On August 3, 1951, six years after an atomic bomb was detonated above this spot in Hiroshima, a souvenir shop stands in the street near the shattered dome of the Industry Hall. The shop is operated by Kiyoshi Kikkawa, who was injured in the blast.
OK OK WE’RE GOING TO LEARN SOMETHING TO DA Y BOYS AND GIRLS AND VARIATIONS THEREAFTER
LET ME DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE WLW FILM THAT KICKS CAROL OUT OF THE FUCKING WATER
THE HANDMAIDEN IS A KOREAN SUSPENSE/GOTHIC DRAMA FILM DIRECTED BY PARK CHAN-WOOK (YES THE MASTERMIND DIRECTOR BEHIND OLDBOY) ABOUT A SCHEME TO STEAL THE INHERITANCE OF A WEALTHY HEIRESS SET IN 1930S JAPAN OCCUPIED KOREA
SEE THAT YOUNG GIRL IN THE BLUE AND WHITE HANBOK? GIRL’S NAME IS SOOKEE, A STREET THIEF WHO LEFT HER HOME TO WORK FOR THE GORGEOUS LADY HIDEKO WHO LIVES WITH HER SADISTIC ART COLLECTOR UNCLE IN A STUNNING MANSION OF OPULENCE
SOOKEE ACTS AS HIDEKO’S HANDMAIDEN, BUT NOT BY COINCIDENCE HELL NO THE YOUNG MAN BESIDES HER IS FUJIWARA WHO IS A “““COUNT””” THAT COMES TO VISIT HIDEKO AND IS SEEMINGLY INFATUATED WITH HER BUT REALLY JUST WANTS TO MARRY HER FOR HER MONEY AND THEN SEND HER TO AN ASYLUM
FUJIWARA IS SOOKEE’S ACCOMPLICE AND HE’S THE ONE TO PROPOSE OF THE SCHEME AND SOOKEE AGREES TO IT BECAUSE SHE’S BEEN LIVING IN A CRAMPED HOUSE FOR YEARS WITH TOO MANY FAMILY MEMBERS TO COUNT AND TOO MANY CHILDREN TO TAKE CARE OF AND THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY MEANS FREEDOM FROM THAT HELLHOLE
BUT THINGS GET HELLA COMPLICATED WHEN SOOKEE MEETS HIDEKO CAUSE SHE IS
REALLY FUCKING GAY FOR HER
AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SOOKEE MEETS HIDEKO I SEE YOU SOOKEE DON’T TRY TO PRETEND YOU AREN’T GONE FOR HER ALREADY
SO AS FUJIWARA TRIES TO WOO HIDEKO SOOKEE MUST STRUGGLE BETWEEN HER AWAKENING SEXUALITY AND HER CHANCE OF FREEDOM FROM POVERTY
KILL BILL SIRENS GOING OFF IN SOOKEE’S MIND AS SHE SEES FUJIWARA CREEPING ON HIDEKO MMM GIRL YOU AIN’T SLICK
NOW ONTO HIDEKO HERSELF
OK I CAN’T BLAME SOOKEE FOR FALLING FOR THIS GIRL SHE IS GORGEOUS AF MY BI ASS CANNOT TAKE SUCH BEAUTY ANYWAYS
HIDEKO’S SADISTIC UNCLE MAKES HER PARTICIPATE IN SOME FREAKY SHIT DOWN IN THE BASEMENT AND BASICALLY EXERCISES AN OMNIOUS HAND OVER HER WHOLE LIFE SHE MAY LOOK THE LADY OF THE HOUSE BUT SHE’S REALLY A SLAVE TO THIS DEMONIC MAN
I WON’T GO MUCH INTO DETAILS HERE CAUSE IT CONTAINS SPOILERS SO I’LL ADDRESS HOW SHE VIEWS SOOKEE
A LOT OF YOU MAY BE THINKING WOW RICH GIRL THAT’S BEEN LIVING A RESERVED AND CONTROLLED LIFE FOR YEARS SHE CAN’T POSSIBLY BE ATTRACTED TO WOMEN
W R O N G
HIDEKO IS A GODDAMN LESBIAN WHO HAS SOOKEE IN HER MIND CONSTANTLY
ANYONE WITH EYES CAN SEE SHE IS SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE WHENEVER FUJIWARA ARRIVES AND FINDS HIM OVERBEARING
”BOY I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR YOUR FAKE ASS COMPLIMENTS SOOKEE’S OVER THERE LOOKING VISIBLY DISTRESSED AND THAT REQUIRES MY IMMEDIATE ATTENTION”
COMPARE TO THE PHOTO BELOW:
LOOK AT THIS SHIT. LOOK AT HOW SHE GAZES AT SOOKEE MASSAGING HER FEET. THIS GIRL IS NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIDE HER EMOTIONS E N D M E
AND AFTER THAT HIDEKO ALLOWS HER TO SLEEP WITH HER IN HER BED WHICH HOLY FUCKING SHIT THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT WHAT A HANDMAIDEN DOES FOR HER LADY UNLESS HER LADY HAS vERy SPECIFIC REASONS
THE MOVIE’S CINEMATOGRAPHY IS INCREDIBLE HONESTLY I DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS FROM A PARK CHAN-WOOK FILM AND THE PLOT IS SO UNIQUE TOO AND HOLY SHIT THE TWISTS WILL MAKE YOUR STOMACH TURN OVER
BUT HONESTLY HONESTLY THE GAYNESS WAS STRONG IN THIS ONE THIS FILM RADIATED WLW VIBES WITHOUT DEHUMANIZING BOTH HIDEKO AND SOOKEE INTO FETISH SYMBOLS NO THEY ARE INTEGRAL PROTAGONISTS TO THE PLOT AND MAINTAIN THIS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS CONSTANTLY SO WATCHING THEM FALL IN LOVE IS SO SATISFYING
YEAH CAROL MAY TAKE HOME THE TROPHY FOR LIPSTICK LESBIANS AND THE #SOFT WLW THEME BUT DOES IT HAVE A THRILLING VISUAL FEAST OF A LESBIAN WOC COUPLE WHO ARE JUST TWO GIRLS TRYING TO FIGURE THEIR EMOTIONS OUT WHILE FIGHTING AGAINST OPPRESSION I DON’T THINK SO
HEY SOOKEE YOU COULD HAVE USED A PICK TO SEE IF SOMETHING WAS IN HIDEKO’S MOUTH BUT NO YOU USED YOUR WHOLE FINGER ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME LOSE MY SHIT BECAUSE YOU’RE SUCCEEDING
THEY LITERALLY LOOK LIKE LOVERS STROLLING IN THE PARK AND HIDEKO’S PLAYING THE DESPERATE ONE WHO URGES THE OTHER TO STAY AWAY FROM HER TO KEEP SOOKEE OUT OF DANGER
AND WHAT DOES SOOKEE DO?
CUPS HER LOVER’S FACE IN HER HANDS TO ASSURE HER SHE’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE SOMEONE STAB ME DIRECTLY IN THE HEART
SOOKEE PREPARES HIDEKO FOR A PARTY AND AFTERWARDS TRIES TO LEAVE BUT HIDEKO’S ALL “NAH FUCK THAT YOU’RE GETTING DRESSED BY ME AND YOU’RE GOING TO WEAR MY STUFF AND LOOK STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS OK YOU’RE DONE NOW TURN AROUND SO I CAN HELP YOU UNDRESS”
C A N YO U FUcKiN BeLIEVE THESE TWO HIDEKO IS THE ONE REMOVING SOOKEE’S CORSET WHEN IT’S REALLY THE HANDMAIDEN’S JOB TO DO THAT TO THE LADY’S CORSET
AND OF COURSE SINCE THIS IS THE 1930S, WLW ARE BASICALLY SIN AND VICE SO THESE TWO HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT TO BELIEVE THEIR WHOLE LIVES TO SAY AND BELIEVE THAT THEIR LOVE IS VALID
SO YES IF YOU LIKE SUSPENSE, GOTHIC ELEMENTS, AMAZING CINEMATOGRAPHY, CLEVER PLOT TWISTS, AND CANON POC WLW BEING DEPICTED AS ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS IN LOVE INSTEAD OF SEXUALIZED CARICATURES GO WATCH IT
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to inform you that I saw The Handmaiden last night and it instantly catapulted into my top ten movies list
If you like
WHO GET A HAPPY ENDING
(I know that’s a spoiler but IT’S IMPORTANT)
absolutely gorgeous visuals
not a single white character because the setting is 1930′s Japan-occupied Korea
absolutely gorgeous visuals that vaguely reminded me of Hannibal, because of the very deliberate cinematography and the attention lavished upon the DEEPLY DISTURBING and the fact that pretty much every scene has a very tense thread of eroticism
Eroticism that sometimes purposefully REALLY SHOULDN’T BE THERE, OH DEAR GOD
a plot that folds in and around on itself like a fucking origami
and that is explicitly about how the exploitation of women is awful
and that made my jaw hit the floor at least four different times, somewhere M. Night Shyamalan is sobbing in the corner
no seriously, I need to watch this at least once more because THE TWISTS, SWEET JESUS, I WAS RIVETED
who are smart af and also ADORABLE SCHMOOPY NERDS
villains who get what they deserve
obligatory sexy corset-removing scenes
obligatory sexy bathtime scenes
obligatory explicit sex scenes that are really the only beef I have with this movie because was that really necessary did the camera have to linger that long
literally being able to make all the handmaiden and feudal lord jokes I know you guys love
Gone Girl if everything was much prettier and 500% more gay
alright, so this is a very very simple question... but since geisha are mysterious and lots of people have prejudice against them, i don't want to simply google this and find an answer that's not exactly correct. so here's the very simple question; what is it exactly that geisha do? why are people prejudiced against them? thank you so much! sorry i couldn't ask anything more interesting...
Your question is not boring at all! A lot of people wonder what a Geisha’s job intails and have prejudices or misconceptions against them, so it’s actually a great opportunity to refute them.
Let me first explain what Geisha do as part of their job. Geisha are highly-skilled traditional Japanese entertainers and artists. They are trained in traditional Japanese dance, singing, several instruments (shamisen, several drums and flutes, some even play the koto and the kokyū), the tea ceremony, ikebana and calligraphy. They take lessons at a special Geisha-school in their district every day and continue to do so throughout their entire career, as they view art and performance as an ongoing process.
Geisha-in-training are called Maiko (dancing child) in western Japan and hangyoku (half jewel) in and around Tokyo. You sometimes also find the more general term oshaku. They dress much more colorful and flashy than their older Geisha sisters to highlight their youth and childishness. A girl becomes a Maiko after about 1 year of training as a Shikomi, most Maiko debut at age 15 or 16 directly after completing the mandatory 9 years of primary and middle school and are ages 15 to 21 (22 is the max), hangyoku usually debut after high school and are ages 18 to 25. After that, the girl stays a Maiko for about 5 years and then, after her completed apprenticeship, becomes a Geisha and is considered a fully-fledged artist. A woman usually becomes a Geisha at age 20 or 21. Geisha dress much more subdued than Maiko to symbolize that they are adult women and they are quite easy to tell apart once you know what you have to look out for. Geisha are called Geiko (”woman of art”) in western Japan.
Geisha entertain at ozashiki, Geisha-parties, at ochaya, tea houses or sometimes high-class traditional restaurants called ryootei. They will dance and perform music at the party and have discussions about art, music or current events with their clients. Depending on what kind of party you want it to be, Geisha can also perform drinking games and have the party become more lively. All in all, a Geisha does everything in her power to make sure that her clients have a great time.
Geisha live in designated Geisha-districts, called hanamachi or kagai (”Flower towns”). Before WWII even small towns had their own hanamachi and Geisha lived and worked everywhere across the country. The most famous Geisha were and still are from Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Niigata, Kanazawa, Nara and Atami.
Maiko and young Geisha live at okiya, Geisha-houses. The proprietress, the okaasan (mother) treats them like their own children and raises them to become independent and successful Geisha. She pays for their lessons and living expenses, which the girl has to pay back during her career. Once her debts are settled, she becomes independent and moves out of the okiya. An independent Geisha has to have her own collection of high-class, handmade kimono, obi and hair ornaments and are very succesful.
Historically, Geisha entertained mainly wealthy merchants and sometimes aristocrats and later on also politicians. During the Edo-Period, the merchant class was big and very wealthy and had the means to support them. At their height around 1900 over 80,000 of them worked in Japan. Today, Geisha still mostly entertain wealthy buisnesspeople. Their numbers are down to about 1,200, but have been slowly rising over the last 10 years after a rapid demise in the eighties and nineties.
A lot of people, especially in the west, still think that Geisha are high-class prostitutes. This has several reasons and I’m going to talk about the most important.
1. The most important reason for the misconception stems from the time right after WWII. During this time, Japan was occupied by American soldiers after they had lost the war to them. A lot of big cities were destroyed, many people had died during air raids or from starvation, the economy was in shambles and many men had died during the war or were still missing. It was a time of despair for most Japanese and many women were forced to become prostitutes to survive and often even support their whole family.
Most of the clients of these women were American soldiers, because they belonged to the few people who could still afford to pay a prostitute. Back then, Geisha were a symbol of Japan already, being popular postcard-models and appearing in a lot of fiction of the time, so most American soldiers knew a little bit about Geisha.
They could, however, only rarely tell a Geisha apart from an ordinary women wearing a kimono. Since kimono were still the everyday-wear of the time, they thought the women they were sleeping with were Geisha and the women soon realized that they could achieve higher prices when they presented themselves as Geisha to the soldiers and started acting the part.
When the occupation ended and the soldiers returned home, they told their friends and family that they had had a (sexual) relationship with a Geisha in Japan and that is an important reason as to why this misconception spread to fastly across the west.
2. Another reason is the so called “double registration”. As I’ve said before, hanamachi used to exist all over Japan. The vast majority of Geisha lived a pretty good life: Although their schedule was extremely hectic and live was certainly not easy, they could achieve financial independency and fame and meet a lot of influential people and form conncetions through their work. Geisha can also work for their entire lives, if they want to do so. There is no retirement-age for Geisha, so they had a very secure job.
Geisha could also retire and start their own okiya or tea house or start working at a restaurant or a tea house as a server. They also often got married to rich and influential men.
However, not all Geisha had it so well. There were some small towns in which Geisha were struggling to survive, because the economic situation was so tough. The towns lacked enough wealthy merchants and visitors to support them. This was the reason why Geisha in some towns were forced to become registrated as both a Geisha and a prostitute to survive.
While these Geisha were still artists like the Geisha in bigger, more economically stable towns and cities, they also had to sleep with their clients to make extra money to survive.
A lot of these poor, small town were Onsen-towns, seaside-resorts that were unpopular and lacked a steady stream of visitors.
Although the vast majority of Geisha never sold sex and even the majority of Onsen-Geisha (Geisha working in said Onsen-towns) never did, this tarnished the reputation of Geisha.
Prostitution was outlawed in Japan in 1956, so doube-registration doesn’t exist anymore today.
3. The whole mizuage-issue. I’ll have to go deeper into history with that one. First of all, there are junior and senior Maiko. Junior Maiko wear the wareshinobu hairstyle and a predominately red collar, senior Maiko wear the ofuku hairstyle and a predominately white collar. Today, a girl is promoted from junior to senior at age 18, before WWII, when Maiko were still much younger, this happened around 15 or 16; generally when a girl was starting to look older and was deemed a young woman by her older Geisha-sisters.
When a junior Maiko becomes a senior Maiko she has her mizuage ceremony (”hoisting the water”). During this ceremony, the topknot of her wareshinobu hairstyle is symbolically cut open by friends and okiya-family-members. The okaasan and the girl hand out presents to ochaya she frequents, okiya she has relationships with and some close clients and she’ll start to wear the ofuku hairstyle and a whiter kimono-collar afterwards. It is a simple coming-of-age ceremony symbolizing that the Maiko is recognized as a young woman from then on. Historically, this also meant that a Maiko was now old enough to marry and proposals could be made, which she could accpet or decline at free will.
