Japan’s Actual Plan for World War II

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Japan’s plan to conquer the Far East as reported by Life magazine, December 9, 1946

Last month, we looked at some possible Axis invasion plans of the United States. We wrote at the time that neither the Germans nor the Japanese ever seriously considered conquering the continental United States.

Life revealed as much as early as December 1946. Basing itself on “captured documents” and interviews American officers conducted with their Japanese counterparts, the magazine reported that the empire’s goal was always a negotiated peace.

The strike on Pearl Harbor was only meant to immobilize the American fleet so the Japanese could take the Philippines, Guam, Singapore, the East Indies and Wake Island. Continue reading “Japan’s Actual Plan for World War II”

Review: Penny Dreadful Season 3

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Premiere SteamGoth/horror series Penny Dreadful is back, taking up a few months after the events of the season finale of season 2.

If you haven’t seen season 1, it’s not the greatest issue in the world (although it does help to have seen every episode), but you really should watch season 2 before starting 3, else you’ll have very little clue about the necessary background leading up to the events in this season.

This season is undoubtedly the strongest so far, with the return of many characters we came to love and hate the past 2 seasons, but also some very strong and interesting new ones we get to love and/or hate. Right up to episode 7’s ending, but more about that in a moment.

Vanessa takes on an old foe (or does she?), Ethan Chandler faces his curse (or does he?), Victor looses the plot some more (but in new and spectacular ways), Malcolm is still the sanest of the bunch, Lilly is out to plot world domination with Dorian at her as long as he’s not bored and Calliban/John Clare finally finds something that looks like happiness (or does he?).

Throw a bunch of new characters into that particular Victorian melting pot of (supernatural) disasters, and you get another thrilling (even with the slow pace) season of what is undoubtedly the best, and quintessential SteamGoth series out there. Continue reading “Review: Penny Dreadful Season 3”

What If Germany and Japan Conquered the United States?

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Map of North America from the titles of Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle

Earlier this month, we looked at some hypothetical Axis invasion plans of the United States. In reality, neither Germany nor Japan ever had a concrete plan to attack North America. But what if they did?

Philip K. Dick’s 1963 novel The Man in the High Castle gives us a world in which the two Axis powers not only mounted an invasion of America but succeeded in conquering it.

His story diverges from the real world in 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt does not survive an assassination attempt. Without Roosevelt and the New Deal, America is poorer and unwilling to enter World War II until it is too late. Nazi Germany defeats Britain and the other European powers; Japan conquers all of Oceania. The United States surrender in 1947 and are split in two: Japan establishes a Pacific States of America on the West Coast, Germany a puppet United States on the East Coast. A buffer is kept between them in the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading “What If Germany and Japan Conquered the United States?”

Exhibit Review: Game Changers

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Fashion Museum (MoMu)
Antwerp, Belgium
March 18 – August 14

Game Changers, the Antwerp fashion museum’s (MoMu for short) current main exhibit, focusses on the evolution of the 20th century silhouette in high fashion. On top of that it collaborates with UNIQLO for the UNIQLO MOMU SUNDAYS, allowing free entry for everyone on every first Sunday of the month (May and June have already passed, but you can still go on July 3rd and August 7th).

Incidentally, every 1st Sunday of the month is also a shopping Sunday in Antwerp, which comes in handy as you get a coupon for a free UNIQLO airism t-shirt with your entry ticket (which you need to pick up at the front desk of the MoMu) that you need to exchange within 7 days. Just an FIY, it’s until stock lasts and women get a sleeveless top and men a t-shirt, both are white. Regardless, it’s a really nice touch, especially because airism is pretty amazing. Continue reading “Exhibit Review: Game Changers”