Russia and Japan Expand to their Pacific Frontiers,

1993se26: DRAFT for oral presentation

Alan Kimball
University of Oregon

Table of contents =
First Phase (1697-1792)
Second Phase (1792-1854)
Third Phase (1854-1898)

By way of follow-up,
here is Samuel Edward Konkin's
review of J. N. Westwood's Russia and Japan

The lessons of history are always uncertain, but they are not always vague. The long-term experience of Russians and Japanese in the Northwestern Pacific basin suggests that two nations relate best with one another when they concentrate on trade and economic relations rather than geo-political dominance and when they abandon isolationist and narrowly protective policies in favor of open commercial exchange. Commerce and exchange, not control of territory, is the heart of the matter. Several times significant wars raged between Russia and Japan in regions where neither was strictly at home and where commercial cooperation would have suited them better and might have changed the course of world history. Both have badly needed peace and close economic ties in order to pursue more fundamental national objectives and to benefit from the advantages offered by the other. But no such commerce was ever established over any long duration of time. The lessons of history further suggest that when third parties intervene in this bilateral relationship, or even when they seek to influence it, they do so with little regard for the best interests of either the Russians or the Japanese.

Here I want to account the earliest phases of Russian-Japanese relations before imperialist hostility between the two began that sorrowful countdown to the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and to World War One. This is a period of two centuries, 1697-1898, from the first recorded contacts between the two peoples up to the curious diplomatic double-dealing in which Russia helped expel Japan from the Chinese-Manchurian Liaotung Peninsula and then took imperial possession herself. This period represents over two-thirds of the chronology of Russian-Japanese relations up to our day.

{_{ I wish to pay tribute to the splendid pioneer work of a group of Saint-Petersburg University specialists on Japan in the early 20th century, almost all destroyed in one way or another by the Russian Revolution: Nikolai Iosifovich Konrad, Nikolai Aleksandrovich Nevskii, Evgenyi Dmitrievich Polivanov, and Dmitrii Matveevich Pozdneev. See Sofiia Davidovna Miliband, Biobibliograficheskii slovar' sovetskikh vostokovedov (MVA: 1975). Also I must give credit to the following, whose general accounts provide the backbone of this essay:Glynn Barratt, Russia in Pacific Waters, 1715-1825: A Survey of the Origins of Russia's Naval Presence in the North and South Pacific; and Russian Shadows on the British Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1890: A Study of Rejection of Defence Responsibilities. John Paton Davies, Dragon by the Tail: American, British, Japanese, and Russian Encounters with China and One Another. Robert Joseph Kerner, Northeastern Asia: A Selected Oriental and European Languages. Kuno Yoshi Saburo, Japanese Expansion on the Asiatic Continent: A Study in the History of Japan with Special Reference to Her International Relations with China, Korea, and Russia. Leonid Nikolaevich Kutakov, Rossiia i Yaponiia. George Lensen, "Japan and Tsarist Russia: Changing Relationships, 1875-1917", JGO 10 (1962): 337-48; and The Russian Push Toward Japan: Russo-Japanese Relations, 1697-1875. I would like also to pay tribute to a most well informed and close colleague, Professor Togawa Tsuguo, and the faculty and staff of the Japanese Slavic Research Institute in Hokkaido, whose hospitality during my research sojourn there in 1986-1987 inspired my first serious interest in the topic of this essay.}_}

These 200 years can be divided into three phases. First, from long before the initial recorded contact in 1697, both nations experienced a remarkable history of "internal" frontier expansion, the Russians across Siberia to the islands and peninsulas of the Okhotsk Sea, and the Japanese into northern Honshu and across to the great northern island that is today called Hokkaido (until 1869 called Ezo), and beyond to the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhalin Island, even up the Amur River. The two frontier peoples overran one another, established outposts in the same regions, and related to one another and to indigenous peoples in ways not fully recorded in the primary documentary record, ways not in keeping with the domestic political cultures of either state. This first phase is one of inter-personal relations among Russian and Japanese “freebooters", acting in at least semi-illegal ways against the control mechanisms of Russian mercantilism and the Japanese laws of national seclusion. This phase came to an end in the last years of the seventeenth century. This phase represents one third and more of the full chronology of Russian-Japanese relations.

The second phase (1792-1854) was characterized by official bilateral governmental skirmishing and search for definitions of boundary in these "new world" territories where, at the beginning, neither Russian nor Japan had any solid administrative control. This phase witnessed first efforts at mutual diplomatic recognition and commercial interchange. The two nations sought mutual ties without significant third-party intervention. The first and the second phases center on the island Hokkaido, currently an unquestioned northern-most part of Japan.

{_{ In the 17th century the Japanese thought of Ezo (Hokkaido) as having several parts: Matsumae (S.tip with secure Japanese settlement and administration; modern-day Oshima), Higashi Ezo (East, or Pacific littoral), Nishi Ezo (Okhotsk Sea coast), Kita Ezo (N.) or Oku Ezo (Upper; both indicated Sakhalin [Karafuto]), and Ezo ga Chishima (Ezo's 1000 islands, i.e., the Kurils) [KEJ, 2: 238]. The degree to which these parts were considered "Japanese" is extremely problematical. In 1793, the visionary Japanese scholar Hayashi Shihei published Sangoku tsuran zusetsu (Illustrated Survey of 3 Countries) which shows the territory of Ezo ashuge to include Hokkaido and the Kurils, and to extend from the lower regions of Amur River in the West to Kamchatka Peninsula in the East, encompassing Sakhalin Island and the whole Okhotsk Sea littoral. But this was also the era in which shareholders around the emerging Russian-America Company were extending their dreams across the Pacific to Alaska and South, well into imperial Spanish California. Hayashi's expansionist dreams were reeled in by Tokugawa national seclusion policy (in force from the early 17th century to the 1850s), and Russian dreams were smothered by tsarist mercantilism.}_}

The final phase of the period here under review is the half-century that runs from the 1850s to 1898 and has been described as the far Eastern front of the "Great Game", i.e., modern European Imperialism. Russia played a key role in breaking the national seclusion policy, which from the early 17th century sought to isolate Japan from foreign influence, and bringing on the Meiji Restoration. At the same time Russia discovered insufficiencies in its own mercantilist structures and policy, and entered into the "Era of Great Reforms". Pressure from imperialist competitors simultaneously opened new eras in Japan and in Russia. In this phase the relations between Russia and Japan were shaped in close connection with third-party complications, and the center of attention shifted from the mutual Pacific frontier zones in the North, over to the Asian continent, where England, Germany, and now the USA were scrambling for advantage. Russia sold Alaska and turned attention again to China, neglected since Nerchinsk. Japan was forced open to world markets and burst forth itself onto the Asian continent. The center of gravity of Russian-Japanese relations shifted to Korea and Manchuria, and the nature of the relationship shifted from commerce to geo-political, imperialist competition and war. As the "Great Game" drew to its end and the "Great War" approached, our account comes to an end.

