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   Undertoad  Thursday May 11 01:24 PM

5/11/2006: Memorial at Liaoyuan



This is a Japanese monk, and he is in Liaoyuan, China. He is memorializing some of the actual bones of 10,000 Chinese miners who were brutalized and killed during the Japanese occupation there.

In the US, our history lessons go over the Japanese-US war that started in 1941. I can't remember ever hearing about the Japanese war with China that preceded it by four years, and severely weakened Japan's ability to go to full war.

Had Japan not been at war with China, not only could it have made the mainland US, but it would have been brutal. The Japanese were such a warlike culture at the time that during the "Rape of Nanking" their army reached China's capital with ease and proceeded to kill about 300,000 civilians and rape 100,000 more. Their main technique was brutalization and they were unfortunately very good at it.

To read of these atrocities you wonder how a culture could transform itself, and you wonder how other cultures could even allow it to continue. Now one of the biggest fights between China and Japan are what Japanese history books say about Nanking. I'm hoping it's a case of a culture so embarrassed by its own history that it can't find the words to include in those books. It has to be memorialized, again and again and again, so that you can hope, with education, it never happens again.

It continues to happen, yes, but you hope it never happens again in the smarter world.



Pancake Man  Thursday May 11 01:37 PM

The Sino-Japanese War was a blessing and a curse, like UT said. It is difficult to imagine which is worse, an invasion of China or an invasion of the West Coast. I guess we owe the Chinese, not that that will alter their mindset or ours.



barefoot serpent  Thursday May 11 01:41 PM

never forget -- Holocaust survivor



Emrikol  Thursday May 11 02:08 PM

Wow. This is the first I've heard of this also.

It's amazing that such a small country (in size) could even possibly have a chance at taking something the size of the US or China.

Once again, IOTD has just left me without words.

Thanks


Edit:
Oh, and UT, by the way, you might want to mention that there are some disturbing and possibly NSFW pictures on the Wikipedia article.



pdaoust  Thursday May 11 02:27 PM

I read about Japan's war with China in the Tintin graphic novel The Blue Lotus, in which Tintin somehow simultaneously gets caught up in the political crossfire of said war, and runs afoul of an opium trafficking ring. (The poor guy never seemed to run out of bad luck.)

Tintin novels are very cool, if anyone hasn't encountered them. Of course, in the novel, the Chinese are all portrayed as gracious, humble folk; whereas the Japanese are violent, duplicitous, and kinda ugly. I guess that was the political climate of the '40s.



chrisinhouston  Thursday May 11 02:39 PM

My grandfather was in China from about 1902 to 1929 where he served in the Postal Service as a Commissioner. He travelled all over China and Japan as well (my grandmother's mother was Japanese).

I still remember him saying once, "The Japanese are very nice people until they put on a uniform."

A whole branch of our family was totally displaced after the invasion of Manchuria but luckily we only lost one in a POW camp.



chrisinhouston  Thursday May 11 02:48 PM

Look here if you have the stomach for it! Doesn't it same strange that we as humans feel we are endowed by God to be the dominant species on earth but no other species kills there own kind the way we do?

http://www.fatherryan.org/holocaust/...apenanking.htm




Karenv  Thursday May 11 03:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinhouston
Look here if you have the stomach for it! Doesn't it same strange that we as humans feel we are endowed by God to be the dominant species on earth but no other species kills there own kind the way we do?

http://www.fatherryan.org/holocaust/...apenanking.htm


Clearly the killing fields were not all in Cambodia.




xoxoxoBruce  Thursday May 11 08:16 PM

By the time Japan invaded China they had honed their brutality skills all over Asia.
Korea and Manchuria were training grounds for new troops to practice savagery, away from the homeland, like dragging out the last Queen of Korea, raping her, then dousing her with oil and burning her alive.

They treated Americans brutally in Aleutian Islands and Guam, also.

This is one of the reasons I bristle when people suggest we should have invaded Japan rather than bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki.



Ibby  Thursday May 11 09:32 PM

Having lived in China for a total of 4 years, I know my share of Chinese history. It's amazing how savagely the Japanese treated Chinese, this is true. But through history, the Chinese have their own share of brutal treatment both of invaded nations/peoples and of their own. Ever heard of the Great Leap Forward? Greatest famine in human history. Nobody's sure how many millions died, but it was undeniably (well, undeniable to anyone but the Chinese government) more than Hitler and Stalin killed, combined. All caused by the government. And the treatment of the Tibetian and Uigur people, and the destruction of Falun Gong followers, is merciless.

Asia, through history till now, is a brutal, brutal place. Not that Europe isn't...



Highball  Thursday May 11 11:37 PM

“Had Japan not been at war with China, ---- it [could] have made the mainland US”, ????? I always understood that it was a country poor in resources and it's invasion of S.E. Asia and China was also to acquire resources. One might then ask, if they had not acquired the resources elsewhere, could they even have invaded Pearl Harbor? Then again, if someone had assassinated Emperor Hirohito, well, that’s speculation isn’t it? Then again, they likely, not only could have, but also could have succeeded in occupying California, in short order, if they had tried? Hummmm ?



Dypok  Friday May 12 03:40 AM

What is this smarter world you speak of? Genocide hasn't stopped since, and wasn't invented in the mid-20th century.

"This is one of the reasons I bristle when people suggest we should have invaded Japan rather than bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

I would have settled for the conditional surrender offered by Japan.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday May 12 05:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dypok
I would have settled for the conditional surrender offered by Japan.
We discussed this at some length not long ago.
Japan did not offer conditional surrender. They did put out some feelers through unofficial channels, but with their track record of lying right up until minutes before Pearl Harbor, nobody in their right mind would trust them.
Their heinous behavior during the previous 30 years dictated unconditional surrender.....nothing less.


rkzenrage  Friday May 12 05:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dypok
What is this smarter world you speak of? Genocide hasn't stopped since, and wasn't invented in the mid-20th century.

"This is one of the reasons I bristle when people suggest we should have invaded Japan rather than bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

I would have settled for the conditional surrender offered by Japan.
What history books have you been reading?
Were they written in crayon?



Happy Monkey  Friday May 12 09:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkzenrage
What history books have you been reading?
Were they written in crayon?
Here are a ton of documents on the issue. I don't think Japan ever made an explicit offer, but there are documents that suggest that they would have been willing to surrender if the emperor's life and position were spared. But there are also documents that put that in doubt.


barckio  Friday May 12 10:51 AM

tales of the holocaust sicken me, and not like i have a weak stomach or anything i just hate how people can have no regard for human life, eh not like its anything worse then what we did to a lot of african americans over the past hundred and more years.



Dypok  Saturday May 13 10:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkzenrage
What history books have you been reading?
Were they written in crayon?
While earning my degree in history...I took a few classes in Modern Japanese History. I didn't actually read this in a book, I examined a few primary source documents (translated as I don't speak Japanese) and a few secondary source arguments on the topic of conditional vs unconditional surrender.

The Japanese did seem willing to propose such a thing, and may have if there were any indication the US would have accepted, or even considered it. McCarther sure put that idea down. The conditions would have included the life of the emperor, which the US spared anyway because they needed him to organize a government with any legitimacy in the minds of Japanese society.

The books that are written in crayon are in the High Schools of the US, talking about the decision of President Truman, painfully weighing the lives of millions of soldiers or destroying a city (eventually two). Things not written in crayon include this topic, and the implications of the bomb in US-Soviet relations.


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday May 13 12:16 PM

Admittedly, MacArthur had an axe to grind, but he was also had knowledge of the enemy and their history of fighting to the last man. The arming/training of every man, woman and child for a homeland defense force is well documented.

Among the prime considerations Truman faced, was telling the American people that their husbands and sons, having survived years of war in Europe, wouldn't be coming home because they were headed for Japan. Bad mojo.

All things considered, we might have been better off letting the Russians take Japan.



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