Polar Bear: I’ve always wondered why Japanese don’t have the stranglehold Chinese have in SEA?
Your answer, among other reasons, may be found in your second sentence:
Polar Bear: They have the potential and did so in a fascist way during WWII.
There ya go. Furthermore, none of those countries have any Japanese blood. There is little to no Japanese blood in Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, Indonesia, or even Southern China for that matter. There is quite a bit of Chinese blood in all of those places, in particular in Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and of course Taiwan. There is also a fair amount of Chinese blood in the Philippines and Indonesia. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma all have heavily Sinicized cultures, some dating back thousands of years in the case of Vietnam.
If we want to go even further back, all speakers of Austroasiatic languages came out of a homeland in Yunnan, China 5,000 years ago. This includes almost all Cambodians, Vietnamese, Laotians, Thais, and Burmese, and also includes Northeast Indians and some Indian aboriginals.
All speakers of Austronesian languages came out of Taiwan 4,000 years ago. Before they were in Taiwan, they were in the part of China across the strait. This includes all Filipinos and Malays, most Indonesians, the Papuans who live along the coast, and all residents of the Pacific Islands. Although it’s uncertain how much Chinese culture was retained after thousands of years, all of these people have an ultimate homeland in China. Really all of Asia came out of a Chinese homeland!
Even Japanese and Koreans came out of a Chinese homeland in the parts of China around the Bohai Sea and the Shandong Peninsula where they had their homelands 8,000 years ago.
The Vietnamese language itself is 70% Cantonese Chinese borrowing. Furthermore, both Korea and Japan have heavily Sinicized cultures. Both languages are full of Chinese borrowings and much of the Japanese scripts are based on the Chinese script. Both nations were largely settled from migrants from China. The cultures of both countries are heavily Buddhist, a religion mostly out of China. South Korea is now heavily Christian, but the basic culture is Buddhist. In addition, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam also have largely Buddhist cultures, and the majority practice the Buddhist religion.
Vietnam and Thailand were also largely settled by Chinese invaders, 2,300 years ago in the case of Vietnam and 900 years ago in the case of Vietnam. Both nations are about half Chinese genetically.
By contrast, Japan has been an inward hermit Kingdom forever. They didn’t even bother invading and conquering other lands. That’s how inward they were. They only opened up to most of the world in the 1870’s and even then most reluctantly. They think they are better than any other race of humans. Why conquer inferiors? Why even visit their lands, if only on vacation? Why trade with inferiors? What could you possibly learn from inferiors, other than how to be more stupid?
It’s an inward attitude similar to the one that the Ottoman Empire had towards Christian Europe for millenia. Visitors would come to the royal court and show the Emir the great inventions from Christian lands. He would look at them or hold them in his hands and study them and then give them back to the visitors and shrug his shoulders.
Anything invented by the infidels couldn’t possibly be any good and besides, why would we wish to learn anything from infidel inferiors anyway? Let the infidels make their fancy toys. These things are of no concern to us superior Muslims. It’s an unfortunate attitude that set the Muslim world back for many centuries and left them mired in backwardsness.
The only place on Earth with a good amount of Japanese blood is Hawaii. Some of the other islands in Polynesia or especially Micronesia may have some Japanese blood too. I am thinking of places like Guam and Saipan.
And, yes, when the Japanese finally decided to interact with the rest of Asia, they did so in a totally fascist manner, invading, conquering, and in many cases, mass murdering or even genociding the natives who they saw as utter inferiors. Most of the places that were conquered by these fascist Japanese militarists are not real happy about being treated like that, and the Chinese, Taiwanese, and Koreans are still pretty pissed off.
I’m not sure how the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Burmese, and Filipinos felt. I doubt if they were happy but they don’t seem to have made a big deal out of it. The Chinese are stark raving furious about it to this day, especially when they are made aware of atrocities like the Rape of Nanking. Further, the Japanese have not been real great about saying they were sorry.