The paper presentation went very well, as I had an audience of folks who are quite engaged on these issues. I feel a bit more confident that my interpretation of Japan's civ-mil is mostly correct, and that I can communicate it. As a jack of all trades, master of none kind of guy, it is good to get these reality checks. Some of the pushing I got was in the direction I tended to go with this paper, so that was encouraging.
The discussanting was fun as I read a bunch of papers on civil war dynamics, something I have not done much with lately. So, it was good to see the latest work in this area--reading their lit reviews helped me catch up (#notalllitreviews). The papers' major commonality were that they focused on different places and conflicts with which I am least familiar. That allowed me to focus on the arguments and the connections. I hope I was useful. Oh, and the conference room had the best views of any in which I have been (the views of the Hawaii conference rooms were, um, non-existent):
|View to the south from conf room|
|View of the city from conf room|
It was good to see a bunch of folks who also attended the conference as well as meet new people. But, of course, Hong Kong was the main attraction:
|Taking the ferry to Kowloon at night is required|
|Ship is named Everlasting Passion|
|Save the Clock Tower!|
|A mighty Big Buddha|
I stopped by the HK Coastal Defense Museum and the Maritime Museum, with both giving heaps of historical perspective. Interestingly, the histories presented there were not so hostile to the British, but, of course, heaps of hostility towards the Japanese.
Definitely glad I had a chance to see this place, but I am ready for some home-time.