Saturday, July 14, 2012

"narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" - Leonard Foujita and War

 Around Tokyo

Leonard Foujita and War

A notable Japanese painter Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886 – 1968) painted some scenes of war as he was in Japan during WWII.

But before WWII, he also painted pictures of war, especially the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol (Nomon-Han Jiken in Japanese) which was "decisive engagement of the undeclared Soviet–Japanese Border Wars fought among the Soviet Union, Mongolia and the Empire of Japan in 1939."

The Battles claimed about 8,000 lives each on the Japanese side and the Russian side.

But as the USSR had to get prepared for the coming war with Nazi Germany, Russians did not want to bring the battles into a full-scale war with the Empire of Japan.  The Imperial government had no intention, from the beginning, to start all-out war with the Soviet Union at this point of time.  The Battles were started by Imperial generals stationed in Manchuria without full authorization from Tokyo.  So, eventually the Battles were terminated in a halfway manner while Russian troops had some advantage.

But casualties in the Battles alarmed the Imperial government and its military elites.  They could not regard this military campaign as their victory at all.  So, they kept the real state of the Battles secret.  The Imperial government simply announced that it won the USSR in military clashes on the border between Mongolia and Machuria.

But what was more tragic happened after the Battles.  To keep the big loss of troops, the military leaders of the Empire forced middle-class officers to commit a suicide.  Several lieutenant colonels and so on were inquired after the Battles.  And then they were called to account.  They were given a handgun and ordered to go into a room.  Most of those officers of the Imperial Army committed a suicide.  In this way, the Imperial Army of Japan saved face, since the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol was a big failure for the Imperial Army, though Soviet troops could not invade Manchukuo.

And, one of generals who were engaged in the Battles was also forced to retire.  But one day he visited painter Leonard Tsugouharu Foujita whose father was one of top medical officers of the Imperial Army.  The general told candidly Foujita the true situation of the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol.  As the Battles were so tragic, the general wanted to appease spirits and souls of fallen soldiers who had been engaged in the Battles.  So, the retired general asked Foujita to paint a scene of the Battles.  The general even made an arrangement so that Foujita could travel to the area where the Battles had been actually fought.  Foujita observed the wilderness of Mongolia and remnants of the Battles.  And the above picture was painted.

The Soviet Union learnt many things from the Battles.  They applied those lessons and ideas to its war against Nazi Germany in WWII.  But the Empire of Japan neglected lessons of the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol.  Its leaders simply hid the fact from the public.  They should have understood that the coming World War II would be war whose victory could not be won only with samurai spirit, since the Imperial Army could not win the Soviet troops that were accompanied by about 1,000 tanks and armed vehicles while the Imperial soldiers were supported by only 100 tanks. 

Anyway, Leonard Tsugouharu Foujita should not have painted Japanese soldiers on a Soviet tank, since it was field guns and Molotov cocktails that could really effectively destroy enemy tanks.

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Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction" - The Imperial Military Looking for Resources

A Beach on Sagami Bay toward the Pacific Ocean, Japan

The Imperial Military Looking for Resources

During WWII, the Empire of Japan sent its troops and fleets to Southeast Asia.  But why?

It was not to kill or wound local people there.  It was to take natural resources in Southeast Asia that was colonized by the UK, France, the Netherlands, the US and other Western powers.

So, Southeast Asians did not make war against invading Imperial troops and fleets.  But armed forces of the UK and other Western powers fought the war.

Before WWII, there was only one independent country in Southeast Asia which was Thailand.  And Thailand did not  engage in warfare with the Empire of Japan.  Only European troops and their allies fought the Empire of Japan only to be defeated.

But why did the Empire of Japan have to occupy Southeast Asia with armed forces?  It is because the US and Western powers stopped exporting crude oil and other natural resources to the Empire.

As the Empire of Japan set up Manchukuo in the northeast region of China and was engaged in war with China, the US and other Western powers were afraid that the Empire would take control of whole East Asia.  So, they supplied military equipment for China.  The US also sent voluntary air squadrons to China to fight Imperial fighter planes.   The Empire of Japan became a virtual enemy of the US and other Western powers due to its war against China.

But why did the Empire have to fight China?  It is because it had to secure Manchuria in the nominal form of an independent empire called Manchukuo.

