history of japan (in 9 minutes)
February 2, 2016 8:03 PM   Subscribe

history of japan in 9 minutes by bill wurtz
posted by gen (41 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
This has 18,763 views and 17,324 likes.

I've never seen a ratio anywhere near that.
posted by solarion at 8:23 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Abandoned it after less than a minute. Irritating and smug.
posted by marvin at 8:29 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Got past the initial impression of irritating and smug, and found it to be excellent.
posted by mammoth at 8:40 PM on February 2, 2016 [16 favorites]


This video is marked as private.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:41 PM on February 2, 2016


Japan's rise 1960-1990 is pretty interesting, how they hustled to produce if not invent so much of the 20th century.

Back in '89 a friend asked why I was so into Japanese things, I mumbled something about admiring their blend of art and machinery, but I guess what I was trying to get at was their "Gross National Cool".

At any rate, while I've been out of the country 2000, I think they're doing OK now.

Depopulation has its good side maybe, reversing the rising cost of living of housing I guess.

People think the BOJ is insane or something, but this graph compares Kurdoda's printing (red) to Bernanke's (blue).

I'd rather be living in a country with a positive NIIP rather than negative.

I hope to go back there by 2020 or so, maybe. We'll see.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2016


This has 18,763 views and 17,324 likes.

I've never seen a ratio anywhere near that.

Keep in mind that the view count won't be accurate while the video is blowing up like this; right now it's showing me 18,763 views but 19,743 likes.

I thought it was quite good for a 9-minute history. The video's explanation for the motivation behind using the atomic bombs ("the US wanted to try them out") is quite remarkable for an American (I'm assuming) to make. Also, Japan didn't challenge the United States to war with the Pearl Harbor raid; they were hoping that the United States would be too demoralized to fight.

The only other thing I wish he'd mentioned was how Satsuma conquered the Ryukyu Kingdom.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 8:46 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Keep in mind that the view count won't be accurate while the video is blowing up like this; right now it's showing me 18,763 view but 19,743 likes.

Ah, my mistake! I thought it updated more consistently once it got past the 300+ bottleneck.
posted by solarion at 8:48 PM on February 2, 2016


Oops, maybe Kuroda is a bit insane:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=3kII

central bank assets / GDP
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:48 PM on February 2, 2016


Good to see Jean-Ralphio is keeping busy...
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Depopulation has its good side maybe, reversing the rising cost of living of housing I guess.

Although this in turn is somewhat offset by inflation (cooled off now, but for a while was an issue especially for people who had seen almost no inflation for decades) and increased taxes without wage gain, as far as I can tell.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2016


Japan didn't challenge the United States to war with the Pearl Harbor raid; they were hoping that the United States would be too demoralized to fight

. . .

This image, from a wartime propaganda booklet, is I think the Japanese Army's viewpoint of the war. They had their eyes on the helpless European colonies to be taken over -- a chance at a greater empire not to be missed -- with FDR and the Americans across the Pacific so far away, and the Japanese Navy's problem to deal with at that.

In August 1941 the US froze trade with Japan, which also stopped Japan's oil imports. During the ensuing negotiations we gave them the choice of either quitting China -- going back into their pre-war box -- or expanding their war to the south to take what we were denying them.

Just like they underestimated our military power that came online 1944-45, we underestimated theirs that they had 1941-42.

We could have obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki several times over in August 1945 with just the usual bombing. LeMay was running out of targets for his B-29s to hit by then.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:59 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wish he'd had more on the Ruso-Japanese war which established Japan as an international power. (Look at the battle results from the war. The Russians don't end up running away with their tail between their legs because Japan goes and takes the tail. And the legs while they're at it.)

I've mentioned before that I'm dating a grad student in Japanese history and religion. As far as I know, he has the introduction of Buddhism correct, but I wish he'd have looked at the codification of Shinto into a coherent framework under the Meiji government.

