Item #007897 An original Second World War photograph of Japanese General Yoshijiro Umezu signing the Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay a few minutes after 9:00 AM on 2 September 1945 in the presence of Douglas MacArthur, who, as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, would preside over the demilitarization and democratization of occupied Japan.
An original Second World War photograph of Japanese General Yoshijiro Umezu signing the Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay a few minutes after 9:00 AM on 2 September 1945 in the presence of Douglas MacArthur, who, as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, would preside over the demilitarization and democratization of occupied Japan.

An original Second World War photograph of Japanese General Yoshijiro Umezu signing the Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay a few minutes after 9:00 AM on 2 September 1945 in the presence of Douglas MacArthur, who, as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, would preside over the demilitarization and democratization of occupied Japan.

Tokyo Bay, Japan: 1945. Photograph. This is an original Second World War photograph of Japanese General Yoshijiro Umezu signing the Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay a few minutes after 9:00 AM on 2 September 1945 in the presence of Douglas MacArthur, who, as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, would preside over the demilitarization and democratization of occupied Japan.

The gelatin silver print measures 10 x 8.125 inches (25.4 x 20.6 cm). Condition is very good plus, the paper complete and the image clean, with only light wear confined to the white border. Although there are no stamps or markings, either in the image or on the verso, this photograph came to us with a group of official U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Signal Corps photographs, several of them capturing moments before and after this image was captured from the same perspective.

In this image, General Umezu leans over the table, signing the Instrument of Surrender while Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland, Chief of Staff to General Douglas MacArthur, looks on. Further to the left also facing Umezu, while standing before a microphone, is MacArthur. In the background, rows of senior officers witness the signing. Among them, in the first row and just to the right of Sutherland, is Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey, his head turned slightly to the left. The Missouri was the flagship of Halsey’s Third Fleet.

Moments before Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Umezu signed, MacArthur had addressed the assembly thus:

“We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. The issues involving divergent ideals and ideologies have been determined on the battlefields of the world and, hence, are not for our discussion or debate. The terms and conditions upon which surrender of the Japanese Imperial Forces is here to be given and accepted are contained in the instrument of surrender now before you… I now invite the representatives of the emperor of Japan and the Japanese government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to sign the instrument of surrender at the places indicated.”

After the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 12 April 1945, it fell to his Vice President, Harry S. Truman, to lead the United States through the end of the Second World War, including the decision to detonate atomic bombs over the Japanese Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945, compelling the Japanese Empire to accept the inevitability of defeat and the necessity of unconditional surrender.

Prepared by the War Department and approved by President Truman, the Instrument of Surrender set out in eight short paragraphs the complete capitulation of Japan. The opening words, “We acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government, and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept…” signified the importance attached to the Emperor’s role and the necessity of acceptance by both civil and military authority. The second short paragraph made the unequivocal nature of the capitulation clear: “We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.” Japanese envoys Foreign Minster Shigemitsu and General Umezu signed their names. The time was recorded as 4 minutes past 9 o’clock. Thereafter, General MacArthur also signed, accepting the Japanese Surrender “for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.”

On 6 September, the surrender document and a second imperial rescript were presented to President Truman in Washington, D.C. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives before being formally received into the National Archives holdings. Item #007897

Price: $350.00

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