This is a blog which primarily gives some attention to movies that I find were overlooked (for whatever reason) or are simply underrated. I also comment on other, mainly movie-related issues as well. I welcome any suggestions for films to be added to this distinguished list.

One word of warning: The films listed below contain spoilers, so caution during reading is required.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Samurai and the Swastika (2000)

"In effect, Japan felt that to eat at the top table of the great powers, like them, it had to have colonies."
-Dr. Rana Mitter.

Since I was a little kid, my dad has told me many stories about the experiences of his late, great father during World War II. My paternal grandpa fought for the Army in the European Theater and may have ended up in the Pacific Theater with his unit had Hiroshima and Nagasaki not been destroyed. When I was in grade school, I had the pleasure of asking him some questions about those experiences for a school paper.

I have also seen numerous books detailing Germany's alliance with Italy during the war but none focusing on Germany's alliance with Japan, even though an alliance between the two existed.

Samurai and the Swastika, which originally aired on the History Channel, takes a look at that alliance, which began in 1940 with Japan following the Japanese defeat fighting the Soviet Union in Mongolia. Japan viewed this alliance as insurance that the U.S.S.R. would not invade their country.

Germany and Japan immediately communicated via diplomats. These meetings led to Hitler proposing what he called Operation: Orient, which was a plan to conquer the world.

However, this intricate plan, which called for both countries to sweep across Africa and Asia to meet up in India, was delayed due to Hiter's focus on conquering the Soviet Union (Operation: Barbarossa), despite the pleas of Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka for Hitler to make peace with Stalin, as Japan had prior to its assault on Pearl Harbor. This displeased Hitler as he had wanted Japan to attack the U.S.S.R.

The one major joint operation by Germany and Japan during the war was to take the island of Madagascar, which failed after the U.S. entered the war. It was 1942, and Operation: Orient was no longer a priority.

By May 1945, Hitler was dead and Germany surrendered, with Japan doing the same five months later. Most of the architects of the countries' alliance were executed.

It is ironic that, while there was prosperity in the alliance between Germany and Japan, it was their differing stategies which contributed to their defeat.

1 comment:

  1. Dan Zukovic's "THE LAST BIG THING", called the "best unknown American film of the 1990's in the film
    book "Defining Moments in Movies" (Editor: Chris Fujiwara), was finally released on DVD and Netfilx by Vanguard Cinema (, and is currently debuting on Cable Video On Demand. Featuring an important early role by 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominee Mark Ruffalo ("The Avengers", "Shutter Island", "The Kids Are Alright"), "THE LAST BIG THING" had a US theatrical release in 1998, and gained a cult following over several years of screenings on
    the Showtime Networks.


    "A distinctly brilliant and original work." Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
    "A satire whose sharpest moments echo the tone of a Nathaniel West novel...Nasty Fun!"
    Stephen Holden - New York Times
    "One of the cleverest recent satires on contemporary Los Angeles...a very funny sleeper!"
    Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
    "One of the few truly original low budget comedies of recent years." John Hartl - Seattle Times
    "'The Last Big Thing' is freakin' hilarious! The most important and overlooked indie film
    of the 1990's!" Chris Gore - Film Threat