Japan and WW II

Keble

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JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, I think that many folks underestimate just how tough the Japanese were in World War II. They would literally fight until the death of the last man and then would have their women, children and old folks fight too until their whole population was decimated. Man for man they were superior to any army in the world at the time. Most veterans I've talked to have all said that fighting in the Pacific was ten times worse than in Europe. And if it weren't for the atomic bomb and the United States's manufacturing power, I think that they could have taken on any world power at the time individually; even Germany, due to Japan's naval superiority.
Japanese naval superiority was largely a function of (a) surprise and (b) the Germans forcing part of the US fleet to stay in the Atlantic. At the beginning of the war, the US and Japanese had rough parity in naval forces (the Japs had more carriers, but only a few of them were comparable to the American bird farms), and if the Americans had been paying attention at Pearl, Yamomoto's forces would have gotten pretty beat up. As soon as the Americans started to respond, the Japanese started to lose at sea.

On land, the Japanese advantage basically consisted of being in dug in defensive positions on a series of volcanic islands. You can call it "tough", or you can call it stupidity. They were never a significant offensive force against a well-equipped enemy.
 

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Keble said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, I think that many folks underestimate just how tough the Japanese were in World War II. They would literally fight until the death of the last man and then would have their women, children and old folks fight too until their whole population was decimated. Man for man they were superior to any army in the world at the time. Most veterans I've talked to have all said that fighting in the Pacific was ten times worse than in Europe. And if it weren't for the atomic bomb and the United States's manufacturing power, I think that they could have taken on any world power at the time individually; even Germany, due to Japan's naval superiority.
Japanese naval superiority was largely a function of (a) surprise and (b) the Germans forcing part of the US fleet to stay in the Atlantic. At the beginning of the war, the US and Japanese had rough parity in naval forces (the Japs had more carriers, but only a few of them were comparable to the American bird farms), and if the Americans had been paying attention at Pearl, Yamomoto's forces would have gotten pretty beat up. As soon as the Americans started to respond, the Japanese started to lose at sea.

On land, the Japanese advantage basically consisted of being in dug in defensive positions on a series of volcanic islands. You can call it "tough", or you can call it stupidity. They were never a significant offensive force against a well-equipped enemy.
The Japanese were also poorly equipped in some ways . Their rifles were lousy.Their Zero's were fast and maneuverable but had no armor. Catch em kill em.

Fighting to the last man has it's disadvantages. Large numbers of prisoners pose a big logistical problem for the captors. Mopping up and killing all of them is actually cheaper and somewhat easier, though it costs additional casualties.

The Japanese were also capable of losing their vaunted discipline and running wild such as in Nanking where they slaughtered civilians for no good reason.

Hive mentalities has it's limits

 

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Keble said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, I think that many folks underestimate just how tough the Japanese were in World War II. They would literally fight until the death of the last man and then would have their women, children and old folks fight too until their whole population was decimated. Man for man they were superior to any army in the world at the time. Most veterans I've talked to have all said that fighting in the Pacific was ten times worse than in Europe. And if it weren't for the atomic bomb and the United States's manufacturing power, I think that they could have taken on any world power at the time individually; even Germany, due to Japan's naval superiority.
Japanese naval superiority was largely a function of (a) surprise and (b) the Germans forcing part of the US fleet to stay in the Atlantic. At the beginning of the war, the US and Japanese had rough parity in naval forces (the Japs had more carriers, but only a few of them were comparable to the American bird farms), and if the Americans had been paying attention at Pearl, Yamomoto's forces would have gotten pretty beat up. As soon as the Americans started to respond, the Japanese started to lose at sea.

On land, the Japanese advantage basically consisted of being in dug in defensive positions on a series of volcanic islands. You can call it "tough", or you can call it stupidity. They were never a significant offensive force against a well-equipped enemy.
Also, American war vessels were limited in size due to the capability of the Panama Canal.

The Japanese faced no such potential blockages
 

Keble

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montalban said:
Also, American war vessels were limited in size due to the capability of the Panama Canal.

The Japanese faced no such potential blockages
The difference wasn't significant. Akagi and Kaga carried about the same aircraft complement as the American carriers when reserve aircraft were taken into account; Soryu and Hiryu were quite a bit smaller. Yamato was only slightly beamier than the Mo and somewhat shorter.

 

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Keble said:
montalban said:
Also, American war vessels were limited in size due to the capability of the Panama Canal.

The Japanese faced no such potential blockages
The difference wasn't significant. Akagi and Kaga carried about the same aircraft complement as the American carriers when reserve aircraft were taken into account; Soryu and Hiryu were quite a bit smaller. Yamato was only slightly beamier than the Mo and somewhat shorter.
I don't think Yamato would have been able to manage the Panama

I'm basing my comments on the book "Shattered Sword"
 

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Japan had been warred with China for 4 years before it attacked U.S.A

Japan had good military technology but it lack of resource.Japan wanted to take over China as China was weak at that time but had plenty of resource. Japanese people intended to defeat China within 3 month.However,Out of their expectation, they have been warred with China for 4 years but still could not conquer it.Then, Japan suddenly attacked the Pearl Habour.

One of the reason why Japan loss may be their military power is not well equipeed in some way. Besides, many of its resource and military power had already been depleted when it warred with China.
 

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Keble said:
montalban said:
Also, American war vessels were limited in size due to the capability of the Panama Canal.

The Japanese faced no such potential blockages
The difference wasn't significant. Akagi and Kaga carried about the same aircraft complement as the American carriers when reserve aircraft were taken into account; Soryu and Hiryu were quite a bit smaller. Yamato was only slightly beamier than the Mo and somewhat shorter.
I love Man Talk

 

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walter1234 said:
Japan had been warred with China for 4 years before it attacked U.S.A

Japan had good military technology but it lack of resource.Japan wanted to take over China as China was weak at that time but had plenty of resource. Japanese people intended to defeat China within 3 month.However,Out of their expectation, they have been warred with China for 4 years but still could not conquer it.Then, Japan suddenly attacked the Pearl Habour.

One of the reason why Japan loss may be their military power is not well equipeed in some way. Besides, many of its resource and military power had already been depleted when it warred with China.
Japan's equipment was pretty much as good as anyone's at the beginning of the war, but, as you say, they did not have the resources or infrastructure to make continuous improvements. The Zero was a good plane at the beginning of the war (even with the lack of armor)- they certainly crushed the American Buffalo- but at the end of the war no major changes had been made to it, whereas the Americans were able to make their planes better and better.

The "banzai charges" were of course a really stupid tactic that often crippled their defenses. Only a few commanders were willing to set aside the suicidal ethos in favor of sound military tactics.
 

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Yamato was like two feet or so too wide to go through the canal; the bigger problem was draft, with some seven feet more than the Mo. She was also a lot heavier and slower than the American battlewagons, not that it mattered that much in the end.
 

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If Japan had lost the Russo-Japanese War, the 20th century would likely have looked completely different.
 

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Iconodule said:
walter1234 said:
Japan had been warred with China for 4 years before it attacked U.S.A

Japan had good military technology but it lack of resource.Japan wanted to take over China as China was weak at that time but had plenty of resource. Japanese people intended to defeat China within 3 month.However,Out of their expectation, they have been warred with China for 4 years but still could not conquer it.Then, Japan suddenly attacked the Pearl Habour.

One of the reason why Japan loss may be their military power is not well equipeed in some way. Besides, many of its resource and military power had already been depleted when it warred with China.
Japan's equipment was pretty much as good as anyone's at the beginning of the war, but, as you say, they did not have the resources or infrastructure to make continuous improvements. The Zero was a good plane at the beginning of the war (even with the lack of armor)- they certainly crushed the American Buffalo- but at the end of the war no major changes had been made to it, whereas the Americans were able to make their planes better and better.

The "banzai charges" were of course a really stupid tactic that often crippled their defenses. Only a few commanders were willing to set aside the suicidal ethos in favor of sound military tactics.
I read somewhere that their standard issue infantry rifle was poor quality.

The viability of a frontal assault bayonet charge should have ended with Pickett.
 

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Marc1152 said:
Iconodule said:
walter1234 said:
Japan had been warred with China for 4 years before it attacked U.S.A

Japan had good military technology but it lack of resource.Japan wanted to take over China as China was weak at that time but had plenty of resource. Japanese people intended to defeat China within 3 month.However,Out of their expectation, they have been warred with China for 4 years but still could not conquer it.Then, Japan suddenly attacked the Pearl Habour.

One of the reason why Japan loss may be their military power is not well equipeed in some way. Besides, many of its resource and military power had already been depleted when it warred with China.
Japan's equipment was pretty much as good as anyone's at the beginning of the war, but, as you say, they did not have the resources or infrastructure to make continuous improvements. The Zero was a good plane at the beginning of the war (even with the lack of armor)- they certainly crushed the American Buffalo- but at the end of the war no major changes had been made to it, whereas the Americans were able to make their planes better and better.

The "banzai charges" were of course a really stupid tactic that often crippled their defenses. Only a few commanders were willing to set aside the suicidal ethos in favor of sound military tactics.
I read somewhere that their standard issue infantry rifle was poor quality.
My understanding (remembering conversations with Japanese military geeks) is that the rifle was okay. But bolt-action rifles versus semi-automatic M1 Garands was just not going to be a fair fight, as the Germans found out too.

There were Japanese sidearms that were indeed poorly made- as the war went sour for them this had as much to do with shoddy materials and manufacturing as with inherent design flaws.  
 

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Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
Iconodule said:
walter1234 said:
Japan had been warred with China for 4 years before it attacked U.S.A

Japan had good military technology but it lack of resource.Japan wanted to take over China as China was weak at that time but had plenty of resource. Japanese people intended to defeat China within 3 month.However,Out of their expectation, they have been warred with China for 4 years but still could not conquer it.Then, Japan suddenly attacked the Pearl Habour.

One of the reason why Japan loss may be their military power is not well equipeed in some way. Besides, many of its resource and military power had already been depleted when it warred with China.
Japan's equipment was pretty much as good as anyone's at the beginning of the war, but, as you say, they did not have the resources or infrastructure to make continuous improvements. The Zero was a good plane at the beginning of the war (even with the lack of armor)- they certainly crushed the American Buffalo- but at the end of the war no major changes had been made to it, whereas the Americans were able to make their planes better and better.

The "banzai charges" were of course a really stupid tactic that often crippled their defenses. Only a few commanders were willing to set aside the suicidal ethos in favor of sound military tactics.
I read somewhere that their standard issue infantry rifle was poor quality.
My understanding (remembering conversations with Japanese military geeks) is that the rifle was okay. But bolt-action rifles versus semi-automatic M1 Garands was just not going to be a fair fight, as the Germans found out too.

There were Japanese sidearms that were indeed poorly made- as the war went sour for them this had as much to do with shoddy materials and manufacturing as with inherent design flaws.  
The materials and manufacturing is the important point here.  When it gets down to it, a bolt action is a bolt action.  The older 6.5mm Arisakas I have heard are really good guns.  Depending on my financial situation in the near future I may be able to comment better after having one, but for now, I haven't heard anything bad about them.  The 7.7mm ones degraded.  Mostly because they were newer and many of the ones built at the end of the war were done in people's living rooms.  

Where they were inferior was in submachineguns and machineguns.  The Type 96 and 99 seem to have been at least as good as the British Bren guns and the Russian DP.  It was probably superior to the American BAR as it was an actual machinegun rather than an automatic rifle.  It was likely inferior to the US M1919 and German MG34/42.   The Type 11 was an antiquated turd.  As for submachineguns, the Japanese didn't really have a gun comparable to American Thompsons, German MP-40s, British Stens, Russian PPSh and PPS weapons.  The Type 100 SMG was behind the curve and not really available in sufficient numbers to be worth discussion.

Their AT weapons would have been great in 1939 but by 43 and 44 they were hopelessly outdated.  The Shermans that were on the light side of medium in Europe were practically heavy tanks in the PTO.  I'd hate to think how Japanese 37's would have fared against Australian Matildas or Valentines if there was ever enough open ground for them to have fought a proper armoured clash.  When the Russians hit the Japanese in Manchuria with IS and T-34 tanks the Japanese stood about as long as a saltine getting hit by a sand blaster.

Airplanes - the A6M Zero was a good plane early on but it's what they ended the war with.  Like Iconodule says above, it was better than the Buffalos (as well as the Wildcats), but it didn't have the armour of the P40s.  As the war went on the US had Hellcats, Corsairs, and P-38's, and the Japanese were stuck with the outdated Zero.  They never had enough Nakajimas, and those they did were hampered by the poor quality of late war workmanship.

I have nothing much to add to Kerdy's assessment of Japanese naval technology.  The Yamato had the largest guns mounted in history at the time, IIRC, but a lot of good it did them.  Especially since I believe it was Adm. Yamamoto who pointed out that carriers were the future.

Tactically, there isn't much to add.  The Japanese soldier was one of the better soldiers in the war, but he wasn't good enough.  I think you would have found the same level of dedication in many Russian units (after their crappy start) but with a much higher level of tactical/strategic awareness and technological superiority.  The Pacific was a sideshow to most of the major powers.  They never put as much effort into it as they did against the Germans.  Ultimately, they really didn't have to.  



EDIT - The Garand really wasn't that important as far as the weapons go.  The Germans did not believe that the rifle was the primary killing weapon.  Every grenadier squad was issued one machinegun for a total of three per platoon.  The panzergrenadiers carried one per fireteam, so SIX per platoon!  Americans on the other hand issued machineguns at the company level (typically - rangers and airborne had more organic MG support).  A Garand has a higher rate of rife than a Mauser but MUCH less than an MG-42...and your average company would have access to four M1919 machineguns compared to the six per German platoon (18 for a full strength company).  Against the Japanese - who were more rifle based like the US - it could have made a difference, but remember, you can only fire the rifle as fast as you can effectively aim it - and it wasn't until the STG-44 that an effective assault rifle came out with the intermediate cartridge. 

The main thing the US had was that it's artillery doctrine was much better.  US 105s could be called in from much lower ranks than they could in other armies.  They also had targeting computers which let them hit more often.  German and Japanese artillery doctrines were behind the times.  The Russians at least made up for it in sheer numbers of guns, but American and British (to a lesser extent) artillery doctrines were vastly superior.  This hurt the Japanese as well in the Island Campaigns, as in addition to regular artillery, the US was able to hit them with ship guns as well.
 

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On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective and possibly could have severely prolonged the Pacific Theater, provided they had employed it earlier on. What I think made the Japanese soldier so much superior to other soldiers at the time was their cultural upbringing. They were more machine than man. They literally would never surrender and would fight until the very last man, and their whole population was willing to fight in order to defend their homeland if it came down to it. We had lone groups of Japanese soldiers still holed up their positions after WWII up until the late 1950s. They were that determined to win. This is in stark contrast to the untrained grunts in the Red Army who had to rely on overwhelming numbers and the somewhat under-disciplined Americans. A fairer comparison may be to the soldiers of Great Britain, but even then, I think that man for man, Japan probably had the entire world beat at the time. Now only if they had better technology, a larger population and more manufactoring capabilities to support their radical tactics. Oddly enough, Japan's bravery and warrior culture is precisely what cost them the war. Fighting until the last man and practically committing suicide with last-resort bonzai charges may be good when you have an overwhelmingly large army such as that of the USSR and the manufactoring output of the US, but when you are a mid-sized nation with really no natural resources other than sushi and a relatively small (albeit well trained) army, it is going to be a logistical nightmare for you.
 

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A stereotype of Japanese is that they take other people's ideas, rather than their own.

A case can be argued that they did this with the Pearl Harbor attack; based as it was on the British raid on Taranto in Italy
 

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JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective
If by "affective" you mean "emotional" I guess you're right, but that's a bit vague. But of course you mean effective in which case...
Not really.

and possibly could have severely prolonged the Pacific Theater, provided they had employed it earlier on.
No, they would have just lost all of their good pilots (and aircraft) sooner.

They were more machine than man.
No, they were just men. Read some of the letters of the kamikaze pilots.
 

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I have dealt extensively with the Japanese. I even had the chance to meet a WW2 Vet. of the Imperial Army.

They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.

Oh and they still hate us to some degree. I remember ten  years ago when that sub surfaced and accidentally sunk a Japanese fishing boat.

They were all a buzz that it was done on purpose.

When my son and I watched Iron Chef years back I would point out how even on a cooking show they were all Life and Death about it. I told him: "And that's why we don't allow them to have artillery anymore"
 

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Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.

 

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Marc1152 said:
When my son and I watched Iron Chef years back I would point out how even on a cooking show they were all Life and Death about it. I told him: "And that's why we don't allow them to have artillery anymore"
There are a number of towed, self-propelled, and mortar artillery used by the JGSDF.
 

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Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
One of the characters in Michael Crichton's book The Rising Sun stated that there are three ways of viewing the Japanese.  Some study them and wish to emulate them in every way.  Others are filled with disgust and loathing towards them.  Fewer understand them and accept their cultural differences as they are.
 

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vamrat said:
Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
One of the characters in Michael Crichton's book The Rising Sun stated that there are three ways of viewing the Japanese.  Some study them and wish to emulate them in every way.  Others are filled with disgust and loathing towards them.  Fewer understand them and accept their cultural differences as they are.
How easy it is to demonize and loathe those whom we don't understand, rather than trying to understand them.  But, hey....it does make it easier to kill them if it comes to that.  ::)
 

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JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective and possibly could have severely prolonged the Pacific Theater, provided they had employed it earlier on. What I think made the Japanese soldier so much superior to other soldiers at the time was their cultural upbringing. They were more machine than man. They literally would never surrender and would fight until the very last man, and their whole population was willing to fight in order to defend their homeland if it came down to it. We had lone groups of Japanese soldiers still holed up their positions after WWII up until the late 1950s. They were that determined to win. This is in stark contrast to the untrained grunts in the Red Army who had to rely on overwhelming numbers and the somewhat under-disciplined Americans. A fairer comparison may be to the soldiers of Great Britain, but even then, I think that man for man, Japan probably had the entire world beat at the time. Now only if they had better technology, a larger population and more manufactoring capabilities to support their radical tactics. Oddly enough, Japan's bravery and warrior culture is precisely what cost them the war. Fighting until the last man and practically committing suicide with last-resort bonzai charges may be good when you have an overwhelmingly large army such as that of the USSR and the manufactoring output of the US, but when you are a mid-sized nation with really no natural resources other than sushi and a relatively small (albeit well trained) army, it is going to be a logistical nightmare for you.
Iconodule covered most of the points I would have made, including the affective vs effective.

One problem with WWII is that it is hard not to find various supermen and heroes amongst those that fought while at the same time denigrating those they defeated.

The Russians were not a mindless hoarde.  They took some extreme measures in the beginning of the war to stop the massive losses due to German encirclement.  Many Russian veterans I have read look favorably on Stalin's "Not One Step Back" order as it stopped the mass surrenders and galvanized Soviet resistance.  By 1943 the political commissars were on the way out and by 1944 the Soviets inflicted a crippling defeat on the Germans in the Bagration Campaign.  Dismissing the Russians as mindless blobs is understandable as this is how the Germans painted them after the war, and how US high command wanted to see them in the Cold War, but it is not an accurate depiction of their actual combat performance.

The US has gotten a bad reputation in the war.  Either you have over the top trumpet-fanfare-soundtrack films making them out to be Captain America clones, or you have them denigrated by their foes.  Many American soldiers did not have the experience of their British, German, Russian, or Japanese counterparts.  Hell, even the Italians were in the war first.  But there were many examples of exceptional American units.  The 101st Airborne at Bastonge, the 442nd Regimental Combat Group in ...everywhere they fought.  (These were the children of Japanese immigrants.)  The various armoured forces under Patton at various times.  Yes, the material lend-leased by the US to various powers were instrumental to allied victory, but you also cannot discount the roles American soldiers played in the various fronts on which they fought.

The British were the most "traditional" of the forces fighting.  You get a lot of respect for the British in reading reports written by the Germans.  (Though, typically little respect is spared for their leadership...whether the author is American, German, or even a New Zealander...)   And they were fighting from Day two or three of the war up until the Japanese surrender.



To understand the causes of the Japanese defeat, one needs to look no further than to Admiral Yamamoto who said that the Japanese would win the war against the US in 6 months or there would be no chance for victory.  After his death he was proven correct.  The US had more production and were not just going to give up like the Japanese high command expected.  No matter how costly it was, the US was a relentless foe against the Japanese.  And we often forget, the Japanese weren't only fighting the US Marines in island hopping campaigns.  For starts, there were more divisions of US Army fighting than there were the more popularly depicted Marines.  In addition, they were fighting the Australians in New Guinea, US-backed local forces in the Philippines, the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh in Indochine, the British and Indians in Burma - yes, 2.5 million Indians fought in the war, various Chinese factions and Korean nationalists, and finally the Soviets in Manchuria right before the war and in the last month or so in 1945.  These great odds were arrayed against them and they never really adapted new technology at an acceptable rate.  The Japanese faced the Russians in 1945 with much of the same equipment they fought the Russians with in 1939...with the expected results.




Oh, and as a side note, bonsai charges are the worst tactics ever developed.  I mean seriously, who ever won a war by tossing little trees at their opponents?
 

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Iconodule said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective
If by "affective" you mean "emotional" I guess you're right, but that's a bit vague. But of course you mean effective in which case...
More American ships were lost at Okinawa than at Pearl Harbor
 

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Marc1152 said:
When my son and I watched Iron Chef years back I would point out how even on a cooking show they were all Life and Death about it. I told him: "And that's why we don't allow them to have artillery anymore"
That's rather imperialistic! You (US???) don't allow them...


Anyway, according to Wiki they have
Type 75 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (140)
M110 howitzer (90)
M270 MLRS (99)
Type 99 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (99)
Towed artilleryFH-70 (480)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Ground_Self-Defense_Force#Self-propelled_artillery
 

montalban

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Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
There are exceptions to rules, but in Japan belonging to a group is all important. Workplaces fostered this to get loyalty to the company.


