East and West (1)

There are centuries of information on this subject, but I’ve done my best to shorten the data, and maintain  the gist of affairs as they occurred:

A lithograph of Cmdr. Perry's fleet in Japan

A lithograph of Cmdr. Perry’s fleet in Japan

Japan’s involvement with the West began early in the 16th century.  The Western missionaries and the contrasting firearms trading caused a disruption of the feudal lord system.  Later on, Dutch trading at Nagasaki became an avenue of scientific and political knowledge.  After which, the US naval mission and “Black Ships” of Commodore Matthew Perry in the mid-1800s basically forced Japan to open its doors.

Commodore Matthew Perry

Commodore Matthew Perry

By the end of the 19th century, the views of the Asian world by the Anglos were of “Manifest Destiny” (global supremacy).  The British Union Jack flew over nearly one-third of the planet and the US wanted in.  But, after teaching the island nation how to conquer territory, the West became annoyed that they had learned so well.  In 1922, the Naval Limitation Treaty forced the Imperial Navy to limit her battleship tonnage to a ration of 60% of the British Royal Navy and US Navy. (This was easy to control being as the Japanese ships were built in British shipyards.  But, in 1937, Japan resigned from this pact.)

Lt.Colonel Ishiwara Kanji

Lt.Colonel Ishiwara Kanji

In 1929, Lt.Col. Ishiwara Kanji drafted “A Plan for the Solution of the Manchurian and Mongolian Problems as a Basic Policy to Change Our Country’s Destiny.”  This work was a remarkably close scenario for the Pacific War and by the 1930’s, the Japanese had started the plan by taking control of what the citizens would and would not be told of their agenda.

The great game of “Empire” was on!  Not only did countries vie for a piece of China, but major corporations came into play – Standard Oil, House of Morgan, The Pennsylvania Railroad, Bethlehem Steel and the Roosevelt family fortune founded on the Opium Road. (20% of Great Britain’s income also came from the opium trade.)  While President Hoover was in office, he feared any actions against Japan would lead to war – such as Henry Stimson’s proposed oil and trade embargo.  To Hoover, this resembled “sticking pins in tigers.”  The president felt his Secretary of State was “proving to be more of a warrior than a diplomat.”

Japanese soldiers entering Shenyang, 1931

Japanese soldiers entering Shenyang, 1931

In the 1930’s, the Japanese government crushed freedom of expression, pacifism and anti-militarism.  Their intent was to keep the public ignorant, but even this was not enough.  In the schools, children were taught a willingness to die for the country in time of war, chukan aikoku, along with a contempt for the Chinese.

Japanese gym class, 1930

Japanese gym class, 1930

During the Russo-Japanese War, school subjects were planned with militarism in mind:  Math classes were occupied with calculations of military matters; Science was information on searchlights, wireless communications, land mines, torpedoes, submarines and explosives; Gym included war games and Music Classes rang out with war songs and pictures of Japanese victories inspired compositions.  A new order for East Asia needed to be instilled; what the Germans called – Lebensraum.

To be continued….

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current news – 

Not all news is bad news_______

001 (800x307)

Please click on to read.                                                                       Both items were taken from ‘The Week’ magazine

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Political Humor –  (Typical of the times)

From Dr. Seuss

From Dr. Seuss

Cartoon is courtesy of Chris @ Muscleheaded, which can be found HERE>

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Farewell Salutes – 

WWII Victory Medal

WWII Victory Medal

Louis Amundson – San Diego, CA; US Army, WWII (D-Day), ETO

Charles Corbitt -CA & FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, navigator

Clarence Frye – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, WWII

John Hardwick – Hartford City, IL; US Army, Korea

Ralph Locher – Nashville, TN; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT, MP

Charles Pine – Taupo, NZ; RNZIR # U50940, WWII

Jack Stewart – Salem, OR; US Navy, WWII

Robert Wallace – Rosalia, WA; US Army, Korea, tank driver

Howard German Jr. – Easton, MD & N.Palm Bch, FL; US Army, 82nd Airborne

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 10, 2014, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 108 Comments.

