stories

When The Shogun Awoke - Chapter 3 - page 4

We'd better fire Matsuda and replace him with that member of the Indian royal family, the one who resides in Akasakadai-cho. When you go back to your offices, report this appointment in your papers.' Later during World War I you advocated a conquest of the world, and at the time of the Siberia Intervention, the occupation of Siberia. But right before this period people started to voice their resentment of highhanded militarymen. The imported notion of democracy turned the trend around and such words as 'warlords' and 'militarism' became epithets of contempt. Public opinion became clearly anti-military.Militarymen had often been seen swaggering in trains, but now they made themselves small in corners. General Togo, who once shook the world, was only remembered as a brandname for steel; and people knew about General Nogi only as a name for crackers. Recently your political commentaries have lost their sharpness and the influence they had before. According to the chief-of-staff's diagnosis it's because your temperament has begun to curve downward towards a depressive state. And yesterday morning you returned to normal. But I'm afraid to say that your return to normalcy is, from the military's point of view, nothing less than regrettable. Today Japan is facing a grave crisis. It's only the military that can save our country from this deepening crisis of capitalism." The first lieutenant grew more excited. His smiling face had turned serious, cheeks tense and eyes shining with a strange luster. "Now is the crucial moment if the military wants to regain the trust of the people. The Russo-Japanese War brought us political control over Korea. But how about Manchuria? All we have is exclusive rights on Southern Manchuria. Ah! Manchuria! Manchuria is an inexhuastible treasure house! The most urgent business for our country at this moment is to bring the entire Manchuria under our exclusive control." The first lieutenant stood up and started to pace back and forth swinging his arms and sputtering as he spoke, "At this crucial moment when we are on the brink of a possible worldwide financial catastrophe, Manchuria has the utmost importance for Japan as a market and as a colony. Yes, in China revolutionary movement is on the rise. What if it spreads to Manchuria or to Korea? Japan will be left behind! To stop that from happening, it is absolutely crucial to take over the entire Manchuria now!" He started to yell. "We've got to stop Russia! It's attempting to take over Manchuria! We've got to turn Manchuria into a military base for a war against Russia! Japan is now pressed by the political and military need to occupy Manchuria! But look what the Cabinet is doing! It recognized the need; but there is no agreement on the timing nor on the means of accomplishing it --neither among the parties nor among bureaucrats! The army, too, is to be blamed! We need strong leadership! We need initiative! Now is the time that we, young officers, should act on our own! That's why we need you! You have a mission to direct the nation's attention to us! That's right!" He prostrated himself before Kinjiro with his forehead rubbing against the tatami floor. "Please! Please, please don't go back to normal! Please cooperate with us! Please be nice like you used to be! Please stay mad !"
The nurse came into the room. After saying hello to the First Lieutenant in a friendly manner, she said to Kinjiro, "Excuse me, Mr. Shogun. The Grand Chamberlain and the Four Devas are requesting an audience with you if you are feeling well."