Friday, December 9, 2022

Friday Smiles 490: stressed out in meltdown mode

 

It's Friday, which means it's time to join Friday Smiles which is hosted by Annie (at A Stitch in Time).   It's been awhile since I was able to join in because of my duties at Art Journal Journey.  I'll try to make up for that.  Let's visit Annie and the other wonderful ladies who also share their smiles each Friday.   

Unfortunately, I don't have much to smile about here.  I'm in meltdown mode.

This is what my sewing machine is producing.

 
Although it wastes a LOT of expensive variegated thread,

if the back side is hidden, it's not so bad.  However, when I am trying to sew two sides of a tip-in together (like in the top two photos), it isn't going to work.  You are looking at the back/reverse of the front side of the tip-in.  The two photos at the top of the post are of the front of the back side of the tip-in.

I spent a lot of time designing, fussy cutting, painting,

and decorating these trees.  I'll be taking my sewing machine apart in the morning to find why it is misbehaving when I need it so badly right now.

But we are supposed to share smiles, so I'll show you some drive by shootings (photos) I took when my foodie friend Sally took me to Sam's, the wholesale members-only store/club run by the same people who run WalMart.  She's a member and takes me there when I need cat litter.  Below I'm testing my new camera and trying to get the settings correct.






Some of you who live in the states may have read or heard about the U.S. House of Representatives voted 258-169 in favor of the Marriage Equality Act yesterday (Thursday).  The Respect for Marriage Act also protects the rights of interracial couples.  President Biden is expected to sign the bill, since he has been in favor of it even when it got stuck in the Senate.  The bill will guarantee equal marriage rights even if the Supreme Court tries to overturn the existing marriage equality decision.  In MY opinion, that is something to smile about.  Here are a few more:

https://www.mygoldenthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/sewing-meme-ran-bobbin-thread-1.png  Been there, often do that!


https://www.mygoldenthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/sewing-meme-funny-s.jpg


https://www.mygoldenthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/sewing-memes-fabric-buy-1.jpg

https://www.mygoldenthimble.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/sewing-meme-funny-2-1.jpg  That's it for me today, dear friends. 

Now PLEASE visit Annie and don't forget to start your weekend with a smile. And if you know what's wrong with my sewing machine, feel free to let me know (grin).


Thursday, December 8, 2022

Snow on the mountains

 

Bleubeard and I are joining Jo from Let's Art Journal today at Art Journal Journey with her theme Snowy Winter.

You've heard me say before, I can't draw, nor do I care to.  However, I came up with this simple mixed media entry I hope looks like three distinct mountains with snow falling on them.

Granted, the snowflakes look more like snowballs, but you have to use your imagination in my world.  I should mention that I used two different colors of blue on this security envelope.  The white snowflakes were made with a watercolor pencil.
 
The mountains were created using various papers, including foreign text and sheet music.  I used a black watercolor pencil to create the mountains, then used my finger to smudge the lines a bit.

I used a combination of green and brown on the base of the mountains which were created using another security envelope.

It is definitely trying to snow on these mixed media mountains.  Note the line on the right that goes the entire length of the scan.  This is why I am finally biting the bullet and getting a new scanner.  It's my Christmas present to myself that I am telling everyone it will come from the "boys."   I have been doing research and think I know the one I want.  Until then, I will just have to live with this scanner.
 
Bleubeard and I want to thank everyone for taking time to visit today. Your visit means a lot to us.  We also hope to see you at Art Journal Journey with your own interpretation of Snowy Winter.
 
And because I want to join Nicole's Friday Face Off
 
 
here is a photo some of you may have seen that I took of the young fat one last week when I was testing the settings on my new camera.  Yes, he needs a new collar.  He goes through them faster than almost as fast as he goes through a bowl of kibble.

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

December 7, a day not to be forgotten


I always like to share this day in photos and information.    I have shared this same post before, but I've added a few notes this year, along with a few new images.  It seems since I copied the bones of this post from 2019, the post has reverted back to 2019 and the comments, too.

Although the majority of my readers were not born when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, this is the day the worst attack on American soil occurred prior to 9/11.  A total of 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded.  Even though this is an American event, it affected the majority of the world.  I am sharing this again because I couldn't find anything better than this post I created four years ago.  Since many are new to my blog, I thought it was appropriate to share it again.

As I've stated before, this is a LONG diatribe and, unlike how I normally share information, I offer very few references, because most of this information is my own that I learned as an undergrad, from books I've read, or documentaries I've seen on WWII.  All opinions are my own.  All photos are from Wikipedia, unless otherwise specified.

