This is a fascinating and important 1934, Taisho 13, World War II Japanese propaganda map of the Pacific foreshadowing the Pearl Harbor Attack, the Aleutian Campaign, and the Philippine Campaign. Covering the entire Pacific, from the Bay of Bengal to New York and From the Behring Strait to New Zealand, this map outlines the overarching Japanese strategy for World War II in surprising detail. The map juxtaposes Japanese forces and territory with Russian and American Forces. The Japanese Empire, including Japan, Hokkaido, Korea, Taiwan, and southern Sakhalin, and Micronesia, is outlined in red, while areas of Japanese influence, including Korea and Thailand, are in lighter red. Important flight and shipping routes across the Pacific are noted, as are military bases.
When this map was issued, in in 1934, World War II (1939 – 1945) had not yet officially broken out, but in the Pacific, preliminary conflicts between Japan and its neighbors had been underway since the 1920s. The Japanese strategy for dominating the Pacific is here clearly illustrated. The map identifies 8 spheres of influence, which, if their center was controlled, control of the entire region would follow. These included
- Japan - with a radius that includes Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, parts of China, and the northern Luzon.
- The Bonin Islands – where there was an important Japanese Base that allowed dominance of Micronesia.
- Manila – allowing domination of the resource rich Philippines and parts of Indonesia. (invaded December, 1941)
- Vladivostok – control over which would keep Soviet forces out of the Pacific.
- Kiska, Aleutian Islands – from which Pacific shipping routes could be controlled. (invaded June 3, 1942)
- Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands – from which Pacific shipping routes could be controlled. (bombed June 3, 1942)
- Hawaii – a vital stepping stone to the United States mainland and essential for control of the Pacific. (bombed December 7, 1941)
- San Francisco - essential to breaking American influence in the Pacific.
The map further illustrates a defensive belt of Japanese planes and warships just west of Hawaii extending into the South Pacific that was intended to limit American expansion into the western Pacific. Notes identify the Japanese population in various countries, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, China, Manchuria, Australia, Micronesia, and the Philippines – possibly intended to validate Japanese claims to these regions. Insets in the lower right detail Hawaii, including a large inset of Pearl Harbor, the Panama Canal, San Francisco, Manchuria, and Vladivostok. There are also several comparative charts illustrating the relative sizes of American, Japanese, British, and Russian armies and navies. Ships at various points on the map describe the naval forces of several countries, including the U.S. fleets in the Philippines, near San Francisco, a 'spy fleet' near the Panama Canal, an Atlantic Fleet near New York, British fleets near Hong Kong, an Australian fleet, and even a Canadian fleet. Just southwest of Hawaii is an interesting diagram detailing the deployment of the U.S. Pacific fleet.
It is of note that his map was issued well before the full outbreak of the Pacific War. The map foreshadows the Pearl Harbor Attack, the Aleutian Campaign, and the Philippine Campaign, as well as intended targets that the Japanese never managed to attack, such as San Francisco. It was prepared by Kingu Henshūkyoku and published in Tokyo by, Dai Nihon Yūbenkai Kōdansh. This map is uncommon, with the OCLC citing only 3 examples, most from a 1935 edition. A truly remarkable document.
Very good. Wear on original fold lines. Some minor verso reinforcements at fold intersections. Minor hole in Canada above Great Lakes.