  1. I didn’t know that Japan has started their “military operations” way back… Very interesting! And the timing was during world war 1! I’m eager to know the continuation of this…

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  2. So interesting and insightful. Looking forward to reading the other parts.

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  3. Not sure if you saw this post about my brother George and my Mama. Thought you would like it !

    http://talesalongtheway.com/2014/07/29/a-paratroopers-faith-and-a-legacy-of-love/

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    • What an outstanding story, Anne. I certainly hope the readers find this link and click on – well worth the short time to read it!! I said on the story comments that I hate it when I become speechless just when words are needed the most – and I mean it – excellent story.

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  4. I am sure most cultural groups tend to have a fair amount of bias and propaganda to distribute with their education programs. Our own country obviously does this. It is such a shame, really. But then again, that’s human nature to “remember” what we feel makes us appear to be righteous and justifiable, and conveniently repress that which underscores our failures and character flaws. I appreciate what I have been able to learn here, Gp. So much has been skipped over in our classroom versions of history.

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    • Thank you very much for your compliments and comments. You’ve explained far better what I was attempting to say in reply to the comment in (2). We are products of our upbringing and education (and sometimes that education is not what it should be.) Thanks Morguie.

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  5. Great historical insight into the formation of the Chinese/Japanese war relationship.
    Virtual brainwashing of the masses from their school days.
    Appreciated the two storys at the finish.
    Regards
    Ian

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    • I apologize the late reply in acknowledging the fact that you honored me with a re-blog. I thankfully discovered this comment in the Spam just before I emptied it. I have been following you for some time now and can not imagine why it would happen all of a sudden.

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  6. Thanks for the heartwarming stories and the cartoon after the military build-up, it introduces a good reminder about individual’s efforts in contrast to a state’s intentions.

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    • I figured that might be a good idea, that’s why I put the cartoon to a vote in the Open Letter. A person can only handle hearing so much about the horrors for so long. Thanks for the comment, HIllary.

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  7. What a delightful journey your posts can be…first I read with sadness the state encouraged hate campaign (one of many in different parts of the world!) with the awful photo of children learning to use bayonets! Then the uplifting stories of the rescued dog and the kindness of children towards their school custodian…you remind us that there could be a kinder gentler world but we have to work at it. Looking forward to future posts on the Pacific.

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    • I’m very happy you noticed the contrast of stories, Carol. I certainly do not want this site to be solely associated with the horrors of war. As you noticed, if we work at, we can be nice too. So glad to have you as a loyal reader!

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  8. History is fascinating; we can all be so much wiser in retrospect. Reading history from both sides has broadened what was my very biased perspective based on stories I grew up with. It has honed my ability to appreciate the other person’s point of view and to accept that my country right or wrong can stifle truth.

    It’s good to read your articles; you set a good example that we can all emulate – it’s never too late to learn something new, and enabling a wider audience to learn about the truth, however painful, must be a good thing.

    I only wish politicians everywhere would learn from experience too, since they rarely pay the price for their mistakes that often end in so many young people dying too early, or spending the rest of their lives carrying the visible and invisible scars, not to mention the innocent civilians caught up in the carnage.

    I doubt that British politician, Arthur Balfour, could have envisaged the present day massacres of Palestinians by the descendants of those Jewish refugees who sought sanctuary in Palestine after the 1917 Balfour Declaration supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    The declaration was a betrayal of the promise made to the Arabs during Worlds War I (1914-1918): that if they helped the British defeat the Turks and succeed in getting them out of the Levant, the Arabs would gain their own independence after centuries of rule by the Ottoman Empire. Instead, the British assumed suzerainty over Palestine and carved up the rest of the Middle East with the French and other European nations.

