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Posted on Mar 15, 2006 in Front Page Features, War College

General MacArthur’s Tokyo HQ

By Mo Ludan

Situated on the 6th floor of Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance building in Tokyo, the office of General MacArthur remains preserved to this day, hidden away to all but a select few who know of its existence – visits strictly by appointment only.

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The Dai-ich building

It is said that MacArthur chose to house his Tokyo office on the sixth floor as it was higher even than the Imperial Palace. Whether or not this is true, the wood-panelled HQ is remarkably plain, nice, but is not terribly ornate. There are no crystal chandeliers, fancy floor lamps, or medieval tapestries befitting a reigning monarch, a shogun, or a Fortune 500 CEO. The room is no bigger, maybe even smaller, than a typical corner office of many of today’s self-absorbed senior executives. Except that the General’s office is not even in the corner but in mid-6th floor, overlooking the Imperial Garden – the same garden where Tokyo Rose promised he’d be publicly hanged after the war.

Reception room adjoining MacArthur’s office

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The General’s worn-out leather chair and drawer-less desk

MacArthur’s office is between the reception area and his staff’s office. Dai-ichi management has carefully tried to preserve the original setting of the General’s office, including his desk, chair, picture frames, two original paintings by a little-known Boston painter, similar drapes, etc.

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The Reception area

The Dai-ichi corporate guide claims the Emperor had indeed visited the General’s HQ (the famous photograph of their first meeting took place at the U.S. embassy). Conveniently situated across the Emperor’s Palace grounds, the original 6-story, squat, non-descript Dai-ichi building survived the Tokyo fire bombing of WW2. A high-rise was added a couple of decades later.

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The General’s bust, donated years after he leftmac-009.jpg mac-006.jpg
Staff room adjoining MacArthur’s office and a montage of the General’s career

Due to new security arrangements stemming from disturbances in nearby Korea surrounding the General’s statue at Inchon, all visits are now by appointment. My visit was arranged through Mrs Kyoko Hamada, an executive of Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance and Mr. Yasuhiro Nojiri, a classmate and retired Marketing Director of Boston-based Milipore (Japan) Ltd.


  1. This brings back memories from the years 1947-48. I was in the U.S. Army, stationed in Tokyo, and my job as a clerk was in an office in the Dai Ichi building. Although I never was physically in General MacArthur’s office I did see him on several occasions as he entered or left the building. On one occasion I was returning to my my barracks on foot and was in the middle of the street when the General’s limo came by. I stood at attention and saluted as he went by. I’m not sure he even noticed me though. For a young 18 year old the year I spent in Tokyo was a memorable experience.

    • Did you happen to know a person in the Gen’s headquarters by the name of Jack Vainisi?

      • Did you know a Jim Keenan from Nebraska?

      • Jack Vainisi became the ground-breaking scouting coordinator for the Green Bay Packers and died very young in 1960.

      • Jack Vainisi became the ground-breaking scouting coordinator for the Green Bay Packers and died very young, in 1960, of complications of the rheumatic fever he suffered while in Japan.

  2. As Senior Purser with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines I visited MacArthurs office in the Dai-Ichi during my Tokyo lay-over somewhere in the 1980’s. At that time I was reading MacArthurs biography and I just asked one of KLM’s Tokyo bureau staff to fetch me an appointment, which I got some ten minutes later. Three Japanese gentlemen of the Dai-Ichi (who hardly spoke any English) took me to the sixth floor, opened some doors, and there it was. Very strange experience because it was, and still is, quite unknown!

    The desk on the photograph looks quite empty. I remember some of those famous “corn pipes” of MacArthur on the desk and a visitors book, with only 5 pages of names of visitors. Regards, Lodewijk.

    • Thank you for sharing your visit to the General’s Tokyo HQ. I note your interest in books about him. I strongly suggest you read the latest and, what many claim as the definitive, bio on MacArthur, based on recent USSR and Chinese archival evidence. Kissinger is among those who rave about this book by Dr. Arthur Herman, MACARTHUR AMERICAN WARRIOR (New York: Random House, 2017).

      If you are interested, I wrote a “customer review” that appeared in

  3. I am visiting Tokyo and hope to see the office. My dad was part of the detail that searched The Grand Hotel and made sure it was secure before McCarthur arrived. It would be exciting to be able to visit it 60+ years since Dad was there.

    • hope you got to see it – was a great visit when I had the chance!

      • I worked in the building, 3rd Floor as a Dept of Army Civilian File Clerk, G-2, G-3. My father was stationed there as Chief, Tokyo Army Hospital.
        I am visiting Tokyo this May.Do you know who to contact to arrange a visit on my upcoming Trip

      • @Ed Mills – I looked at some websites but could not find anything specific to scheduling something – even couldn’t find anything on Japanese pages. Sorry. You can always go and if time permits, walk inside and try to ask for an impromptu showing during the day…? Maybe a hotel concierge in that neighborhood (if you are staying there) can help out given I know they are exceptionally helpful. Good luck.

  4. I was soldier working at the close by Meiji bldg. I regularly walked past the Daichi bldg and saw the General coming and going in his limo in front of the bldg. This drew crowds of 100 to 200 people both Japanese citizens and soldiers from USA, Britain, Australia, India. This was the period between Nov 45 nd May47.
    It was a strange experience. People were starving and dying every day.

    • Might you have known a soldier stationed in Tokyo by the name of Jack Vainisi?

      • Sorry I don’t recognize the name Vainisi. Jack Thompson

    • Anyone remember my Father Donald Cherbonneau? He worked as a clerk typist in the Generals office from ’45 to ’46. He tells of the time he was heading out of the building and the General was headed inside through the revolving door. My Father stopped inside the door to salute and the door came around and hit him from behind,knocking him to the ground in front of Macarthur.

      • Hello Darcy! My father was also a typist for General MacArthur during ’45 and ’46. I’m a filmmaker and interviewed him about those years. He was 84 years old and struggling with early dementia but I was able to get a picture of those times. His memory of those years was impressive. Finding the words was difficult.

        That was a funny story about the revolving door. My father told of the time MacArthur came running into the typing pool and said he needed someone to help him. My father volunteered. The task was to run around and retrieve newspapers from distribution boxes that had a quote from him that he didn’t like. He even turned around planes in flight heading for the US to stop the story!

        My father only mentioned one co-worker. “My friend translated the letters. He and I became friends because he liked to dance. He was a little bit older than me. He was Korean but he could speak several languages including Japanese. His name was Ernest Khim. He was a sergeant and my best friend.

        Thanks for posting. Nice to hear from someone with this same family history. Best, Kristy

  5. In April 1951 I was a lst Lt, Infantry assigned to be the Military Aide to Senator Warren G. Magnuson, State of Washington. I met him at the airport along with Bill Stern, Fargo,ND. He was visiting Japan in connection with maritime and other matters pertaining to the economie treaty that was to be signed being formulaated by the State Departament and United Nations.


    I acccompanied the party to the General’s Office where he conferred with the General. He suggested to the Senator that he would loan him his private plane to visit the Korean battle field. The Senator agreed and a time was establised.

    Later that week I drove the Senator and Mr. Stern to the quarters of General MacArthur for lunch with the General and Mrs. MacArthur. I returned to the Dai Ichi Building, the site of the Headquaraters, to finalize the details for the trip to Korea. In the midst of it all an aide brought in the news that President had relieved the General. When I picked up the Senator he indicated that the lunch was interrupted momentarily as an aide spoke briefly to MacArthur.

    We flew in the Bataan to Korea and visited the 2nd Infantry Division Headquarters and other units.

    It was a moment of history that remains a significant personal memory.

    • Thank you for sharing your remarkable experience. That day, April 11, 1951, was indeed a momentous event that shocked the world. On that day you personally witnessed history in the making “up close.” General MacArthur learned of his firing by President Truman at 3pm Tokyo time.

      Earlier that day, you drovew Senator William Magnuson (D-WA)and Bill Stern, Northwest Airlines Vice President, to the General’s quarters to have lunch with him and wife Jean.

      I read that what seemed to bother the General most then was not the firing but the way it was delivered. The fact that MacArthur first learned of his firing from someone who had heard it on the radio “rankled him deeply.”* One wonders what comments were made later by the two guests while you drove them back to their quarters?