{_{ See Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia (NYC: Kodansha America, 1992), see especially chapter 36, "The Beginning of the End", and note publisher.}_}

First Phase (to 1792)

Years before Vladimir Vasil'evich Atlasov (as he is so primly named in latter-day Russian sources) came across the castaway or shipwrecked Japanese adventurer Dembei on the shores of the Kamchatka Peninsula in 1697, Russians and Japanese had crisscrossed one another's paths and had most likely established frequent contact in these cold northern territories which neither people could rightly call its own.

{_{ Recent Siberian scholarship is beginning to uncover the rich "unofficial" life of Russian/Cossack settlers whose history has been neglected in favor of the johnny-come-lately state servitors whose story has hitherto been taken to be all we need to know about Siberia. See Bitov. By about 1500, Japanese frontiersmen had driven aboriginal peoples from Northern Honshu, and the Japanese Matsumae family ruled in modern-day Oshima, the southern part of Hokkaido. They called this territory "South Ezo" or "Matsumae" and considered it the Northern frontier of Japan. The Matsumae dominated a lively interchange with the Ainu and other peoples inhabiting Ezo and the Okhotsk Sea littoral. On the Russian-Japanese first encounter, see KEJ, 6: 340. SHJ, 3: 201-2. Beasley, MHJ: 39-40. Dembei's was the 1st reported of at least sixteen ships cast upon Russian shores over the next century & half, and a source of quickening contact and understanding between Russia and Japan [Kisaki Tyohei, Eiju-maru Rosia Hyoryu Ki (TOK: 1982): 20-25, cited in Togawa"Russian and Slavic: 4. See Plummer, "Shogun's Reluctant Ambassadors: Castaways", Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 3, 19 (1984):33-136.}_}

Atlasov, who probably answered to a rougher frontier-Cossack or ukrainets-kazak name Volodomyr Otlasov, was an Ustiug peasant who had "gone East" to make his fortune, and had done well.

{_{ BrE 3: 432.}_}

Otlasov might stand for the hundreds of nameless Russian adventurers active since Ermak and his crew crossed the Urals into Siberia in 1581.

{_{ Dmytryshyn"Russian Expansion: 7. Otlasov was a cruel and relentless leader; he was killed on Kamchatka by disgruntled servitors in 1711.}_}

Ermak started this process, Otlasov might be said to end it as Russia came against other expanding powers, first the Chinese at Nerchinsk on the upper Amur River, then the Japanese on Hokkaido. As a sign of the new times acoming, Otlasov took the apparently cooperative Dembei back to Moscow with him to report on the possibility of "discovering" Japan.

{_{ SIE 1: 926.}_}

Dembei met with Tsar (not yet Emperor) Peter the Great in Moscow (having not yet moved the capital to Saint Petersburg). Peter took Dembei into Russian service as an informant on Japan and a teacher of Japanese, and he ordered the serious study of this newly discovered nation with an eye to opening trade relations. Having come full stop against the Chinese at Nerchinsk, Russia now sought new departures. Without any systematic results, Russian activities in the Ezo frontier quickened.

{_{ KEJ, 6: 340; SHJ, 3: 202; and Sansom, WWJ: 212.}_}

In 1732, then again in 1739, Bering was ordered to explore for Japan. The second expedition, led by Martin Spanberg and Aleksei Chirikov, landed at Amatsu village in Awa Province (Chiba Prefecture), but once back in the Russian capital their report was not believed.

The Japanese sighted the second Bering expedition off Shimoda (a port later made famous by Perry), and they believed indeed that something big was happening along their shores. But nearly all the initiatives in these years were independent of any official Russian policy.

{_{ Sansom, WWJ: 213.}_}

In 1778, at Notkome (Nokkamapu, E of Nemuro) Ezo, Russians landed, offered gifts and requested the opening of trade relations. The daimyo of Matsumae behaved according to the policy of national seclusion and insisted that the Russians not come again to Ezo, or to the islands Kunashiri and Etorofu.

{_{ KEJ, 6: 340.}_}

Contacts continued, whatever official Japanese resistance or official Russian sluggishness between Peter I and Catherine II. Daikokuya Kodayu and a crew of 17 on Shinsho maru were thrown off course transporting rice from Ise to Edo (the old name of Tokyo). They drifted eight months and were finally cast up on Amchitaka in the Aleutian chain. They were rescued by Russians and found their way to Irkutsk in central Siberia. Daikokuya taught Japanese and traveled to Saint Petersburg for six months where he met frequently with Empress Catherine.

A local scholar and entrepreneur of Finnish descent Kirill Laksman (Eric Laxman) became patron to these itinerant Japanese adventurers. Laksman himself was a characteristically itinerant figure on the Siberian frontier. He came to Russia as a pastor's assistant with a Lutheran mission. Within a short while he was elected corresponding member of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences and sent to Barnaul in the foothills of the legendary Altai highlands in South-central Siberia. In 1881 he took the position of aide to the main administrator of the Nerchinsk mines on the Siberia/China frontier East of Lake Baikal, and one year later settled in Irkutsk near the shores of Lake Baikal. He paired up with the famous Siberian and Alaskan pioneer Baranov in 1784 to found a glass factory.

{_{ See V. Lagus, Erik Laksman, ego zhizn', puteshesteviia i perepiska (SPB: 1890); and BrE 33: 267.}_}

In these years the evidence of lively interchange between Russians and Japanese mounted. Russians were not anxious to make much noise in this endeavor because they were fearful of losing their commercial independence to autocratic mercantilism.

