Talk:Isoroku Yamamoto

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Latest comment: 8 years ago by Chrononem in topic Disputed
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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Isoroku Yamamoto page.

On " awaken a sleeping giant...."[edit]

This line was invented for the movie Tora Tora Tora to give it an upbeat ending for American audiences. There's no historical proof he actually said that.

"Unsourced" versus "Misattributed"[edit]

Is there a real reason why these two sections - each containing only one quotation - should not ride under the single heading of "Unsourced"? The term "misattributed" is more properly applied to a remark that is associated with one particular speaker when it is known that the comment comes from another specific individual, and the correct source is supplied as an aspect of calling the statement "misattributed."
In the case of the "rifle behind every blade of grass" lines to which Mr. Jackson takes such vehement objection, there is a failure to discern the source of the remark, or even speculation on the possible reasons why it had ever been so widely attributed to Yamamoto Isoroku. Merely that there is no positive documentation proving that said person ever uttered the words. Better to call it "Unsourced," nu?

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
"Unsourced" headings, which were previously used for sections of quotes without any citations are being gradually phased out from being in the main articles, but the appropriate heading on that particular quote would be "Disputed" as it is widely quoted, but it's authenticity is very dubious, but not perhaps, as yet disproven. Misattributed sections are for quotes where clearly there have been either errors or deliberately false attributions made. ~ Kalki 00:39, 8 June 2009 (UTC)Reply
Is Jackson's claim of the "rifle behind every blade of grass" quotation having been misattributed substantiated by anything? In plain fact, I see nothing on the cited Web page that properly attributes the quotation to anyone. Merely an assertion that Jackson had not been able to find anywhere any evidence positively tying it to anything that Yamamoto Isoroku had written or said. Consider first that Jackson himself may not be an objectively reliable source for reasons of manifest political prejudice. Get a look at his work on that Web site. Second, remember that simply because a particular individual with Daltonism cannot differentiate between the colors red and green doesn't mean that these are not distinctly different colors. If Jackson - or anyone else - were to track down the "rifle behind every blade of grass" remark to a specific originating source (and in the process almost certainly explain why it had been attributed to Admiral Yamamoto), I would be wiling to see it called "Misattributed." Otherwise, you'd do better to move it into the "Disputed" category, wouldn't you?

Seriously? is the only source we have disputing the quote and we take it this seriously? This would be like Glenn Beck disputing a quote from one of the founding fathers and us giving it the same undue credibility. is a political website with an obvious agenda, and Jackson is extremely biased. I take him no more seriously than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. I don't think he or should be referenced, especially when reading the first line of the article makes his intentions obvious. I can understand a note stating that no official record of the quote exists and it is disputed by some people. But please remove the reference to Jackson and Until a reputable historian/scholar publishes a dispute to this quote, we have no reliable source and can only tell the truth: there is no official record and no proof either way, thus the quote is disputed by some. My two cents.

We do not "take everything as fact until there is a reputable disproving it". Rather, we should not attribute apocryphal quotes to anyone unless we have a valid and reputable source. The fact that some overly-patriotic, ethnocentric, Americans see the need to incessantly assert the authorship of this quote does not constitute, nor necessitate, authentic roots. I could state that IY said "I am God" but I doubt you would say that is an authentic (or disputed) quote as it has no reliable source, it is only here-say. Thus I assert that you should first show us an authentic source for the quotation, then we can call it "disputed". On a parenthetical note I do appreciate this issue being discussed on the page so as to combat the rumor.--Onhech (talk) 19:22, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply
No, no bias there (just accusing all American of being war mongering racists)... In any case, his chief deputy related that Yamamoto said something to this effect. It was listed here at one point, which is why I even bothered coming here (I wanted the deputy's name), but mysteriously it's been stripped. ~AJR

On the "rifle behind every blade of grass" quotation[edit]

While digging around online, discovered another Web poster's remark to the effect that he'd found in Christian News (a Lutheran journal published in New Haven, Missouri) published on 4 February 2002 the following:

In 1960, Robert Menard was a commander aboard the USS Constellation when he was part of a meeting between United States Navy personnel and their counterparts in the Japanese Defense Forces.
Fifteen years had passed since VJ Day, most of those at the meeting were WWII veterans, and men who had fought each other to the death at sea were now comrades in battle who could confide in each other.
Someone at the table asked a Japanese admiral why, with the Pacific Fleet devastated at Pearl Harbor and the mainland U.S. forces in what Japan had to know was a pathetic state of unreadiness, Japan had not simply invaded the West Coast.
Commander Menard would never forget the crafty look on the Japanese commander's face as he frankly answered the question.
'You are right,' he told the Americans. 'We did indeed know much about your preparedness. We knew that probably every second home in your country contained firearms. We knew that your country actually had state championships for private citizens shooting military rifles. We were not fools to set foot in such quicksand.'