      Wrote MacArthur in his memoirs: “No office boy, no charwoman, no servant of any sort would have been dismissed with such callous disregard for the ordinary decencies.” Most Americans apparently concurred, driving HST’s approval rating down to 23%, the lowest of a sitting president since.

      *Arthur Herman, DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: AMERICAN WARRIOR (New York: Random House Paperback Edition, 2017), pp 809-812

  6. I was a Staff Sgt on the staff in the Office of the Chief Of Counter Intelligence (OCCIO).located near the door on the first floor of the Dai Ichi Building for about a year (1945-46).
    We got that location because it contained the large main Safe of the Insurance Company. My job was controll of all documents.
    MacArthur passed our office daily, usually about 10AM and worked into the evening.
    When we sent anything to MacArthur’s Office that he saw, he wrote a small “Mac” in the upper right hand corner.
    News photos of the day will show me leaning against one of the columns outside when he came down to meet Eisenhower (then his new boss).
    Jim Bedell

    • Mr. Bedell,
      Do you recall who was chief (or head ) of Counterintelligence (CIC) during the time you were on duty at SCAP HQ?
      Would you recall having any contact with Capt. Victor I. Cook, Jr. (201 CIC)?
      Thank you.
      Roger Malbuisson

    • Might you have been in contact with a soldier in the hdqtrs. by the name of Jack Vainisi?

    • Hello,
      My Father Donald Cherbonneau was a clerk typist on the 2nd floor in MacArthur’s office building from ’45-46. Do you recall a time he tells of the Emporer went up to MacArthur outside the building and pulled out a large sword and was quickly taken down by his security team. All cameras were confiscated by the security detail. In the newspapers it was told differently. That the Emporer was “presenting” a sword to Gen. MacArthur. Interesting twist.

  7. An enjoyable virtual tour de force. The reception room shown here was the historic setting for MacArthur’s crucial meeting with the top brass from Washington to get approval for Inchon Landing, his brilliant plan for counter-attack to save the Republic of Korea from Communist North Korea.

    I read in history books that the General worked 7 hours a day and would routinely send his wife Jean and young son Arthur to represent him in social events. This was confirmed in my recent visit to one of Japan’s famous resort centers, where I saw a picture of Jean and Arthur, along with foreign dignitaries and members of the Japanese royalty. I believe the occasion was the re-opening of the center to the public.

    I also enjoyed Ludan’s two recent commentaries, both are on, i.e.: Yokohama’s New Grand Hotel, where MacArthur first stayed in Japan, and Corregidor Virtual Tour.

  8. Correction: 2nd paragraph of my comment

    Please change “7 hours a day” to “7 days a week.” Thank you.

    Teza Reyes

  9. An U.S. Army medic 1947-1949 (uncertain) claims to have discussed atomic research with an intelligence officer (perhaps G-2, SSU, CIS, OSS, etc.) in his office on the second floor of the Dai-ichi building. If you have any information about intelligence offices in the building at that time, please contact me at

  10. I visited the Dai-Ichi headquarters bldg. of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in
    March 1951. Donlad Holmes IC Electrician was a high school
    classmate of mine. I was able to see the US Navy War Room with
    all the ships listed and where they were located. Donald told me to
    be in front of the Dai-Ichi Bldg. at 1700 and I would be able to see
    Gen. MacArthur leave the building. At 1700 out strode the Gen.
    carrying his corn cob pipe and he left in his staff car.
    For a 20 year old sailor from San Bernardino, CA this was really
    something to see.
    I served on the USS McKean DD 784 and we had participated
    in the Inchon invasion September 1950.
    USS McKean DD 784 1950-1953
    Richard Shaw
    Firecontrol Technician 3/C
    USN 1949-53
    Later Captain USAFR

  11. To Richard Shaw, I salute you for participating in probably one of the greatest military counter-attacks in history – the epochal Inchon Landing.

    Thanks to Ludan’s photo article, I am touched to see the room where the General successfully argued approval of his invasion plan to a skeptical JCS top brass, sent there by Truman to dissuade the General from carrying on his plan.

    Before Inchon, Korea was lost and peace in East Asia gravely at risk. After Inchon, Korea was saved and the entire North Korean forces were on the run. But Red China, which was “lost” earlier by the Truman administration, was allowed to send masses of armed “volunteers” across the Yalu River boundary virtually unimpeded.

    Had MacArthur and his succeeding field commanders been allowed to destroy the enemy’s supply lines and fight the war without one hand tied behind their backs, the final outcome would have been entirely different and Kim Il Sung and his prickly descendants would have been history.

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, the specter of a nuclear WW3, the linchpin of Truman’s containment policy, was actually an illusion. Evidence from Russia’s recently released government archives would show, vindicating MacArthur, that Stalin had no atomic arsenal (at the most 5 by the end of 1950) nor industrial capacity at the time. More important, the Soviets had no delivery system to reach continental U.S. cities to justify going into an all-out war with the U.S.

    In contrast, U.S. had close to 50 in its arsenal and the capacity to target USSR’s major cities, the empire’s WW2-crippled infrastructure, and all of Stalin’s favorite dachas — from the Baltic to the Pacific.

    In fact, such contingency plan, in fact there were two, was drawn up by the Pentagon in the 40’s but was later junked by Truman, who, strangely enough, had never used it even as a diplomatic chip.

  12. Durinng 46/47 I was an Honor Guard to Gen. MacArthur and had the duty to check the Generals office periodically during the night .his office was tied togethr by adjoining doors to an anti room for awaiting guests;amap room;file room and lastly the suite of offices for M.G.Paul J. Mueller his Chief Of Staff.The office was on the fifth floor of Dai Ichi building. The sixth floor was occupied by the Chief Signal Center for the FEC later changed to AFPAC.A special pass was necessary to enter the Signal Center — including General Officers. The guard post at MacArthurs office door was M-1 rifle with fixed bayonete.It was truly a pleasure and an honor to have served Gen. MacArthur.

    • His normal wokking day was: arrive at the office at 10:00- 10:30; back to the American Embassy his living quarters; about 2:30 for lunch;to the office again 4:30;end of days work at 8:30–seven days a week.He was not aparticular social man.His main form of relaxation was watching movies., which he did seven days a week– then dinner around 10:00.One of the “perks'”of being an Honor Guard was the fact that the first 35 men to sign the roster could see the moviis as well.He sat in an over-stuffed chair in thecenter of three;his wife Jean to his right; Maj. Story’his pilot to his left. the first thing he did was to light a cigar..We enjoyed going to the movies at the “Big House’ as we were able to get first run films.,ahead of every one else.

      • During your time in Japan, did you ever encounter a soldier by the name of Jack Vainisi? He played for the HQ football team and was said to have spent time throwing the football around with the Gen’s son.

  13. My grandfather was Col Frank Castagneto and worked in the building while MacArthur was there. Although the stories I have are second hand (he passed away 30yrs ago) from my grandmother, I believe he spent a lot of time there while my grandmother was there raising the children. I visited Tokyo 2yrs ago for work but was able Togo see formally Washington Heights to see where my family was during that time. After returning, I learned that they were actually at Grant heights (bless my grandma’s hearts) while my papa worked at Dai-ichi. Luckily, I’m going back in a month for work and want to go see Grant Heights and the bldg my papa worked at. Any info on getting appointments would be so appreciated. I’m hoping to show my granny now & then photos. Thx!!!

    • I do not remember your fathers name but i was stationed at and lived at grants heights housing detachment in 1952

      • Both my parents were there from 1947-1951. Clifford Callahan was military personnel in Communications and my mother, Diane, worked as a civil servant in General McArther’s headquarters. They lived in quonset huts nearby – not sure where. Is there any chance you recall either one of them or could suggest how I would find out about personnel working there during that time period? Thank you!

    • You will not find any buildings from that time left in what was once Grant Heights–where I was a high school student back in the sixties. Today it has been converted into a large park and housing area called Hikarigaoka, easily accessible from Shinjuku on the Oedo Line.

  14. In 1947 I was a 7 year old kid who along with my mother joined my father who was assigned to the 8th Army Stockade. We stayed in Tokyo until 1951 because of the Korean War. We lived in Grant Heights and quite often I and some friends would be in Tokyo and was able to see General McArthur leave the Dai-Ichi building. What was interesting to me was the Japanese people bowed to him when he exited. A great experience being there and still fondlyl remember Tokyo even to this day.

