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I’ve spent most of today reading Embracing Defeat, John Dower’s excellent, Pulitzer winning tome about the American occupation of Japan. More commentary will follow on it, but I was stunned by this beautiful photograph on page 166. Dower describes it as “witty and sad, naturalistic and contrived, erotic and strangely innocent, just the bittersweet ambiance of life on the margins in a defeated land.” It was taken by Hayashi Tadahiko, and is one of many of his photographs that appear in Dower’s book. It is quite simply an amazing photograph. Here are a couple more:

Orphans in the street during the Occupation

Sakaguchi Ango, novelist