The Dahomey Amazons

Over the years I have come to believe that pages on my websites should have a maximum size, and if that size is exceeded, the page becomes cumbersome.  Then the page can take a long time to load in slow browsers, Internet search engines find them a challenge to index, and no visitor to the website will have the attention span to read the whole page in one sitting.  Back in the early years of The Xenophile Historian, I put that page size limit at 75 KB; more recently the limit has been 120 KB.

For the new pages I have written in the past decade, I have used that size to determine which pages will be uploaded in one piece (not counting pictures), and which will be divided into more than one part before uploading.  So far the largest page to get that treatment was the last chapter of my Latin American history project; it went up on the site in seven parts.

Recently it occurred to me that some of my African history pages were big enough to divide when I first uploaded them, but I didn’t.  One of those pages is Chapter 6, which covers African history from 1415 to 1795 A.D.  This was the period when Europeans explored the coast of Africa, but across most of the continent they weren’t ready to go into the interior, so the African kingdoms were still going strong.  Well, that page took up 180 KB, so last week I divided the chapter in two; here is how it is now organized:

Chapter 6: The Forest Kingdoms

1415 to 1795
Part I

Prince Henry’s Captains

The Way to the Orient

Songhay

Kongo and the Rise of Modern Slavery

Mwene Mutapa

Cross vs. Crescent: The Indian Ocean and East Africa

Cross vs. Crescent: The Mediterranean Front and the Maghreb

Morocco and the Sahel Out of Balance

Part II

East African Tribal Migrations

Dutch, French, English and Omani Intruders

Benin

Oyo and Dahomey

Ashanti

Luba, Lunda and Kuba

The Barbary States

The Cape Colony

Madagascar Coalesces

The Effects of the Slave Trade on Population

The other change that I made to the chapter was to elaborate on one subject:  the warriors of the kingdom of Dahomey (in present-day Benin).  Previously I casually mentioned that Dahomey employed female warriors, in this paragraph:

The two kings following Dakpodunu turned away slave raids from Allada, defeated two invasions from Oyo (1680 & 1698), and found time to increase the size of the kingdom to forty towns. The next king, Agaja (1708-32), did even better, conquering Allada in 1724 and Whydah (also spelled Ouidah), the French-built port on the coast, in 1727. Today Agaja is mainly known for creating a female royal bodyguard, arming them with muskets and machetes; Europeans nicknamed these warriors the “Dahomey Amazons.”  However, he met his match in Gberu, the king of Oyo. From 1726 to 1730 Oyo invaded almost every year during the dry season, until Agaja agreed to pay an annual tribute. This tributary status lasted until 1818, but Dahomey continued to expand and prosper, first because of the slave trade, and later by exporting palm oil, an essential ingredient of soap, from large plantations.

This month I read an article on the Dahomey Amazons, so I added two footnotes to include what I learned.  Here is the one in Chapter 6:

A previous king, Wegbaja (1650?-1680?) recruited women to hunt elephants. Agaja put women in his army because he was impressed by his father’s huntresses and because wars and slave raids had caused a shortage of men. While some women joined willingly, there are also reports of wives being drafted into the unit if their husbands complained to the king about their behavior. I wish someone would explain to me how turning the wife into a killing machine was considered the solution for a troubled marriage. It reminds me of the gun shop that put an ad on the Internet saying, “We provide quick solutions for women in spousal abuse situations.”

Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, a leader of the Amazons in 1851. If her husband complained about her cooking, I’m sure he only did it once!
From
Wikimedia Commons.

While in the army, Dahomeyan women were not permitted to have children or marry — children would get in the way of their duties and the women were considered married to the king — but since the king did not actually have sex with them, many Amazons were virgins. They were also given a grueling physical training that was tougher than what the male soldiers endured. During wartime their motto was, “Whatever the town to be attacked, we will conquer or bury ourselves in its ruins.” Any Amazon that fled from battle without being ordered by the king to withdraw was executed on the spot. In return for the strict discipline they had to live under, the Amazons were given extraordinary privileges for women in those days: they were allowed to have alcohol, tobacco, and as many as fifty slaves. They were considered better warriors than the men even when defeated, and the king revered them so much that the penalty for touching an Amazon was death.

Incidentally, after Haiti became independent in 1804, the Haitian emperor, Henri Christophe, hired (male) palace guards from Dahomey.

Now since this military unit lasted until 1894, I put the other footnote in the next chapter.  Quote:

Because Dahomey faced a serious challenge in the mid-nineteenth century from the Yoruba, a much larger tribe, the Dahomeyan kings enlarged the Amazon Corps from 800 warrior women to 6,000 — roughly half the size of the whole Dahomeyan army. The trouble with the French started when Dahomey attacked a village that happened to be a French protectorate. The Amazons found the chief of the village in his palace, holding a French tricolor flag, and shouting, “This will protect me!” Sure it did; on the Dahomeyan general’s command, the Amazons beheaded the chief and took his head to their king, wrapped in the flag. But when the French armed forces arrived the Dahomeyans found that even they could not beat a modern army. The Amazons were armed mainly with their traditional muskets and machetes, while the French had a gunboat to bombard the enemy, plus gatling guns and the latest rifles. Over the course of twenty-four battles (many fought hand-to-hand), superior firepower decided it for the French.

It is said that 1,500 Amazons took part in the last battles against the French, and 50 were still able to fight at the end of it all. Needless to say, the Amazon corps was disbanded when the French took over. Of the survivors, we believe the last was a woman named Nawi. She had plenty of memories about fighting the French in the 1890s, so when she died in 1979, she had to be more than a century old.

Unquote:  Who was it who referred to women as “the weaker sex?”

Published in: on June 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Travel Broadens the Mind, Except for These Folks

I have seen this funny list posted several times this week, and since geography is related to history, I added it to the joke folder of The Xenophile Historian.  You can see it here, as well as read it below:

 

These are actual complaints received by "Thomas Cook Vacations" from dissatisfied customers:

  1. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."
  2. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food."
  3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."
  4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."
  5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."
  6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."
  7. "It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned."
  8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."
  9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."
  10. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."
  11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."
  12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."
  13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."
  14. "The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."
  15. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."
  16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."
  17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."
  18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."
  19. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."
Published in: on May 30, 2015 at 7:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Xenophile Historian Newsletter, #25

I just sent it out.  Here it is, if you’re not on my e-mail list.

The Xenophile Historian Newsletter, #25
( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/ )

Greetings once again to all my loyal readers!  This is Charles Kimball, here to give you the latest news on my world history website.  If you are a long-time reader you may notice I’m here early.  A few times in the past I have let more than twelve months go by between newsletters, but this time it has only been five months since the previous one.  Well, I have a lot to report, starting with not one, not two, but SEVEN new history papers on the site!  How did I do it while working full-time?  Well, let’s get into the details and find out.

======================================

When I sent out the last newsletter, there were two parts of the world I hadn’t written history papers on yet:  Central Asia and the South Pacific.  Well, for years I had been collecting notes about the exploration of the Pacific, and that decided the matter, when I realized it would not take much effort to combines those notes into one history paper.  So I did that and in record time (it was done in a month and a half), I had a chapter for a history series on Oceania (Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and all the little islands of the Pacific).  However, it covered the years from 1500 to 1780, so it could not be the first chapter in the series; I called it Chapter 2, Terra Australis Incognita.

Later, after rewriting the papers on the site about Japan and Korea (more about that below), it occurred to me that if Chapter 2 is already up, I’d better not wait too long before writing Chapter 1.  You may remember how I once said it is my job to fill in the gaps other historians leave in our knowledge of the past, and now I had to fill in one of my own gaps!  I was reminded of a funny bit Bill Murray did on Saturday Night Live, back around 1980.  He was supposed to review the movie “Chapter Two” and he said, “What happened to Chapter One?  I think anyone who sees Chapter Two without first seeing Chapter One has to be a jerk.”  Which naturally led to the next movie he was going to talk about, “The Jerk.”

Therefore I corrected that omission by finishing Chapter 1.  Called “Of Lands and Seas, A Prehistoric Age of Exploration,” it covers the history, or should I say pre-history, of the South Pacific, from whenever the ancestors of the Australian Aborigines showed up, until 1500 A.D.  It also did not take long to put together, because I had no written records to look up and read.  All I had to do was mention what archaeologists have found so far, include a few native legends about how their tribes got started, and make sure I did not overlook any of the two dozen or so archipelagoes in the region.  Thus, Chapter 1 was a two-month job, which was finished by mid-April.  Here is the link to Chapter 1, and the list of topics covered:

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/pacific/pacific1.html

Chapter 1: Of Lands and Seas, A Prehistoric Age of Exploration

Before 1500 A.D.

Pacific Geography
From Sunda-Land to Sahul-Land
The Melanesians
Early Austronesian Migrations
The Polynesian Expeditions
Polynesian Cultures
The Micronesians
The Tu’i Tongan “Empire”
Nan Madol
The Easter Island Mystery — Solved
Aotearoa
Epilogue

And here (now in the right order) is Chapter 2:

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/pacific/pacific2.html

Chapter 2: Terra Australis Incognita

1500 to 1780

Demographics at the Time of the European Arrival
The Mysterious Southern Continent
Did Spain Discover Hawaii First?
The Spanish Lake
Early Expeditions to Australia
Pohnpei Liberated
The Discovery of Easter Island
The Discovery of Tahiti
Captain Cook
The First Voyage
The Second Voyage
The Third Voyage

And the homepage for the new folder on the site is http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/pacific/index.html .

At the same time, I realized the pages on Japanese and Korean history needed to be updated, because I had not done much with them in at least a dozen years, and a lot has happened in Northeast Asia since 2002.  For one thing, South Korea has introduced a new way to write Korean words in the Latin (Western) alphabet, called Revised Romanization, and that alone rendered the Korean page out of date.  I also decided to combine the two histories into one, because on more than one occasion the same event affected both countries, like the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95.  Thus, with much of the narrative you will have one section about Japan, the next about Korea, and so on; I hope readers won’t find it too disconnected, compared with previous versions.  Between that, adding recent events, expanding older material, and putting in new pictures, by the time I was done in February, I had five chapters where there used to be two!  Here is how they are organized now:

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/neasia/kj01.html

Chapter 1: The Formation of Korean and Japanese Civilizations

Korea Before 668, Japan Before 710

Introduction to Korea
Dangun
Later Gojoseon and Jin
Japan: How It All Began
Korea: The Samhan (Proto-Three Kingdoms) Period
Japan: The Yayoi Culture
Japan: The Kofun Period
Korea: The Three Kingdoms
Japan: The Asuka Period

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/neasia/kj02.html

Chapter 2: Medieval Korea and Japan

Korea from 668 to 1637, Japan from 710 to 1603

Balhae
Japan: The Nara Period
Silla & Sinicization
Ultracivilization: The Heian Era
Goryeo: Civilization For the Few
Japan: The Kamakura Shogunate
Korea: The Joseon Dynasty
Japan: The Ashikaga Shogunate
European Contact
The Reunification of Japan

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/neasia/kj03.html

Chapter 3: Closed and Opened Societies

Korea from 1637 to 1910, Japan from 1603 to 1912

Japan: The Tokugawa Shogunate
Korea: The Hermit Kingdom
Perry Opens Japan
The Meiji Restoration
The First Sino-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War
The End of the Korean Empire

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/neasia/kj04.html

Chapter 4: The War-Ravaged Years

Korea from 1910 to 1953, Japan from 1912 to 1945

Korea: Pax Japonica
Japan: The Militants Take Over
World War II
China
Siberia or the Pacific?
The Rise and Fall of Tojo
Iwo Jima and Okinawa
The Grim Endgame
The Creation of North and South Korea
The Korean War

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/neasia/kj05.html

Chapter 5: Northeast Asia Today

Korea since 1953, Japan since 1945

Japan, Incorporated
South Korea: Growing Pains
Japan’s Lost Decades
South Korea: The Sixth Time is the Charm
The Bizarre Land of North Korea

======================================

Of course, after announcing seven new papers on the site, anything else happening will seem anticlimatic, by comparison.  In fact, there are only two other things I find big enough to be worth mentioning, so this newsletter will finish in a hurry.