The events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor can be traced back to 1852, while Japan was still an isolationist country.  Until that time, trade with the west was strictly limited to the Dutch trading in Nagasaki.  Since Westerners weren't allowed in the country, their influence was strongly discouraged.


In July, 1853, Commander Matthew C. Perry, sent by the U.S. to forcibly establish trade with Japan, initially faced resistance.

It didn't take Perry long to overpower the Japanese, though.


According to Asia for Educators:
Upon seeing Perry's fleet sailing into their harbor, the Japanese called them the "black ships of evil mien (appearance)." Many leaders wanted the foreigners expelled from the country, but in 1854 a treaty was signed between the United States and Japan which allowed trade at two ports.
Within less than a year, Perry established American trade with Japan.   While Japan's isolation had allowed the Japanese to think they were a powerful nation, Perry showed they were no match for outsiders who wanted to modernize their country.

Further according to Asia for Educators:
In 1858 another treaty was signed which opened more ports and designated cities in which foreigners could reside. The trade brought much foreign currency into Japan disrupting the Japanese monetary system. Because the ruling shรดgun seemed unable to do anything about the problems brought by the foreign trade, some samurai leaders began to demand a change in leadership.

It didn't take the Japanese long to begin their reformation.  They started by ousting the shogun, who was the ruler at the time, and placed the emperor back in control.  According to World History.org:

Then, after years of ineffectual government and failure to meet the threat of foreign powers like Great Britain and the United States, the Meiji Restoration finally abolished the position of shogun and restored full powers to the emperors.

They watched how the west had colonized many countries, and began their own colonization process.  This led to their need for new materials and goods, which were in short supply in Japan.  Not only did they begin imitating the West, they began dressing like them, too.

By trying to imitate a 19th century European power, they had to engage in imperialism.  The obvious target for imperialism was Korea.  The problem was that the Korean king paid tribute (monetary contributions similar to taxes) to the Chinese emperor. While the Japanese could, and did force the Koreans to sign some unequal treaties, the peninsula remained free of the Japanese.

However, in 1894, China sent troops into Korea to help put down a rebellion, violating a previous treaty, so the Japanese also sent in troops.  Fighting broke out which lead to the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and 1895.  According to Dokdo Takashima:

The Western method of opening Japan to commerce was to threaten war against the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868) should it refuse to sign trade treaties.  Essentially these treaties were unequal contracts signed under duress- the explicit or implicit threat of force which gave the British and other Western powers rights and privileges that went unreciprocated.

Further:

Documented plans for a Japanese invasion of Korea via Ganghwando date back to at least the year 1869.

Then the Japanese attacked a group of Koreans on Korean soil.  According to Dokdo Takashima:

The well armed Japanese army quickly annihilated the Koreans who were poorly equipped with muskets (35 were killed).

While the Japanese asserted the Korean attack was unexpected, certain facts about the incident show us the Un-yo’s landing was a deliberate attempt to provoke the Koreans into a military confrontation. This would in turn, give the Japanese “justification” for attacking Korea. 

Further:

War between China and Japan was officially declared on August 1st 1894 and the Imperial Japanese defeated the poorly armed Beiyang Army in the Battle of Pyeongyang on September 16th and quickly pushed North into Manchuria. The Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed 8 of the 12 warships of the Chinese Beiyang Fleet off the mouth of the Yalu River on September 17th 1894. The Chinese fleet subsequently retreated behind the Weihwai fortifications. However, they were then surprised by Japanese ground forces, who outflanked the harbor’s defenses. 

The Chinese lost the war, and lost it badly.  After that, Korea stopped paying tribute to China and soon became a Japanese tributary state.  Japan also took over Taiwan, which led to the rivalry with Russia over Manchuria.  Again, according to Dokdo Takashima:

Throughout the 1880s and 1890s important events transpired that would shape Japan’s foreign policy toward Korea. In 1882 the Chulmupo Treaty would be signed by Korea and this would prove significant a years later . During the spring of 1894 there was an uprising by a rebel group known as the Tonghaks. As Chinese forces advanced toward Korea, the Japanese army general staff mobilized the Fifth Division and requisitioned several transports.

It didn't take the Japanese long to begin their reformation.  They started by ousting the shogun, who was the ruler at the time, and placed the emperor back in control.  They watched how the west had colonized many countries, and began their own colonization process.  This led to their need for new materials and goods, which were in short supply in Japan.  Not only did they begin imitating the West, they began dressing like them, too.

They watched how the west had colonized many countries, and began their own colonization process.  This led to their need for new materials and goods, which were in short supply in Japan.  Not only did they begin imitating the West, they began dressing like them, too.

