You may spend one month pondering the true meaning of Mitsuo Fuchida’s book titled THAT FOR ONE DAY, like I did by reading and rereading the first five parts of his book until l understood his Japanese way of feeling, thinking and life. After doing that, I started reading the last really significant important life changing sixth part of his book in which he describes experiences which led him to a life changing experience by reading, understanding, accepting and practicing Christianity and Jesus. Prior to this time, in his book, he describes his climb as a Japanese military official who finally became the commander of the 360 Japanese airplanes which bombed Pearl Harbor killing nearly 3,000 Americans.
On the day after his leading the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech in Washington D.C. in which he stated, “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air force of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. The distance of Hawaii from the attack made it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During this intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused sever damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attached Guan. Last night the Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attack Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implication to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all the measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that out people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the inbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph-so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”
On August 6, 1945 the United States of America overcome the Japanese bombing by bombing Hiroshima in which over 80,000 were killed and three days later bombed Nagasaki killing another 40,000 and many thousands more died later as a result of these bombings. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945 citing the divesting power of “a new and most cruel bomb.” I wondered what could ever bring the people of these two great nations together again after such retributive bombings.
Let’s begin with my overview of the first five parts of That For One Day in which the young and inexperienced military officer Mitsuo Fuchida thought that the battleships of Russia, France, Germany, England, United States and Japan, even with big cannons were of no more value in protecting the worlds leading military countries from military encroachments from one another and others than was the road in China or the Pyramids in Egypt to their people. Consequently, he gradually and with relentless determination trained Japanese airplane pilots to surprise bomb enemy country’s battle ships which would help Japanese to ascertain military strength and superiority. It took years of his persistent leadership development coupled with secret training of the growth and development of Japan’s military flying forces transported by aircraft carriers to get ready to accomplish the bombing. Ultimately, Japan recognized Mitsuo Fuchida’s military leadership by empowering him to command 360 airplanes to bomb America’s fleet of battle ships in Pearl Harbor in which over 3000 Americans were killed.
You may read Mitsuo Fuchida’s book, That For One Day about the endless activities and training that enabled him to become the leader of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor or you may read my concise review of his book on this my Don’s Blog in my Harmonyhurst.com website. Of course reading of my concise review of his book can save lots of valuable time and energy because it doesn’t take long to read my concise review of Mitsuo Fuchida’s book and your comments can be made on my website, but if you wish, you may of course purchase your own copy of his book and study it for yourself. In the fifth part of part of his book, he describes Captain Doolittle’s command of 16 American airplanes which bombed Hiroshima killing 80,000 Japanese and Nagasaki killing 40,000 Japanese, not counting those who died fowling the deadly bombings.
All During this time and afterwards until Mitsuo Fuchida’s death, his wife keep twenty boxes of his writing in a closet. After his death, she gave these twenty boxes to a son who had become a US citizen living in New York City. Successful writers, Douglas T. Shinsalo & Tadanori Urabe were eventually able to persuade this son to allow them to translate his father’s Japanese writing into English with his military picture on the front cover of a book.
Five sixths of this book relates to the training, development and deployment of Mitsuo Fuchida as the Japanese Commander of The Attack on Peal Harbor. Almost the entire book is about his getting ready for That For One Day.
Once again, I need to state to the reader of this my Don’s Blog, that It is only in the last part of this book in which Mitsuo Fuchida’s important and powerful life changing CONVERSION is mentioned and described in which he is introduced to Christianity and Jesus which liberates him and other Japanese citizens as well as some citizens of The United States of America and other countries, in spite of his and his country’s cruel and absolute surprise bombings of both Pearl Harbor and the United States bombing of Japan’s Hiroshima and and Nagasaki.
After his bombing of Pearl Harbor, Mitsuo Fuchida tried to melt into Japan’s obscurity without notoriety. He built his own scant farm house and gardened to have enough food for himself and his family. But after his own Japanese country was bombed in 1945, he other outstanding leaders in the bombings were requested to come to Tokyo to help officials of his country and America to learn how they could learn to live and work together through the auspices of an International National Tribunal.
