There is much historical revisionism going on today, especially in the USA. I think it is good. Through this revisionism we have learned the truth about a great many things that, through, the historical record have been greatly distorted to make the victors in war look innocent.
Japanese officer Yasuyuki Hashimoto now 95-years old and my
friend. Read his interesting story here.
I think the best book ever written on the subject concerning American History is by Thomas Woods and it is entitled, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." It was in that book that I first learned that the so-called US Civil War was not a war fought to free the slaves at all, it was a war about taxation. Simply put, even some Northern States had slavery even two years after the war had started so, if the war were about slavery, then how come two Northern states still had slaves?
And, when you stop to think about it, when has the USA ever gone to war to protect the rights of dark-skinned people? I'd have to say "Never!"
Over the years, after World War II ended, the Japanese army has definitely been painted as a bunch of savage animals committing atrocities in China. Many of these atrocities are undeniable as war, in and of itself, is an atrocity... But was it as bad as we were lead to believe?
I have always wondered about this. I have also wondered if, sometimes, the governments of China and the Koreas have sometimes seemingly use Japan as a whipping boy to divert attention from domestic problems.
There is another thing that has always confused me and, if you ever go to Taiwan, it will confuse you too. Get this, most all of the older Taiwanese like the Japanese and speak Japanese. The Japanese built the roads, tunnels, bridges, hospitals.... Bear with me for a second here... If the Japanese did that in Taiwan China, then why would policy be so different in Mainland China? Or did we have some sort of blame game going on between the communists of Mao Tse Tung and the Nationalists of Chiang Kai-Shek?
Just questions I'm asking, folks. Just questions. Just something to ponder.
Here is a video that I stumbled upon of pictures and postcards sent from mainland China in the late 1930s and early 1940s. What do you think of this?
NOTE: I especially find the shot at about 0:54 of the video where the Japanese soldiers are respectfully putting a Chinese flag over a fallen statue of Sun Yat-sen the former president of China who died about 13 years before this photo was taken to be a complete contrast to the savage and staged destruction of Saddam Hussein's statue by US military forces in Iraq in 2003.
Yes, the Japanese tried to promote a positive image for the home crowd.
I confirm that old-folks in Taiwan generally seemed very positive to Japan, but 50 years of Japanese rule (most of it in peace-time) complicates things.
I experienced strong anti-Japanese attitudes in Hong Kong in the early 1990s, connected directly to what the old folks thought of the occupation.
And Lee Kwan Yew, who worked for the Japanese during the occupation of Singapore, described (in his memoirs) what he called the essential barbarism of Japanese culture masked by a thin veneer of civilization. Strong sentiments, I'd say.
Reminds me of a Zen story: Westerner prospective Zen student sees the master bowing to the various images around the temple and sneers, "You bowing to those images? Heck, I'm freer than you are. I can spit on these statues!"
Zen priest: "OK. You spits, I bows."
History is always written by the winners of a war.
You're right! The flag scene is especially telling about the mind-set of the troops. When US forces entered Baghdad they draped a US flag over the Saddam statue.
The general Japanese conscripts I doubt tremendously were 100% bad. When it comes to the generals, the likelihood of their evilness increases in my mind rather dramatically.
Anonymous, Good point. As the XTC song goes, "Generals and Majors ah ah
they're never too far
from battlefields so glorious
out in a world of their own
They'll never come down
till once again victorious
Generals and Majors always
seem so unhappy 'less they got a war!"
I became disillusioned with the whole Pearl Harbor narrative when I read about how American 'missionaries' stole Hawaii from the natives. I began to see Pearl Harbor for what it was: an imperial military outpost intended for the conquest of Asia. The Chinese should be thanking the Japanese for stopping Western imperialism in its tracks, otherwise China today would be Haiti writ large.
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