Monday, September 26, 2011

Fighting the Russo-Japanese War again

Battle of Port Arthur, from a Japanese Print

          It all started with a surprise attack by the Japanese Navy.  Japanese Navy destroyers raced into Port Arthur, Manchuria and attacked the Imperial Russian fleet at anchor on the night of 8-9 February 1904. This was the start of the Russo-Japanese War…. and a whole lot more.
            The Japanese used a similar surprise attack plan on the American fleet 37 years later at Pearl Harbor.
            Russians were so surprised and disappointed with the failure of their Army and Navy in the Russo-Japanese War that it was a major reason for the 1905 Russian Revolution.


Photo, Russian Soldiers on their way to the Front
          The Russo-Japanese War happened 107 years ago, just a few years after America had engaged in an adventure across the Pacific in the Spanish-American War.
            Our President was Theodore Roosevelt, and he came into office sounding the alarm for America to wake up and look at who we were, and what we could do.  No longer did ships have to depend upon favorable winds to reach their destinations. For over half a century they had been using coal-fired boilers to drive steam engines.  This meant that we could buy goods from places all over the world, and get them transported to us faster and more reliably.  More importantly, it meant that our growing factories could ship their products world wide.
            European nations and the United States had been showing much interest in capturing colonies and lucrative trading partners in the Far East. The Boxer Rebellion in Northern China had shown that the Chinese were not going to sit still for western imperialists, and this was a fight that involved the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Japan and Italy.
            Japan had remained fairly closed off from the rest of the world until the 1860s, but by 1904, they were coming on strong, with a modern Navy, and a powerful Army. They eyed Korea and Manchuria with great interest.
Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II was very intent upon reaching eastward.  He had pushed for speedy completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok, and the Russians were looking to the south, toward Manchuria and Korea, across the Yalu River.  They really needed a warm-water port in the Far East, and Port Arthur.
This war pitted fierce-looking Cossacks, and fur-hatted Russian infantrymen against equally-fierce looking Japanese troops in the first large conflict of the Twentieth Century, and a modern war that was a preview of things to come in World War II and beyond. 
Fighting took place in Manchuria and Korea, around places that Americans learned much more about during the Korean War of 1950-53.

I’m often surprised at how much history many of our young people have been able to tuck into their brains, in addition to all that flurry of texting and video games and such.
            I’m not old enough to have been around for the Russo-Japanese War.  Gosh, my Dad was five years old that year.
            But for some of us, history is like one big, delicious bowl of spaghetti, and it’s all connected. 
            We lived for two years in Russia, and in Russia, everyone knows about this 1904 war, and how the troops boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway and went as far as Lake Baikal, where the railway ended.  Then they took another train south to Manchuria.  They also know about the 18,000 mile trip that Admiral Rozhestvensky took the Russian Fleet, from the Baltic, around Africa, to an encounter with the Japanese Fleet in the Straits of Tsushima, between Kyushu in Japan and the Korean peninsula.
            Right after living in Russia I lived for three years in Sasebo, Japan, where everyone still celebrates Admiral Heihachiro Togo, the hero of the Battle of Tsushima in 1905.   Sasebo was the base from which the Imperial Japanese Navy sailed to fight the Russians in 1904-05, and it was also a major base for the Japanese again in World War II.  After the war, the Americans took it over, and still operate a base there.
            If you’re still with me on the “history as spaghetti” idea, you can draw connections between the Japanese surprise attacks on Port Arthur in 1904 and Pearl Harbor in 1941.
And you can connect up the dots between Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, and the 1905 Russian Revolution, which led to the 1917 October Revolution, which gave the world Communism and the USSR.
You might enjoy the book listed below, because it is filled with interesting pictures taken in St. Petersburg and Lake Baikal, Russia, in Tokyo, Japan, and in Manchuria and Korea. People, cavalry, guns, and warships.

Here’s the book that I just acquired:

Cover, The Russo-Japanese War

Russo-Japanese War, The: A Photographic and Descriptive Review of the Great Conflict in the Far East; Large format book of pictures; Reporting and photographs by Davis, Richard Harding; Palmer, Frederick; Archibald, James F.J.; Dunn, Robert L; Bartlett, E.A.; Hare, James H.; Whigham, H.J. and Bulla, V.K. 1904. New York, NY: P.F. Collier & Son.
Story told in excellent black-and-white photographs of conflict between Japan, only recently a world power, and Russia, pushing eastward in Siberia, over Manchuria and Korea. Most photos are by Colliers photographers, and text is by Colliers special reporters. Book tells story of Cause of War --Disputed Territory; Preparatory Stages; First Battles of War; March to Ping-Yang; From Chenampo to the Yalu; Russian Advance to Front; Chroniclers of the War; Battle of the Yalu; and Honoring the Heroes and the Dead. Many photos taken in St. Petersburg and Tokio (Tokyo). Includes correspondence re negotiations preceding war with photos of Czar, Mikado, and many of their military and civilian staff. Photos of Russian Red Cross personnel, and ladies sent by Queen Victoria to observe Red Cross operations. Photos of Russian ships bottled up at Port Arthur. 127 pp. 28 x 39 cm.  Paper on board with cloth spine, cover water stained, corners bumped, text block clean and very good, binding tight, altogether a fair copy. (8188) $75.00.       History/Naval/Military/Japan, Russia    

 Photo of Japanese Bluejackets Coming Ashore at Chenampo (Chinnampo, North Korea, port city for Pyongyang). They hadn’t been ashore for two months, and they’re smiling.