{_{ This issue is discussed in Gibson, Feeding and Semyonov, Siberia.}_}

The Japanese also had reason to keep quiet because of the seclusion policy. In 1767 Honda Toshiaki founded a school devoted to marine sciences, especially to Dutch naval technology. Honda did not however look South to Nagasaki and the famous Dutch Dejima Factory. His interests were in the North, in Ezo. Honda went to sea there, in command of a small coastal vessel, nothing larger was allowed under national seclusion. On the basis of his experience, he wrote Keisei Hisaku (Secret Plan of Government) in which he proposed, in essence, that the Tokugawa government shift from splendid isolation to active promotion of manufacturing, shipping, and commerce, including building a fleet of sea-going vessels and colonizing the Northern territories, all in the interests of open, lively exchange with the Russians in that area.

{_{ Sansom, WWJ: 232.}_}

In 1783 Kudo Heisuke composed Aka Ezo Fusetsu Ko (Account of Reports about Red Ezo; in this report Russians were called "Red Ezo"). Kudo got his information from associates in Hokkaido who were more familiar with the Russians than a fully enforced seclusion should have allowed. An active and sub-rosa interchange between Russians and Japanese was a common experience in this area.

{_{ Kudo had other sources as well, including Dutch friends and their libraries, e.g., Oude en nieuwe staat van't Russische of Moskovsische Keizerryk; behelzende eene uitvoerige historie van Rusland en deszelfs Groot-Vorsten 2v (Utrecht: 1744).}_}

Kudo was however a very independent-minded scholar who was able to ignore exaggerated fears embodied in the seclusion policy and also the cunning Dutch warnings of Russian threat, designed more to protect Dutch trade monopolies than to forewarn the Japanese of actual danger. Kudo recommended closer trade relations with Russia.

{_{ Togawa Tsuguo made the following observation, referring to these events, as well as to a bizarre episode in which a Hungarian exile in Siberia escaped via Japan and left dire warnings of impending Russian attack: "So, Japanese studies on Russia started with the Russian expansion and were accelerated by a false alarm sounded by a Hungarian and by an exaggeration of Russian menace by the Dutch" [Togawa"Russian and Slavic: 3.}_}

Despite the Matsumae daimyo's official and decorous insistence that national seclusion be observed, he was at this time--as we have already hinted--secretly allowing trade with the Russians in the region of Kunashiri Island and elsewhere. The seal which official policy sought to put on Japan leaked at every joint. In his important book, Kudo suggested that Russian trade be promoted openly. He urged the Bakufu shogun Tanuma Okitsugu to give his energies to the development of Ezo for that purpose. In 1785 Tanuma sent two missions under the Finance Commissioner to study the Kurils (Chishima) & Sakhalin, and as a result a plan for economic development was drawn up.

{_{ SHJ, 3: 181-2.}_}

These were still frontier days on Hokkaido and in the Northern Territories. Russians were to be found everywhere. They had a settlement on Urup Island. The last great Ainu rebellion was put down only in 1789, a revolutionary year in other parts of the globe. Only now could Matsumae family authority be extended over the whole island.

{_{ KEJ, 2: 238; Sansom, WWJ: 214.}_}

In 1791 the scholar Hayashi (or Rin) Shihei published Kaikoku Heidan (Military problems of a maritime state). Hayashi was a firm patriot but he criticized Tokugawa policy which forbade construction of large vessels. Regent Sadanobu arrested Hayashi, even though the Regent understood the justice of Hayashi's views. From the earliest moments, the relations between Russians and Japanese were an important part of the growing debate over national seclusion. We should also note the significance of Russia in the growing hostility between Tokugawa Confucianism and Shinto imperialism. ??Could we say that the growing dissatisfaction with Russian mercantilist economic policy flowed in part from the perception of missed opportunities on the Siberian frontier, of which Japanese contacts were a part?

Second Phase (1792-1854)

Clearly, contact between Russians and Japanese was not going to expand further without increased governmental involvement. In the summer of 1792, Catherine the Great's special envoy to Japan disembarked on the Ekaterina from Okhotsk, sailed down the Kurils, and landed at Nemuro on the Eastern coast of Ezo. Lieut. Adam Kirillovich Laksman sailed with bonafides from Catherine, but also with goals defined by his father and other regional interests back in Irkutsk. His dominant combined purpose was to promote trade relations with Japan.

{_{ Fainberg, "Ekspeditsiia. Sansom, WWJ: 213 said the Siberian Governor send the expedition.}_}

Despite the seclusion policy but in keeping with the long-term and evident laxness of its enforcement in Ezo, local officials received Laksman with hospitality at first. Laksman asked the Matsumae daimyo to inform officials that his expedition sought to visit Edo as "neighboring allies" and not as "antagonistic and infidel adversaries". The expedition was invited to winter at Akkeshi in a settlement built by the Russians near a Japanese village.

{_{ SIE, 8: 382. KEJ, 6: 341.}_}

When it reached Edo, news of Laksman's plans caused much alarm, provoked hasty effort at building coastal defenses, and played a direct role in hastening Sadanobu's resignation.

{_{ SHJ, 3: 202.}_}

When movement was possible back up in Ezo, Laksman and his company traveled to Hakodate by sea, but were not allowed to travel further overland to Matsumae except under heavy armed escort. Laksman conferred with representatives of the shogun, Ishikawa Shogen & Murakami Daigaku. Laksman was restrained from going to Edo. Officials returned his credentials and refused to discuss trade, though they gave him a permit to sail to Nagasaki, a designated point of permissible gaijin contact according to the seclusion policy, and they agreed to accept Daikokuya and other castaways who had been brought home with the Laksman expedition.

{_{ KEJ, 6: 341.}_}

Laksman returned to Siberia without using his Nagasaki permit. Over the next couple of years, plans to use the permit were dropped when all the key figures died: Laksman, Catherine the Great, and the freebooter entrepreneur and founder of the Russian-America Company Grigorii Ivanovich Shelikhov.

{_{ KEJ, 3: 45, 4: 327. PH&G: 776.}_}

More important was the distinct shift toward more direct governmental involvement, and thus explicitly mercantilist motives, in the Russian approach to the new world. As a sign of this shift, the headquarters of the Russian-America Company were removed from Irkutsk and relocated yet further from the action back in Petersburg.

For his part, the returned castaway Daikokuya was put under arrest in Edo and subjected to interrogation by the physician and specialist on Dutch technology Katsuragawa Hoshu. Daikokuya had learned a lot about Russia in those years he worked in Irkutsk and traveled to Petersburg, and he was anxious to promote better mutual understanding. Katsuragawa, on the other hand, may have been motivated by a desire to protect Dutch interests. He was very close to the Dejima factory doctor Peter Thunberg and the famous trade commissioner Izaak Titsingh. He consulted with his Dutch associates before he interrogated Daikokuya. Whatever the intrigue, the results were the remarkable book Hokusa bunryaku (1794), a treasure house of information on Russia.

