eastern-Asia

9

Mermaid moodboard : Merdragons

Those mermaids, all female, are born from rivers and oceans; from dragons. They serve them, tend them, help them; spend a season roaming the sky, the other roaming water. They live in submarine palaces, delicate and sophisticated. Their tail looks like a dragon’s only more aquatic. Those mermaids are proud yet loving to those they deem worthy of attention and often they help humans crossing seas and rivers. They mostly live in Eastern Asia; China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and their life expectancy is of a thousand years. Seeing one’s tail in the water betokens good weather and gentle currents.

You know what upsets me? The complete lack of Asian AUs in the HP fandom.

I’ve heard loads of black Hermione, Latino or Indian Harry, and I think they’re all great and lovely ideas, but I have not once heard of an Asian AU (Yes I do realize Indians are Asians but pls chill for a sec), and it makes me so sad because I feel like I’ll never have a place to belong. So bring in the Chinese Hermione or Korean Harry AUs. Please include us.

Anyways so here’s to all us eastern Asians that don’t look like THAT. You know what I’m talking about. I promise no one thinks you’re ugly cause of your eye shape. They’re nice whether you’re monolidded or double lidded or maybe even both. Don’t matter. You’re fckin cute. Most of us don’t have skin that’s super pale and flawless either. That’s alright. Tan all you want dude. Enjoy the goddamn sun. It doesn’t lessen your beauty. And listen. I used to hate my nose and my lips so much but you just gotta accept those guys as part of your face. Those dinky lil noses are fake half the time anyways. No one gives a crap whether your lips are thick or thin. Either way they look cute. So like stop avoiding going outside cause you’re scared to get darker. You don’t have to worry so much about putting foundation on the edges of your lips or whatever. You’re fucking hot

non Asians can reblog
Type of flowers for each zodiac sign.
  • (All this is taken from the internet).
  • Aries: Sunflowers - A beautiful plant native of North America where the old and present indigenous communities consider it a sacred plant since it rotates throughout the day to orient towards the sun. These are flowers that can reach six meters, of color orange-yellow in the center of which are created the seeds that once ripe can be consumed as pipes.
  • Taurus: Tulips - Tulips are the classic plants appreciated by florists and plant lovers. They come from Asia and Europe and are also present in some areas of the Middle East,Varieties of colors that range from yellow to plum to red or bronze.
  • Gemini: Carnations - Carnation is native to the Arctic of North America and South Africa, but is now grown in many more parts of the world. There are different types of carnation flowers: common, Chinese, poet, crowned and rock.As a curiosity, Chinese is the most admired by lovers of gardening and the city of Cadiz has one of the largest.
  • Cancer: Margaritas - Daisies are wild plants that are often found in lawns or gardens. They are located anywhere in the world although they originated in North Africa, Europe and Central Asia. The petals of the daisies have a white color and an elongated shape, with a bud in the middle that is of usually golden or yellow.
  • Leo: Daffodils - Daffodils are really beautiful flowers whose origin is established in Europe and especially in the Mediterranean, although they are also found in China and Central Asia. They usually bloom in spring, but some species do in autumn and often need a warm climate to grow well.
  • Virgo: Dahlias - Beautiful flowers are many, but few are as elegant as the dahlias. These are plants that They are cultivated since a bulb. They are a very appreciated plant because they present really beautiful and lively tones. It is a garden plant that needs little care.
  • Libra: Hydrangeas - Hydrangea is an ornamental plant from southern and eastern Asia, areas of China, Korea And also from Indonesia and the Himalayas, as well as from different parts of America.
  • There are many varieties or classes of flowers, but they are usually shrubs up to three meters, others are small trees and others are lianas.
  • Scorpio: Lilies - Lily is a plant belonging to the lily family growing in Europe, Japan, South India and the Philippines. This plant can also be found in the US and Canada, especially in prairies and mountain forests, although they can be adapted to many conditions. You will find them in white, orange or red tones and with a scent that characterizes them.
  • Sagittarius: Roses - Roses are natural from North America, Europe and Asia. There are three types of rose flowers, classified in roses scrub, bush, climbers. There are a large number of different kinds of roses and their colors are really variable, ranging from white to red through orange, yellow and pink.
  • Capricorn: Cherry Blossoms - The cherry blossoms are one of the symbols of the well-known Japanese culture, who also call it Sakura. It is a plant that blooms during the spring. The rest of the year the cherry trees are covered by leaves, naked in winter and in spring they appear full of flowers with an appearance of clouds of beautiful pink tones.
  • Aquarius: Lotus flowers - The lotus flower is an aquatic plant whose leaves are floating. The leaves can measure up to 100 centimeters in diameter while the flowers can add up to 23 centimeters. They are often found in southern Russia, Azerbaijan, Eastern Siberia, China, India or Japan, although they are now found all over the world in white, hot pink or pale pink.
  • Pisces: lavender - The lavender plant has a wide variety of species. The origin of this plant is in the area of the Mediterranean and occur mainly in the islands known as the Canaries and also in the Azores. This perennial plant has its outbreak every year. It also has leaves with sharp features and has beautiful flowers of bilabial type. These flowers are very blue in color and also present in violet tones. The flowers are presented in groups and shaped like spikes.
The Truth About Learning Japanese

