Episode 164 – The Maelstrom, Part 2

This week, we’re going to cover the incompatible goals that led Japan and Russia towards war. Why did each side see the other as a threat? Why was war even on the table in the first place? Can’t we all just get along?

Listen to the episode here.


Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.

Nish, Ian. The History of Manchuria, 1840-1948: A Sino-Russian-Japanese Triangle.


A Chinese print depicting negotiations with the Germans and Russians over Port Arthur. The Russians swooped in on Manchuria only a few years after basically forcing the Japanese out “in the interests of Chinese stability.”
NPG P1700(73b); Ito Hirobumi by W. & D. Downey
Ito Hirobumi c. 1904 or earlier. In 1901, Japan’s foremost statesman went to London to lend his prestige to the idea of an Anglo-Japanese Alliance which he did not entirely favor.
A Japanese cartoon celebrating the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. On the right is Britannia personified; on the left is Amaterasu. The “children” under foot are China and Korea.
A box for matches manufactured in Japan. Nothing says everlasting friendship like cheap commercial tie-ins.