Thursday, April 24, 2008

Digger Day and the All Nippon Army.

Tomorrow is Digger Day, or ANZAC Day. Cazzie gave it reference with some biscuit info, which sounds trivial but it is not. There is seriously heavy symbolism there. So did Daniel with at least one thing I did not know about The Great War. It was only called WW1 after WW2. The Great War was supposed to be the war that ended all wars. Sadly it was not.

For me it means hundreds of cars parked on our nature and median strips and damaging the now redundant sprinkler fittings. No water, no need for sprinkler heads, so no matter any more. Even the the parking fine rapacious City of Port Phillip dares not to book them on what I now consider to be our real Australia Day. It is the only the day of the year that Australians get a bit soppy and sentimental and feel a bit patriotic about our country.

I cry for the young men who so foolishly gave themselves to King and country and England. I normally am not given to bad language, but what a god damn fucking waste.

For you o/s readers, ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corp(s?). We were brothers in arms with NZ back then.

But you can't think of wars without thinking of the Japanese in World War II. ANZAC day is to commemorate all wars.

I asked our friend in Japan about her students' knowledge of the war and it pretty well came up blank. They did not know specifics.

I had a Japanese friend some ten years my junior a while ago and I asked him about his knowledge of WWII. He had some vague knowledge of it, but not informed. I pressed him harder and he had more knowledge than I thought he would. But he said, paraphrasing, it is history. It is irrelevant now and does not matter. We are a new generation. All old stuff of our parents.

While I am not giving specific references, I heard some things on the radio today, that if I was WWII vet, I could almost forgive the All Nippon Army for their mistreatment of honourable soldiers under extreme war conditions.

Ah well, Happy Digger Day tomorrow. It must mean a day off work for you or penalty rates at least. Shed a tear, and then move on to the real world, that seems to be collapsing around us.

11 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of a sook on ANZAC day. "The Ode" From "For the Fallen" always sets me off:

    They shall grow not old,
    As we that are left grow old,
    Age shall not weary them,
    Nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun,
    And in the morning
    We will remember them.

    Lest we Forget.

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  2. Forgiveness would be a extreme thing to ask of the diggers who experienced the brutality of the Japanese.

    Their youth of today need to be oblivious of those horrors performed by their parents and grandparents. It would be too much to absorb.

    I did hear once that the soldiers were trained with extreme cruelty themselves, so they were numbed out in dealing with the 'enemy'.

    Sad for everyone involved.

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  3. Bound to bring a tear to any Australian's eye Altissima.

    Correct Bliss. They need to be oblivious. Did I hear German POW camp, death rate 1 in 20. Japanese, 1 in 3. Being a prison camp guard or commander was the lowest of jobs, reserved for the underachievers and lowest of low.

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  4. I whole heartedly agree - it was a god damn fucking waste.
    A whole generation from all over the world slaughtered because some pissy little Arch Duke was shot.
    The day the politicians are rounded up and made to do battle themselves only then will wars end.
    It might be history but the dismissal of it makes light of, and disrespects, the suffering of the PoW's and their families, which isn't acceptable.

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  5. Yeah, the real world does seen to be collpasing around us,,,who knos what is assured these days... Summit 2020, talk talk, no action...how about getting out there and doing things now, not in 2020, lol, sorry to waffle on.

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  6. If I was Japanese, I too would be claiming that "it is just history" ... the bastards.

    Don't Mention The War.

    Nearly every single repatriated ex-POW became an alcoholic.
    No trauma counselling from the Defence Admin.
    The butterfly-effect haunts their families still.

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  7. Thanks Jayne, Cazzie and Ann.

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  8. On the orders of General MacArthur, all history of Japanese Imperialism (read war)was never to be taught in schools to stop the rise of the warrior class happening again. After WW2 it was, until recently, quite shameful for a family to have a member join the armed forces.

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  9. I know a lady whose husband was a POW for four years and he was put to work building the Burma railway. I don't think she has exactly forgiven the Japanese for the starvation of her husband or the torment of the nightmares he suffered or the terrible injuries he carried from the numerous beatings.

    One of the things she has told me was the Japanese came up with the idea of making the pows who were too weak for other duties to catch and kill flies each day to eradicate them from the camp. Japanese soldiers used to count the pows dead flies at the end of the day and then throw them away. The pows had a quota and they would be beaten if they didn't meet it.

    After a short while the pows started taking yesterdays flies out of the bin and adding them to their catch so that they could save energy and fool the guards. Once the Japanese guards realised what they were doing they were beaten but it was worth it to to avoid such a meaningless task.

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  10. Anonymous2:23 pm

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone........

    All countries have skeletons in their own closet - you just need to know where to look. I don't think our treatment of the Aboriginal peoples is any better.

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  11. I did not know that Jahteh. Interesting.

    Wow LiD. Four years is a very long time. So many of the guards were sadistic and very cruel. But I believe the Korean ones who 'worked' for the Japanese were worse.

    Hopefully not to quite the same degree and numbers Anon.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.