Lack of information is a most fertile source of ex- aggeration, distortion, and legend which, if unrcfuted, eventually assume the stature of accepted fact. For years the Japanese were taken lightly as military antagonists, and the confidence of the Western World in its disdainful appraisal of tjheir military and naval capabilities seemed justified by the Japanese failure to achieve decisive victory in the Chinese war. Then, following the outbreak of the war with the United Stales and J$rriatftra-suceessior» of speedyarrd appar^ ently easy victories stimulated the rise of the legend of the invincibility of the Japanese soldier. He allegedly was unconquerable in jungle terrain; his fa- natical, death-courting charges and last-ditch defenses were broadcast until popular repute invested the Japanese soldier with almost superhuman attributes.
Several years of combat experience against the Japanese have replaced such fanciful notions by more realistic evaluation. While the military capabilities of the Japanese soldier still are appreciated, it is now realized that he has pronounced weaknesses. As a sol- dier his good qualities are not innate but are the result of careful training and preparation for specific tactical situations. Hence an accurate appraisal of the Jap- anese soldier must give adequate attention to the Japanese system of military training and show its effect on his physical, mental, and temperamental characteristics.