(I’m going to start with a random side note: If I ever get a book deal to write Japanese primer, I’m going to call it I Eat Cake Everyday: A Complete Guide to Japanese with Stupid Sentences.)

It’s been a while since we’ve just talked, so I wanted to just take a moment to do that.

I think every Japanese platform at one point write an article about “the deep truth” of learning Japanese, claiming to give you the golden key that you need to become fluent in only 6 months or 1 year or whatever. 

The argument for those kinds of posts isn’t hard to understand: People are fundamentally similar. If people are fundamentally similar, it is very likely that works for me will will work for you. Thus, if this works for me, it will work for you. This does work for me. Therefore, it will work for you (most likely.)

This is why all articles start with something like, “I guarantee you that I’m no genius. [Insert daily task that the writer struggles with on a daily basis.] I’m just a regular person that tried out a few things until I found a winning formula.”

I, personally, want to do my own take on this kind of article. I won’t offer a golden key, but I’ll talk about learning Japanese.


1. Japanese is Coded in the Most Inefficient Writing System in the World

Kanji, the logographs that are the bane of all Japanese-learner’s existence, comes from China. Kanji itself, 漢字, means “Chinese characters.” Kanji were invented to suit the needs of the Chinese language (from way back when, before Mandarin/Standard Chinese was a thing.) Japanese, on the other hand, is a language isolate, and it is not related to Chinese. So the use of these Chinese characters has over time been used in different ways for different words and with different readings- for Kanji tend to have multiple readings, sometimes being just 2 and at other times 8. 

In Eastern Asia, the use of Chinese characters was widespread. It was used in Korea, in Vietnam, in Japan, to some varying extent in Malaysia, and the territories these nations conquered.

Korea developed an ingenious writing system called Hangeul, which now has all but totally substituted Chinese characters. Vietnam adopted the Roman alphabet with many diacritics. Japanese, well, Japanese developed two writing systems based on morae. These two writing systems could be used to write out the entirety of Japanese. Kanji is not really necessary. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that there are so many homophones such that even with context one could not make head or tails out of what was being said. 

So, Japanese does have a potential unique writing system that is easy to learn (it’s easier than Hangeul in my opinion), but it does not use it exclusively because of cultural reasons. Kanji is just hardwired into the culture.

But here’s where my personal opinion and advice come in: If you have to choose between loving Kanji and hating it, hate it. Don’t romanticize it. Don’t go “above and beyond” what you have to know because of your love for Kanji. Just learn what you have to learn, and leave it at that.