  15. I was stationed in Tokyo from Dec 1951 – Mar 1954. As a young man I loved this old city. I was able to re-visit Tokyo in 1960 while on R&R from Korea. Spent a total of 36 years in the Amry (12 active and 24 years full-time NG). The Dai-Ichi building alway “stood-out”…The Ernie Pyle Theater was a fun place to visit, great live shows.

    • Oh yes, the Ernie Pyle theater was a favorite. It had a cafeteria there also. I hear that they turned it over to the Japanese and it burned down. Pity.

      I admire the Japanse people and loved the 4 years I spent there.

      • My father was a Lt Col in the Intelligence and stationed in Japan from 1950 – 52. A very close friend of my parents was a staff secretary to Gen. Macarthur – not sure for how many years. Do you recall a lady in her early 40’s named Catherine Schiessel who worked in that office for Macarthur? She gave my parents some of the items given to her from Macarthur (legend has it) and we’d like some way to verify her contribution while there. If you do not know of her, would you know of a department in the Army we could contact to verify her employment?

    • I also was stationed in Tokyo between 1951to 1954 I remember erniy pyle theater and palace. Everyone says the I was in the finance building. The Japanese called the building ogrocho. Building. If that is the right spelling. The building had a guards outside. And the honor guard were stationed in the building. Tokyo was the best duty since I have served close to30 years in the army.

      • I too was stationed in the “Finance Building” in 1952. I was asg to Hq Co, Hq and Svc Bn, GHQ FEQ, 8232AU, APO 500.

        The Japanese term for the building you call Finance is O Kurasho. O is an honorific term only and Kurasho means Finance.

        If you have a computer, download Google World and search for O Kurasho Tokyo Japan. You can see it at ground level as it now stands.

        Cpl Charles Stewart, Jr.

  16. I was stationed in Tokyo (GHQ) from Dec 1951-Mar 1954. Met my wife there, she was in the Womens Army Corps (WAC). Married Apr 53. Got a chance to see Tokyo agian in 1960 (R&R from Korea).
    Loved this old city and the Japanese people. Spent 36 years in the Army. I am now a young 78.

  17. i was stationed in tokyo japan in 1951 to 1954. i liked it so much i stayed longer. i was int he the finance buliding. the army had the entire building. i slept thers and also worked there as a cook. after a little while iwas purt in one of the billeting japanese occupied by the army. my job there was to be charge of the kitchen. while i was there i was at two other hotels. iremember guard co. and the honor guard. never had any trouble with the japanese during my tour. i loved japan. i learnewd the language while i was stationed tyhere. sorry about the typing i am 83 and i have a hard rtime remembering. i had one problem with the army during my tour. i missed a dental appointment and lost two striped. a colonel gave my article 15. i was off wrok and signed out till the next day for work at 1000 am. my appointment was at 8 am. i did not think that this was fair. anyway i stayed afor 30 years and retired as a master sgt.


  18. I was in the infantry and stationed in various parts of Japan from September 1945 to August 1946. A fellow GI and I went into
    the Dai-itchi building and saw MacArthur’s offices. I didn’t see any security of any sort including guards. We freely roamed
    the building ending up on the roof. As we looked down from the roof MacArthur and a couple of other people exited the building
    directly below us. A group of Japanese were standing a short way from his path to his staff car. They bowed deeply as he passed.
    He entered his car and all the traffic lights down the road turned green as he proceeded on his way. It was impressive. The people loved MacArthur. They expected rape and pillage and instead got a liberal Constitution and women’s liberation.

    • Hello, Harris! My brother was an 18-year old Corporal in the occupation force in 1945-46, and was in charge of the commissioned officer’s swimming pool at MacArthur Headquarters. Do you know where that swimming pool was located? As a child I’d address letters to him, and it seemed to me the address was the Dai-ichi building. He also used to contribute articles to Stars and Stripes and to our hometown newspaper describing the building. And our local radio station would broadcast some of the recordings he’d send describing his observations of Tokyo. I distinctly remember one broadcast in which he told of what seemed to him to be “miles and miles” of corridors in the Dai-ichi building. Would appreciate learning if you came across a swimming pool in your trek thru the building. On the roof, perhaps?? Thanks!

      • Barbara, do you recall your brother writing or talking about the performances of THE MIKADO at the Ernie Pyle Theatre? They were spectacular, even covered in LIFE magazine and supposedly in STARS AND STRIPES. But I can’t get full access to the latter’s archives to verify. My Japanese mother, who is now 84, performed alongside the American singers in this opera. It was the first time it was performed in Japan, having been previously banned for poking fun at the Emporer. She cherishes that experience and has fond memories of the American artists she worked with. It would be wonderful to find another reference to that spectacle. We have managed to get the LIFE magazine issue featuring many photos of the show. We would welcome any information you might have. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Harold. Do you remember Isadore Rapkin? He lived in the finance building 1951 to 1953. He was a PX manager. Thank you for your service

  19. I was in Tokyo in the summer of 1947 on the All Japan Army Track Team, Stationed full time in Kobe. Some days after training for track, we would go in to the Dai Ichi bldg to watch Gen. MacArthur leave for lunch. ( he would announce the time he would leave in the Stars and Stripes to assure a crowd— ego?)
    I still have the negative!

    • Hi Romulo, would you like me to send you a digital copy of a really good picture of MacArthur coming out of this office building?. If so, e-mail me and we’ll get it off to you. Thanks, Shell

      • Just reading thru these wonderful memories and the photo you have would be nice to have. My post was just outside of Mac’ office on the 6th floor.

        713 Baywood Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 Thank you! Syd

      • I was assigned to the communication center at the Dai Ichi Building in 1950 for 3 months . I was then transferred to the 507th Sig Svc Co. and we went in to
        Inchon on Sept. 16. Like everyone says I saw the General go home for lunch every day and later return to his headquarters. I believe if Truman had left MacArtur in charge there would be only one Korea today.

      • Can you email me that photo of MacArthur leaving the GHQ in Japan? I’d love to share it with my 86 year old 2nd cousin who served there at that time.


      • Sheldon, if you still have that pic of Genera MacArthur I would surely appreciate a copy My email is

        Charlie Herrmann
        13 sig, First Cavalry

    • Did you know Jack Vainisi?

  20. I was stationed in Tokyo from July, 1947 to Feb, 1948. I was assigned to Co. “A”, Staff Battalon Hq. as Pay Roll Clerk. I was housed in the Finance Bldg. and the first night there was one to remember for me. Because of crowded conditions, I had to sleep on a cot in a hall way. That was OK until I woke up in the middle of the night to find my cot vibrating and moving right across the hall. I was told the next morning that we had a “mild” earth quake. During my time there, I got to know all of the Co. Clerks in the Pay Roll Hq. The Pay Roll Clerk for the Honor Guard could write a book. I have a lot of fond memories, one of which was seeing Mrs. MacArther at the Chapel every Sunday morning. Never did see the General. The Enlisted Man’s Club was another great memory. We were told it had the longest lacquer top bar in Tokyo and the Officers wanted it for there own. However, Mrs. MacArther was on our side and it remained an EM Club. Sgt. Jimmy Kniss was our Co. Clerk and was a good buddy. Lost track of him as well as a lot of others. There were some I stayed in contact with like: Paul Tegeler, Walt Thorgate, and Dennis Van Dyke.
    Like to hear from more.

    • Hi Donald – thank you for sharing the memories and an even bigger THANKS! for your service!!!

    • Memories I was stationed in the finance building in 1951. You are right that they were crowded. When we came to Japan. They put in a hotel. Until they had enough room. In the finane building.. They called the unit I was in little west point because the first sergeant was airborne they called him jumpy and the company commander was graded from west point.. They had some tough inspections. One of the inspection. Was called a white glove inspection early Sunday morning. But are greatest adventure was my trip shimbashi. Remember

    • Dear Mr. Ullestad: Might you have known a soldier by the name of Jack Vainisi who worked in the Gen’s headquarters?

    • Any chance you remember a Jim Keenan from Nebraska?

    • During your time in Japan, did you ever encounter a soldier by the name of Jack Vainisi? He played for the HQ football team.

    • My father was a clerk in McArthur’s headquarters, not sure of the years. Harold “Jack” Metzler. He was on the winning basketball team. Do you remember him?

    • Did you know Jack Vainisi?