We invite you to consider these items, as well:

Crew of USS Yorktown. ca. 1898.

Uncle Sam's Navy, Historical Fine Art Series, Vol. IV No. 3, April 26, 1898 Philadelphia, PA: Historical Publishing Co. This series has been prepared for the public, eagerly devouring whatever news is published about our Navy.   Photos of Spanish battleship Pelayo, Spanish cruisers Almirante Oquendo and Viscaya. Photos of crew of cruiser New York, deck crew of Yorktown, ship's company of Maine, and photo of a Minstrel show aboard USS Maine. Photos of gun crews drilling with heavy ordnance, machine and Gatling guns. 16 pp. 35 x 28 cm. Paper booklet, 10 cm. closed tear on cover page,  good. (5780) $30.00. Navy/Nautical.

Farmers' Cabinet, The; Milford Advance and Wilton Journal, Milford, NH June 30, 1898 Rotch, W.B. Editor and Publisher 1898 Milford, NH: The Farmers' Cabinet. This issue of this famous old weekly southern New Hampshire paper concentrates on  local news, with a drawing of  Colonel J.A. Greene, the Fourth of July orator for Milford's celebration.  Also there are plans for an elaborate electrical display will be used to imitate the destruction of a battleship in the Souhegan River (after the destruction of USS Maine in Havana Harbor).  There will also be a tug of war, a wheelbarrow race, and more.  News of the War with Spain is on page 4, speculating on raids on the Spanish homeland by the U.S. Navy after the victory in the Philippine Islands by Admiral Dewey.  News from Cuba includes report of U.S. troops surrounding Santiago.  Report of Strawberry Day for New Hampshire Horticultural Society, visiting George F. Beede's farm of acres of the finest berries.  "California Letter" details the extensive lines of the Union Pacific in California, description of San Jose (San Hozay, it explains) Pacific Grove, Monterey and Santa Cruz. Distances are given from "Frisco". Ad for cure for constipated bowels and biliousness:  Ayer's Pills and Ayer's Sarsaparilla. Article "An Army Officer's Life"  starts with description of 63-year-old former army officer and ends with testimonial to Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People. 8 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper, good. (7711) $20.00. Newspapers/History

Boston Weekly Messenger, Thursday January 19, 1832 Boston, MA: Nathan Hale. 4 pp. 44 x 59 cm. Cholera in Sunderland, England-- authorities don't want to talk about it. American sailor apparently murdered "in the interests of science" in England. Crime of blood hounds in human shape murdering people for purposes of dissection. The sailor's clothes were found in a house of ill fame. Text of speech in Senate by Henry Clay on Reduction of Duties. Henry Clay is nominated by the National Republican Party for President, and John Sergeant for vice president. [Note: Clay lost to Andrew Jackson in the 1832 election.] Report of $1100 of Bibles burnt in Macon, GA. Report of sentence of young Miller Snell in attempted poisoning of the nine members of the Noyes family. He sprinkled arsenic on their food at nine in the morning, and returned at 12 and added to the quantity, and gave notice that he would not return for dinner. Newspaper, very good. (6423) $25.00. Newspaper/History.

Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, The; January 1888          New York, NY: The Century Co. Union Square. "The Catacombs of Rome"; "John Ruskin" by W.J. Stillman, with frontispiece portrait; "John Gilbert" by J. Rankin Towse, with illustrations by J.W. Alexander. "Russian Provincial Prisons" by George Kennan. Kennan describes horrible conditions, then goes into great detail with "the Knock Alphabet" and the "Checker-Board Cipher" for communicating in prison. "Abraham Lincoln: A History--The Formation of the Cabinet" by John G. Nicolay and John Hay. Includes excellent engravings of Chase, Welles, Cameron, Blair, Caleb Smith and Bates. 156 pp. + adv. 17 x 25 cm. Magazine, edges of cover frayed, fair. (7805) $20.00. History/Civil War

American Mercury, The, A Monthly Review Edited by H.L. Mencken, June 1929 Mencken, H.L., Editor 1929            New York, NY: The American Mercury. Lead article, "Murder in the Making" by Lawrence M. Maynard, who is currently serving a seven years' term at Trenton. He has written several articles, short stories and a play while in prison. "The taking of Montfaucon" by James M. Cain, who served in The War. Mencken has a blazing editorial in this issue about the status of Negroes in America today. "The Negro realtors, insurance magnates, bootleggers and other grotesque upstarts of today are accumulating a fund which, in the long run, will achieve more for their race than any conceivable white philanthropy.....From among the best of them will come a new leadership....What the Negroes need is leaders who can and will think black."  "Black Babbitt may turn out to be a more useful man, in the long run, than either Washington or DuBois."  "The Elephant and the Donkey" by Edward Lee McBain.  Ad on back cover for Camels shows man with cigarette in mouth offering a cigarette from a pack to a lady. 256 pp. + adv.            17.5 x 25.5 cm. Magazine, edges worn, good. (8177) $28.00. History/Race Relations        

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Report of the Legislative Committee from the State of New York to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Albany, January 15, 1910. 1910 Albany, NY: State of New York. New York State was the only state east of the Rockies to vote to appropriate money to take part in this exposition, held in Seattle, Washington  in 1909. Book provides summary of entertainments sponsored by New York, text of major speeches, including one by N.Y. Gov. Charles Evans Hughes. Considerable text is devoted to celebration of Seward Day, Sep. 10, 1909, when a statue of the great Secretary of State William H. Seward was dedicated. His son, General William H. Seward, took an active part in the celebration. Interesting photos of interior of New York State Building, and of various New York participants. 197 pp. 20 x 28 cm. Red cloth on boards with gilt lettering and State seal of New York. Spine fabric faded and mottled, front and back hinges cracked, one illustration page loose. Poor. (1464) $39.00. History/Biography