That was fun though.
posted by Hactar at 9:51 PM on February 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


The video's explanation for the motivation behind using the atomic bombs ("the US wanted to try them out") is quite remarkable for an American (I'm assuming) to make.
"Try them out" to see if they could avoid the near genocide that would very likely happen had the over 1 million troops massed in the Philippines invaded Japan as planned had the atomic bombs failed to convince Japan to surrender.
posted by linux at 10:19 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


MMmkkkay that was great.
posted by pwally at 11:01 PM on February 2, 2016


Huh.

This has literally all of the hallmarks of something that I will hate with my entire being, and yet I love this completely
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:20 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pretty sure a YouTube covering this much history in 9 minutes isn't intended to be comprehensive, guys. Or even necessarily all that serious. It's a great overview, nothing more.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:32 PM on February 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm now interested in why it took so long to conquer the north, too. Something for the next library trip.
posted by solarion at 12:06 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure a YouTube covering this much history in 9 minutes isn't intended to be comprehensive, guys

Still I'm sad they left out the first large scale tank battle in history, between Japan and the USSR, in Mongolia. For a while it was't very well known about in the west, because Japan didn't like to talk about their crushing, humiliating defeats, and the USSR didn't like to talk about nuthin', and nobody* bothered to ask the Mongolians about anything. As I understand it, it was a pretty big deal because previous to that Japan was kind of on the fence between a land strategy vs a naval strategy. The army getting clobbered helped the emperor decide. It also meant that Mongolia was one of the few places who were actually thrilled about the Soviet presence, after seeing how WWII Japan treated the other regions they occupied.

* in the US or Western Europe
posted by aubilenon at 12:31 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can't beLIEVE he left out any mention of Sado as a place of exile this video is worthless crap.
posted by No-sword at 2:14 AM on February 3, 2016


Honestly, this was better than I thought it would be, and better than it had any right to be!

"Try them out" to see if they could avoid the near genocide that would very likely happen had the over 1 million troops massed in the Philippines invaded Japan as planned had the atomic bombs failed to convince Japan to surrender.

Safe to say, this is far from settled. There were some who thought that in govt, and some who thought the opposite, and it ignores the Japanese overtures of (not "total") surrender prior to the bombs dropping.

More broadly, if anyone is interested in an accessible, engaging potted history of Japan, I can't recommend This Great Courses series titled Understanding Japan enough. The lecturer s terrific; one of the best Great Courses I've listened to, and I've listened to a tonne. It's on Audible, if the steep pricing puts you off.
posted by smoke at 3:50 AM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


A spiritual successor to FIRE ZE MISSLES
posted by divabat at 4:08 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I like the part where he glossed over Japan's invasion of other Asian nations and the atrocities committed there like murdering contests and mass sexual slavery which they still pretty much deny ever happening

nope, they just moved in and were like 'ooh let's flex our military muscle' tee hee
posted by runt at 5:08 AM on February 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


I swear it's like I missed the entry forms for the Debbie Downer Third Annual Complain About a Silly Thing on the Internet Competition
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:21 AM on February 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


I was born in Nanjing and my maternal line was there during the Rape of Nanking

sorry if I seem particularly attached to a better, less silly understanding of WWII than what's normally taught in the US
posted by runt at 5:38 AM on February 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


smoke: "Safe to say, this is far from settled. There were some who thought that in govt, and some who thought the opposite, and it ignores the Japanese overtures of (not "total") surrender prior to the bombs dropping. "

But that was the whole point of dropping the bombs. UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER was the demand from the allies, and the Japanese weren't willing to agree to that until the two bombs were dropped and the Soviets declared war and were beginning to ready an invasion.

The Japanese made my father spend three long years in the Pacific. My dad didn't hate the Japanese, but it still cost him three years of his life.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:40 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Committing war crimes to secure more favourable terms of surrender is kind of different than committing war crimes to prevent an even larger loss of life down the road.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:53 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Surely this time we will finally settle the instrumental morality of nuking two cities. Surely.