“How many Kanji must someone learn?” The official common use Kanji list (the Jōyō Kanji) lists 2,136 Kanji. How many readings are among these Kanji? Somewhere around 3,869. There are also some variations on Kanji that one should keep in mind and some Kanji that one sees only in names, so add around 400 Kanji to the official list and about 400 new readings.

“How many Kanji must I learn for my first year of Japanese?” All of them. That’s my honest advice. Don’t aim to learn only a few Kanji. If you’re going to learn Kanji, learn them all. Think in that mindset. As soon as you decide you want to learn Japanese, work on Kanji. Before you enter a classroom and learn your first few greetings and whatnot, make sure you know all the common use Kanji, or at least that you’re well on your way to knowing all the Kanji.


2. Language Learning is an Intensive Process

Learning a language is a process that scientists haven’t quite been able to describe accurately. We do know, nevertheless, that it’s a heck of a lot different from learning chemistry or carpentry or bicycling. 

In the Western world, there is this idea that one can learn a language in a classroom, normally as a subject period, with periods lasting somewhere from 50 to 70 minutes. Here’s the truth: it doesn’t work very well. (There are historic reasons for this way of learning a language, but we can talk about that some other time.) The success rates of language acquisition in classrooms is ridiculously low. This does not mean that language classes are bad: but it means that it just isn’t enough.

There are many reasons why learning a language in and of itself may be hard. It’d take forever to talk about all of them. 

But let’s talk a bit about lexicons. A lexicon, here, refers to the dictionary in your brain where you store the words you know. If you’re monolingual- you have a standard dictionary in your brain with a word and definitions. If you were raised bilingual, then you have one lexicon with two words and definitions. That is to say, if you’re an English-Spanish speaker, then you have “cat” and “gato” in the same space in your brain and you know that what applies to one applies to the other. Then, depending on your fluency and use, you may have two supplementary dictionaries where you store all the information about words that don’t exist in the other language and idioms and expressions and things like that. 

Now, if you’re an English speaker and, say, you want to learn German, part of what you’ll learn to do is to process your English lexicon entries into German. What that means is that you learn to engineer English words into German. “Father” turns into “Vater,” “to drink” turns into “trinken,” “Love” turns into “Liebe,” etc. So the words that have no relation with English (the non-cognates), turn into a supplementary lexicon and everything else is put through a mental processor. 

Because the brain can do this is the reason why many people in Europe can speak many languages. The fact that someone can speak Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian, and French is not terribly impressive. The overlap in words (and in grammar) is so immense that what you’re doing is processing one language into another and you’re guaranteed an astonishing success rate.

Japanese, however, is different because it’s a language isolate. You can’t process one language into another. You have to learn words one by one. That takes time. It takes repetition. Memorization is as much an active process as it is a subconscious process. When people talk about the benefits of “immersion,” what they’re talking about most of the time is putting your brain into survival mode, i.e. either you learn all these words (and grammar stuff) or else you will not be able to survive and thus you will die. That is one way of doing it, and if you do not choose this path you have to commit some serious time to this. I believe that if one knows around 5,000 of the most frequently used words in any given language, one is guaranteed to know at least 95% of all the words one will hear/read in a day (given that one doesn’t go read a super technical manual on how to calibrate a nuclear reactor or something like that.) So, the question becomes how will you memorize 5,000 words? How long will that take? If one learns 10 a day, then it’s 500 days, and if one learns 50 a day, it’s 100 days. 

The tradeoff when it comes to speed is that the faster you learn something, the faster you forget. (When you relearn something, it should be faster nevertheless.) So how much time will you commit to learning a language? How will you follow that up? These are important questions.


3. Japanese Media is Considerably Insular

Japan isn’t like the United States. The United States wants every nation to know what music it likes, what fashion it wears, what it believes ideologically and socially, etc. The U.S. is everywhere.

