Show 64 – Supernova in the East III Description: Japan’s rising sun goes supernova and engulfs a huge area of Asia and the Pacific. A war without mercy begins to develop infusing the whole conflict with a savage vibe.

In “Hardcore History” journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his “Martian”, unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? This isn’t academic history (and Carlin isn’t a historian) but the podcast’s unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.

Books Mentioned in this Podcast - Supernova in the East III:

Book Title: Japan at War – An Oral History

Author: Haruko Taya Cook & Theodore F. Cook

Book Title: Blood, Tears and Folly – An Objective Look at World War Two

Author: Len Deighton

Book Title: The Rising Sun

Author: John Tolland

Book Title: Hirohito’s War – The Pacific War 1941 – 1945

Author: Francis Pike

Book Title: The Second World War

Author: Winston Churchill

Book Title: The Battle for Singapore – The True Story of the Greatest Catastrophe of World War II

Author: Peter Thompson

Book Title: Singapore Burning – Heroism and Surrender in World War II

Author: Colin Smith

Book Title: Rampage – MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila

Author: James M. Scott

Book Title: Undefeated – America’s Heroic Fight for Bataan and Corregidor

Author: Bill Sloan

Book Title: Reminiscences 

Author: Douglas MacArthur

Book Title: Under The Rising Sun – Memories of a Japanese Prisoner of War

Book Title: The End is Always Near – Humanity vs. The Apocalypse from the Bronze Age to Today

Author: Dan Carlin

Supernova in the East III - A Comprehensive Summary of Hardcore History Episode 64

Hardcore History, the immensely popular podcast by Dan Carlin, delves into the lesser-known and complex aspects of history. In episode 64, titled “Supernova in the East III,” Carlin continues his exploration of Japan’s fascinating history, its unique military culture, and the nation’s involvement in World War II. This 1,000-word summary offers an SEO-optimized overview of the key insights and highlights from the episode.

The Roots of Japanese Military Culture

Carlin begins by examining the roots of Japan’s military culture, tracing it back to the ancient samurai warrior class. He discusses how the samurai, with their strict adherence to the Bushido code, influenced the development of Japan’s military ethos. This code emphasized loyalty, honor, and personal sacrifice, all of which continued to shape the nation’s military practices in the 20th century. Carlin also highlights the role of Emperor Hirohito, who was considered divine, and how his status fueled nationalism and further solidified military loyalty.

Impact of Western Influence

Episode 64 delves into the impact of Western influence on Japan during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Carlin explains how the forced opening of Japanese ports in the 1850s led to rapid modernization and the adoption of Western military tactics and technology. He emphasizes the country’s swift rise as a major power, as evidenced by its victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Carlin also explores the Japanese perception of Western powers, which was a mix of admiration and resentment. The latter emotion arose from the belief that Japan was not treated as an equal in the international community.

Japan's Military Expansion

Carlin chronicles Japan’s military expansion during the early 20th century, touching on its conquest of Korea, Taiwan, and Manchuria. The podcast further delves into the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, resulting in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Carlin provides a detailed account of the infamous Nanking Massacre, a brutal event in which hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians were killed. He also discusses Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, which further emboldened its expansionist ambitions.

The Road to Pearl Harbor

“Supernova in the East III” examines the events leading to Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Carlin discusses the complex geopolitical situation at the time, with the United States imposing economic sanctions on Japan in response to its invasion of China. He also highlights Japan’s oil crisis, which prompted the decision to seize the oil-rich territories of Southeast Asia, thus bringing it into direct conflict with the United States and its allies.

The Pacific War

Carlin delves into the major battles of the Pacific War, such as the Battle of Midway, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima. He emphasizes the ferocity of the fighting, detailing the brutal conditions experienced by both Japanese and American soldiers. He also discusses the kamikaze attacks, a desperate tactic employed by Japanese pilots in the latter stages of the war. These suicide missions, a manifestation of the Bushido code, further underscored the depth of Japan’s commitment to its military ethos.

The Japanese Home Front

Carlin provides a glimpse into the lives of ordinary Japanese citizens during World War II, detailing the impact of air raids, food shortages, and government propaganda. He emphasizes the population’s unwavering support for the war effort, driven by a deep sense of nationalism and loyalty to the emperor. The episode also explores the role of women in Japan’s wartime society, highlighting their significant contributions to the workforce and their resilience in the face of adversity.

The Atomic Bombings and Japan's Surrender

The podcast discusses the momentous decision by the United States to drop atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Carlin analyzes the rationale behind this decision and its devastating consequences for the Japanese people. He also examines the internal debate within Japan’s government and military leadership about whether to surrender or continue fighting to the bitter end.

Ultimately, Emperor Hirohito’s unprecedented intervention and his radio broadcast announcing Japan’s surrender brought the conflict to an end. Carlin emphasizes the immense significance of this act, as it marked the first time the Japanese public had ever heard their emperor’s voice, and it signaled the end of the nation’s divine status.

Post-War Japan

In the concluding segment of “Supernova in the East III,” Carlin discusses the aftermath of World War II and the subsequent occupation of Japan by Allied forces. He highlights the role of General Douglas MacArthur in overseeing the country’s reconstruction and democratization. Carlin also explores the Japanese people’s remarkable ability to adapt and rebuild, transforming their nation into an economic powerhouse in the post-war era.

In summary, Hardcore History’s episode 64, “Supernova in the East III,” offers an engaging and comprehensive examination of Japan’s history, military culture, and involvement in World War II. By delving into the roots of Japan’s military ethos, its rapid rise as a major power, and the events leading to and throughout the Pacific War, Dan Carlin provides listeners with an enlightening understanding of this significant period in world history.

The Lasting Impact on Japanese Society

Carlin goes on to discuss the lasting impact of World War II on Japanese society, including the shift from an imperial system to a constitutional monarchy, the disavowal of military aggression, and the adoption of a pacifist constitution. He also touches on the ongoing debate within Japan regarding its wartime actions, war crimes, and the importance of addressing historical issues for the sake of national reconciliation.

Lessons from Supernova in the East

The episode concludes with Carlin reflecting on the broader lessons that can be drawn from the “Supernova in the East” series. He underscores the importance of understanding the historical context and cultural factors that shaped Japan’s actions during World War II, and how these factors can provide valuable insights into the complexities of international relations, military strategy, and human nature.

Carlin also emphasizes the potential dangers of nationalism and the consequences of unchecked military power, urging listeners to consider the importance of learning from history to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

The Enduring Legacy of Hardcore History Episode 64

“Supernova in the East III” serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of exploring history from multiple perspectives and the role it plays in shaping our understanding of the present. By providing a comprehensive and engaging account of Japan’s involvement in World War II, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History episode 64 not only educates listeners about a significant period in world history but also encourages them to reflect on the lessons that can be drawn from the past.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a student, or simply someone seeking a deeper understanding of the world, “Supernova in the East III” offers a compelling and thought-provoking look at Japan’s journey through war, devastation, and ultimately, rebirth.