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Caught "Red Handed"

Typical scene in downtown Leningrad, with the largest tram system in the world.
Car in foreground contained surveillance operatives (Goons).
Caught Red Handed.   One day, just a few months before it was time to leave the USSR, I was assigned to find out about this huge ship that was under construction in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg).  It was a large ship, and as the superstructure got put together, it was a mystery to our intelligence community what this was going to be.  The Naval Intelligence command ordered me to find out what I could.  This was in 1983.
On this day, because there was so much interest in this ship, we thought we would take a drive.  I was traveling with Terry, the Canadian naval attaché, a commander, and he was driving our consulate’s Niva all-wheel drive vehicle. 
Terry was a sturdy, husky ship driver from Ontario.
Leningrad was a magnet for naval attachés, because our job was to collect all the intelligence we possibly could about the Soviet Navy.   Attachés had been traveling up there for decades, since before World War II, in hopes of catching a glimpse of new warships the Soviets were building in the many shipyards in this city. 
We traveled together with Canadians, or Brits, and sometimes with French, Italian or West German attachés.  The British consulate had a red Niva reserved for their attachés, and the American consulate had a green Niva for our attachés. All American  diplomatic cars had red license plates that started with “D 04”, while regular Soviet plates were white. It wasn’t too hard for the KGB to keep track of us. 
The Soviet Union has always been very secretive about most things.  You couldn’t take pictures of bridges in downtown Moscow; maps of Moscow were purposefully inaccurate, so they couldn’t be used by an invading army.  Their experience with Napoleon and then with Hitler had made them more than a little skittish.  One can imagine that the Soviets considered taking photographs of ships under construction at any of their shipyards absolutely forbidden.
I hear that even today, all these years after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russians still have a built-in distrust of foreigners talking photos. All diplomats in Russia are pretty much considered spies.
There’s one thing good about traveling with an officer of another nation.  Occasionally the KGB would decide to rough up one of our attachés, either because one of their people had been roughed up in New York or Washington, or just for the heck of it.  These things were carefully planned in advance, and they had to be cleared by the KGB desk officer.  If you were going to be traveling with an attaché from another country, the incident would have to be cleared with that desk officer, too.  Generally, unless it was a top level incident that was going to happen, that level of bureaucracy was just too hard, so it was usually safer to travel with someone from another country. 

We were all ready for our first run of the day, to observe this strange large ship on the building ways.  Terry the Canadian was driving, and I was in the passenger seat, all ready to observe as we crossed the bridge over this canal. From this canal we could look right into the shipyard.
Leningrad is called “The Venice of the North” because it has many, many canals all through the city.  As we crossed this canal I noticed a strange-looking guy standing by a dump truck, parked on the canal bridge.  I had already started observing when I spotted this guy.  At the same time, he spotted me, and yelled.  Then he jumped into his dump truck and took off after us.  Out of nowhere appeared a small Zhiguli, the little Russian Fiats the KGB used to follow us around.  It was loaded with the usual number of four goons. 
Then another Zhiguli appeared, also loaded with goons.  They were following behind, to either side of the dump truck, dodging in and out of traffic, dodging the streetcars, etc.  I told Terry to get the hell out of here, meaning the area around the shipyard, and he headed right down town.  We were going pretty fast, with the dump truck and the two Zhigulis.  Another Zhiguli appeared, and they started to box us in—one in front, one on either side, and the truck astern.  And alongside us was one of Leningrad’s many trolley cars. 
Just as we got into Leningrad’s center, one of the busiest shopping streets, they forced us to stop. 
We immediately displayed our diplomatic papers against the closed windows as they demanded we get out.  Our standing instructions were, in such cases, to show our papers and stay put—never willingly open the door or window of the car.  Of course, if they wanted to, they could get in the car in a second, but this was always one of those tricky diplomatic incidents, and if the Soviets were in plain view of regular citizens, they avoided that… usually.

Leningrad Tram near Finlandskaya Station (famous for being the station to which Lenin returned after exile, to lead the October Revolution of 1917).

The lead KGB guy got out of his car, and was pointing at me, and telling the others that I was using a big camera, with a long lens, and he used his hands to show how long.  They walked around our car, wrote down our license plate number, which they knew very well anyway, and then they all got in their cars and truck, and disappeared. 
            We were pretty shaken, even though they had apparently left, and we quietly, at speed limit, drove back to the American Consulate, and spent the rest of the day touring Leningrad as the innocent tourists we were. 
            The story of this incident later appeared in Red Star, the national Red Army newspaper, and was picked up by Canadian and American newspapers:  “American naval officer caught Red Handed in Leningrad, Canadian involved.” 
            I’m glad the Cold War is over.

This is what we were after: Marshal Nedelin Class Soviet Range Support Ship
The Soviets used these ships to track our missiles as well as their own.

The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:

Caylor System Baseball Score Book, in Accordance with National League Requirements, No. 3--44 Games ca. 1925 Boston, MA: James W. Brine Company, 286 Devonshire Street. Very nice rare Boston baseball memento. James W. Brine Athletic Goods Baseball Score Book with instructions for scoring by O.P. Caylor's System.  Scorecards filled in, dated 1928 to 1941. Teams Mishe Mokwa (summer camp?), Milton, Middlesex, Ayer, Groton, Concord, St. Mark's, Belmont, Belmont Hill, Dartmouth at Harvard (1939), West Concord. Advertising for James W. Brine Official League Baseballs (Guaranteed for 18 innings), sweaters, all kinds of highest quality athletic goods. . 92 pp.        20.5 x 14 cm. Maroon cloth on board, "Whitney Cook" written on cover and on title page. Inside front hinge repaired with binding tape.  Inside rear hinge cracked. Cover shows wear, inside also. Fair. (7358) $60.00. Advertising/American Originals

Edward G. Robinson (L) shown with James Cagney

Edward G. Robinson in Thunder in the City--Advance Advertising Package 1937 New York, NY: Astor Pictures Corp. Eight-page, large format booklet contains advertising cuts, publicity pieces, biographies for promoting film, "Thunder in the City" starring Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973), with Luli Deste, Nigel Bruce, Constance Collier; Screen play by Robert Sherwood and Aben Kandel; Directed by Marion Gering, this was an Astor Pictures Corp. film.  Headline: "'Little Caesar' Crashes Society to Smash All Thrill Records."  8 pp. 27 x 42 cm. Paper booklet, large format, moderate wear, good. (7087) $41.00. Advertising/Cinema

Rawleigh’s 1917 Almanac

Rawleigh's 1917 Almanac, Cookbook and Medical Guide, 28th Year: A Valuable Hand Book  1916 Freeport, IL: The W.T. Rawleigh Co. Marvelous book, loaded with advice and information. 140 products for 1917, including toilet articles, spices, medicines, cleaning products, poultry and stock products. Design for an iceless refrigerator using Canton flannel. Recipes for candies. Canning. Rawleigh's Dip for Cattle, Horses, Sheep and Hogs.   Louse powder. How soap is made at Rawleigh's. Photos show gathering of raw drugs in faraway India and other spots. 104 pp. 14.7 x 22.4 cm. Paper booklet, full color, very good condition. (6561) $29.00. Advertising
Practical Housekeeping, A careful compilation of tried and approved recipes; One hundred and tenth thousand. 1881 Minneapolis, MN: Buckey Publishing Company. Starts with 371 pages of recipes; includes excellent section on kitchen "luxuries" showing small pictures of waffle irons, umbrella folding rack, spiral egg beater, steaming kettle, cake board and rolling pin, oyster broiler, revolving grater, and much more. 670 pp. 15 x 21 cm. Cloth on board, owner pasted paper over cover, thus cover poor. Text block very good. Binding tight.  Overall good. (5336) $60.00. Cookbooks/Women's

American Reader, The, containing a selection of Narration, Harrangues, Addresses, Orations, Dialogues, Odes, Hymns, Poems & c. Designed for use of schools. By John Hubbard, John 1820 Bellows Falls, Vermont: Bill Blake & Co. Loads of words of advice to young readers. Patriotic Address of Rolla, the Peruvian General, when attacked by the Spaniards; repeated in 1803 by R.B. Sheridan to the British while Bonaparte was preparing to attack that Kingdom.  Observations on the Indians of Virginia: "Poor Indians!  Where are they now? The people here now may say what they please, but on the principal of eternal truth and justice they have no rights to this country.…”  "never... will the Indians be brought to love the whiteman, and to imitate his sufferings." 215 pp. 10 x 16 cm. Paper on board, most of paper worn off, exposing bare wooden boards. Good. On front free endpaper is handwritten name "Adeline". (3553) $47.00. Educational

Atlas SSSR [Atlas of the USSR, in Russian] for 7th and 8th classes of Middle School, third edition 1956 Moscow, USSR: Glavnoye Upravlyeniye Geodesy I Kartografii MVD SSSR. Full-color Atlas of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) showing physical maps, climatological, resources, political-administrative, topographical, population, nationalities, industrial, main centers of machine construction, electrical power stations, metallurgical plants, railroad, transportation, river and watershed, detailed maps of parts of USSR, tables of rivers, lakes, mountains, etc. 76 pp. 23 x 29.5 cm. Paper board cover with cloth spine, edges worn, inside hinges cracked, staples rusted, good. (7338) $42.00. Educational/Atlas

Thursday, September 15, 2011

EMBRACING DEFEAT: Japan in the wake of World War II

Photos of one location in Sendai Prefecture: Left, March 11, 2011 after disastrous tsunami; middle photo, June 2, 2011; and right, September 3, showing Japanese resilience. (Photos courtesy AP/Kyodo)

BOOK REVIEW OF EMBRACING DEFEAT: JAPAN IN THE WAKE OF WORLD WAR II by John W. Dower, 1999. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 677 pp.

