Resuming our regularly scheduled programming, we will be turning this week to Japanese foreign policy from 1895 to 1940. There’s a lot of interesting material on how Japan went so badly off the rails and what pushed it towards war with China and the US — I hope you all find it interesting!
Listen to the episode here.
Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising.
Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.
Barnhart, Michael A. Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security 1919-1940
Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.
Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
Note: I briefly considered including images of Japanese atrocities in China (there are a few such images, but not many since for obvious reasons the Japanese suppressed them where possible) but decided against it since I marked this podcast as clean when I put it up. If you’re of an age and mentality to be able to handle it (and many of the images can be very graphic), I would urge you to consider finding them, if for no other reason than as an inoculation against the ideas of those who claim such things never happened. The Wikipedia article on the Nanjing Massacre is a good place to start.
A side-by-side image of the soldiers of each country which intervened in the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. From left to right: Britain, the US, Australia, British India, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Japan
The siege of Port Arthur, one of the more decisive battles of the Russo-Japanese War. Japan eventually took the port city, but at tremendous cost in soldiers. This picture shows the results of a bombardment by Japanese ships blockading the port.
Negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. The left side is the Russian delegation, the right the Japanese.
The funeral procession of Yuan Shikai, leader of China after the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty. His death resulted in chaos in China, a situation the Japanese exploited to their advantage.
Zhang Zuolin, the Japanese client-warlord turned Nationalist-supporter. Zuolin was assassinated by a cabal of Japanese officers lead by Lt. Komoto Daisaku in 1928. They hoped to spark an intervention by Japan in Manchuria which would leave Japan in charge of the area.
Zhang Xueliang, son and successor of Zhang Zuolin. His father’s death at Japanese hands resulted in Xueliang despising the Japanese and moving into the orbit of Chiang Kai-shek as a result. Eventually, he was deposed by a Japanese invasion in 1931.
Japanese “experts” assessing the “railway sabotage” ostensibly performed by Chinese dissidents and used as an excuse to invade Manchuria in 1931. In fact, the bombs had been planted by radical Japanese Army officers who seized the pretext for an invasion.
Japanese troops entering Shenyang (a city in Manchuria) in 1931.
Chinese Nationalist troops defending an intersection in downtown Shanghai from the Japanese in 1937, after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Chinese troops engaging in urban combat during the battle of Taierzhuang in 1938. Taierzhuang was one of the ambushes which halted the Japanese advance and resulted in the ongoing slog from which, by 1940, there seemed to be no exit for Japan.