General MacArthur’s Tokyo HQ
Situated on the 6th floor of Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance building in Tokyo, the office of General MacArthur remains preserved to this day, hidden away to all but a select few who know of its existence – visits strictly by appointment only.
It is said that MacArthur chose to house his Tokyo office on the sixth floor as it was higher even than the Imperial Palace. Whether or not this is true, the wood-panelled HQ is remarkably plain, nice, but is not terribly ornate. There are no crystal chandeliers, fancy floor lamps, or medieval tapestries befitting a reigning monarch, a shogun, or a Fortune 500 CEO. The room is no bigger, maybe even smaller, than a typical corner office of many of today’s self-absorbed senior executives. Except that the General’s office is not even in the corner but in mid-6th floor, overlooking the Imperial Garden – the same garden where Tokyo Rose promised he’d be publicly hanged after the war.
MacArthur’s office is between the reception area and his staff’s office. Dai-ichi management has carefully tried to preserve the original setting of the General’s office, including his desk, chair, picture frames, two original paintings by a little-known Boston painter, similar drapes, etc.
The Dai-ichi corporate guide claims the Emperor had indeed visited the General’s HQ (the famous photograph of their first meeting took place at the U.S. embassy). Conveniently situated across the Emperor’s Palace grounds, the original 6-story, squat, non-descript Dai-ichi building survived the Tokyo fire bombing of WW2. A high-rise was added a couple of decades later.
The General’s bust, donated years after he left
Staff room adjoining MacArthur’s office and a montage of the General’s career