He awoke at 3 AM on December 7th, 1941. Today was to be a glorious day for him as he was chosen to be the lead pilot for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He, Mitsuo Fuchida, was the one to yell, “Tora, Tora, Tora” to his superiors as his planes swooped down on the surprised residents of the Pearl. He had trained his entire life for this day.
Years later, on August 5th, 1945, he was in Hiroshima for a military conference but he got called away to Tokyo. On August 6th, we dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. He was on the team that went in to survey the damage. Everyone on that team eventually died from radiation poisoning, except him.
Jacob DeShazer flew with General Jimmy Doolittle when we raided Japan in 1942. He was captured by the Japanese when his plane ran out of fuel over China. He spent over 3 years in a POW camp where he was cruelly mistreated by his Japanese captors. While in there, he read a bible, accepted Christ, and began to pray for his captors even as they were torturing him. After the war, he returned to Japan as a missionary.
Jacob DeShazer was on the street passing out tracts one day when Mitsuo walked by and took one. What he read in that tract was the incredible story of DeShazer’s being transformed by Christ in a POW camp. All of his life, Mitsuo has strived to perform greatly for himself and his emperor, but he NEVER had the peace and freedom that DeShazer had in that POW camp. On April 14th 1950, he got that peace by inviting Jesus into his life. His conversion made headlines all over the world. He became an evangelist in southeast Asia until his death in 1976.
Even though Japan had the highest literacy rate in the world, education did not bring salvation. Peace and real freedom – both national and personal – can only come through an encounter with Jesus Christ.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on bsssb-llc.com.
Featured Image by Randy Fath