Can Anyone Recommend a Book; WW2 - Japan - Kwangtung Army

#1
My Japanese Grandad, an infantry rodney in the Kwangtung army, died in the 1990s and I never did get to ask him anything about his war experiences. He had a photo of himself in ceremonial uniform, with sword and pointy moustache, hung on his wall, so I don't think he was ashamed of that period. He also told me a story about when he was in a Siberian PoW camp; he said it was so cold that his comrades noses were freezing and 'snapping' off. He laughed like a loon at the memory of it, which I thought was a bit mental.

He was accompanied by his wife (my granny) while posted to Manchuria. Apparently she had a rough time too.

I've read that Japanese officers posted to Manchuria did an induction which included being blooded by beheading a couple of Chinese prisoners.

I love WW2 first hand accounts of German soldiers, but can't find anything similar about Japanese soldiers, so thought I'd ask here. And specifically anything about the Kwangtung army. I'm guessing there's a lot of material, but not necessarily translated into English.

Can anyone help?
 
#3
I've read an account of a Japanese-American who had been sent as a youth back to Japan to study and subsequently conscripted. He ended up as a POW in Russian hands.
Alas, for the life of me, I can't recall the title at the moment so I'm afraid I'm of little use to you there.

However, there is this account of Japanese POWs in Russian hands which might be of some interest;
Link:
Japanese POWs in Russia
 
#4
If you can get hold of it, Return from Siberia: A Japanese Life in War and Peace, 1925-2015 by Oguma Eiji is a fascinating memoir of a Japanese soldier from his posting to Manchuria to his return from Soviet captivity.
 
#7
You could try this:

Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power)
Louise Young
In this first social and cultural history of Japan's construction of Manchuria, Louise Young offers an incisive examination of the nature of Japanese imperialism. Focusing on the domestic impact of Japan's activities in Northeast China between 1931 and 1945, Young considers "metropolitan effects" of empire building: how people at home imagined and experienced the empire they called Manchukuo.Contrary to the conventional assumption that a few army officers and bureaucrats were responsible for Japan's overseas expansion, Young finds that a variety of organizations helped to mobilize popular support for Manchukuo--the mass media, the academy, chambers of commerce, women's organizations, youth groups, and agricultural cooperatives--leading to broad-based support among diverse groups of Japanese. As the empire was being built in China, Young shows, an imagined Manchukuo was emerging at home, constructed of visions of a defensive lifeline, a developing economy, and a settler's paradise.


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#8
And this:

Chinese Soldier vs Japanese Soldier: China 1937–38
Benjamin Lai, Johnny Shumate
In July 1937, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident sparked a bloody conflict between Chinese and Japanese forces that would rage across China and beyond for more than eight years.

The two sides' forces brought very different strengths and limitations to the conflict. In 1937 China was divided into factions, each controlled by warlords with independent forces, and there was no unified Chinese army. In order to fight the Japanese Chiang Kai-shek, the nominal leader of Nationalist China, was compelled to do deals with these regional powers. For their part, the Japanese employed ground forces broadly comparable to those fielded by Western powers, including modern artillery and tanks. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and drawing upon an array of sources, this study investigates the origins, training, doctrine, and armament of the Chinese and Japanese forces who fought in the opening stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War.


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#9
You could try this:

Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power)
Louise Young
In this first social and cultural history of Japan's construction of Manchuria, Louise Young offers an incisive examination of the nature of Japanese imperialism. Focusing on the domestic impact of Japan's activities in Northeast China between 1931 and 1945, Young considers "metropolitan effects" of empire building: how people at home imagined and experienced the empire they called Manchukuo.Contrary to the conventional assumption that a few army officers and bureaucrats were responsible for Japan's overseas expansion, Young finds that a variety of organizations helped to mobilize popular support for Manchukuo--the mass media, the academy, chambers of commerce, women's organizations, youth groups, and agricultural cooperatives--leading to broad-based support among diverse groups of Japanese. As the empire was being built in China, Young shows, an imagined Manchukuo was emerging at home, constructed of visions of a defensive lifeline, a developing economy, and a settler's paradise.


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Young's book is very good, thoroughly recommended.
 
#10
It should probably be mentioned but if you are of whole or part Japanese extraction (and you presumably are) the actions of your countrymen in China do not make for pretty reading.

But you probably know that.

Edit. The wiki page Japanese war crimes - Wikipedia has an overview of your rascally ancestors, complete with references and a book list for further reading (little of it very pretty).
 
#12
There is a very good book called Nomonhan by Dr Alvin Coox. It is, as you might surmise, a book about Nomonhan, however it also covers the time before and after. It's about 2-3 inches thick, so it is not skimping on detail! IT covers everythign form high command down to the actions of individual gun crews and soldiers.
It is possibly one of the better books I've ever read, combining first hand accounts with accurate historical research. It is, oddly, almost entirely written from the Japanese perspective. It gives key insights into Japanese mentality and how the experiences in China affected the Japanese army for the Second World War. If you're even remotely serious about learning about the War agaisnt japan it really is a must read.
Hell, if you're even remotely serious about military subjects I'd recommend it, simply because it is utterly staggering how the Japanese army's psyche worked and many modern officers can be warned about potential traps on the battlefield, and in their own head from preconceived notions, and shitty recce/ignoring facts!
I'd also say, that Coox is no Weeb either, and he doesn't even try to hide the absolutely insane decisions. It really does highlight how utterly different a mind set the Japanese army had, its almost alien, and Coox brings that across well. I can't really state how good this book is and how utterly perplexing the thought process are.
It also helped me understand the Japanese Army of the period. I always thought the simplistic answer of why the Japanese treated their prisoners so badly didn't seem logical or fit. But after reading that, and a Japanese soldiers account of his life it clicked.
Why hte hell are you still here, and not off buying a copy of this book? I have I not praised it enough for you?

There is also, kicking about on line somewhere a pretty good US Army review of Operation August Storm, which also goes into some depth about the Kwangtung army. It provides a pretty good indication of how the mighty have fallen, when you compare with Nomonhan.
 
#13
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