Episode 194 – Fist of Legend, Part 1

This week: where do Japan’s traditional martial arts come from?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Read, Paul. One Last Thing: The Untold History of the Martial Arts Philosophy.

Meyer, Isaac. The Soul of a Nation: Swordsmanship in Modern Japan. (BA Thesis, Wesleyan University, 2010)

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Images

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A page from the Heiho Kadensho of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Books like this one were designed not to propagate the style but to act as certificates of expertise for instructors.
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The domain school of the old Aizu domain, the Nisshinkan. At schools like this one, samurai children would learn a fusion of martial arts and Confucianism unique to the Tokugawa era.
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Traditional karate weapons like these were derived from common household or farming implements, a reminder of karate’s low-class origins.

Episode 193 – No Country for Young Women, Part 2

This week: what are three educated women to do in a society that doesn’t value their education?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Nimura, Janice. Daughters of the Samurai.

Furuki, Yoshiko. The White Plum, a Biography of Tsuda Ume.

Tsuda, Umeko and Yoshiko Furuki. The Attic Letters: Ume Tsuda’s Correspondence to her American Mother.

Some excellent biographical sketches of Ume, Shige and Sutematsu are available here.

Images

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Nagai Shige as a college student at Vassar.
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Yamakawa Sutematsu as a student at Vassar.
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Oyama Iwao and Sutematsu together. Initially a political marriage, by all accounts the union became a very happy one.
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Tsuda Ume in her dorm room at Bryn Mawr. This makes me feel much better about how my dorm looked in college.
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Alice Bacon with Shige, Sutematsu, and Ume during her time working for the Joshi Gakushuin.
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Anna Cope Hartshorne, Tsuda Ume’s closest friend and collaborator in building Tsuda College.
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The modern campus of Tsuda College in Kodaira. The school’s tremendous success can be attributed in part to the amazing energy of its founder.

Episode 192 – No Country for Young Women, Part 1

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Empress Shoken in Western-style court dress. She was charged with seeing off the five girls and giving them their mission.
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The girls on arriving in the West. From left to right: Ryo, Sutematsu, Shige, Ume, and Tei.
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Adeline and Charles Lanman.
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From left to right: Ume, Sutematsu, and Shige.
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Shige as a young girl living in New Haven.

This week: the beginning of a two parter on Japan’s first ever female exchange students.

Listen to the episode here.

You can check out Astra Nullius here.

Sources

Nimura, Janice. Daughters of the Samurai.

Furuki, Yoshiko. The White Plum, a Biography of Tsuda Ume.

Tsuda, Umeko and Yoshiko Furuki. The Attic Letters: Ume Tsuda’s Correspondence to her American Mother.

Some excellent biographical sketches of Ume, Shige and Sutematsu are available here.

Images

 

 

Episode 191 – Lifting the Lost, Part 9

This week: what, in the end, did the Occupation mean — for both the occupied and the occupier?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Dr. Dower’s editorial on the Japan-Iraq comparison.

Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Images

Pro-MacArthur Demonstration in New York, 1951
Truman’s decision to fire Douglas MacArthur was not only unpopular in Japan but in the US as well; it contributed to a plummeting approval rating and to Truman’s ultimate decision not to attempt a run for a second, complete term.
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The early days of the National Police Reserve, which eventually became the modern Japan Self-Defense Forces.
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Yoshida Shigeru signs the 1951 San Francisco Treaty, which went into effect the following year.
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Kishi plays golf with President Eisenhower.
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Kishi at the Yankees game.
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In an ironic twist, Japan was also caught up in America’s newest attempts at nation-building; JSDF personnel were deployed outside of combat zones to assist in reconstruction efforts.

Episode 190 – Lifting the Lost, Part 8

This week: what was it like to live through the Occupation? How did people get by? And why is Kurosawa Akira objectively the greatest director ever?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat. 

Mansfield, Stephen. Tokyo: A Cultural and Literary History.

This fantastic exploration of nutrition in Occupation Japan.

Sakamoto, Rumi. “Pan Pan Girls: Humiliating Liberation in Postwar Japanese Literature.” Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies 7, No. 2 (2010).

Images

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Women who were willing (or just interested) in relationships with Americans could obtain access to unimaginable luxuries for most of the population, like good ol’ Hershey’s chocolate.
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Hayashi Tadahiko’s 1949 photograph “Street Children at Ueno.”
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Mori Mitsuko, whose performances I am sure Allied troops enjoyed for their technical accomplishments.
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Professor Itokawa and Yukie in No Regrets for Our Youth (1946).
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Mifune Toshiro in Drunken Angel (1948).
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Ozu Yasujiro was a pretty strange director, but has a dedicated following among fancy film types who refuse to simply admit that Kurosawa is simply better.
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One outpost of the Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA), essentially a Japanese government-run prostitution service for American service personnel.

 

Episode 188 – Lifting the Lost, Part 6

This week, we talk about what it took to make a peace on paper a peace in fact. With millions of Japanese civilians and soldiers scattered across Asia, what would it take to get them all home again?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Barshay, Andrew. The Gods Left First. 

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat. 

Spector, Ronald. In the Ruins of Empire/

Images

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Japanese POWs debarking at Yokosuka. After a brief “de-orientation” period they were released into the public.
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Japanese POWs in Siberia. The Soviets proved easily the most brutal of potential captors for the Japanese.
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Repatriation proved difficult for children in particular. Some families were forced to leave them behind in order to escape; others, like this girl, were separated from their families in the chaos or were the only ones to make it to a port.
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Japanese troops preparing to board ships headed from China to Japan. The white box carried by the man in front holds the ashes of one of his comrades.
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Ahiko Tetsuro circa 2011.

Episode 186 – Lifting the Lost, Part 4

This week, we’ll begin a discussion of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, better known as the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Who is being tried, what for, and why?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.

Maga, Tim. Judgment at Tokyo.

Takeda, Kayoko. Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Trials: A Sociopolitical Analysis.

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