On May 8, 1945 the world embraced V-E Day (Victory in Europe) and while the Nazis had formally accepted defeat, the war itself was not yet over. Death and destruction continued to rage on in the East. And America turned all its attention to defeating Japan.
Between March and July of 1945, Allied forced dropped an estimated 100.000 tons of bombs on over 60 Japanese towns from the air and sea. On July 26, Allied leaders called on Japan’s unconditional surrender by issuing the Potsdam Declaration. For Japan, the terms were specific.
- The elimination “for all time of the authority and influence of those who deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest”.
- The occupation of points within Japanese territory as designated by the Allied Forces
- Japanese sovereignty limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku, and such minor islands as determined by Allied Forces.
- The Japanese military to be completely disarmed, soldiers permitted to return to their homes to lead peaceful and productive lives.
- The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese People. Freedom of speech, religion and thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
The document continued, outlining economic recover, permitted industry, and forms of government. The Japanese were offered a peaceful surrender or prompt and utter destruction. On August 6, after Tokyo opted for the latter rather than relinquish control, the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Five square miles of the city were lay flat as thousands of its citizens died. Two days later, Soviet troops invaded Japanese occupied territory in Manchuria, forcing Japan to fight the war on two fronts.
On August 9, America dropped a second atomic bomb, this time on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 80,000 people. It was proof to the world that Hiroshima was not a one-time bombing, that America had more.
Five days later, Emperor Hirohito addressed the nation. He urged the people of Japan to surrender, explaining that the American’s possessed a new and most cruel bomb, leaving no further options.
“Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese Nation, but would lead to the total extinction of the human civilization”. Emperor Hirohito warned.
On the American side, President Harry S. Truman declared, “This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would.” No mention was made as to the cost of victory in innocent lives.
The Japanese government issued a statement accepting the terms of Potsdam Declaration early on the afternoon of August 15. As a result of time zone differences, the President’s press conference at the White House fell on the day before.
While celebrations broke out around the world with the August announcement, on September 2, 1945 the Japanese officially surrendered. With the T’s crossed, the I’s dotted and the formalities recorded for history, the war was finally officially over.
So what does today’s recipe have to do with the surrender of Japan? Honestly, nothing. I had racked my brain trying to come up with yet another meal centered around paying tribute to V-J Day and the end of the War in the Pacific. We’ve done Beer Battered Shrimp and Tempura Shrimp and Beef Rice Bowls – all delicious although not necessarily woven in Japanese culture. Well okay, Tempura is Japanese by way of Portugal, so I’ll give you that.
Today’s recipe has nothing in common with prior selections, with the exception that shrimp is involved. This time it’s New Orleans, Bayou kissed shrimp. Hope you enjoy.
Shrimp and Summer Squash Foil Packs
1 lb medium-large Shrimp
1 small Yellow Squash
1 small Zucchini Squash
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper
1/4 Yellow Onion
Black Pepper to taste
Pinch Crushed Celery Seeds
Creole Seasoning to taste
Heat oven to 400-degrees. Cut 4 large squares of heavy-duty foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, fold up sides to create large foil bowls.
Clean, peel and devein shrimp. Remove tails and place shrimp in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Slice squash, set aside. Cut bell pepper in half from stem to bottom, reserve half for another use. Slice remaining half into strips, set aside. Cut a quarter of onion from root to tip, reserve remaining onion for another use. Peel and cut quarter into thin slivers, set aside.
Scatter vegetables over the shrimp. Toss to blend mixture. Season generously, toss again. Divide mixture between foil packages. Close packages tightly, place on a baking sheet.
Bake in the heated oven for 15 minutes and check for doneness. Cook 5 more minutes if necessary. The shrimp should be curled and opaque and vegetables are tender-crisp.
Serve immediately. Goes great with Rice Pilaf.