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Letters Home

Letters Home

Author: Kirkbride

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ISBN-13: 9781440138829

ISBN-10: 1440138826

Language: English

Category: History / Asia / Japan


"I went down in the vaults and saw millions and millions of dollars worth of stuff," Norma Jean Cone wrote in a letter from Tokyo, Japan April 1, 1947. At that time she was the only American woman on a team inventorying the contents of the Bank of Japan vaults right after WWII.

Most Americans know very little about the U.S. occupation of Japan after WWII. Also, many 21st Century readers are unaware of how different the world was then in terms of transportation, communications, and life styles.

Through Letters Home, the reader gets a personal view of what life was like for a young American woman who was a civilian employee with General Douglas MacArthur's occupying force of 200,000 G.I.'s. At the same time that her team was finding paper bags of diamonds in the vaults, she was learning a little about Japanese culture, sightseeing, attending dances, and developing a deep friendship, which ended tragically. Some of these activities are documented with photos she took.

Readers of Letters Home get a glimpse of what things cost in 1947, as well as facts about the occupation of Japan. For example, a telephone call from Tokyo to Los Angeles cost $12 ($120 in 21st Century dollars) for three minutes, if you could get an appointment for a call. But Jean paid only 25 cents per meal, and the hotel room she shared with another American woman cost her six dollars per month including very complete maid services.

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