co prosperity sphere


Heh, I think it was then that they really realised that their empires were on borrowed time- and that he wasn’t the old America anymore- the old America who wasn’t a superpower

more historical!aph- based off a doodle i used to help me remember facts for a history exam! and because the asian countries deserve more attention.

In any case, there was really a huge shift in power between the old European empires to the United States. Europe was a mess after WW2 and desperately needed financial aid- the US funded this massive loan called the Marshall Plan. Cold War!America did a lot of hideous things- but this is one example where he arguably lived up to his ideals- partly because ordinary Americans supported the Indonesians, and also because they coincided with his interests. The Indonesian nationalists fighting the Dutch were anti-communist, so the Americans wanted them to just take power, as they didn’t think Dutch rule could last and didn’t want the instability to create the opportunity for a communist insurgency. 

The conditions of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia really were quite deplorable- to the extent that even Dutch citizens back home urged reforms (which didn’t really happen meaningfully). Politically, they were also pretty repressive. As a result, the local nationalists flourished when the Japanese expelled the Dutch, because Japan tried to encourage Indonesian nationalism to promote its propaganda of an “Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere”, against the colonial powers (who were all on the side of the Allies). So, the Dutch returned to find a colony that was now willing to fight for independence

Presenting the third annual all-comics issue of Lumpen magazine, including comic work by groundbreaking local and international artists. This issue has a loose theme of “Radio” which correlates to the launch 105.5 WLPN, which is a brand new non-commercial radio station based out of Bridgeport that will showcase underground and innovative programming and feature distinctly curated music from a variety of genres as well as cultural commentary, not unlike the variety of comics and artists in Lumpen magazine.

With comics by:

David Alvarado, Sharmila Banerjee, Nate Beaty, Ben Bertin, Kevin Budnik, Andy Burkholder, Jessica Campbell, Danielle Chenette, Mark Connery, Krystal Difronzo, Margaux Duseigneur, Edie Fake, Sarah Ferrick, Leif Goldberg, Keith Herzik, Andrew Holmquist, Clay Hickson, Lyra Hill, Emily Hutchings, Juliacks, Blaise Larmee, Sarah Leitten, Ben Marcus, Marieke McClendon, Ian Mcduffie, Max Morris, Paul Nudd, Onsmith, Jason Overby, George Porteus, Grant Reynolds, Eric Rivera, Aaron Renier, Joe Tallarico, Mike Taylor Matthew Thurber, Tim Tvedt, Two Tone Comix, Lale Westvind, Gina Wynbrandt, Leslie Wiebeler, Mickey Zachilli

There will also be an art exhibition including many contributors to the issue on Friday, October 9th from 7-11pm at the Co-prosperity Sphere (3219 S. Morgan St. in Chicago)

Copies of the magazine and refreshments will be available at the opening.

Toshio Tamogami: “Japan was not the aggressor, but the liberator. Japanese soldiers fought valiantly to expel the hated white imperialists who had subjugated Asian peoples for 200 years.” [x]

Japanese nationalist revisionists are running wild. Nice. The revisionist discourse is always all about depicting WW2!Japan as liberating Asia from European imperialism. As if Asian nations can’t also be brutally imperialist, as if Asian civilisations haven’t been amongst humanity’s oldest empires. Honestly, the reason why my relatives cheered when the British returned was because Japanese rule was nothing short of a reign of terror. So a lot of relief was not so much because European rule was awesome but because Japanese rule was that terrible. (As you know though, much of the former European Asian colonies all demanded independence after the war.) 

There was nothing resembling the ‘Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere’- the warped name they gave their empire. Our families were all Asians, sure, but everyone had to bow to the Empire of Japan. I know there’s a lot of talk about how there are issues with Germany’s apology for its past but they’ve done a hell lot more than Japan. There’s always been constant denials about the atrocities, always the claims that the Asian countries under Japanese rule were exaggerating them to squeeze Japan for money.


On this day seventy years ago began  one of the most gruesomeand tragic battles that befell the Philippines. It was not because the battle was not won. It was. But it was won at a great price.

A mere two generations ago, one would hear from the elderly a Manila that was shining free city of the Orient. Many people have called it by various names. Manila the Pearl of the Orient—reminiscent of that line that Rizal wrote on his Mi Ultimo Adios. Manila, the Queen of the Pacific, as was so named by an early American documentary on the City of Manila.