But why did the Empire need Manchukou?  It was to prepare war against Russia.  Russians from the era of the Russian Empire to that of the Soviet Union continued to put pressure on the Empire of Japan.  In the Japanese-Russo War (1904-1905), Manchuria was the main place of land engagements.  The Empire had to stop invasion of East Asia by Russians at Manchuria.  But the Qing Dynasty of China was originally from Manchuria.  After the fall of Qin, the new Chinese government also tried to take control of Manchuria by rights.  So, Chinese troops sometimes launched attacks on Imperial troops stationed in Manchukuo.  The Imperial Army was aggravated so much.  It was eventually determined to take on Chinese troops once and for all.  The Imperial Army decided to pursue and chase Chinese troops no matter how deep it had to advance in China.    

So, from the beginning the Imperial Army of Japan was not prepared for war against the US.

But, the Imperial Navy that relied on American crude oil for fuel of its fleets had to get crude oil in Indonesia if it could not get it from the US.  So, the Pearl Harbor Attack was planned to prevent US armed forces from stopping Japanese advancement to Indonesia and other resource-rich regions in Southeast Asia.  In the Pacific region, only the US had strong navy that could match the Imperial Navy at the time. 

The Empire of Japan and its troops had no intention to kill or wound local people in Southeast Asia during WWII, since it needed natural resources in the regions which were colonized by the UK and other Western powers for centuries.

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Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"to do ought for his father or his mother" - Enemies of American People

Sagami Bay Facing the Pacific Ocean, Japan 

Enemies of American People

The US has to defeat its enemy.

It did so against the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany in the middle of the 20th century.

It did so against the USSR in the late 20th century though it was conducted in a form of proxy wars and a cold war.

Now it has enemies among some type of Muslims (though US special troops took on Osama bin Laden in 2011).

But is China an enemy the US has to defeat?  For example, the true enemy in the Korean War for the US was China rather than North Koreans.  And, in the Vietnam War, the true enemy for the US was China rather than North Vietnam.  Nonetheless, China is now the largest holder of Treasuries the US Government has issued (the second largest holder is Japan).  Most of sons and daughters of the elite Chinese learn in universities in the US.  Can China be a true enemy of the US?  Yes, it can be as China does not respect American religion though it would respect American economy.  Indeed, the core of the American culture is not its economy but its religion. 

If the American democracy should be to prevail in the Islamic world and China, the US would carry out war against Islamic enemies and China.  The US would continue to keep a big war capability of war till all the anti-American Muslims are wiped out and the Chinese Communist Party fall.  The US defense industry will continue to thrive as long as the US has enemies.

However, the American wars on anti-American Muslims and China are different from its wars conducted in the 20th century.  It is because the American religion is at stake unlike in its wars in the 20th century.  

In addition, the US has its own enemy inside the nation.  For example, is Wall Street good for the US at the bottom of its value?

In 2008, it turned out that Wall Street was a kind of threat to the US.  But, this crisis was conquered by American voters electing Mr. Obama as their president.  However, it might be very difficult to fix a new Wall Street problem in future.

As another possibility, anti-Christ movements might be intensified in the US.  They will be a tougher enemy inside the US.

Islamic terrorists might inflict American infrastructures so badly, but they will not be able to destroy the US.

China would not launch nuclear warfare as the USSR could not.

But, some enemies inside the US might be able to really inflict a catastrophic blow on American people.

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Mar 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
Mar 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"the Jews sought him at the feast" - Who Decided Pearl Harbor Attack

On the Pacific Ocean, Japan  

Who Decided Pearl Harbor Attack

When the last samurai regime fell in 1868, modernization and Westernization of politics started in Japan.

But those who replaced the samurai regime led by the Tokugawa clan were also samurais.  This regime change was realized through a civil war between the Tokugawa camp and anti-Tokugawa camp of samurais.  It was war among samurais but not war between the samurai clan and other civilians.  It was not a revolution.  But as those anti-Tokugawa samurais took the emperor on their side, this incident is called the Meiji Restoration (of the imperial authority).  Indeed, the year 1868 was the first year of the Meiji era in the Japanese calendar.