  21. FYI for anyone who’s in Tokyo in July. This was in the Yomiuri newspaper yesterday:

    MacArthur’s office to be opened to public
    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Co. will open to the public the office of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan, which has been preserved in its original building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

    The office, which contains a table and chairs, including the chair McArthur used, will be opened from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 17 through 22. Admission is limited to 200 people each day on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The Dai-Ichi Life head office was occupied by the GHQ of the Allied Powers in September 1945.

    The office is known as the place where the GHQ draft of the Japanese Constitution was written.

    (Jun. 29, 2012)

  22. It was quite enjoyable for me to read these comments
    . about Tokyo and MacArthur. In the fall of 1946 I was
    standing near the front entrance to the DaiIchi building, camera in hand, hoping to see Mac as he came to work.
    I did not realize he would use the door behind me. I felt that photographing him at that distance would be impertinent, and so I
    stepped aside, held the camera behind me, and saluted. He returned that salute,
    and then I realized I was the only GI in his view, so I had received a
    PERSONAL salute from the General

  23. In 1954 my father sent for my mother, my younger brother and myself to be shipped from California to Tokyo. We had a house in Washington Heights and I recall my father who was a Lt. Col in the USAF worked in the Meji building. At four years old, I can still recall many events during our two years in Tokyo. Gatas, komonos in the streets, sushi made by our two maids. Trips to Kamakura and the Budda. I also recall a zoo in down town Tokyo that was on the top of a building. Still have photos of that.

  24. Hello, I have a picture of my father presenting Mrs MacArthur an orchid flower. Not sure of the date. He worked directly for Gen MacArthur, just not sure how. My older sister has pictures of Gens staff car and pictures or my mother, sister and father in and or leaning on it. Also trying to figure out what unit was staffing the Generals headquarters. thanks.

  25. I was stationed in Tokyo Japan from 1951to 1954. The reason why the army sent me to Japan was because my last name begins with a w. After we finished basic training at for Dix new jersey the army sent us to an advance school. When we finish with all our truing the solders with the last names between s to z went to Japan and the rest of the troops went to Korea. When we arrived in Japan there wasn’t any housing so they put us in a hotel for a few days. They picked us up and brought us to the finance building in tokyo. There I stayed for a couple of years. Then they set me up in two other hotels until I left Japan in 1954. I believe it was my best duty after serving 30 years in the army. I was a young man at that time I fell in love many times. I remember the ginza, earnie Pyle theater and many more wonderful places. It was the best duty durning my 30 years in the army. I remerging home on the ship we were on the deck and heard someone in a boat following the ship. There was a girl crying and yelling why yo no tell me yo leave me.. I felt real bad that day I left Japan. I went back again many years after that bu she was gone.

  26. Hi all – was just in NYC and visited the NY Historical Society where by chance, after doing my research, passed a recess that was displaying the ACTUAL surrender document that the US had signed by the Japanese and other countries. It was incredibly impressive to see it, with Gen. MacArthur’s signature along with Nimitz’s and many others.

  27. I was in Tokyo from 1949 until 1953 and was assigned to the AG section in the Dia Ichi Building, Gen McArthur’s headquarters. When the Korean war started I was taken off my regular job in the Mail and Records section and made a messinger to offices within the building. I saw the back of Gen McArthur sometimes when I delivered papers to the War Room. He, along with other officers would be looking at a huge map of Korea. I visited Gen McArthur’s office in the Dia Ichi when I was on a trip to Japan in 1993.

  28. Please change my email address to “”.

  29. Hi Paul, Both my parents were there from 1947-1951. My father, Clifford Callahan worked in Communications as a Staff Sargent, I believe, and my mother, Diane, was a civil servant working in Gen. McArther’s headquarters. I wondered if you recall either one of them? They were in their early thirties at the time and lived in nearby quonset huts. Also, if you know of any resources where I could find out more about the personnel working there during that time period. Thank you!

    • Sorry, Kathleen I didn’t know your parents. I think the only quonset hut housing in Tokyo was Palace Heights around the moat from the Imperial Palace. The PX had a drive-in there where we used to go to get hamburgers and chili. I don’t know of any place where you can contact personnel who was in Tokyo back then.

  30. Just found this site. Surprised at all the contacts and memories. I was in the 71st Signal Bn. from 10/46 thru 3/48. Worked in the Dai Ichi building and lived in the San Shin building a few blocks away.
    I was frequently in General MacArthurs office, and at least once got to sit at his desk. Was a 17 year old Private, or PFC, at most, and that was a real thrill.
    Was part of group situated on second roof of Dai Ichi and we did all the office intercommnication for GHQ. The General had no phone in his office, just a button for a buzzer wired to his Aide. Our once daily check of the buzzer got us into his office, under supervison. Two Phillipino Master Sargents one time gave me the opportunity to sit in the chair- and absolutely touch nothing else.
    Lot of memories from that time, and flabbergasted when I see pictures of Toyky today.

    • Dear Mr. Thonpson: Might you have known a soldier by the name of Jack Vainisi?

    • Mr. Thonpson
      Just wondering if you recognized my Dad’s name. P.A. DuBose(Boots) He worked as a clerk in a medical outfit and lived and worked right down the street from you from 1946 through 1949.

      345 Sanders Road
      New Tazewell , Tennessee
      United States
      865 919 0843

  31. Hello Jack, Surprised to find this. I was there during this time. Lived and worked at the San Shen bld. Staff Sgt. David Webb. My office was on the 8th floor with the special service office. I worked with Sgt Borja
    and have kept in contact with him for many years but have lost him now.

    I would like to hear from you and see if we can remember very much of the place.

    Please email me at,

  32. My grandfather, COL Andy D. Yates, was on Gen MacArthur’s staff, in Japan. Would anyone remember him?

  33. In 1946, my mother was one of the Japanese dancers who performed in the first-ever production in Japan of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Mikado” at the Ernie Pyle theatre. The opera had previously been banned as it mocked the Japanese Emporer. She worked side-by-side with many Americans and had a wonderful time. She also saw MacArthur coming and going from the Dai-Ichi Bldg with his corn pipe in mouth. She fell in love with an Army Sergeant (who was the PX Manager at Camp Omiya after being transferred from Camp Drake) whom she met in a Catholic church in Kichijoji, Tokyo. My father was with the First Cavalry. They moved to America in 1952. She has recently seen the movie “Emporer” 3 times for the memories it brings back–some bad, many good.

    • I have a printed programme from the 1946 production of the Mikado at the Ernie Pyle Theater in Tokyo.


      • Patrick, that’s fantastic! Did you see the performance? If so, did you enjoy it?

        Were you with the military? If so, which branch?


    • I was a soldier assigned to GHQ Soldier Shows at the Ernie Pyle Theatre and have the Show Book presented to us when the detachment was dissolved. In it there is a page listing all of the performers in “The Mikado”. If you would like, I will able to scan that page and you might find your Mother’s name listed there

      Len Kanter

  34. Does anyone remember the name of that great beer that we drank at a bar on the ginza. I do remember the green eggs we use to eat in the mess hall. I have two pictures a two guards one Japanese and the other an aericanand myself standing in front of the finance building. The other picture was a few friends from the mess hall drinking beer on the ginza. There use to be 13 mess halls in Japanes hotels that housed soldiers. One of the hotels was in gotonda. That hotel was for half Japanese and American.

    • I was in Japan 1948 -1949. Worked in Distribution (mail) early 1948 at the Dia ichi Bldg (MacArthur’s headquarters) Delivered mail to all offices in building and then delivered mail to other locations in Tokyo by jeep. In late Spring .I was put on detached service to the Air Corps (Tachikawa Air Base) and worked and lived at Koganei Golf Course seventeen miles from Tokyo. Needless to say I had a wonderful time.

      • My father worked in the Postal Ministry, on one of the floors below MacArthur…His name was John Pauer.

    • I remember a beer (Asahi) and drank a few in Camp Drake.

      • I believe that was the best beer I ever tasted. Even better than german beer
        What year were you in Japan. I was there in the finance building two different hotels from 1951 to 1954. I love Japan it was my best duty durning my 30 years in the army

  35. Dis anyone of you work directly for the International Military Tribunal of the Far East, whose staff was on the 6th floor of Dai-Ichi building?

    • I have a program from the tribunal, listing the defendants, that my father saved.