{_{ Translated by V. M. Konstantinov as Kratkie vesti o skitaniakh v severnykh vodakh (MVA: 1978). See Togawa"Russian and Slavic: 4-5; and KEJ, 4: 173. Katsuragawa wrote a second significant book on the Russians, Roshia shi (1794).}_}

In 1803, Emperor Alexander I dispatched the last great Russian embarcadero Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov from Kronstadt via Cape Horn to Kamchatka. Rezanov was Shelikhov's son-in-law and a majority stockholder in the Russian-America Company. Inspired by some of Shelikhov's entrepreneurial vision, he believed Japan might become supplier to his outposts on the Kurils, in the Aleutian chain, and in Alaska. Rezanov sailed from Kamchatka to Nagasaki on the Nadezhda under the command of the accomplished explorer Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern (whom some prefer to address by his pre-Russianized name Adam Johann von Krusenstern).

{_{ Chevigny, Lost Empire; PH&G: 783; and KEJ, 6: 307. On Kruzenshtern's subsequent explorations, see PH&G: 776.}_}

Rezanov carried Laksman's permit, mistaking the simple ticket to the port as an invitation to trade. As a gesture of good will he brought with him yet more Japanese castaways and gifts. Laksman had been treated politely at first, but now from the outset Rezanov was put under close guard. Six months passed before he was presented to the envoy of the shogun who refused gifts and ignored requests for trade relations. This despite Rezanov's careful observation of Japanese etiquette, removing shoes and sitting on tatami mats. Tokugawa policy was by now in a state of great confusion; stonewalling seemed a prudent policy under these conditions. The historian Sansom says that the bakufu was mistaken to conclude that Japan had no need of foreign goods, wrong to fear that “to permit trade relations would merely deprive her of useful commodities and risk the entry of foreign religious doctrine". Possibly Sansom should have considered the very real question of how the seclusion policy placed monopoly control over international trade in the hands of the bakufu and how more open foreign trade threatened that remunerative monopoly. The Deshima Dutch and the daimyo had shared interest in keeping Russian out.

{_{ SHJ, 3: 202-3 describes and explains the serious confusion and error within Bakufu councils on this issue. See also Sansom, WWJ: 244.}_}

Rezanov had no understanding of all this nuance and complexity, nor was he capable of sympathy or patience. His was an undiplomatic and quaintly old-fashioned personal anger. He departed in a huff, and, in a high-handed act of corporate swagger, left orders to two of his Russian-America Company commanders to punish the Japanese.

The Rezanov drama now reached its final and most fabulous act, in which he sailed to the San Francisco Presidio, the headquarters of Spanish imperial power in California, won the hand of Commandante Arguello's sixteen-year-old daughter Concepcion (Conchita), then disembarked for Europe to win the Pope's approval of a Russian-Orthodox/Spanish Catholic matrimonial union of vast new world implication. He died en route, and Conchita became the first California nun.

{_{ See Andrei Voznesenskii, Story under Full Sail (1974). Rezanov kept a diary and other writings throughout his adventure. They are held in the library of the Russian Academy of Sciences. See also K Voenskii, "Russkoe posol'stvo v Yaponiiu v nachale XIX v.", RSt 7 & 10 (1895); SIE 11: 988; and BrE 51: 475.}_}

Over the next two years, Rezanov’s corporate vessels harassed Japanese settlements on the Kuril, Sakhalin, and Hokkaido coasts. They left letters behind which promised they would return unless Japan came to terms with Rezanov. The action was bellicose, but the objective was to open Japan for peaceful commerce. Tokugawa officials had no choice but to stiffen coastal defenses and write a defiant reply.

{_{ SHJ, 3: 203-4; KEJ, 3: 45, and 6: 307 & 341; and PH&G: 774, 783.}_}

Frontier contact was now giving way to international struggle. Already in 1789 on Etorofu (Etoru-jima) in the Kurils, Russians planted an Orthodox cross and several posts with Russian inscriptions and other indications of claim or possession. Immediately, samurai Kondo Morishige (or Juzo) appeared in the Kurils. He tore down the cross and other posts, replacing them with Japanese signs saying Dai-Nippon-Etoru (Etoru is part of Greater Japan). Kondo returned to Edo and convinced the government to put the whole of Ezo (however defined) under direct Bakufu rule. Matsumae family authority was supplanted by central authority just as it was beginning to gain some control over the Ainu. In 1807, Hirata, the great Shinto savant wrote Chishima shiranami (White Waves of the Kurils), a guide to restrain barbarians and a manual of national coastal defense.

{_{ PH&G: 159, 305-6; Sansom, WWJ: 244.}_}

As national rivalry intensified, one final episode revealed a solid of Russian-Japanese mutuality and friendship, even under trying circumstances. By 18ll Nikolai Mikhailovich Golovnin had been for about five years embarked on a round-the-world expedition on the frigate Diana .

{_{ R. I. Fraerman and P. D. Zaikin, Plavaniia V. M. Golovnina (MVA: 1948); N. M. Ivashchenko, Admiral Golovnin (MVA-LGR: 1946); and SIE, 4: 503.}_}

After some amiable exchanges with Japanese officers on Etorufu Island, Golovnin anchored for the night off Kunashiri Island near a "strongly garrisoned fortress". Going ashore again the next morning with some men, Golovnin was surrounded, bound, rough-handled, and packed off to Hakodate for two years.

{_{ SHJ, 3: 204.}_}

Tradition says this was in retaliation for the Russian-America Company raids four years earlier. Thus it was double-retaliation when Lieut. Commander Rikord, now in charge of the Diana, seized Takataya Kahei and four members of his crew. All the elements were now in place for a remarkable two-year saga which ended much better than anyone could have hoped.

Takatay was not just anybody randomly snatched from the sea. He was a person of considerable importance in Ezo. Years ago he had volunteered as aide to samurai Kondo when he came to pull down Russian markers on Etorofu. A wealthy merchant of lowly peasant origins, Takataya was a resourceful man and saw opportunity to establish a trade monopoly in Ezo for himself. He founded a shipping firm and transported clothing, tobacco, and salt to Northeastern Japan. He had contacts in Hakodate, set up HQ there in 1806, and achieved his dream of monopoly in the Ezo trade. But now he was in Russian captivity and taken to Kamchatka. Eventually he persuaded Russian authorities to let him return to Japan to plea for Golovnin's release. Authorities, who did not approve the Russian-America Company raids that provoked the whole drawn-out episode, and who did not even know of the orders given by Rezanov, could honestly describe the whole event as unauthorized. The distinctions between constituted authority and private law within the Russian-America Company were anything but clear in this frozen frontier, but the official argument was effective. The Okhotsk commandant and Irkutsk authorities were willing to write apologies, and Takataya, who had learned a great deal about his captors and had won their confidence, was willing to serve as courier. Takataya's mission was successful, both for Golovnin and for himself, because he regained his monopoly on Ezo trade when the dust settled.

{_{ Beasley, MHJ: 40; KEJ,7: 319, 3: 45.}_}

As for Golovnin, he had cooperated with his captors and, like Takataya, had come to know them well. He no doubt sought to protect Russian interests when he exaggerated her military strength and capability, but the result was to contribute to Japanese fear of the Russian threat. This was the least of his accomplishments over these two-plus years of captivity. He made the acquaintance of Mamiya Rinzo and taught him surveying and astronomical navigation. Mamiya was already an accomplished explorer. For more than a decade he had worked as a surveyor of Hokkaido and the Southern Kurils. He was wounded on Etorofu defending himself during a Russian America Company raid. In 1809, on his own initiative, strictly speaking in violation of national policy, he sailed the West coast of Siberia to discover the Tatar Strait, then up the Amur River 100 miles or so to Deren (Te-jen), to a Manchurian tribute-collection post. As a result of his exploration, he published two significant geographical accounts of the area.

{_{ Mamiya Rinzo, Kita Ezo zusetsu (Illustrated account of N. Ezo [ie, Sakhalin]) and Todatsu kiko (Travels in Tatary); see KEJ, 5: 88.}_}

Golovnin also worked closely with Adachi Sannai on mathematics and with Baba Sajuro to revise a Russian-Japanese dictionary. Sansom summarizes the situation in this way: "Golovnin had gained the esteem and affection of his captors, and when he left there was a festive farewell gathering in which Russians and Japanese took part in great harmony. The Japanese crowded round their one-time prisoners with gifts and kind words, and some were on the verge of tears at parting. As the Diana was towed out, the Japanese and Russians exchanged thunderous cheers. Such behavior was typical of the intercourse between Japanese and Russians, which combined fear and attraction. Golovnin's was the last important attempt to establish good relations with the Japanese in the Kurils. This intercourse, like a love affair with its quarrels and embraces, played an important part in revealing to the Japanese their own weakness and in opening a breach in the policy of seclusion."

{_{ SHJ, 3: 204.}_}

Golovnin wrote extensive memoir accounts of his experience which one Japanese publication describes in the following way =

Remarkably objective and sympathetic, Golovnin praised the high level of Japanese education, the concern of the Japanese government for its subjects, the sensibility, astuteness, honesty, hospitality, and cleanliness of the Japanese people. He portrayed the Japanese as fiery patriots, conscious not only of the harm that foreign actions had brought in years past, but confident of their own superiority. He felt that the Japanese lagged behind Europe in many respects, but he noted that their capabilities were tremendous and predicted that they would catch up with the Europeans and become potential rivals in the future.{_{ KEJ, 3: 45. ?Should we accept the notion that Golovnin worked with the idea of economic "progress" and "backwardness"?}_}

Several years passed before Russian-Japanese relations were to experience anything as dramatic as the Golovnin affair. In 1821 direct rule over Ezo from Edo was lifted. In 1843 Nicholas I thought to send Efimii Vasil'evich Putiatin to Japan in connection with broadening English-Russian imperialist conflict and maneuver. Nine years later, in 1852, it was still third-party considerations – this time including the USA -- that prompting Nicholas finally to act. With the strong urging of Nikolai Nikolaevich Murav'ev, tsarist official in the Far East, Putiatin was dispatched to Nagasaki to counter United States pressure in Japan and English moves elsewhere in Asia. But in the absence of any particular geo-political agenda, the central theme of the Russian mission was still trade.

{_{ E. V. Putiatin, "Vsepoddanneishii otchet o plavanii otriada voennykh sudov nashikh v Yaponiiu i Kitai, 1852-1855", MoS 10 (1856); and SIE, 11: 715. See also R. C. Ashton, "Nikolai Nikolaevich Muraviev-Amurskii: A Progressive Bureaucrat and the Reform Movement in Russia", M.A. Thesis, University of Oregon, September, 1976; and KEJ, 6: 341.}_}

On August 21, 1853, Putiatin entered Nagasaki on the flagship Pallada, accompanied by the Diana and three additional vessels, more than sufficient bottom for a diplomatic mission. But this was the era of Matthew Perry and the beginning of "gunboat diplomacy". Perry appeared in Edo's harbor one month earlier and now declined Putiatin's offer to join forces to encourage Japan to open itself to world commerce. Indirectly, however, the Russian squadron lent its weight to the decision made by the shogun to drop the policy of national seclusion.

{_{ Sansom writes that "American and English historians sometimes overlook the important part played by Russia in bringing about the opening of Japan by revealing to the Japanese their own weaknesses" [Sansom, WWJ: 245]. Also see KEJ, 6: 341; Beasley, MHJ: 61.}_}

First in Nagasaki, then in Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula, Putiatin conferred with Kawaji Toshiakira and Tsutsui Masanori. In February, 1855, after losing all his ships but the Diana to the needs of the Crimean War and after a great earthquake and tidal wave leveled Shimoda and shipwrecked his last vessel, Putiatin arranged the Treaty of Amity (Nichiro Washin Joyaku). The treaty was modeled on the Kanagawa treaty, recently signed by Perry for the USA.

{_{ Beasley,MHJ: 61; KEJ,4: 179; and PH&G: 782. Lensen thinks Shimoda "provisions" are "more extensive" than Kanagawa [KEJ, 6: 270]. They "went beyond" by opening 3 ports [KEJ, 6: 341].}_}

The Russian-Japanese treaty opened Shimoda, Hakodate, and Nagasaki to Russia for ship repairs and provisioning. It offered Hakodate or Shimoda for posting a consulate; Russia chose Hakodate up in Matsumae. It established reciprocal extra-territoriality. The confused frontier issues in the North were for the first time formally settled. The Kurils were divided so that Japan took possession of all from Iturup (Etorofu) to the South while Russia took all from Urup (Uruppu) to the North. Sakhalin was declared "common possession" or "jointly occupied".

{_{ KEJ,6: 270 (Lensen) and KEJ,2: 238 (Stephan). See also John A. Harrison, Japan's Northern Frontier (1953).}_}

The treaty thus created the possibility for trade relations to flourish, the objective of Russian and Japanese alike for many decades. And it defined boundaries between the two sovereign powers in the North in a way that promised neighborly relations. Indeed, when major adjustments seemed necessary in 1875, both sides found it relatively easy to agree that Japan would take control over the whole Kuril chain and Russia would take control over the whole of Sakhalin.

It is important to note that the treaty did not directly dispose of the territory of any previously existing or current state, nor did it have any direct reference to the central interests of any third diplomatic party. In an atmosphere reminiscent of Golovnin's days in Matsumae, Putiatin and forty men were moved to Heda where they built a Western-style schooner with the help of Japanese craftsmen, each side sharing technologies and craft. Nothing like this had happened since the Englishman Adams, the "Anjin", showed the Japanese some secrets of the European shipwrights trade in the 16th century. The schooner completed, the Russians set sail for home.

{_{ Cf. the novel Shogun .}_}

Third Phase (1854-1898)

As Russian presence made itself felt in Japan again at midcentury, and as imperialist competition threatened to break out in a widening war, Ezo was once again placed under the direct rule of the shogun. The defense needs of the Northern Territories once again foreshadowed the Meiji Restoration. The decrepit Tokugawa rule tottered as it tried to stand up to Perry and as it put on the best face in negotiations with Putiatin. As Japanese weakness became more apparent, imperial powers circled all the more tightly, led by Townsend Harris of the USA.

{_{ Beasley, MHJ: 65.}_}

In October, 1857, Putiatin returned from triumphs in China to insist on more concessions from the Japanese. Still, the August, 1858, Russian-Japanese Treaty of Friendship and Commerce bears no trace of the conflicts that lay ahead as the world was plunged into the hay day of global imperialism. As if warning of dark days ahead, in May, 1891, the future Emperor Nicholas I was attacked and wounded slightly by a fanatic Japanese policeman assigned to escort the royal vacationer as he traveled around Japan.

In 1867 the Tokugawa regime collapsed and the Meiji Restoration inaugurated a wholly new era of centralization, reform and modernization. In some ways like the early dreams of commercial development expressed by Honda Toshiaki in 1767 and Hayashi Shihei in 1791, now an invigorated Japan built factories, trained engineers and administrators, and built a powerful modern financial infrastructure. Like other industrializing nations and just as predicted by Golovnin, Japan was beginning to make itself felt on world markets, but first of all in Asian markets just across the sea of Japan and into Southeast Asia.

Russia introduced a series of fundamental reforms in the 1860s, and by the 1890s Finance Minister Sergei Witte became the main architect of Russia's first modern industrial revolution. Comparisons and contrasts with Japan's simultaneous modernization have attracted much attention.

{_{ See Cyril Black's classic study.}_}

The "Witte System" in the last years of the century achieved extensive financial reforms and heavy industrial development -- largely mining, metallurgy, and railroads. During these years Russian entrepreneurs extended their enterprises down the course of the Amur River, up the Ussuri, across Manchuria to the Yalu River at the Korean frontier, and onto the Liaotung Peninsula just across the gulf from the ancient Chinese capital, Peking [Beijing]. Russian cities sprang up on the Pacific (Sea of Japan) coast. The awesome trans-Siberian railroad and its aggressive trunk line through Harbin in Manchuria, and eventually to Port Arthur, were remarkable symbols of Russia's appearance on the stage of economic modernization.

Even as tensions mounted, Russia and Japan showed considerable restraint and, in accord with the mechanisms of power politics, seemed on the verge of mediating their differences over hapless Korea. In 1876, Japan did unto Korea as the European powers had done unto her a quarter century earlier. Japan forced a treaty on Korea which opened two ports to Japanese trade. China, Germany, and Russia were soon drawn into the crisis of Korean sovereignty. When Korea asked China to help put down domestic disorders in 1894, Japan grew defensive and sent in its own troops. In 1896 the Seoul Memorandum shied away from Yamagata Aritomo's proposal to divide Korea at the waist and grant Russia the North and Japan the South. Within a few months the Yamagata-Lobanov Agreement apparently guaranteed Korean independence, since neither Russian nor Japan could find a way to benefit disproportionately from any other course.

The Sino-Japanese War of 1895 threw everything out of kilter. As a result of the Shimonoseki Treaty, Japan gained control over the Liaotung Peninsula with its strategic Port Arthur and Dalny (Dairen in Japanese, Dalian or Ta-lien in Chinese). This was more than France, Germany and Russia could bear. Russia spearheaded what came to be known as the Tripartite Intervention.

{_{ Beasley, MHJ: 163 has strange list of motives, including German desire "to edge Russia away from European politics".}_}

Russia perhaps made a great mistake to lead this imperialist trio, but it seems to have set its trajectory fatally toward adventurism in Manchuria, against its own long-term interests. The secret 1896 Chinese-Russian mutual defense treaty was designed to gain Russian geo-political dominion over Manchuria and to win a shortcut for the Trans-Siberian railroad.

{_{ See Steven Marks, Road... (??); Boris Romanov, Russia in Manchuria (NYC: 1974); and Edward H. Zabriskie, American-Russian Rivalry in the Far East: A Study in Diplomacy and Power Politics, 1895-1914 (Philadelphia: 1946).}_}

The moment Russia and associates managed to expel Japan from the Liaotung Peninsula and when Germany moved to seize Kiaochow, Russia took Liaotung for herself. Japan was deeply offended, but could still take the initiative to offer a new deal to Russia in which Russia would have a free hand in Manchuria in exchange for Japan having a free hand in Korea. The shape of this proposal was not unlike the earlier adjustment in the Sakhalin/Kurils conflict. Russia was not at this time disposed to cooperate. Still, the Nishi-Rosen Agreement soon pledged both sides to provide no military or financial advisers to Korea without prior agreement. Furthermore, Russia recognized Japanese economic preponderance in Korea.

