War Fantasy

War Fantasy

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  • May, 18 , 23

Account of the Future US-Japan War was a 119-page paperback novel published in Japan in 1933. The novel, authored by retired naval officer Kyosuke Fukunaga, detailed a scenario in which the Imperial Japanese Navy could destroy the US Pacific Fleet in the early days of a hypothetical conflict between the two nations. Despite being a work of fiction, and being cheap and cheerful in presentation, the book was taken quite seriously in Japan, as evidenced by forewords appearing in the opening pages:


As might have been expected, Mr. Fukunaga’s fluent pen has well portrayed future warfare. I hope that this book will bring home to its readers the great importance that control of the air bears to national defense in this day and time.

Kanji Kato, Admiral, Imperial Japanese Navy, Member – Supreme Military Council November 1933


Mr. Kyosuke Fukunaga’s Account of the Future War between Japan and the United States is extremely interesting to me by virtue of the fact that its author is a naval officer. I read this story through without once laying the book aside. It is needless to say that it is most interesting as a novel, but what especially impressed me was the fact that although the author has been separated from active service for many years, he has such a complete knowledge of ever-developing modern naval tactics. Consequently, this book should be of interest to the general public as well as to naval specialists, particularly as it contains various hints [of what may be expected in such a war as the author depicts]. I greatly regret that, in view of my present position as commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy, I cannot express any exhaustive comments on this work because of the relation that exists between the contents thereof and military secrets. However, I believe that I can say this much with propriety: if we can be victorious in this way, it would indeed be delightful. Furthermore, any commander in chief who could have a man like Mr. Fukunaga as his chief of staff would indeed by very much heartened.

Nobumasa Suetsugu, Vice Admiral, Imperial Japanese Navy, Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet


The book was exported to the US and sold in Japanese-language bookstores in Honolulu, Hawaii, later that year, where it was quickly discovered and translated by the US customs service, then confiscated and banned.

So why did the book cause so much consternation in the US? Why did it receive such praise from several of the most powerful men in the Japanese navy? For more, check out Japanese War Fantasy 1933: An Edited and Annotated Translation of "Account of the Future US-Japan War" by Kyosuke Fukunaga, edited by Jamie Bisher.
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