Thursday, September 15, 2011

Barbarian Always More Barbarians

Seemingly endless masses of barbarian tribes attacked the Roman Empire for centuries. No sooner was one threat delt with than another would appear.
After centuries of war vs the Republic, the Celts and Gauls were Incorporated into the empire, eventually gaining full citizenship.

After more than 100 years of raids against the Northern provinces of the Empire, the Anglo & Saxons conquered and settled Britannia.

The Franks, using their deadly francisca axe from which the tribe recieved its name, overran Gaul (conquering the now "civilized" Gauls) giving a new name to their kingdom-France.

Imperial Nippon the Colonial Power

After Commodore Perry's fateful trip to Nippon in the 1850's the Nation of Nippon choose to embrace every aspect of the Modern World, including the European concept of Colonialism and over seas empires. Starting in the 1870's with dozens of Pacific islands, by the 1890's Nippon had turned its attention to the dieing Qing Dynasty of China. After a swift victorious war the Imperial Army and Navy annexed Formosa (Taiwan) and Korea (although the Europeans forced the technical return of the latter to the tender care of the Russian Empire).
By 1905, tensions had run their course between the empires of Russia and Nippon. The Imperial Navy used a lighting strike, before declaring war, on the Russian East Asia fleet in Korea. The Surprise attack destroyed Russian Naval power in Korean waters and allowed the unfettered movement of the Imperial Army as they systematically destroyed the Russian forces in Korea. The overwhelming victory of the Imperial Navy over the Russian reinforcement fleet in the Battle of Tushima sealed the Russian defeat and added Korean to the growing Empire of Nippon. By the 1930's the Imperial Staff had made plans for the dismemberment of China, starting with Manchuria. This path was to directly lead to the final expansion of the Empire with the early conquests of much of East Asia in the opening victories of World War II.
The Japanese entry into World War II began as it had in the Russo-Japanese War, with a surprise attack upon the naval forces of the Japanese enemy, before a declaration of war.

The Empire's massive victory was also its greatest mistake.  The sneak attack on this "Day of Infamy" while the two governments were engaged in peace negotiations, would so enrage the American public that only total destruction of the Empire would satisfy the cry for revenge.
The Empire Nippon had reached its zenith of size and power and yet it had but four years left to live.

Barbarians, always more Barbarians

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Samurai-to Serve

Samurai made up the ruling military class and the highest ranking social caste Nippon. While Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrows, spears and eventually European style matchlock guns, their main weapon and symbol were the dual swords-the Katana (long killing sword) and the Wakizashi (short sword).
Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of Bushido ("the way of the warrior"). Strongly Confucian in nature, Bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one's master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior.