In 1946, shortly after Japan surrendered to the United States, a 22-year-old dental prosthetics officer with the US Navy Jack Mallory received an unexpected task: to create dentures for the former Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, known as the “Architect of the War in the Pacific.” He was Japan’s Prime Minister, an outspoken advocate for a preemptive attack on the United States and its allies. So When Mallory found out about his assignment, he decided to seize the opportunity: do something regardless of how petty it is. Thus, he went with the idea of drilling a secret message on the dentures of the Architect of the War in the Pacific.

Architect of the War in the Pacific

Tojo started as a relatively low-ranking samurai in Tokyo. He started his career as part of their army in 1905 and worked his way up through the ranks until he became a general by 1934. By 1937, he was already the chief of staff of the Kwantung Army, the military operations working against the Chinese in Inner Mongolia and the Chahar-Suiyan provinces. From there, his steps upward were pretty quick as he was appointed the Minister of War led by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe in 1940 and immediately became Prime Minister in October 1941, during World War II. His leadership was known for its extreme and rampant state-perpetrated violence in the name of Japanese ultranationalism.

Among the many atrocious things that he was complicit in were the Rape of Nanjing, the Bataan Death March, and the brutal human experiments that caused the torture and death of thousands. He was also involved in the sexual enslavement of Korean women called “comfort girls,” and of course, the war against the United States.

Failed Suicide

After the fall of Saipan in 1944, Tojo was forced to resign as Prime Minister as the tides were turning against Japan. When Japan surrendered unconditionally to the US  in 1945 after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, US General Douglas McArthur ordered the arrest of forty individuals suspected of war crimes. Unsurprisingly, Tojo was one of them. As the five American soldiers surrounded his house to serve the warrant of arrest, he attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a pistol. Perhaps unfortunately for him, he missed his heart, and the Army medical personnel aided him. After he recovered from the injuries, he was detained at Sugamo Prison, where several other high-ranking Japanese officials were imprisoned while waiting for their trials.