In the samurai era before the Meiji period, there were several social classes in Japan.  At the top were the emperor, the imperial family, and other noble people who lived in Kyoto.  And then, samurais constituted their own class while functioning as generals, officers, soldiers, policemen, bureaucrats, scholars, engineers, and so on.  Other classes including farmers, craftsmen, merchants, etc. all were subject to samurais.  Ordinary samurais belonged to samurai lords.  Each samurai lord governed his clan who occupied its own territory and farmers who cultivated the land.  And, the head of all the samurai clans in Japan was called shogun who even managed and supervised the imperial house in Kyoto.  The shogun was virtually king of Japan who presided all over Japan from the great city Edo.

Anyway, the Tokugawa shogun resigned when his military was defeated by anti-Tokugawa samurais in 1868.  The Tokugawa shogun left the samurai capital Edo (now called Tokyo) and the Edo castle (now the imperial palace).  Then the emperor was invited to come from Kyoto to Tokyo.  Anti-Tokugawa samurais who won the civil war occupied Tokyo and formed a new Japanese government.  They changed clothing from kimono to European suits.  They changed a hairstyle and stopped carrying swords.  But samurais needed the emperor to build new Japan as a modern empire.  So, the constitution of the Empire of Japan was formulated where the emperor was recognized as constitutional monarch.

But, it was not the imperial family that established the modern empire of Japan.  It was samurais.  Accordingly, ex-samurai bureaucrats and politicians in the Empire of Japan did not much respect the emperor in politics and military affairs.  Though a supreme meeting was specified to be convened with presence of the empire when deciding critical issues, the emperor was not supposed to discuss a matter or even speak in the meeting.  Every critical decision was made by ex-samurai politicians and generals/admirals in the Empire of Japan in the Meiji era.

Though the era changed from Meiji to Taisho and Showa in Japan, this governmental regime did not change.  

That is why it is thought that the emperor of the Showa era could not prevent the imperial military from deciding the plan to attack the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941, if he had been truly against the idea of making war against the US.

Generals and admirals of the Empire, namely descendants of samurais, had already decided to launch a war against the US when a supreme meeting with the emperor was held several times in 1941.  (It is because the US stopped export of crude oil to Japan while requesting the Empire to withdraw its troops from China.)

They wanted the emperor to accept a result of the meeting which had been determined beforehand.  The emperor felt a doubt about whether or not the Empire could defeat the US and the UK.  But he was eventually persuaded to authorize the war plan.  Even if the emperor had claimed anything those generals and admirals could not accept, those military leaders would sabotage the process to enforce the will of the emperor.  There was no other way for the emperor than to follow decisions made by leaders of the Imperial military, since real power was in the hand of those descendants of samurais.

The emperor was not a puppet.  He had at least absolute authority in terms of the shinto religion.  As most of the Japanese people had faith in supreme political authority of the emperor before the end of WWII, any politician or military leader who was openly opposed to the will of the emperor would lose respect and should be purged.  But, real power was still in the hand of descendants of samurais who had carried out the Meiji Restoration till the end of WWII.  
Imperial Conference (Gozen Kaigi in Japanese) (literally the conference before the noble face) was an extraconstitutional conference of matters of grave national importance in foreign affairs that were convened by the government of the Empire of Japan in the presence of the Emperor. 
Typically attending the Gozen Kaigi were (in addition to the Emperor himself):
- the Prime Minister
- the Minister of Foreign Affairs
- the Minister of Finance
- the President of the Planning Board
- the Minister of War
- the Minister of the Navy
- the Chief of the Army General Staff and
- the Chief of the Navy General Staff
Showa Emperor of Japan before WWII

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Joh 7:10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
Joh 7:11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
Joh 7:12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
Joh 7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"the waters of the flood were upon the earth" - 1923 Tokyo Earthquake & 1941 Tokyo Bombing

Sagami Bay toward the Pacific Ocean, Japan

1923 Tokyo Earthquake & 1941 Tokyo Bombing

Tokyo experienced massive fires twice in the 20th century: The Great Kanto Earthquake that occurred on September 1, 1923 and the Great Bombing of Tokyo carried out by the US air forces on March 10, 1941.
This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region.The power was so great that in Kamakura, over 60 kilometres (37 mi) from the epicenter, it moved a Great Buddha statue weighing about 93 short tons (84,000 kg) almost two feet. 
Casualty estimates range from about 142,800 deaths, including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead.
The first such raid was in February 1945 when 174 B-29s destroyed around one square mile (3 km²) of Tokyo. The next month, 334 B-29s took off to raid on the night of 9–10 March (Operation Meetinghouse), with 279 of them dropping around 1,700 tons of bombs. Fourteen B-29s were lost Approximately 16 square miles (41 km2) of the city were destroyed and some 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the resulting firestorm, more immediate deaths than either of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The devastated areas in Tokyo by the 1923 earthquake were as follows:

Note that the devastated areas colored in red surrounds the Imperial Palace in green.

