Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Month: August 2014

Episode 66 – An Unnatural Intimacy, Part 4.

This week, we’ll discuss the Second Konoe Cabinet, which was torn by indecision and plagued by bad leadership. The Japanese leadership will alienate the US by signing the Tripartite Pact, and their attempts to bridge the gap with the US will be plagued by bad management and failure. 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Asada, Sadao. From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States.

Butow, Robert. The John Doe Associates.

Hotta, Eri. Japan 1941.

Heinrichs, Waldo. Threshold of War

Media

A German newsreel depicting Matsuoka Yosuke’s arrival in Berlin. English subtitles are included.

The fall of France in June, 1940 provided impetus to those in the Japanese government who wanted to align with Germany. Here, Hitler is shown touring Paris after its defeat with the famous German architect Albert Speer.

The fall of France in June, 1940 provided impetus to those in the Japanese government who wanted to align with Germany. Here, Hitler is shown touring Paris after its defeat with the famous German architect Albert Speer.

The signing of the Tripartite Pact in September, 1940. On the far left is the Japanese delegate, Kurusu Saburo, who actually objected to the treaty but was ordered to sign it.

The signing of the Tripartite Pact in September, 1940. On the far left is the Japanese delegate, Kurusu Saburo, who actually objected to the treaty but was ordered to sign it.

The signing of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty. Matsuoka is shown signing, with Stalin and his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov (on his right) lookind distracted.

The signing of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty. Matsuoka is shown signing, with Stalin and his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov (on his right) lookind distracted.

The Russian text of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty.

The Russian text of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty.

Nomura Kichisaburo arriving at the White House to present himself as the new Japanese ambassador in February, 1941.

Nomura Kichisaburo arriving at the White House to present himself as the new Japanese ambassador in February, 1941.

James Drought, the Maryknoll priest and ringleader of the John Doe Associates. Drought would attempt to assist the peacemaking process but end up severely hampering it.

James Drought, the Maryknoll priest and ringleader of the John Doe Associates. Drought would attempt to assist the peacemaking process but end up severely hampering it.

Episode 65 – An Unnatural Intimacy, Part 3

This week, we’ll delve into the origins of Japan’s war with China and the strain that conflict placed on Japan’s relationship with the US. In the course of the 9 years from the invasion of Manchuria to the second appointment of Konoe Fumimaro as Prime Minister, Japan will become bogged down in an unwinnable war and find itself facing a far more assertive United States.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Barnhart, Michael A. Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919-1941.

Heinrichs, Waldo. Threshold of War: Franklin D. Roosevelt & American Entry Into World War II.

Hotta, Eri. Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy.

Konoe, Fumimaro. Against a Pacifism Centered on England and America.

Mitter, Rana. Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II 1937-1945.

Media

Japan Walks Out of the League of Nations

Sinking of the USS Panay

The Lytton Commission in Shanghai as they prepare to investigate goings on in Manchuria.

The Lytton Commission in Shanghai as they prepare to investigate goings on in Manchuria.

Matsuoka Yosuke addressing the League of Nations.

Matsuoka Yosuke addressing the League of Nations.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (right) with his predecessor Herbert Hoover on Inauguration Day in March, 1933. Roosevelt's leadership style would prove the antithesis of the weak style of Konoe.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (right) with his predecessor Herbert Hoover on Inauguration Day in March, 1933. Roosevelt’s leadership style would prove the antithesis of the weak style of Konoe.

Konoe Fumimaro at the time of his first appointment as Prime Minister in 1937.

Konoe Fumimaro at the time of his first appointment as Prime Minister in 1937.

Massacre victims piled on the shore of the Yangtze River after the Japanese occupation of Nanjing.

Massacre victims piled on the shore of the Yangtze River after the Japanese occupation of Nanjing.

The USS Panay sinking in the Yangtze after being struck by Japanese fighters during the sack of Nanjing.

The USS Panay sinking in the Yangtze after being struck by Japanese fighters during the sack of Nanjing.

Chinese troops counterattacking at Taierzhuang in Summer, 1938; such victories slowed the Japanese advance and gave the Chinese time to settle in for the long war.

Chinese troops counterattacking at Taierzhuang in Summer, 1938; such victories slowed the Japanese advance and gave the Chinese time to settle in for the long war.

Yonai Mitsumasa addressing the Diet in early 1940. Yonai would attempt to defuse tensions between the US and Japan but be blocked by the army and hardliners in the navy.

