Japan White-Ants European Colonialism In Asia

Being ruled by foreigners is not a pleasant experience. When the foreigner exults in the power of his weaponry, and flaunts his religion and his tasteless cuisine, tossncook while deriding almost all of the characteristics which define the cultures and civilisations of those whose territories have been taken over, he is not even respected.

Since, in his arrogant ignorance he deems all those of a different skin colour, ways of life, and cultural values and practices to be inferior, he treats them with disdain. That some of these people may in fact represent thousands of years of an advanced culture while living simple lives, with vast learning, as well as possessing seamanship and trade skills, is of no consequence to the exploiter. This is in spite of the relatively short duration of the culture of his own society. (However, in any situation, there will be found exceptions to the norm.)

From about the 15th century, within half a millennium, a number of small European nations had achieved control over almost all of the continents. The coloured so-called natives had to wait for centuries to gain independence; some of them are still awaiting the ‘gang bang’ to be over. Those who, like the Hindus, had seriously studied the movements of the planets knew that empires have a built-in expiry date.

There had, however, to arise a trigger for change; and that was Japan – so said my elders. But Japan needed a few hundred years to be ready to establish itself as an Asian power, and thence to claim parity with the powers of Europe and the USA. It is to be noted that such power is neither cultural nor spiritual, hoodpay only military.

The Japanese tiger was awakened when Commodore Perry of the USA demanded trading rights by breaking into an insular Japan. Realising that industrialisation and military might were now necessary, Japan set out to learn from the West, particularly Germany (so it was reported). The efficacy of this approach was demonstrated in the second half of the 20th century, when Ho Chi Minh and his followers drove the French out of Indo-China, using what he had apparently learnt in France about applying the strategies of revolution in seeking national independence.

In displaying its industrial and military muscle, Japan colonised Korea and Manchuria, beat Russia at war, and joined the USA and some European nations in claiming a firm foothold in China. That Japan had already achieved some clout in the West was demonstrated when Japanese became classified as ‘honorary whites’ by colour-sensitive South Africa with its apartheid policy.

But the Western powers in the East sought to constrain Japan in its ambitions – especially through an economic embargo and by requiring the shrinkage of its empire, especially in China.

So, Japan fought its way out of its impasse. Within a short period, it took over Indo-China, neutralised Thailand, and drove away the British and Dutch from their colonies in south east Asia. Burma, Ceylon and India were next on the acquisition list. Japan was clearly ambitious. But, what a beacon of hope it must have been to the colonial subjects; the Europeans could be driven out!

As a resident of British Malaya and reasonably well-informed by my elders, I had been made aware of the generally insufferable behaviour of the British serving King and Crown at the coal-face, kevythirsi at the hope of the local populace for independence, and the unsurprising view that it would be better to be ruled inefficiently by one’s own people than be governed, however efficiently, by foreigners.

When the Japanese arrived most suddenly, some people were hopeful that liberation had arrived. My extended immigrant family was more concerned about survival. Three women and 11 children, led by me at 13, hid in a rubber estate, living in primitive conditions. My father guarded (together with our neighbours) our home and that of an uncle, a reservist, who had gone to fight the Japanese; panasiabiz the other uncle was safeguarding his home elsewhere.

We children heard nothing about the war, but watched with interest as truck after truck loaded with Allied troops rolled down the trunk road leading to Singapore in the South. Soon, the civilian uncle joined us; the British administration had closed down. Then the reservist returned, having gone all the way to Singapore and then been disbanded.

Each day, my little cousins and sisters would wave to the troops, as the trucks in the distance were visible to us; the men would wave back. Then, one morning, those who waved back were observed to be shorter and wearing different uniforms, including cloth caps. We were terrified, but continued with the hardship of existence until my father sent word that the war was over, and that a military occupation had begun.

That was the tsunami which eventually led to freedom from colonisation for all of south and south east Asia, although the French and Dutch had to be forced out by bitter war. As for my family, we lived even more frugally than before and avoided attention from the Japanese.


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