            This book begins on August 15, 1945, when, all across Japan, the people heard their emperor’s voice for the first time.  He announced that Japan had capitulated. It was the end of a “holy war” for the Japanese.
Victory for the United States and her allies had come, but the Japanese people were shattered.  Not only were Hiroshima and Nagasaki devastated by two atomic bombs; other cities were heavily damaged by allied bombing; Japan’s Imperial Navy had been wiped out, and its army, spread out all across Asia and the Pacific, was demolished.
[POW’s incarcerated by Germans—4% died in captivity; Those in  Japanese prison camps – 27%]
The Americans came shortly after the war and began to install a parallel government, headed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Embracing Defeat by John Dower

Kyodatsu.  It’s hard for us to recall, or to visualize the despair and the destitution of the Japanese people after the war. They were exhausted. Those who could and would, pillaged military and government supplies and stole millions of yen.  For the rest, there was starvation.  People were eating rats and sawdust, acorns, grain dust, peanut shells. Magazine articles cheerfully showed how to catch grasshoppers.  People sold whatever clothes they could to eke out an existence. People died of dysentery, tuberculosis. With a shortage of one million young males, there were group marriage meetings to make it easier for women to find husbands.  There was widespread alcohol and drug abuse.
The American servicemen in Japan were everything you can imagine.  They were the good people we all envision, who helped distribute food supplies, and individual soldiers gave candy bars and foodstuffs to those around them.  But, there was graft and corruption both amongst Americans and Japanese.  Many Japanese women turned to prostitution, and the black market was rampant. 
MacArthur was a very detached, insular figure.  He was good at talking, but not good at listening.  He did not attend many social events with the Japanese or even with Americans, and he didn’t make any effort to get around the country or to learn more about the Japanese, so that after he left and returned home and testified before Congress, he described the Japanese people as “easily  led… good followers… like a 12-year-old boy….” [Note: Pres. Truman dismissed MacArthur on April 11, 1951, which precipitated his appearance before Congress.]
We were introducing democracy to a country that had never known it… but we were doing it autocratically.   We had heavy censorship, and permitted only obedience. Young Americans who spoke only English were administering, and joked about the pidgin-English of the Japanese.  We saw white supremacism in full flower.
MacArthur and his staff were very suspicious of the “Old Japan Hands” of the State Department, and thus turned their back on the sources of some of the richest knowledge Americans had about Japan and the Japanese. 
The hierarchal Zaibatsu system,  the old Mitsu, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Yasuda families, and  Asano, Furukawa, Nissan, Okura, Nomura and Nakajima firms were gradually disassembled.  Smaller companies began to beat swords into plowshares, and we saw the rise of Komatsu, making tractors; Canon, Nikon, cameras; Honda, motorbikes, then motorcycles; and Ibuka Masaru began a company to make radio innovations, and then became Sony Corporation 
Today, as communism has nearly disappeared from the world scene, we may have trouble imagining the threat that Americans labored under as they worked to bring Japan through this era.   We were very much afraid that Japan would “turn red” and become Communist, just as China was at that very time.  We were also afraid that assassinations and terrorism would take place.
This book, published in 1999, highlights the end of the Showa era, the reign of Hirohito (b. 1901, ascended throne Dec. 1926) which ended with his death in 1989.  This historic epoch began with Japan quickly ascending in world importance and power; defeat by the U.S., then “victor and vanquished embraced Japan’s defeat together.” This year—1989—marked the bursting of the “Japanese bubble” of technical and industrial supremacy
I went to Japan to command   an American naval base 28 years ago, in 1983, and left three years later. I had about 1000 Japanese employees on the base.  I interacted heavily with the local Japanese civilian and military officials, and with many well-to-do Japanese residents, all members of a local “Japanese-American Friendship Society.”  I studied Japanese, attended Japanese Rotary clubs and made many visits to Japanese organizations, and each year took part in the harvest festival parade, dressed in a traditional costume from Japanese  mythology. 
I was able to talk to people who had served in their military forces in World War II, including the man who, as a young Japanese lieutenant commander, had planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.  My Japanese teacher was a wiry little man who had been an ensign in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and was selected to fly in the suicidal Kamikaze force, except that they ran out of planes before he could get his chance. [See my Blogs for July 8 and 10, 2011.]
I came away with a sincere admiration of the Japanese people.  I also came away with the sincere feeling that I had learned much, but still knew very little, about Japan and the Japanese.
I think Embracing Defeat gives an excellent picture of Japan’s rise from the ashes after World War II.

If we look at the way Japan is still handling the recovery from the terrible earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northern Honshu and laid waste to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants, you can see that the Japanese people are truly remarkable in their strength and perseverance.  They won’t let this pull them down.

The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:

This little book twists Uncle Sam's mustache---
Pressure and its Causes, Being the Old Fashioned Notions of an Old Fashioned Man 1837 Boston, MA: Otis, Broaders & Co. 69 pp. 9 x 14.6 cm. "A Parabolic Phrenological Scheme of National Character."   Uncle Sam's majority has not belied the flattering indications of his infancy. He is proud now, of his paternity, and in the same breath that he berates Father Bull (England), and calls that old gentleman all sorts of wicked names, he boasts his descent from him... Self Esteem is the corner stone of all Uncle Sam's edifices... The next organ of our imaginary head of Uncle Samuel is his Love of Approbation.   Author writes a rambling, tongue-in-cheek critique of America today (that is, 1837) including Embargo, War, Andy Jackson, Banking, manufactures, U.S. Bank, Lowell, Cotton Lands, Specie Circular.  Reasons for the Pressure.     Small paper book, "Cy Liford Egr, Durham N.H." written on cover;  fair condition. (8184) $46.00.  History  

S.W. Fordyce, Sr., one of the original Gringo Builders poses seated
with J.L. Whitaker (left) and Tom Finty, Jr. (right), and giant sugar cane
(it turns out that sugar cane for the Rio Grande Valley was a bust!)

Gringo Builders [Signed by author]  by Allhands, James Lewellyn 1931 Joplin, MO: Privately Printed by J.L. Allhands.  Author, J.L. Allhands (1879-1978), of Joplin, MO and Dallas, TX, a railroad construction man, writes about the building of railways in South Texas at the start of the Twentieth Century. This book is a rich source for Texas history, focused upon building a transportation system conceived by Col. Uriah Lott, who interested B.F. Yoakum in the project. Tale of drunk Negro and author and Texas Rangers convert him to abstinence. King Ranch and the building of the Brownsville Railroad. History of Corpus Christi. Brownsville and Rio Grande Rwy. Co.  St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railroad. Madonna of the Rails--women pioneers in railway construction. The first big water projects: irrigation, cultivation canals and the development of the Rio Grande Valley. Robstown to Bay City. Brazoria. Gulf Coast Lines East of Houston. Port Arthur and Sour Lake. With Index. 297 pp. 15 x 23 cm. Dark green  cloth on board, gilt printing. Author signature on front free endpaper. Title page has light horizontal stains. Very good. (2662) $99.00. History/Railroads/Texas

 Two pages of Diseases of Cattle, shows plate XLIV, Spleen Affected by Texas Fever

Diseases of Cattle, Special Report, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, Revised Edition, 1916  by Drs. Atkinson, Dickson, Harbaugh, Hickman, Law, Lowe, Mohler, Murray, Pearson , Ransom and Trumbower. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 568 pp. 14.5 x 22.8 cm.     Very comprehensive report on Cattle Diseases, including Depraved Appetite, Dyspepsia or Gastroinestinal Catarrh, Diseases of the Bowels, gastroenteritis, colic, more. Poisons and Poisoning. Diseases of the Heart, Blood Vessels and Lymphatics. Noncontagious diseases of the organs of respiration.  Respiratory Organs. Diseases of the Nervous System. Urinary Organs. Generative Organs. Excellent color plates. Cloth on board, heel and toe of spine frayed, top of spine badly frayed. Rear inside hinge cracked. Two b&w plates at p. 300 torn, lack top 40%. Because of this partial plate, book is poor. (2561) $26.00. Farming

This Author has an axe to grind..... 
Farming As It Is! An Original Treatise on Agriculture with the Rights and Duties of Farmers by Pinkham, T.J.   1860 Boston, MA: Bradley, Dayton and Company.   Pinkham takes on the dark influences upon New England farming. First, the Agricultural Society of Massachusetts, “which collects an annual stipend from the Commonwealth and the aristocratic farmers of State Street  have a good dinner, and do nothing more!”  Next is "Happiness"-- and Pinkham lists various towns in the Commonwealth with their population, then the number of paupers, insane persons and idiots. Much discussion of manure.   Incompetence of the Board of Agriculture. "They are fond of nice roasts, porter-house steaks, and plum pudding..."  Still more on the perfidy of the Board of Agriculture (Chas. L. Flint, Secretary) ...Author clearly has an axe to grind.  393 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Blindstamped black cloth on board, spine torn, biopredation on cloth on back cover, poor.  (5221) $28.00. Farming.

Japan Pocket Guide, 1955  Tokyo, Japan: Japan Travel Bureau. "Japan is the land of color, charm and courtesy where the East blends with the West and the old with the new." Black and white photos of tourist attractions, maps and brief descriptions of tourist destinations. Appendix provides statistics on tourist volume, Western hotels, key phrases, fares to destinations, more. 147 pp. 13 x 18.7 cm. Green cloth on board, very good. Dustjacket, shows wear, good. (7176) $16.00. Travel/Japan

Maine, The Summer Playground of the Nation--The Land of Smiling Skies -- Picture album ca. 1919 Cover features die-cut oval to show off first photo in album, of Portland Head Light. Collection of some 42 photos includes Longfellow's birthplace, Drawbridge at Naples, Sebago Lake; Fort Halifax; drawing of Monument Square, Portland, 50 years ago; Fort Knox on the Penobscot River; Sunset on Moosehead Lake; International Bridge at Fort Fairfield; Hay Stack Mountain at Presque Isle; Home of Lillian Nordica at Farmington; Parking Space and Pier at Old Orchard Beach; Bird's Eye View of Bar Harbor; more. Includes map of Maine on inside back cover. 42 pp. 20 x 13 cm. Paper booklet, cover in heavy tan board, each page framed with light green design with Maine subjects. Very good. (7017) $34.00. Travel

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Imperial Iranian Navy

 H.H. Prince Chafik (Shah’s Nephew) and SWC at Kharq Island in the Persian Gulf

I had just arrived at ARMISH/MAAG Iran We were an Army Mission and a Military Advisory and Assistance Group in Tehran.  I was on the advisory staff for the Setade Bozorg, which means "Grand Staff" or the supreme military staff to His Imperial Majesty the Shah. It was 1970.

            The head of the Imperial Iranian Navy was Admiral Rassa'i .

            This Chief of the Imperial Iranian Navy (IIN) was left over from the old bunch of admirals.

            About a year before, in 1969, the Iranian Navy had maintained a post on an island in the Persian Gulf to operate a lighthouse and signal station, and to keep an eye on the sneaky Iraqis who might be coming down from Basra on the Shatt al Arab (EuphratesRiver).

            The IIN routinely sent a landing craft out each month to the island to resupply the detachment, and to take replacements, etc.

Watermen at Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf
            However, one month they simply forgot to go out to the island.  Coupled with that, the men on the island had failed to keep up the radio equipment, so they were pretty much stranded out there.  The next month the Navy forgot about them ... still... and so on for several months.

