Over My Shoulder 1931 - 1945

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Only later did I realize that the early s had been perhaps the best time in their history, and that in I witnessed the last of their really good years. In the Evenki experienced a devastating death toll because of alcohol abuse. And when I visited them again in September everything had changed.

Not only the advantages but also the disadvantages of Chinese reform politics had reached the Evenki.

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Liquor could be bought freely; Chinese poachers roamed the forest, shooting whatever they could get; and the overall mood among the Evenki was desperate and hopeless. Vladimir wanted to know whether the Chinese government would grant the Evenki permission to migrate to Russia. What the news report does not explicitly state is that government officials will try to set up a deer farm.

The problem is that the reindeer must move; they cannot be kept in large numbers on a farm, and cannot survive without reindeer lichen. It would be impossible to range far and wide throughout the rugged and expansive mountains to gather up enough of the widely dispersed reindeer lichen to sustain large herds of reindeer on a farm. Such freedom of movement will not be possible if the reindeer are penned on a farm. The story has come to an end. I shall forever remember the double rainbow and the face of Mr. Batburin, and I shall sometimes reminisce about the lucky days in June , when Vladimir and I, both tipsy on baijiu, sang soft songs while feeding the reindeer calves beancake.

Tang Dynasty, AD. Ingo Nentwig ingo. In he received his doctorate in philosophy with a thesis about shamanism in the oral traditions of Daur, Evenki, Oroqen, and Hezhen peoples of northeastern China. References and further reading Heyne, F.

Ein Beitrag zur Wirtschaftsethnologie der chinesischen Rentier-Ewenken. Heyne, F. XL, pp Kajgorodov, A. Sovetskaja Etnografija No. Kong, F. Hailar, P. Tianjin, P. Lindgren, E. North-Western Manchuria and the Reindeer-Tungus. Geographical Journal Vol. LXXV, pp The Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria. XXII 2 , pp Notes on the Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria. Their Names, Groups, Administration and Shamans.

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It was the Chinese that constantly terrorized the buffer zone south of Manchurian border. Japan only wanted Manchuria to remain pro-Japanese and flourish which would serve as bastion against communist Soviet. South of the border is only trouble and everybody knew it. There is nothing there but trouble That would be a perfect title for the unwritten Chinese history of the US involvement in that same war, based on what I have seen in museums in China. Summary of the typical coverage: "We suffered much and fought hard and finally defeated the Japanese imperialists!

Oh, and the Americans helped a bit. Here's a photo of one of their nameless generals. By the United States had become China's main diplomatic, financial and military supporter. Lend-Lease Pub.

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This was nine months before the U. Different angles towards the same book, the same author gives rise to different ends. The following is an article from another interview of a source for readers' better understanding. Oxford historian draws on new material to talk about one of the great untold stories of 20th century.

Rana Mitter is determined to shed light on what is often seen in the West - although clearly not in China - as the forgotten war. Despite killing up to 20 million people, including many savagely such as in the infamous Nanjing Massacre, and creating between 80 and million refugees, China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression is often treated as a World War II sideshow. With China's War With Japan The Struggle for Survival, which is the result of 10 years of extensive research and is seen as one of this year's most important books on China, the Oxford historian aims to redress that balance.

Mitter, who was speaking in the front room of his terraced home in Oxford on a rainy spring day after an overnight flight from Washington, says the present day low profile of the war in the West is in contrast to how it was seen at the time.

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English writers like Christopher Isherwood and W. Auden traveled to China to report on it. It was not seen as a local thing then," he says. Mitter's book is far from some Western history of the war. Extensive use has been of material in the Chongqing Municipal Archive from where China was governed for most of the war , the No 2 National Archive in Nanjing as well as the National Archives at the University of Maryland, College Park, which has major sources on America's China wartime experience.

The book also made use of Chinese nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek's diary at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, which had been made available to scholars. Mitter, 43, who is director-designate of the new Oxford University China Centre as well as a well-known BBC radio arts presenter, says it was a "multinational collaborative effort". This is also not some weighty tome but a very readable history with numerous gripping first-hand accounts that comes in at only pages, partly on the insistence of the US publisher Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt which publishes it under another title - Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, Books of more than pages tend to be respected rather than read.

I wanted it to read as a story with characters," he says. With any history of this conflict, one wants to know how it treats the Massacre of Nanjing, where thousands of women were raped and many innocent Chinese civilians gruesomely slaughtered in what many see as a uniquely evil incident.

Mitter, who deals with it in a single chapter, makes clear it was a tragic episode. Nanjing needs to be seen in its own terms. Mitter, a fluent Chinese speaker, says a risk for historians is getting diverted by the blood and gore of this conflict. The editors told me that to tell two of them in a detailed way was a better way of making your point than to have, say, seven," he says. The book sets the war in historical context and how before the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in , Japan was seen as a beacon of development in Asia and a place where a number of China's eventual war leaders, including Chiang himself, had studied.

Unlike China, Japan had modernized and learnt fast that it needed to have a strong and developed economy," he says. Although Japan was a more advanced country, it would be wrong to conclude the Chinese army was second rate. Some 30, of its officers had been trained by the German generals Hans von Seekt and Alexander von Falkenhausen and the resistance they provided helped deny Japan victory.

The game plan for China was to avoid defeat until they got international help, which came in the not so harmonious form of the Americans led by General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell after Pearl Harbor.

Mitter says the war clearly still has legacies - China's permanent membership of the United Nations for one - and also on Sino-Japanese relations. I think both sides still need to understand more about the history," he says. The world is now looking to Beijing to broker the crisis in North Korea. China is in a unique position to do that: it is the only non-Western nation among the five who sit permanently on the UN Security Council.

But few remember that the Chinese leader who brought China to the heart of global politics was not Chairman Mao, but the faded and reviled figure of Chiang Kai-shek, his Nationalist predecessor. If Chiang is remembered at all, it is as a corrupt and incompetent leader whose greed led the Americans to nickname him "Cash-my-Check". Yet in recent years, Chiang's status in the People's Republic, the state founded by his deadly enemy Mao, has risen as his homeland acknowledges his contribution to the Allied effort in World War II.


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It is also clear that to understand the motivations behind China's international behaviour today, the West needs to know more about the debt it owes China for its wartime efforts. Australia has long understood the way that its part in the Allied war effort has not been sufficiently understood in North America or Europe. The same is true of China. When fighting broke out in July between Japanese and Chinese troops at the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing, it proved to be the spark leading to all-out war between the two nations and, after Pearl Harbour, a global conflict. In , at the end of the war, some 14 million or more Chinese had been killed, some 80 to million had become refugees, and the hesitant modernisation that had been taking place under Chiang's Nationalist government had been destroyed.

The Japanese invasion of China in led to terrible atrocities being committed, most famously the "Rape of Nanking" that saw numerous civilians slaughtered in the occupation of the former capital city, but also events such as the terror bombing of the temporary wartime capital at Chongqing Chungking , where some 4, people were killed in two days of constant air-raids on May , The war was a tragedy for China. China's best troops had been killed and its remaining armies were badly fed and barely trained.