井の中の蛙

4/11/2010

Frog in a Well Guides: A Basic Guide to Resources on Japanese Colonialism

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 8:06 pm

Here at Frog in a Well we have attempted to occasionally go beyond our role as a publisher of three group weblogs on the history of East Asia. Though it still has very few entries, our Frog in a Well Library contains some primary historical documents. The East Asian Libraries and Archives wiki contains a slowly growing collection of entries with useful information about libraries and archives in East Asia, as well as other information on databases, organizations, and links to other similar resources.

We would now like to announce a new addition: Frog in a Well Guides. Here we would like to host a collection of guides, created by students or scholars of East Asia. We currently imagine these to be primarily bibliographies or research guides tailored to specific areas of research on East Asia. It is inspired by other wonderful existing resources such as the Modern Chinese History bibliography, the Korean History Bibliography, and most of all the wonderful work by students of Professor Henry Smith’s Japanese Bibliography course at Columbia University.

All the guides will be published with a Creative Commons license to allow the greatest possible freedom in using them, and we welcome edited, revised, or expanded versions of existing guides by new authors. Also, each guide will have its own page on the EALA wiki where anyone may leave comments, or recommendations for others to incorporate in future updated versions.

Our first guide has been contributed by our own Sayaka Chatani, PhD Candidate at Columbia University:

A Basic Guide to Resources on Japanese Colonialism

The EALA wiki page for the guide, if you have suggestions can be found here. Many thanks to Sayaka for contributing this.

4/10/2010

Japan as apocalyptic fulfillment

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 9:13 pm

I have to get to my AAS blogging, I know, but I have to share something I ran across reading — of all things — David Walsh’s HNN reports from the Organization of American Historians conference. Jared Roll, Senior Lecturer at Sussex, gave a paper on radical religiousity in the US South during the Great Depression, specifically on the proliferation of uaffiliated Pentacostal churches. Walsh reports:

Roll took pains to not that these unaffiliated Pentecostals were apocalyptic in nature, but were not as otherworldy as some historians insisted. Indeed, messianic prophets incited a kind of nationalism in rural black communities. Indeed, one premillenialist preacher claimed that Japan would lead a crusade to defeat white imperialism. He used the Book of Ezekiel to claim that Japan would drop poisonous bombs on the U.S. that would kill all American whites and apostate blacks, save for 144,000 chosen.

There is video of Roll’s talk, but unfortunately only the first ten minutes, before, apparently, he got to the good stuff!

I’d love to know when this claim was made. Given the focus of the panel, it’s presumably in the 1930s, and probably post-Manchurian Incident. I wonder if this preacher was just using Japan as a foil because of general tensions with the US or if the GEACPS rhetoric was widely enough known (and considered credible) to actually be cited in this context? Either way, it’s the first time I’ve heard Japan used as a means of apocalyptic fulfillment of any prophecy other than Nichren doctrine and a few Japanese New Religions.

4/7/2010

The Japanese to the Rescue

Filed under: — K. M. Lawson @ 7:25 pm

From 1902 until 1923 the British and Japanese were military allies, bound to support each other in the case of a war with more than a single power and a promise of neutrality otherwise. At its signing, this was primarily seen as a way to counterbalance Russia. Japan would eventually fight on the side of the Entente powers in World War I and engage with Germans in Shandong province, China and in its island possessions in the Pacific. It did not ever play any major role in the action on the European mainland.

At least one fictional pre-war novel, however, appears to have imagined circumstances under which Britain’s Japanese ally would come to its aid in the case of a German invasion. The work is Robert William Cole’s The Death Trap (1907) which came to my attention when brought up in Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War.1

I haven’t found a copy of the original2, but there appears to be more on and an extract from this work in Ignatius Frederick Clarke’s The Great War with Germany, 1890-1914: Fictions and Fantasies of the War-to-Come. The brief summary of the conclusion of the novel goes as follows:

Despite the initial German successes and the enemy occupation of London, there is a national uprising directed by Lord Eagleton, the Military Dictator; and then help comes with the arrival of a Japanese fleet—a comvenient [sic], fictional activation of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1905. Tens of thousands of Japanese troops land in Liverpool and hasten south to assist the British insurgents…3

  1. On page 2 of the work, it is listed among many other works of fiction imagining a German invasion of the British Isles. []
  2. It doesn’t seem to be in the Harvard library but I put in a request for it through inter-library loan []
  3. Ignatius Frederick Clarke The Great War with Germany, 1890-1914: Fictions and Fantasies of the War-to-Come, p178. []

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