Germ Warfare and Panda Diplomacy in Tokyo: Unit 731 Excavations

This is a cross-post from my Japanese War Crimes blog. — AC Unit 731, the bacteriological warfare research wing of the Kanto Army in Manchuria, has been discussed in Japan with varying degrees of postwar intensity, but this discovery in Tokyo last week (via the Guardian) seems poised to bring the activities — and the difficult subject of history in Sino-Japanese relations — back out … Continue reading Germ Warfare and Panda Diplomacy in Tokyo: Unit 731 Excavations

Transmediale Infusion

One of the beauties of living in an existence torn between the 19th century (hemmed by Prussian systems, Schumannian aufschwungen, the epistolary desire) and the 21st century (all the while examining the positive wreckage of the 20th century) is that occasionally you can show up in the 21st century — in the present! — and just be there.  And, perchance, to dream about the future…to … Continue reading Transmediale Infusion

Postwar Meditation: Berlin/Tokyo

Postwar is post-nothing: it is the beginning of something.   “Ach!”, trained instinct cries, “but what of ‘tragen’, to carry heavy burdens, of its simple past  trug?  Do not ponderous and blackened memories determine future projections?”  No {we say, affected with blithe mannerisms}, because the burdens have been bombed away.  Digs, belongings, spouses, families, pensions: the war wiped it all away, and one has to begin … Continue reading Postwar Meditation: Berlin/Tokyo

North Korea News / Dispatches on Korean & Japanese Culture

The Choson Ilbo reports, via an epic poem written by a defector, on a sensationalist story of how one of Kim Jong-Il’s alleged lovers, an actress whom he was supposedly showering with gifts from Europe, fell in love with a pianist and attempted to kill herself in Pyongyang. The end of the story indicates this story’s merging with romantic fiction/tabloid news, but in general it … Continue reading North Korea News / Dispatches on Korean & Japanese Culture