Declare War On The Cold Front!

You know, this might just be true:

“We decided to use Hitler because as soon as you see him, you think of Germany. It leaves a deep impression,” said Shen, who works in the company’s planning and design department.

Shen said the company had not been worried that the public would have a negative reaction to an ad that features a man who oversaw the killing of millions of Jews during World War II.

“Most people in Taiwan are not that sensitive about Hitler,” she said.

20 thoughts on “Declare War On The Cold Front!”

  1. The history of the world must be littered with murderous dictators that we in the west don’t care about because we aren’t really aware of them. Even the ones we are aware of tend to be regarded as less horrifying the further back in history they were. There are still people alive who were around during WW2 and I think that this makes a difference but in a few decades there won’t be any left. Also, I bet Stalin would get a free pass.

  2. Mmmm… But look at the number of products are marketed around the concept of the Sumurai The katana’s iconic. But it’s the Samurai militaristic culture got the Japanese into WW2. Led to the atrocities inflicted on its victims. Yellow man good?

  3. Hilarious! A good bunch, the Taiwanese, incidentally. Being occupied by Japan, but avoiding the commies did them the world of good.

  4. BiS

    Technically the samurai as a caste were abolished with the modernization of Japan and Meiji Restoration. While some samurai families ended up in charge of the military and the country (the Meiji oligarchs), the samurai as the exclusive warrior caste ended in the 19th century – the creation of modern Japan introduced conscription and nation building. The last holdouts for the old order samurai were defeated in the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration – the historical backdrop to the awful Tom Cruise movie “Last Samurai” – the Satsuma Rebellion.

    Japanese military adventurism has a variety of roots. One interesting point tied to Tim’s original story (which is from a 1999 news story btw) is the Japanese choice to hire German military advisers during their modernization in the late 19th century – the idea that they would have hired a Yank as in the last Samurai movie is laughable. One amusing point is that the Japanese originally hired French advisers – based on the paramount reputation of Napoleonic armies, only to fire them when the French lost the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, replacing them with Germans instead. As it happens the Nationalist government in China in the interwar years also engaged German advisers, meaning that the Kuomintang (who ran postwar Taiwan) were allied to the Germans in the pre-war period. So Chinese nationalist soldiers can be seen wearing German gear in fighting with the Japanese.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-German_cooperation_(1926%E2%80%931941)

  5. It can’t be more than a couple of decades from now that Henry Ford is marked as an evil entrant in our public history. Never mind that he helped abolish serious horse travel, he brought that horrid petrol motor car to the masses.

  6. I can see where the Hitler-figure will immediately conjure up the image of Germany, even in Asia.

    Whether it’s a good association remains to be seen, especially when you realise Hitler’s war against the “cold front” ended in disaster…

  7. Stonyground,

    Most leaders around the world were pretty beastly until the last 100 years or so, some less. It’s mostly about industrialization that civilises. People getting rich with making things rather than getting land. When you get the land, it’s generally someone else’s land, so you have to get rid of them for your people.

    Two things about Hitler
    1) he’s the first bad guy that was filmed and the first whose atrocities were filmed and there haven’t been many since. The conquistadors weren’t filmed and you probably couldn’t pick Pol Pot out of a crowd.
    2) mechanised death. It’s an odd one because normally, when countries have railways and can develop chemicals, they don’t go in for mass murder. Most genocide is with sharp metal weapons like axes and spears, not insecticides.

  8. I knew, I said, that the Japanese had modelled their army on Germany’s and their navy on Britain’s. What about their legal code?

    Ah, said the Japanese chap, they looked around for a legal code that talked of liberty but was in fact authoritarian. They settled on Austria’s.

  9. Almost unknown fact: the Mauser factory were supplying rifles to both the Nationalist Chinese and the Japanese (the little-known Japanese contract Kar98k) at the same time, while they were fighting each other. And while Germany was allied with Japan. Who asked very politely for shipments to China to cease…

  10. Ken,
    The Last Samurai may be historically inaccurate but then so is King Arthur. The whole honour and sacrifice thing resonates with the audience for good or bad. I think it’s one of Cruise’s better movies and I like it.

  11. Roué le Jour September 14, 2020 at 11:36 pm – “The Last Samurai may be historically inaccurate but then so is King Arthur. The whole honour and sacrifice thing resonates with the audience for good or bad. I think it’s one of Cruise’s better movies and I like it.”

    I think it is interesting for what you can pass off as progressive as long as you say Whitey is bad. Are the Americans bad in this film? Undoubtedly. But what is the film really defending? Feudalism. Real hard core, backward looking feudalism. Just look at the peasant forced to kneel at the side of the road and bow as the horsemen ride past.

    It is as if Ken Loach made a film defending Jacob Rees-Mogg’s right to practice jus primae noctis whenever he wanted.

    It must be right up there as the most reactionary film ever made. You would think I would like it more.

  12. One of the things I remember about my visit to Taipei was a Buddhist temple on the West side of the city with a three story high swastika on top. So the central symbol of the Third Reich is not going to make an impact in Taiwan.

    The other interesting thing I saw there was lovely young ladies in bikinis in little glass booths on the roadside. My host explained that they were there to sell betel but to passing truckers.

  13. @Roue de Jour and SMFS

    The inaccurate bit is the idea that the Imperial Japanese Army would have hired some stupid Yank as an advisor. The Japanese chose to hire only the world’s best – so Germans for medicine and the army, British for the navy, Americans for agriculture and business. The underlying story of the rebellion is true.

    Saigo was a lower caste samurai who led the revolt against the Tokugawa Shogunate, but fell out with this fellow leaders over the form that the revolution would take. He supported the right of Samurai to remain top dogs, whilst the Meiji government chose modernization and an all conscript army with no class distinctions. (well fewer distinctions, they did introduce a formal western nobility, which the egalitarian Yanks abolished at the end of WW II).

    As Roue says the story itself is a romantic one about sacrifice and loyalty to an ideal – “bushido”, the way of the warrior, but as SMFS says is about some peeps who had been top dogs (or rather members of the top dog class, albeit at the bottom) fighting against social change. The actual true top dogs got bought off.

  14. “about some peeps who had been top dogs (or rather members of the top dog class, albeit at the bottom) fighting against social change. The actual true top dogs got bought off.”

    How true, everywhere, anytime.

  15. “about some peeps who had been top dogs (or rather members of the top dog class, albeit at the bottom) fighting against social change. The actual true top dogs got bought off.”
    Well, if you’re gonna be brave, make sure you do it with other peoples lives. Then if they win, you’re the ones in charge. Bet they wouldn’t have paid the money back, though.

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