Under the Dragon Flag

Under the Dragon Flag

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The narrative is full of marvelous detail, including that of the Japanese massacre in Port Arthur.

Brilliantly written.

Excellent for use as additional reading material in classes on Northeast Asian history, but a great read under any circumstances.

James Allan recounts his misadventures in Northeast Asia during the 1894-95. After gambling away his fortune in Monte Carlo Allan signs up as a sailor and sets out for the seas. He eventually finds himself aboard "Columbia" smuggling military cargos to China at the time of the latter's ill-fated conflict with the Japanese. Miraculously avoiding detention by the Japanese , the smugglers deliver their cargo but sign on to a perilous task of ferrying Chinese soldiers to a war theater. Eventually the ship ends up in Port Arthur, where Allan is left by accident. After a brief sojourn in Port Arthur he tries to catch up with "Columbia" aboard a Chinese ship, only to be detailed by a Japanese cruiser, where, on suspicion of being an instructor for the Chinese military, he is detained for more than a month. Finally, nearing Port Arthur, he makes a desperate escape for the shore only to find himself in a besieged city, which soon falls to the Japanese. Allan barely voids the fate of hundreds of massacred civilians in the ensuing bloodbath and flees the hostile shores aboard a Chinese junk.

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