For the European history, I read a hilarious World War I story about George S. Patton, the future American general and war hero.  The story covered what happened when the French discovered what they thought was the grave of an American soldier, and showed it to Patton.  Naturally it deserved to be repeated, so I gave it a footnote here:

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/europe/eu14.html#N_9_

And in US history, I learned that Arkansas had a mini-civil war a few years after the big civil war you’ve heard of, over the issue of who would be the state’s next governor.  You can read about this conflict, the Brooks-Baxter War, in a new section added to Chapter 4 of the North American history:

http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/northam/na04b.html#Arkansas

======================================

What’s next on the agenda?  I will continue writing about the South Pacific, now that I have started that project.  The way things are going, I may be able to finish with just two more chapters.  And I will probably update another existing project before I write the next newsletter; most likely I will update the Chinese history, because it got its last major revision in the 1990s.  And then there is Central Asia, which I must get done in order to make good my claim to have written the history of just about everybody.  That is a project I have been putting off since 1992, and I’d better not put it off much longer.  May you have a great 2015, and keep on reading!

======================================

If you missed older issues of this newsletter and want to see them, they can be downloaded in a zip file from http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/download/index.html .  And the links below go to topics I mentioned in previous issues, that are still valid.  Please visit them, if you haven’t already:

The Xenohistorian Weblog, this site’s official blog.

https://xenohistorian.wordpress.com

My world history textbook, “A Biblical Interpretation of World History.”

http://www.rosedogbookstore.com/biinofwohi.html
or
http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/worldhis/index.html

And my business website:

http://charlesskimball.legalshieldassociate.com/

Take Care and God Bless,

Charles Scott Kimball

=======================

You received this newsletter because you subscribed to my mailing list, provided by http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/ .  It comes out once or twice a year, when there have been major changes to the website.  I AM NOT in the spam business, so when you subscribed here, your address was not sent to any third parties.  If for any reason you wish to unsubscribe, or would like to subscribe a new e-mail address, go to my homepage ( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/ ), scroll down about four fifths of the way to the bottom, enter your address where it says “Enter your e-mail address to receive the site newsletter!” and hit the “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” button.

Published in: on April 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Of Lands and Seas, A Prehistoric Age of Exploration

I know, I have been away from this blog for nearly two months.  A lot has happened here in the real world:  two days when the snowfall exceeded ten inches, the coldest day in my lifetime (-18 on February 20!), doing my taxes, another post-season where the University of Kentucky Wildcats made it to the Final Four in the basketball playoffs (the fourth time this has happened in the past five years), and three guests staying in my house over the past week.

Also, I have been composing a new history paper since the rewrite of Japan and Korea was finished, exactly two months ago.  This time it is Chapter 1 of my new South Pacific history series.  You remember how I once said it is my job to fill in the gaps other historians leave in our knowledge of the past?  Well, now I am filling in one of my own gaps; I gave you Chapter 2 last December, without giving you Chapter 1.  Since then I have remembered a funny bit Bill Murray did on Saturday Night Live many years ago.  He was supposed to review the movie “Chapter Two” and he said, “What happened to Chapter One?  I think anyone who sees Chapter Two without first seeing Chapter One has to be a jerk.”  Which naturally led to the next movie he was going to talk about, “The Jerk.”

Now I have corrected that omission by finishing Chapter 1.  Called “Of Lands and Seas, A Prehistoric Age of Exploration,” it covers the history, or should I say pre-history, of the South Pacific, from whenever the ancestors of the Australian Aborigines showed up, until 1500 A.D.  The topics covered are named as follows:

Chapter 1: Of Lands and Seas, A Prehistoric Age of Exploration

Pacific Geography

From Sunda-Land to Sahul-Land

The Melanesians

Early Austronesian Migrations

The Polynesian Expeditions

Polynesian Cultures

The Micronesians

The Tu’i Tongan "Empire"

Nan Madol

The Easter Island Mystery — Solved

Aotearoa

Epilogue

 

Or if you missed Chapter 2 and want another chance to read it, click on the link below:

Chapter 2:  Terra Australis Incognita (1500 to 1780)

As with my other history papers, I hope you enjoy reading my latest one as much as I enjoyed composing it!

