Japanerica. : ThyBlackMan

Sunday, September 15, 2019


June 10, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) The Battle of Midway took place exactly 77 years ago today, turning point of the War in the Pacific and the first defeat of any of the Axis Powers. Just six months after Pearl Harbor the Imperial Japanese Navy was decisively defeated. Up until then Japan was absolutely unstoppable gobbling up a chunk of China, all of Indochina and nearly every island in the Pacific.

On June 7, 1942 wave upon wave of suicidal attacks by American carrier planes finally succeeded in scattering the defending Japanese pilots in far superior Mitsubishi built aircraft so that the last remaining American squadron sank all four Japanese aircraft carriers in a 30 minute span.

Sound familiar? Yes, the Death Star in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker finally gets through and explodes that heretofore invincible gargantuan vessel. Gene Rodenberry, creator of Star Trek, had himself been a pilot in World War II. He cast George Takei as Mr. Sulu, chief pilot of the Enterprise. Takei was sent to an internment camp with his family during the war. However, though in confinement the Nisei, as the imprisoned Japanese Americans were called, demanded to fight for this country. They formed a battalion that was subsequently sent into the War in Europe where one family lost six sons in a single battle.

Check out the outfits of the Imperial Storm Troopers in Star Wars, reminiscent of Japanese samurai, which is not surprising given that Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress was also an inspiration for Star Wars. And Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai was reborn as The Magnificent Seven.

After the War, Japan was flattened and under military occupation. For years the mark, Made in Japan, was a sign of shoddy merchandise only to eventually become a stamp of excellence as Mitsubishi rose from the ashes and Detroit fell into the trash heap.

During the War the movie industry used negative stereotypes to whip up the populace against the Japanese. Forty years later Japan was buying up Hollywood. Soon there were rumblings that the theme of a Tom Selleck flick, Mr. Baseball, about an American baseball player in Japan, was changed to show the Japanese in an extremely admirable light.

And so the Japanese invested in Hollywood promised to play no part in creative decision-making and instead focus only on improving soundtracks and movie theater sound systems. The result? Water World and Heaven’s Gate, the biggest flops in movie history, were soon released bankrupting the Japanese controlled studios and forcing them to be sold back into American hands for next to nothing.

Speaking of sound, remember the Walkman? It was a runaway hit. Its name certainly helped. The Japanese manufacturer was told that his proposed name was not grammatical English, luckily he stuck with it. Note the IPHONE has the same off-key catch to it and it has met with even greater success.

Times Square was world famous for its bright lights until, that is, what is that district in Japan, the Shinzu, I believe it is called, put Times Square to shame. And then Times Square, not to be undone, turned things up a notch and then some. And note, those cherry trees in DC? A gift of the Japanese in the early 1930s.

And it was Cherry Blossom Time in the Land of the Rising Sun when the Japanese Armada, the most powerful fleet that had ever set sail, came steaming across the Pacific branching out to attack the Aleutian islands off the coast of Alaska, as a diversion, as the other elements coalesced around the island of Midway halfway between Japan and Hawaii. Here they fought the decisive battle of the Pacific, and lost it. Perhaps, but the struggle that is the continuing coalescence of the Japanese and American societies and cultures goes relentlessly on. . .

Staff Writer; Arthur Lewin

This talented author has just published a NEW book which is entitled; AFRICA is not A COUNTRY!.

For more articles written by this talented brother click on the following link;http://thyblackman.com/?s=lewin.

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