Tag: ‘War’

Vintage political posters

22 Nov 2010

Here is a selection of old Japanese posters featuring political, social and environmental messages.

Political poster from Japan --
Sheltered Weaklings (Takashi Kono, 1953) [+]

Political poster from Japan --
Anti-pollution poster (Kenji Ito, 1973)

Political poster from Japan --
Against the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan (Kinkichi Takahashi, 1960s)

Political poster from Japan -- Political poster from Japan --
Anti-war poster (Kenji Iwasaki, 1960s) [+] // Give Us Back Man (Tsunehisa Kimura, 1969) [+]

Political poster from Japan --
Poster for exhibit in support of Vietnamese women and children (Makoto Wada, 1968)

See more vintage political posters »

Animated map of nuclear explosions, 1945-1998

06 Aug 2010

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto's "1945-1998" is an animated map showing the 2,053 nuclear explosions that took place around the world during the 20th century, from the detonations at Alamogordo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998.

+ Video: "1945-1998" by Isao Hashimoto

The month and year are displayed in top right corner, and the number of nuclear explosions for each country appear next to the flags in the margins. The total is displayed in the bottom right corner.

The numbers reveal that, on average, 1 nuclear explosion occurred every 9.6 days during the 54-year period, with the greatest activity in 1958 and 1962.

The time map does not include the two nuclear tests conducted by North Korea in October 2006 and May 2009, nor does it include the dozens of subcritical nuclear tests (explosions that do not produce a sustained nuclear chain reaction) conducted in recent years by the US/UK and Russia.

Secrets of the Tokyo underground

27 Jan 2010

Tunnel under Tokyo --

A vast subway system, extensive subterranean shopping arcades and miles of pedestrian tunnels make Tokyo's underground city a hotbed of human activity -- and a fertile source of mystery and intrigue. Here is a look at six of the most persistent rumors to emerge from beneath the city's streets.

* * * * *

Rumor #1: Government officials have access to secret trains.

The Tokyo subway system is the most highly used rapid transit system in the world, with an estimated eight million daily passengers using 13 lines run by two major operators (Tokyo Metro and Toei). Of the roughly 300 stations that make up the 300-kilometer (200-mile) network, few are as shrouded in mystery as Kokkai-gijidōmae station, located next to the National Diet Building in central Tokyo.

Subway map of central Tokyo --

Two subway lines -- the Marunouchi and Chiyoda lines -- stop at Kokkai-gijidōmae station. The Chiyoda line platform is situated about 38 meters (125 ft) underground, making it the deepest station in the Tokyo Metro network (though many stations on the Toei Ōedo Line are deeper underground). Rumors claim the underground facility existed as an air raid shelter before it was renovated into a subway station in the 1950s. The station's depth and its proximity to the Diet Building has led to speculation that it is designed to function as a nuclear fallout shelter.

Kokkai-gijidōmae station is also rumored to have a secret door that connects directly to the basement of the adjacent House of Representatives Annex Building #2.

In addition, old construction blueprints of the Chiyoda line platform reportedly show an extra level even deeper underground. This concealed floor ostensibly houses a platform for special trains that transport government officials out of the city in the event of a major disaster.

* * * * *

Rumor #2: There is a nuclear shelter under the Diet Building.

Like Kokkai-gijidōmae station, the National Diet Building is suspected of hiding a few secrets. Rumors suggest the building has at least five underground levels (instead of just the one that the public knows about).

National Diet Building --
Is there a nuclear shelter beneath the National Diet Building?

These secret underground floors are believed to extend at least 38 meters (125 ft) underground and are rumored to include a bomb shelter and a tunnel leading to the secret subway platform beneath Kokkai-gijidōmae station.

* * * * *

Rumor #3: Secret tunnels link key buildings in central Tokyo.

Other nearby government buildings are also believed to be sitting on top of secrets. The Prime Minister's residence, for example, is suspected of having five levels underground, as well as a tunnel linking it to the Diet Building.

Tunnel under Tokyo --
Azabu-Hibiya Common Utility Duct [Photo by Pirori]

There are also rumors of a network of tunnels linking important government buildings in central Tokyo. The oldest is an underground passageway connecting the old Tokyo Central Post Office building with Tokyo station. This tunnel, which was once used to transport mail back and forth between the buildings, was constructed in the early 20th century, well before the Ginza line (Tokyo's oldest subway) opened in 1927. Similar passageways are believed to exist between government ministry buildings in Nagatachō, Kasumigaseki, Ōtemachi and Marunouchi, as well as the Imperial Palace and Hie shrine.

This network of secret tunnels is also believed to include the National Diet Library, which houses about 12 million books and periodicals on eight underground floors. The floors are off limits to the public, and journalists have reportedly been denied access to the lower levels on multiple occasions, leading to suspicion that the library has something to hide.

Floor plan of National Diet Library --
Floor plan of National Diet Library Annex

According to the National Diet Library website, the stacks were built underground in order to preserve the surrounding landscape. In addition, underground stacks are seen as more thermally stable, energy-efficient and cost-effective, as well as less vulnerable to earthquakes.

* * * * *

Rumor #4: The Ōedo line was built for military and relief purposes.

Another source of mystery is the Ōedo line, which runs in a 40-kilometer (25-mile) loop around Tokyo and intersects with every other subway line in the city.

The fact that the Ōedo line's 38 stations are situated as deep as 48 meters (157 ft) underground has led to speculation that they are designed to serve as nuclear fallout shelters.

Journalist Shun Akiba, who has written several books documenting the mysteries of the Tokyo underground, claims the Ōedo line tunnels existed long before the city decided to turn them into public subways. He believes the tunnels are part of a much larger subterranean complex built after World War II in preparation for a possible nuclear attack.

Whether or not this claim is true, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is known to maintain a number of emergency warehouses at Ōedo line stations. The warehouses are stocked with food and supplies to be used in the event of a major disaster.

Here is some video that takes a look inside a 1,480 square meter (16,000 sq ft) warehouse located 20 meters (65 ft) beneath a Tokyo sidewalk.

+ Video

The warehouse locations are reportedly kept secret in order to prevent people from gathering at the sites after a disaster, though two are known to exist at Azabu-jūban and Kiyosumi-shirakawa stations.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has also conducted disaster drills on the subway line. In the year 2000, the government demonstrated, among other things, how Ground Self-Defense Force troops might use the Ōedo line in the event of a major emergency. As part of the exercise, dubbed "Big Rescue 2000," a special Ōedo line train transported troops from Nerima ward to a staging area in Shin-kiba (near Tokyo Bay). The exercise appears to have fueled suspicions that the line was built for military and disaster relief purposes.

* * * * *

Rumor #5: The Yūrakuchō line was built for military use.

The Yūrakuchō line is also rumored to have been built for military purposes. This speculation arises from the fact that key military facilities are located at several stations on the line, including Ichigaya, which is home to the Ministry of Defense headquarters, as well as Nerima, Heiwadai and Wakō, which are near military bases. Furthermore, Inariyama-kōen station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line (an extension of the Yūrakuchō line) is near Iruma Air Base.

Rumors claim that Yūrakuchō line trains are designed to transport military supplies and personnel between these sites, if necessary. In addition, the tunnels have high ceilings, leading to speculation that they can serve as emergency underground roads for trucks and armored vehicles.

* * * * *

Rumor #6: There is a secret base under Shōwa Memorial Park.

Media reports have also speculated about the existence of a secret government base located beneath Shōwa Memorial Park in Tachikawa (western Tokyo). Although the government has offered no official comment on these reports, the claims are lent some credibility by the fact that the park is located near the Tachikawa Wide-Area Disaster Management Base, which is intended to function as a government backup site in an emergency. The US military's Yokota Air Base is also located in the vicinity.

[Note: This is the latest in a series of weekly posts on Japanese urban legends. Check back next week for another report.]

Chanel samurai armor

07 Jan 2010

Coco Chanel samurai armor by Tetsuya Noguchi --

In a salute to luxury brand Chanel, artist Tetsuya Noguchi has created some concept samurai armor suits designed to appeal to the fashion-conscious warrior. Made from resin, cashew lacquer, cloth and glass, the exquisitely crafted protective suits sport the iconic double-C logo, allowing the wearer to flaunt his superior social status while crushing the enemy on the battlefield.

Coco Chanel samurai armor by Tetsuya Noguchi --

Coco Chanel samurai armor by Tetsuya Noguchi -- Coco Chanel samurai armor by Tetsuya Noguchi --

Coco Chanel samurai armor by Tetsuya Noguchi --

- Samurai dog armor
- PET bottle armor
- Mickey the Knight

Terminator robots in Tokyo (pics)

30 Mar 2009

In conjunction with the upcoming release of Terminator Salvation (T4), an exhibit featuring the cyborgs from the Terminator series is now on display at Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) in Tokyo.

T-600 endoskeleton from Terminator 4, exhibited at Miraikan --
T-600 endoskeleton from Terminator Salvation [+]

Entitled "Terminator Exhibition - Battle or Coexistence? Robots and Our Future," the exhibit purportedly aims to inspire visitors to think about the relationship between humans and machines. Mostly, though, it offers a unique glimpse at the models and costumes used in the filming of the movies, along with details about the makeup and special effects.

T-800 exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo --
T-800 endoskeleton [+]

In the first Terminator movie, which takes place in Los Angeles in 1984, a T-800 cyborg assassin is sent back in time from the year 2029 by Skynet, an artificially intelligent military computer system that rules the world under an army of cyborgs. Its mission is to erase the existence of John Connor, who in the future becomes the leader of the human resistance forces against the machines. To alter the course of history in Skynet's favor, the T-800 must terminate Sarah Connor before she gives birth to her son John.

Terminator exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo --
T-800 endoskeleton [+]

The T-800 cyborg -- played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first three Terminator movies -- consists of a metal endoskeleton under a layer of living human tissue. The robot has excellent learning capabilities, enabling it to understand and adopt human behavior and phrases. It can also mimic voices once it hears them. A slightly improved version of the T-800 -- the T-850 -- appears in Terminator 2 and Terminator 3.

T-800 on display at Miraikan, Tokyo --
T-800: Hasta la vista, baby [+]

In Terminator 2, Skynet sends the latest Terminator model -- the T-1000 -- to Los Angeles in 1994 to eliminate the 10-year-old John Connor. At the same time, the resistance forces send a hacked T-800 from the future to protect John. The T-1000, which is much more advanced than the T-800, has no endoskeleton and consists of a shape-shifting liquid metal. The T-1000 is not displayed in this exhibit.

T-800 exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo -- T-X Terminator at Miraikan, Tokyo --
T-800 [+] // T-X [+]

In Terminator 3, the T-800 (T-850) is again sent from the future to protect John Connor. This time it does battle with the T-X, a super-powerful Terminator that combines the exoskeleton of the T-800 with the shape-shifting liquid metal of the T-1000.

Terminatrix at Miraikan, Tokyo --
T-X (a.k.a. Terminatrix) [+]

The T-X, also called "Terminatrix," takes the shape of a beautiful woman and incorporates a variety of weapons into its endoskeleton. In addition to conducting DNA analysis by tasting blood, the shape-shifting assassin can remotely control other machines and Terminators.

Cameron Phillips (TOK715) at Miraikan, Tokyo --
Cameron Phillips (TOK715) [+]

Other items on display include a reproduction of Cameron Philips (TOK715), a reprogrammed Terminator from the "Sarah Conner Chronicles" TV series.

The exhibit also includes a few props and movie trailers from the forthcoming film.

Terminator exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo --
T-600 endoskeleton [+]

Set in the year 2018, Terminator Salvation will prominently feature the T-600, an early Terminator prototype. Unlike the T-800 portrayed by Schwarzenegger in the previous films, the more primitive T-600 features an endoskeleton covered in synthetic skin instead of living human tissue. At 8 feet tall, it is also much bulkier.

Terminator exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo --
Moto-Terminator [+]

Also on display is the Moto-Terminator, a motorcycle-based death machine, as well as the Hydrobot (not pictured here), a menacing eel-like underwater robot.

The final section of the exhibit introduces a variety of Japanese robot technology, mostly in the form of text-heavy exhibits (Japanese only). However, an Actroid -- smartly dressed in a skin-tight black jumpsuit -- is on hand to liven things up.

Actroid exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo --
Actroid [+]

Actroid exhibited at Miraikan, Tokyo --
Actroid [+]

The exhibit runs until June 28, 2009.

Gas attack!: Vintage air raid defense posters

19 Feb 2009

Gas attack air raid poster --
Devastation of Urban Gas Attack

In 1938, the Japanese Red Cross worked with government authorities to create a series of posters to teach the public about the new Anti-Aircraft Defense Law, which was enacted in seeming anticipation of air strikes following the outbreak of the Japan-China War (1937-1945). Among other things, the new law required citizens to take protective measures against gas attacks and prepare for disinfection, evacuation and relief. For the government, one purpose of the posters -- which were created as part of a military exhibition at the Red Cross Museum -- was to instill a pattern of "anti-aircraft defense thought" among the population.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Asphyxiant Gas: Evacuation and Aid

Do not allow victims to walk. Carry them gently.
Head to a nearby shelter.
Move to a safe location upwind.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Gas Detection: Smell and Color

- Asphyxiant gas (chlorine, phosgene, etc.): Pungent or hay-like odor. White or yellowish in color.
- Blister gas (yperite/mustard gas, lewisite, etc.): Mustard or geranium-like odor. Colorless in gas form, reddish-brown in liquid form.
- Tear gas and sneezing gas: Odor resembles pepper, spicy mustard or bitter almond oil. White, yellow or colorless.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Blister Gas: Evacuation and Aid

Toxic area! Run! Flee!

Better to seek soap and water nearby than to travel to an aid center far away.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Poison Gas Symptoms

- Asphyxiant gas: Accumulation of fluid in lungs/ Suffocation (dry drowning)
- Blister gas: Blisters/ Respiratory inflammation/ Inflammation of the eyes
- Tear gas: Watery eyes
- Sneezing gas: Salivation and nasal discharge/ Coughing/ Chest pain/ Vomiting/ Sneezing

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Gas Masks: Type and Purpose

Military use
- Full protection
- Rubber face mask
- Body suit (rubber)
- Filter
- Gloves (rubber)
- Boots (rubber)

Civilian use
- (Right) For any gas except blister gas and tear gas
- (Center) For various types of gas
- (Left) Transparent visor

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Gas Attack and Emergency Escape

Quick emergency mask
- Gauze
- 2% sodium carbonate/water solution
- 10% urotropin-water solution

Simple homemade masks
- Can contains charcoal particles

Use when no gas shelter is available or when your home has been destroyed.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Making Gas Protection Tools

For small children, prepare a gas-tight baby carriage or bag with attached oxygen supply.

Keep this type of protection on hand at all times.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Phosgene Poisoning: Progression of Symptoms and Death
(Based on British Army research during the War in Europe)

Death rate by day:
- Day 1: 81%
- Day 2: 12%
- Day 3: 4%
- Day 4: 2%
- Day 5: 1%

Progression of symptoms
- Fluid begins to accumulate in lungs within 2 to 8 hours, causing difficulty in breathing.
- Fluid seeps into alveoli.
- Victim turns pale in mild cases, ashen white in severe cases.
- Fluid in lungs becomes increasingly evident.
- Absorption begins.
- Recovery.

Caution: Sudden death may occur within minutes or hours.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Yperite (Mustard Gas): Progression of Symptoms and Death
(Based on British Army research during the War in Europe)

Death rate by day
- Day 1: 1%
- Day 2: 2%
- Day 3: 5%
- Day 4: 8%
- Day 5: 23%
- Day 6 to 30: 61%

Progression of symptoms
- Initial 2 to 8 hours: Itchiness
- Day 2: Pain
- Day 5: Rupturing of blisters, intense itchiness

Recovery takes 2 to 7 weeks.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Treatment of Asphyxiant Gas Victims

1. Bed rest and warmth
2. Fresh oxygen supply
- Do not use an artificial respirator (victim may worsen if moved).
3. Blood draw
- Do not perform if the victim is pale.
4. Heart stimulants and beverages
- Strophantin/ Digitoxin/ Caffeine/ Camphor

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Treatment of Blister Gas Victims (Part 1)

1. Undress.
2. Clean the skin of poisonous substance. (Use cotton or absorbent paper.)
3. Apply solvent (oil, benzene or alcohol).
4. Sterilize. (Apply calcium hypochlorite.)

