Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yellow Peril? Go Tigers!


Happy Year of the Tiger. And Go Hanshin Tigers...

I happened upon this image when reading the recent article about Jack London's reporting of China and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. The article, written by Daniel A. Métraux, is called Jack London, Asian Wars and the “Yellow Peril.” Here is a brief description by the author:

Novelist Jack London (1876-1916), by far the most popular American writer a century ago, is these days remembered for his novels and short stories on the Yukon. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and To Build a Fire have retained much of their early popularity, but his visits to Japan, Korea and Manchuria, his brilliant coverage of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), his short stories based in Japan and China, his essays predicting the rise of the Pacific Rim, and his call for mutual respect and better contact between Americans and Japanese are long forgotten. London deserves to be remembered, however, as a writer on Asia and the Pacific who directly confronted Western racism against Asians, denounced such concepts as “The Yellow Peril” and showed great sympathy for Japanese and Chinese in his literature.

This fascinating article can be found at Japan Focus:
http://japanfocus.org/-Daniel_A_-M__traux/3293


Anyway, Métraux included the above image and credited it to MIT's Visualizing Cultures. There I found an interesting set of postcards from the same era illustrating relationships between Russia and Japan. Here is a brief description from the MIT Visualizing Cultures web site:

Imperial Japan’s 1904–05 war against Tsarist Russia changed the global balance of power. The first war to be depicted internationally in postcards is captured here in dramatic images from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Some really interesting visual images can be found here.

Do check it out.
http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/yellow_promise_yellow_peril/index.html


Lots of other interesting stuff to look at can be found at Visualizing Cultures as well.

1 comment:

alexanderabroad said...

Cool entry; I've read a couple of London's Yukon books but not his Asian works. I study Japan and Russia as my focus, so I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks!