This defection of two top Communist leaders had an electrifying effect on Japanese who were in police custody, and it was followed by what can only be called a mass apostasy. Within a month 45 percent of those not yet convicted (614 out of 1,370) and 34 percent (133 out of 393) of those who had been convicted of radical thought or activities followed suit and defected. Within three years 74 percent (324 out of 438) of those convicted of subversion were ready to announce that they, too, had returned to the fold.
These defections were of great interest for psychology and for theory. Although coercion in various forms was undoubtedly exercised, interrogators were warned to avoid the resistance that argument or duress would provoke. The radicals, most of them still young, were, after all, better educated than most of the police. Instead every effort was made to get them to “return” to the values of home and hearth that had now been threatened by the clouds of war and crisis. A workbook prepared for interrogators recommended that they begin by providing a bowl of chicken and egg on rice (oyako dombori, lit. “parent-child” bowl) which would remind the prisoner of the parental bond. The policemen should say nothing about ideology, but offer a reproachful reminder that “your mother is worried about you.” He should by all means avoid mention of the father, as that might trigger defiance of authority.
Marius B. Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan