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The Japanese Village at Dugway Proving Ground: An Unexamined Context to the Firebombing of Japan

April 19, 2018

An article by Henry M. Jackson graduate student Dylan J. Plung was published April 15, 2018 in The Asia-Pacific Journal.  Plung explores a previously unexamined context to the firebombing of Japan. Analysis of the decisions leading up to construction and military testing conducted in 1943 at the Japanese Village at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah allows important insights into the evolution of US bombing strategy. The shift in US strategy from precision to carpet bombing, the testing and development of incendiary weaponry, and the institutionalization and rationalization of pursuing civilian targets throughout Japan are considered alongside this untold history. Additionally, a broader appreciation of World War II timelines is suggested.

Dylan J. Plung graduated from Whitman College with a degree in Asian Studies, and is currently a graduate student at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies with a focus on Japan Studies. He can be contacted at

Read full article in The Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus