Tuesday, March 20, 2018

一日の画像 Picture of the Day: Seijin Shiki

Seen here are two young women arriving at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America in Granite Falls Washington for their Seijin Shiki (Coming of Age ceremony). This life cycle event commemorates reaching the age of 20. We at American Mishima wish these two young ladies a happy and successful life!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

American Mishima Unveils New Author Web Series

As of this week, we have now taken our American Mishima blog into a whole new frontier. We have entered the world of Video Blogging with our first episode of our new Author Web Series where we will discuss subjects relating to our books and upcoming projects. Please enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

USS Lexington Wreck Found!

By now everyone has heard of Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen's discovery of the USS Lexington. Lady Lex as she was known was sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy in May 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea. She went down with 216 of her crew and 35 aircraft. This battle had the distinction of being the first carrier battle. Paul Allen's team took some amazing photos from the wreck which is some two miles deep.
Seen hereis the name plate.
Anti-Aircraft Gun.
Wrecked planes with the Pre-War Star before the red dot was painted solide to avoid confusion with the Japanese Rising Sun.
Here's a plane where you can see the Feleix the Cat holding a bomb emblem of the squadron this plane belonged to. Also note, the visible four Japanese kill flags. 
Another large gun sitting silently on the ocean floor. 
There's only a limited amount of photos available so please check out this video to get better views.


Rest in Peace Lady Lex.
Fair Winds and Following Seas.

JMSDF Appoints 1st Female Fleet Commander

This week saw another important milestone for women in Japan's Martime Self-Defense Force with the appointment of Commander Ryoko Azuma as it's first female Fleet Commander. Cdr. Azum (as seen in the above REUTERS/Nobuhiro Kubo photo) will now command a four vessel escort squadron that includes the Helecopter "Destroyer" carrier Izumo. She will have a total of 1000 personelle under her command which includes 30 women. This is a long way from how things were  when she joined the JMSDF in 1996. Back then, no women were allowed to serve on ships. This rule was abolished a decade ago with the sole prohibition preventing women from serving on submarines. Give them time I say! The 44 year old Commander is quoted in a public statement in Yokohama as saying: "I don't think about being a woman. I will concentrate my energy on fulfilling my duties as commander." We at American Mishima wish her great success. がんばって ください!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Inevitability Revealed: F-35 Prospects for Izumo Class Carriers

Ever since the inception of the Izumo Class Helicopter Destroyer Carrier, the prospect of complimenting such carriers with fixed wing aircraft has been the subject of debate. Long held as an objection by Beijing, the growing tensions in both the South China Seas and on the Korean Penninsula have brought forth this long held notion that such a deployment of fighter aircraft aboard a JMSDF carrier would not only become an inevitability but a necessity. This of course challenges Japan's post war restrictions prohibiting offensive first strike aircraft on Japanese vessels. So far, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera says they are merely studying the concept and will make determinations based on Japan's ever changing defense needs. We are certain Japan has looked extensively at USMC F-35B fighter wings based on US Navy Assault ships. Currently, Japan has only two Izumo Class carriers; the Izumo and the Kaga which are both larger than their WWII predecessors thus making them capable of carrying such V/STOL 5th Generation fighters. As reassured by the Abe Government, this is only a study and not a promise to arm these JMSDF vessels. To be continued.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Politics of Parades

When General Douglas MacArthur stepped off the American Military Transport plane at Atsugi Air Base in 1945, he had ordered his officers to leave thier side arms on the plane. His reasoning in the face of over one million armed Imperial Japanese soldiers who were to stand guard was to display as he put it, "Old American Swagger." In otherwords, Confidence. Such confidence projects strength. Fast forward to the age of Donald Trump where American Swagger has been replaced by Fear and Loathing and an admiration on the part of the 45th Commander in Chief for Authoritarian Strongmen such as Dutartte and Kim Jong Un instead of the leaders of Democracy. Here is a man who talks tough but made excuses as to why he would not serve his country when he was called upon during the Vietnam War. It is a cruel irony that such a man would through the help of Russian meddling find himself in the position as C&C. His failure to understand our true military might has led to his demand for our military to parade in our nations capital at great tax payer expense. While this may be the practice of the Kremlin, Beijing, and Pyongyang, this is not who we are. We know we have the most lethal fighting forces in the world. We don't need 3rd world Banana Republic displays of strength to prove it. This only shouts to our geopolitical foes in Russia that Donald Trump is doing his best to erode American Confidence and Strength.
One must hand it to Vladimir Putin for learning the most valuable lession from the fall of the Soviet Union, make your enemy spoend all his money and watch them go bankrupt. This is a lesson our enemies around the world have been learning as we waste trillions of dollars in defense projects for weapons and missions dreamed up out of fear for tomorrow might come. Putin recently proved that with the announcement of a weapon he claims to be invincible but in reality is more invisible because he is proding Trump to misspend our resources and further drive our economy into debt all while failing to protect our nation from Russian cyber attacks and proxy attacks on our troops abroad that thus far have gone unanswered.
You can't have a victory parade without a victory. George Bush learned this the hard way with his Mission Accomplished Banner. Fortunately, there is great disdain for the call for this parade that serves no prupose other than to force our military to stroke Trump's fragile ego and salute it. Forcing this iussue in the wake of cuts to services for our military veterans will come at a great political price. Both for the Republican Party that backs him and for the rest of the free world who look to us with confidence in our military as a force for good. I believe it is always darkest before the dawn and we too shall recover from Donald Trump.This will take many years to correct the damage this man is doing but it must be done. And the sooner we remove him from power and put him on Marine One for the last time, the sooner we can get back to restoring American Confidence.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Got Stealth? JASDF Orders Additional F-35's

This week it was announced in Japan Today that the JASDF will be purchassing an addition 20 F-35A 5th Generation Stealth Fighters. Unlike the previous 42 advanced fighter planes whose final assembly is done by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, these will come directly from Lockheed Martin in the United States. Sources state issues with production time tables for this reason and not trade tarrifs imposed by the Trump Regime. The going pricetag for Japan is $100 Million each. Buying direct will save Japan an estimated $30 million per plane. How that works out is not so readily explained but then again we know Beijing is reading and watching. Any realist will tell you that such an upgrade should not be the cause of alarm due to the lack of significant numbers of orders. This generation of Stealth fighters replaces 50 year old F-4 Phantoms and the first of many aging F-15 fighters. Japan will eventually have it's new home grown Stealth Fighter people are calling the F-3 (aka the ATX-D-F3) but that won't be available for another decade. In the meantime, Japan must have a ready force to meet the growing threats from North Korea and troubles on the South China Seas. We hope they will keep Japan safe and contribute to stability in the region.