However, Oiran also had a ceremony of the same name. Oiran were high-class prostitutes in old Japan and are extinct today. They were also highly-skilled artists and trained in the arts of the nobility. They had a coming-of-age ceremony of the same name (why the name is the same as with Geisha is unknown, but it’s probably because the quarters of Oiran and Geisha were close by), that intailed the ritual deflowering of the young Oiran by a man who paid highly for being her first sexual partner. This ceremony was also performed by yuujo, ordinary prostitutes, and some double-registered Geisha.
This gets confused a lot, because these two ceremonies have the same names and is one of the most persistens misconceptions when it comes to Geisha. The novel and movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” also mixes this up and portray mizuage completely wrong, so I would highly advise you to not watch it, at least not until you’ve gathered some futher information.
4. Danna. Danna are people who sponsor one particular Geisha they are fond of and monthly pay her a privately agreed on amount of money to help her pay for her lessons and other living expenses. While danna are very rare today, back before WWII most Geisha had a danna, because there were so many poeple willing and able to sponsor Geisha back then and it would have been a sign of unpoularity if you didn’t have one.
People interested in becoming a Geisha’s danna can inquire via the proptriess of the teahouse they meet her at if she would be interested. If the Geisha shows interest, okaasan, Geisha, the proprietress of the ochaya and the possibe danna will get together and discuss the finances. If they come to an agreement, the Geisha will accept him as her danna. A Geisha can always end the relationship and pursue another, if she wishes to do so.
Being a danna has certain adavantages. Your inquiries to see the Geisha will always be handled first before anyone else’s and you can also “buy out” a Geisha’s time and spend it with her in a more private setting or just buy her some time off (Geisha have very little time off, especially during odori-season).
It is also a status symbol and a great way to show off one’s wealth and influence. One has to consider that, during the Edo-Period and even for a long time afterwards, Geisha and the arts they performed were seen as modern entertainment, just like we see movies, shows or pop-music today, so Geisha were very popular, famous and interesting for a lot of people. It was after WWII that people started to see Geisha as symbols of old Japan. Being the danna of a talented Geisha who would entertain oneself and one’s friends was a major status symbol.
There are two things that made westeners suspicious about this: Firstly, before WWII, pretty much all danna were male. This is a fact, because men held almost all economic power back then and were the only ones with the means to support Geisha. Westeners of that time had an extremely conservative and moralistic view of sexuality and many considered themelves to be superior to the “dirty and immoral” Japanese people, so they immediately thought that Geisha had sexual relationships with their danna and that they were bascially waiting to be “bought” by a man. (Today, a large and increasing part of Geisha’s customers are female.)
Secondly, some Geisha DID have romantic relationships with their danna. Mineko Iwasaki, Japan’s most famous Geisha of the 20th century described this very well in her book “Geisha of Gion”: “You can’t put talented, beautiful, elegant women together with rich and powerful men and expect nothing to happen. Romantic entaglements happen all the time, some leading to marriage and others to heartache.”
Of course some Geisha fell in love with their clients and vice versa. This was accepted and even encouraged in the hanamachi, as these relationships might lead to the birth of a girl who could also become a Geisha one day.
So if a customer and a Geisha had romantic interest for each other, the man, if he had the financial means, naturally would try to become the Geisha’s danna. By being her danna he could spend more time with her and support the woman he loved in her career, so this was completely logical.
However, the majority of Geisha and danna didn’t have any sexual or romantic relationship. If they did, it was based on mutual attraction for each other and was not forced in any way. Both parties could always end the relationship at any time and enter another, if they wanted to.
The fact that Geisha are very private and don’t talk a lot about their profession adds to the “suspiciousness” in the eyes of a lot of people.
In fact, Geisha are so “mysterious” because they are supposed so remain exclusive. A lot of their regular clients book them because the are so exclusive and they can be sure that nothing that happens or is said at an ozashiki ever leaves the room. If Geisha became accessible to everyone, they would lose a lot of customers.
Geisha today are torn between doing publicity-work, being more accessible and understandable to the “common” people and getting new applicants, while still keeping an aura of exclusivity.
I hope I could answer all of your questions! If you have more, feel free to ask them! Have a nice day!
A decorated U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class (Ship’s Cook First Class) and his Japanese wife in a studio portrait taken in Occupied Japan, 1946.
Ironically, African American occupation soldiers, whose major mission in Japan was to democratize the defeated nation and disseminate the values of freedom and equality among the Japanese population, served in a segregated U.S. military.
Despite several assurances to the otherwise, the Japanese quickly realized that the racial equality they had been told they could expect from Americans did not extend to all U.S. citizens.
By the end of 1945, over 40,000 African American members of the U.S. military were serving on occupation duty in Japan. Many married Japanese women and had children. These veterans, like the sailor shown above, were instrumental in confronting the institutional, organizational and ideological barriers to interracial relationships that existed in Japan and the United States.
ooo what's Chicago Typewriter about? (I loved Goblin!)
okay i’m going to do my best to not spoil anything! (that said, there’s probably small spoilers!)
characters. the main plot of chicago typewriter follows three central characters in the current day + in their past lives in japan-occupied, 1930s korea:
han se ju. famous novelist, known as “Korea’s Stephen King.” writes a ton of thrillers, buys deer to frolic in the yard of his mansion for #ambiance, is a total shit 94% of the time. pretends to smoke cinnamon sticks because it’s #aMetaphor (no it’s not). living that paparazzi celebrity life. in his past life, he was…
seo hwi yung. a dime store/rag novelist who drinks, womanizes, and pretty much lives in his best bud’s nightclub. gets a lot of shit for never writing anything great / pretty much the 1930s equivalent of the daily mail
jeon seol. my heart, my life. known as “the legend,” she’s pretty much done a little bit of everything (olympic training, veterinarian, obligatory part-time job at the restaurant sponsoring the drama #subway, is actually mentioned as a BNF) and currently runs an Errand Business because jeon seol can do anything. she’s a huge fan of han se ju’s novels, and then actually meets the dude. in her past life, she was…
ryu su hyung. a resistance fighter and sniper (YEAH). running secret ops by night, performing as a glamorous nightclub lounge singer also by night. dresses like a boy, but has totally mastered the falling-curtain-of-hair-when-hat-is-removed reveal. gives seo hwi yung shit about his writing on the regular
yoo jin oh. hired to be a ghostwriter for han se ju once he can’t complete his novel. not a fan of red beans, has fantastic facial expressions. loves dogs– the fluffiest dog in particular. a little bit of a troll but gd the guy has #Looks. in his past life he was…
(his name is a tiny spoiler) shin yul. best friend to both han se ju and ryu su hyung, owner of Carpe Diem, the aforementioned nightclub. member of the resistance, is shown in flashbacks to have had a mentorship-esque role to ryu su hyung. likes to get drunk and sing, steals martinis from friends
the plot. i really don’t want to spoil things (like, a good chunk of the fun is the #SlowReveal), but essentially it’s about han se ju’s new novel, a love story set in the 1930s, getting a little bit #TooReal, and how these three are all tied up in one another, past and current lives included (so far it’s legit indicating an ot3– we’ll see if that holds up).
why to watch.
-awesome actors!!! all three principles are just #killingit
-great characters, by extension
-slow reveals! this might be a ymmv, but i am ALL ABOUT that gradual build up to Significant Plot Points. eps 1-5 are slower but the ball really gets rolling ep 6 onward
-great OST! music is A+++
-period drama! the 1930s costumes, sets, etc. are so so cool
-supernatural elements/urban fantasy vibes. i live for this shit too
-piniiiiiiing. so! much! pining!!
-it’s from the same writer of one of my fav kdramas: kill me, heal me
-also if you loved goblin, secretary kim’s actor is in this as the president of han se ju’s publishing company ;)
In 1942 Germany began construction of the Atlantic Wall in order to defends its World War II territorial conquests from a possible Allied amphibious invasion. The wall consisted of various fortifications, mines, tank barriers, mortars, artillery pieces, machine gun nests, pillboxes, and bunkers, and was designed to fend off any beach landing. On June 6th, 1944 Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy and quickly overran these defenses. Thousands of German soldiers were captured, but surprisingly still many of those capture were not German at all.