By trying to imitate a 19th century European power, they had to engage in imperialism.  The obvious target for imperialism was Korea.  The problem was that the Korean king paid tribute (monetary contributions similar to taxes) to the Chinese emperor. While the Japanese could, and did force the Koreans to sign some unequal treaties, the peninsula remained free of the Japanese.

By trying to imitate a 19th century European power, they had to engage in imperialism.  The obvious target for imperialism was Korea. The problem was that the Korean king paid tribute (monetary contributions similar to taxes) to the Chinese emperor.  Long before there was a North and South Korea, it was a unified country.  Both China and Russia had their eye on Korea and each wanted to control it.  That is, until Japan got in the way.

By the late 1900s, Japanwas still subject to racism from Western world powers such as Britain and France. Imperial expansion was Japan's last chance to gain any respect, power, and immigration in the harsh world. Korea was the perfect place to start. Unfortunately for Japan, China and Russia also had their eyes on Korea, and it was a constant battle between the three countries. Finally, Japan was happy with the land they had won through war, and began their imperialism on the Korean people.

While the Japanese could, and did force the Koreans to sign some unequal treaties, the peninsula remained free of the Japanese.

However, in 1894, China sent troops into Korea to help put down a rebellion, violating a previous treaty, so the Japanese also sent in troops.  Fighting broke out which lead to the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and 1895.
 
The Chinese lost the war, and lost it badly.  After that, Korea stopped paying tribute to China and soon became a Japanese tributary state.  Japan also took over Taiwan, which led to the rivalry with Russia over Manchuria.

From there, the rivalry escalated to the Russo-Japanese War which lasted 18 months in 1904 and 1905.  Japan emerged the winner and was now looked on as a world leader.  Manchuria was taken over, as was Korea, since the Russians were in no position to maintain control.

This set up the fate of Korea which in my estimation was clearly and undeniably sadistic.  The atrocities imposed on the Koreans was so sadistic, I won't go into them here.  Some of the things the Japanese did were so cruel, they turned my stomach.  And I'm not easily swayed by words and images.  However, one story you might want to read can be found at this link at History.com.

During WWI, Japan joined the Allies, where they took out Germany's colonial empire in the Pacific Ocean.


This included New Guinea, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Samoa.   This was probably when Japan was the most powerful and largely accepted by Western powers.  It was obvious Japan had acted exactly as the various European colonial powers had.

However, according to Quotesgram.com:

during the period of peace between the two world wars, aggressively expansionist moves, though far from unheard of, were frowned on by many nations. It wasn't simply a matter of geopolitics, either.  Most people in Europe really did not want another war, and the countries that seemed to be provoking those wars were looked upon unfavorably.  Because Japan hadn't suffered in WWI the way countries like France, Great Britain, and Belgium had, they were looked upon as warmongers, or part of a group who wanted to bring the world once again to the brink of war.

Also during this time, China began to get organized.  First the south was unified under its government, then the military campaign, led by


Chiang Kai-shek from 1926 to 1928 by what is now called the Northern Expedition, aided by Soviet arms, unified China by ending the rule of the the local warlords along the Yangtze River.By 1930, Chiang had unified China under what was certainly the most enlightened government in its history. China was moving toward Chiang’s ultimate goal of a constitution, creating a republic, with free elections.

Japan viewed China's reunification as a threat to its control of Manchuria's railroads.  Losing anything to China was seen as unacceptable, so in 1931, the Japanese invaded Manchuria to protect their interests in the railroad.   Japan subsequently set up a puppet state which nobody else recognized as a legitimate state.  This isolated Japan, and it also meant a continuing series of border clashes with the Chinese.  At the same time, the communists established their own base in remote northwest China. For the next several years, Chiang was forced to fight a two-front war inside his own country, both against the Japanese and against the communists determined to overthrow the new government and establish a communist dictatorship.

In 1937, the Japanese took Shanghai and Nanking, forcing Chiang’s government inland. With Chiang preoccupied fighting the foreign invaders, the communists took the opportunity to expand their own territorial holdings. For the next several years, Chiang stood alone against the Japanese aggressors.  It was at this time the Japanese provoked the Chinese into a full-scale war, known as the Second Sino-Japanese War, or the Eight Year War.