A quite remarkable exception to the rule is Chiune Sugihara, who converted to Orthodoxy. He saved 10x more Jews during WWII than Schindler
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara
 

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vamrat said:
The US has gotten a bad reputation in the war.  Either you have over the top trumpet-fanfare-soundtrack films making them out to be Captain America clones, or you have them denigrated by their foes.  Many American soldiers did not have the experience of their British, German, Russian, or Japanese counterparts.  Hell, even the Italians were in the war first.  But there were many examples of exceptional American units.  The 101st Airborne at Bastonge, the 442nd Regimental Combat Group in ...everywhere they fought.  (These were the children of Japanese immigrants.)  The various armoured forces under Patton at various times.  Yes, the material lend-leased by the US to various powers were instrumental to allied victory, but you also cannot discount the roles American soldiers played in the various fronts on which they fought.

The British were the most "traditional" of the forces fighting.  You get a lot of respect for the British in reading reports written by the Germans.  (Though, typically little respect is spared for their leadership...whether the author is American, German, or even a New Zealander...)  And they were fighting from Day two or three of the war up until the Japanese surrender.



To understand the causes of the Japanese defeat, one needs to look no further than to Admiral Yamamoto who said that the Japanese would win the war against the US in 6 months or there would be no chance for victory.  After his death he was proven correct.  The US had more production and were not just going to give up like the Japanese high command expected.  No matter how costly it was, the US was a relentless foe against the Japanese.  And we often forget, the Japanese weren't only fighting the US Marines in island hopping campaigns.  For starts, there were more divisions of US Army fighting than there were the more popularly depicted Marines.  In addition, they were fighting the Australians in New Guinea, US-backed local forces in the Philippines, the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh in Indochine, the British and Indians in Burma - yes, 2.5 million Indians fought in the war, various Chinese factions and Korean nationalists, and finally the Soviets in Manchuria right before the war and in the last month or so in 1945.  These great odds were arrayed against them and they never really adapted new technology at an acceptable rate.  The Japanese faced the Russians in 1945 with much of the same equipment they fought the Russians with in 1939...with the expected results.




Oh, and as a side note, bonsai charges are the worst tactics ever developed.  I mean seriously, who ever won a war by tossing little trees at their opponents?
Although I am not a fan of Bernard Montgomery, the British got a bad press in the US. Immediately following D-Day the British set about a non-glorious grinding down operation outside Caen, drawing in massive German forces upon themselves to allow the Americans to break out further west and do a long sweep around to almost encircle the Germans. The Americans were the hammer to the British-Canadian anvil.

However in the press it looked more impressive to see Americans make sweeping gains in territory rather than note just how many forces were facing the British.

Douglas MacArthur – to me a terribly over-rated general had his press group in the Pacific theatre in his hand. If the Americans won a victory it was reported as an American victory. If Australia won a victory it was reported as an American and Allied victory.

MacArthur thought Australian forces poor during the Kokoda campaign because he was based thousands of kilometres away in Melbourne and had no real grasp of the problems in New Guinea where there are massive mountains in the Owen Stanley Ranges. For him a small distance on the map; for the Aussies, huge distances up and down tremendous mountains.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokoda_Track_campaign

The Americans performed poorly at Buna and Gona. MacArthur sacked US general Edwin F. Harding. Whilst Americans performed badly the Australians did not.

The ship HMAS Canberra was sunk of Guadalcanal in the Battle of Savo Island. It is reckoned mainly due to American fault – possibly

“Several personnel from Canberra believe that USS Bagley inadvertently torpedoed the cruiser”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Canberra_(D33)#Loss

The US ended up naming a ship USS Canberra – the only US ship to be named after a non-American capital.

 

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J Michael said:
vamrat said:
Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
One of the characters in Michael Crichton's book The Rising Sun stated that there are three ways of viewing the Japanese.  Some study them and wish to emulate them in every way.  Others are filled with disgust and loathing towards them.  Fewer understand them and accept their cultural differences as they are.
How easy it is to demonize and loathe those whom we don't understand, rather than trying to understand them.  But, hey....it does make it easier to kill them if it comes to that.  ::)
And yet political correctness goes too far too

We used to celebrate V-E Day and V-J Day (Victory in Europe and, Victory over Japan respectively)

In the 1990s our government quietly changed V-J Day to V-P Day (Victory in the Pacific) as if Japan was not our primary enemy in that theatre of operations

Also, Star Trek had a sequence where the USS Enterpirse and the USS Yamato are involved because the producers wished to note in the future we all get along; a ship with an antecedent in a US WWII vessel, and a ship with an antecedent in the Japanese Imperial Navy. I thought - what next? The USS Heinrich Himmler?
 

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JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective and possibly could have severely prolonged the Pacific Theater, provided they had employed it earlier on.
No. Japan's number one disadvantage was in manpower. Midway cost them an entire year's worth of trained aircrew; other battles (e.g. Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf) were far worse. Suicide missions would have simply sped up the process. And I wouldn't call the attacks "extremely effective": for instance, during the Okinawa campaign the kamikaze success rate was only one in nine.

What I think made the Japanese soldier so much superior to other soldiers at the time was their cultural upbringing. They were more machine than man.
But it also made them stupid. Japan needed to drive us out of the war quickly; one could very well argue that they lost simply by failing to drive us out of Pearl in the first attack. After Midway they were in retreat all the way, and the only thing they could hope for was for us to get tired of attacking them, which is not really what I would call a strategy. Had it not been for the A bombs, we still would have invaded Japan, and we would have succeeded, at a huge cost to us, but a nearly suicidal cost to them. Their system of warfare only worked when they were winning; as soon as they started to lose, they were reduced to hopeless defensive stands. The Japanese would never have even tried the Dunkirk evacuations, and their MacArthur would never have given himself the chance to say, "I shall return," but both of these retreats were key to winning the war.
 