South Korea, recently, is everywhere. K-Pop, K-Dramas, K-SNL, K-Beauty. If you want to know what Korea is up to, it’s pretty easy to find out. They want you know! 

Japan… eh. Japan is pretty good at making anime available globally. People know about Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon and the Mighty Atom and all that. When it comes to dramas and movies and tv shows, they’re not quite interested in that. Ages ago I wrote a post on the misconception of “Whacky Japanese Game Shows,” where I basically explained that most of those shows aren’t game shows but segments on variety shows, the only person in my mind having totally insane game shows being Beat Takeshi.

Okay, fine, what does this mean? This means two important things. First, one’s expose to the language outside of going to Japan or talking to Japanese people will be based highly on anime, which is fine but there are other styles of expressing oneself. One needs a bit of variety. If one goes the information/news route, then one is exposing oneself to something very formal and literary, but dull. Second, it means that when people teach Japanese, they’re going to assume that one wants to speak Japanese for business purposes. This sounds strange to say, but let me put it like this: Japanese is an important part of the world economy and STEM and anime, on the other hand, is not a sufficiently large part of Japanese culture so that the Japanese can figure you want to learn Japanese for that sole purpose. If you want to speak Japanese, then it must be for business purposes (and we’ll consider academics to be within business.) So you learn Japanese through the perspective of honorific and respectful language. This isn’t a bad thing either, but the desire to make you sound nice will often lead to lies about how Japanese actually works at a grammatical level.

(On the other hand, in South Korea the K-Pop/K-Drama boom is such a big deal that people around the world start learning Korean in hopes of auditioning for the big production companies in hopes of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and hosts.)

So here’s my advice: Once you have your feet wet with Japanese, once you know your Kanji and you know how to analyze a sentence (even if the lexicon isn’t all there yet), look at something that isn’t anime. I recommend movies, a lot of which are quite nice. Okuribito (Departures) was a great movie. An (Red Bean Paste) is a more recent film that was wonderful. Look up some movies. Sit down, and watch them. Watch it with subtitles, so you know what the movie’s about. But watch it a second time and a third time without subtitles. Try to see if you can make out a few sentences, read a few signs that appear in the background, take note of expressions or words you keep hearing. No, you won’t be able to understand the whole film all of a sudden, but it’s something new and something good and the more Japanese you learn, the more you will be able to return to the film and make out. Eventually, you will be able to listen to a sentence, pause the film, and look up the words you don’t know.


4. Learning Japanese Doesn’t Happen with One Method Alone

This is rather obvious, but it’s worth finishing this off with. There is an abundance of book series, CDs, cassettes, and even online resources (our own included.)

A language is greater than any method, than any curriculum, than any teacher. No one source has all the answers. One has to be encouraged from day one to look at many resources.

A library is a language learner’s best friend. Why? Because books can be expensive, and you will probably not need all the resources you dabble into for a long time. So, when you begin learning Japanese, look at the entire Japanese section, order a few famous books through InterLibrary Loan, if you have access to that, and sit down and just read the books, as if they were novels. Don’t memorize a thing. Don’t do the exercises. Just figure out their style, their aims, their perspective. Do read the footnotes! The more footnotes a book has, the more useful it tends to be in the long run. Information that isn’t relevant in Lesson 1 may be absolutely vital in Lesson 10. 

Check out some old books if you can. The way people learn a language today is not the same way they learned it 50 or 100 years ago. The most useful Italian grammar book I ever read was written in the 1800′s. Japanese books published before World War II may have some slightly outdated things, such as the /we/ and /wi/ morae, but they will be good for most of everything else. I’m personally dying to get library privileges again somewhere to be able to look into these, so if I find some good book titles I’ll let you know.

Because a lot of language instruction was, until recently, modeled after the way Greek and Latin was taught, reading some of our own material gets you familiar with the lingo, should you heed my advice. So people like to talk about cases and declensions and conjugations and moods and all that. The works of William George Aston are some of the most important books on Japanese historically. So, if you can find originals of those, please do read them.


