By Stewart Lone (auth.)
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Extra resources for Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan: The Three Careers of General Katsura Tarō
One should note, however, that Katsura's forces appear not to have engaged in such depredations and so it would be inaccurate to blanket the Meiji army either as uniformly disciplined or ill-disciplined. The army in Asia: wartime Korea and Manchuria The war was the first time in three centuries that Japanese entered the Asian continent en masse. Given that colonialism and conflict were to see many more of them later spread across Asia, it may be Imperial Japan at War, 1894-95 33 useful in understanding Japanese imperialism if we briefly consider the experience and attitudes of these forces at the time.
You must protect foreigners and their homes and show the gulf between civilised troops and those of the enemy. 10 While occupying the town of Haicheng, Katsura posted men to safeguard the local Christian church; he also made contact with regional missionaries to assure them of his protection. One benefit of this action was that he received intelligence from Christians on Chinese troop movements. Army orders, however, were equally strict on the protection of ordinary Chinese civilians; a typical example is that of Lieutenant-General Sakuma to his 2nd Division in October 1894 forbidding, among other things, abuse of women, stealing private property, or using force to obtain supplies.
41 However, views not dissimilar to those of Miura were to be offered by Katsura himself after 1905 as Japan's military imperialism began to overburden its economy, and the first soldier to serve as finance minister was also to be Katsura in his own second cabinet of 1908. In the mid-1880s, however, Katsura continued to believe with Yamagata that military strength must take absolute precedence over economic development. To guarantee the strength of the army, therefore, it was essential to enforce unity.
Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan: The Three Careers of General Katsura Tarō by Stewart Lone (auth.)