  36. I I Was in Philippines when war ended. Transferred to Tokyo on GHQ staff in 1945. Was assigned to Japanese repatriation, working on the 2nd floor of the Dia Ichi building. General MacArthur was in our office almost daily checking on how we were doing in getting the repatriation done. Our chief had taken a picture of The general one day, blew it up, printed at top of picture, “I Shall Return” and at bottom of picture printed “After Chow”, and then drew a pair of corn cob pipes below. It was sitting on his desk one day when the General walked in, and we all cringed, but he got a big kick out of it. Although many think otherwise, our entire office found him to be a thoughtful and caring person. My son is visiting Tokyo in September and plans on seeing where I was stationed.

    • Hello Jack. My father Donald Cherbonneau was stationed at MacArthurs headquarters in ’45-’46 also on the 2nd floor as a clerk typist. He mentioned he worked with a man from Maine and one from New York but cannot remember their names.

  37. I came in to find out what floor of Daichi bulding Gen. Mac office is located. I found it is 6th floor and also many interesting stories about Gen. Mac and related stories. Thanks for the participants.(from Seoul Korea)

  38. I wrote two to three paragraphs concerning my Three years in Tokyo Japan in 51 to 54. I would like to tell you about the outfit I was in the finance building. Footlocker and wall locker inspections. That was a joke. They gave me a 30 day restriction for not having a extra pair of shoelaces. They use to call the outfit little west point. The captain was a graduate from west point and the first sargaent was airborne. Every item in your wall locker was s many inches apart with your. Name on the door. Your footlocker evevery item had to be folded a certain. Everyone had to have all the same color with a shaving stick . No one. Old use those toilet articles. You could not have any dirty clothes tied back on your bed. They were all white glove inspection. Saturday usuall were our inspecting days. If you had any gigs then they would come back Sunday morning around three o clock in the morning. The men in Korea during the fighting had a special name for the troops stationed injapan . It was gishe house queers. I enjoyed my duty in Japan even though it was hell trying to please everybody. At least we were creded with the Korean war because we were in the waters. By the way I did serve almost 30 years and was I vietnam. I guess they were so tough in that unit because they were trying to impress the general. Did it make a man out of me no.

  39. I was assigned to the AG’s Executive Office, GHQ, SCAP & FEC, APO #500 during 1947-48 in the Dai Ichi Building. Our office was located on the messinine floor. From the inside walkway we could look down on the first floor and observe General MacArthur’s arrivals and departures. He did arrive about 10 AM, left in mid afternoon, returned around 7 PM and often did not depart until 1 or 2 AM. Each office was required to have an Officer CQ and an EM on duty whenever Generl MacArthur was in the building.
    I was a Tech 4 and our office was responsible for publishing the GHQ Daily Bulletin along with other duties. Our daily duties included a trip to the Ernie Pyle theater to acquire the current movie shedules. We often visited the Ginza when fullfilling this duty.
    I, too was billeted at the Finance Building and often viewed the Honor Guard preparing and training in the inner court. I, also, when walking from the Dai Ichi Building to the Finance Building along the Imperial Palace moat had a solo salute to General MacArthur as he passed in his Cadillac limo. He did see me and did return the salute.
    A lastingmemory with all the others during my tour in Tokyo, Japan.

    • Dear Mr. Kuehni: Thank you for your service to our country. I am wondering if when you were in Gen. MacArthur’s h.q. you knew or had heard about another gentleman who worked there by the name of Jack Vainisi?

  40. Sorry Brian but I did not know Jack Vainisi. I’m 85 years old and don’t remember many names from that era anymore. Some names I do remember are C. Libera, Kretchmar, Judy, J. Constantine and Col. Levy. I believe Captain Juliani was the Co. Commander of Company A, Hdqts.& Service Group. Good luck with your quest. Norm






  42. RE THE QUESTION ABOUT SWIMMING POOLS IN TOKYO..I billeted in the Finance Building from October 46 to October 47… I saw MacArthur frequently being driven past our building, and also several times near the Dai-Ichi Bldg. Somehow I had found a beautiful SWIMMING POOL, located
    near the main entrance of Yoyogi Park. I was told by a Japanese watchman
    that it was an OLYMPIC pool, but he did not know for which Olympics.
    I do not think it was an OFFICERS pool, for it was always EMPTY.
    I swam totally ALONE many times.
    Does anyone remember this pool ?

    • My mother remembers the Yoyogi Pool. She thinks a Japanese swimmer won a gold medal there some time after the war and that his name was Furuhashi. She never swam in that pool.

      • Sharon Bickler… thanks for excellent reply… I would love to correspond with your Mother email is:
        I live near Boston.
        Perhaps we could exchange photographs of Tokyo 1946-47.
        I do NOT have any of the Yoyogi pool. Lots of the Finance building.

      • Yes, his name was Furuhashi Hashizuma(sp?)

  43. For those asking about the performance of the Mikado at the Ernie Pyle theater, here is a reference: Samuel L. Leiter, “Performing the Emperor’s New Clothes: The Mikado, The Tale of Genji, and Lesé Majesté” in Samuel L. Leiter, ed. Rising from the Flames: The Rebirth of Theater in Occupied Japan (Rowman & Littlefield: London, 2009), 125-163; ibid. Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., “Appendix C. A Note on Takarajuko,” 381-389.

    I would appreciate hearing from anyone who remembers this performance, which occurred while the Tokyo war crimes tribunal was underway. My understanding is that only US soldiers were allowed. Did they have any sense of how bizarre it was that the Mikado promises to make “the punishment fit the crime” when Emperor Hirohito himself was exempted from prosecution. I am writing a book on the Tokyo war crimes tribunal, so any memories of the Dai Ichi building or MacArthur and the city itself are most helpful. Jeanne Guillemin (MIT)

  44. My mother can give you full details of the performance. She can be seen in some if the photos published in LIFE magazine, September 9, 1946 issue. She has the program for the show as well. All Allied force members could attend, but the vast majority were American soldiers. All the non-Japanese performers were Americans.
    My mom also attended one of the war crimes trials as her good friend, Tamako Nakanishi, was an interpreter at the trial. She thinks the prosecutor or interrogator was a man in a suit named Keenan (she only heard his name and didn’t know how it was written, so I’m guessing this is what it was). Obviously it would be easier if you just spoke to my mom directly. She and my dad live with me. My dad also attended one if the performances–before he met my mom.

    • Sharon, you asked if my brother ever reported on the Mikado in his articles or broadcasts from Tokyo during his 1945-46 tour of duty. Sorry, that I don’t have the answer to that. But I can tell you that he did send some beautiful kimonos and accessories to my mother and to me, and when he returned home he told us of actresses he had seen on stage wearing such lovely costumes. He had been very involved in school with stage productions, and I can’t imagine that he would have missed seeing the Mikado. In fact, the first thing he did when he returned from Japan was to enroll in a dramatic school in Boston before eventually going on to law school.

      Your mother’s experience is fascinating, and I’m wondering if either of you has read Josephine D. Lee’s “The Japan of Pure Invention: Gilbert Sullivan’s the Mikado.” It’s an excellently documented work, and I was able to view on-line notes relating to Chapter 8, which provide citations to many newspaper articles and other sources relating to the production at the Ernie Pyle Theatre, including the 1946 LIFE article you mention. In fact, you’ve interested me so much that I’ve checked the WORLDCAT website for library locations and found that I can stroll a few blocks to the American University Library to view their copy, a project I’m very much looking forward to. Many thanks.

    • Sharon, the chief prosecutor was Joseph Berry Keenan. If your mother would like to watch a short video of him interrogating Koichi Kido, just enter the following Google search: “Joseph Keenan, Japanese War Crimes Trial” and you’ll find access to the video, as well as scads of other references to Keenan and the trials.

    • Sharon, et al.
      I was a “Soldier in Grease Paint” at the Ernie Pyle theatre in 1946-47 and acted and performed in the GHQ Soldier Shows unit. Although I did not perform in the “Mikado”. When the unit was disbanded I was one of the few soldiers given a copy of the “Special Services Detachment GHQ FED Soldier Shows Show Book..An History of occupation Theatre 1946-1947″. This contains material regarding the formation of the unit as well references to the various productions for stage, hospital and club shows.
      There is a full program for the Mikado” including the names of all of the performers, including the Corps de Ballet. I am sure that your Mother’s name is listed.

      The pages are extremely brittle and fragile; however, if you send me your email address, I will attempt to scan that page and send it to you.