So yeah, food for thought

Queen’s Evidence

↠ baekhyun x f!reader; 16.3k; how far will you go to show baekhyun that you did actually care about him?
↠ mafia au; y/n is a little crazy; involves the theme of hanahaki; contains mentions of death, adultery and other themes

“I realised why I kissed you before,” he answers. He swallows thickly and leans his head back. “You’re not like other people that I meet. You fought back against me. You offered a new perspective. I found myself wanting to spend more and more time with you but originally I thought it was because I needed something different but I realised it’s because I needed you.”

Originally posted by xehun

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Foodie Friday: Kombucha

Recipe Credit: Brothers Green Eats

Note: When preparing kombucha, you are handling a live bacteria culture in a fermentation process. Should your culture begin to look and smell questionable, do err on the side of caution so as to avoid turning your tea into vinegar or to avoid introducing outside sources of bacteria.

Yields: 2 Gallons

Ingredients:
-12 Bags Black or Green Tea
-16 cups filtered water
-1.5 cups white sugar
-Large jars (disinfected)
-Cheesecloth
-Airtight, seal-able brewing bottles
-Scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)
-Flavoring agent (recommended fruits, herbs, etc.)

A scoby (the mat of bacteria floating in the jar on the left side of the picture) is a live bacteria culture which breaks down and ferments sweet tea. Scobys are easy to purchase from Amazon - or, if you know somebody who brews kombucha, you can request a scoby from them, as with each fermentation process, the scoby will reproduce and add another layer. It’s recommended that between batches of kombucha, you remove the oldest layer so as to maintain fresh scoby and fresh kombucha. If your first batch does not come out perfect, do not worry! Fermentation takes practice, and with each batch, you will get the hang of it!

1) Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, and steep your tea for about 10 minutes. (You want a very strong brew)

2) Allow the tea to come to room temperature, then transfer into a large jar with the remaining water. Add the sugar and stir to completely dissolve.

3) Add your scoby with some starter kombucha (if you do not have any starter, simply add a little bit of store-bought kombucha - this will increase the acidity and prevent your scoby from dying).

4) Cover the jar with cheesecloth and place in a dark, room temperature place to ferment. (Traditionally, kombucha will be blessed just before setting it aside to ferment). Allow it to sit for 1-2 weeks.

5) After the first ferment, check the kombucha - the color of the brew should have gone from black to golden, and the scoby should appear healthy (no blue, fuzzy bread molds growing on the top layer). If desired, you can check the pH of the kombucha - the goal is 2.5 to 3.5.

6) In your bottles, add some flavoring agents. Remove your scoby from the jar, reserving some of the liquid to help keep it alive. Then fill the bottles with kombucha, leaving a little head space.

7) Allow the bottles to sit for 2-3 days, cracking the top once a day to release excess gas. The kombucha will pressurize and carbonate during this second fermentation.

8) Your kombucha is ready! Refrigerate to halt the fermentation process, and serve cold!

Cook’s Note: When handling your scoby, it’s recommended to do so with clean hands so as to avoid introducing foreign bacteria to the colony. Before handling, wash your hands with a light dish soap (non-antibacterial) or invest in a box of disposable food-safe rubber gloves. This will help prevent your scoby from going bad and will keep the flavors of your kombucha fresh.

Magical Ingredient!

Kombucha has definitely grown in popularity over the last few years, and this is definitely understandable. In addition to its fresh flavors and refreshing fizz, it is also said to have plenty of health benefits - so much so that kombucha has even been called the “elixir of life.”

Here in San Luis, commercially brewed kombucha can be found in any store which sells soda, and a few restaurants have taken to brewing their own kombuchas - a testament to the growing popularity of this delicious beverage.

