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Details 1933 Keizo Shimada Japanese Manga Pictorial Map of the World

1933 Keizo Shimada Japanese Manga Pictorial Map of the World

世界パノラマ大地圖 / World Panorama Map. - Main View

1933 Keizo Shimada Japanese Manga Pictorial Map of the World


A uniquely Japanese combination of 'Kawaii' and military expansionism.



世界パノラマ大地圖 / World Panorama Map.
  1933 (dated)     29.75 x 42 in (75.565 x 106.68 cm)     1 : 38000000


A remarkable 1933 Japanese issue pictorial map of the world drawn by Keizo Shimada (島田啓三). Centered on the Japanese Empire, which is highlighted in red and includes both Taiwan and Korea, this map extends to cover the entire world except for the Atlantic, which is only minimally addressed.
Manga for Militarism
The map presents a delightful array of vignettes intended to illustrate regional culture, flora, and fauna. Some of the images, despite being unbearably 'kawaii' are decidedly not politically correct, such as the rather intimidating looking Indian Chief in the Rocky Mountains. Despite the map's playful nature, Japan had already begun its grab for power in East Asia and the military aspect of the map is clear. Japanese destroyers patrol the western Pacific just as American destroyers stand watch on the Pacific Coast and in Hawaii. The casual intermingling of popular culture, including youth culture, and militarism was characteristic of Japan in the 1930s and helps explain why Japanese military leaders and the public felt emboldened to invade more and more territory.

Typical of Japanese propaganda of the war years, nearby Asian peoples (in Mongolia, India, the Philippines, and Saipan) beckon towards Japan, seeking modernity and liberation from foreign imperialism. The resources of various countries are indicated with illustrations and text, particularly in China, adding an ominous undertone to the innocent cartoons. Buildings with Japanese flags indicate the location of Japanese embassies, consulates, and overseas territories (such as the South Seas Mandate in the South Pacific), while the presence of Japanese diaspora communities in Hawaii, South America, California, Australia, and elsewhere is noted. An inset map at bottom-right shows a more 'typical' world map without cartoon figures.
Historical Context
This map was made soon after the Mukden Incident in September 1931 and the establishment of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in early 1932. These events marked a significant strengthening of the military vis-à-vis the civilian government and a dramatic break with the international community (Japan was roundly condemned in the League of Nations and walked out of the organization as a result). Rather than weakening far-right forces, a failed coup in 1932 and other plots to overthrow the government met with weak responses by the establishment, which was distracted by financial crises and unsure of how to respond to popular support for aggressive militarism (especially since militarism appeared to have tacit support from the emperor). Not long after this map's production, this noxious mix of emperor worship, nationalism, and militarism would lead Japan into a full-scale war in China, and eventually into a devastating conflict with the major Western powers.
Youth Club and Kōdansha
Youth Club (少年倶樂部) was a monthly magazine for boys published from 1914 – 1962 by Dai Nippon Yūbenkai Kōdansha (大日本雄辯會講談社, now known simply as Kōdansha). It was an important contributor to the birth of mass youth culture in Japan. Along with Youth Club, Kōdansha published several other magazines, including Women's Club (婦人倶樂部) and King (キング), and had become a major shaper of Japanese culture and public opinion by the 1930s, controlling 70% of the magazine market.

Founded by the dynamic Noma Seiji (野間淸治, 1878 - 1938), Kōdansha suffered difficulties during the war period, due to both intense censorship and the death of both Noma Seiji and his son, Noma Hasashi (野間恒), within weeks of each other in 1938. Still, the company survived the wartime era and, after a period of difficulties during the U.S. Occupation due to Kōdansha's endorsement of militarism, benefitted from a postwar publishing revival. In 1962, Youth Club was merged with Kodansha's Weekly Youth Magazine (週刊少年マガジン), still one of Japan's flagship manga magazines.
Publication History and Census
This map was published as an addendum to the December 1933 issue of Youth Club (少年倶楽部), a monthly boys' magazine that was issued by Kōdansha. The map was drawn by Keizo Shimada (島田啓三), overseen by geographer Yasutarō Satō (佐藤保太郎), edited by Katō Kenichi (加藤謙一) and published by Sutō Kenzō (須藤憲三) of Kōdasha, and printed Ei Teizō (日永悌三) of the printing house Yūkōsha (株式會社有恆社). The map is held by the David Rumsey Center at Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and the Nichibunken (International Research Center for Japanese Studies).


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