      In the meanitime, if there is anyone out there who knows of anyone connected with the unit, I would appreciate any information.

      • Actually, we’d love to see whatever you have on the Mikado performance or any of the following if they are included in your book. She was also in other performances at the Ernie Pyle Theater with different American actors or just their dance troupe: “The Drunkard”, “Jungle Drums” and the Matsuri festival. The dance troupe also performed in base clubs, night clubs, the Russian Officers’ Club, and hotels, including the Imoerial Hotel. They performed as well at the 4th of July celebration at the Korakuen baseball field in 1946. Thank you so much for offering to share them.

  45. Josephine D. Lee’s “The Japan of Pure Invention: Gilbert Sullivan’s the Mikado.” Sounds fascinating but I can’t find anything on this on the web. Do you know where I can find it? My mother was very excited to hear about it.

    Thank you so much for sharing your brother’s experiences. It does sound as if he’d seen one of the performances of the Mikado.

    She was also in other performances at the Ernie Pyle Theater with different American actors or just their dance troupe: “The Drunkard”, “Jungle Drums” and the Matsuri festival. The dance troupe also performed in base clubs, night clubs, the Russian Officers’ Club, and hotels, including the Imoerial Hotel. They performed as well at the 4th of July celebration at the Korakuen baseball field in 1946.

    • Sharon, if your local library extends interlibrary loan services to their readers, they should be able to borrow the Lee book for you. If you’d like to check yourself to see what libraries in your area hold copies, just go to Google, and in the query box enter “WORLDCAT, the Japan of Pure Invention.” Then follow the instructions, and you’ll learn where the book is available. That’s what I did to learn that American University holds a copy. Without knowing the name of your town or city I wasn’t able to check for you. Perhaps by now you’ve guessed that I’m a librarian :).

      The way I found the references to the author’s notes was a bit too complicated to explain here, but I started just by entering the author and title in the Google query box. If you do that and have patience with the search, you’ll also be able find the info.

      I noted that Amazon has the book for sale, but you’d most likely want to see the book before deciding to buy a copy. Good luck!

  46. Did anyone ever go to the beautiful Cornucopia dance hall in the Sannoh Hotel near either the Ochanomizu and Suidobashi stations? My mother said it was very elegant with large ice columns (possibly serving as air conditioners?) with tree branches and flowers arranged and embedded within like gorgeous bonsai arrangements.

  47. I am the grandson of Edward Welle. He may have been referred to as Ed or Eddie. He was stationed in Japan as a photographer. I have his cameras and the bottom of a light meter reads Ernie Pyle Theater. Was the theater managed by GI’s? I would very much appreciate it if anyone recalls his name.

  48. I have wrote many stories concerning my time in Tokyo Japan I forgot to mentioned abut warrant officer yont who was an a aid to general MacArthur. H
    After the general passed away he was tbe aid to the generals wife. I met warrant officer durning my tenure as a enlisted aid instructor. My yont taught bartending at the school in Petersburg Virginia I knew him for two years off I went again to Korea where I was nco Of the commanding generals mess another 4 star general

    • Is that warrant officer you knew still alive? Did you know a soldier and armed services football player by the name of Jack Vainisi?

  49. Does anyone remember the young Japanese woman who was a night cashier at the snack bar in the Finance Building? She worked along side an older woman who always wore a kimono. The younger woman was transferred to the Dia Ichi snack bar when it was opened after the Korean War started.

  50. Paul Loden you mention a Snack bar in the Finance building

    I have NO memory of such a bar… is my memory THat bad ?
    I was billeted in the Finance Building from Oct 1946 thru September 1947.

  51. As I remember the snack bar was on the first floor of the Finance Bldg to the right as you came in the front of the building. I was in the Finance Bldg from 1949 until 1952.

    • I was billeted at the Finance Building during 1947-48. The snack bar, which we referred to as the building PX was located in the lower level far right hand corner facing the front of the building. I often watched Dick McGinley play poker there in the eveing.

      • Did you ever encounter a soldier by the name of Jack Vainisi? He played football in Japan 1946-47.

  52. Paul loden what outfit were connected during your time in the finance building. I think I remember the company I was with. I believe it was company e. the first sargeant was airborne and the company commander graduated from west point. I remember tbe day they changed the color of our boots from brown to black. Do you remember the boys who spit shine your shoes. I worked in the mess hall my time there was from 1951 to 1954 did ever go to shimbashi? Harold

  53. Tech Sgt and Bn Sgt Major, Admin Asst in GHQ Personnel Section, Finance Bldg, 1946-1948 (age 17-19), anyone remember Capt. Olcott and CWO Schroyer or any of 25 WAC Clerk-Typists who worked there, or is there ever going to be a reunion of GHQ, FEC, APO 500 and How Did We Get Here So Fast, YO!

  54. Sgt John P.R. Rose, and Paul Loden
    Think back to 1946- 1947 and the Army PX on the Ginza….
    Google tells me that it was in the “WAKO MAIN BUILDING”
    ( Tell Google Maps to show it to you)
    I remember the PX NEAR to that building, maybe a block away.
    I have a photograph…. if you send me an email

    • I suggested correspondents ROSE and LODEN could send me an email
      my address is
      Sometimes Armchair General edits my messages…

      • Let’s try again to fool the Website Censor…..
        For ROSE and LODEN, try
        billzet2 followed by
        Could someone at Armchair General please explain why
        you do not want us to send email addresses ?
        What better way to establish contacts about the General’s Tokyo ?

  55. To protect yourself from spam.

    • Donald David…I anticipated an explanation involving my privacy….
      Understandable but unsatisfactory…
      In this age of intrusive Government, I see no reason to ask for Protection from SPAM.
      I get much already, a little more would hardly be noticeable.

  56. I was assigned to Company A, Staff Bn, Hq & Svc Group in the Finance Building. I worked in the AG Mail and Records in the Dia Ichi Building. I left Japan in April 1952 and returned in October 1952. At that time GHQ had been changed to Hq Far East Command and was at Pershing Heights. The WACO Building on the Ginza was also known as the Hattori Bldg and was a snack bar at one time. The Tokyo PX was farther north on the Ginza and was in the Matsuzaka-ya Department Store Bldg.

    • My brother and I used to play on the roof of the Hattori Bldg and in the clock tower. We lived in Azabu from 47 to 52 and our dad’s office was in the Hattori Bldg.

  57. I would like to discuss the fiancé building with Paul Logan. I entered the army in 1951 basic training and school at fort Dix new jersey. After my Training I had leave and probably was in the finance building around July 1951. I donot remember the company I was with. It could have been the company you were with. I was in mess hall. The company I was associated with had white glove inspections we use to train in some park. I left the finance utilizing I don’t remember the time I went to a hotel in gotanda. Then to another hotel. I ended up at grant housing detachment. I left Japan after. Serving three years. I only have two pictures one of the pictures showed all the cooks with sgt Clarke the mess sergeant drinking beer at some bar in Tokyo. I am 86 years old and my mindy is not that clear. I stayed in the army for thirty years I am a disabled veteran so I receive enough to live. Tokyo was my best duty while I was in the army

    • I was assigned to Co. B on 4th floor of Finance Bldg, Worked in the Office of Chief
      Engr which located in the Mitsubishi Bldg.
      I arrived in Jan 1949 until july 1951. Previous writers mentioned “Mikado” which I still have program, very enjoyable. I also lucked out when Bob Hope appeared at Ernie Pyle theater.If interested I am at ghqfec followed by at yahoo dot com.

  58. my father was stationed in the Dai Ichi bldg in late 40s – he was Signal Corp -anyone remember Earl Cobey?
    also, where were married officers living at that time?

  59. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I ran Into this site. Jack Thompson I also lived in the San Shin building during my tour of duty in Tokyo, 48 through 50. I was in the 71st Signal Service Battalion, Company C. I was quartered on the seventh floor room 729 along with 14 other comrades who worked in the Intercom Section on the Second Roof of the Daiichi Building. We Installed intercom equipment throughout Tokyo for all of Mac Arthur’s G2 staff and others. I did get into McArthur’s office a few times, once while he was there. His office was somewhat plain but very nice
    My time spent Tokyo was the best duty I had while in the service.
    I don’t recall any swimming pool except for the one at Meiji Park which was built in 1936 for the summer Olympics.
    The enlisted men’s club was one of the great attractions for the soldiers. It was the most beautiful building. Mrs. McArthur established that for the GIs. The officers wanted it but she wouldn’t give it to them.
    I would love to communicate with some of you who were there during my time.

