2018
Chinese Civil War Resumes
February 12, 2018
The civil war between Chinese Nationalists and Communists, begun in 1927, was put on hold during the fight against Imperial Japan in WWII.  After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalists agreed to peace talks and a ceasefire. In July of 1946, however, the Nationalist (Kuomintang) leader Chiang Kai-shek launched a large-scale assault on Communist territory in North China. The Nationalists controlled the most territory in China and received American and international support. The Communists (under the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung) were well-established in the north of the country, had lost fewer men in the war against Japan and received support from the Soviet Union. Hyperinflation during this civil war caused misery and starvation for millions of Chinese. Historian Michael Lynch wrote:   “In 1940, 100 yuan bought a pig, in 1943 a chicken, in 1945 a fish, in 1946 an egg, and in 1947 one third of a box of matches.”   Unemployment, crime and black markets emerged. Conscripted Nationalist army troops raped and looted the civilian population, and mutinied or deserted in large numbers. Chiang Kai-Shek's government appeared rife with corruption and dictatorial leadership.     The Communist People's Liberation Army, on the other hand, appeared to be winning the propaganda war. Communist political philosophy (including anti-imperialism, raised proletarian consciousness and land reform) helped instill grassroots support among the Chinese populace. During the war, which continued until 1949, both the Nationalists and Communists carried out mass atrocities, killing  millions of non-combatants. Estimated deaths in the Chinese Civil War 1927-1945 = 8,000,000–11,692,000  
2015
Comrade-in-arms
September 7, 2015
All nations glorify death in combat, but Imperial Japan probably more than most. For example, most American movies made during WWII depicted heroic US soldiers defeating the enemy (think John Wayne). But Imperial Japanese movies made during wartime (e.g. Chocolate & Soldiers, made in 1938 during the China Conflict) often depicted the heroic sacrifice of their protagonists. This trend persists today. This anthem from a film about the Russo-Japanese War depicts glorious death in combat.    
2014
Mass Murder 20th Century
September 26, 2014
    A list of modern mass murderers and the estimated number of people killed by their orders (excluding enemy armies). Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50) 49-78,000,000 Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945) 12,000,000 (concentration camps and civilians deliberately killed in WWII plus 3 million Russian POWs left to die) Leopold II of Belgium (Congo, 1886-1908) 8,000,000 Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39) 7,000,000 (the gulags plus the purges plus Ukraine's famine) Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44) 5,000,000 (civilians in WWII) Ismail Enver (Ottoman Turkey, 1915-20) 1,200,000 Armenians (1915) + 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks (1916-22) + 500,000 Assyrians (1915-20) Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79) 1,700,000 Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94) 1.6 million (purges and concentration camps) Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78) 1,500,000 Yakubu Gowon (Biafra, 1967-1970) 1,000,000 Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan, 1979-1982) 900,000 Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994) 800,000 Saddam Hussein (Iran 1980-1990 and Kurdistan 1987-88) 600,000 Tito (Yugoslavia, 1945-1980) 570,000 Suharto/Soeharto (Indonesian communists 1965-66) 500,000 Fumimaro Konoe (Japan, 1937-39) 500,000? (Chinese civilians) Jonas Savimbi - but disputed by recent studies (Angola, 1975-2002) 400,000 Mullah Omar - Taliban (Afghanistan, 1986-2001) 400,000 Idi Amin (Uganda, 1969-1979) 300,000 Yahya Khan (Pakistan, 1970-71) 300,000 (Bangladesh) Ante Pavelic (Croatia, 1941-45) 359,000 (30,000 Jews, 29,000 Gipsies, 300,000 Serbs) Benito Mussolini (Ethiopia, 1936; Libya, 1934-45; Yugoslavia, WWII) 300,000 Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire, 1965-97) ? Charles Taylor (Liberia, 1989-1996) 