This was a bloody war, with many photos too gruesome to show on my blog.  However, this is a photo of Japanese soldiers with gas masks and rubber gloves on during the Battle of Shanghai.  More details:
The Second Sino-Japanese War (July 7, 1937 – September 9, 1945) was a military conflict fought between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Nazi Germany (until 1938), the Soviet Union (1937-1940) and the United States (see American Volunteer Group). After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the war merged into the greater conflict of World War II as a major front in the Pacific Theatre. The Second Sino-Japanese War was the largest Asian war in the twentieth century. It also made up more than 50% of the casualties in the Pacific War.
Although the two countries had fought intermittently since 1931, full-scale war started in earnest in 1937 and ended only with the surrender of Japan in 1945. The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy aiming to dominate China politically and militarily, and to secure its vast raw material reserves and other economic resources, particularly food and labor. At the same time, the rising tide of Chinese nationalism and notions of self-determination stoked the coals of war. Before 1937, China and Japan fought in small, localized engagements, so-called "incidents". Yet the two sides, for a variety of reasons, refrained from fighting a total war. In 1931, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria by Imperial Japan's Kwantung Army followed the "Mukden Incident". The last of these incidents was the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, marking the beginning of full scale war between the two countries.

Had the Second Sino-Japanese War been a short one, the Japanese might have walked away with a hugely favorable treaty and land cessions similar to the First Sino-Japanese War.

However, the Nationalist government didn't give in, so this took many more resources than Japan had at the time.  In my opinion, this was the beginning of Japan's decision to bomb Pearl Harbor, since this war pushed the Japanese economy and the military to the breaking point.

Japan's supplies of rubber, iron, and oil were pushed to the breaking point, who now had no allies in the region.  The view in the international community was that Japan was a rogue state, which did not help Japan procure the materials needed to keep fighting the war in China. An attack on a U.S. gunboat on the Yangtze River alienated the U.S., as did widespread Japanese atrocities against Chinese civilians.  Eventually, this led to embargoes on trade with Japan.

At this point, Japan was in peril. It had assembled a colonial empire both to enable Western-style industrialization and to establish credibility as a great power.  Yet, because World War I hadn't affected Japan in the same way it had Europe, Japan's continued warmongering actions now alienated both the U.S. and Europe.  I remember the gist of a quote from a book I read on WWII was that the West taught Japan poker, but after Japan won all the chips, declared the game immoral.

And while it's true that the Western powers hadn't perpetrated anything along the lines of the Rape of Nanking, the bloody battle that involved persecution, looting, and rape when Japan took the capitol city of China, the West was not blameless in some of their actions, either.

Since Japan desperately needed resources, there were only two places to get them.  One place was Siberia and the other was the South Pacific.  The Imperial Army favored invading Siberia, while the Imperial Navy wanted to take the South  Pacific.

The Imperial Army was forced to abandon their quest for Siberia when in August, 1939, just weeks before Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland, the Soviet Union and Japan fought a massive tank battle on the Mongolian border.  The Soviets won a crushing victory, the largest the world had ever seen to date.  Defeat persuaded the Japanese to expand into the Pacific, where they saw the United States as a weaker opponent than the Soviet Union.  And although this is just conjecture on my part, if the Japanese had not lost this battle, they might never have attacked Pearl Harbor.

It was a decisive victory for the Soviets in other ways, too.  When the Japanese decided to expand in the south, it also meant that the Soviets didn't have to fight on two fronts, but could use their troops against the threat of Nazi Germany in the West.  In terms of its strategic impact, this battle and subsequent Soviet victory was one of the most decisive battles of the Second World War.   It also served to show the Japanese military that it was not a match for the Soviets, especially since Japanese forces were still fighting throughout China. The Soviets forces were stunning, while Japanese tactics remained stuck in the traditional mindset that more highly valued honor and personal bravery on the battlefield than massive forces. 

After defeating the warlords, the Nationalist army turned on Britain, who became their primary enemy.  

In response, the British retaliated in Hankou and Jiujiang but prepared to defend Shanghai. It was at that point the alliance between the communists and the Nationalists fell apart.   

When communist led labor unions captured Shanghai for Chiang Kai-shek, he attacked and suppressed them, and when he set up his new government in Nanjing he expelled the communists from it.   


After Pearl Harbor, Chiang announced to President Franklin Roosevelt, “To our new common battle, we offer all we are and all we have, to stand with you.” China's efforts during WWII cannot be overlooked.  Chiang kept Japanese soldiers tied down on the Chinese mainland which kept them from fighting the Americans and British.

The end result to all this was the Imperial Japanese Navy got its way, although it had to deal with the fact that the South Pacific had already been colonized. As a result, there were simultaneous attacks on Pearl Harbor, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Malaya.  The Japanese felt the United States was a less formidable adversary and didn't want war with the U.S. or the British while they scrambled for rubber and oil.  This turned out to be suicidal and a complete misreading of how the Americans would react to Pearl Harbor, but it was, as I see it, about 90 years in the making.  The above photo shows what Pearl Harbor looked like in October, 1941.