Published in: on April 12, 2015 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Brooks-Baxter War

Earlier this week I read about an armed conflict fought in Arkansas during the Reconstruction era.  Of course I had to add it to Chapter 4 of my North American history project, and since it took more than a paragraph to explain, that meant creating a new section.  Here is how it reads:

The Brooks-Baxter War

While Reconstruction ended peacefully in most states, Arkansas briefly saw a second civil war, now called the “Brooks-Baxter War.” The state’s Reconstruction-era constitution, passed in 1868, did not allow former Confederates to serve in the government, so for the gubernatorial election of 1872, no Democrat ran. However, the Republicans split into two factions. The “Brindle Tails,” the local group that supported Horace Greeley and the Liberal Republicans in the presidential race, nominated Joseph Brooks, a carpetbagger, for governor; Democrats and black voters tended to back him as well. Meanwhile the establishment Republicans, now nicknamed the “Minstrels,” ran Elisha Baxter, a scalawag. We don’t know who won on Election Day because there were so many predictions and reports of fraud that one historian, Michael B. Dougan, called the election a “masterpiece of confusion.” It was decided in Baxter’s favor because those controlling the voting process favored Baxter, and they announced Baxter had won by just 3,000 votes; Brooks refused to accept this result and proclaimed himself the winner as well.

Baxter was sworn in as governor; Brooks petitioned the state legislature for a recount, and filed suits with the state courts. But the politicians and judges he approached were largely Minstrels, and thus refused to hear his case. After a year it looked like Brooks had run out of ways to overturn the election legally, when Baxter’s method of governing gave him a second chance. Baxter alienated Republicans both inside and outside Arkansas by being too friendly to Democrats (he allowed the passage of a bill re-enfranchising ex-Confederates), and by vetoing bills that would have allowed government funding for railroads; we saw earlier that most Republicans favored railroad building. The backers of Baxter began switching to Brooks, and one day in April 1874, a judge looked at an appeal Brooks had filed the previous June and suddenly ruled in his favor, awarding him $2,000 in damages and the office of governor of Arkansas.

Bringing the county sheriff and about twenty armed men, Brooks marched to the State House (the old state capitol building) and kicked Baxter out. Baxter escaped to a nearby hotel, made it his new headquarters, declared martial law over Pulaski County, called in the militia from the nearest military academy, and sent President Grant a telegram requesting military assistance in taking back the state government. Brooks in turn barricaded the doors and windows of the State House, made his own call for the militia to support him, and sent a general on his side to break into the state armory. The general brought back not only small arms and ammunition, but also two six-pounder cannon, which were aimed in the general direction of Baxter’s hotel. Baster’s men soon one-upped this by digging up a buried twenty-six-pounder left over from the previous war; they repaired the cannon so it could be used again, named it the “Lady Baxter,” and aimed it at the State House. Meanwhile, men showed up to support one governor or the other, until Brooks had an army of 600 troops on his side, and Baxter had 2,000. Skirmishes occurred around Little Rock for a month–estimates of the number of casualties range from 40 to 200–but there wasn’t an all-out battle because both forces expected Grant to send in the US Army on their side.

Grant did intervene in mid-May, first using federal troops to separate the armies of the governors, and then proclaiming that Baxter was the rightful governor. With no chance of winning left, Brooks abandoned the State House and dispersed his force. Since Baxter wasn’t on good terms with the Republican Party, it is not clear why Grant chose him; he may have simply picked the faction with the most soldiers and the biggest gun. Incidentally, the Lady Baxter was only fired once, to celebrate Baxter’s return to the State House; it is still parked on the State House Lawn.

Baxter did not celebrate his victory for long; before 1874 ended another constitution was written for Arkansas, and new elections were held. With Democrats able to participate again, and the Republicans gravely weakened, Baxter was replaced by a Democratic governor, after he had held the office for less than two years. Then in the 1876 elections for Arkansas, the Democrats won every race that mattered.

In the rest of the South, white Democrats also regained control of state governments. Sometimes they did it by forming coalitions with Republicans, emphasizing the need to build railroads and do other things to modernize the Southern economy.  Other times they did it by frightening blacks to keep them away from the polls at election time, depriving the carpetbagger governments of the votes they needed to stay in power. Still other times the Democrats persuaded scalawags and even black Republicans to switch parties and join them. Those Democrats who wanted to put the Civil War behind them were called “Redeemers,” and thus when they took over, the Southern states they ran were “redeemed.” By 1876, only Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina were still under Republican leadership.

 

Published in: on February 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Concise History of Korea and Japan, Revisited

Japan North Korea South Korea

The last time I completed a big webpage project, I didn’t know what I would be doing next.  It looked like I would write either a history of Central Asia or one of the South Pacific.  Indeed, in late November I realized that my notes on the South Pacific were almost complete enough to make a history paper in that series, so I completed and released that chapter.

