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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 8: Hot and Cold Wars   *The tensions in Northeast Asia and Japan’s intensifying expansionist ambitions led ultimately to the outbreak of war in 1937. While the Japanese had imagined a swift conquest of China would be possible, and quickly overran the industrialized eastern heartland, the western half of the country proved much more inaccessible. Japan became bogged down in a long conflict, while simultaneously expanding into Southeast Asia and taking on the US. Despite spreading its resources so thinly, Japan was able to wage a long and often successful campaign, but finally surrendered after the US dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Despite the horrors endured in WWII, both Korea—liberated from Japanese colonial rule, but occupied by the USA and USSR—and China descended almost immediately into civil war. In this unit, we focus on the causes and consequences of this long wartime period, examining the effect of defeat on Japan, and paying particular attention to the role of the Cold War in driving the ‘hot’ wars in Northeast Asia.*

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 8 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 3.75 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 

☐    Subunit 8.4: 1.5 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Trace the road to war in Northeast Asia. - Describe Japan’s defeat in this war. - Analyze the reasons for and against the dropping of atomic bombs. - Analyze the reasons for and against the dropping of atomic bombs - Analyze the reasons for and against the dropping of atomic bombs

8.1 WWII in Northeast Asia   - Lecture: Harvard Extension School’s “The United States and China in War and Revolution” Link: Harvard Extension School’s “The United States and China in War and Revolution”(Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Select your preferred connection type (audio or video). Watch/listen to the entire lecture. What causes of war are identified? How does the relationship between China and the US change in the aftermath of war?
 
Note: This lecture covers subunit 8.1.1, and part of subunit 8.3.
 
Watching/listening and note-taking should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Saito on the Conflict in the Far East” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Saito on the Conflict in the Far East” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entire document and answer the questions.
     
    The primary source reading and questions should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of “The Nanking Massacre, 1937” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of “The Nanking Massacre, 1937” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this eyewitness account of the Nanjing Massacre. To what does he attribute the heavy casualties on the Chinese side? Why does he think the Japanese killed so many civilians?
     
    The primary source reading and questions should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Web Media: Wikimedia: Madam Chiang’s “Boycott Japanese Goods” Link: Wikimedia: Madam Chiang’s “Boycott Japanese Goods” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Watch this short video. Who is Madam Chiang, wife of Chiang Kai-shek, addressing? What does she think might be accomplished by boycotting Japanese goods? (Remember the date of the broadcast—1940.)
     
    Watching the video and answering the questions should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

8.1.1 Japan Invades China   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.1.1 Marco Polo Bridge Incident   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.1.2 Southward Advance/East Coast Landings   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.1.3 Fall of Shanghai—Advance to Nanjing   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.1.4 Nanjing Massacre   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.2 Japan Invades Southeast Asia   8.1.3 The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere   - Web Media: Wikipedia’s “Map of Japanese Empire in 1942” Link: Wikipedia’s “Map of Japanese Empire in 1942” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please use this map as a reference tool for this subunit.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Lecture: University of Nottingham: Susan Townsend’s “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” Link: University of Nottingham: Susan Townsend’s “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” (PowerPoint Presentation)
     
    Instructions: Please click on 'example lectures', and follow the links to download the PowerPoint presentation and lecture notes for the “Great (sic) East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” Read the notes as you work through the slides. Use the map for reference purposes.
     
    Working through the lecture slides and notes should take approximately 50 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Web Media: Wikipedia’s “Propaganda Poster from Manchukuo” and Froginawell.net: Alan Baumler’s “Raise high the flag, whatever it stands for” Link: Wikipedia’s “Propaganda Poster from Manchukuo” and Froginawell.net: Alan Baumler’s “Raise high the flag, whatever it stands for” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Look at the ethnic groups represented in this image and read the translated caption. What do you think the message of the poster is? If you are unsure, you can read one professor’s analysis in the post “Raise high the flag, whatever it stands for.”
     
    This should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

8.2 The Fall of Japan   - Lecture: Harvard Extension School: Charles S. Maier’s World War II History: An Open Harvard Course: “The End of Empires: Japanese and Colonial” Link: Harvard Extension School: Charles S. Maier’s World War II History: An Open Harvard Course: “The End of Empires: Japanese and Colonial” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the page to find the lecture. Select your preferred connection type from the main menu - it is available in both video and audio formats. Listen to/watch the first 27 minutes of the lecture.
 
Pay attention to the arguments made about the key factors determining Japan’s ultimate surrender, and why some arguments are favored over others in different times and places. Be aware that this is a hotly debated topic.
 
The required portion of this lecture plus note-taking should take approximately 35 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above. 

8.2.1 Fire-bombings   - Reading: Japan Focus: David McNeill’s “The Night Hell Fell from the Sky” and Victor Fic’s ”US Firebombed Tokyo as Last Option: A Response to David McNeill” Link: Japan Focus: David McNeill’s “The Night Hell Fell from the Sky” (HTML) and Victor Fic’s ”US Firebombed Tokyo as Last Option: A Response to David McNeill” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Had you heard of the firebombing of Japanese cities and the Tokyo Air Raid of March 1945? Did you know more people died in that one night’s air raid than in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki?
 