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montalban said:
Iconodule said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective
If by "affective" you mean "emotional" I guess you're right, but that's a bit vague. But of course you mean effective in which case...
More American ships were lost at Okinawa than at Pearl Harbor
And how many Japanese pilots/ planes were lost at Okinawa, compared with Pearl Harbor?
 

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Iconodule said:
montalban said:
Iconodule said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective
If by "affective" you mean "emotional" I guess you're right, but that's a bit vague. But of course you mean effective in which case...
More American ships were lost at Okinawa than at Pearl Harbor
And how many Japanese pilots/ planes were lost at Okinawa, compared with Pearl Harbor?
I don't know.

What I do know is that the Japanese didn't care.

They were effective insofar as they destroyed more of their enemy - which is the goal in war.

 

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Keble said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective and possibly could have severely prolonged the Pacific Theater, provided they had employed it earlier on.
No. Japan's number one disadvantage was in manpower. Midway cost them an entire year's worth of trained aircrew; other battles (e.g. Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf) were far worse. Suicide missions would have simply sped up the process. And I wouldn't call the attacks "extremely effective": for instance, during the Okinawa campaign the kamikaze success rate was only one in nine.

What I think made the Japanese soldier so much superior to other soldiers at the time was their cultural upbringing. They were more machine than man.
But it also made them stupid. Japan needed to drive us out of the war quickly; one could very well argue that they lost simply by failing to drive us out of Pearl in the first attack. After Midway they were in retreat all the way, and the only thing they could hope for was for us to get tired of attacking them, which is not really what I would call a strategy. Had it not been for the A bombs, we still would have invaded Japan, and we would have succeeded, at a huge cost to us, but a nearly suicidal cost to them. Their system of warfare only worked when they were winning; as soon as they started to lose, they were reduced to hopeless defensive stands. The Japanese would never have even tried the Dunkirk evacuations, and their MacArthur would never have given himself the chance to say, "I shall return," but both of these retreats were key to winning the war.
You're missing Japan's strategy at that time.

Japan's strategy had ceased being the gaining of possessions to gaining time.

By inflicting heavy losses they had hoped to weaken America's resolve. This same tactic worked in Vietnam

It didn't work in WWII for a number of reasons.

One being that the US used the atomic bomb that posed the real possibility of exterminating the Japanese

Two (a factor often over-looked by Americans) was the entry of the Soviet Union into the war on Japan - and their extraordinary advances against Japanese land forces in Manchuria. The prospect of a Japan partially occupied by the Soviet Union frightened those who wished o protect the status of the emperor.

As Germany had been divided, so too might Japan have been
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Proposed_postwar_Japan_occupation_zones.png

 

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I was recently listening to a historian speaking about the interesting story behind the I 400 class submarines just after Japan surrendered.  Very interesting I thought.
 

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montalban said:
Iconodule said:
montalban said:
Iconodule said:
JamesR said:
On a somewhat related note, Japan's kamikaze pilot technique against US ships was extremely affective
If by "affective" you mean "emotional" I guess you're right, but that's a bit vague. But of course you mean effective in which case...
More American ships were lost at Okinawa than at Pearl Harbor
And how many Japanese pilots/ planes were lost at Okinawa, compared with Pearl Harbor?
I don't know.
Well it's pretty important information to get a handle on before declaring whether the tactic was effective.

At Pearl Harbor the Japanese lost 29 planes and sank 12 ships, including 4 battleships.

At Okinawa they lost 7,830 planes, as well as 16 of their own ships. They sank 28 American ships (half of those were amphibious craft, probably destroyed by ground forces).

Saying "More American ships were lost at Okinawa than Pearl Harbor" doesn't mean anything given those numbers.

What I do know is that the Japanese didn't care.
It doesn't matter if they cared or not. You be as fanatical and suicidal as you want, but you can't fight a war without manpower and materiel. Trained pilots and planes don't grow on trees, not even in Japan.

They were effective insofar as they destroyed more of their enemy - which is the goal in war.
Who still had an effective navy at the end of the battle? Hint: Not Japan.
Generally the goal in war is to win something- in this case, the Americans wanted control of Okinawa, and they ended up getting it. Japan wanted a negotiated peace settlement. They didn't get it. You aren't going to win anything by wasting your manpower and materiel, even if you inflict casualties in the process. Are you familiar with phrase "Pyrrhic victory"? Actually it doesn't even apply in this case because the Japanese still lost.
 

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montalban said:
You're missing Japan's strategy at that time.

Japan's strategy had ceased being the gaining of possessions to gaining time.

By inflicting heavy losses they had hoped to weaken America's resolve. This same tactic worked in Vietnam
Even so, the Vietnamese were considerably smarter with their forces than the Imperial Japanese military at the end of WWII. They were also much more diplomatically savvy. The famous Tet Offensive, however, was a major blunder militarily speaking, and the Northern leadership were very lucky that the propaganda/ psychological effects of the offensive lasted much longer than its military gains.
 

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montalban said:
vamrat said:
The US has gotten a bad reputation in the war.  Either you have over the top trumpet-fanfare-soundtrack films making them out to be Captain America clones, or you have them denigrated by their foes.  Many American soldiers did not have the experience of their British, German, Russian, or Japanese counterparts.  Hell, even the Italians were in the war first.  But there were many examples of exceptional American units.  The 101st Airborne at Bastonge, the 442nd Regimental Combat Group in ...everywhere they fought.  (These were the children of Japanese immigrants.)  The various armoured forces under Patton at various times.  Yes, the material lend-leased by the US to various powers were instrumental to allied victory, but you also cannot discount the roles American soldiers played in the various fronts on which they fought.

