Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons; the best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity. The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors. Silk is produced by several insects. There has been some research into other types of silk. Silk is produced by the larvae of insects undergoing complete metamorphosis, but some insects, such as webspinners and raspy crickets, produce silk throughout their lives. Silk production occurs in Hymenoptera, mayflies, leafhoppers, lacewings, fleas and midges. Other types of arthropods produce most notably various arachnids, such as spiders; the word silk comes from Old English: sioloc, from Ancient Greek: σηρικός, translit.
Sērikós, "silken" from an Asian source — compare Mandarin sī "silk", Manchurian sirghe, Mongolian sirkek. Several kinds of wild silk, which are produced by caterpillars other than the mulberry silkworm, have been known and used in China, South Asia, Europe since ancient times. However, the scale of production was always far smaller than for cultivated silks. There are several reasons for this: first, they differ from the domesticated varieties in colour and texture and are therefore less uniform. Thus, the only way to obtain silk suitable for spinning into textiles in areas where commercial silks are not cultivated was by tedious and labor-intensive carding. Commercial silks originate from reared silkworm pupae, which are bred to produce a white-colored silk thread with no mineral on the surface; the pupae are killed by either dipping them in boiling water before the adult moths emerge or by piercing them with a needle. These factors all contribute to the ability of the whole cocoon to be unravelled as one continuous thread, permitting a much stronger cloth to be woven from the silk.
Wild silks tend to be more difficult to dye than silk from the cultivated silkworm. A technique known as demineralizing allows the mineral layer around the cocoon of wild silk moths to be removed, leaving only variability in color as a barrier to creating a commercial silk industry based on wild silks in the parts of the world where wild silk moths thrive, such as in Africa and South America. Silk was first developed in ancient China; the earliest example of silk has been found in tombs at the neolithic site Jiahu in Henan, dates back 8,500 years. Silk fabric from 3630 BC was used as wrapping for the body of a child from a Yangshao culture site in Qingtaicun at Xingyang, Henan. Legend gives credit for developing silk to Leizu. Silks were reserved for the Emperors of China for their own use and gifts to others, but spread through Chinese culture and trade both geographically and and to many regions of Asia; because of its texture and lustre, silk became a popular luxury fabric in the many areas accessible to Chinese merchants.
Silk was in great demand, became a staple of pre-industrial international trade. In July 2007, archaeologists discovered intricately woven and dyed silk textiles in a tomb in Jiangxi province, dated to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty 2,500 years ago. Although historians have suspected a long history of a formative textile industry in ancient China, this find of silk textiles employing "complicated techniques" of weaving and dyeing provides direct evidence for silks dating before the Mawangdui-discovery and other silks dating to the Han Dynasty. Silk is described in a chapter of the Fan Shengzhi shu from the Western Han. There is a surviving calendar for silk production in an Eastern Han document; the two other known works on silk from the Han period are lost. The first evidence of the long distance silk trade is the finding of silk in the hair of an Egyptian mummy of the 21st dynasty, c.1070 BC. The silk trade reached as far as the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa; this trade was so extensive that the major set of trade routes between Europe and Asia came to be known as the Silk Road.
The Emperors of China strove to keep knowledge of sericulture secret to maintain the Chinese monopoly. Nonetheless sericulture reached Korea with technological aid from China around 200 BC, the ancient Kingdom of Khotan by AD 50, India by AD 140. In the ancient era, silk from China was the most lucrative and sought-after luxury item traded across the Eurasian continent, many civilizations, such as the ancient Persians, benefited economically from trade. Chinese silk making process Silk has a long history in India, it is known as Resham in eastern and north India, Pattu in southern parts of India. Recent archaeological discoveries in Harappa and Chanhu-daro suggest that sericulture, employing wild silk threads from native silkworm species, existed in South Asia during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization dating between 2450 BC and 2000 BC, while "hard and fast evidence" for silk production in China dates back to around 2570 BC. Shelagh Vainker, a s
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
James Earle Fraser (sculptor)
James Earle Fraser was an American sculptor during the first half of the 20th century. His work is integral to many of Washington, D. C.'s most iconic structures. Fraser was born in Minnesota, his father, Thomas Fraser, was an engineer who worked for railroad companies as they expanded across the American West. A few months before his son was born, Thomas Fraser was one of a group of men sent to recover the remains of the 7th Cavalry Regiment following George Armstrong Custer's disastrous engagement with the Lakota and Arapaho forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn; as a child, James Fraser was exposed to frontier life and the experience of Native Americans, who were being pushed further west or confined to Indian reservations. These early memories were expressed in many of his works, from his earlier trials, such as the bust Indian Princess, to his most famous projects, such as End of the Trail and the Indian Head nickel. Fraser began carving figures from pieces of limestone scavenged from a stone quarry close to his home near Mitchell, South Dakota in early life.
He attended classes at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1890 and studied at the École des Beaux Arts and the Académie Julian in Paris in the late 19th century. Early in his career, Fraser served as an assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, he taught at the Art Students League in New York City beginning in 1906, became its director. Among his earliest works were sculptural pieces at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and, for the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, one of his most famous pieces, End of the Trail. While it was meant to be cast in bronze, material shortages due to World War I prevented this. After the Exposition, the original plaster statue was moved to Mooney's Grove Park in Visalia, CA. Exposed to the elements, it deteriorated until it was obtained by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1968 and restored; the restored statue is on display in the entryway of the Oklahoma City museum, the original that sat in Visalia, CA, was replaced with a bronze replica.
The original bronze replica statue of the End of the Trail Statue is located in Shaler Park, in Waupun, Wisconsin. The statue was purchased by inventor and sculptor, Clarence Addison Shaler, donated to the City of Waupun on June 23, 1929. Fraser's work in Washington includes The Authority of Law and The Contemplation of Justice at the U. S. Supreme Court. S. Treasury, his commissions include coins and medals, such as the World War I Victory Medal, the Navy Cross, the Indian Head nickel. This coin was discontinued after 1938, but has since been reprised in 2001 on a US commemorative coin, more on a gold buffalo one ounce gold bullion coin. Fraser’s major works include two heroic bronze equestrian statues titled The Arts of Peace, designed for the entrance to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, behind the Lincoln Memorial; the pair was a companion to sculptor Leo Friedlander's The Arts of War, installed to the south at the east end of Arlington Memorial Bridge. The groups had been designed in the 1930s but were not cast until the 1950s, because of a shortage of metals during World War II.
Fraser was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, the Architectural League of New York. His numerous awards and honors include election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and gold medal from the Architectural League in 1925, he served on the U. S. Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, D. C. from 1920 to 1925. Muralist Barry Faulkner, a friend of Fraser’s from their days in Paris together described Fraser like this: "His character was like a good piece of Scotch tweed, handsome and warm." Fraser's papers and those of his wife, sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser, are held at the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. James Earle Fraser died on October 11, 1953, at Westport, is buried in Willowbrook Cemetery. 1906-1911 Benjamin Franklin sculpture, Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia 1908 Recumbent figure of Bishop Potter, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, Manhattan 1911 Frederick Keep Monument, Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.
C. 1916 John Hay Memorial, Lake View Cemetery, Ohio 1920 Canadian Officer, Bank of Montreal, Manitoba, Canada 1920 Symbolic figures, Elks National Veterans Memorial, Illinois 1923 Alexander Hamilton, Treasury Building, Washington, D. C. 1926 John Ericsson National Memorial, East Potomac Park, Washington, D. C. 1926 Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Missouri State Capitol, Jefferson City, Missouri 1930 Abraham Lincoln Memorial 1936 Second Division Memorial, The Ellipse, Washington, D. C. 1940 Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, New York 1947 Albert Gallatin, Treasury Building, Washington, D. C. 1948 Benjamin Franklin Statue, Franklin Insurance Company, Illinois 1949 Thomas A. Edison Statue, Greenfield Village, Michigan 1950 Harvey S Firestone Memorial, Ohio 1951 General George S. Patton, Jr. United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, Hatch Shell, Massachusetts 1951 Music and Harvest
A ring is a round band of metal, worn as ornamental jewellery. The term "ring" by itself always denotes the finger ring, but when worn as an ornament elsewhere, the body part is always specified, e.g. earrings, neck rings, arm rings, toe rings. Rings always fit snugly around or in the part of the body they ornament, so bands worn loosely, like a bracelet, are not rings. Rings may be made of any hard material: wood, stone, glass, gemstone or plastic, they may be set with other types of stone or glass. Although people wear some rings as mere ornaments, or as conspicuous displays of wealth, rings have symbolic functions in relation to marriage, exceptional achievement, high status or authority, membership in an organization, the like. Rings can be made to sport insignia to be transferred in an impression in a wax seal, or outfitted with a small compartment in which to conceal things. In myth and fiction, rings are endowed with spiritual or supernatural significance. Finger rings have been found in tombs in Ur dating back to circa 2500BC.
The Hittite civilization produced rings, including signet rings, only a few of which have been discovered. People in Old Kingdom Egypt wore a variety of finger rings, of which a few examples have been found, including the famous scarab design. Rings became more common during the Egyptian middle kingdom, with complex designs. Egyptians made metal rings but made rings from faience some of which were used as new year gifts. Native styles were superseded by Roman fashions during the Ptolemaic dynasty. Archaic Greek rings were to some extent influenced by Egyptian rings, although they tended to be less substantial and were not for the most part used as working signet rings. A lack of locally available gold meant that rings made in the eastern colonies tended to be made from silver and bronze while Etruria used gold; the classical period showed a shift away from bronze to wider adoption of gold. The most typical design of the period involved a lozenge bezel mounting an intaglio device. Over time the bezel moved towards a more circular form.
During the early and middle imperial era the closest there is to a typical Roman ring consisted of a thick hoop that tapered directly into a wider bezel. An engraved oval gem would be embedded within the bezel with the top of the gem only rising above the surrounding ring material; such rings are referred to Henig II and III/Guiraud 2 in formal academic parlance or as Roman rings by modern jewellers. In general Roman rings became more elaborate in the third and fourth centuries AD. During this period the fashion was on each finger. Rings during this period were made from copper based alloys, silver or gold. Gems became common after 1150 along with the belief that certain gems had the power to help or protect the wearer in various ways. Engraved rings were produced using Lombardic script until around 1350 when it was replaced by Gothic script; some of the inscriptions were devotional, others romantic in nature. For romantic inscriptions French was the language of choice. An increasing use of contracts and other documents that needed to have formal seals meant that signet rings became more important from the 13th century onwards.
The fourth digit or ring finger of the left hand has become the customary place to wear a wedding ring in much of the world, though in certain countries the right hand finger is used. This custom was established as the norm during World War II; the use of the fourth finger of the left hand is associated with an old belief that the left hand's ring finger is connected by a vein directly to the heart: the vena amoris or vein of love. This idea was known in 16th and 17th century England, when Henry Swinburne referred to it in his book about marriage, it can be traced back to ancient Rome, when Aulus Gellius cited Appianus as saying the ancient Egyptians had found a fine nerve linking that particular finger to the heart. Rings have been re-purposed to hang from bracelets or necklaces. While the ISO standard defines ring size in terms of the inner circumference in millimeters various countries have traditional sizing systems that are still used. After several thousand years of ring manufacture the total number of styles produced is vast.