{_{ Beasley, MHJ: 168.}_}

Japan was still not satisfied by these Russian agreements. She now sought satisfaction in closer ties with England. Russian-Japanese relations were now all snarled in the multiparty confusions of European imperial ambition. Only war now seemed to offer satisfaction.

The changes in domestic administration caused by Meiji Restoration were not more dramatic than the changes in Japanese foreign policy over the next three decades. From a closed nation, fearful for secure shores, but with increasing pressure from within from restless merchant interests to open markets to the wider world, Japan became a most active expansionist state. But Japan subordinating the commercial interests of those who would have directed a Japanese merchant marine into S.E. Asian waters to the appetites of a huge military-railroad-industrial complex foisted onto Manchuria. A quick comparison of Japanese military expenditures in the 1890s with those ten years later, in the early 20th century, give statistical measure to this geo-political shift of attention from overseas expansion in SE Asia to Manchuria, just across the Sea of Japan. The army received 15 million yen in 1893. By 1896 army allocations had grown to 53 million yen and remained at that level into the Russo-Japanese War. Over this same period, naval allocations went up then were cut back notably. In 1895 the navy received 15 million yen, in 1896 50-plus million, and in 1903 28 million.

{_{ Tak Matsusaka dissertation; Beasley, MHJ: 165.}_}

While contrasts are not so stark in the Russian case, it can also be said that the long-term Russian policy of seeking commercial opportunities and trade relations in the Pacific basin was given a disastrous military and expansionist twist by the clique around the financier Aleksandr Mikhailovich Bezobrazov who commanded vast timber concessions in Korea and preferred strong Russian military protection of his colonial domains over any policy of "peaceful economic penetration of Asian markets" as promoted by Witte.

Where Witte urged economic penetration, Nicholas supported adventurers and eventually sent troops to occupy Manchuria. The Sino-Japanese War in 1895 had already shown Japan to be a worthy imitator of European imperialist powers. Whatever Witte's intentions, the advance of the Trans-Siberian into Manchuria begged for a counter move from the industrializing Japanese, even if there had been no military intrusion. Powerful forces were at work to alter the long-term inclination of Russian-Japanese relations toward commerce and to redirect events toward war [EG]. In January 1904 Japan attacked the Russian fleet at Port Arthur and opened the Russo-Japanese War.

Witte fought strenuously against the militarists who encircled Emperor Nicholas I, but in the end he lost, and so did Russia. Japan won the war, but could hardly squeeze a draw out of the Portsmouth peace settlement, cleverly brokered by Teddy Roosevelt. More fundamentally, the Russo-Japanese War did as much damage to Japan as it did to Russia. Beasley has written sadly that the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the subsequent war with Russia "brought revenge, self-confidence and a sense of mission, setting Japan on the road that was to make her in the following forty years an exemplar of Western civilization, transplanted; a champion of Asia against the West; and the megalomaniac builder of an empire overseas".

{_{ Beasley, MHJ: 173.}_}


Russia and Japan have only once presented an authentic threat to one another's national security (1941-1945), and then they restrained themselves in obedience to the oldest laws of international realism. Once again, as the 20th century comes to a close and the 21st century unfolds, there are abundant two-party reasons for Russia and Japan to abide together in diplomatic peace, to prosper from mutual commercial exchange. So long as third-party interests are not allowed to distract Russia and Japan from the issues that promote long-term amiability, the diplomatic future should be bright along northwest Pacific shores. In this sense, the “Four-Islands" dispute is but a bargaining chip, waiting to be tossed onto a table around which really serious two-party issues of international relations are decided.


By way of follow-up =

*1987fa:The Journal for Historical Review#7,3:363
Samuel Edward Konkin III [ID] , review of
J. N. Westwood, Russia Against Japan, 1904-05: A New Look At The Russo-Japanese War (1986)

[SAC editor has introduced hypertext links better to integrate this text with our course]


The Russo-Japanese War of 1904 is nearly forgotten today; ask anyone for a quick list of the twentieth-century wars. Yet it was fought between the two major empires in Asia, decided not only the new balance of power in the East but also the West, and shifted the perception of modern warfare in the minds of those who would plan the strategies for World War I.

Conspiracy miners will find plenty of nuggets in Westwood's slim tome. Perfidious Albion [England] is deeply involved against Russia [ID] only [to turn around after the Russo-Japanese War and seek out Russia as an ally in] the Triple Entente [ID]. Both Russian and Japanese court intrigue is covered. And even the finance-capitalists' loans to the belligerents are detailed.


Sergei Witte was the key figure of the Russo-Japanese War in that he created the Russian situation in the Far East, lost control of it in the power struggles, watched the war destroy his efforts and then returned to favor just in time to clean up the mess by negotiating the peace [LOOP on "Witte"].

The Russo-Japanese War was fought neither on Russian nor Japanese soil [MAP]. It was the purest imperial war, fought by two now-dead [1987] empires. The Russian Empire had all the advantages except proximity; it lost through bureaucracy and decadence. [...]

The situation in 1904 can be summed up fairly quickly. Witte had expanded the Trans-Siberian Railway through Manchuria [ID] and established a Russian city at Harbin. The fiction of a private railway, Chinese Eastern (CER), covered the sovereignty lapse. The CER was linked to the Russo-Chinese Bank, by which Witte controlled Manchurian finance. Witte portrayed Russia as China's friend against Japan, who had beaten China in the war of 1894.

Pseudo-entrepreneurial groups, lead by A.M. Bezobrazov, won the Tsar's ear, overruled Witte's cautious, well-worked-out plan, and had Russia expand southward to Port Arthur, the Liaotung Peninsula, and expand the CER branch to Port Arthur. Then the statist speculators moved into Korea, via the tried and true imperialist method.

After several false starts this group had set up its East Asian Development Company. Bezobrazov had frankly described this company as modeled on that of the old British East India Company [ID], and its aim was to exploit a concession in Korea, [13]

Japan thought they had won Korea (a weak kingdom, supposedly independent) and Port Arthur in the Sino-Japanese War. With the Europeans consolidating their "concessions" in China after the Boxer Rebellion (an anti-imperialist insurgency by "a secret society" [ID]), this further advance into what Japan regarded as its rightful sphere of influence was intolerable. In 1902, Japan signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance [ID] in preparation for war against Russia Since at least the Crimean War [ID], Russia and Britain had been at odds. As Westwood says, "... in the British press and Parliament 'Russian scares' were as frequent in the nineteenth century as 'red scares' in the twentieth."

