Darwin and War in Ancient China, Sengoku Japan, and Early Modern Europe

What does Darwin have to do with terracotta warriors, samurai armies, or Napoleon’s conquests? Quite a lot. Or at least this is what I argue in a paper I finished back in April. I anticipated refining it with extra research in the months since then. This hope was not realized. Other projects have consumed my […]

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When Modern War Met an Antique Art

Kobayashi Kiyochika,  β€œIn the Battle of the Yellow Sea a Sailor Onboard Our JapaneseWarship ‘Matsushima’, on the Verge of Dying, Asked Whether or Notthe Enemy Ship had been Destroyed” (October 1894) [2000.109a-c] Sharf Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston The earliest extant woodblock print was uncovered in a 7th century tomb excavated in the outskirts of […]

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The Road to Beijing Runs Through Tokyo

Image Source. As much of the material here at The Stage narrates the history of Chinese warfare, diplomacy, and strategic thought or analyzes contemporary Chinese politics and international relations, I am occasionally asked a question that goes something like this: “Mr. Greer, if you had to recommend one book to help me understand how the […]

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Notes From All Over (8/1/14): Tech Giants, Asian Media, and Japanese History

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING “The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014“Ben Thompson, Stratechery (16 December 2014). One of the defining characteristics of the three major epochs of consumer computing – PC, Internet, and mobile – is that they have been largely complementary: we didn’t […]

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Notes From all Over (14/09/14): China’s Economy, Samurai, and Adam Tooze’s Take on Europe

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING  “What Does a “Good” Adjustment Look Like?“ Michael Pettis, China’s Financial Markets (1 September 2014). This essay is long but excellent. It is also the best thing I have read about the Chinese economy in months. Two quotes to give readers the flavor of […]

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It is Time to Talk Honestly About the U.S.-Japanese Alliance

Image source: “The New Cold War: China vs. Japan,” The Diplomat (25 January 2014) Peter Lee, who writes columns for Asia Times Online, International Policy Digest, and Counterpunch, is one of the more astute observers of East Asian affairs I have the pleasure to read. He is also a staunch contrarian whose columns are almost always […]

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Hard Truths and Hidden Gems at Shangri-La

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers the keynote address at the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue Image Source This weekend I finally had the chance to sit down and read the collected transcripts of the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue. This year’s round of the Dialogue has garnered much more media attention than usual. The coverage has focused on the […]

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How Many Generations Until Immigrants Think Like the Rest of Us?

I have long been fascinated by the “deep culture” differences that distinguish humanity’s numerous ethnic and cultural groups. That peoples from different continents and climes have different rules of etiquette, eat different foods, follow different schedules, and worship different gods is well known. But in many ways these differences barely scratch the surface of humanity’s […]

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Shame and War

USGS topographical map. “Japan, Korea, and Northeast China.” 2006. Image Source: koryostudies.com. What leads men and states to the path of war? For centuries thinkers and strategists of the Western tradition have turned to Thucydides and his history to find answers to this question. The great historian speaks of Athenian envoys rising up in hostile […]

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The United States Doesn’t Know What to Do With the East China Sea

The famous “nine-dash line” that marks China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea Source: “Q&A: South China Sea Disputes.” BBC News. 15 May 2013. Earlier this afternoon The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific held a hearing devoted entitled “America’s Future in Asia: From Rebalancing to Managing Sovereignty Disputes.” […]

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