Well if some Japanese are intent or rewriting WW2

27 min read

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Trackdancer's avatar

MMD Shimakaze by Trackdancer

Honestly, this has been bugging me for quite awhile.

Last week someone, despite my numerous public appeals for people not to, posted a comment asking for help with resolving a password to download a model that he wanted. At this point I had two options:
  1. Ignore the post as per my publicly stated policy on this type of post.

  2. Draw their attention to the notice at the bottom of the screen in large bold fonts that clearly reads: PLEASE DO NOT POST COMMENTS REQUESTING HELP ON SOLVING PASSWORDS.

I personally find it fascinating how many people manage to miss that notice.

In any case, he got chewed out, but at the same time I did look into that password for him. As it turned out, the model in question was a community only model and not only that, on the model’s display page on Nico Nico, in plain (poor) English it stated the following: “
This model is only for Japanese speaking

Notice the flaw in the logic here.

First of all, this is a community model only, and any non-Japanese speaker who has ever tried to join a NicoNico community has probably found that it is next to impossible. So that would make the need for the poorly phrased notice in English rather unnecessary, don’t you think?

But you know, the Japanese are so polite that they feel the need to “politely” inform those of us that don’t speak Japanese, and that should actually read: “not Japanese”, that we are excluded permission from using that model.

I mean like, how can you be pissed off with racist xenophobes when they’re being so polite?

Fortunately, only a very small minority of MMD models are restricted in this fashion and if one wants to be really “open minded” with this particular model, being a community only model, its use is restricted from a lot of Japanese users also.

But I’ve kind of got use to these cases and if I come across a model with "Japanese users only" restrictions, I simply move on. After all, I won’t support racists of any persuasion.

However, this case here did raise some sore points and I’m going to discuss this in more detail as I think it is important to have this out in the open.

About a year ago I downloaded a Japanese Carrier girl model from NicoNicoSolid. This was one of the characters from the Kantai Collection game by DMM.com (CAUTION: DDM.com features materials that may not be suitable for younger audiences).

Although you can download the model from NNS easily, as that site does not allow download restrictions, the model did come with a readme.txt and in plain English it stated that the model was restricted from use outside of Japan. Well, I respected that and deleted it, but honestly it did leave a bad taste in my mouth especially since it was associated with the Kantai Collection game.

The Kantai Collection game is very popular and it has even been made into an anime series, which I watched (because I really wanted to see how the animation studio would handle this title in light of the controversies behind the premises of the title). I didn’t play the game though as I had serious problems with its underlying premises.

This game is rather unusual. For anyone outside of Japan it’s actually rather difficult to get into the game as it requires the player to have a Japanese IP address. Of course there are ways around this and for those people outside of Japan who really wanted to play the game they quickly enough figured a way to do this.

On the surface the game itself seems very innocent; especially it seems for the numb-nuts outside of Japan that were not awake in their modern history classes. The premises of the game is that Japanese Naval ships of WW2 are anthropomorphized into moe Japanese anime girls and you collect them, arrange them into teams and go off to do battle against a fictitious alien enemy which, to be blunt, are racist caricatures of Japan’s WW2 antagonist, the US Navy.

In other words, the game (and the anime) is “historically revisionist”; and I am not the only commentator making this allegation. Other far more reputable and knowledgeable sources have said essentially the same thing: an editorial in the South Korean Hankook IIbo and Jonathan Gad of Vice Media.

These opinions were disputed in The Japan Times and Ashai Shimbun. Wow, The Japan Times? Well, anime is big business in Japan, and you can’t have “foreigners” making negative comments that would affect the bottom-line of what otherwise is a very profitable franchise, now can we?

OK, whatever...

Let’s look at this whole Kantai Collection game from a completely different and historical perspective. The name “Kantai Collection” or its abbreviated form “KanColle” actually means: “The Combined Fleet Collection”. This is important and you’ll see why as I go further into this discussion.

The anime, especially, re-fights the Battle of Midway. Watch very carefully the last climatic battle. In the anime it is re-fought several times until at the end through supernatural means the heroines were finally able to change history to come out with a favorable outcome.

Wishful thinking perhaps?

So, here we’re going to re-fight that battle and show you that historically, the outcome wasn’t a guaranteed US win; rather a series of mistake made by the Japanese commanders factors into the overall equation that led to the ultimate outcome. But as with all things historical, to see the whole picture, you have to go back a couple of years to see why things turned out the way they did. We’re going back even further though as we also want to see what the deal is with the Kantai Collection game.

So about 300 years ago, the Tokugawa Shogunate threw out all Europeans from Japan, including Jesuit missionaries and Dutch/Portuguese traders. Their reasoning: European influence was not good for the moral structure of Japanese society. So Japan remained essentially isolationist for about 250 years.

In 1853, Commodore Perry of the US Navy appears at Nagasaki (kind of ironic in light of future events) and at cannon point wrangled trade and other concessions from the Imperial Japanese government. This eventually led to the downfall of this government and it was replaced by the Meiji Emperor - this period is known as the Meiji Restoration.

At this point the Japanese decided essentially to embark on a major industrialization and modernization program. Go watch the Tom Cruise film: “The Last Samurai”. It does a pretty good job describing what happened in this period of Japanese history.

But of note is that the Japanese had a focus on weapon technology and acquisition; and once it had these in hand, and with increasing need for raw materials to fuel its industrialization process, it used those newly acquired weapons, technologies and methods on it’s nearest (and weaker at that point in history) neighbor: China. Notably in the Korean Peninsula where in the 1890s the two countries fought two wars both ending favorably in Japan’s favor. Of especial note was the role played by the Japanese Navy. Chinese wooden war junks were no match for the modern Japanese steam powered ironclads.

But the Japanese Navy only came to world prominence when it defeated, much to the surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian Baltic Fleet at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. This incident above all others propelled the reputation of the Japanese Combined Fleet into the popular Japanese imagination - something that has repercussions even in modern Japan. But it had a bigger effect on the Japanese military’s thinking during WW2.

All the battleships used by Japanese at the Battle of Tsushima were built by other nations, notably England, France and Italy. This fact was not lost to the Japanese admiralty and they instigated a major effort for the next generation of Japanese naval vessels to be built in Japan.

But there were some issues and important ones. However, before we can delve into that we need to look briefly into what happened during WW1 and the period immediately after. Japan was on the Allied side during this war and with the defeat of Imperial Germany they were looking forward to a substantial reward for their, honestly, somewhat limited contribution to that war effort. All they got were a few German territories in the Pacific and they were not happy with that. Even worse, when the Allied nations drew up the world's first arms limitations treaty in the 1920s-30s, the Japanese Navy came out at the short end of the stick in terms of capital ship displacements allocated. Effectively, this relegated the Japanese Navy to third place behind the US and the British Empire.

So they pulled out of the treaty and the direct consequence of this were that they built amongst other ships, the Yamato and the Musashi. Both these ships of course are prominently featured in the KanColle game. The former especially has captured the imagination of Japanese naval adherents and arguably, justifiably so, being the biggest battleship ever built. The Yamato is also a prominent feature in the KanColle anime as well as other anime.

But more importantly, but less well known, was that the Japanese built the world’s first operational aircraft carrier: the Hōshō; built in 1922. This was a small carrier. It had only a small complement of 15 aircraft, but she actually fought in the Battle of Midway and survived the war. She was scrapped in 1946.

I’m going to have to really abbreviate a lot of the history from this point otherwise this article will end up being a book.

Before WW2, the Japanese had a war plan that was devised in naval wargames to defeat the US Navy. This plan called for a front line force of destroyers and submarines to harass any naval force coming from America to Japan and then it was to be defeated by the main Combined Fleet “somewhere” near Japan.

There was one major problem with this war plan. In all the war game exercises, the Japanese Navy lost as there was more than one route to Japan and there was no way to accurately predict from what direction the Americans would come. So to "save face”, the planners essentially cheated in order to achieve the desired results. These war games eventually lead to the doctrine that the Japanese actually adhered to until the end of WW2: The Americans were to be defeated by the battleships of the Combined Fleet.

Japanese battleships, especially if you look at a picture of the Yamato have an interesting profile. They have a very high Pagoda like fore-structure. This is unique to the Japanese Navy of WW2 and serves no real useful military function; but they look damn impressive on Fleet Day or the Japanese equivalent. Also, what the Japanese call battleships very often were not. Some of the most popular KanColle “battleships” are the Kongo, Haruna, Kirishima and Hiei. These are not battleships in the strict sense. Rather they are battlecruisers.

Of note in our discussion is the Kongo, which was built in 1911 in England. She actually participated in the Battle of Midway, but this was not her only active wartime service in this area. She patrolled these very same waters during WW1. She wasn’t built as a battleship, but was upgraded to one in the 1930s and was even given a Pagoda style fore structure.

Military men, historically have trained to fight the “last war”. In WW1 ship cannons and fire control was somewhat crude. Battleship cannons also had a very flat trajectory, which led to ship designers putting the bulk of a ship's armor on a warship's side. By WW2, this would prove to be a disastrous design flaw.

