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Monday, July 25, 2016

Japanese Colonization, Early Aviation, International Intercourse, And Women's Rights of 1913.

The news is sad, folks...there seems to be a lot of going where no man (or woman) has gone before - and in these cases it's not all good.

From the Salt Lake Telegram (published as The Evening Telegram) from Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. on August 2, 1913 - and buried on page 9, we have—100-plus years later an interesting look at Japanese colonization techniques, early aviation success and something about international intercourse, which I know all about. And there’s something about penetrating new women.

Here we go:

Japan Opens Campaign to Subdue Tribes of Savage Head Hunters in the Wilds of Formosa; Hopes to Make Them Farmers

Japanese National Development and Future Success Depend on International Intercourse, Says Diplomat; Country Is Making Rapid Strides in Aviation; “New Woman” Movement Penetrates to Island Empire.
Tokio, Aug. 2.—Japan has opened a vigorous military campaign against 20,000 savages of the island of Formosa, better known as “head hunters,” who have refused to submit to the domination of Japan. When Japan was ceded Formosa in 1895 at the conclusion of the war with China, the “head hunters,” so named because of their custom of bringing human heads to all ceremonies, numbered about 150,000, but successive campaigns and peace overtures by the Japanese have now limited them to the Taruco tribe, the wildest of all, who inhabit the rugged and precipitous mountains near the eastern coast. The present Japanese force of subjugation comprises 3,000 men, made up of native troops and the police force of the island. It is divided into two columns and is in charge of General Sakuma, the governor general of Formosa.

The Taruco tribesmen came from the Malay peninsula and are the oldest known inhabitants of Formosa. They practice a rude kind of agriculture, wear scarcely any clothing, and live in wood and bamboo huts on the heights of almost inaccessible mountains.

The fight from the top of trees, and the campaigns against them will be exceedingly dangerous. The subjugation in the past has been largely carried on by constructing electrically charged wire fences, gradually extended into the savage district, until the dominion of the head hunters was restricted to the mountains which must now be assailed. The Japanese hope to make peaceful farmers out of those who are left at the end of the present expedition.
A notable contribution to the discussion of the relation of the west to the east, opened up by the California land bill agitation, has been made by Count Okuma, “the grand old man of Japan,” who declares that Japan’s future success depends upon her development of foreign intercourse.

Count Okuma writes of this problem in a volume fresh from the press. The statesman constantly uses the word “taisei,” meaning trend, tendency, current or movement. Dividing history into the antemedieval and postmedieval periods, the writer points out that in the former period oriental races overran Europe, while in the latter European races invaded the oriental world. This pulsation, or movement of races, Count Okuma calls the “taisei,” or “tendency of history.”

Three successive waves have swept Japan. The first period began with Oda Nobunaga, when the Portuguese, Hollanders, English and other Europeans sought intercourse with Japan. The second was the Russian movement, which began to be felt after one hundred and fifty years of seclusion, and the third reached its culmination with the coming of Commodore Perry from the United States.

The attitude of the country toward this world tendency decides its fate. The count says: “To follow the taisei is to rise, and to oppose the taisei means destruction.” This law, he declares, holds in the material world, and as a principle it pervades human history. The course for a nation to pursue is to obey the world tendency, to mount upon it, and guide it. It was this attitude that saved Japan from destruction. If Japan for any reason assume an attitude of hostility and opposition to the world tendency, her doom would be sealed.

Count Okuma considers it a matter of good fortune that Japan took good advantage of the world tendency when the movement was felt pressing at her door. “the progress of Japan in the future,” Count Okuma concludes, “will depend on the nation’s success or failure in effecting intercourse with foreign nations.”
Japan is making important strides in aviation. Recently a number of young military officers trained by the army aviation corps made a series of successful interprovincial flights, covering a distance of sixty miles, and qualified themselves as experts. The aviation corps has a spacious open ground at Tokorozawa, near Tokio, where a group of student aviators is being trained by Captain Tokugawa. These military aviators make occasional excursions to the city of Tokio, the people of which climb up to house tops to see the “man birds” fly. The aeroplanes in use are Japanese biplanes, devised by Captain Tokugawa, and a number of French machines.

The naval aviators also have been active recently. They paid a surprise visit to Yokohama and Tokio from the naval station at Yokosuka. In one of these trips Lieutenant Yamada covered a distance of 130 miles in two hours and ten minutes. The naval aviators are now planning to exhibit their craft before the emperor, who is recuperating at Hayama, a seaside resort, from his recent illness.

Aside from army and navy aviators, Japan has a number of private aeronauts, who are making successful lights at different points in the empire.
The “new woman” crusade in Japan is day by day occupying an increasingly prominent place in public discussion. This is due to the comparatively radical measures adopted by the women to further their cause, and to the fact that this agitation has elicited a counter campaign by prominent men of Japan, including officials of the department of education. Although the Japanese crusaders have in no way approached the radicalism of their English sisters and have not yet resorted to violence, they are carrying on a determined movement by means of lectures and literature, some of which the government has seen fit to censure. Mr. Okuda, minister of education, says he is at a loss to understand the real motives of the “new woman.” He declares, so far as he can gather, that they are trying to transplant wholesale to Japan the extreme and unwholesome doctrines which have had a vogue in some parts of the United States and Europe, without modifying them to suit the Japanese people.

“If their movement is actuated by consciousness of the necessity of freeing themselves from the yoke imposed by men, or by indignation at the attitude of some men, who regard women as mere dolls,” the minister declares, “I think there is some reason in their attitude. But if they aim merely at improving men’s conduct toward women, there are many other ways in which this could be attained without taking such steps as are at present contemplated.”

The minister admitted that not a few cases of unhappiness in the home in Japan are due to the general misconduct of men, and he acknowledged that the present relations between men and women show room for great improvement. He recommended, therefore that men pay greater respect to women. Women on her part should practice those virtues upon which alone happy and healthy households can exist. Girls and young women should be educated with the idea of making them good wives and wise mothers.

Mr. Okuda is not of the opinion that the women’s movement for participation in government will find its way into Japan.


What I find most humorous is the top-most story where the writer does NOT feel the need to explain to the reader where Formosa is, but does need to explain the term “head hunter”.

Formosa, aka the Republic of Formosa, was a short-lived republic on the island of Taiwan that lasted five months in 1895… so that ain’t it. Hmm… but it is. Taiwan was once known as Dutch Formosa.

Anyhow... make head hunters farmers? That's nuts. Farm implements can be used as weapons (see American Independence)... but really... subjugation of people...

Now, we can't just look at the Japanese and shake our heads. We've all done this in the past: Native American Indians. Inuit. First Nations. Inca. Mayan. Africans. Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, Indians (of India), even the Chinese. ... and these are just the ones I know about. Heck, we could talk about the holocausts of the Jews and Gypsies and Intellectuals, as well as the Armenians.

Many a first nation got where it was by subjugating the indigenous populations of other countries while they raped their land of resources.

It's nothing new... and it's something the Japanese began to do (again... they did the same to the Ainu peoples previously) again after learning from the West, that in order to be a player in the 19th century, one needed to flex one's muscles against the weak. But... this is just the first time I have ever read about the Japanese doing such things against Taiwan (Formosa)... and it sounds brutal.

Electrical fences? Holy crap.

Anyhow... notice the archaic spelling of Tokio/Tokyo.

The second story about foreign intercourse was not what I was expecting, but that’s okay. Old man Okuma was correct… when Japan decided to go its own way and start trying to rule all of Asia, rather than follow the world tendency of pure capitalism, it was doomed to fail, eventually reaching that with the conclusion of WWII. The guy was like Nostradamus.

Story No. 3 about the aviation revolution was interesting consider Tokugawa was Japan’s first pilot and he only first flew less than two years earlier and now he’s teaching others, spreading the word about spreading one’s wings. But… don’t you just love that it’s the army and navy looking to capitalize on the new technology.Notice the archaic spelling of aeroplanes/airplanes. I use the archaic spelling in my other blog: Pioneers of Aviation.

I love the fourth news story about Japan’s women looking for more rights… forming their own new woman's coalition. I love even more that the Japanese men, rather than examine what the women are seeking, instead formed their own club. It’s called Japan.

Anyhow, the men decided they would punish the women of Japan by not allowing them to have sex with the men. This plan backfired. Or it would have had they actually done something that stupid. Ahhh, wham-bam, thank-you ma’am.This paragraph is just me making light of a serious situation. Sorry.

The women in Japan are still fighting for some equality in Japan, more than 100 years later… and even if they wanted to, they can’t use the threat of non-sex as a tool, as there is an increase in the decrease of sexual liaisons between men and women in Japan. There’s not enough intercourse! Oh to be a young gaijin again!

Oh well, at least women can take part in politics in Japan nowadays. Katoh Shidzue (surname first) in 1946, became an elected member of Japan’s parliament. While Nakayama Masa became Minister of Health and Welfare in 1960, and Doi Takako became a leader within the Japan Socialist Part in 1966, not much else progressed until 1991 when Kitamura Harue became mayor of Ashiya-shi (a city in Hyōgo Prefecture), and 13 other women since then entering Japan’s political ranks as leaders.

History… funny old thing.

Andrew Joseph
PS: Thanks to Vinnie for suggesting the topics found in the database from Early American Newspapers via


  1. I'll have you know I come from a long line of head hunters on my mother's side which is interesting because her people are from the island directly south of the island that used to be known as Formosa.

    1. So you needed no definition of head hunter, either. You fascinate me! How long ago was the practice being practiced? UNless, you were kidding... I can't tell with you!

    2. We joke about this in the family, but the region where
      my Mom's people are from is known for tribes of headhunters. Most of tribal headhunting raids were pre-colonial Spanish era (prior to 1600). Headhunting decreased in the region between the Spanish bringing Christianity and the Americans bringing infrastructure and education. And there does seem to be some evidence that there is a shared heritage to the headhunter tribes of Formosa.

    3. See... fascinating. Not to take anything away from you and your family, but I bet if people did care to learn a bit about their family history (if possible), the stories would be fantastic.... I mean... considering the # of convicts throughout history, someone must have interesting stories or bank robbing... I'm sure no one wants to talk about the long line of rapists in their family... but still... the stories one could hear... Thanks for sharing FFF!