One day as he was walking with other officials to his participation in the International National Tribune session in Tokyo, a street stranger handed him a pamphlet titled, I WAS A JAPANESE PRISONER OF WAR by Jacob DeSazer, a bombardier of the 16th plane of the Doolittle bombing Squadron which carried out the first raid on Hiroshima. After his everyday Tokyo meetings, he read this pamphlet in the evenings. It turned out that this pamphlet was a testimony of an American who flew one of Doolittle’s sixteen airplanes that had bombed Hiroshima. After his plane did the bombing, like most of the other Doolittle bombing airplanes, his airplane ran out of gasoline. He parachuted into Japan, was captured and imprisoned. It was during his imprisonment that he had a change of his own heart and mind from which he originally sought to get even with the Japanese for their bombing of Pearl Harbor. In the pamphlet, the writer explained that he had a change of mind and heart due to his renewed relationship with God through Christianity and Jesus.
While attending the International Tribune, Fuchita learned of some Japanese soldiers who had been held as prisoners in America and when returned to Japan they told heart warming stories of some Americans where they were held prisoners in America. He interviewed them and heard stories of their having received personal medical care by a 20 year old woman who came to their prison and tended their wounds for six months during which time they were finally able to convince her to tell them the reason why she faithfully cared for them. She explained that some Japanese soldiers had cut off the heads of her missionary parents in an outlying Japanese ruled country. The wounded Japanese soldiers finally learned her reason and motivation for caring for them in an American prisoner war camp was motivated by Christianity and Jesus which prompted Mitsuo Fuchida to want to learn more about her Christianity and Jesus which he had already learned about by reading the pamphlet, I Was A Prisoner In a Japanese War Camp.
Reading the pamphlet and hearing the safely returned Japanese soldiers stories of having been cared for by a 20 year old woman in one of her countries American Prison War Camps, motivated Mitsuo Fuchida to want to learn more about Christianity and Jesus. Thinking that the most convenient way of accomplishing this would be for him to get a copy of the Bible and read it for himself. He learned it was not an easy task to find a Bible in Japan in those days. There were no bookstores or any businesses in Tokyo in which he could purchase a Bible. He looked for weeks to find a copy of the Bible in stores and businesses and was completely surprised when one day he ran into a vender selling Bibles on a Tokyo city street who encouraged passerby’s by saying, “Please listen. People cannot live by bread alone. Please buy the Bible which provides us with spiritual nourishment.” Mitysuo Fuchida readily purchased a modern translation of the Bible.
Although, he was busy day and night preparing for the occupation forces gatherings, he reached from his bed in the evenings for the Bible and read. He read a preface written by the Japanese Bible Society, ‘They say that the Bible is the best selling book in the world and that it has been translated into every language by human beings. If the penalty of an exile still existed, and you were allowed to bring only one book, people of the world would choose the Bible. My fellow Japanese, if any of you have never read the Bible, open your mind and read only the first 30 pages. You will certainly find something that will move your heart.” This was indeed the voice of God speaking to him. He therefore began to read five chapters every night while attending during the day time to the demands of preparing for and participating in the occupational forces gatherings.
After a month of reading the Bible, he came to Luke 23, the scene where Jesus was crucified on a cross. Although Mitsuo Fuchida was not a Christian, he at least already knew that Christ was crucified. He said to himself, I opened my eyes and read most attentively, “The other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left” (Luke 23:34).
He had heard that Jesus was crucified, but did not know that the Romans had put up three crosses. Trying to imagine the scene on the Hill of the Skull, he moved on to the next passage, “Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Then, all of a sudden, he nodded. he understood. What was it? He wrote, “I understood the meaning of the last prayer of the missionary couple. Their 20 year old daughter who cared for the Japanese soldiers realized that if she were placed in her missionary parents situation she would have said what Jesus said from the cross. Her parents must have prayed, My Father in heaven, now Japanese soldiers are raising their swords and will kill me and my wife, but forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Jesus’s prayer struck her heart and mine, too! I was deeply moved and felt tears coming down my checks.
Mitsuo Fuchida needed to think how her parents execution would have been regarded in Japan. It would be like a kabuki play: our spirits will stay in this world until we are fully avenged. Then, the murdered couple’s children stay in this world until they are fully avenged. Then the murdered couple’s children would seek vengeance by killing their parents killers, and once this was accomplished, they would be admired as dutiful children.
