On December 7, 2010, a newly renovated and expanded visitors center at Pearl Harbor opened under the auspices of the National Park Service. The grounds of the new $56 million visitors center feature an overlook of the harbor and a moving vista of the gleaming white, upswept curve of the USS Arizona Memorial and the rest of Battleship Row. Open areas are studded with walkways and benches for relaxation or contemplation. For decades, it had been apparent that the original center was inadequate to display many of the artifacts from the dastardly attack that plunged the United States into World War II nearly 70 years ago. Additionally, one perspective on the attack had remained in the shadows—that of the Japanese. Along with prewar newsreels of baseball great Babe Ruth on tour in Japan, there are photos of street life in Tokyo, women wearing the traditional kimono, the typical hustle and bustle of the city. However, amid the apparent tranquility was a burgeoning militarism in Japan, the growth of a potent war machine, and the yearning for dominance in Asia and the Pacific. Japan in the 1930s was rife with political intrigue and assassination. A rising imperialist government recognized that the small nation needed land and natural resources which could only be gained and controlled through conquest. A vast difference in cultures contributed to the long downward spiral toward war as well. Today, a glimpse of life in prewar Japan seems appropriate to help visitors grasp the rea


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