A photo of the pre-war Manila

The city was probably one of the best cities in Asia at the time. When the Imperial Japanese forces conquered the city on January 2, 1942, they exclaimed that it was indeed more advanced than any city they had in their homeland. No one could attest that Manila, situated perfectly on one of the best harbors in the world, with one of the best entrepots on that side of the Pacific, was a true cosmopolitan city, and the unchallenged capital of the country.

It had been three years since Japan had occupied the country. The city in its paled glory had been languishing in food supplies, as the price of rice and other commodities skyrocketed to new heights due to extreme inflation.

The struggling Japanese Empire, still resolute in holding onto its illusion of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere despite the fact that the Allied forces have made a foothold in Leyte since October 1944, was prepared to sacrifice its soldiers die—lest the Americans make Manila a base of operations to launch an invasion of the Japanese homeland.

At around this time, civilians all over the city wonder at the curious structures that the Japanese have set up on all the street corners and intersections of Manila. Unknown to the civilians, these structures, pillboxes and minefields, are hidden alcoves were Imperial Japanese soldiers would shoot from a slit opening of these boxes to kill anything on sight.

At daybreak, smoke rose up from the burning warehouses at the Manila North Harbor, torched by the Japanese, as the Allied forces, both coming from the north (from Lingayen) and the south (from Nasugbu, Batangas) encountered fierce Japanese resistance in Novaliches and Cavite respectively. 

As the city impatiently awaited the coming of the liberation forces, it was the Filipino guerilla Manuel Colayco who led the Allied northern forces to the University of Santo Tomas. The oldest Western-style university in Asia have been used by the Japanese as an American internment camp where 1,500 malnourished American prisoners-of-war are encamped. Since the electricity had been turned off by the Japanese due to American air raids, the campus was in pitch black darkness.

 At around 7:30 to 8:00 pm shots were fired near the gates of UST. Grenades were thrown. The Allied troops finally reached UST at around that time (AVH Hartendorp say it was at 8:40 pm).

The hero, Manuel Colayco, however didn’t make it. A Japanese sniper shot him to his death, but he died a hero. The fighting stretched all the way to Far Eastern University, a stonesthrow away from Bilibid Prison, another POW camp. FEU was heavily fortified by the Imperial Japanese forces, but it could not be helped.

The liberation forces finally arrive in the city and no one, not even the despotic Imperial Japanese soldiers could stop it. 

It seemed that the city would be freed in a couple of days. But the worst is yet to come.

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Manila 1945, the gruelling battle for the liberation of the city that lasted from February 3 to March 3, 1945.

A Proposal for White History Month.

Since I was a child, I would always hear around Feb 1: “where is white history month?”  It got even louder as we began to recognize Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), National Hispanic Heritage Month (September-October), and others I’m certain I just can’t remember off the top of my head. 

Naturally, my gut reaction was to say “you learn about history the 11 other months of the year,” which is true to a point.  We gloss over many things that would be included in [white history] in the same way that if someone showed me “2+x=4” and rather than have me solve for “x” they simply told me the expression was true, that I’d be “correct” in understanding the general statement.  2+x does, indeed, equal four. 

What is the x though, in the case of white history?

Slavery? Genocide? Colonialism? Racism? Oppression? Wars of conquest? Wars of retribution?  Religious sectarianism? Terrorism?

Well, don’t worry.  We can define “x” as “all of the above.”

I’d say that White History Month should be dedicated to delving deeply into how it was that the other 10 months of the year got to be so popular and famous.  Why does Columbus have a day? Why do tobacco corporations have histories so filled with profit and low labor costs?  What led into the second World War and the first?  What was Japan’s motivation for launching its Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere?

Let’s really get down to what it is to be “white” in this month and really spend our time exposing the differences between the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers.  Let’s stop people from being able to claim ignorance on matters of their own history.  For the same reason why Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin should be relevant to a black person, why not have white people also understand the gravity of that comparison?

Now you may say, “Well, I’m not responsible for this because my ancestors did it,” and you know what? Sure.  I won’t even say you should feel guilty for still profiting from the systems that placed others lower than yourself while simultaneously bemoaning the existence of equality programs. In fact, it will help you understand how funding white interests in one part of the world may in years later come around to be a reason for why “American snipers” are fighting there in the modern day.

