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Posted on Aug 23, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Yokohama’s New Grand Hotel – MacArthur’s First Japanese Home

By Mo Ludan

[Note: The historical images in the PHOTO GALLERY capture the historic events starting with MacArthur’s arrival on August 30, 1945 and ending with his departure from New Grand Hotel on Sept. 2  to officiate in the formal surrender ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri  in Tokyo Bay, 22 miles away. The “today” photos chronicle our recent visit to this charming city:]

Photo Gallery

Click the thumbnails for larger images

Historical Photos

An unarmed MacArthur, corncob pipe in hand, lands on Japanese soil at Atsugi Airdrome, 1945. UPI

“Banquet, enlivened by many toasts and band music, is given aboard Perry’s flagship before treaty signing,  Port of Yoko-hama.”  LIFE, Sept. 16, 1945, p. 62.      Below: Commodore Matthew Perry, his four menacing “Black Ships” (Kurofune Raiho to the anxious Japanese) in the background, opened Japan to world commerce, 1854.  MIT Press.

MacArthur is met by Eichelberger (right) and Joseph M. Swing, commanding general, 11th Airborne Division (left).  MacArthur’s SWPA chief of staff, Richard K. Sutherland is third from left.  U.S. Army Signal Corps.

Img. 12.  Surrounded by newsmen.  Atsugi. At right are Eichelberger and Sutherland (partly hidden).  U.S. Navy.

Yokohama in ruins, 1945.  The majestic New Grand Hotel (right) stands virtually unscathed.    Photo from Hotel New Grand.

Portrait of  Mr. And Mrs. Yozo Nomura.  Photo from Hotel New Grand.

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  1. An interesting idea for an article and a very well-written article. It was interesting to read the letter from the officer explaining the actual circumstances of General MacArthur’s greeting of General Wainwright.

  2. I remember the New Grand Hotel, I lived and worked there from Nov 1947 to June 1950. The hotel was a part of the Eight Army Officers Club in those days. I was bar manager for the club part. Major Knowles was the Club Custodian. He was later replaced with Maj Rabb, as I recall. I knew Young Nomura quite well.

  3. I am not versed on if this is a “blog” or not but what an interesting study in history. I particularly liked the comparison in photos from 1945 and today. Great job.

  4. Very interesting. I was stationed near Yokohama from 1966 to 1968 and saw the Hotel New Grand many times. Also spent many hours in Yamashita Park. At the time I did not know history of the hotel just 21 years earlier.

  5. Check out Armchair General’s feature web article on “The New Grand Hotel,” which is located in Yokohama 17 miles south of Tokyo. The majestic, grand hotel survived the war and served as MacArthur’s first home in Japan.

    A few days later, the General moved his quarters to the U.S. ambassador’s official residence in Tokyo and his GHQ at six-story Dai-Ichi Mutual Life’s imposing world headquarters. Both structures miraculously survived the carpet bombing of the city.

    Also check the FORUM’s Trackbacks/Pingbacks for the film on “Hits and Misses in the Movie ‘Emperor’ Armchair General.”


  1. Armchair General Magazine – We Put YOU in Command!Historical Hits and Misses in the Movie ‘Emperor’ | Armchair General - [...] (See “Yokohama’s New Grand Hotel: MacArthur’s First Home in Japan” article/photo gallery at [...]