    This is what angered T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) who felt as betrayed by his own British government as did the Arabs. We are still reaping the whirlwind of that betrayal and subsequent interference by other nations – including the USA, in preset day Iraq, Syria, Egypt. Lebanon, etc., including the illegitimate state of Israel, which remains like a suppurating sore in that region.

    In fact, the Gaza strip is now the Palestinian holocaust since the Israelis are repeating what the Nazis did to the Jews. Having confiscated Palestinian property and forced the Palestinian owners to become refugees, they have created a ghetto in Gaza so there can be no movement in or out without the permission of the Israeli military. There is no industry. There can be no re-building because the Israelis will not allow building materials into Gaza. Medical supplies are non-existent or in very short supply. The people are existing – but only just – on sheer courage and determination. Meanwhile, the United Nations dithers about what to do next and the arrogant Israeli leaders state they will do what they please and to hell with moderation and peace talks.

    This is what I mean about politicians walking away for their mistakes. Former Prime Minister Blair and his former partner, President Bush, made huge mistakes and walked away. Blair is currently living a luxurious lifestyle as so called Middle East Peace Envoy while maintaining permanent suites in the best hotels – even in Jerusalem, but he remains far from all scenes of conflict ensuring he’s never in any personal danger. If he was sincere about his job, he’d be on the scene and experiencing the trauma for himself instead of second hand on the television screens in whichever hotel suite he happens to be in.

    Sorry, I’ve had my rant so now it’s time I got off my soapbox – but injustice makes me boil.

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    • I will not reply to current politics because I am in no way an expert in such matters, but just as was said in the past – I will defend your right to say what you feel.
      Now – I’ll get back to the Pacific.

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  9. Great post, the cartoon cracked me up..:-)

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  10. By the time the Washington Naval Treaty was signed, the Japanese Navy had already weaned itself off of British shipyards That’s one reason they were so limited by that treaty. The first purpose built aircraft carrier in the world, was Japan’s Hosho launched in 1922, the same year that treaty was signed.

    Another oddball to come out of that treaty, was the US carriers Lexington & Saratoga. They were both designed as battle cruisers, with 12 inch guns. The Washington Naval Treaty caused that to be canceled, so they were completed as aircraft carriers. Their basic design was the template for the Essex Class carriers built during WWII that served on into the early 1970’s.

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  11. The Japanese idea of an Asian co-prosperity sphere was originally a western concept, traceable all the way back to Admiral Perry. I really admire where you chose to start this series — perfect!

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  12. What a captivating summary! Thank you for your time and efforts with this.

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    • Hi Cindi. Politics aren’t exactly “my thing” but a little background information is necessary before starting a war; so I appreciate your kind words.

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  13. Pierre Lagacé

    I won’t write this summer on Lest We Forget, but I can reblog posts can’t I?

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  14. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
    A new series of posts from gpcox…

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  15. Manifest Destiny — global supremacy. Man, it sounds like what they’re still trying to do now (one world order). Those young boys in gym class learning to be soldiers rather than children is heartbreaking. All your information is so interesting. I love the two news articles! I’m looking forward to the next installment! 😉

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  16. I’m throwing in my compliment , too . You’ve rounded up a ton of history and presented it concisely and well . I ‘m looking forward to more .

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  17. I found this very interesting and look forward to more. It’s so sad ” Taking control of what the citizens would and would not be told of their agenda.”

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  18. Nicely done. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for your time and effort.

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  19. Very nicely summarized, gpcox, down to the love of country. In dad’s (Hiroshima) high school yearbook of 1937, you can clearly see page upon page the military oversight and influence. Your archival photo of the boys with the rifles was the first time I had seen it. Great find!

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    • Thank you, Koji. That helps me to confirm my research is on the right track. I believe I failed to give credit to the pictures, they come from: The Imperial Museum.

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  20. Really an excellent post. You are providing information that is rarely seen but needs to be. What happened in Japan is identical to the mass indoctrination that happened in Germany. Teach you children to hate and give them the means to kill. We see the same thing going on in the Middle East today.

