More than 3 million people are likely to tune into the second installment of NHK drama “Jiro Shirasu” on Saturday night — and chances are, most will be waiting expectantly for the re-enactment of one particularly famous episode from the subject’s life.
It’s Christmas, 1945. World War II is not four months past. Cambridge-educated Shirasu is working as a liaison officer with the Occupation forces on behalf of the Japanese government. He takes a special delivery to U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur — a Christmas present from Emperor Hirohito. MacArthur waves a hand to a spot on the floor and tells him to put it down. Offended at MacArthur’s cavalier attitude, Shirasu reproaches him, whereupon MacArthur backs down and has a table prepared.