Yonai Mitsumasa addressing the Diet in early 1940. Yonai would attempt to defuse tensions between the US and Japan but be blocked by the army and hardliners in the navy.

Konoe Fumimaro's 2nd cabinet in 1940. Tojo Hideki is standing in the second row on the left side.

Konoe Fumimaro’s 2nd cabinet in 1940. Tojo Hideki is standing in the second row on the left side.

Episode 64 – An Unnatural Intimacy, Part 2

This week, we’ll discuss America and Japan’s new roles as Great Powers in the 20th century. We’ll discuss the reasons Japan and America came together to support the Allies in World War I, the rationale behind Japanese support for an American-dominated world order after 1918, and the early arms control and peace initiatives supported by Japan and the US.

 

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Asada, Sadao. From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: A History of the Imperial Japanese Navy

Iriye, Akira. The Origins of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific.

Hotta, Eri. Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising

Images

A young Franklin Roosevelt as Secretary of the Navy in 1913.

A young Franklin Roosevelt as Secretary of the Navy in 1913.

Saionji Kinmochi during his time as PM in 1912. He would lead the Japanese delegation to Versailles five years later.

Saionji Kinmochi during his time as PM in 1912. He would lead the Japanese delegation to Versailles five years later.

Konoe Fumimaro, who first came to prominence during the Versailles Conference and would later be the Prime Minister to lead Japan into war.

Konoe Fumimaro, who first came to prominence during the Versailles Conference and would later be the Prime Minister to lead Japan into war.

Kato Tomosaburo, the pro-Washington Naval Conference Naval Minister. The effort of getting the treaty accepted literally worked him to death.

Kato Tomosaburo, the pro-Washington Naval Conference Naval Minister. The effort of getting the treaty accepted literally worked him to death.

Kato Kanji, the admiral who fought his superior Kato Tomosaburo every step of the way when it came to arms limitation.

Kato Kanji, the admiral who fought his superior Kato Tomosaburo every step of the way when it came to arms limitation.

Hamaguchi Osachi, the Prime Minister with the dubious distinction of being the last leader to successfully cooperate with the US on a major initiative (the London Naval Conference). For his trouble, an assassin would attempt (and fail) to kill him in 1931.

Hamaguchi Osachi, the Prime Minister with the dubious distinction of being the last leader to successfully cooperate with the US on a major initiative (the London Naval Conference). For his trouble, an assassin would attempt (and fail) to kill him in 1931.

Episode 63 – An Unnatural Intimacy, Part 1

This week, we’re beginning a multiparter on the modern relationship between America and Japan. We’ll cover the background of both countries and their relationship leading up to the 1905 Russo-Japanese War.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Asada, Sadao. From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States.

Hotta, Eri. Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising. 

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

A map showing the continental expansion of the US over the course of 77 years.

A map showing the continental expansion of the US over the course of 77 years.

John A. Bingham, the US Ambassador responsible for establishing a good working relationship between Japan and the US.

John A. Bingham, the US Ambassador responsible for establishing a good working relationship between Japan and the US.

A letter from US Ambassador John Bingham requiring American ships to obey Japanese quarantine regulations to contain cholera. From the July 26, 1879 edition of the Japan Weekly Mail, courtesy of the Hathi Trust.

A letter from US Ambassador John Bingham requiring American ships to obey Japanese quarantine regulations to contain cholera. From the July 26, 1879 edition of the Japan Weekly Mail, courtesy of the Hathi Trust.

Japanese troops on Taiwan in 1874. The dispatch of Japanese soldiers was protested by the US.

Japanese troops on Taiwan in 1874. The dispatch of Japanese soldiers was protested by the US.

King Kalakaua, the Hawaiian monarch who attempted to imitate Meiji Japan. American pressure caused the Japanese to rebuff him.

King Kalakaua, the Hawaiian monarch who attempted to imitate Meiji Japan. American pressure caused the Japanese to rebuff him.

The IJN Naniwa, dispatched to Hawaii to protect Japanese interests there. Its arrival precipitated the first Japan-US war scare in history.

The IJN Naniwa, dispatched to Hawaii to protect Japanese interests there. Its arrival precipitated the first Japan-US war scare in history.

The USS Olympia entering Manila Bay. The US seizure of the Philippines from Spain upset some Japanese Pan-Asianists.

The USS Olympia entering Manila Bay. The US seizure of the Philippines from Spain upset some Japanese Pan-Asianists.

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