The devastated areas in Tokyo by the 1945 air raid were as follows:

Note that the devastated ares colored in red surrounds the Imperial Palace delimited by moats colored in blue.

Both the tragedies resulted in almost the same districts (5 km x 10 km) in Tokyo City being destroyed which were mostly in the east of the Imperial Palace.

However, it was not by chance.  The US air forces checked how Tokyo had been destroyed and burnt by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.  Then they found weak points of Tokyo or the most vulnerable places in the capital of the Empire of Japan.  And they concentrated their bombings on those areas full of wooden houses and buildings.   

Anyway, it was a miracle that Tokyo and Japan could recover from this catastrophic damage after WWII to be the second largest economy in the world.
Tokyo (a downtown area) at the End of WWII
Tokyo (a downtown area) Today

APPENDIX. Emperor Visiting a Shrine in Downtown Tokyo Destroyed by the 1941 March US Air Raid

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Gen 7:7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
Gen 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
Gen 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
Gen 7:10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Gen 7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Gen 7:13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
Gen 7:14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
Gen 7:15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
Gen 7:16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
Gen 7:17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

Monday, July 09, 2012

"he abode still in Galile" - Fukuhsima Daiich Recovery Workers

Views of Sagami Bay, Southwest of Tokyo

Fukuhsima Daiich Recovery Workers

A worker being engaged in recovery work in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclera power plant recently joined an anti-nuclear demonstration held in front of the main office building of TEPCO, Tokyo, the utility company operating the plant.  

He said that he had received doses of 7 mSv in a few months of the last year.  Though the criterion for recognizing leukemia caused by radiation as an industrial injury is 5 mSv, he reached the dangerous level in just a few months.

The Fukushima Daiichi worker said that the nuclear power plant is a place of discrimination.  Those who now work in Fukushima Daiichi are poor day laborers recruited in big cities such as Tokyo, residents living in poverty areas in Fukushima Prefecture, migration workers from the Tohoku region, agricultural zones that have traditionally provided work force for construction sites in Tokyo and so on.  Those poor workers receive only 10,000 yen ($125) or less per day while receiving higher doses under severe condition.

The worker even criticized anti-nuclear citizens in Tokyo and big cities.  "They call just abolition of nuclear power reactors.  But who would work for abolition of nuclear facilities?  It is poor workers who are discriminated socially," he said.  "Anti-nuclear activists should study discrimination problems the nuclear technology has produced and exposed."

He also stressed that the number of workers was not enough; TEPCO and the Japanese Government have to commit more workers to the recovery of Fukushima Daiichi.

Even today 3,000 workers are engaged in recovery work in Fukushima Daiichi everyday.

Other worker in Fukushima Daiichi who is also a member of some anti-poverty movement also told the actual state of the site in Fukushima Daiichi.

- Some persons that do not know how to use a radioactivity measurement device are appointed to supervisors for checking radiation levels.

- TEPCO commits subcontractors who only wear ordinary clothing to management work that needs special radiation protective gears.

- TEPCO discharges water used for decontamination work to drainage channels without any treatment.

- Some workers have been already exposed to doses more than 1 sV, 1000 times higher than a statutory level for ordinary citizens in Japan.

- Some workers have faces burned probably by radiation doses.

- Some subcontractors have really raked off money from salaries of workers they recruit.

- Subcontractors recruit workers for Fukushima Daiichi recovery from the poor in cities looking for any job.

So, electricity Tokyo citizens use is a product of blood, sweat, and tears of the poor in addition to   injustice.
Protective Gears of Fukushima Daiichi Recovery Workers
A Radiation Level Supervisor Coming from Other Nuclear Power Plant to Fukushima
A Subcontractor Worker Checking a Radioactivity Level in No.2 Unit of Fukushima Daiichi

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Joh 7:8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
Joh 7:9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
Joh 7:10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
Joh 7:11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
Joh 7:12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
Joh 7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
Joh 7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.