220,000 Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone, 1991-2000) 200,000 Suharto (Aceh, East Timor, New Guinea, 1975-98) 200,000 Ho Chi Min (Vietnam, 1953-56) 200,000 Michel Micombero (Burundi, 1972) 150,000 Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia, 1992-99) 100,000 Hassan Turabi (Sudan, 1989-1999) 100,000 Syngman Rhee (South Korea, 1948-50) 80,000 (various massacres of civilians) Richard Nixon (Vietnam, 1969-1974) 70,000 (Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians) Efrain Rios Montt - but disputed by recent studies (Guatemala, 1982-83) 70,000 Papa Doc Duvalier (Haiti, 1957-71) 60,000 Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic, 1930-61) 50,000 Bashir Assad (Syria, 2012-13) 50,000 Francisco Macias Nguema (Equatorial Guinea, 1969-79) 50,000 Hissene Habre (Chad, 1982-1990) 40,000 Chiang Kai-shek (Taiwan, 1947) 30,000 (popular uprising) Vladimir Ilich Lenin (USSR, 1917-20) 30,000 (dissidents executed) Francisco Franco (Spain) 30,000 (dissidents executed after the civil war) Fidel Castro (Cuba, 1959-1999) 30,000 Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam, 1963-1968) 30,000 Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez (El Salvador, 1932) 30,000 Hafez Al-Assad (Syria, 1980-2000) 25,000 Khomeini (Iran, 1979-89) 20,000 Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe, 1982-87, Ndebele minority) 20,000 Rafael Videla (Argentina, 1976-83) 13,000 Guy Mollet (France, 1956-1957) 10,000 (war in Algeria) Harold McMillans (Britain, 1952-56, Kenya's Mau-Mau rebellion) 10,000 Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Centrafrica, 1966-79) ? Paul Koroma (Sierra Leone, 1997) 6,000 Osama Bin Laden (worldwide, 1993-2001) 3,500 Augusto Pinochet (Chile, 1973) 3,000
2012
Japanese-American Immigration
May 11, 2012
After years of isolation, immigration from Japan was legalized in 1885 and about 1000 people left Japan to perform contracted work on sugar plantations in Hawaii. Although contract immigration was prohibited in the mainland United States, many "free immigrants" arrived, paying their own passage. Other countries with significant Japanese immigration around the turn of the century were:  Canada, Australia, Mexico, Peru, New Caledonia, and the Fiji Islands. In the early 20th Century, following passage of restrictive legislation on Asian immigration to the United States, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, there was a  shift in Japanese emigration to Latin America, particularly to Brazil and Peru. With a reputation for honesty and hard work, Japanese immigrants were initially well received in Latin America. However, their lack of assimilation, coupled with rising military imperialism in Japan, soon compromised their acceptance. By the mid-1930s, Japanese migration to Latin America was drastically curtailed and the emigrants turned toward East Asia, particularly to Manchuria and China. Source: Tigner JL. Japanese immigration into Latin America: A survey. Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. 1981; 23:4:457-482
Far East 1900
January 11, 2012
THE SITUATION IN THE FAR EAST (時局圖), cerca 1900, a symbolic work by Tse Tsan-tai (1872-1939 ) may help put the various diplomatic and imperialistic maneuvers of the 1930s into historical context.
2011
Westerner’s view of Japan
August 24, 2011
The Ginger Tree, written from the point of view of a young Scottish woman, provides intriguing insights into Japanese culture.
Japan Strengthens Military
June 13, 2011
RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 1904-05 After her isolation was forcibly ended by the U.S. Navy in 1853, Japan rapidly assimilated western technology and developed a strong military. A stunning victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, brought Imperial Japan recognition as the only non-white, predominantly non-Christian, military power in the world. Although lauded by many other non-white nations, many Japanese felt slighted by the West.  Even participation in WWI against Germany didn't bring Japan the level of respect it desired - during the 1918 Versailles Treaty negotiations, a Japanese proposal  proclaiming racial equality was rejected.

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