Friday, December 18, 2009

Japan's War in Color

A documentary about the invasions and occupations in Asia as well as the Pacific war. It conveys many ( to me ) new insights into the history of that period. The footage at most places seems the worse for wear and the japanised-english in which reports of interviews, letters and statements is read out is rather jarring.

The film gives an authentic feel of the scale and audacity of the Japanese military enterprise in which a small, but tightly disciplined and united nation is able to crush, over-run and occupy vast territories in less war-like regions of Asia, while engaging the mighty "sleeping lion" of the USA in a naval confrontation of unprecedented magnitude. Looking at this film, it is alarming to see the extent to which the adventure was successful, as Asia is prostrated to the advancing juggernaut from the East. What was the source of this energy and power? What makes a country powerful? The aborted military dream is followed by the economic and technological miracle in the second half century.

It is obvious that the secret is the principal of human organisation, whereby a body of men, united by common interest, force, or a common ideal by the sheer exponentiation resulting from their aggregation, become a kind of atom-bomb of shared purpose, for good or bad.

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