This might have something to do with the attribution of the "behind every blade of grass" quotation to Yamamoto Isoroku.

of course, but then you realize who runs and dominates the edits in Wikipedia and then it all becomes clear why the main article reads the way it does. These editors and administrators have created or savedTM between 100 and 1,000,000 articles! 12:40, 4 March 2010 (UTC)Reply

"Blade of Grass" Misattributed statement to general Yamamoto[edit]

While this mas be a seriously conflicted argument, I dare ANYONE to compare historical gun rate ownership rates with any rational military advisers opinion. This was a VERY turbulent time in both countries' history, and I am sure there are to this day many documents that were hidden or destroyed. Asking for proof from this time period is like asking for a molecule of metal amidst a haystack. While many opponents argue that most of the guns were owned by a small percentage of the population, do they really think that would have mattered when our country was facing invasion? The militia mentality is the only reason the US exists today. Without the militia mentality, our country would have been preemptively overwhelmed by a Japanese military force if those guns were owned and controlled by a small portion of the population. I realize this is all conjecture at this point, but anyone can look back historically and draw their own conclusions. Also, keep in mind that the Japanese language is very high context, allowing for many translation errors. Perhaps at some point in history a translator decided to read more into a statement that was quietly retracted. Either way, the sentiment remains. Screw with the US, and you will face a $hi+$+torm of bullets from all angles. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Your emotional rhetoric is unconvincing. 00:09, 14 November 2015 (UTC)Reply
Apart from all the rationalizations of why Yamamoto could be conceived to have said this, so far as has been determined, there is no substantiation of this statement being anything more than a relatively recent attribution, with no credible sourcing. ~ Kalki·· 01:22, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
Having lived in Japan as part of the WWII US occupation forces, I can remember from a very young age the quote mentioned by my father who fought in the war. That the written passage has not been located, does not proved it is a bogus statement, merely that it has not yet been substantiated. Thus I would challenge the above post that this is "a relatively recent attribution", unless "recent" means 55+ years ago.


I do not believe is a reliable source. We don't link to Snopes, do we? If he provides a verifiable citation let's use it.

Chrononem (talk) 16:35, 14 January 2016 (UTC)Reply

There's the citation. Prof. Goldstein: I have never seen it in writing. It has been attributed to the Prange files [the files of the late Gordon W. Prange, chief historian on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur] but no one had ever seen it or cited it from where they got it. Some people say that it came from our work but I never said it. … As of today it is bogus until someone can cite when and where.

Professor Goldstein didn't state that Yamamoto didn't say it; he stated he didn't see it written anywhere, so that "citation" means nothing, especially when coupled with the fact that the attributed quote came from the files of a historian (Gordon Prange) who was actually working DURING the war...he is a much more credible source than someone who didn't see it in writing, and definitely more credible than some guy who is basing his "facts" off of the guy who never saw it in writing.

The quote was stated in a letter to Ryoichi Sasakawa prior to the attack (while discussing the details of the pending attack). The referenced "letter" is claimed to be in the extensive personal files of Gordon W. Prange, the personal historian for Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The Yamamoto quote in this letter is said to be, "to invade the United States would prove most difficult because behind every blade of grass is an American with a rifle." Logic would suggest that the letter to Ryoichi Saskakawa from Yamamoto is in those files because why make a reference to a specific letter's existence, which can be verified by checking those extensive files if one has the time and energy, if such a specific letter does not exist? Just because Historian Donald M. Goldstein says he "never saw the document" is far from proof the specific letter somewhere deep in the Prange Files, does not exist. Those files are extensive. I believe I read somewhere, but can't be sure, that Prange himself stated the Yamamoto quote from time to time in conversations before he died. But the specific letter reference is far more relevant; and with time and energy, more verifiable. After all, it either does exist or it doesn't. But the facts remain. This is far from unattributable, and no one has disproven the attribution. When someone comes up with the letter to Ryoichi Sasakawa from the Prange files and it's not there, then we've disproven it. Until then, the quote stands. >>Only proved the Professor never saw it.