    I was very interested to learn of Lt. Col. Ishiwara Kanji’s “A Plan for the Solution of the Manchurian and Mongolian Problems as a Basic Policy to Change Our Country’s Destiny.” Do you have a reference for that or a link you could share?

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    • Thank you very much for the compliment, Wayne. I learned of Kanji’s work in “The Pacific War”, by Saburo Ienaga. This man had the ability to see both sides of the story and write quite unbiased – as I attempt to do in each post. (wish I was as highly educated as him, though).

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  21. The ability of a totalitarian state to control the flow of information is scary. Good overview. –Curt

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  22. This was fascinating! I read parts of it out loud to Jamie. And “The Week” is a great mag. Thanks for posting both those stories. BTW, Jamie is wondering if you could do a post about the horrific Japanese concentration camps and MacArthur’s swap for the info.

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  23. Interesting to see your next section on this as we lived in Japan for 6 years and during that time tried to learn about the war from the Japanese perspective.

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    • Terrific, Shelley. Anything you can add will be greatly appreciated. Please share any stories you might have heard while you were there. I have a book by a Japanese author who had tried to put it all into perspective, but I prefer to hear many sides. A diamond has many facets – and that’s what we’re going for here!

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  24. gp, Quite an ambitious, historical piece well done!!! You are certainly covering a wide span of history! Phil

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    • Oh, like I told Jacqui Murray, I had a ton of data and had to continually re-edit these posts to get them down to size. I don’t particularly like a long-drawn-out post. Readers have other places to go and history to learn. Thanks for reading today, Phil.

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  25. It’ll take you a few posts to cover this topic, GP. I’m ready though

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    • Building up to the main heart of WWII will take more posts and politics than I wanted, but it could have been a blog in itself with all the data I acquired. I don’t know how many times I re-edited this part. Thanks for preparing yourself, Jacqui.

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  26. Very timely–am reading “Unbroken” at the moment, so the background on Japan is very welcome. Thank you.

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    • The culture of Japan was very different from our own which it difficult for most soldiers to understand some of their actions.(and visa versa) Thank you for reading, I’m glad you found it interesting.

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  27. I didn’t know Dr Seuss did political cartoons! Great find.

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  28. You won’t be surprised to learn that I’m delighted you’re now following First Night History!

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  29. Dear GP Cox,
    thank you very much for your crash course in history that helped me to understand British history better. You wouldn’t believe it, I have an old neighbour who starts nearly every conversation with “isn’t it a pity that we lost all our colonies?”
    All the best
    Klausbernd

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  30. It’s easier to commit atrocities when one sees the enemy as less than human.

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  31. Do I sense a new series ? This is great. My sister is currently in Japan for eight weeks. After a short return home, she will be heading back to Tokyo for 18 months. I am trying to convince her to take photos of historical places and sites.

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    • That would be fantastic, Robert, if your sister were to do that! You could have your posts on before and after! Oh, and yes – the war is starting again with a (hopefully) more in-depth view by using even more resources.

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  32. That’s quite some heavy duty indoctrination they had going on the children. I think it is more commonly known as brainwashing. No wonder the Japs were so confounding to the US…surrender was not an option. They must all be killed…never before were soldiers put in a position of kill them all…quite horrifying indeed. Also interesting to note that events in the East and Europe were occurring simultaneously.

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    • Very true on both counts, Mrs P. The word ‘retreat’ was never even taught to the children. And, most definitely, the East and European problem were on the same timeline. Keen observation.

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  33. In other words learning content at schools matched events outside them – either present or aspirational – Hm, one wonders if “Practicum” perfected a notch there 🙂

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  34. And so it began, and continues, albeit in different venues with a few different players.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Not surprising that the root of it all can be found in people making their fortunes from opium.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Fascinating. I love history like this that isn’t taught. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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