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John A Stuart

by any other name

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Today I was reading about some IJN battleships WW II era and ran across the Fuso-maru. I've seen a few older names for Japan, ie.,

倭 Wa

倭国 Wagoku

大和 Taiwa

邪馬台国 Xumataiguo (Chin.) Yamataigoku (Jap.)

日本 Nippon, Nihon

However, I did not know Japan has been refered to as 扶桑 Fuso. A 'protective mulberry bush'. Found it interesting. John

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John, if you're interested in IJN, a must have is "Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War" by Eric Lacroix and Linton Wells II, by the U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis 1997 ISBN 0 87021 311 3

 

Great readings also Janusz Skulski's books about Yamato, Takao and Fuso, Conway Maritime Press.

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Good morning John,

 

I have some further references to names used to describe Japan:

 

Ashihara no Nakatsukuni 葦原中国

 

(Central Land of the Reed Plains)

 

Oyashima 大八洲

 

(Great Country of Eight Islands)

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

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Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is on topic but relates to the comments about the IJN Yamato etc above. 10-15 years ago I had some long chats with a former IJN officer visiting his granddaughter at school here in Australia, He was Lt. Com. Miyoshi...posted in 1944 to the newly built Shinano (the giant aircraft carrier). Miyoshi san was a gunnery specialist. On the shake-down cruise in the inland sea they got hit by US torpedoes...the Captain kept the engines at full speed. Miyoshi told me they went slowly down by the head...until after some hours steaming ahead at full (or high) speed, the flightdeck became awash. They ploughed under at great speed he said. Only 200 survivors. They were all immediately posted to the farthest corners of the Empire so they couldn't speak about the loss of the Shinano (sister ship to Yamato, Musashi). He ended the war in Hainan Island. The Nationalist Chinese aircraft landed at the airfield there and the Japanese surrendered to them. He put his sword on a pile of swords on the airfield...he couldn't remember the maker..."Kane someone he said". Miyoshi said he enjoyed talking to me about this...he was amazed that I knew all about Shinano etc and was sad such history was hidden in Japan. He said his name meant "3 luckys"...he was lucky in Love, Cards and survived the war...a nice bloke.

Regards,

George.

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Great story. the Shinano was originally to be a battleship, but, lacking carriers after Midway was finished as a flat-top. It never launched a plane to battle and sunk mainly because after being holed by the US sub Archerfish its lack of watertight doors spelled its doom. The Yamato had almost as sad of a history, as ships go. John

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Here's another one for you, John

 

Akitsushima; The Island of the Dragonfly.

 

An ancient Japanese name for dragonfly is akitsu. According to legend the first emperor, Jinmu, was once bitten by a mosquito which was then promptly eaten by a passing dragonfly. This apparently led to the land being known as Akitsushima; The Island of the Dragonfly.

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Hi Ford, My favourite insect and a great name for those lazy summer days watching the aerial combat of dragonflies and horseflies (I hate them). So I looked up the name Akitsushima and found the existing kanji for it, 秋津島, translating as, 'autumn harbour island'. I like the dragonfly fable behind it. John

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