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23 November 2009

Prisoners of the British, Japanese Soldier's Experience in Burma

Actually this is Japanese book written in Japanese and first published in Japan as "Aaron Shuyojo (Aaron Camp.)"

It was later translated into English. The book wasn't very popular in Britain. But in Japan it has become one of the most famous book of POW experience in the second world war. The writer Yuji Aida, who was drafted to the imperial army became captive in Burma by British military after Japan surrendered. He wrote the book after he came back home.


I learned about this book since former Air Force Chief, Mr. Tamogami, who was dismissed after releasing controversial essay in public quoted this in his speech to justify Japan's aggression in the war. To say it was the war to liberate Asians from white dominated nations.


The below is what I was impressed in the book including what Tamogami quoted.


1. When the prisoners complained about the treatment, British officers said "That was what exactly your military did to us."

2. When one of soldiers in his corp apologized to the British for the war, the British preached him not to apologize because he believed he fought against Samurais.


3. When the prisoners went to female officers' house to clean, they met naked women hanging around not being embarrassed by their presence.


4. British higher ranking officers were taller than their low ranking subordinates and spoke different English because the high ranking people were from elite class.


5. Burmese were friendly to Japanese because they had been oppressed by the British under colonization.


What Mr. Tamogami quoted was No.3. The writer's analysis of why they weren't embarrassed was that they did not see Asians including Japanse as same human race. Asians were regarded as livestocks or animals, they should have reacted differently if white men came into their house. White racism was more sophisticated than Japanese one because Europeans had raised livestock in order to make a living so they got used to treating other people inhumanely. White people's brutal act was systematic rather than emotional. That was how he viewed.


I don't agree with his opinion. Japanese did systematic slaughter in the past. Like 731 Unit in Manchuria, and mass-murder of POW in Nanjing, China, 1937.

Recently Japanese people have become hostile to westerners and more nationalistic, so such thing was brought up.

However, I wonder if you, white reader would agree with the writer's points of view?

Are white women react not embarrassed if Asian male stranger came into the locker room when they are naked? If a stranger was white man, they would be embarrassed? Or vice-versa?   


18:21 Posted in Books, Britain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: racism, war, military

14 September 2009

Comic Version of "Mein Kampf"

Recently controversial Manga (Comic) book was published in Japan. The comic was digest version of what is written on original thick book, "Mein Kampf (My Struggle)."

Left one is comic and right one is Japanese complete translated version.



As you know it was written by Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi-Germany, the book described his biography from when he was childhood until imprisonment after Munich rebel in 1923. It contains so much of Anti-semitism.

The pictures of the book reminds me of CBS Minis-Series "Hitler, The Rise of Evil." Surely the book and the drama should somewhat overlap because both are at least partially based on the same book.

In Germany publication of the book is banned. Actually the book wasn't very popular one at the time it was published.

This comic version is one of the series of classic literature including "Crime and Punishment," and "Faust."

I am recently very interested in Hitler and Nazi-Germany. How he got on the top and why such atrocities happened.

Recently Japan experienced similar phenomenon, an Air Force Chief was fired because of his provocative essay released in public which contradicts Japan's position of war responsibility and justified what Japan did to neighboring nations such as occupation and colonization.


His statement to the government's treatment was really similar "Strangely I was fired because I've made good statements for the nation."

After he left defense ministry, he became an icon among right-wing people. He published several books and made speeches all over the nation. I am sure he will run candidancy for next coming election. Strangely I, not so conservative person have been very much attracted to him since his public appearance. I bought one of his books. I went to his speeches and shook hands with him. Please read this if you want to know more about my passion for him. That is why I am feared. He has charisma and intelligence to lead people.

So that is why I am studying things about Hitler and Nazi-Germany.

I am now writing a novel which the story takes place in 1930's Germany on this blog. The theme of the novel is Nazism versus liberalism such as Bauhaus art. Please read "Bauhausler" if you are intereted.


28 August 2008

Empire of Poverty (Hinkon-taikoku), America!

That is the title of a book written by Mika Tsutsumi, who wrote this book, which I wrote the review of.

She has lived in New York as college student and office worker but since she experienced 911 turmoil, she started to learn what went wrong in the U.S.

In this book, she paid attention to poverty issue. Some of the things mentioned overlap in her previous book.

The book became best-selling non-fiction book in Japan. It was sold at the price of 700 yen (US$7).

At first she talked about subprime loan crisis. The real estate business took mean advantage of poor people who have dreams of having their own houses, which they could never afford by their cheap salaries. They ended up losing  houses and dreams and then being poorer than before.

50 million people don't have medical insurance. 60 million live by the wage under $7 per day. 35 million people are in hunger. That was a result of free economy. The poor gets poorer, the rich gets richer.

Although so many are in hunger, but at the same time so many of them are suffering from obesity. The poverty and the obesity are linked. Poor people cannot afford healthy food. They had to buy cheap junk food which is filled with oil and contain less nutrition. They get fat but lack nutrition that result in sickness but they have no medical insurance to cure. The medical insurance issue she mentioned is similar to Micheal Moore's "Sicko."

Americans favour free competition, smaller government, and privatization. Hurricane Katrina was a catastrophie caused by privatization. FEMA was privatized and disaster prevention budget was cut-off.

In the last chapter, she described working poor became new type of military drafting system. A truck driver was offered high-paying job in Iraq by a military contractor. After months of labor in Iraq, he got leukemia because he drunk highly radioactive water. He had no insurance coverage to take care of his illness. Even though he got a big money for that job, he had to use all of it to cure the illness and ended up being poorer and getting heavy illness.

The poor people had no choice but to work for the military which offers only very hard and dangerous tasks.

That is the true figure of America, now. The popularity of Obama seems to be supported by those who experience such hard situations.

Today the U.S. marked very historical moment, Afro-American was nominated for presidential candidate of major political party. Some might hope because he is Black, he should know how the oppressed feel.

Can Ob(s)ama-Bi(nla)den change things better for the U.S. rather than fighting against terrorists outside their country? No more war and poverty, please! 


13 December 2007

"Revolution of The Weak behind The News" by Mika Tsutsumi

I just recently happen to know Ms. Mika Tsutsumi and read the book written by her.

The title was "Houdo ga oshiete kurenai America, Jakusha-kakumei (Revolution of The Weak behind The News, Why America still has Hope)."

The author graduated from the university in New York. Her major was the same as mine, International Relations.

After she graduated, she worked for Nomura Securities near the WTC and witnessed 911 attack. She got shocked to see what happened there and how Americans reacted to this incident. Then she became journalist and wrote the book. The book won the hornorable Journalist Award in Japan.

The book described how severe living in America is if you are poor. The most common bankruptcy case is inability to pay medical expense. If you are born in poor family, you cannot go to college because the tuition is too expensive for you. Military recruiters take advantage of high school children of the poor families. The military has all the lists of children left behind. High schools are obligated to provide students' personal information to the military by law. They call you and tell you that if you join the army, the army provides you the college tuition, and free medical treatment.

But such things never happen even after you join the army. You have to pay advance fee to get scholarship for the college, it is too high amount to pay by your cheap military salary. The military hospitals cannot provide adequate services because there are too many waiting in line. Why recruiters lied to you? He was afraid to go to the front line in case he could not meet the target line for recruitment.    

People in general are mindless and ignorant about the current situation. That is why they are easily manipulated by Big Powers. They don't know how Bush cheated the elections.

America was not free country as many believed. But she claims there are still many who want to change this harsh situation and some of the things they tried succeeded.

Well, I hope this book would be published in English, in USA.

There are things you don't know as long as you live in your country.

I learned some new things about my country when I was in U.S. Let's know about both of us each other.

If you want to contact her, I recommend you to visit her blog site. It is in Japanese. But you can easily find her email address on that site.

I am writing a novel using the facts introduced in her book. The title is 4 American Hostages in Baghdad.