When the Royal Navy pursued the German battleship Bismarck, the HMS Hood was lost early in the engagement with almost all hands because the Bismarck’s guns has a longer range which also meant that her shots had trajectory. The HMS Hood blew up when a shot fired by the Bismarck landed on, and penetrated her unarmored deck and caused an explosion in her munitions store. The HMS Hood was a WW1 design and this flaw was inherited in a lot of Japanese ships with disastrous consequences because the majority of ships sunk in WW2, were sunk not by other ships but by aircraft.

There was one man who recognized that WW2 naval warfare could not be fought using WW1 thinking and he happened to be Japanese: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. If Heinz Guderian was the father of modern tank warfare, it can be argued that Yamamoto was the father of modern naval warfare as he recognized very early on the importance of aircraft in the war to come. He is largely responsible for the supremacy the Japanese had at the beginning of WW2 and the mastermind behind the naval strategies employed by the Japanese Navy at the beginning of the war, including Pearl Harbor.

I am not going to go into the controversy about whether the Pearl Harbor attack was a sneak attack by the Japanese or not. For our narrative all we need to know was that the American Pacific Fleet after Pearl Harbor was essentially crippled with 8 of its battleships resting in the waters of Pearl Harbor. All sunk by aircraft.

But Yamamoto was disappointed with the results. He was not pleased that the Japanese were not able to locate and destroy the carriers plus that the attack went in before war was formally declared. However, his views on the importance of aircraft in naval battles was further enforced when the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were sunk by Japanese bombers flying out from Saigon.

Yamamoto was against making war with the US in the first place. But since Japan was at war, he knew that Japan’s only chance was to win, or more accurately in his view: to negotiate a favorable peace, was to win a quick war and to that end he embarked on making a series of very aggressive plans and above all else he made it a priority to seek and destroy the American carriers still in the Pacific at this time.

However, he was essentially hampered in his efforts by the Japanese High Command who decided to dig in their heels and adhered to the pre-war doctrine of “lure and bait” and defeat the American fleet with the Combined Fleet when it finally shows up off Japan. All they would consent to as far as Yamamoto’s plans were concerned was a thrust towards Australia via New Guinea.

Admiral Nimitz on the American side of the equation, learnt the correct lessons of Pearl Harbor. He figured out that the war in the Pacific was to be won not by battleships but by aircraft carriers. So he carefully deployed the ones he had left and asked for more to be built by Congress. But it would take awhile for any new carriers to be built. Nimitz also had another ace up his sleeves, US Naval intelligence had broken the Japanese Naval code so the Americans had generally a pretty good idea what the Japanese were doing.

So the next phase of the war had the Japanese, honestly, making only a half-hearted attempt to invade Australia via New Guinea. It did, however, lead to the Battle of the Coral Sea being fought.

This was a historically significant naval battle as it was the first naval battle ever fought using carriers only. The opposing fleets were never within range to directly fire on each other. In this battle the Japanese Navy lost the light carrier
Shōhō and the fleet carrier Shōkaku. On the American side the US lost the carrier Lexington and the Yorktown was damaged. It was a tactical victory for the Japanese but a strategic victory for the Americans, but the significance of this was not immediately apparent. The other casualty on the Japanese side was that the Japanese carrier Zuikaku had lost most of her aircraft and wasn’t able to participate at the Battle of Midway.

But at this point the Japanese High Command was still complacent. It was confident that the American fleet could be defeated by the Japanese Combined Fleet should it ever come close to Japan so it continued to focus primarily on defending Japan’s early gains in the period immediately after Pearl Harbor, despite Yamamoto’s arguments for more aggressive actions.

Of course, it was the American’s who would spoil the game plan.

The Americans had the audacity to bomb Tokyo with B25s launched from the USS Hornet - the Doolittle Raid. Even worse, they had the audacity to fly over the Imperial Palace. An attack on the Japanese homeland was unforgivable and a big embarassement for the Japanese military. But the B25s were land based bombers with limited range, so how were they able to fly to Japan?

The Japanese High Command, having experienced a huge loss of face (or PR failure) had to do something. They narrowed it down to two possibilities. The bombers, they thought, had to have come from either Midway or the Aleutian Islands; was the conclusion they drew. So they ordered Yamamoto to devise a plan to invade both.

Yamamoto saw this as a way to draw out the remaining US carriers and sink them so he readily complied and drew up the battle plans for both invasions. What he failed to do, however, was to clarify his mission priority to his subordinates: specifically to draw out the US carriers and sink them.

So Admiral Nagumo went off to Midway with the mindset to invade the island and did not fully understand the importance of defeating the American carrier task force. Nagumo’s task force included ships like the Musashi and Kongo as well as the remaining Japanese fleet carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu. This was a fast fleet and easily outpaced the light carriers and the main battleships (which included the Yamoto) which could have made a big difference to the outcome of the battle if only because they afforded better anti-aircraft defenses.

Having broken the Japanese Naval codes, the American carrier task force laid in ambush for them to the northeast of Midway. This was a big advantage but not a sure thing. The Pacific ocean is huge and the two sides still had to locate each other precisely. Nagumo did not expect American carriers in the area and sent out only half a dozen scout planes and they were to patrol only about 150 miles out. Also it was partially luck on the American side that they found the Japanese fleet first.

But basically this is what happened and what went wrong. Nagumo sent a first wave to bomb Midway’s defenses, but kept back a second aerial strike force with anti-shipping munitions on deck in case the American fleet did in fact turn up.

The American air assets at Midway “retreated” into the air to avoid being destroyed on the ground. So the flight leader of the Japanese force leading the attack asked for another strike to complete the job. Nagumo consented and ordered that the second strike force be rearmed for a land strike. This caused a lot of confusion as the planes on the deck had to be taken down to the hanger decks and rearmed.

Once all this activity started, a single Japanese scout plane found the American carriers and radioed back their location. Their proximity caught Nagumo totally by surprise. His air commanders argued that he should send out the planes he had now on deck which were now rearmed or rearming for a second strike at Midway to just go out with whatever they were armed with and strike the American carriers even if the results were not to be optimal. They further argued that when the first strike force returned they could be sent out with the proper munitions to finish the job on the American carriers. Nagumo disagreed and ordered the aircrafts to be rearmed once again for a naval strike. This was to turn out to be a big mistake.

Japanese carriers do not have large elevators like the US carriers so they are somewhat hampered in their ability to quickly rearm planes. Carrier planes are not rearmed on the flight deck, the planes have to be taken down to the hangar decks below for this to take place. This takes time to do as you can well imagine.

Well, the rest as they say is history. The American torpedo bombers came in first, without fighter escort and were pounced on by the Japanese Zeros flying top cover over Nagumo’s task force. This brought the Zeros down to sea level. In the interim the Dauntless dive bombers who arrived late because they got lost and had to follow a Japanese destroyer to the location of the Japanese carrier force, arrived over head and 10 minutes later, the Japanese fleet had lost three of their fleet carriers: the Akagi, Kaga and Soryu.

The Hiryu wasn’t hit at this point and successfully launched her strike force which attacked and crippled the USS Yorktown (which was later sunk by a Japanese submarine). But it was a short lived success as a strike force from the USS Enterprise and orphaned air units from the Yorktown struck back at her with success.

She didn’t sink straight away and there was still some hope at that time that she could have been towed back to Japan by the light carrier of 1922 vintage we mentioned above: the Hōshō had finally caught up with her bigger sisters.

Unfortunately it was too late and the last photo of the Hiryu was actually taken from a reconnaissance plane from the Hōshō. But perhaps, Japan’s greatest loss was that Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi and the ship’s captain, Tomeo Kaku chose to go down with her costing Japan two of her best carrier officers.

There were other mistakes too, but the point of this article isn’t about bragging about the fact that “we” won. Even at that time, as I hope that this article illustrates, it was not a guaranteed outcome. The Japanese fleet at this point had a real chance to come out of this engagement as the victors and then our history might have been very different.

However, with the loss of so many of their carriers, Japan was forced to adopt the same faulty thinking in terms of her naval strategy. IE. Defeat the Americans with the Combined Fleet only - specifically the battleships. It never happened and it wasn’t for lack of trying. But if you analyze the KanColle game mechanics, it ironically echoes the same faulty thinking as Japan’s WW2 Naval High Command. The emphasis of the game seems to be on the battleships and not the fleet carriers.

It is interesting to see this happening but understandable. The Japanese were and are very proud of their battleships, ever since their victory in the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. The Japanese Naval High Command seemed fixated with repeating that type of victory in WW2. It would never happen.

The US Navy under Nimitz and Halsey were not to fall for that kind of thinking even though perhaps they (especially Halsey) may have wanted in their heart of heart to duke it out battleship to battleship. The other irony was that if Yamamoto had his way and that the US Navy did foray out of Pearl Harbor to do battle with his Japanese fleet at that time, it would not have been an unlikely scenario that those US battleships lost at Pearl Harbor would have sunk in 2000 feet of water rather than 40 feet. As it turned out, of the 8 US battleships “sunk” at Pearl Harbor, 6 were recovered, repaired and went on to fight the rest of the war.