The British were the most "traditional" of the forces fighting.  You get a lot of respect for the British in reading reports written by the Germans.  (Though, typically little respect is spared for their leadership...whether the author is American, German, or even a New Zealander...)   And they were fighting from Day two or three of the war up until the Japanese surrender.



To understand the causes of the Japanese defeat, one needs to look no further than to Admiral Yamamoto who said that the Japanese would win the war against the US in 6 months or there would be no chance for victory.  After his death he was proven correct.  The US had more production and were not just going to give up like the Japanese high command expected.  No matter how costly it was, the US was a relentless foe against the Japanese.  And we often forget, the Japanese weren't only fighting the US Marines in island hopping campaigns.  For starts, there were more divisions of US Army fighting than there were the more popularly depicted Marines.  In addition, they were fighting the Australians in New Guinea, US-backed local forces in the Philippines, the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh in Indochine, the British and Indians in Burma - yes, 2.5 million Indians fought in the war, various Chinese factions and Korean nationalists, and finally the Soviets in Manchuria right before the war and in the last month or so in 1945.  These great odds were arrayed against them and they never really adapted new technology at an acceptable rate.  The Japanese faced the Russians in 1945 with much of the same equipment they fought the Russians with in 1939...with the expected results.




Oh, and as a side note, bonsai charges are the worst tactics ever developed.  I mean seriously, who ever won a war by tossing little trees at their opponents?
Although I am not a fan of Bernard Montgomery, the British got a bad press in the US. Immediately following D-Day the British set about a non-glorious grinding down operation outside Caen, drawing in massive German forces upon themselves to allow the Americans to break out further west and do a long sweep around to almost encircle the Germans. The Americans were the hammer to the British-Canadian anvil.

However in the press it looked more impressive to see Americans make sweeping gains in territory rather than note just how many forces were facing the British.

Douglas MacArthur – to me a terribly over-rated general had his press group in the Pacific theatre in his hand. If the Americans won a victory it was reported as an American victory. If Australia won a victory it was reported as an American and Allied victory.

MacArthur thought Australian forces poor during the Kokoda campaign because he was based thousands of kilometres away in Melbourne and had no real grasp of the problems in New Guinea where there are massive mountains in the Owen Stanley Ranges. For him a small distance on the map; for the Aussies, huge distances up and down tremendous mountains.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokoda_Track_campaign

The Americans performed poorly at Buna and Gona. MacArthur sacked US general Edwin F. Harding. Whilst Americans performed badly the Australians did not.

The ship HMAS Canberra was sunk of Guadalcanal in the Battle of Savo Island. It is reckoned mainly due to American fault – possibly

“Several personnel from Canberra believe that USS Bagley inadvertently torpedoed the cruiser”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Canberra_(D33)#Loss

The US ended up naming a ship USS Canberra – the only US ship to be named after a non-American capital.
Keep in mind that I was not going for the trumpet fanfare "America, **** Yeah!" approach.  Only pointing out that we weren't just a zerg farm for WWII.  (And by extension, that the Russians weren't the zerg rush.)

I am a little familiar with the Ozzies in Guinea, and their sacrifices.  And it wasn't just MacArthur who wasted Oceanic lives.  In the fighting in Italy in 1944 the Kiwis got tired of having their lives wasted by incompetent British leadership and the commanding officer of the NZ Division, told the Pommes that at a certain casualty cap his men would pull out an go home, regardless of the military situation.  They would fight bravely up until that point, but to him, national survival and post-war economics meant more than yet another hill in Italy.
 

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Iconodule said:
montalban said:
You're missing Japan's strategy at that time.

Japan's strategy had ceased being the gaining of possessions to gaining time.

By inflicting heavy losses they had hoped to weaken America's resolve. This same tactic worked in Vietnam
Even so, the Vietnamese were considerably smarter with their forces than the Imperial Japanese military at the end of WWII. They were also much more diplomatically savvy. The famous Tet Offensive, however, was a major blunder militarily speaking, and the Northern leadership were very lucky that the propaganda/ psychological effects of the offensive lasted much longer than its military gains.
They were different sorts of wars.  The Japanese were willing to fight us in open combat.  More often than not, the Vietnamese were not.  When they did fight us, like in Ia Drang, Hue City, and as you mentioned in the Tet, the US was typically victorious, and IIRC the casualty figures were often in the 1:10 range.  Brokaw was the best general that the Vietnamese had.  When he declared the war over, it was done in all but name.
 

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montalban said:
J Michael said:
vamrat said:
Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
One of the characters in Michael Crichton's book The Rising Sun stated that there are three ways of viewing the Japanese.  Some study them and wish to emulate them in every way.  Others are filled with disgust and loathing towards them.  Fewer understand them and accept their cultural differences as they are.
How easy it is to demonize and loathe those whom we don't understand, rather than trying to understand them.  But, hey....it does make it easier to kill them if it comes to that.  ::)
And yet political correctness goes too far too

We used to celebrate V-E Day and V-J Day (Victory in Europe and, Victory over Japan respectively)

In the 1990s our government quietly changed V-J Day to V-P Day (Victory in the Pacific) as if Japan was not our primary enemy in that theatre of operations

Also, Star Trek had a sequence where the USS Enterpirse and the USS Yamato are involved because the producers wished to note in the future we all get along; a ship with an antecedent in a US WWII vessel, and a ship with an antecedent in the Japanese Imperial Navy. I thought - what next? The USS Heinrich Himmler?
Well, Star Trek is science fiction/fantasy.  Well, for most people, anyway  ;).

Political correctness almost always goes too far.  Seems to be inherent in its nature.
 

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Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
The etiqueete is very much different.  

Saving face is central to their ethos and is extreme. I have stories about how crazy they over this.

They have an exaggerated and extreme group mentality. They have little use for Western individualism. Your membership and enthusiastic participation is central to you life.

Their hierarchical structure has a totally different patten. .Many jobs expect you to stay at work until very late and then go get a drink..not optional. There is a problem in Japan with people dropping from exhaustion.

I had a good friend who worked in Japan for 10 years. He was very bitter about his experience. He said they will always be polite to you but they will never ever ever ever accept you.

My Buddhist teacher was an American and a professional translator of ancient Japanese Buddhists documents. Also bitter about his dealings with them. I was invited to go there several times by my group, all expenses paid ..which is very nice. But my American teacher told me they wanted to just "walk the dog"..They wanted to show off their American follower which helps to salve their feelings of inferiority to us.

oh and when you talk about WW2 with them you may discover that all they care about is Hiroshima. They make it sound like we started the War by dropping the bomb. Their consciousness begins and ends with them getting nuked.
 

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Marc1152 said:
Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
The etiqueete is very much different.  

Saving face is central to their ethos and is extreme. I have stories about how crazy they over this.

They have an exaggerated and extreme group mentality. They have little use for Western individualism. Your membership and enthusiastic participation is central to you life.

Their hierarchical structure has a totally different patten. .Many jobs expect you to stay at work until very late and then go get a drink..not optional. There is a problem in Japan with people dropping from exhaustion.

I had a good friend who worked in Japan for 10 years. He was very bitter about his experience. He said they will always be polite to you but they will never ever ever ever accept you.

My Buddhist teacher was an American and a professional translator of ancient Japanese Buddhists documents. Also bitter about his dealings with them. I was invited to go there several times by my group, all expenses paid ..which is very nice. But my American teacher told me they wanted to just "walk the dog"..They wanted to show off their American follower which helps to salve their feelings of inferiority to us.

oh and when you talk about WW2 with them you may discover that all they care about is Hiroshima. They make it sound like we started the War by dropping the bomb. Their consciousness begins and ends with them getting nuked.
Hey, better to be polite and not accept you than to be rude and ignorant and not accept you.

So, the Japanese have a different culture and different sensibilities.  Not every culture can be as cool and accepting and warm and wonderful as "western" culture  ::).  This does not make them "Borg" (since they don't, apparently according to your friend, accept or assimilate others), it does not make them inhuman, and it is no reason to criticize, much less demonize them in any way, shape, or form.

Try to imagine how Americans might feel about WW2 if *we* had been nuked....twice.  I guess we might be a little sensitive about it.

What seems clear to me from what you write is that you don't really understand Japanese culture at any deep level.  Not that there's any need or reason for you to if you don't want to.

I, too, have a friend who spent many years in Japan, first to learn the language, and then ended up working there for quite a long time.  Her experience, once she made the effort to learn about Japanese culture, etc, was totally different, in a very positive way, from what you and your friend describe.  Which goes to show how careful we must be about making generalizations about whole cultures and peoples.
 

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J Michael said:
Marc1152 said:
Iconodule said:
Marc1152 said:
I have dealt extensively with the Japanese...
They are Borg.. Really.. They have a hive mentality. They are very much different than we are ( less so these days of course).
They may as well be from another planet.
And there are other people who have dealt extensively with Japanese who will say you are wrong. From my own experience, I would agree with them.
The etiqueete is very much different.  

Saving face is central to their ethos and is extreme. I have stories about how crazy they over this.

They have an exaggerated and extreme group mentality. They have little use for Western individualism. Your membership and enthusiastic participation is central to you life.

Their hierarchical structure has a totally different patten. .Many jobs expect you to stay at work until very late and then go get a drink..not optional. There is a problem in Japan with people dropping from exhaustion.

I had a good friend who worked in Japan for 10 years. He was very bitter about his experience. He said they will always be polite to you but they will never ever ever ever accept you.

My Buddhist teacher was an American and a professional translator of ancient Japanese Buddhists documents. Also bitter about his dealings with them. I was invited to go there several times by my group, all expenses paid ..which is very nice. But my American teacher told me they wanted to just "walk the dog"..They wanted to show off their American follower which helps to salve their feelings of inferiority to us.

oh and when you talk about WW2 with them you may discover that all they care about is Hiroshima. They make it sound like we started the War by dropping the bomb. Their consciousness begins and ends with them getting nuked.
Hey, better to be polite and not accept you than to be rude and ignorant and not accept you.

So, the Japanese have a different culture and different sensibilities.  Not every culture can be as cool and accepting and warm and wonderful as "western" culture  ::).  This does not make them "Borg" (since they don't, apparently according to your friend, accept or assimilate others), it does not make them inhuman, and it is no reason to criticize, much less demonize them in any way, shape, or form.

Try to imagine how Americans might feel about WW2 if *we* had been nuked....twice.  I guess we might be a little sensitive about it.

What seems clear to me from what you write is that you don't really understand Japanese culture at any deep level.  Not that there's any need or reason for you to if you don't want to.

I, too, have a friend who spent many years in Japan, first to learn the language, and then ended up working there for quite a long time.  Her experience, once she made the effort to learn about Japanese culture, etc, was totally different, in a very positive way, from what you and your friend describe.  Which goes to show how careful we must be about making generalizations about whole cultures and peoples.


They are Borg because they have a Group Mentality..

They take no responsibility for WW2. All many of them  are conscious of is Hiroshima, which was well justified IMHO.

But thanks for jumping in. Your participation is always something to look forward to.
 
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