    • To Robert Hoose,
      The description you gave of your billet, the San Shin, and the Intercom group on the second floor of Dai Ichi correspond exactly with my experience, except I was there from October, 1946 to March 1948. I left in mid March, 1948, abruptly, with a medical problem, and got flown back to the the states for more hospital time. Sounds like you could have been my replacement. We had a Lt. Spaulding and Repka in charge. Did you know John Wentzel in intercom group. I’m still in contact with him.

    • Mr Hoose,
      My father, John Tinker, was a manager at the Enlisted Men’s club your referenced for some time between 1947-1948.
      I would be glad to put you in touch with him to see if you times overlapped.

    • There was a swimming pool near Azabu and the Russian Embassy that was for EM and then officers on alternating days.

  60. I was in the Finance Building from 1949 until 1952 and worked in the AG Mail and Records in the Dia Ichi Building. I had a friend who with the Tokyo Military Government Team (TMGT) and lived in the San Shin Building. I remember looking down from his window and seeing the trains arriving and leaving Yurakucho Station.
    The EM club was really nice and I remember the dice tables and slot machines, also the BLT sandwiches which I think cost 20 cents. I was at the Presidio of San Francisco for a while but nothing could match the duty in Tokyo.

  61. to Jack Thompson & paul
    The name John Wentzel is not familiar to me but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t there. Spalding and Repka were there, Repka hired me. Lieut. Repka was also in charge of the officers club.
    I wonder if you knew Master Sgt. Edward R Harris, Sgt. Newman or a Sgt. Elder. They had been there a while before I got there.
    I notice everybody talks about the finance building it’s not really familiar to me I don’t know why it should be.. The building next to the San Shin I think was a Provost Marshal and I think some of Stars & Stripes personnel were in their.
    I remember that beer was five cents a bottle and whiskey sellers were $.20. Check it in the basket was a quarter. It was all great. I wanted to extend my time there but they wouldn’t let me, of course I risk the danger of being shipped to Korea.

    • Hi Robert,
      Glad to hear the officers were still there. The names of the Sergeants you mentioned are familiar but I can’t relate them to faces. One of them, probably the Master Sergeant, I think I recall as a well liked guy.
      When in 1948 did you get the assignment to the intercom group. I left in March, about the 17th.
      Sure wish I had the motivation then to photograph and record names of the GI’s I worked with. Went home to Pennsylvania with a Georgia accent.
      Didn’t know e-mail addresses were taboo on this site. Been exchanging e-mails with Dave Webb, another San Shin resident in mid-west.

  62. I arrived in Tokyo middle of June and was assigned to the Intercom section right away.Sgt. Harris and Neuman were both gems.
    I have a family web site Called If you send amessage on it then i could answer.

  63. The Finance Building was the former Japanese Ministry of Finance and was located on Avenue B. It housed the Hq and Svc Group. I think most of the people in the Finance Building worked in the Dia Ichi. A few blocks north was the 720th MPs and was located in the same building as the Metropolitan Police.

  64. I need help with my memory…I was in Tokyo 46-47, billeted in the Finance building, and visited the PX often..I have ONE photo showing a group of GI’s ” near the PX’. This photo happens to have the WAKO building in the far background. In my opinion, the WAKO was NOT the PX.
    Yet I have read comments on this page saying the WAKO WAS the PX
    in 1946. I also have found a photo showing the WAKO with Lettering that says ARMY PX, ; this photo was dated Dec 21 1947.
    My PX photo was taken before October 1947, so I have no proof either way
    Can anyone help me ? and Thanks

  65. To Robert A Hoose
    You mention an Olympic Pool in Meiji Park.
    I swam there ALONE several times in the 46-47 era.
    This was an INDOOR pool… is that your memory ?
    I have not been able to find ANYONE who remembers it !!
    Have you any photos ? And could you locate it precisely
    on a map ? My memory is that is was just OUTSIDE the Park.
    bill zettler

    • The Olympic pool I swam in during 47-48 was an outside pool. I have a picture of it. Norm Kuehni

  66. To Norm KUEHNI
    Where was that pool? MINE, if it existed at all, was near the Northern end
    of Meiji Park, near the Yoyogi station. Outside the Park.
    Send me that photo please… use billzet2 followed by @

  67. Paul Loden…Your Matsuzaka Dept store for the PX rings a loud bell
    I would like to send you some photos of the store .,with the WAKo building in the background. My ” fool Armchair ” address is billzet2 followed by The Wako is still a landmark, and if you have Google Maps
    it is wonderful to see.

    • Actually, it was the Matsuya Department Store in Ginza, not the Matsuzaka.
      There was another one at the corner of Ginza at 4 chome. It was in the Hatori Watch Store. It was more like a snack bar, serving hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn, sodas and snacks.

      • My mom also said that orphaned Japanese boys would line up outside the Hatori store and try to shine the soldiers’ shoes. A few lucky kids got adopted by a soldier as the mascot for their camp. He’d be dressed in small soldier’s uniforms (sewn by the Japanese), would have a bed in the soldiers’ barracks, and would be fed. Some of these kids would actually get adopted by the soldier and taken back to America.

        There were also street ladies outside the Nichigeki Theatre in Yuraku-cho. Sometimes they were paid with GI blankets. The women would dye them bright colors and sew them into winter coats. They had lost everything and had to find a way to earn money.

    • Billeted in the Finance Bldg 1946-1947. GHQ
      Had some ironic experiences.

      • Byron: I would sure be interested in your experiences! It would assist me in writing a book I am currently researching and writing – a biography of Jack Vainisi. He too was billeted in the Finance Bldg. when you were there. He played football for GHQ.

  68. To Howard Wandle
    You mention ‘White Gloves” ; I was in the Guard Co in the Finance Building 46-47, and you remind me of a memorable experience with white gloves.
    MacAthur’s Honor Guard was billeted in the Finance, and we competed with other Guard companies in the Tokyo area for white gloves… they were simply unavailable. One afternoon I was down at the Harbor , incoming Army goods. In my jeep was a case of Scotch.. I was at the desk and I noticed a 3 box stack of fresh new gloves ! maybe 300 pair; Thinking fast, I filled out a requisition order..and the clerk said ” Forget it”
    I then said ” I’ll swap you a case of Scotch. ” Bargain accepted !!
    All former Supply Clerks will imagine the great fun we had swapping those gloves…I had cornered the Tokyo market. My only problem:
    Where and Why did I have that Scotch !!??

    • Did you ever encounter a soldier by the name of Jack Vainisi who too was in the Finance Building in 46-47?

  69. Ernest Khim and Tom Higby were clerks in MacArthur’s office in the Dai Ichi building in 1945-46. My father’s duties involved transcribing last letters written home by Japanese Officers who were about to be executed for war crimes. His good friend, Ernest Khim (Korean) translated the letters. They spent much of their time off in dance halls learning the waltz from beautiful Japanese women. I’m making a short documentary about that time and would love to be in touch with anyone who was there during these years and who may remember my Dad and his friend.

  70. Tom Higby and Ernest Khim were assigned to MacArthur’s office in the Dai Ichi Bldg in 1945-46. They were 18 year old Army clerks. They worked together translating and transcribing the last letters home written by Japanese officers who were facing execution for war crimes. They also spent all of their free time learning how to waltz with beautiful Japanese women in dance halls. I’m currently involved in making a short documentary about this time in my father’s life. I would welcome an opportunity to talk to anyone who may remember them or that time and place. This link has been a fascinating read.

    • My mother is Japanese and was a dancer at the Ernie Pyle Theater and in the first performances of “The Mikado” there. In her time off, she’d love to dance at the Cornucopia Hotel in the Sanno/San-O? Hotel. It was a gorgeous dance hall with large ice pillars with rose bouquets held within them. The big band was called “Stardust”. It was made of Japanese musicians who played all American songs. She danced at another dance hall in Ginza called the Mimatsu Dance Hall. Japanese could go there in addition to occupation people. She went to the dance halls with her friends. But she said the halls hired Japanese women to dance with the soldiers. When a soldier purchased his admission, he was given a certain number of dance tickets that he would use for dances with these dance partners.

