The Japanese view of war is well shown in Japanese feature films. The pinnacle of Japanese propaganda is the film "Emperor Meiji and the Russo-Japanese War." The Japanese immediately called the "cause" of the war: it turns out, this is "Russian aggression"! The Russian empire is stretching its paws to Manchuria and is preparing to seize Japan! A significant part of the time, the government and public opinion put pressure on the emperor, who allegedly does not want to fight and until recently hopes for a compromise. The emperor has no choice but to start a preventive war with the "Russian aggressors." Interestingly, after the collapse of the USSR, a myth with similar motives is actively spreading in Western Europe. Like, the damned Bolsheviks, led by the "bloody Stalin" planned to capture Europe, but he was prevented by Hitler, who dealt a preemptive strike on the USSR.
Thus, the war was not to blame for the Japanese Empire, which attacked the Russian fleet without declaring war, but imperialist Russia, preparing to seize Japan. Evidence is the promotion of Russian troops in Northeast China, the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway and Port Arthur.
The war itself is poorly shown. A lot of pathos, Japanese patriotism. Most attention is paid to the battle of Liaoyang. At the same time, a stereotype was created, which can be noted in subsequent works: Japanese soldiers selflessly storm the well-trained Russian positions and die in masses from the fire of Russian machine guns. The number of machine guns is just fantastic. However, Japanese troops still heroically win. The battles for Port Arthur are also shown in the same spirit, only attacks go in the winter. The scheme is the same: the Japanese attack in waves, climb under machine guns (monstrous losses in the spirit of "corpses filled up"), drag the guns to heights and win thanks to dedication and high morale. As a result, they finish off the squadron of Rozhdestvensky in the Tsushima battle. Russia humiliates the world. The Japanese people rejoice and celebrate, the emperor mourns for the fallen. Although in reality the Japanese, deceived by their propaganda about the ease of victory and the cries that "the Russians will pay for everything," and seeing how small the successes cost such enormous human and material sacrifices, organized riots and riots. Japanese authorities had to "tighten the nuts." But the popular propaganda is silent about this.
In 1969, the film “Battle in the Sea of Japan” was released; it, in essence, repeats in the main “Emperor Meiji”. Only the emphasis is not on the land theater, but on the sea. The film tells about the preparation and course of the Tsushima naval battle against the background of the general course of the war. The beginning is almost the same: against the background of the map of Manchuria, the announcer speaks pathetically about how the European great powers brought troops into China to protect their embassies during the boxer uprising, but only Russia left them and began to build up. Like, the penetration of Russian into Manchuria threatened the national interests of Japan. Not a word about the aggressive aggressive policy of Japan in China and Korea. Further, as in the established scheme, the emperor had a meeting, the decision to deliver a preemptive strike on Russia, until it intensified too much in the Far East. There is not a word about the role of England and the USA, as well as the fact that Japan played the role of a "battering ram" of the West, squeezing out Russians from the Far East.
Battle scenes are virtually unchanged. The Japanese again bravely attack Russian positions, they are mowed down by machine guns. Here they didn’t even sew Russian uniforms (in the film "Emperor Meiji" the Russians were in blue uniforms and pops a la Cossacks). Russian soldiers here go in the same Japanese uniform as everyone else, only Japanese with yellow distinctions, and Russian with red ones. By the way, the Russian flag in this version stories does not exist. Its role is performed exclusively by the St. Andrew flag. Japanese suicide attacks on the fortifications of Port Arthur are again shown. Tsushima battle. Also, a minor line with the Japanese scout Akashi, a big fan of Russian culture, is introduced into the film. The role of the Japanese special services in the war and revolution in Russia is roughly shown. It seems like a meeting between Akashi and Russian revolutionaries in the person of a bearded man in a leather jacket with the name Seryak. A revolutionary accepts Japanese gold. As a Japanese agent, Lenin is also mentioned. The Japanese military attaché in Russia, Colonel Motojiro Akashi, who really gave money to the Socialist-Revolutionaries and national separatists, was meant as Akashi.
Another similar “masterpiece” of Japanese propaganda is the film “Height 203” (1980). Again, a lie about preparing Russia for an attack on Japan. Allegedly, the Russians began expansion into Manchuria and Korea in order to rob them, and then move to Japan. Therefore, Japan had to get into Manchuria in order to protect the empire’s threshold from the greedy northern neighbor. The "best fortress in the world" Port Arthur is greatly exaggerated, again the mass of machine guns (after a meter and a half, there were not so many in the entire Russian army). Shown are grenades, which then, especially incendiary, were not. Russians again have a gray-blue uniform. Again, Japanese commanders fill up Russian positions with bodies. In general, the film is weak, there are a lot of blood and corpses, and there is little truth.
Thus, the Japanese in the spirit of Hollywood built a very definite picture. "Peace-loving" Japanese, sparing no lives, reflect the expansion of the "northern bears" in Manchuria, "protect" Japan.
