Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu ready to sign the surrender papers on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri

To sign the surrender that would officially end World War II, a small delegation of Japanese diplomats and military personnel appeared promptly at 8:55 a.m. on Sunday, September 2, 1945. Their faces expressionless, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu stood side by side.
Shigemitsu leaned heavily on his cane in order to support the artificial leg, the result of a bomb that had been thrown at him years before in Shanghai. Shigemitsu awkwardly sat down and took off his hat and a glove before signing his name and signing for Emperor Hirohito.
General Umezu followed, but unlike the rest, he signed standing up. With their signatures, both men bound Japan to accept the Potsdam Declaration: to surrender all forces unconditionally, free all military prisoners, and make all Japanese officials, including the Emperor, subservient to General MacArthur.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Mydans, Carl
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 10 in x 8 in; 25.4 cm x 20.32 cm
place made
Nihon: Kanto, Tokyo Bay
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Carl Mydans
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Mydans, Carl. Carl Mydans, Photojournalist

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