A Japanese War Crimes Suspect and an Unsolved Mystery from World War II

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A Curious Madness

In the wake of World War II, the Allied forces charged 28 Japanese men with crimes against humanity. Eric Jaffe tells the story of one of the accused, a civilian named Okawa Shumei. On the first day of the Tokyo trial, he made headlines around the world by slapping star defendant and wartime prime minister Tojo Hideki on the head. Had Okawa lost his sanity? Or was he faking madness to avoid a grim punishment? Jaffee tells the story in his book A Curious Madness