At the very beginning of the war Germany upheld its Nazi belief in pure Arianism. However as the war dragged, that sentiment quickly gave way as casualties grew and manpower shortages worsened. Both the Wehrmacht and the SS began to accept foreign volunteers. Many of these foreign troops were sent to man the defenses of the Atlantic Wall. These soldiers came from all over Europe, and even the Middle East and Asia. One notable extreme was the Indian Legion, also known as the Azad Regiment, which consisted of volunteers from India who believed that a German victory would secure India’s independence from the British Empire.
The reasons for volunteering were varied, some political, many as a necessity for survival. By far the most numerous foreign volunteers were those from the Soviet Union. Some volunteered because they were disgruntled with Soviet rule, for example the Russian Liberation Army, which joined the Wehrmacht to oppose communism in Russia. However most volunteered as an alternative to spending the rest of the war as a POW. Soviet POW’s were treated terribly during the war, with 3.3 to 3.5 million dying of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and overall maltreatment. For many Soviet POW’s, service with the German Army was the only way to avoid such a horrible fate. Typically, these troops were often not very reliable in combat. Understandably, they were not very motivated to sacrifice life and limb for their conquerors. In some cases they proved to by a grave liability, such as the case of a battalion of soldiers from Georgia which manned the Atlantic Wall defenses on the Dutch island of Texel, who in 1945 openly rebelled against the Germans.
As well as many thousand foreign volunteers, there were also many thousand foreign conscripts who were forcibly made to serve in the German Army. By far the most interesting extreme in this instance were a group of Koreans who were captured by American forces during the D-Day invasion. For three decades Japan had occupied Korea, and the men were forcibly conscripted into the Japanese Imperial Army. In 1939 Japan attempted to invade the Soviet Union through Mongolia, but were badly beaten at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. The Koreans were captured and sent to the gulags, but with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, were then forced to join the Red Army and fight on the Eastern Front. They were then captured by the Germans, conscripted into the German Army, and forced to man the defenses of the Atlantic Wall at Normandy.
By far the most numerous conscripts were Polish. Before World War I many parts of Poland had been a part of Prussia, and later the German Empire. When Germany re-conquered these territories they considered many of the people living there to be ethnic Germans. As such, they were considered full citizens of the Reich and thus were subject to German draft laws. Many still believed themselves to be German and thus were willing to fight for the German cause, however many spoke Polish, had adopted Polish customs, and believed themselves to be Poles. Regardless, refusing to obey the draft laws could result in serious consequences, not only for the individual but his family as well. Some 500,000 Poles were conscripted into the Wehrmacht, with many serving on the Atlantic Wall. Like the Soviets, the Polish also were not the best soldiers as they were often unwilling to fight for their taskmasters. Around 85,000 would defect to the Free Polish Forces in France. In addition to Polish Troops, a number of Czechs considered ethnic Germans would be conscripted as well.
Overall, one in six defenders of the Atlantic Wall were not German. Nothing demonstrates the diversity of these defenders more than the photo below of a group Wehrmacht soldiers captured during D-Day
Front Row (from left to right): a Yugoslav; an Italian; a Turk; a Pole
Back Row (from left to right): a German; a Czech; a Russian who was forced into the army when the Nazis occupied his town; and a Mongolian.
Flag of the Far Eastern Republic, a nominally independent state that existed from April 1920 to November 1922, during the Russian Civil War. Its primary purpose was to serve as a buffer between Communist controlled Russia and the territories occupied by Japan during the Russian Civil War.
I really love your bokuaka fantasy AU and I was wonder if you could explain each of their lives? You don't have to go into great detail if that's too much trouble, just what they're roles were and what not
I was doodling some drawings to explain some of the other lives (you can find first and second in the tag!!) But I only got the 7th one I’m sorry o)-(
This one is one of my favorites..! In an alternative world during the second world war US occupies Japan.. Bokuto and Kuro are born northamerican and they enlist as soon as the war starts because Bokuto thinks he’s ought to do something different, bigger, and Kuro follows him because they’re family
Fighting Japan somewhere in Asia Bokuto’s running in the trenches trying to find Kuro in the crossfire when he runs into a japanese soldier… There’s sharp pain in his chest but it’s not a bullet even though the enemy is pointing at him with his fusil. It might be that the war is inside Bokuto’s ribs (´∇ﾉ｀*)ノ
It’s just the split of a second and next the japanese soldier is running away, forgiving his life. Kuro ends up being the one finding Bo.. They’re forced to occupy a small town in some point of Japan until they receive more orders (mm… more or less like german soldiers did during the 2nd WW in france? French people had to accept them in their houses, treat them as if they were guests sort of). It’s in this town when Kuro finds Kenma… (sorry my writing is not good but ;; if you want to know more about this maybe… you could.. read this..? sorry ;;;) Mmm.. Bokuto and Kuro end up parting ways, Bo spends years away trying to find Akaashi and then one day he just comes back and says sorry I left, and Kuro replies sorry you came back. it hurts (´∇ﾉ｀*)ノbut Kuro and Kenma spend the rest of their life with Bokuto and they remain as a family… not enough to heal the wounds in Bo’s heart but maybe this life already gave him everything it could..
A proposed 4-way partition of Japan following World War 2.
Apparently, there were plans for Japan to be partitioned among victorious Allies after WW2, much as Germany was. However, once the US dropped the nukes, the decision was made that the US would occupy Japan exclusively. However, the Soviet Union had already moved in to take the southern half of Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands.
Korea was a Tributary of China, but only twice in its history was it directly conquered, and one of those time it was the Mongolian Empire so that is more dubious. Korea has traditionally been an independent kingdom (or kingdoms depending on which period we are talking about) and they are kinda sensitive about that, particularly after being occupied by Japan between 1895-1945. This is basic history and Trump is a moron for not knowing this
A US Marine chooses a souvenir from a pile of surrendered Japanese officer’s swords.
Countless thousands of katanas, many family heirlooms, were surrendered to the allies by the Japanese. Although plans were set to return the swords to their owners, when MacArthur left Japan for the Korean war, these plans completely fell through. Many were stolen by American servicemen and taken home as souvenirs.
Hi! OK starting off I want to say that your fantasy AU is so damn beautiful and makes me either want to cry and scream. I kinda wanted to ask about the first and seventh timeline with Aka and Bo,, what are they exactly? Because you mentioned they were your favorites which means they're either heartbreaking, tear-jerking or both and I got curious :> I'm sorry if you've already mentioned it somewhere but I just aaAAAh I just really really love this AU. Keep up your amazing art and stories!!! <3
HELLO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR QUESTIONS…!!! You can find some of the lives already explained in the tag!! I also wrote this..!!! (I’m sorry my writing is no good though). Their lives are a progression of time on Earth, from the beginning of the universe (first life) until today (8th one).
I like the seventh life especially because Bokuto and Akaashi fall in love with each other immediately, even if they just run into the other at the trenches. Akaashi is this beautiful, beautiful japanese soldier who spares his life for no reason, who takes Bokuto’s heartbeat away in the very second his eyes find that face, that sharp pain in his chest he can’t name, like this person he doesn’t know and is supposedly fighting against is the oxygen he needs to breathe. After that, he doesn’t see him again. They’re in war, they’re enemies, they don’t speak the same language, don’t share culture, hell, they’re from opposite parts of the world. In this parallel universe US wins the war in the pacific by occupying Japan instead of bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that’s how Kuro and Bokuto find themselves, strangers and unwelcome in this country they’re occupying, but both sure there’s an end of the world they still can reach together, even if Bokuto leaves to find his soldier and Kuro stays because he only has eyes for Kenma. This is an au about communication and acceptance, new beginnings, family. Kuro and Bokuto have this deep bond it doesn’t matter in which life or how apart they are fated to be, they keep finding each other and building this feeling of belonging together in the same way Bokuto falls in love with Akaashi once and again, from the very beginning of the universe.
And about universes starting, that’s their first life. It’s kind of based on the concept of Gea and Uranus, except for the fact that if they stay close to each other for too long the universe gets teared apart. Akaashi is surface whereas Bokuto is atmosphere, if you want to see it that way? They both make life possible, but as they build they can also destroy. That’s why they both give up on their lives to reincarnate as humans so they have a way to stay together. It doesn’t really work because Bokuto’s transfiguration ends up deforming him into a beast, and they both didn’t count on losing their memories once they reincarnated. Still, their souls always find a way.