Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Tag: Communism

Episode 219 – The Red Dawn, Part 3

Turns out, getting involved in a land war in Asia really is one of the classic blunders.

This week, how did it all pan out?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dunscomb, Paul E.  Japan’s Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1854-1945

Debo, Richard K. Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918-1921.

An interesting article on

A Japanese propaganda postcard showing Japanese troops in Siberia. Postcards like this were part of an army effort to build support for the intervention by portraying it as humanitarian.

A photo of the leadership of the Bolshevik forces that took Nikolaevsk. Yakob Triapytsin is in the center, reclining and wearing a white shirt.

Nikolaevsk in the wake of its recapture by the Japanese in May, 1920.

A memorial to the victims of Nikolaevsk in Otaru, Hokkaido.

The territory of the Far Eastern Republic.

The final cabinet of the Far Eastern Republic. A frankenstate maintained solely by the Japanese presence in the region, the FER did not outlive the withdrawal of Japan.

Mikhail Dietrikhs, the crazed monarchist anti-semite Czech who was the force behind the final White bastion in Russia.

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Episode 218 – The Red Dawn, Part 2

How did Japan fit into the broader framework of the Allied intervention? What were the Japanese trying to accomplish in Siberia? And who was even in charge of this damned thing? All that and more, this week.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dunscomb, Paul E.  Japan’s Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1854-1945

Guins, George C. “The Siberian Intevention, 1918-1919.” The Russian Review 28 No 4 (Oct, 1969).

Images

American troops in Vladivostok. America represented the largest contingent of foreign troops in Siberia other than Japan.

Kolchak reviewing the troops in Omsk in early 1919. He would launch a counterattack against the Bolsheviks later that year which would collapse, beginning the disintegration of his regime.

Anti-Bolshevik forces from Kolchak’s army. The White Russians were a rather motley group, brought together by little more than a shared distaste for Lenin’s ideas.

Japanese marines in a parade of Allied forces in Vladivostok.

The location of Lake Baikal. The lake represented the westernmost extent of Japanese influence during the intervention.

An ethnically Mongol soldier arrayed to fight the Bolsheviks. Grigory Semenov was able to use his heritage as a Buryat Mongol to convince other Mongols to join his cause.

The Alexander Kolchak monument in Irkutsk, where he was executed by the Bolsheviks in January, 1920. Today, Kolchak’s image is somewhat rehabilitated after years of being maligned by the Soviet government. In 1919, the collapse of his government caused the other Allies to begin considering withdrawal.

 

Episode 217 – The Red Dawn, Part 1

100 Years ago, Japan intervened in Russia to create a buffer state against the new Soviet Union. So how did that work out? We’ll start answering that question this week.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dunscomb, Paul E.  Japan’s Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1854-1945

Guins, George C. “The Siberian Intevention, 1918-1919.” The Russian Review 28 No 4 (Oct, 1969).

Images

Lenin addressing Soviet soldiers at the start of the October Revolution.

Prime Minister Terauchi, who led the charge for intervention.

General Staff Chief Uehara Yusaku, a hard-nosed realist and advocate of trying to create a buffer state in the Russian Far East.

Grigory Semenov, the cossack commander allied to Japan.

Alexander Kolchak, whose British-backed White Russian government was nominally allied with Japan against the Bolsheviks.

The Russian Far East is highlighted in red. Siberia proper is just to the west. Lake Baikal is the long, thin body of water to the north of Mongolia.

 

Episode 179 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 4

This week, the floodgates are open! The system has fallen, and the left is poised to seize power…or not!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Crump, John. The Origins of Socialist Thought in Japan.

Price, John. Japan Works: Power and Paradox in Postwar Industrial Relations

Images

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Citizens of Tokyo watching as electoral returns are posted on billboards in the city in 1947.

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Nosaka Sanzo speaking at a rally, c. 1946. The end of World War II signaled a revival of the Communist Party, as its leadership came over from China and the USSR to revive the party at home.

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Japanese communists are released from prison by the US, c. 1945.

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Katayama Tetsu, Japan’s first socialist PM, at right. At left is Abe Isoo, Japan’s foremost Christian socialist and a mentor to Katayama.

Episode 178 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 3

Today, a specter is haunting Japan. But that specter is not communism; it’s the ghost of the communist party, dead before it truly lived. This week on the podcast: how to kill a communist party in a few easy steps.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Gordon, Andrew. Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan.

Beckmann, George M and Genji Okubo. The Japanese Communist Party, 1922-1945.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Images

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Hayashi Fusao, one of the most high profile cultural figures to commit tenko and convert himself to the cause of Japanese ultranationalism.

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Yosano Akiko became the darling of the Japanese left during the Russo-Japanese War, but jumped ship to the cause of the empire during the 1930s.

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The leadership of the JCP in exile in the Soviet Union. From left to right: Tokuda Kyuichi, Nosaka Sanzo, and Shiga Yoshio.

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During World War II, Nosaka allied himself to the Chinese Communist Party. Here Nosaka, in the center, attends the beginning of the 7th Party Congress with Mao Zedong (at right).

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Nosaka in his military uniform as leader of a unit of “converted” Japanese POWs.

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