Originally published in 1950, this is the English translation of the book written by the Buddhist chaplain in Sugamo Prison who attended the Japanese war criminals before their execution. It is a collection of the records of the condemned that Shinsho Hanayama collected during his spiritual guidance in order to show 'an ardent hope for peace' as well as an 'awakening to religious ecstasy.'Hanayama tells of the services held, the preparation of the men for death, the traditional rites, and the prisoners' deepening reverence as the days passed. He also recorded in details the last words, wills and letters of 27 condemned prisoners, and later those of the seven A class war criminals sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace-including General Hideki Tojo (later Prime Minister of Japan), who was responsible for ordering the attack on Pearl Harbor.A fascinating, historically significant read.
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