Likewise, when my office closed for the Christmas-New Year’s break and I had plenty of time on my hands, I began working on updates to several papers, and before I knew it, I was concentrating on one area – Northeast Asia, specifically Korea and Japan.  Therefore I spent the next six weeks doing a complete rewrite of those papers.  Those papers certainly needed it.  I originally wrote the history of Korea and Japan in 1988, and look how much has happened since then; Japan got a new emperor, to start with.  Some updates were made later, but they were mostly minor, and I think the most recent one was made in 2001.  In addition, South Korea introduced a new way of spelling Korean words in English, called Revised Romanization.  For example, the South Korean city that American soldiers fought to defend in August 1950 was called Pusan back then, but it is spelled Busan now.

Another big change is that Korea and Japan are no longer in separate papers, but in separate sections of the same papers.  This way you can compare the two countries side by side and see what is happening in each.  If you’re like me, you’ll notice that their histories ran parallel, almost matching one another, in much of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries (see Chapter 3).  Finally, quite a few new pictures were added, many of them scanned from my books, and instead of one chapter/paper for each country, there are five papers now, organized as follows:


Chapter 1: The Formation of Korean and Japanese Civilizations

Korea Before 668, Japan Before 710

Introduction to Korea

Dangun

Later Gojoseon and Jin

Japan: How It All Began

Korea: The Samhan (Proto-Three Kingdoms) Period

Japan: The Yayoi Culture

Japan: The Kofun Period

Korea: The Three Kingdoms

Japan: The Asuka Period


Chapter 2: Medieval Korea and Japan

Korea from 668 to 1637, Japan from 710 to 1603

Balhae

Japan: The Nara Period

Silla & Sinicization

Ultracivilization: The Heian Era

Goryeo: Civilization For the Few

Japan: The Kamakura Shogunate

Korea: The Joseon Dynasty

Japan: The Ashikaga Shogunate

European Contact

The Reunification of Japan


Chapter 3: Closed and Opened Societies

Korea from 1637 to 1910, Japan from 1603 to 1912

Japan: The Tokugawa Shogunate

Korea: The Hermit Kingdom

Perry Opens Japan

The Meiji Restoration

The First Sino-Japanese War

The Russo-Japanese War

The End of the Korean Empire


Chapter 4: The War-Ravaged Years

Korea from 1910 to 1953, Japan from 1912 to 1945

Korea: Pax Japonica

Japan: The Militants Take Over

World War II

   China

   Siberia or the Pacific?

   The Rise and Fall of Tojo

   Iwo Jima and Okinawa

   The Grim Endgame

The Creation of North and South Korea

The Korean War


Chapter 5: Northeast Asia Today

Korea since 1953, Japan since 1945

Japan, Incorporated

South Korea: Growing Pains

Japan’s Lost Decades

South Korea: The Sixth Time is the Charm

The Bizarre Land of North Korea

Click here for a map of Northeast Asia (160 KB, will open in a separate window).

© Copyright 2015 Charles Kimball

 

Enjoy the updates!

Published in: on February 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

An Encore Performance

I told you last week about a new documentary, “Patterns of Evidence:  Exodus,” which made the case that if you alter ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern chronologies by 200-300 years, archaeological discoveries fall into place in a way that shows the Old Testament stories of Joseph, Moses and Joshua really happened.  It only showed once in the theaters; here in Lexington, KY the cinema was not quite half full, so I had no trouble getting a ticket.  I greatly enjoyed the movie; you got to hear what all the archaeologists, both pro and con, had to say about the subject.  A thirty=minute panel discussion followed the movie, hosted by Gretchen Carlson of Fox News.

Anyway, the movie did well enough that there is going to be a second show, tomorrow, January 29, at 7 PM, in more or less the same theaters.  If you missed it the first time, now’s your chance to see it.  Mark your calendar and book your tickets now!

Again, here is the movie website:

http://www.patternsofevidence.com/en/

Watch the trailer here:

http://fathom.patternsofevidence.com

And you can find our show information and buy tickets online here:

http://www.fathomevents.com/event/patterns-of-evidence-second-showing

Published in: on January 28, 2015 at 5:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

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Over the years I have posted updates here regarding David Rohl’s “New Chronology,” which promises to rewrite what we know about ancient history.  The latest is a new movie, called “Patterns of Evidence:  Exodus,” which puts forth the case that the Biblical stories of Joseph, Moses and Joshua really happened, but archaeologists did not find evidence for them because they were looking in the wrong place.  Or to be more exact, the evidence was in the right place, but they were looking in the wrong time; it is centuries earlier than when they expected.  Now watch David Rohl and others make the case that evidence has been found for these stories, but it wasn’t recognized as such, until recently.

