Thursday, December 14, 2017

Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905 (Part I)

Bradley M. Bailey, Flash of Light, Fog of War: Japanese Military Prints, 1894-1905. Chapel Hill: Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017.

In the late 1800s, Japan industrialized rapidly and, through war, took on two major powers: China and Russia. One of its prizes was the Korean Peninsula. 

Given that these same powers are still connected in the latest Korean conflict, the rise of Japan as a major military power is highly relevant -- as was its total destruction as a military power by 1945. 
Japan wasn't the only nation playing jingoist games at the time of the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars. Besides Western European powers and their own imperial wars, the United States of America initiated the Spanish-American War, resulting in a number of intended and unintended consequences. 

Outside of Africa, Spain's old empire was virtually demolished -- leading eventually to the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. 

Also as a result of the Spanish-American War, the US seized Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam and the Philippines and annexed Hawaii at the same time. The US became a world naval power, steaming toward conflict with Japan. The poor, innocent US that never does wrong and only fights to defend itself! 

As for a Korean nuclear war in the 21st century, the verdict is still out -- but the surprise should be not at all, given the history of the last 125 years. 

Yesterday, today and tomorrow: Cherchez la guerre / Look for the War.

Today's Rune: Initiation. 

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Japan certainly had a successful run of wars up until WWII