    • I was billeted in the Finance Bldg. in 1946-47 and have s few stories to relate. Interested? Byron

      • Byron: I’d be interested in what stories you might have.

  71. Just found this and wondering if anyone would have known or remembered my dad, Mike Hinshaw. He was in the Army 1950-1952 and had been stationed in Japan at Dai-ichi as a Teletype Operator. Any information would be greatly appreciated! God Bless all of you who have served our country.
    Christy, (proud daughter)

  72. My father, Harold Lester (“Jack”) Metzler was stationed there. He was a clerk. Anyone remember him?

  73. My Mother,Janet C. Preston,when she was stationed in Tokyo with the Woman’s Army Corp, worked in the basement of the Daiichi Building. She worked in the Post Office for Mail to soldiers during the Korean War. She was Janet Callahan then, but was married to a Frank Taylor, a guard at the GHQ. The WAC’s would do their drill in front of the Imperial Palace.

    • Hello,
      You mention a Frank Taylor who was a guard at the GHQ. Would his name have possibly been Jack F. Taylor? (Am trying to help figure out a recent find at an antique shop, and I am the webmaster for the MacArthur Honor Guard Association website.) Thank you! Beth Ranner McLenaghan

  74. My wife and I managed to obtain an invitation to visit General MacArthur’s reconstructed office in the new Dai-Ichi Building in Tokyo, and it brought back many memories. I had seen the original office a couple of times in 1973 when I returned to Tokyo to assume my duties as the Far Eastern Director for the New York State Department of Commerce, but I had not been there since. long before that, however, I remember standing guard from time to time at the Dai-Ichi Building from 1946 to 1948 as a member of the 720th Military Police Battalion. During the recent visit, I noticed that the caption on one of the General’s photos stated that he had made his famous “old soldiers never die” speech in Tokyo prior to his departure during the Korean War. I pointed out to an attendant that the speech had actually been made before Congress in 1951 after MacArthur returned to America. Our conversation was overheard by several Japanese visitors and when they realized that I too was one of the “old soldiers,” I suddenly became the center of attraction . . . and was peppered with questions and comments regarding the Occupation. It turned out to be quite a visit.

  75. My wife and I recently visited the reconstructed offices of General MacArthur in Tokyo’s Dai-Ichi Building, and it brought back many memories. I had seen the original office when I returned to Japan in 1973 as the Far East Director for the N.Y.S. Department of Commerce, but I had even earlier memories of when I stood guard at the entrance for the General’s daily arrivals and departures from 1946 to 1948 as a member of the 720th Military Police. During my recent visit, I noted that a caption on one of the photos stated that General MacArthur had made his famous “old soldier never did” speech in Tokyo upon his departure during the Korean War. I informed an attendant that the speech had actually been made in Washington before Congress in 1951 after the General’s return from Japan. A number of Japanese visitors overheard the conversation and when they realized that I was one of the “old soldiers,” I suddenly became the center of attraction . . . and was peppered with questions and comments regarding the Occupation. It turned out to be a most interesting visit,

  76. Hi, My father had incredible and wonderful memories of living in th San Shin building. Did any of you know him. He was in charge of entertainment for the soldiers there. His name is
    Richard (Dick) Linday

    • Dear Ms. Lindsay,
      Sorry, I did not know your father who, I assume, was in the Signal Corps unit that was stationed in the San-Shin Building. If he was there from 1946 to 1948, I may have bumped into him, as our MP HQ was in the next building, the Asahi Building. However, if your father was involved in entertainment, he may have known a friend of mine, Kenny Shibata, a Japanese booking agent who had an office across the street from the San Shin Building, and provided many of the acts for U. S. bases in Tokyo during the early Occupation. For your information, I set up my initial office for the NYS Dept. of Commerce in the San Shin Building in 1973. Sadly, that historic structure has now been torn down to make way for a new high-rise office building.

  77. Does anyone remember Thomas Donald (Don) Irvin who was a clerk in MacArthur’s headquarters?

  78. re: Palace Heights

    I have posted on you tube a clip of our family’s home movie showing Palace Heights. Please search under: Ray Craig Home Movie 1952 Palace Heights.


  79. Hello, my cousin Salvatore Iurato, was General Mac Arthur’s typist until 1946 and was stationed at the Tokyo HQ. I have many pictures and would love to share them. If you remember him, please feel free to contact me. He is 90 years old now, and we talk frequently of the time he served.

    Nynoni at

    • My aunt, Angeline McCaffery, was a WAC and served on MacArthur’s staff. We believe she started her service as a cryptologist. I would be grateful if anyone remembers her would let me know.

    • My father is 91 and was also stationed as a clerk typist from ’45-’46/’47.

  80. served in crypto in ghq from july 49 to jan 51. returned to u s due to medical problems. operated ground end of communication equipment on bataan. woulk like to hear from others who served there.

  81. Love reading all these comments! Was hoping and wondering if anybody who reads this may have been here between 52-53 that worked or knew anybody who worked in the Signal Services? My grandfather there and was hoping somebody might remember him, he was M/Sgt. Donald Swain.

  82. Spent time at what we called the ‘MEIJI’ Building across from the Emperor’s palace.I was in Army Finance, and if I remember correctly, our section was in the basement. The building was not a high rise (6 stories?) with columns rising to the top of the building for the entire width. When coming out of the building the view was of the Diet Building to the left and the Palace Ground s directly accross the boulevard.Was this the same bulding as dicussed above?

    • Did you mean the Dia-Ichi building instead of the Diet building? I remember the Meiji building was the headquarters of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF).

  83. In researching my new book about the Tokyo War Crimes Trial (Hidden Atrocities: Japanese Germ Warfare and the American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial, Columbia U Press, nominated for a Politzer), I found many documents at both the National Archives and the University of Virginia Law School that offer lots of details about US Army personnel and events in 1946-1951. Most of these collections are on line and easy to access.

    • Jeanne, I am an editor at Armchair General and I also work in the legal profession. I would be extremely interested in writing a review your book when it is published. Would that be possible?

    • Jeanne: I too am writing a book that involves a person who worked in GHQ and was billeted in the Finance Building. Would you please provide me instruction on how to access the collections you mention? Thanks so much!

  84. Jeanne
    I have been trying to find photographs of the PARADE
    in the Palace Grounds in 1947; I had a Place of Honor
    and wonder if I was photographed. How may I access the files you mention ?
    Bill Zettler
    Finance Building Oct 46-Oct 47.

    • Hello Bill,
      Might you have been acquainted with Jack Vainisi, who was also in the Finance Building at the time you were there?

  85. I lived in Tokyo from 1947 to 1952,went to Yoyogi Elementary School in Washington Heights from 1st grade to 4th and then 5th grade at Pershing Heights. Several times my brother and I played with Arthur MacArther, the general’s son, at their Embassy residence. I remember one day tip-toeing past the general’s bedroom and seeing him taking an afternoon nap. Arthur’s private tutor, an English lady named Mrs.Gibbons became my 5th grade teacher after the MacArthurs left Tokyo.

  86. Does anyone recall meeting General MacArthur’s SCAP/FEC POLAD (chief political advisor & American representative to The Allied Council for Japan), Ambassador George Atcheson Jr.?
    He was killed on a August 1947 flight to Washington D.C. along with several of Mac’s general staff when their B-17 crashed in the Pacific off Oahu Hawaii. I’m very interested to talk with anyone who remembers this event, or has heard stories told about it.

  87. My father Robert L. Strickland was a photographer with the Army Signal Corps based in Tokyo July 17, 1950 to the war’s end in 1953. He worked out of the Dai Ichi building, when he was in Tokyo, but also did several tours in Korea. He was on the USS Rochester for the Inchon landing and awarded the Silver Star by Major General Ned Almond in Seoul when the city was reclaimed after Inchon.
    When my Dad passed away, age 96, in 2017, I discovered an entire box of letters he wrote home to my mother, while he was stationed in Tokyo. I am currently writing a book to honor my father and all of you who served during “The Forgotten War” based on my Dad’s almost daily letters home. Did anyone know my Dad, Bob Strickland? I would love to understand better what those times were like.

    • Gail, when you finish that book please consider letting Armchair General review it.

      • I’d be honored. It’s going well… Thanks to my Dad!

  88. I had a friend who worked in Gen. MacArthur’s office (as recreational director, I’m told) sometime between 1949 and 1952. Name was Connie Mac Curls. Anyone remember him?


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