Cataloging the rings of a single civilization such as the Romans presents a major challenge. As a result, the following list should be considered to be limited. Iffland-Ring, held by a series of German-language actors since the 18th century, presently held by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz Hans-Reinhart-Ring, a Swiss theatre award Ring of the Fisherman, the signet ring of the Pope Chequers Ring Ring that belonged to Elizabeth I of England Ring of Gyges, a legendary ring of invisibility, mentioned by Plato Andvaranaut, in Norse mythology, a cursed ring that can make gold Magic ring, a ring that has magical properties Draupnir, a self-multiplying gold ring depicted in Norse mythology The One Ring, from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Arm rings Neck rings Toe rings are smaller rings worn on any of the toes Earring Pinky ring Birthstones Ring of O Smart ring Seal of Solomon Titanium ring Jewellery cleaning Metal casting
Great Seal of the United States
The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the federal government of the United States. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself, kept by the United States Secretary of State, more for the design impressed upon it; the Great Seal was first used publicly in 1782. The obverse of the Great Seal is used as the national coat of arms of the United States, it is used on documents such as United States passports, military insignia, embassy placards, various flags. As a coat of arms, the design has official colors. Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal have appeared on the reverse of the one-dollar bill; the Seal of the President of the United States is directly based on the Great Seal, its elements are used in numerous government agency and state seals. The design on the obverse of the seal is the coat of arms of the United States; the shield, though sometimes drawn incorrectly, has two main differences from the American flag. First, it has no stars on the blue chief.
Second, unlike the American flag, the outermost stripes are white, not red. The supporter of the shield is a bald eagle with its wings outstretched. From the eagle's perspective, it holds a bundle of 13 arrows in its left talon, an olive branch in its right talon, together symbolizing that the United States has "a strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war.". Although not specified by law, the olive branch is depicted with 13 leaves and 13 olives, again representing the 13 original states; the eagle has its head turned towards the olive branch, on its right side, said to symbolize a preference for peace. In its beak, the eagle clutches a scroll with the motto E pluribus unum. Over its head there appears a "glory" with 13 mullets on a blue field. In the current dies of the great seal, the 13 stars above the eagle are arranged in rows of 1-4-3-4-1, forming a six-pointed star; the 1782 resolution of Congress adopting the arms, still in force blazoned the shield as "Paleways of 13 pieces and gules.
As the designers recognized, this is a technically incorrect blazon under traditional English heraldic rules, since in English practice a vertically striped shield would be described as "paly", not "paleways", it would not have had an odd number of stripes. A more technically proper blazon would have been argent, six pallets gules... but the phrase used was chosen to preserve the reference to the 13 original states. The 1782 resolution adopting the seal blazons the image on the reverse as "A pyramid unfinished. In the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded by a glory, proper." The pyramid is conventionally shown as consisting of 13 layers to refer to the 13 original states. The adopting resolution provides that it is inscribed on its base with the date MDCCLXXVI in Roman numerals. Where the top of the pyramid should be, the Eye of Providence watches over it. Two mottos appear: Annuit cœptis signifies that Providence has "approved of undertakings." Novus ordo seclorum taken from Virgil, is Latin for "a new order of the ages."
The reverse appears, for example, on the back of the one-dollar bill. The primary official explanation of the symbolism of the great seal was given by Charles Thomson upon presenting the final design for adoption by Congress, he wrote: The Escutcheon is composed of the chief & pale, the two most honorable ordinaries. The Pieces, represent the several states all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which unites the whole & represents Congress; the Motto alludes to this union. The pales in the arms are kept united by the chief and the Chief depends upon that union & the strength resulting from it for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States of America & the preservation of their union through Congress; the colours of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace & war, vested in Congress; the Constellation denotes a new State taking its rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own Virtue.