While the bacteria culture itself might be considered magical (it is the core of the fermentation and carbonation process after all), the magic and history behind tea is absolutely undeniable. Today, we refer to many infusions as “tea,” but true tea is prepared by brewing the leaves of the tea tree itself (camellia sinensis). There are some variations to tea due to the ease by which it can be hybridized, which allows some diversity of flavor and strength to the tea and also allows for regions to have their own “brand” of tea leaves.

Tea drinking has its origins in Eastern Asia, around the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China. Here the plant is native, and around the time of the Shang Dynasty the leaves began to be brewed in hot water for medicinal purposes. The drink prepared was a concentrated, bitter infusion that helped stimulate the immune system and help keep the mind awake and focused. Later, during the Tang Dynasty, the practice of tea drinking spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

Tea drinking would eventually be brought to Europe around the 17th century by the Dutch, who further spread the practice to Germany and France. By the 18th century, tea drinking became widely fashionable in Britain. Tea in Europe was prepared differently than in Asia - the leaves would be allowed to oxidize more than was practiced in Asia, resulting in black tea instead of green or oolong.

For much of the 18th century, tea remained a luxury item in the British Empire, where it was heavily taxed - so much so that it resulted in tea smuggling and several significant historical events, not least of which included the Boston Tea Party (a response of the Tea Act of 1773, which increased the tax on tea). Later on, this desire for tea began to lead to a deficit in trade, and Britain introduced opium to China, an event that would culminate in the Opium Wars.

Desperate to break the Chinese monopoly on the tea trade, Britain began cultivating tea in India between the First and Second Opium wars. The less expensive Indian tea became widely popular, and began to overtake Chinese tea in the industry.

Today, tea is considered to be the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water, and is prepared both green and black in varying ways, from chai to kombucha, to the Star Trek favorite “tea, Earl Grey, hot.” Processing of tea leaves allows for a variety of teas, and its ability to retain aromas allows it to be given additional flavors, such as mint, vanilla, and bergamot. Furthermore, some regions have developed “tea culture” - practices, rituals, and etiquette regarding the preparation, serving, and consumption of tea.

An excellent example of tea culture was recounted to me by my boyfriend, who visited Turkey several years ago. He described being offered tea in every shop and home that he visited, in varying flavors and nearly always served in a small glass with a saucer. To turn down the tea was a faux pas, and to not be offered tea was considered offensive. So enjoyable was his experience that he has since acquired a Turkish tea set, and we occasionally enjoy teas imported from Turkey or brought to us by a friend of ours who holds dual citizenship. 

The health benefits of tea are well known, both as an antioxidant and as an alternative to coffee due to its caffeine content, which helps heighten alertness while maintaining calm in the morning.

In magick, the immediate practice which comes to mind with tea is the practice of tea leaf reading, in which loose leaf green or black tea is prepared and served. The recipient of the reading consumes all but the last few dregs of tea, leaving bits and pieces of tea leaf in the bottom of the cup, which is then swirled  and upended to create patterns on the bottom and sides. These patterns and shapes form the basis of the divination.

Because there is so much economic history behind tea, it can be used in any spells regarding money and prosperity. In addition, it can be added to spells for health, strength, courage, and alertness. Tea can also be used as a money-drawing incense.

For the kitchen witch, tea is indispensable, much like salt or sugar. It forms the basis of many tea spells, and can be used in varying ways. For instance, capturing the healing energies of the sun in sun-brewed tea is a fairly common practice. Sweetened iced tea can be served as a sweetening spell, and serving any kind of tea with intent can make irritable guests more amenable. Tea can be used in baking for the same reasons, resulting in cakes and snacks which have the same properties as long as the intent is added!