            These poor souls tried everything to get someone's attention, and they took to burning flares.  The first ship to discover them was a Royal Navy destroyer. The RN contacted the British Embassy in Tehran, and Ambassador Ramsbottom contacted the Shah.  It embarrassed the Shah greatly to have the British call attention to such sloppy performance, and so the Shah fired all his admirals-except for Rassa'i.

            That was a clue.  The Persians are very much into appearances and “face”.  In 1970—and today--- they think of themselves as adults in the world community, worthy of respect of all.               
            However, they often did --- and still do---  things that make them look primitive in western eyes.  Forgetting their naval detachment on a tiny island in the Persian Gulf was just such a screw-up.  How they reacted to it shows how sensitive they were to being looked at with disfavor.  Americans and others of the industrialized countries are quick to look askance at people in less developed countries, but I can tell you, after getting to know Persians, and staying in touch with them all these years later, they are wonderful, intelligent, and generous people.  I personally think some of their leaders today are trying to take them back to an earlier century, but I am confident that regular Iranians will, one day soon, have enough of that.

            I arrived after all this, all the admirals except Rassa'i were young men, who had recently been bright Lieutenant Commanders, fresh from training in the UK or the US.  They all spoke English, and were quite sharp looking.  They put on their admirals' uniforms, got rid of their "old" wives, and acquired wives suitable to their new stations in life.

             That gave me a good idea of how the Shah handled problems in his realm.

            My first trip to the Persian Gulf came a short time after this, and it was fascinating to see the Shah's shiny new destroyers and hovercraft, along with the traditional Arab dhows that have sailed in these waters for centuries.  

            Our escort on one trip around the Gulf was Prince Chafik, [H.H. Prince (Vala Gohar) Shahriar Mustapha Chafik (1945-1979)] a nephew of the Shah, and a Lieutenant Commander in the Imperial Iranian Navy.  He was a dashing young man—the son of Princess Ashraf, the Shah’s twin sister.

[Princess Ashraf ul-Mulki Pahlavi (Persian: اشرف پهلوی) (born 26 October 1919), is the twin sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the late Shah of Iran and the Pahlavi Dynasty. She currently resides in Paris, France. Princess Ashraf is the oldest living member of her family. She was instrumental in getting the Shah to participate in the counter-coup that overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953.]
Chafik was commander of all the Imperial Iranian Navy helicopters and hovercraft.  After the 1979 revolution he escaped to Paris, and was gunned down Dec. 7, 1979 there by Iranian Islamic Republic agents.

[NOTE: This Blog was originally posted on April 28, 2011.  This version includes recently discovered old photo and some updating.]
[Updated again 03-31-13.]


Now—The Personal Navigator offers some books and papers….

Young’s Poetical Works Title Page

 Young: The Poetical Works of the Reverend Edward Young, LL.D. Rector of Wellwyn in Hartfordshire, and Chaplain in ordinary to His Majesty in Three Volumes, Volume the First 1755. 394 pp. 10.3 x 16.6 cm. Note: Only Volume I is present. Interesting collection of the poetry of Edward Young (1681-1765): Epistle to Rt. Hon George Lord Lansdowne, 1712; A Poem on the Last Day, in Three Books, (1713); The Force of Religion, Or, Vanquished Love, in Two Books (1714); On the Death of Queen Anne, and the Accession of King George, Inscr. to Joseph Addison, Esq. 1714; Epistles to Mr. Pope, Concerning the Authors of the Age, 1730; A Paraphrase on Part of the Book of Job, dedicated to Rt. Hon. Thomas Lord Parker; The Foreign Address Occasioned by the British Fleet, and the Posture of Affairs 1734, Written in the Character of a Sailor; Love of Fame, the Universal Passion, in Seven Characteristical Satires (1728); The Installment to the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Walpole, 1726; Oratio Habita Postero Die Cum jacta sunt Biliothecæ Fundamenta.  Includes Key to the Universal Passion (7 Satires). Calf on board, front board missing, back board soiled with mold. Page 394, last page, missing top half. Poor. (2445) $68.00. Poetry/Literature

King of Otaheite

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, May 1820, Vol. 2 No. 9 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Memoir of Rev. Henry Jessey. Review of sermon delivered at the ordination of Rev. Stephen Chapin by Jeremiah Chaplin, Professor of Divinity in the Maine Literary and Theological Institution, at North Yarmouth. Extract of letter from Missionary College, Serampore by W. Ward. [Note: Ward was among founders of this College in India in 1818. It still exists in 2008.] College is open to all denominations of Christians, and to as many heathen scholars as choose to avail themselves of its exercises and lectures. Letter from Pomare, King of Otaheite,Society Islands. Report on efforts to Christianize American Indians of the Oneida and Stockbridge; letter signed with marks by Oneida Indians asking to embrace Christianity. 34 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, poor. (6399) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, September 1820, Vol. 2 No. 11 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Frontispiece engraving of Rev'd James Manning Winchell, A.M. late pastor of the First Baptist Church in Boston. Memoir of the death of Mrs. Tamma Winchell, Rev. Winchell's widow. Tribute on death of Rev. Edward W. Wheelock, who, dying of consumption, left Rangoon for Calcutta, and died at sea. Letter from Mrs. Colman on the Burman Mission, mournfully relates last days of Rev. Wheelock. In letter to her sister she chides her for not answering for "nine long months" and goes on to tell her about revival of Buddhism in Burma, and building of pagodas.  32 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, poor. (6400) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper:
American Messenger, May 1856; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 14. No. 5 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Statistics on intemperate persons among the inmates of the Baltimore almshouse: 60%. Mr. John Sadlier, member of the Parliament from Ireland, has just committed suicide, after having been engaged in enormous frauds. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  very good. (5360) $20.00. Religious/History

American Messenger, June 1856; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 14. No. 6 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Report on desperate condition of women of China, by Rev. John C. Lord of Ningpo:  They are slaves. Story about a dog who saved a store from burning in Troy, NY. War in Europe is ended, Treaty signed in Paris March 30 by Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Sardinia, Turkey, France, Prussia. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  spinefold torn 24 cm,  good. (5361) $20.00. Religious/History

Pressure and its Causes, Being the Old Fashioned Notions of an Old Fashioned Man 1837 Boston, MA: Otis, Broaders & Co. 69 pp. 9 x 14.6 cm. "A Parabolic Phrenological Scheme of National Character."   Uncle Sam's majority has not belied the flattering indications of his infancy. He is proud now, of his paternity, and in the same breath that he berates Father Bull (England), and calls that old gentleman all sorts of wicked names, he boasts his descent from him... Self Esteem is the corner stone of all Uncle Sam's edifices... The next organ of our imaginary head of Uncle Samuel is his Love of Approbation.   Author writes a rambling critique of America today (1837) including Embargo, War, Jackson, Banking, manufactures, U.S. Bank, Lowell, Cotton Lands, Specie Circular.  Reasons for the Pressure.     Small paper book, "Cy Liford Egr, Durham N.H." written on cover;  fair condition. (8184) $46.00.  History  

Florence Nightingale

American Messenger, April 1857; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 15. No. 4 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Florence Nightingale, her upbringing, and her service in the recent war in the Crimea. The Rev. Dr. Eli Smith died Jan. 11 in Beyrout,Syria, aged 55. His work was in translating, preparing and issuing a Bible in Arabic. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  very good. (5365) $20.00.  Religious/History

American Messenger, June 1858; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 16. No. 6   New York, NY: The American Tract Society. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Bishop McIlvaine's Address at 33rd anniversary of the Society. Position on "anti-slavery".Minnesota was admitted into the confederacy of the United States May 12, making the number of states in the Union 32. Russia to adopt the new style of calendar, so that by 1912 their calendar will coincide with the Gregorian. The children's missionary vessel,"Morning Star" since arriving at the Sandwich islands in 1857 has made two important cruises. Newspaper,  very good.  (5372) $20.00.  Religious/History

 Andrew Peabody

Andrew P. Peabody: Three Sermons preached at the South Church, Portsmouth,NH December 25, 1859 and January 15, 1860 by Peabody, Andrew P., D.D. 1860Portsmouth, NH: James F. Shores, Jun. & Joseph H. Foster. Andrew P. Peabody became famous at the South Church when he stormed against the American victory in the Mexican-American war in 1847. A lifelong pacifist Unitarian preacher, Peabody was a champion of abolition. These three sermons, preached just before the start of the War Between the States, display his eloquence, religious fervor and absolute dedication to the Gospel of Christ. His last sermon is a Vindication of Unitarianism. 32 pp. 14 x 22 cm. (6441) $31.00. Religious/Unitarian

 Hosea Ballou

Ballou's Sermons: Select Sermons Delivered on Various Occasions from Important Passages of Scripture by Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Boston 1844 Boston, MA: A. Tompkins. Twenty-five sermons delivered between 1818 and 1829.  Christ our Example. Rich Man and Lazarus. False Teachers Compared to Foxes. Sinner meets with deserved punishment. The New Birth. The End of the World. Divine Truth, as represented by Tithes.  The Golden Calf. Evil of Striving Against God. Book belonged to Library of Rev. Eli Ballou, a prominent Vermont Clergyman. 350 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Cloth on board, blindstamped design, Small bookplate shows "Rev. Eli Ballou's Library". Endpapers torn out, leaving only edges. Except for that, appearance and condition very good.    (1757) $40.00. Religious

Our Woman Workers; Biographical Sketches of Women Eminent in the Universalist Church for Literary, Philanthropic and Christian Work by Hanson, E.R. 1882 Chicago, IL: The Star and Covenant Office. Word-pictures of the women who helped to lay the foundations of the Unitarian church. In introduction author Hanson gives a scathing account of how Unitarianism rose in opposition to the male-centered faith that had dominated Christianity for so long.  This elegant book includes excellent engravings of 14 women, and biographies of an additional 130 or more. Includes Clara Barton; Henrietta A. (Burrington) Bingham; Rev. Augusta J. Chapin; Eunice H.(Waite)  Cobb; Phoebe A. (Coffin) Hanaford; Charlotte A. (Fillebrown)  Jerauld; Mary A. (Rice)  Livermore; Sarah C. (Edgarton) Mayo; Sarah M. (Clinton)  Perkins; Caroline M. (Fisher)  Sawyer; Julia H. (Kinney) Scott; Caroline A. (White)  Soule; M. Louise (Palmer) Thomas; Emeline C. Tomlinson, Alice and Phoebe Cary. 500 pp. 15.5 x 21 cm. Dark brown cloth on board with gilt lettering and blind-stamped design; minor rubbing on heel and toe of spine; Owner name, "Mary A. Mayo, 1882" on front free endpaper, along with "To Maria Dove and Elizabeth P. Ross, June 17, 1905." Very good. (4706) $67.00. Biography/Women's/Religious

Please contact me at