We’ve arrived, finally, at the Pacific War — this week, we’ll be charting the course Japan took to war, briefly summarizing the course of said war, and then discussing how the war ended. This topic can be rather dark — after all, we’re talking about a war that killed millions — but it’s an important one for understanding the course Japan is on today, and the background in this episode will be important in future shows on the fall of the Japanese Empire.
This week, we’ll be discussing domestic developments in Japan, and the path by which a reasonably (if not totally) liberal democracy in the 1910s and 1920s morphed into a military dictatorship in the 1930s. We’ll talk about the various means by which the military grew its influence, and how it was able to use violence to cow the civilian government.Listen to the episode here.
Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: It’s Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.
Humphreys, Leonard. The Way of the Heavenly Sword: The Imperial Japanese Army in the 1920s.
Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.
Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising.
Young, Louise. Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism.
Media (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation unless otherwise noted)
Resuming our regularly scheduled programming, we will be turning this week to Japanese foreign policy from 1895 to 1940. There’s a lot of interesting material on how Japan went so badly off the rails and what pushed it towards war with China and the US — I hope you all find it interesting!
Barnhart, Michael A. Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security 1919-1940
Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.
Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
Note: I briefly considered including images of Japanese atrocities in China (there are a few such images, but not many since for obvious reasons the Japanese suppressed them where possible) but decided against it since I marked this podcast as clean when I put it up. If you’re of an age and mentality to be able to handle it (and many of the images can be very graphic), I would urge you to consider finding them, if for no other reason than as an inoculation against the ideas of those who claim such things never happened. The Wikipedia article on the Nanjing Massacre is a good place to start.