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Japan’s Place In Russian And Soviet National Identity: From Port Arthur To Khalkhin-Gol

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares anti-Japanese propaganda in Russia during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 with 'patriotic' propaganda launched in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Images of Japan and the Japanese spread by propaganda depended not only on political events, but also upon the position of the Far East in the geographical consciousness of the Russian/Soviet people. The chapter considers the role played by geographical consciousness in Russian imaging of the Japanese and the impact it has had on relations between the two countries. It attempts to deconstruct Stalin's September 1945 statement that Soviet occupation of Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands represented revenge for Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War. The chapter briefs about the thinking which was based on negative images of Japan produced by Stalin's own propaganda machine rather than by events that had taken place forty years earlier.

Keywords: geographical consciousness; Japan; Kuril Islands; negative images; Russia; Russo-Japanese War; Sakhalin Island; Soviet Union; Stalin



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