Even though Pearl Harbor was a defeat for U.S. troops and the Pacific Fleet, the Japanese didn't learn the lessons handed them by the Soviets.  Honor and bravery remained central to the Japanese military mentality and, once they had recovered from the initial onslaught, the U. S. and Britain were able to combine forces and push the Japanese out of the Pacific and back to Japan in one brutal battle after another.

This leads to another point I personally saw that still existed, albeit far less, when I worked with Japanese in industry.   The Japanese believed that America, as a nation of diverse races of peoples, was a mongoloid mix incapable of acting with a united resolve. That perception was fueled by the propaganda perpetrated by Japan that they were the superior race.


America was quite alien to the Japanese, and it's not surprising that the homogeneous Japanese couldn't comprehend how such a diverse range of extreme individuals, an attribute prized by Americans, could possibly become a united and unified body.


The Japanese Imperial Navy convinced themselves and their country that a devastating attack would dishearten the Americans who would come to accept a new reality of Japanese superiority.  This photo shows how the Japanese saw Pearl Harbor right before the first bombing attack.


Beside the fact the Japanese wanted the oil, rubber, food, and wealth they thought they could gain by conquering the U.S. through economic attrition, they also hoped they could wear the U.S. down politically, which would enable them to keep their conquests.


Not everything went according to plan, though.  According to Wikipedia:

Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked.
Although the Japanese dealt a huge blow that December 7, 1941, it didn't take the U.S. long to regain control.   This was especially true since, also according to Wikipedia:
Within six months, five battleships and two cruisers were patched or refloated so they could be sent to shipyards in Pearl Harbor and on the mainland for extensive repair.  
Further, to our (U.S.) shame, according to the same Wikipedia article:
One further consequence of the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath was that Japanese American residents and citizens were relocated to nearby Japanese-American internment camps. Within hours of the attack, hundreds of Japanese American leaders were rounded up and brought to high-security camps such as Sand Island.
And finally, also according to Wikipedia:
Fortunately for the United States, the American aircraft carriers were untouched by the Japanese attack; otherwise the Pacific Fleet's ability to conduct offensive operations would have been crippled for a year or more (given no diversions from the Atlantic Fleet). As it was, the elimination of the battleships left the U.S. Navy with no choice but to rely on its aircraft carriers and submarines—the very weapons with which the U.S. Navy halted and eventually reversed the Japanese advance. While six of the eight battleships were repaired and returned to service, their relatively low speed and high fuel consumption limited their deployment, and they served mainly in shore bombardment roles.

Aircraft carriers dominated the seas in WWII.  They played a crucial role in every major naval battle because they were built for speed and efficiency.  They carried fighter planes, dive bombers, and torpedo planes.

The surrender of Japan to the Allies at the end of World War II brought peace after the fighting as well as extreme confusion. Korea was divided between the Soviet Union and America with two separate and feuding governments, both claiming they were the right government to rule all of Korea. The Northern half of Korea invaded the Southern half. After many years of bloody fighting, two separate countries were established, giving us modern day North and South Korea.

According to History.com:
World War II devastated not just Japan, but the Korean Peninsula, and in 1945, the United States and the USSR captured the peninsula and ended Japanese rule there. Korea was divided into two occupation zones that were intended to be temporary. However, a unified state was never given back to the newly independent Korean people. Instead, the Korean War broke out between the Soviet and Chinese-backed northern half of Korea and the United States and United Nations-backed south.

This is what Ford Island that sits inside Pearl Harbor looked like in 1985.


This image, found on satimagingcorp.com can be enlarged.  Note the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and the U.S.S. Utah Memorial.  If you compare this photo to the one below, you can make out the U.S.S. Missouri Museum.

The U.S.S. Missouri Museum can be seen to the left and below the USS Arizona on the satellite image above this photo.  I couldn't find the author of this photo.

This photo is from Anders.com.

I hope this story, as told by me in honor of Pearl Harbor, was meaningful.  I also hope you learned a bit about why the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  I've also included how Korea came to be enslaved by Japan, something I barely touched on the last time I shared this.  There are many more reasons that I could have given, but I feel I've written enough for now.  I find it odd that I learned so much about WWII in school and books, yet knew nothing about Vietnam.

As an aside, I learned there were only six men who had survived the attack who attended today's ceremony (2022) at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

Thanks for visiting, thanks for remembering Pearl Harbor, and thanks for reading through this long post.