Read both articles and evaluate the arguments each makes concerning the Tokyo Firebombing and the motives behind it.
 
These readings and questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

8.2.2 Atomic Bombs   - Web Media: MIT Visualizing Cultures’ “Ground Zero 1945: A Schoolboy’s Story” Link: MIT Visualizing Cultures’ “Ground Zero 1945: A Schoolboy’s Story” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Select “Introduction by Yuki Tanaka” on the right side of the screen. Read this short text, then, return to the main page and select “Visual Narratives.” Examine the images and read the accompanying text. What view of the atomic bombs and Japan’s wartime past is promoted here?
 
This should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Web Media: US War Department’s “A Tale of Two Cities” Link: US War Department’s “A Tale of Two Cities” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch both parts of the film. Bear in mind when the film was made, who made it, and the target audience. Does anything strike you as missing from the account presented here either in the narration or the images shown? Why do you think the narrative focuses on structural rather than human damage from the bombs?
     
    Watching the film and answering the questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above. 

8.2.3 The End of Empire   - Reading: Taiwan Documents Project: Emperor Hirohito’s “Surrender Rescript to Japanese Troops” Aug. 17 1945, “Surrender Rescript of Emperor Hirohito” Sept. 2, 1945, “Instrument of Surrender,” Sept 2, 1945, “SCAP General Order no.1”,’ “Surrender Order of the Imperial General Headquarters of Japan” Sept 2 1945, and “Act of Surrender (China Theatre)” Link: Taiwan Documents Project: Emperor Hirohito’s “Surrender Rescript to Japanese Troops” Aug. 17 1945, “Surrender Rescript of Emperor Hirohito” Sept. 2, 1945; “Instrument of Surrender,” Sept 2, 1945, “SCAP General Order no.1”, “Surrender Order of the Imperial General Headquarters of Japan” Sept 2 1945, and “Act of Surrender (China Theater)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the primary source documents paying close attention to the kind of language used. Can you identify differences in the tone of the surrender to the US and to China? Can you identify any differences in the tone of the surrender to foreign powers, and the surrender order given to the Japanese troops and people by the Emperor? What might account for this?
 
These primary source readings and questions should take approximately 1.25 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

8.3 The Chinese Civil War   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.3.1 Aftermath of WWII: KMT-CCP Conflict Resumes   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.3.2 KMT Gradual Retreat   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.4 The Korean War   - Lecture: The Korea Society: Charles Armstrong’s “History of Korea Part II” Link: Korea Society: Charles Armstrong’s “History of Korea Part II” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Listen to the podcast minutes 0:48 - 1:03 for an outline of the period from 1945-1953. From 1:03-1:13 Armstrong takes questions. They are rather hard to hear, but his answers provide additional information about the division of the peninsula then and now.
Note: You can also find this podcast as a free download on iTunes under “Korea Society.”
 
The required portion of this lecture and note-taking should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Web Media: Youtube: Public.Resource.org: USA Department of Defense’s “Army in Action Episode X: The Cobra Strikes.” Link: Youtube: Public.Resource.org: USA Department of Defense’s “Army in Action Episode X: The Cobra Strikes” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch the video, bearing in mind when the film was made, who made it and for what audience. You do not need to remember all the details of the war described (you can fast-forward through most of the battle footage if you wish). Instead, pay attention to the anti-Communist slant of the narrative. (This is especially obvious in the introduction and conclusion of the film.) Can you identify some examples of ‘facts’ used to support the anti-Communist message of the film? Based on the film, why was the war fought and who are the chief protagonists?
     
    Watching the film and answering the questions will take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Marxists.org: Mao Zedong’s “Order to the Chinese People’s Volunteers,” “Comment on Hearing of Mao Anying’s Death,” and “The Chinese People’s Volunteers Should Cherish Every Hill, Every River, Every Tree, and Every Blade of Grass in Korea” Link: Marxists.org: Mao Zedong’s “Order to the Chinese People’s Volunteers,” “Comment on Hearing of Mao Anying’s Death,” and “The Chinese People’s Volunteers Should Cherish Every Hill, Every River, Every Tree, and Every Blade of Grass in  Korea” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: What is Mao’s view of China’s role in the Korean War? How does his rhetoric compare with that of the US Dept. of Defense “Army in Action”? What does he view as the main reason for the war and China’s involvement?
     
    These primary source readings and questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

8.4.1 Four-Power Trusteeship Divides Korean Peninsula   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.4.

8.4.2 Formation of ROK and DPRK   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.4.

8.4.3 Skirmishes Escalate—Civil War Breaks Out   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.4.

8.4.4 Course and Outcome of the War   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.4.