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Road to Tokyo: Episode One: Rising Sun

Video Notes

Road to Tokyo
Episode One: Rising Sun

Dec 7 1941, Pearl Harbor Hawaii, soldiers just beginning to rise. Nearby Hanalulu streets are quiet. Pearl Harbour name will become synonymous with the concept of surprise attack. Fingers will be pointed, blame will be assigned. Today, few believe USA government should have been completely surprised. Guys in Atlantic was already at war with Germany. They thought Japan was tied up with China, they never dreamed they'd attack USA. In 1853, 4 US warships dropped anchor in Uraga. Perry demanded to deliver a message to the Shoguns. He returned the following year with 7 ships to try again. Shoguns had no choice but to yield. At the time Japan was isolated politically, religiously, commercially for more than two centuries. Three years later, USA started a trade agreement. Dec 7 1857. Shoguns were overthrown and emperor returned to power. In opening to other cultures, Japan was actually preparing to dominate them. Even before the fall of the shoguns, Japanese rulers started positioning themselves for being in power. Bring all the corners of the world under one imperial roof. Simply put, rule the world. That was the Japanese moto.

Early 20th century, USA was in race against the rest of the world for influence over the pacific. Many countries vied for territorial holdings in the region. USA also controlled Midway, Somoa and the Hawaiian islands. In addition these nations were competing for power in China. In 1900 the Boxer rebellion led to killing of missionaries in China. 19000 soldiers….? In the treaty that resulted Britan was the clear winner. The US lost influence in China. USA closed all territories in the Pacific to foreign investment. In 1905, Japan was the first Asian power to defeat a European power, when it defeated Russia in Port Arthur. It had taken fewer than 50 years for Japan to become a modern nation. It achieved this by following the Samurai concept of Win first Fight later. The first emperor of Japan said We should make the whole world our dominion. Their classrooms do not have any education in international relations. The Japanese had a class in yelling to prepare a man for giving commands and scaring the enemy.

When WW 1 broke out in 1914, Japan took the German colony in China and several others. All the while Japan worked to sign major agreements with all countries except the USA. The treaty of Versai allowed Japan to keep all the possessions, USA didn't sign it. Throughout the years Japan kept chipping away at Chinese provinces. For years China's appeal to USA fell on deaf ears. Penne was attacked by Japanese bombers, it was sunk. The Japanese government demanded that the attack was a mistake. The Japanese made 4 mistakes. First they didn't bomb the navy yard. They didn't bomb the submarine base. They didn't bomb storage tanks, and they didn't bomb the firehouse. So this gave the US all supplies they needed. The Japanese sunk obsolete battleships, but didn't sink any carriers. If they had sunk any carriers the war might have lasted a lot longer.

The Japanese troops attacked the Chinese city of Nanking. Once there, Japanese troops ran wild through the streets, also known as Rape of Nanking. They looted and burned the surrounding towns, destroying more than a third of the buildings. Japanese soldiers raped, tortured and murdered the citizens. In the end, more than 40,000 Chinese were king. The US government placed a moral imbargo on shipments of steel to Japan. By 1940 the Japanese government set itself on a course to war with the USA. A puppet government in the Chinese city was installed taking orders from Tokyo. In addition it seized a number of Pacific islands. Japan needed more. An alliance with Hitler seemed only natural. The tripartea pact was signed by Italy, Germany and Japan and some others.

The Nazi controlled Vichy government controlled France. In july 1941, Japanese forces entered south Indo China. The US government was alarmed as it indicated a change of direction for Japan. If they could not move north, they'd move south towards allied positions. The US froze all Japanese assets in the US. As well they placed an embargo on shipment of oil to Japan, Britain followed suit. US thought it would take 3 years for war in China to conclude. Japan viewed the oil embargo as an act of war. Throughout the rest months of 1941, Japan and US debated diplomatically. US refused to remove the embargo unless Japan halted the Chinese invasion. US began fortifying bases in the Pacific. Both nations were preparing for war. The Pacific fleet usually operated out of California was already at Pearl Harbor. If Japan was to continue it's expansion the fleet at Pearl Harbor would have to be dealt with. The fleet was put on a fixed schedule that was very predictable. USA was the first to experiment with parashuts for war years before RUssian and Germans did. October 1941, Japanese concluded they'd have to go to war with USA. Yamamoto was planning a surprise attack. His plan was for 6 carriers carrying 300 planes, primary targets were the American aircraft carriers. Although groups of ships left the port, most of the fleet was docked at Harbor. The attack force would have to be refuelled at sea. All USA aircraft would have to be destroyed. Attack would be most effective if attack could be carried out during daylight. Yamamoto preferred sunrise.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC)
So you're watching a video about history now? that's interesting :)

Can you introduce what is the main topic of this series? Because right now, I'm a little confuse. You go directly into the story, go quickly from the WW1 to WW2.

Also, regarding the title of your post, it seems that you're watching something about Japan's history. Can you be more precise? Does the story starts at WW1? Does it only deal with the wars? Does it go until today? I'm curious :)

Also, be careful with history. Try to put things into perspective. I mean, History can be told from different points of view: American, French, Japanese... And you'll see that even if History was the same, the "stories" can be slightly different... Does that make sense?

For instance, for a long time, France wasn't proud about what a part of the population did during WW2: a part of the French collaborated with the Nazis to send Jews into the concentration camps. So France was not really proud of it and used not to mention that in History books. But now, it changed. Well, some people still say that death camps never existed... which is a real shame.

Anyway! I'm far more interested in that new series of videos than the previous one :)
So keep on writing about that!
Nov. 17th, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
PS: I've deleted my first comment, because I first thought it was a book :)
Though, come on! I mean, we're talking about you Bojan!! The guy that loves buying books but not reading them :p :p :p

Nov. 17th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
Nov. 18th, 2011 08:58 am (UTC)
"hahaha" ??
That's all? I've asked you questions, please answer!
Nov. 18th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
There I answered your questions :-P
Nov. 18th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Well I was writing down what the video was talking about. It jumps from WW1 to WW2 and sometimes it jumps to 1800s. It's Japan's history of course, because it's called Road to Tokyo!!! I don't know what the full series is about yet since I've only watched that one hour bit. It starts with what I wrote at the beginning. The only pieces I didn't transcribe were the stories of some millitary men from the boats and such that they were rather personal in nature, like their accounts of what happened on what boats and such.

History confuses me mostly, so I'm not very good at explaining it nor understanding it.. :(
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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