The Emperor's Flower Petals

On June 14, 1944, Taruo Kawacuchi, one of the defenders of Saipan, wrote in his diary: "The enemy has landed and the time has come at last. An impressive ceremony for our country was carried out at the Saipan Shrine."

Thereafter, as the merciless U.S. advance continued, Kawacuchi, a corpsman in a division hospital, made daily entries in his diary. He recorded, as well as it has been done anywhere, the strange mixture of animal courage and fatalism which motivates the U.S. enemy in the Pacific. This week, as a still greater Jap...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!