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Treatment of Blister Gas Victims (Part 2)

5. Wash thoroughly with soap. (Dispose of mask after washing.) Decontaminate with water if no medicine is available.

6. Wash eyes (2% baking soda/water solution) and put on clean clothes.

7. For poisoned lungs...
2% baking soda/water solution
Gauze mask

- Immediate action required, at least within 15 minutes of exposure.
- Treatment within the first few minutes of exposure may prevent the development of blisters.
- Symptoms begin to show within a few hours.
- Failure to quickly remove poison from the skin will result in death.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Effectiveness of Gas Masks
(Based on British Army statistics from the War in Europe)

- April 1915/ No masks/ Chlorine gas (weak)/ 7,000 casualties/ 85.7% casualty rate

- December 1915 - August 1916/ Primitive masks (cloth)/ Chlorine, phosgene gas (strong)/ 4,207 casualties/ 24% casualty rate

- July 1916 - July 1917/ Canister gas masks/ Phosgene, diphosgene gas (strong)/ 8,806 casualties/ 6% casualty rate

Canister gas masks reduced the casualty rate by a factor of 12. Primitive masks reduced the casualty rate by a factor of 4.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Gas-tight Room and Mosquito Net

1. Seal all gaps in the ceiling, doors and floor to create a gas-tight room.

2. To create a gas-tight tent, keep the bottom hem of the mosquito net pressed to the floor and place a layer of paper over the tatami.

3. Assuming there is one person per tatami mat and you stay calm, you can remain safely in the room for 7 hours and in the tent for 3 hours.

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Blister Gas Decontamination (Part 1)

Chemical treatment
- For mustard gas, use calcium hypochlorite.
- Wash rubber products 30 minutes after exposure.

Wet-heat treatment
- Steam: 20 minutes
- Boil: 15 minutes
- Hot water (80 degrees Celsius): 30 minutes

Dry-heat treatment
- Incinerate

- - - - -

Gas attack air raid poster --
Blister Gas Decontamination (Part 2)

Wash and wipe

- Winter: 5 days
- Spring/Autumn: 1 to 3 days
- Summer: 8 hours

- Disappearance of gas odor is a sign of decontamination.
- Do not allow residual gas indoors when decontaminating.

[Link: National Archives of Japan]

Tokyo Fantasy: Images of the apocalypse

04 Aug 2008

These fantastic photoshopped images by Tokyo Genso (Tokyo Fantasy) show a post-apocalyptic Tokyo overtaken by nature.

Tokyo Fantasy: Post-apocalyptic Tokyo --

Tokyo Fantasy: Post-apocalyptic Tokyo --

Tokyo Fantasy: Post-apocalyptic Tokyo --

Tokyo Fantasy: Post-apocalyptic Tokyo --
Shibuya Center-gai 1

Tokyo Fantasy: Post-apocalyptic Tokyo --
Shibuya Center-gai 2

Tokyo Fantasy: Post-apocalyptic Tokyo --
Shibuya Center-gai 3

[Link: Tokyo Fantasy]

- Neo-Ruins: Lithographs of post-apocalyptic Tokyo (Hisaharu Motoda)
- Mickey the Knight (Kenji Yanobe)
- PET bottle armor (Kosuke Tsumura)

Video: Space Invaders 2003 – Ken Ishii vs. FLR

14 Mar 2008

Space Invaders 2003 --

The music video for Ken Ishii's "Space Invaders 2003" is a touching, behind-the-scenes look at a Space Invader family torn apart by war.

Vintage anime: Evil Mickey Mouse invasion!

25 Feb 2008

1930's war anime --

"Toy Box Series, Episode 3: Picture Book 1936" (Omocha-Bako Series, Dai-3-Wa: Ehon 1936) is a 1934 propaganda-ish film about a future (1936) conflict started by a swarm of evil, bat-riding Mickey Mouse clones that descend on a tiny island inhabited by peace-loving dolls and cats (including a Felix lookalike). Overwhelmed by the attack, the desperate island residents bang on the cover of a large picture book to enlist the help of Momotaro, Urashima Taro (the Japanese version of Rip Van Winkle), and other traditional fairy tale heroes and characters. After Urashima Taro uses his famous "mystery box" to turn the big Mickey into a decrepit old fogey, Hanasaka Jiisan makes the cherry trees bloom and the cats and dolls celebrate by dancing to "Tokyo Ondo" (an old Japanese folk song). The soundtrack also includes renditions of the Momotaro song and Gunkan March ("Warship March"), a song that is nowadays typically played at pachinko parlors.

[Via Cartoon Brew via Needcoffee]