Themes that Interest Me in History…

As I have mentioned in my Introductory Post, I am very interested in Asian history. While I have spent more time studying China and Japan, I am more interested in learning more about Korean history since I keep up with the Korean music and television scene. (I figure some historical background would be useful to better understand certain political-related controversies or TV show plot lines.)

I have read a number of books over the years of being a History and Asian Studies student, but one that still stands out among the rest even today is War Without Mercy by John W. Dower. War Without Mercy discusses the Second World War from the Pacific Front, and basically reveals that, while the Japanese Imperial Army was ruthless in their methods of attack, the U.S. Army were not so innocent themselves. Dower’s book reveals how racism played a key role with the War on the Pacific Front both in the battle field as well as back home in the States. This book was very revealing and made me learn a lot that was kept in the dark about the American Military in the Second World War.

A theme that might more specifically interest me as a history student is American racism towards Asians. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, racism against Japanese people played a huge role in the Pacific Front of World War II. Going back years earlier, there was a lot of racism towards Chinese people in the early years of American immigration. There were various laws against Chinese being allowed to enter the United States, Angel Island being a deportation port rather than an immigration port, and of course, the problematic views of California politician Denis Kearney. (May I note that the rhetoric we are seeing nation-wide today regarding people of Hispanic and Latino/a background is, sadly, not a new phenomena….. Kearney was made famous by his platform of “All Chinese must go!”)

 

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