Reverse. The pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favour of the American cause; the date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Æra, which commences from that date. Thomson took the symbolism for the colors from Elements of Heraldry, by Antoine Pyron du Martre, which William Barton had lent him; that book claimed that argent "signifies Purity, Innocence and Genteelness", gules "denotes martial Prowess and Hardiness", azure "signifies Justice and Vigilance". A brief and official explanation of the symbolism was prepared in the form of a historical sketch of the seal of the United Sta
American Expeditionary Force, Siberia
The American Expeditionary Force, Siberia was a formation of the United States Army involved in the Russian Civil War in Vladivostok, during the end of World War I after the October Revolution, from 1918 to 1920. The force was part of the larger Allied North Russia Intervention; as a result of this expedition early relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were poor. U. S. President Woodrow Wilson's claimed objectives for sending troops to Siberia were as much diplomatic as they were military. One major reason was to rescue the 40,000 men of the Czechoslovak Legion, who were being held up by Bolshevik forces as they attempted to make their way along the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Vladivostok, it was hoped to the Western Front. Another major reason was to protect the large quantities of military supplies and railroad rolling stock that the United States had sent to the Russian Far East in support of the Russian Empire's war efforts on the WW1 Eastern Front. Stressed by Wilson was the need to "steady any efforts at self-government or self defense in which the Russians themselves may be willing to accept assistance."
At the time, Bolshevik forces controlled only small pockets in Siberia and President Wilson wanted to make sure that neither Cossack marauders nor the Japanese military would take advantage of the unstable political environment along the strategic railroad line and in the resource-rich Siberian regions that straddled it. Concurrently and for similar reasons, about 5,000 American soldiers were sent to Arkhangelsk, Russia by Wilson as part of the separate Polar Bear Expedition; the AEF in Siberia was commanded by Major General William S. Graves and totaled 7,950 officers and enlisted men; the force included the U. S. Army's 27th and 31st Infantry Regiments, plus large numbers of volunteers from the 12th, 13th, 62nd Infantry Regiments of the 8th Division, Graves' former division command; the U. S. troops were equipped with M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles and Auto-5 shotguns/trench clearers, M1903 Springfield rifles and M1911.45 caliber pistols, depending on their duties. Mosin–Nagant rifles were used.
Although General Graves did not arrive in Siberia until September 4, 1918, the first 3,000 American troops disembarked in Vladivostok between August 15 and August 21, 1918. They were assigned guard duty along segments of the railway between Vladivostok and Nikolsk-Ussuriski in the north. Unlike his Allied counterparts, General Graves believed their mission in Siberia was to provide protection for American-supplied property and to help the Czechoslovak Legion evacuate Russia, that it did not include fighting against the Bolsheviks. Calling for restraint, Graves clashed with commanders of British and Japanese forces, who had troops in the region and who wanted him to take a more active part in the military intervention in Siberia. To operate the Trans-Siberian Railroad the Russian Railway Service Corps was formed of US personnel; the experience in Siberia for the soldiers was miserable. Problems with fuel, ammunition and food were widespread. Horses accustomed to temperate climates were unable to function in sub-zero Russia.
Water-cooled machine guns became useless. The last American soldiers left Siberia on April 1, 1920. During their 19 months in Siberia, 189 soldiers of the force died from all causes; as a comparison, the smaller American North Russia Expeditionary Force experienced 235 deaths from all causes during their 9 months of fighting near Arkhangelsk. Upton Sinclair in his novel Oil! References ascribes capitalist motives as the primary driver of the mission. American Expeditionary Forces, North Russia North Russia Intervention Siberian Intervention ^ Robert L. Willett, "Russian Sideshow", p. 166 ^ Robert L. Willett, "Russian Sideshow", pp. 166–167, 170 ^ Guarding the Railroad, Taming the Cossacks The U. S. Army in Russia, 1918–1920, Gibson Bell ^ Robert L. Willett, "Russian Sideshow", p. 267 The Russian Railway Service Corp in Japan and Siberia The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces Guarding the Railroad, Taming the Cossacks The U. S. Army in Russia, 1918–1920 at The National Archives The Czech Legion Web site of the Czech Legion Project, contains historical information and many photos.
The Bullet That Fought America's Secret Siberian War Video produced by the PBS Series History Detectives The short film AEF IN SIBERIA is available for free download at the Internet Archive
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word