But a lot of people outside of Japan may miss the real point of this article. The Japanese people have not, for a variety of reasons, fully come to terms with Japan’s loss in WW2. In the Jewel Voice Broadcast by Emperor Hirohito at the end of the war, there was no admission of defeat, rather it simply stated that: “the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage”.

Probably, the understatement of the century.

The full text and history of the Jewel Voice Broadcast can be read here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewel_Vo…

It is a fascinating read and I highly recommend that you read it.

My thinking was that Japan’s loss in WW2, given the nature of that society, even today, it is a huge scar on their national psyche. The KanColle game and anime is a symptom of this; and by no means is it unique in this aspect. There was another somewhat obscure anime I watched a couple of years back, and I’m sorry I can’t remember the title of it, that featured towards the end of the series the return of the “soul” of the battleship Yamato to her home port of Kure. It was a very emotionally moving episode.

My take on the KanColle game is that it is a very Japanese affair. It is a part of their healing process, and we “foreigners” should keep out of it. Which is why I’ve never attempted to even try to play the game once I understood the game’s actual premises and which is why I fully respected the wishes of the modeler who made the model of the carrier girl when he stated that he restricted the use of the model in “Japan only”.

I deleted that model from my collection not because I was angry, but out of respect. I don’t know the modeler, I’ve never communicated with him. He may or may not be an actual racist, that is not important. The reasoning behind the request is.

I do collect KanColle anime girl models even with a full understanding of their backstory, but have always used them, which is rare, with the greatest respect. Fraulein Bismarck Drei being the main exception, as well, she’s not exactly Japanese.

Almost all of the Japanese ship girls represents a ship lost by the Japanese Navy in WW2 with massive loss of lives. These would have been the grandfathers and fathers of many Japanese alive today.

Do you fully understand the significance of this last statement?

If so, you will fully understand the reason why I treat these models with the utmost respect and keep well away from the game.

My own family for the last three generations have been directly or indirectly affected by what the Japanese did in WW2. The first generation fought against them in all the major theatres: Burma, New Guinea, China and one member of my family went into Japan after her defeat as a part of the Allied Occupation forces. Not a single one had a favorable impression of the Japanese; but by the same token, they didn't seem to hate them either. The next generation was too young to be combatants but were the victims of their depredations. My own father hated the Japanese so much that he refused to buy anything Japanese for decades. I never understood why he hated them so much and there are just somethings that you can't ask your own father.

This hatred was mitigated later in his life though, through some of my own efforts and also because he had to come to terms with the Japanese when he was forced to deal with one branch of my mother’s family, which is Japanese.

Yes; one branch of my family is Japanese.

Personally, I don’t have problems with the Japanese. I’ve been to Japan, I’ve worked with Japanese people. I drive a Japanese car and use a Japanese computer. The Japanese have their quirks to be sure, but once you get used to their way of doing things and the way they think, they’re no different from anyone else. So you take each one as they come. Like us, they have good people. Most of them are really decent folk; but then they have their share of assholes too.

But from my perspective and why I’ve always had an interest in the Pacific War is that if it were not for WW2 and the huge displacements of populations as a result of it, my parents would never have met; and if they never met I would never have been born. Also, I could easily have been influenced by my father’s hatred of the Japanese; but I cured myself of that simply by facing the truth about WW2 from all points of view including that of the Japanese.

This is something the the Japanese as a society needs to do too. The KanColle franchise maybe one of the symptoms of this. Even if it is perhaps a roundabout way to heal their national psyche. And if in fact this is the case, it is ultimately a good thing. Hence, in my opinion, those of us who are "not Japanese" should keep out of it.

Mourning is sometimes, something best done in private.

The Japanese nation are very kind in that they share most of their anime resources with the rest of the world; and in the context of MMD, on very generous terms. So, in this light, what exactly is wrong when they want to keep but a very small part of that resource pool to themselves and for very good reasons if my reasoning is correct?

I also sometimes wonder, why is it so hard for some of us to learn to really respect them.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing written here should be read as being anti-Japanese. And as always, my opinions are worth exactly 2 cents.