Still he did not think that Jesus’ prayer had anything to do with him. He thought personally of himself, I simply thought it had to do with the Jews and the Roman Soldiers who were facing him. I felt this prayer was saying, “My Father in heaven, now they are trying to crucify and kill me, but please forgive them. They know not what they do.”
From this point on, since this book is translated into the writers English by copying and printing Mitsuo Fuchida’s personal words in reference to his own learnings and astounding conversion to Christianity and Jesus is so profound, that I have followed suite by copying and printing his own thoughts and words in the first person, just as they did.
It was then, suddenly, that a flash of revelation came to me, Fuchita wrote. I was awe struck. The revelation was that, “When Jesus said to ‘them’ you are included as one of them.” Then the next prayer, “They know not what they are doing,” pierced my heart. Now I saw that I had spent 47 long years without knowing what I was doing, and I was quite disgusted with my stupidity.
In the past years, I was a soldier, and I believed that the most important duty I had was my behavior on the battlefield. War is not a crime. If you kill a person voluntarily, that is murder, and you cannot escape capital punishment. However, on the battlefield during war, the more you kill, the more decorations you will receive. Because killing contributes to widening the path to victory in battle, human beings have done this repeatedly since ancient times. I myself was promised the Order of the Golden Kite 2nd Class for killing as many as 3,000 people at Pearl Harbor.
However, I felt an ache in my heart as I thought about the grieving families of those who died. As a member of the military, I was convinced that war itself was one of the ways to attain peace in the name of justice, so I continued to fight and risk my life as a soldier. I believed that it was just because it reflected the loyalty of a soldier to his mother country, but now I know that injustice is not something that can be defined by human beings at their discretion. It can be measured only on the scales of Jesus Christ.
I did not know anything about God. Existence without knowing God is immoral, and this is considered to be sinful. Biblically, it is called “original sin.” In English they put the definite article in front of the word — the sin. They do not refer to this or that sin but refer instead to that particular, original sin. Every other sin derived from that original sin, and collectively, all other sins are referred to simply as various sins.
I admit that I have been a sinner, turning my back on God for 47 years. people do not usually like to be called a sinner. In particular, people who believe according to high moral standards dislike this expression even more. However, without consciousness of sin, faith in the God of Jesus Christ cannot and will not be born. The reason Jesus Christ prayed for intercession while he was on the cross and shedding blood, “Father forgive them,” was to atone for our sins. This is the redemption and forgiveness of the cross.
I became conscious of my sin, having spent 47 years without knowing what I was doing. Then I knew clearly that Jesus Christ died for my sin. It was not something that I learned from others, but I was convinced by the direct revelation from Jesus, and I turned toward God.
I immediately wrote in a space of DeShaZer’s I Was Prisoner In A Japanese War Camp memoirs of his own conversion, “Now I receive the only son of God, Jesus Christ, as my Savior. Date of this conversion is February 26, 1950.
This day was my second birthday. When I attained this second birthday, I was already 47 years old. It would have been better to receive my second birthday earlier, but it is never too late. We all have two birthdays: the first born out of flesh, and the second out of spirit.
Since there was no church near Mitsuo Fuchida’s house, he attended a Saikai Prayer Convention held in a theater in front of Sakai City Hall in which there were delegates from seven nations — Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the US, Germany, Norway and Sweden participating. It was hosted by the Sakai Oshoji Church and I was invited by a Pastor friend named Saito to give testimony of my conversion at the convention. Next, I made a confession in my application for baptism in the ‘church. I was baptized on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951 in a Presbyterian Church. My friend Saito preached the Sermon titled, “Jesus, Who Was Resurrected From Death.” It was not long before my joyful, new Christian spirit and attitude was recognized and I began with a Christian friend to help gatherings of school and college students who wanted to learn more about Christianity and Jesus. The attached picture of me objectively conveys my joy, wonder, openness and pleasure in following the God of Jesus.
Eventually, a dear friend named Sachs and I were co-flying a small plane in the Untied States to minister to groups of high school and college students interested in learning ways to develop the Christian faith of people in other countries. Having heard about a Billy Graham Crusade being conducted in Albuquerque, the capital city of New Mexico we landed the plane to attend the crusade where Cliff Barrows was conducting a 600 member choir and George Beverly Shea, a well known baritone performed a solo. Upon entering the crusade of over 6,000 attendees we were surprised to be escorted, introduced and seated next to Mrs Graham. Before her husband Billy Graham began to speak, I was introduced by Cliff Borrows who handed me the baton and said, “Captain Fuchida stand and give your testimony.”
I stood on the stage and delivered my testimony that lasted about 15 minutes, pronouncing each word slowly and clearly. There was dead silence as everyone inside the tent tried to catch my every word. I did my best as a speaker, and the audience listened most attentively. Then something very inspirational happened. It was the grace of the Holy Spirit. I finished my speech and was greeted by thunderous applause as Billy Graham rose from his seat to receive me. As I was descending the stage, he gripped my hand and, holding my shoulder, had me sit on the platform as the thunder of the applause continued to rise and the audience began to sing a hymn.
After leaving the Billy Graham Crusade in the capital city of New Mexico a dear friend named Sachs and I flew to Brenmerton Naval Port across from the city of Seattle in the state of WA to attend a Christian Youth Assembly with over 300 attendees. On the way, we stopped to pick up a letter transferred by Billy Graham Associates to me with no sender’s name nor return address. In the letter were these words. “The other day, December 7th was the 11th Pearl Harbor Day. I saw you on the Billy Graham TV program, and spat on your face on the TV. You old rat, go home quick! This is no country for a guy like you to come to. You say you have become a Christian. Why didn’t you become Christian before you bombed Pearl Harbor? From a mother who lost a child on that day.”
The translators of Mitsuo’s own Japanese words from his 20 boxes of notes into English about a mother who lost her beloved son in the Pearl Harbor bombing, still hated him. Calling him an old rat. She had every reason to hate him. It is human nature. But he wrote that he prayed, My Lord, please give your forgiveness and consolation where hatred exists, and give birth to your love. Please eliminate resentment and the hatred of hostility by your cross. Please pity your servants, and favor bereaved families of Pearl Harbor with your grace. Please offer your salvation to them, making two things as one. Amen. People’s prayers are heard. My prayer was heard as early as that night. It happened in this way.”
Sachs and I crossed the straight from the city of Seattle WA to Bremerton Naval Port by a ferry. Since it was a Naval Port, the city was full of navy colors. The Youth for Christ Assembly was held in the petty officers mess where the attendance numbered over 300. The assembly was managed and I was seated on the stage. After I finished my speech, a middle aged woman advanced to the stage, leading her son, about 12 years old. She was holding his hand and she greeted me, “Captain, this is my son. Will you please put your hand on his head and pray for my son?” Then she turned to the presenter to ask if she could talk to the audience and explain the reason why she wanted me to pray for her son. The presenter nodded his consent, and the woman spoke.
“The day that this captain bombed Pearl Harbor was my expected delivery date. I was checked in at the hospital in Honolulu. My husband was a navy Lientenant and the Chief Gunnery Officer of the USS Arizona. The mention of the USS Arizona took Mitsuo’s breath away. The woman continued. The previous day was Saturday, and my husband came to see me in the hospital. However, he returned to the ship for that night, telling me that he would come back again the next morning. The next day, Sunday, the 7th day of September a few minutes past 8:00 in the morning, the glass in the windows in my hospital room trembled with the big shock, and that was the moment this boy was born. Later, I learned that it was the explosion from the USS Arizona from that moment, my husband was gone forever.” It touched Mitsuo’s heart deeply. Just as the boy was born, his father disappeared. “This memory was hard for him. I hated the Japanese air force that bombed the USS Arizona. However my husband was also a Christian. While hearing the testimony of Captain Fuchida, who was the commander of the attachment, he could not stop shivering because of this miraculous deed of God. His child does not know his father. Later when he was old enough to understand, he learned how his father died, he refused to believe the in the Savior of Jesus Christ however much his mother tried to lead him. He has become abstinent because of that fact. Captain, please put your hand on his head, and pray so that his soul will be saved.” Everyone in the audience fell in breathless silence. Mitsuo looked back at the audience, urging them to join him in prayer, and passionately offered this prayer. “Father, forgive, them for they know not what they do.”
There was a sequel to this story. Roughly 10 years later, during my third trip to the United States, when I was attending assemblies in various towns in the outside of the state of New York. At one particular assembly on a Sunday night, about 20 students from the US Military Academy appeared. All of them looked sturdy with their square hair cuts, wearing uniforms with pepper and soda patterns and velvet bordering. One of them, who appeared to be their leader, approached and talked to me,”Captain, do you remember me?” I was startled and looked at him over and over, but his face was not familiar. I said, I am sorry but I do not remember you. Who are you? Then he answered. That is quite understandable because that was 10 years ago. I am the boy for whom you prayed at the Bremerton Naval Park. I was surprised again. I looked at him once more as he had grown up so much. It turned out that after the Pearl Harbor incident President Roosevelt heard the story of this boys birth and he promised that if the boy wanted to attend the Military Academy or the Naval Academy in the future, the President would sponsor his admission. The boy choose the Military Academy at West Point, his birthright based on the President’s guarantee.
Since that day when this boy’s mother asked me to pray for him, he had been supported by prayer and has grown up as a good Christian. After entering the Military Academy, he organized a choir and conducted the choir himself. Hearing that their was going to be an assembly hosting Captain Fuchida in a nearby city, he came to help, and he led the choir. It was a fantastic chorus with a rich, natural voice and people adored the glory of Jesus Christ.
I welcome the new year in 1953 at the head quarters of the Sky Pilots in San Jose California. Since my friend Sachs wanted to establish a Sky Pilots branch in Kansas City we flew and spent three days there. We spent the Sunday morning there attending the Central Bible Church and in the afternoon hearing talks at the Japanese Mission. As the name implies, this Japanese Mission sent missionaries to Japan including many single ladies. While there, Sachs and I stayed in the home of a Sky Pilots supporter who had a sister, who was home on leave from her mission in Japan. She told us that she had a friend who was a sister of former President Harry Truman and Sachs wanted to meet and tell him about Sky Pilots. So Sachs found out that Former President Truman was retired and lived only about 20 miles from Kansas City and through the friendship of the lady friends of former President Truman got go an appointment with him. Our visit went on like this.
Sachs and I were taken by the missionaries to visit President Truman in his home who although retired was very busy with many visitors as he was a major figure in the Democratic Party. Agents from the Secret Service for the ex-president kept a careful watch of his visitors. He appeared very healthy. First, Sachs was introduced, and he started sharing his lengthy introduction of the Sky Pilots. I was worried because we were limited to a 15 minute interview. Truman was listening and nodding, but he seemed to have more interest in me. Tea was served by the missionaries, and the atmosphere was more amiable. Truman then talked to me. “You see, Captain, I was a major in the Army. Since you were a Captain of the Navy let us talk as soldiers today.” With that he signaled Sachs to put aside his story of Jesus Christ for a while. Then he mentioned Pearl Harbor and we talked about various incidents from those days, and President Truman laughingly said, “Captain, as far as Pearl Harbor is concerned, we are both guilty.” Just as I was beginning to say, “We may both be guilty before God through……”. Truman interrupted saying, “No not only before God but before human beings, we will both be guilty as a fact of history.” When I then touched on the issue of the release of prisoners of war, telling him that I brought with me a list of the written petitions, he assured me, “Captain, don’t worry. The issue of prisoners of war will be taken care of shortly.” The atmosphere was cordial. Then we flew to the eastward portion of the United States so Sachs and I could promote Sky Pilots gatherings first in Florida and then we flew northward to Washington DC to celebrate the Birthday of Washington on the 22nd of February.
According to the newspapers President Eienhower was a Christian and he visited a church in Virginia that had a connection with George Washington when he was President. Eisenhower, America’s 34th President , had had his inauguration ceremony just one month earlier on January 20th. Mitsuo had watched that ceremony on TV which was conducted solely and splendidly on the Capital’s East Portico, witnessed by almost a half million people gathered in the square. President Einsenhower took the oath of office, raising his right hand with his left hand on the Bible used by President Washington for his owninauguration ceremony oath. Mitsuo was deeply moved by watching this on TV. It was certainly a ceremony that demonstrated reverence for God.
I was further deeply surprised by a newspaper report that Eisenhower was baptized in a Presbyterian Church in Washington DC after he took the oath of office. The article said that this was simply because he may not have received baptism earlier in his life, but I wondered if he had not been a Christian before his baptism, but Eisenhower said that, “To date I place my faith in God.” I heard that Eisenhower always kept his bible, with a red leather cover, by his side. Judging from the religious tone of his political speeches, there was no doubt that he regularly read his Bible At the time of the presidential election, when his supporters advised him to reduce his use of quotations from the Bible because his campaign speeches sounded too much like missionary assemblies, he got angry, saying, “Don’t underestimate the American people.” What he expected out of the American people was a revival of faith that required religious and spiritual values. The founding fathers of America rallied their belief in the God of Jesus Christ in order to give significance to their revolutionary undertakings. They inscribed this faith in the founding documents of their nation—-“In God We Trust”—- and bravely set the basic tone of their system of government. Thus, where they reviewed God, there was liberty. I was convinced that Eisenhower, who shared such a faith, visibly proved his religious faith in the American people by receiving his baptism.
Before coming to Washington DC, Sachs made a request to the President for an interview but gave no specific reason to see him. Sach’s intention was to take advantage of a meeting as a photo opportunity of me shaking hands with Eisenhower for publicity for the Sky Pilots. While we were staying at the Fairfax Hotel in Washington, there was a call from the White House secretary which I answered. The secretary asked, “Captain Fuchida, what is the reason you want to see the President?” It was a natural question, but I was puzzled. If Sachs had been there , he would have managed an appropriate response. I did not have the time to think of an answer, so I told the secretary of Sach’s true intention, “We have no particular reason. We just want to take a photo shaking hands with the President.” As I explained this was a ridiculous request, the secretary laughed and said, “Captain, as a matter of fact, people with similar requests visit the White House every day, and the President will be happy to satisfy needs by coming out to the veranda when he has time. The gate of the White House is open from 9:00 AM in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon and you will be given the opportunity if you wait on the veranda.”
After saying, “Thank you.” I hung up the telephone and thought why should I waste my time to wait around for the President to appear. I did not care about the photo, and I did not say anything about this conversation to Sachs. On the next day, there was another call from the secretary. Again, Sachs was not around and the Secretary asked me, “Captain, do you play golf?” I bluntly responded that I could not. “Then it doesn’t matter. To tell you the truth, the President will be playing golf and he wanted to invite you to play with him.” That night there was a long envelope delivered from the President to me at the Fairfax Hotel. Inside the envelope was an artist sketch of Eisenhower swinging his golf club. On the sketch in the upper right corner was printed, To Captain Fuchida and under it was the President’s signature. I was deeply moved and felt the greatness of his personality for having thought of me by having an artist sketch of him golfing delivered to me.
Then there was another call from The White House secretary. This time Sachs answered and the secretary asked him, had Captain Fuchida received a charcoal sketch of the President golfing.” Then the secretary added that the President was going to attend the worship service at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington that morning and wondered if we would like to attend with him? As we were available, Sachs answered affirmatively immediately without even asking me.
At the scheduled time for the service to begin, Sachs and I arrived at the church as the organ began to play with over 500 attendees who rose from their seats when the President arrived escorted by his guards and winked for me to be seated with him. Since the First Lady was unable to accompany him that day, I sat with him in the middle of the auditorium. We sang a song with the congregation which was my favorite, Blessed Assurance. With President at my side we sang with Loud voices. He had commanded all the military forces of the world, so his voice was powerful. After the sermon and prayer it was time for announcements in which the Minister announced me as the former commander of the Pearl Harbor attack, but now a member of the family of God. This was greeted by thunderous applause including the President next to me. Then the Minister announced that the Captain would give a testimony at a missionary assembly that evening and everyone was invited to attend. This too received a big applause.
After a prayer session of approximately 30 minutes, the minister closed with a benediction and the chorus of amens by the choir and the ringing of the chimes. The President shook hands with me before he left. The entire audience was standing as they saw him off. After all of this, Sachs failed to take a picture, but I admired the warm hearted Eisenhower. I thought, what a man of God he is.
Since Mitsuo Futucia and Sachs were within driving distance of The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Mitsuo decided to visit the Academy so he could see if there was a difference in the training of the naval students in America and his training as a naval student in Japan. One of the things he noticed when he was walking around the Naval Academy with Lieutenant John Cravens of the Academy on a Sunday morning was a large attendance of naval students in the beautiful chapel. When they entered the worship service and The Chaplain noticed Lieutenant Cravens was escorting Mitsuo Fituchia, he asked Lieutenant Cravens to introduce him as a guest which he did during the announcements in the Worship Service noting that he was currently a Christian and all the students stood and clapped their hands in welcoming him.
