JAPAN: A Rural Tragedy

For many generations Ichiro Ishikawa's ancestors had lived in Ueno, a remote, semifeudal village in Shizuoka prefecture. Ueno's rich, black volcanic soil yielded rice, corn, sweet potatoes and garden vegetables. There were nightingales, cuckoos, profusely blooming wild chrysanthemums; and, in summer, gorgeous swarms of red dragonflies. Life in Ueno was good.

Ballots v. Fireworks. Yet Ichiro Ishikawa had troubles. Once he had owned more than three acres of forest land, paddies and dry rice field. The U.S. occupiers had taken his woodland for SCAP's land reform program. Then, in drinking and gambling on...

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