Perry Expedition: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Ex…

Sino-Japanese wars:

The Battle of Tsushima Straits: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_o…
The Battle of the Coral Sea: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_o…
The Battle of Midway: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_o…

The Jewel Voice Broadcast: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewel_Vo…

Yamato: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewel_Vo…
Kongo: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese…
Hōshō: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese…

Doolittle Raid: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittl…

USS Yorktown: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_York…
USS Hornet: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Horn…
USS Enterprise: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ente…
USS Lexington: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Lexi…

Admiral Yamamoto: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isoroku_…

Kantai Collection: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantai_C…
Kantai Collection anime: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantai_C…

MMD Masterlist - Kantai Collection: MMD Masterlist - Kantai Collection
List of Japanese WW2 Naval Ships: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_…

Why Japan lost the War - video lecture (YouTube): [link]
Worth a watch; but even though the lecture is given by an historian, watch with some caution as it is a little biased. But it does some give some insights not usually found in mainstream analysis of the war.
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AnyaJackal1's avatar

If Kancolle, and thus Kancolle models, are necessary for the healing of Japanese national pride (this argument sounds ridiculous, by the way, it's an incredibly petty way of "healing the national psyche"), then what about other models? Models of guns, for example, not even Japanese guns, mind you. An american 1887 Winchester Shotgun, or russian half-mythical .50-caliber revolver. What excuse do those people have to resctrict their distribution to japanese users only? Such a restriction is impossible to impose on the internet.

Also, registering on NiciNico isn't hard, I did with my own Google email, machine translation was good enough to understand everything.

Thanks for the history lesson, but it's really wasn't necessary to deliver such a silly argument. Do you always write in such a roundabout way?

Trackdancer's avatar

Honestly, I write these journals for the fun of it. Don't take anything I write in these journals too seriously. They're done really to provoke people to think. Some people may agree with my thinking and others will not. But that's fine, as long as everyone that bothered to read my thoughts got "something" out of it.

So in that sense, it will explain why I tend to ramble a bit. :)

AnyaJackal1's avatar

I don't care if America rebuilt Japan's economy nor how horribly the japanese imperial army treated china back in WWII, that still doesn't change the fact that Japanese electronics and automobiles are better! Besides, if you're telling me that all the anime, tokusatsu and videogames I like so much never would've existed if America hadn't rebuilt Japan's economy then that just proves how much more stupid and easier to take advantage of the American military and government are. On top of that, America's government and history textbooks never apologized for nor have they ever acknowledged, commiting many (but not all) of the same war crimes Japan committed in the rape of nanking during the Vietnam war and you don't hear any of the other countries crying about it so MAYBE, just MAYBE the Japanese government shouldn't have to apologise for war crimes they had NO CONTROL OVER! Yeah, that's right, the civilian government had no control over the imperial army's actions in china. In fact, the army had to stage a coup de'tat (for any of you reading this comment who are wondering what means, here's the definition: an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power conducted by a dictator, a guerrilla military force, or an opposing political faction.) and lie to the emperor about the situation in china in order to go to war with the Chinese. It's amazing how many facts you can find with a simple search on Google or Bing.

I read your article and it is interesting. I must say that i don't agree with you stating that the aircraft on Midway retreated into the air. On June 3 B-17's from Midway attacked the Japanese Transports carrying the Midway assault force but didn't get any hits. Then in the early morning hours of June 4 a PBY from Midway managed to torpedo a Japanese fleet oiler. All through the morning hours of June 4 aircraft from Midway attacked the Japanese carrier task force but with no results. Aircraft like Vindicator dive bombers from VMSB-241, VT-8 and their 6 TBM Avengers and B-26's from the 69th Bomb Squadron, all attacked the Japanese Task Force but to no avail. They hardly retreated into the air as you put it. Also VMF-221 with their 20 Brewster Buffalo's and 6 F4F Wildcats flew out and intercepted the Strike force heading for Midway and payed a heavy price because of outdated aircraft. They didn't retreat.

Trackdancer's avatar
"Retreated in the air" doesn't mean that the aircraft were running away. It just meant that they were not on the ground when the Japanese attacked. It is well documented that the squadrons based on Midway were active participants in the ensuing battle.
Midian-P's avatar
Great Article but that's not clearly the case.
It's likely Trust or likely works Related to DMM are going to be forbidden outside japan.
An example is from this model from the Modeler named Kinokoru i think. 

the model is downloadable with the password you only need to copy and
it says that you can't use this model outside Japan. 

i look though the other models and it doesn't say that "Do not use outside japan".
some models are likely from Melonbooks but i'm not touching the place. 

the Kancolle Devs said they don't mind foreigners playing there game but DMM is likely the case on
why models cannot be used outside japan 
to avoid some issues. it's not like japan are Xenophobic or anything...?

(Likely we Filipinos will rewrite history to drove away americans since they stole our bells) but that's not the case here.
the MMDC trust between the JMMDC is pretty much in a bad situation right now. 
Trackdancer's avatar
The only reason why the Japanese can get away with creating games like this is that during WW2 they didn't have a Hitler.