More importantly, I would like to see a nine minute history of Japan done in the style of those dubstep videos for Farm Simulator or Kerbal.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:03 AM on February 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


wurtz previously.
i enjoy this kind of humour. it works better as a vine i feel than as a, whatever this is exactly? it would be amazing if he could get the tone right for something 'informative' (? is that what he's going for?) like this though, if only for the feat of balancing how to be both responsible and funny and accurate and exactly surreal enough.
posted by disso at 8:13 AM on February 3, 2016


Okay, those chimes were irritating. Also there is mention of Jesus but not of Shimabara, and no mention either of Japanese involvement in the Boxer Uprising or the first Sino-Japanese war which is why they as well as Germany or Russia were interested in assorted bits of China like Liaodong and Qingdao. And, since we're talking about Japanese war crimes too, there's Port Arthur in 1894 too.

For more youtube videos, there's a bit more on the Sengoku period in a short series of Extra History videos beginning here (it has ninjas), and Crash Course did a unit on Heian Japan.
posted by sukeban at 9:40 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hmmm...inter-glacial interval to smart phones in nine minutes. May have to leave something out.

Ah. Who'll notice?
posted by mule98J at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I sent the link to my SO (who's in Japan at the moment, thus the delay). Her response:

"I could deal with the oversimplifications until he said that Kukai went to China to study Zen Buddhism.
FACTUALLY INCORRECT. INCORRECT IN ALL THE WAYS."

So there's problems with that part, apparently.
posted by Hactar at 11:17 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Looking through his other videos, I found a history of the world, in even less time.
posted by foobaz at 2:47 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Awesome video. Sure, it had some omissions: That's because it's a nine minute video, not a series of hour-long documentaries focusing on individual centuries of history.

My son doesn't start history classes until next year, so I'm looking forward to showing him this as an interesting and amusing overview. All the "fucks" and "shits" will be a big bonus in getting his attention and keeping his interest.

Hactar: ""I could deal with the oversimplifications until he said that Kukai went to China to study Zen Buddhism.
FACTUALLY INCORRECT. INCORRECT IN ALL THE WAYS."
"

Well, in one way. He went to China to study Buddhism during the era when Zen Buddhism arose in China, but, yeah, the actual Buddhism he studied was not Zen Buddhism.
posted by Bugbread at 10:47 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Another war crime that hasn't been mentioned in the video or here is the human experimentation done for bio and chem warfare research done by Unit 731 during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War/WWII. Some of that research eventually ended up in US hands when the Japanese surrendered at the end of the war.

I also feel that the video completely glosses over the fact that Mainland China kept Japan on a two front war, tying down a lot of Imperial Japanese Army in China.

Also, absolutely nothing about Taiwan! Which like Korea, was a colony of Japan until the end of WWII! (In Taiwan, a lot of the older generation there still speak Japanese, and there are still buildings standing from that era!)
posted by FJT at 11:11 AM on February 4, 2016


The takeover of Taiwan was shown.
posted by Bugbread at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also feel that the video completely glosses over the fact that Mainland China kept Japan on a two front war, tying down a lot of Imperial Japanese Army in China.

Not just that, by 1941 the Japanese had been fighting an unwinnable war in China for 10 years and their economy was already in the pits even before attacking Pearl Harbor.
posted by sukeban at 1:52 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Which is also to say, I really think future historians may well start WW2 at the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1931 instead of the invasion of Poland in 1939. This is also in line with recognising that the people who suffered the most of WW2 were the Russians and the Chinese -- something the video linked in this post also ignores)
posted by sukeban at 1:59 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


It mentions that the Japanese economy was bad before Pearl Harbor.
posted by Bugbread at 2:03 PM on February 4, 2016


* Invasion of Manchuria in 1931. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident happened in 1937. Sorry.
posted by sukeban at 2:11 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was prepared to hate this, but it was pretty awesome. The video misses a number of key points, but to suggest that it "completely glosses over" some key points is being pedantic.
posted by My Dad at 4:31 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


And besides that, they totally left out Zatoichi. Totally!
posted by mule98J at 6:45 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


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