Here is the movie’s official website:

http://www.patternsofevidence.com/en/

And here you can watch the trailer and buy tickets online:

http://fathom.patternsofevidence.com

 

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Unfortunately there will only be one showing of the movie in theaters, at 7 PM on Monday, January 19.  That’s tomorrow as I write this.  David Rohl is a friend of mine on Facebook, and he told me personally that although this is a quality production, it was not made by a big-name Hollywood studio, so they couldn’t get many places to show it.  Here in central Kentucky, for example, it is only appearing in three cinemas, one of which is three miles from my house, fortunately.  Now the producers are hoping it will be popular enough for them to make a DVD out of it.  I’m plugging the movie here because I have friends and relatives who can’t go tomorrow, so the DVD will be the next best thing for them.  Maybe I’ll see you in the theater tomorrow!

Published in: on January 18, 2015 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Patton’s Abandoned Rear

I just read a funny World War I story, which I just have to include in my European history papers.  It’s about a future American war hero, General George “Blood and Guts” Patton.  I just added it as a footnote to Chapter 14.  Here it is:

9. The United States established its first tank corps in 1917, and the first American soldier to join was an officer we’ll be hearing a lot from in the next war, then-Captain George S. Patton. Patton guessed that he would be seeing more action with the newly invented armored vehicles than he would if he stayed with the infantry. Before the year was over, Patton, now a colonel, was sent to find a good location in France for a tank training school; he decided a village named Bourg would do, because it had lots of mud to practice driving in. While there, the mayor of Bourg came to him with tears in his eyes, because he had failed to tell Patton of the American soldier who had died in Bourg. Patton quickly checked, and found that no one in his unit was dead, but the mayor insisted that he at least visit the soldier’s grave.

The mayor proceeded to take Patton to a mound of dirt with a stick posted in the ground at one end. Nailed crosswise on that stick was another piece of wood with the words “Abandoned Rear”; evidently the French had mistaken the sign for a cross. It wasn’t a grave but a recently closed latrine; the dirt and the sign had been left by the last person using it!

Patton didn’t tell the French the truth about that spot. In 1944, during World War II, General Patton returned to Bourg and was given a hero’s welcome by those who remembered the last time he was there. He relived memories by visiting his old office and living quarters, and noted that the village was still respectfully maintaining the “grave” of “Abandoned Rear.”

George S. Patton with his FT-17 tank, summer of 1918.

Published in: on January 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Holiday Recap

Since this is my first blog message for 2015, Happy New Year to everyone!

I’ve been off work since December 24; the office is closed from then until January 5, so I’m three-fourths of the way through an eleven-day vacation.  The office I worked at in Connecticut three years ago ran on the same schedule, but this time it’s a paid vacation, thank goodness, and I don’t have to drive more than 800 miles to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my family.

From 12/23 to 12/30 my sister and her husband were in town visiting.  The main event was Christmas dinner; Leive outdid herself again by cooking a bunch of dishes (Philippine as well as traditional American), and we brought it all to the retirement home where my Dad is staying so he could participate.  Besides the five of us, our in-laws Gene and Rezia also showed up, and we had enough left over for Leive to give plates to three or four nurses who otherwise wouldn’t have enjoyed Christmas, because they were working that evening.  So overall the party was a success.

After that I came down with a mild cold; probably picked up from the retirement home, inasmuch as many of the residents had colds or flu.  It stayed with me for nearly a week; today is the first day I didn’t feel congested, so I should be all right when I go back to work.

Not that we went out much anyway, because it has been so cold.  For the last week of the year, the weather has been below freezing almost every night.  Still no snow yet for this winter, aside from short-lived flurries, but the temperature has gotten as low as 16 degrees.  When the New Year began, scarcely a sound was heard outside here in Kentucky; obviously it was too cold for anyone to play with fireworks.  How different it was from the 4th of July, or from New Year’s Eve when we lived in Florida!

That’s the way it is as 2015 begins here; now let’s see what 2015 will bring.

Published in: on January 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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