This introductory chapter explains how the book focuses on the neglected casualties of World War II, specifically, the Japanese wounded soldiers and physically disabled veterans. It examines the institutions that allowed injured servicemen to return home from overseas battlefronts and rejoin domestic society. Broken on the front lines, disabled veterans grew accustomed to receiving wartime protections from the state and welcoming praise from society, but they experienced a jarring transformation following Japan's surrender. The occupying forces that governed Japan from 1945 to 1952 abolished the system of protective welfare services established for wounded servicemen during the war years. Demilitarization and democratization under U.S. guidance ultimately rendered Japanese wounded soldiers and disabled veterans into casualties of history.
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