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‘Why? Why Did She Dare?’
Yankee Hobo in the Orient: Dollar Edition by John Patric
© 2019 James LaFond
Condensed in The Reader’s Digest and in world Digest of England
512 pages
Over 100 Pictures and Maps
7th edition published in 1945 by Doubleday
Previously published as “Why Japan was Strong”
The review copy autographed to Barbara and Glen Blonquist in honor of Glenn’s Adventure [Glen being a PT-Boat crewman wounded in action and decorated in the South Pacific.]
Some portions of this book had bene published in National Geographic Magazine. The author was a popular writer out of Frying Pan Creek, Oregon.
Each chapter relating adventures ranging from pedestrian, to erotic to mysterious is titled, sometimes with a quote from the text:
Page 82
Chapter Eight
“Where,” Ask the Cops, “Did You Sleep Last Night?”
My first day in Japan I walked popeyed about Yokohama, until my tired feet could take me no farther. Thereupon I rested a while and walked again, until the late-falling darkness of an early summer night.”
What follows are believable activities and observations, along with local folk lore, some history, a map of the region and everyday conditions encountered by the pre-WWII wandering American
My favorite chapters, 23 and 24, are devoted to the island of Hokkaido, home of the prehistoric race, known as the Ainu, which is overlooked as a matter of convenience by the majority of modern academics.
The book wanders towards a close in China, discussing handicrafts and packed with sympathetic depictions of the Chinese. On page 441, in Chapter Thirty-Nine, covering prostitution, tourism, mass imprisonments, criminality and drug use as the author traveled with an escort of U. S. Marines, he muses:
“Could it be that the State is almost never the People, but is instead an ingenious way of making us think we are the State? …But when people cease to think of themselves as being the State, the State falls—so how can we ever know?”
On page 498 begins The Story of the Book, with a topless Japanese babe as the graphic, and explains in small print how the author collected his information and how facts he related about Japanese cruelty and jails were deleted, information that would not be permitted in print by private American publishing houses until it served national interests. It seems that media-government collusion is nothing new under the American sun.
On the inside back cover is comic lettering box that states the historic military truth that Japan could not have possibly won WWII, with fewer resources than California and poses the question, why? The implication is that the cultural perspective gained by the Yankee Hobo’s visit held the clue, including a military exhibit in Japan depicting the nation being beleaguered by Russia and America.
Thanks to Brody Blonquist for the loan of this fascinating book.
Man Gearing
That Metaphysical Moment
author's notebook
the first boxers
broken dance
the lesser angels of our nature
Shep     Jan 24, 2019

Legend was that the Ainu made up the majority of the Imperial Jap Marines, because legend had it that the IJMs all had to be six feet tall or better. Don't know if either legend is true.
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