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Topic: Sleeping Giant Quote, Yamamoto didn't say it.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 12 2001,4:26  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   

In the past 24 hours I've had scores of requests for a citation for the quote that goes, "We have woken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve."

As noted elsewhere on this board, nobody can provide a source for this quote prior to the release of the movie "Tora, Tora, Tora."

It's a great punchline for the movie, and I believe it to be true then, and true today, but it's not historically accurate to attribute it to Isoruku Yamamoto.

I wanted to get this to the top of the board to head off a few emails and phonecalls.  It's good to note that the hits on the PHHA site jumped from 5,000/day on the 10th to 16,000/day on the 11th.  

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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 12 2001,8:28 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   

Aloha All,
The actual quotation that Admiral Yamamoto said upon hearing that the attack had occurred prior to delivery of the diplomatic message...it was:

"Nekubi o kaite wa ikenai"
["It does not do to slit the throat of a sleeping man."]

This is an old Samurai quote that refers to their rule to awaken their enemy prior to killing him.



Two other memorable quotes made by Admiral Yamamoto are occasionally sought:

In September 1940, on the occasion of Japan's signing of the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, Admiral Yamamoto spoke with Japan's Prime Minister of his opposition to this Pact:

"If told to fight regardless of the consequencies, I shall run wild the first six months or a year, but I have utterly no confidence for the second or third year. Thus, I hope you will avoid war with the United States."

This helped "mark" Admiral Yamamoto for assassination by the ultra right wingers in Japan.


In the American press shortly after the announcement of Admiral Yamamoto's death...a unique quote was cited about Pearl Harbor: "America held a Full House but we had a Royal Flush" (21 May 1943 Rochester Times-Union) ...what did he REALLY say?

The 23 Dec 1941 Japan Times-Advertiser says he told his Emperor, "The small but sprightly Japan, when armed with a 'Full House' is not easily 'bluffed' by the US-British combination holding only a 'Pair' in their hands."


Edited by David Aiken on Sep. 08 2005,7:15

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1 replies since Sep. 12 2001,4:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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