Oriental Women

I have been reading about Lee Ya-Ching, who is billed (incorrectly) by Wikipedia as the “First Chinese civilian aviator.” In her various tours of North and South America to raise money for the Chinese war effort she of course attracted a lot of attention as a symbol of China. She was… Well I am not […]

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So that's why..

I’ve been reading Peter Harmsen’s Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze. I like it a lot. Part of the reason I like it is that he is a journalist who has worked in China for years and now and has written quite a good book, based on both Chinese and western sources. As I have […]

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China becomes air-minded

So, I presented a paper at AAS in San Diego. Obviously the high points were meeting Konrad Lawson in person and eating really good fish tacos, so I could taunt the kids when I got back. The paper was on air-mindedness in China. Air-mindedness was the interwar idea that aircraft were about to lead to […]

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Are Japanese people evil?

There has been some commentary, both on well-known blogs and obscure ones on Robert Farley’s Diplomat article on Japan’s WWII Counter-Insurgency planning and implementation Farley discusses an article by retired Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) Lieutenant General Noboru Yamaguchi and Farley suggests that Long story short, the history of Japanese operations in China was more […]

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Japanese views of China

December 13 seems as good a day as any to talk about Japanese imperialism. One of the books I taught this semester was Ishikawa Tatsuzo Soldiers Alive.1 It’s a rather odd book, since Ishikawa wrote it after having been embedded with the Japanese Army in China. It was intended to be a propaganda piece, and […]

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Very superstitious

Above is a charm carried by a Chinese soldier in 1938, re-printed in the journal Youth Front in 1938. It seems to be a Communist publication, although this being the period of the United Front it is pretty mild in its communism, calling for the unity of all groups and parties in opposing the Japanese. […]

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30 seconds over Taihoku

On February 23, 1938, the Russians bombed Taipei. Given how worried the government was about Taipei being bombed by communists when I was first there in the 80’s I am somewhat surprised that I had not heard about it before.1 To celebrate Red Army Day 28 planes crewed by the Russians who were serving in […]

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War cartoons

I’ve been doing a class that deals with cartoons, and Feng Zikai is a major part of it One problem with teaching popular art is that a lot of the work of someone like Feng has never been collected or is hard to find. I was therefore very happy to see that Hong Kong Baptist […]

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