Don't forget the war crimes they committed in the Philippines during that war.
Midian-P's avatar
don't forget the US committed war crimes too in Asia firstly the Phillippines before WW2. 
but That's all a thing in the past that we should not let it happened again.

the main point is that we should befriend in another so we can share stuff and the immature ones should not complain that
there are rules to considered following. even though it might not be fair,. it's the best option than being
a Xenophobic Arsehole and the hypocrisy that blindly thinks that by judging a book by it's cover think it evil. 

keep remembering the past will likely wish another war,another hitler,another field of burning nukes decorating the land full of decay bodies, and etc. but this things got nothing to do with Models of Gijinkasize Warships for MikuMikuDance or the game itself. 

best way is to wait and unite. or nothing basically change. 
Trackdancer's avatar
I agree; the best thing is to move on and get along. But remember our Histories so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Maddoktor2's avatar
Speaking of Pearl Harbor, here's an interesting factoid about that to consider:

It turns out that in retrospect, Pearl Harbor was mostly a follow-up of the attack on the Panay that took place on December 12, 1937 when the Panay was escorting merchant ships on the Yangtze River in China. During the attack, Japanese planes sank the Panay and three oil supply vessels, killing three people.
Granted, the Japanese were originally hoping to goad the Pacific fleet out to be shredded by the Combined Fleet just as you described, but then decided to try and sink it in the harbor instead when they learned that opportunity actually existed. Being the natural-born go-for-brokers Japanese are in their bones, they just couldn't resist doing that and the rest, as they say, is history. ;)

The Panay incident is generally agreed upon by most historians as being the exact precise point at which the US entered WW2. =)

Trackdancer's avatar
Thanks for this interesting and important "factoid".

Just want to emphasize for anyone reading this, that these events happened over half a century ago and we should not judge a nation based on purely what it did in the past. All societies, including ours, has its "skeleton" in the closet, but in general most will evolve into much more open, inclusive and positive social constructs.

Another "factoid" of relevance here is that we wouldn't be having this conversation here today if we were not ALL pulled together to enjoy Japanese anime and its adjunct products such as MMD.
animaniac72's avatar
If you think KanColle is bad, you will love this one..
Trackdancer's avatar
Napoleon is really cute, Adolf Hitler, not so much...
Some of those characters are pretty "hot" and the artwork is really good, too.

Honestly, I don't know what else to say. LOL
animaniac72's avatar
LOL.. I never thought I would hear the words "cute" and "Hitler" used in the same sentence.

By the way, the Ramesses II MMD model by YYB (bowlroll.net/file/114499) is also a character from this game.
Trackdancer's avatar
Well, in my defense I was left otherwise "speechless" by the lack of tact as exemplified by that product.
Riveda1972's avatar

Excellent article, as usual.

I would have nothing to add but a pair of observations. You've remarked yet the peculiar surrender declaration by emperor Hirohito. So different from the joint declaration by general Eisenhower when he annunced the inconditional surrender of Germany signed by general Jodl to ally expeditionary forces and to soviet high command.
This is mayhaps one of the reason of of the strange feels and perceptions of japanese people about the WW2.

A possible second reason is the missing of something similar to Nuremberg trials after the end of the war, and the general process of "denazification" applied in Germany. Yes, nothing done by japanenese armies is, by extension, comparable to nazi war crimes and nazi crimes against humanity. But general Macarthur himself "saved" emperor Hirohito keeping him (him and all the members of imperial family, some of which were also soldiers, directly involved in war operations) safe and far from any possibility to be involved with the war crimes occurrend in jap occupied territories or during war operations.

This kind of "immunity" granted to japanese imperial family also contributed, in my opinion, creating that surreal innocent feelings among japanese people about the war. By this "original" picture, by this history rewriting created by Macarthur, in the worst case the divine emperor was a "victim" of his own military and politic entourage. That is so far from any historical truth.

Finally, but this is just an opinion, not supported by anything, I think that being the ONE people/nation on this planet having been bombed with nuclear weapons, also contributed in giving them this surreal "sense of innocence".

Note this. It took about 4 years of war, dozens of death camps and thousands of specialized butches-soldiers (SS) to Hitler to exterminate more than 6'000'000 of human beings. A similar effort and expense of time and resources took to Stalin to exterminate about the same number of little landowners (Kulakis) and other political opponents.

President Harry Truman, with his decision to not sacrify too many american soldiers to beat Japan with a conventional war, simply vaporized half a million of human beings with just two bombs. And condamned several further thousands to die in a few years, or to live ill by the exposition to radioactive fallouts and soil contamination.

Note: half a million of civil and defenseless citizens, not soldiers.