For a freebie spell, we can look at one which I use every now and again for my boyfriend, and which I had used almost daily when I was working in the culinary department for a retirement community for a resident who was particularly irritable in the morning. Brew a strong black tea in boiling water (do not stir the bag, and do not ever squeeze the last drops of liquid out of the bag), and fill it with positive intent (for me, usually love, happiness, and calm). Add milk with intent for health, and then inspire sweetness, prosperity, and happiness with honey. Serve while still warm and with a heartfelt smile. Not only does it brighten my boyfriend’s morning, but it worked wonders where the aforementioned resident was concerned.

Consider the benefits tea may bring to your practice. Do you incorporate aspects of tea culture from other parts of the world? Perhaps you’re a fan of a Southern sweet tea spell? Or perhaps you lean toward love and sweetening spells? Maybe you prefer spells prepared over the course of several days, decorating jars for kombucha with sigils and runes for health and prosperity? Regardless, this beverage is steeped in history, and in all of its forms can bring plenty of positive aspects to one’s craft!

May all your meals be blessed! )O(

7

Scenes from the 2016 World Nomad Games hosted in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan. The World Nomad Games brings athletes from various countries, primarily from the Central Asian region and Russia, to participate in sports native to the Eurasian Steppe. The Eurasian Steppe was home to various nomadic peoples particularly the Iranic-speaking Scythians and Sarmatians, who were a source of fear for the ancient Greeks due to their warriorlike nature and great horse-riding skills; including their mastery of horseback archery. Both groups are believed to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes, but their settlements ranged from China to Poland, and because of this they greatly impacted the genetic pool and cultures of a number of different groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia such as the people of the Caucasus, Slavs, Turkic people, and other modern Iranic people. The Sarmatians in particular were famed by Greek historians for their female warriors and rulers that inspired the stories of the Amazons. 

3

The Soviet capture K98k Mauser,

The Soviet Union by far was the largest player in World War II, taking the largest brunt of the German military and playing the largest role in ensuring that the Third Reich crumbled into ashes and rubble.  The Eastern Front alone was a war of epic proportions.  In the Western Front, the total number of men from both sides that were engaged in military operations (United States, Germany, Britain, Free France, Free Poland, Italy) from 1944 to 1945 amounted to around 7 million men.  Around that same time the Soviet Red Army alone comprised of 7 million men engaged in active combat.

To the victor goes the spoils, for the Soviet Union, such spoils typically consisted of arms, of which they would receive the lion’s share.  The main arm of the German Wehrmacht, the famed K98k Mauser was the most extensive weapon captured by Soviet forces.  After massive battles such as Stalingrad, Leningrad, Kursk, Konigsberg, and Berlin, the Soviets found themselves in possession of untold millions of K98k rifles.  I, peashooter, would go far as to say that by 1945, the Soviet Union was in possession of more K98k rifles than the German Army itself!

Soviet captured K98’s are little different than other K98k Mauser rifles except for one thing: serial numbers.  Rather than store the rifles whole the Soviets found that it was much easier to store them disassembled, the parts coated in cosmoline (grease used to prevent rust) and piled in large crates.  When taken out of storage, they were were unconcerned with matching parts, after all they did not care about future collector’s value decades down the road.  Thus all Soviet capture K98’s have mismatched parts.  The only added markings that identifies them as Soviet capture is an “X” crudely electropenciled “X” on the receiver above the serial number.

 Soviet capture K98’s also have other typical features.  The cleaning rod, sight hood, and locking screws are often missing, considered unnecessary by Soviet ordnance officials and thus removed and melted down as scrap metal.  When re-arsenalled the bolt was commonly blued with a dull, thick black compound.  

After World War II, the Soviets used their vast stocks of K98’s to arm their pro-communist buddies, either communist regimes in Eastern Europe or Asia, or pro-communist guerrillas in Africa or Latin America.  Thus, many have turned up in the Korean War and Vietnam War.  The lack of Soviet markings allowed the Soviet government to claim plausible deniability when questioned on the origin of such weapons.  Believe it or not, many of these rifles are showing up in modern day conflicts, most notably in the strife currently occurring the Ukraine.