The British Empire clearly assisted the Japanese during the war, particularly through their formidable international press control (which pressured the U.S. State to join the British alliance against the Central Powers only a decade later), and actually passed up cases of Russian ships accidentally firing on British trawlers to avoid conflict. Later, the Japanese would uphold the treaty to scoop up the German far-eastern colonies in World War I.

Both sides lied to their people and both suffered domestic political upheaval in return. The Russian State -- on the advice of the rehabilitated Witte [ID] -- gave in to the strikes and mutinies and created the Duma, opening power to the liberal bourgeoisie [sic!]. But the Japanese, too, suffered "anti-peace riots" when their hardest-lining politician, eking out a fairly favorable settlement, fell drastically below the unrealistic expectations of the deluded populace.

The actual conduct of the war can be summarized simply (Woodward does a credible narrative of the detail). After two years of negotiation with both sides convinced of war's inevitability, the Japanese struck à la Pearl Harbor. In fact, as Pearl was the American Empire's western most naval outpost, Port Arthur was Russia's easternmost. The surprise attack was far less successful than Pearl Harbor was to be, but the Russians frittered away time in harbor, running their fleet out eventually, suffered losses, returned to port and suffered final destruction by the land artillery of the slowly encroaching Japanese forces.

The Japanese marched into the Liaotung Peninsula, drove the Russians back from Port Arthur to Mukden, and captured the Manchurian capital-all to heavy losses from Banzai charges. Port Arthur fell after a long siege. Unbelievably, at this point the Russians were stronger than-ever, their reinforcements finally arriving over the railway, while the Japanese were drafting bottom- of-the barrel, aged reserves and their officer corps was depleted to crisis levels.

The Russians did suffer a decisive defeat: on the sea The Baltic Fleet sailed through the English Channel, under harassment, around the Cape of Good Hope (smaller ships passed through Suez) and through the Indian Ocean. The French bent their neutrality to counteract the British and let the Russian ships rest and rendezvous in Madagascar. Germans supplied coaling ships to feed the voracious Russian boilers. (Kaiser Wilhelm supported his cousin the Tsar in Eastern expansion.) After that epic voyage around the globe, the Russian fleet attempted to run the Straits of Tsushima between Korea and Japan to rendezvous with the cruisers raiding out of Vladivostok and ran into the Japanese fleet under Naval Commander Admiral Togo.

Westwood makes a plausible case that the Russian fleet of Admiral Rozhestvensky could have come out better with a few better breaks; nonetheless, Togo gambled on the classic "crossing the T" tactic and pulled it off. After several hours, and an attempt by some cruisers to break through to Vladivostok, all the Russian capital ships were sunk, surrendered or were scuttled [pix].

(Historical coincidence [sic]: The Russian fleet's last safe port had been Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam, then French Indo-China [ID]. The Soviet fleet uses it again today.)

Both sides were racist; the Russian press portrayed the Japanese as "yellow monkeys" and the Japanese portrayed the Caucasians as subhuman barbarians. But other Asiatics, particularly the Indians, suffering under the British imperial yoke, took heart at an Asian victory over Europeans. (The Japanese "Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" propaganda of World War II cashed in on the good will they reaped from this war.) But both sides were fairly careless with the lives of their own soldiers in battle. The Russian reserves mutinied on their way home during the 1905 uprising [EG].

Nicholas relieved General Kuropatkin after the fall of Port Arthur and the Battle of Mukden, rightly considering that the land war would swing over to them. But the naval disaster of May 1905 at Tsushima nearly toppled him and he agreed to Roosevelt's offer of arbitration. The Japanese, equally desperate, sought him out first, and accepted his "suggestion" of peace talks on June 10, two days before the Russians. Because it implied a loss of face, it was the first inkling the Japanese populace had that all was not going well. The Japanese ruling caste was willing to go for almost anything that left them intact and in control of Korea Even though Witte was out-negotiating them, showing remarkable understanding of manipulation of the modem press by "generous leaks," Nicholas gave up the south end of Sakhalin Island to seal the deal without conceding any indemnities. The lack of monetary compensation left Japan deep in the debt of international finance.

Military buffs and wargamers will enjoy Russia Against Japan not only for battle details but also for their impact on World War I. According to Westwood, the military historians studied this conflict for a decade, drawing correct -- and erroneous -- conclusions. Most of their publishing was lost through bad timing when the guns of August 1914 sounded. All the military protagonists of World War I studied the Russo-Japanese War, most of the Russian generals were veterans and the defeated General, Kuropatkin, "displayed the same quality of bureaucratic caution." [135] Two of these generals, Samsonov and Rennenkampf, carried their feud to 1914 where Rennenkampf failed to rescue Samsonov at the Battle of Tannenberg, a major German victory [ID].

Though the beloved British balance of power was maintained in the Far East, Russia and Japan maintained a healthy respect for each other for forty years. The Soviet policy continued the Imperial Russian; when Japan was clearly defeated [in WW2], they moved into Korea back to their 39th parallel division of 1903, recaptured Sakhalin, and reestablished Manchurian control -- only to lose it to Emperor [sic!] Mao after 1949 [ID].

Japan preferred war with the U.S. to another round with Russia in 1941.

The war shifted European alliances. Britain was now ready to enter an entente with the weakened Russian Empire, especially after the Moroccan crisis of 1905 turned the German Empire into the new prime enemy. Bismarck's plans to avoid a two-front hostile alliance failed.

Libertarians will enjoy the brief allusions to counter-economic activity of the always-enterprising Chinese on both sides of the war. Although the war was fought on Chinese (and Korean) territory, nobody consulted or cared what the Manchu court thought. The Manchus fell to Sun Yat-Sen's bourgeois [sic] revolt six years later [ID].

Foreshadowing World War I, the Russo-Japanese War ended with massive loss of human lives and economic treasure, loss of faith and "sacred honour," and an insurgent, revolting populace anxious to reform or sweep away ancien régimes. The Russian State, fighting two senseless wars in a decade on foreign soil, for gains incomprehensible to those fighting and paying, reaped the whirlwind of revolution. And the Japanese State, learning all the wrong lessons in the war, collapsed in two mushroom clouds almost exactly forty years after the Treaty of Portsmouth was signed [ID].