I want white people to learn about their history.  Not just the glossy parts that shine when inspected, but what actually went into making who they are. 

There’s absolutely no reason why white people should be solving for x in, “you+x=advantage/privilege/capitalism,” because it’s part of what makes you who you are.

And you know what? I really think it’s your time to shine. Learn about who you are and why the rest of the world views you the way it does.

anonymous asked:

Hey, I was wondering what you thought about Himaryua? I have heard in a couple places that he is a Japanese nationalist and that his ideas about Japanese colonialism benefitting continental Asia have come through in the comic. Do you think this is true, and if so how do you think we should then look at hetalia as a whole?

I think you’re confusing Himaruya with the author of SNK Isayama…What you’ve described sounds like what a twitter account belonging to Isayama apparently said. It’s with SNK that I’ve heard people say the entire series was promoting imperialist ideas. (As I wrote in another post, I didn’t see that in SNK as much as I found Isayama’s alleged comments offensive. That’s why I’ve said I personally don’t really think reading SNK is endorsing Japanese imperialism, but I’d like people to be aware of these issues surrounding Isayama’s views and not to worship him as being perfect.) 

Himaruya’s portrayal of SKorea did (understandably) raise controversy years back because Koreans felt he was portrayed inaccurately and they felt comic strips where he seemed to view Japan positively was offensive due to Korea being forced to be a Japanese colony before WW2. I.e so it’s touchy because WW2 Japanese propaganda portrays the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity sphere as a benevolent Asian brotherhood under Japanese leadership. Also, the original series was called “Axis Powers Hetalia” = set during WW2, which is a bit misleading because actually it kind of jumps around in time and a lot of the strips with Korea + Japan don’t look to be during WW2. I don’t think Himaruya intended it to be political but the fact is he’s Japanese…and well Asia has a very complicated relationship with Japan due to WW2 (as much as there’s so much economic ties today). It’s easy to see how it becomes political. We consume a lot of Japanese popular culture and have a good impression of the country in terms of quality, seeing it as a great place to visit etc, but few things get people more angry than when Japanese politicians try to play down WW2. 

But as a descendant of people who lived under Japanese rule, personally? I don’t sense the comic propagating the idea of Japanese imperialism benefiting Asia, and while SKorea was initially not well-portrayed, this seemed due more to lack of tact in him not realising how people might take it. I mean I’m quite hard-pressed to see how the comics suggest Japanese rule was good? Especially because one of the earliest strips was about how China still has a big scar from when Japan attacked him (which seems to be a reference to the 1937 Sino-Japanese War, and this is a big thing Japanese nationalists always try to whitewash). Imo, Japan is portrayed with as much stereotypes as the other countries, and has been the subject of jokes in many of the strips (portrayed as an eccentric recluse, being overly serious, a pervert with strange fetishes etc).

I’ll be honest- I enjoy the series because I think it’s funny and I like the concept of exploring history this way. Still, to be clear, I don’t ever want to propagate the idea any form of media- like APH is totally “unproblematic”. I think we should respect it if people don’t like it. Seeing that it’s like an anime version of those political cartoons that personify countries. Not everyone will be comfortable with that, and that’s fine. There are parts of the fandom who have done offensive things and I acknowledge that’s a problem fellow fans must deal with. But I enjoy the series also because of the many people in the fandom who make creative light-hearted fanart about funny facts. Many others have also made fanart that handles serious historical events with the respect it deserves, using the APH personifications to lend a more human face to a gigantic sweeping event. So that’s what I like about it, and we should always read it critically. But i do disagree that this series endorses ideas of Japanese colonialism.


Chicago’s DIY scene makes space for geniuses, freaks and weirdos

There’s a show every night in Chicago, regardless of the season. Under-the-radar concert spaces range from massive warehouses to old department stores (like the Co-Prosperity Sphere) to people’s basements. Punk out and you’ll miss the next cool thing. But it comes with a price: You will get involved.

In collaboration with @chevroletexperience

Norakuro-kun (top right) clinches it for the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere in this heartwarming scene from *the* manga of the 1930s.

(Norakuro, Suihō Tagawa, c. 1937; translation from Kramers Ergot 6, 2006)