Why did Russia lose the war
The main reason is that Japan was ready for war, but Russia was not. After the intervention of Russia and other European powers in the Sino-Japanese war, when Japan was deprived of a significant part of the fruits of its victory, and the Russians acquired Liaodong with Port Arthur, Japanese propaganda turned Russia into the main enemy of the rising sun empire. Japanese pride was humiliated, the whole country from a schoolboy to an emperor understood that this issue can only be solved by force weapons. And the whole empire began to feverishly prepare for war with Russia. At the same time, Japan entered into an alliance with England in 1902 and secured political, financial and material support from the United States. England and the United States wanted to drive the Russians out of the Far East. Japan acted as their "ram." At the same time, the Western financial oligarchy funded the Russian revolutionary movement, that is, they prepared the blow from the outside (Japan) and from the inside (the “fifth column”).
The Japanese were a warrior nation, samurai. The ancient military tradition, education, the whole way of life were aimed at developing a passionate love for the motherland and the emperor. A high level of education facilitated military training, provided competent soldiers and sailors. There was a system of military education, the cultivation of the military elite. The Japanese elite was national, strong-willed, disciplined, energetic, decisive, ready for anything for the interests of the empire. A broad initiative was cultivated.
In the period 1898-1903. The West helped the Japanese Empire create a first-class armored fleet, rearm and train the army according to advanced European standards (German school). All this completely eluded the attention of Russian intelligence and diplomacy. Japan was ready to expose 520 thousand fighters - young, well-trained, armed and fanatically devoted to the emperor. The officers knew very well the future theater of operations - Korea, Manchuria and Liaodong, where they had already fought in 1894, and which they studied very well. In fact, in China, the Japanese have already rehearsed how they will fight the Russians: surprise attack, rout and isolation fleet, the conquest of dominance at sea, the landing of the airborne army and the capture of Port Arthur. And in Petersburg all this was blinded, being sure that the Japanese "macaques" (as they were contemptuously called in the highest salons of St. Petersburg) would not dare to attack the powerful Russian empire.
Japanese intelligence, including secret societies working for the empire, was the best in Asia. She perfectly knew the situation in China, Munchuria, Korea and the Russian Far East. Japanese intelligence even established contacts with the Russian revolutionary underground, the "fifth" column, and financed the First Russian Revolution. The Japanese General Staff was created on the model of the Germanic and well understood the Germanic doctrines and methods, both positive and negative. It is worth noting that the Japanese generals used German skills, but without initiative, imagination, if there were commanders of the Suvorov type in the place of cautious Russian generals, then the Japanese would have been very ill. The Japanese have well studied the experience of the Eastern (Crimean) war of 1853-1856. and the Turkish campaign of 1877 gg., and came to the conclusion that in the person of the Russian army they will not meet an outstanding enemy. The possibilities of the Siberian railroad were underestimated by the Japanese - the Japanese General Staff believed that the Russians would not have time to concentrate more than 6 thousand soldiers in Manchuria before 150 months. They considered it possible to miss one infantry division a month and three pairs of military trains a day, and they made a mistake three times.
That is, the Japanese command proceeded from two "facts": Russian troops of poor quality and they are few in number. In calculating the Russian army, the Japanese General Staff made a mistake at the beginning of the war twice, then three. At the end of the war, Russian troops already had a double superiority. The Japanese escaped complete defeat and destruction on the mainland only because of the passivity of the Russian command, which had forgotten how to fight in Suvorov style. Only due to poor governance did our army not win in Manchuria.
The Russian army and navy paid with blood for the incompetent policy of St. Petersburg
These mistakes (as well as the mistakes of the Japanese generals already during the war itself) could become fatal for Japan if Russia were fantastically unprepared for war in the Far East. Petersburg and Russian society were infected with pacifism; they did not believe in the great war since the Hague Conference in the Far East, they did not seriously think. The War Ministry, headed by Kuropatkin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Finance, that there will be no war with Japan, so there is no need to allocate additional forces and resources to strengthen the defense capability of the Far Eastern borders. Seers like Admiral Makarov were not taken seriously, they were considered cranks. All attention and strength, as before, was concentrated on the western border.
The strength of Japan was seriously underestimated. The past qualitative changes in the Japanese armed forces failed. At first they even thought that only the troops of the Amur District would cope with the Japanese. Then, in case of war, they decided to strengthen them with reserve corps from the Siberian and Kazan districts, and, finally, with better corps from the Kiev and Moscow districts. Port Arthur did not prepare for a long defense, did not create a powerful fortified area in the narrowest spot of the Liaodong Peninsula. The fleet was weakened by the division of forces: cruisers were based in Vladivostok, and the main forces - armadillos and a mine flotilla - were transferred to Port Arthur. The new base was shallow and completely unequipped, there were no docks and workshops, and minor damage could immobilize the battleships. The Russian generals since the wars with Napoleon, and as the Eastern and Turkish wars have shown well, have seriously degraded. Lost initiative, determination, became passive and fearful. These were generals of the world, not war.
Underestimation of the enemy played a role in the failure of Russian diplomacy. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs delayed negotiations with Japan on the division of spheres of influence in the Far East. Japan was not considered a great power and was not taken seriously. Therefore, when Tokyo informed our government of the severance of diplomatic relations, Petersburg did not even understand that this was a war and it was necessary to bring the army and navy in full combat readiness. And the attack of the Japanese destroyers of the Russian squadron in Port Arthur was a shock for Petersburg. As a result, the Russian army and navy paid with great blood for the unsuccessful policy of St. Petersburg in Asia.