Sunday, September 26, 2021

good morning jacob


200 BC

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 

even Japan 


663 CE

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 

in balance. 



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 

bottom dwellers.

Japan remains free through divine will.


Opium Wars

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

social use. 


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. 






Meiji Restoration


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

     people together. 

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.


Boxer Rebellion

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 

standing strangulation. 


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 

passing train. 





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


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