas. | August 16, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    That’s an underestimate, because it doesn’t take into account that had the war dragged on a few years the USSR would have captured more of Japan, and would probably also have won in Greece and Berlin and would be menacing the rest of Europe, leading to many more deaths.

Cinco de Mayo should be eliminated because it is anti-French!

Independence Day should be eliminated because it is anti-British!

Read “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”
by Laura Hillenbrand

The book is excellent. The movie leaves out the “redemption” part because it’s too Christian.

Interesting personal account by a Canadian POW in Japan at the end of the war which I came across today. His thanks to the American pilots who save him and his comrades: