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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

October 3, 1945

The occupation of Japan started at the end of August 1945 and didn't pick up speed until September, so this letter is not all that long after the occupation began. 

                                                   [top line cut off - probably Osaka, Japan]
                                                    Oct 3rd, 1945

Dear Arnold,

     How are you Bud?  As you can see by the address I am now in
Japan.  We are living in a very nice hotel, in fact I have heard
that it is the best hotel in Japan at the present time.  I have paid
anywhere from $5 to $10 per day in the states for the type of room
I have here.  It has twin, inner springs, beds (one of which is
occupied by another officer), separate bathroom, etc.  We eat in
the large main dining room downstairs.  The food is excellent, and
the dining room is very modern and attractive.  We also have a bar
where we can get drinks.  At present we only have Japanese beer to
drink (its damn good), however soon will have have whiskey and other
mixed drinks.  This is just like living on per diem in the states.
We work in an office building, and have plenty of room but not too
much work.  This is a good way to reacclimate back to civilian life.

     The B-29s burned out the major portion of OSAKA, but here and
there are areas (like the hotel and office building) that were un-
touched.  There is block after block of rubble, without a building
left standing.  Most of the people have gone to the country, and
though there are still plenty around the place it is'nt crowded.

     The Japanese people are very friendly and cooperative.  They
are glad that the war is over, even if it did end the way it did.
At present there is a food shortage, and the rice crops were poor
this year.  Consequently the people are worried about the coming
winter.  Only uniforms have been produced in the last three years,
and there is also a cloth shortage.  Most of the men you see (Japs)
are wearing some sort of a uniform, and the women wear pants tight
at the bottoms like a zoot suit.  Yesterday I bought about 29 yards
of white silk cloth at two yen per yard, 13 1/3 cents per yard, which
I will send to mother.  She should be able to make a lot of blouses
out of it.  As usual the GIs have gone all out for souviner buying
and prices are going up.  I am going to wait until I can get over
to NARA or KYOTO before I do any large scale buying.

     What is your situation in regard to overseas service?  I have an
idea that you may never leave the states.  I don't see how they could
use you over here now in your present type of work, and I don't think
they would put you in the MPs, or Inf.

     A small SNAFU has just come up here, which will require my
undivided attention, so I will sign off.
                                  [signed] Leonard

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