Mitsuo was told by many of the students after the Chapel Service on Sunday morning that many of the students then also attended churches of their own Christian denomination in the City of Annapolis. Mitsuo was impressed that the students place such an emphasis on the God of Jesus which did not happen to him when he was a naval student in Japan. In fact he had never heard of Christianity and Jesus when he was growing up. He was so impressed with the naval students religious and military training at Annapolis, he told told the Chaplain and many of the naval students who crowed around him after the worship service that this was the way they were helping Japan to clim from the ashes of bombing and building helpful understanding and relationships between Japan and America by displaying an awe of God and belief in Jesus at the Naval Academy of Annapolis. He said that one of the most outstanding things he had witnessed was the students and their leaders praising the God of Jesus in the Naval Chapel of Annapolis.
Back in Washington Mitsuo and Sachs departed to visit Baltimore, Philadelphia and conclude in New York before heading back west to San Jose where they began this their third tour of America to promote Sky Piloting. Their last stop to visit leaders and students was in Baltimore, Philadelphia and then in New York city in which Mitsuo had an appointment to see Jimmy Doolittle, who was living on the 20th floor of a skyscraper building. Doolittle was then Shell Oil’s General Manager of Public Relations. Captain Fuchida of Pearl Harbor, responsible for the first air raid on the United States and General Doolittle, leader of the bomber squadron which made the first air raid on Japan, were having an interview. The reader can probably make a good story out of this meeting.
General Doolittle determined the time and place of the interview. The mass media flocked to Doolittle’s office, which was crowed and cluttered with people and TV cameras. This was their first encounter with one another. They enjoyed talking on a number of different topics. In conclusion Doolittle invited Fuchica to attend a commemorative reunion which was held on April the 18th every year. Doolittle was also a Christian who revered God.
That night before he and Sachs left on the following morning to return to San Jose from which they started this tour of America they visited General McAuthor who in the latter part of his stay in Japan helping with the reconciliation of Japan and America, had collected memoirs to illustrate his writing. Since Mitsuo had already met and talked with him several times before when McArthur was in Japan, they agreed to keep talking and writing to one another. Before Mitsuo Fuchita left, General Mc Arthur gave him a Church bell taken by an American GI who had brought it to America and prompted by Mc Arthur’s wife asked him to return it to the little outlying Christian Church in Japan which Mitsuo Fuchida agreed to do.
After Sachs and Mitsuo Fuchita flew back to San Jose from which they had started this tour for Sky Pilots, they flew back to their Japanese homes. They had driven over 40,000 miles on this one of three trips they took to evangelize students and officials in America. This time when Mitsuo Fuchida returned to Japan, he took a bell which an American soldier had swiped from a little Christian Church in a rural back area of Japan. Mitsuo Fuchicda did find the little church from which the bell had been taken and return it. He found ecstatically happy little children and their adult helpers who gladly re hung it high up in the steeple of the little church. When Mitsuo returned back to his own home, he received a letter from the children of the church and their leaders thanking him for returning the bell.
This classic illustration of Mitsuo’s generous and persistent perseverance in carying out his practice of helping others to be Christian is included in the conclusion of the book, FORTHATONEDAY to help the reader understand, appreciate and respect the value and wonder of the tireless and unpretentious endeavors of Mitsuo Fuchida to help others. Some of his endeavors like this one are included in the last one sixth and most important part of this book. His conversion and what he did after his own conversion to implement, build and expand vital friendships and relationships among people in churches, other Christian groups and organizations to extend and support Christianity and Jesus, can not be overstated. As it is especially pertinent and outstanding in American and Japanese history.
Mitsuo Fuchida’s wife, Haruko Fuchida was so impressed by her husband’s accomplishments, that she included her thoughts about his thoughts, feelings and actions in the last portion of the last chapter of this book which she titled a Postscript. She also includes references to their son and their daughter who came back to Japan from America to help her care for him in the last days of his life. I hope and pray that you have been inspired in reading my blog about Mitsuo Fuchida to purchase and read for yourself THATFORONEDAY.