Qin Shi Huang DYNASTY
1st Emperor of China
Contemporary with Hannibal
Carthaginian invader of Rome
center of the universe
all culture is China
language, words, writing, thought ...
mother to all human civilization
all know this to be true
BATTLE OF Baekgang
Japan crosses swords with China
Japan's fleet overwhelmed, its ships destroyed,
its commander heard howling to the sky
before disappearing beneath the waves
amidst his unfortunate, despairing compatriots.
Tang Emperor of China
Yamato Dynasty of Japan
The natural order of the universe remains
Kamikaze DIVINE WIND
Emperor Kublai Khan of China
descendent of the great Mongolian leader
Genghis Khan, conqueror of all China,
sends his vast fleet to invade and subdue
A great typhoon falls upon Kublai Khan's ships,
the sea swallowing up his floundering vessels,
sending his drowned army to the greatest depth
of the ocean to provide food for nature's
Japan remains free through divine will.
Where the Japanese are intrigued by the
ingenious products of British industrialization
the Chinese are blasé and can't be bothered.
China's the center of the universe. If they
don't make it they don't need it. Except
for the opium the British provide. They can't
get enough. Opium ravages Chinese society
and Britain is happy to oblige.
The Emperor recognizes the problem and
declares the drug illegal. One government
official takes it upon himself to have a
British warehouse, filled with opium,
burned to the ground. This makes for a
perfect moment to have the English hammer
come down hard on the Emperor's hapless
military - obsolete and complacent.
The outcome will be a sweetheart deal
given the British in return for peace.
China opens a further five ports to
foreign trade and cedes a barren island,
called Hong Kong, to Britain.
Also, the opium stays.
COMMODORE Matthew Perry
In 1853, seven years before Lincoln became president, an
American fleet sailed brazenly into Tokyo bay. Commodore
Matthew Perry told the Japanese Emperor, on behalf of the US,
his kingdom was now open to the outside world. Thus began
Japan's interest in western technology, western methods.
This exposure to the west soon brought an end to 267 years
of medieval Shogunate rule. People saw the benefit in what
the foreigners gave them - a better life through education,
science and organization - putting knowledge to good
Modern civilization requires industry which, in turn, requires
resources that are often not readily available.
Take Britain and Japan as a for instance. People striving
despite a homeland resource poor. What to do?
How do you get a needed resource when the owner says
no sale? You tell them it's not really theirs and you take it
away from them. It's called imperialism. But it's nothing new.
It's just throwing your weight around if you can
get away with it. You can't let No stand in your way.
Welcome to the Modern World
The Emperor is once again Center to the Political World
A Constitution has been adopted.
There is an elected Parliament.
The nation is rapidly industrializing.
Roads, bridges, communication bring
Harbors constructed. Schools open everywhere.
A professional bureaucracy keeps tabs
on what matters.
People begin thinking about being on time.
Clocks are everywhere. Punctuality is cool.
Japan wrests Korea from Chinese control.
War begins with surprise naval attack by Japan on Chinese fleet.
The Boxers was a movement to throw foreigners
out of China, ridding their land of all western influence
particularly those Christian missionaries who were seen
just about everywhere. Sentiment soon rose to violent
rebellion levels, bringing in troops from Britain, France,
the U.S. and Japan, among others. Together they routed
the Boxer army along with the Emperor's own forces who
were in league with the rebellion. Rebels were rounded up
and summarily executed, often by death through
BATTLE OF Tsushima
In 1905 the Russian Empire was embarrassed
by their military defeat in Manchuria to Japan
and their loss of Port Arthur, an important port
along the Chinese coast near Korea.
In response, the Czar sent his Baltic Fleet
over 18,000 miles to punish the upstart Japanese.
The voyage around the horn of Africa, across
the Indian Ocean and through the South China Sea
took six months.
Finally, on 27 May 1905 the two fleets met up
in the Tsushima Strait, midway between Honshu,
Japan and the southern tip of Korea. Three years
prior to this engagement Japan had purchased
from Britain six state-of-the-art battleships designed
with this contest in mind. Japan's greater speed
and superior gunnery - larger caliber shells traveling
farther - devastated the Russian fleet.
Word rapidly spread across the world of
the great military victory of an Asiatic people
over the powerful white European colonialists.
Washington Naval Treaty
This whole treaty was political poison for the
Japanese politician. The agreement, billed as a
disarmament treaty, insured Japan was the
inferior partner for the next ten years in this
three-way accord. It was all about ratios.
For instance: if Britain could build 5 battleships
then America could also build 5 battleships
but Japan was limited to 3.
This same 5-5-3 ratio held for any naval ship over
10,000 tons, having guns of 8 inch caliber or better.
Britain and America would tell you they spread
their navy around the globe. Japan need only concern
themselves with their portion of the Pacific.
From this perspective Japan actually had the superior
navy in their region of concern.
Japanese nationalists would have nothing of
this argument. The agreement was an insult to
national pride and Japanese officials who had
signed off on this treaty were in fear
of their lives. For good reason.
Marshal Chang WARLORD
Russia's defeat at Port Arthur and Tsushima effectively
ended their control of Manchuria. A railroad the Russians
had gone to great expense to build about Manchuria
was now ceded to Japan. Japanese administration
along the rail line brought law and order to a sparsely
populated and bandit-infested area.
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Japanese and
Korean settlers swarmed into the area.
Members of the Kwantung Army, Japan's military force
in Manchuria, took it upon themselves to begin a campaign
to take over Manchuria and make it a part of Japan.
They began their effort by first assassinating Manchuria's
reigning warlord, Marshal Chang - dynamiting his
Puppet State of Japan
Japan's opportunity to turn a vast wilderness
into prosperity, the answer to widespread
poverty at home. Japan's great push to
industrialize has led to overpopulation and
agitation among the growing number of
urban unemployed. Here, in Manchukuo,
are the resources necessary for Japan
to become a great nation.
One nation stands in their way. The United States.
Specifically, the U.S. Navy.
© Tom Taylor