Think at this. Within 3 days, from August 6th to August 9th 1945, in less than two minutes of terror, fire and light, using just two warheads, american army got about the 10% of the "results" that Hitler did in 4 years of war crimes and Stalin did in about 10 years of political persecutions. This is not an accuse to US government, but I can only figure what could mean being the only people on the world having been nuked not once but two times.

I won't discuss Truman's decision to use nuclear weapons and to use them on two cities, as japanese did with Shangai, as nazi did on Coventry or on London (but, honestly, with lesser efficiency).

I just figure out that this "scar", as you defined it, has its own weight on japanese "sense of innocence" about WW2, much more than the missing "we have been defeated" in Hirohito's radio speech.

The resulting mix of this sense of victimship due to nuclear bombings, and the missing of an effective and irrefutable defeat on the war field, while Germany was been invaded and conquered, so italy, so any other axis nation, in my opinion contributed to create in japanese minds a popular "legend" similar to the german one: the "stab in the back" myth, concerning the act of surrender at the end of WW1. A myth. But a myth felt so plausible to become true just repeating it more and more times.

Sorry, I'm writing my own book to answer you.... :D

Just to keep a less dramatic atmosphere, consider that many anime series of the 70s and 80s are heavily influenced by a non-revisionist pacifism, and by the try to accept their responbilities in war, and to accept and pass beyond the trauma of having been nuked.

Trackdancer's avatar
"simply vaporized half a million of human beings with just two bombs"

Hmmm... I will take issues with this statement as I didn't raise the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in this article simply because it doesn't actually contribute to the discussion and there are lot of myths surrounding these events. But I will agree absolutely that they were horrific acts.

1. The figures that you give here is way off. The conventional casualties figure are: Hiroshima (150,000 victims) and for Nagasaki (75,000 victims). Now these figures are conservative and if you want to look into it more read this article: www.aasc.ucla.edu/cab/20070823…

2. The Allied WW2 bombing campaign is regarded in some quarters as war crimes as they caused substantial civilian casualties to populations and some cases civilian populations were deliberately targeted. Don't forget the fire bombings of Dresden (25,000 victims) or the fire bombing of Tokyo (80,000-130,000 victims).

3. For comparison, the casualty estimates for the Rape of Nanking stands at between 200,000-300,000 victims.

Short pause here to let those figures sink in before I continue.

4. Contrary to the common belief that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings led to the decision by the Japanese government to surrender, it was, as some more contemporary historians are pointing out, what was happening elsewhere at the same time as these bombings that forced them to make the final decision to accept Unconditional Surrender.

Specifically, the very successful Soviet offensive operations in Manchuria and the fact that Soviet forces were now posed to invade mainland Japan itself. The Japanese military also recognized the fact that, unlike the Americans, the Soviets were willing and able to bear the cost of invading the "home land".

It is still a sore point today although outside of Japan most people won't hear much about it. If you look at a map of Japan; to the north east of Hokkaido are the Kuril Islands. These were invaded by the Soviets between 18 Aug - 3 Sept, 1945.

Japan had announced their surrender on 15 Aug, 1945.

The Soviets subsequently expelled all Japanese inhabitants (including the Ainu peoples, the only indigenous native people in Japan today) from the Kuril Islands two years later and have kept those territories ever since. But even today, Japan's stance is that the southern chain of those islands is Japanese territory.

But perhaps, there is some irony in the fact that Admiral Yamamoto ordered the Japanese fleet which was to attack Pearl Harbor, to marshal off the Kuril Islands before they ventured south towards Hawaii.

Edited for Grammar
wakuwalt7's avatar
Beautiful article!
Trackdancer's avatar
Joey1058's avatar
I'm going to step on some eggshells here. Many nation states pride themselves on their collective heritage. When another nation comes along and trashes that heritage, it kind of screws with people's thinking. The Americans did it twice to Japan. In comparison on a smaller scale, the US did it to the native American nations over the course of years. The result?: "Leave us the f**k alone and let us observe our traditions".  You once again have set out in plain language what many people really need to do, and that is use some common sense and honor the wishes of others in their beliefs.
Trackdancer's avatar
It is interesting that you brought up the Native Americans. It seems that they are always being given the short end of the stick or worse.

Most Indian Territories in the US are still under served with regards to technology services that the rest of the nation now take for granted, such as cell towers and broadband Internet access. On top of which, Native American AM radio stations, which still broadcasts in the tribal languages are now very concerned about their funding which is being threatened by Trump's plans on cutting US Govt. grants to the Arts. Native American AM radio stations are, among other things, the only way for many of these isolated communities to get their news and are instrumental in keeping their traditions and customs alive.

Edited for grammar
Joey1058's avatar
Totally agree.
jakerockwell's avatar
Excellent write-up! I enjoyed reading it.
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