1938 Koyama Kichizō View of Qingdao (Tsingtao), Second Sino-Japanese War

觀光の青島 / [Qingdao Sightseeing]. - Main View

1938 Koyama Kichizō View of Qingdao (Tsingtao), Second Sino-Japanese War


Qingdao under Japanese occupation, Round II.


觀光の青島 / [Qingdao Sightseeing].
  1938 (dated)     6 x 27.5 in (15.24 x 69.85 cm)


This is a 1938 Koyama Kichizō bird's-eye view map of Qingdao, China, and a fine example of the sketchbook mailer city views that were popular in Japan in the first half of the 20th century. This view was made shortly after the city's capture by Japanese forces in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 - 1945), and reflects the complex combination of German, Japanese, and Chinese influences on the city.
A Closer Look
This view is oriented towards the southeast, with Jiaozhou Bay (膠州灣) in the foreground and Mt. Lao (嶗山 , now a national forest) at left. Text boxes indicate important sites such as train stations, consulates, parks, large factories, and hospitals. One box at center-right has been left blank. This is likely the former German governor's mansion (Gouverneurspalast or 提督府), which had been the headquarters of the Japanese occupation of Qingdao from 1914 - 1922, a role it resumed in 1938 - 1945.

It is worth taking note of the large Shinto Shrine at center-left, built atop Mt. Zhushui (貯水山) in the late 1910s after Japan's seizure of the city from Germany during World War I. A regular feature of cities in the Japanese empire, these massive shrines served both a religious and political function, and were the site of huge, mandatory ceremonies to revere the emperor. The Qingdao Shrine was converted into a 'martyrs' shrine' (忠烈祠) after Japan's surrender in 1945 and then demolished after the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, whereupon it became a public park.

Aside from the Shinto Shrine overlooking the city, the Japanese presence is reflected by Japanese factories, including a cluster of textile factories at left in the foreground, a Japanese cemetery behind the Shinto Shrine (日本人墓地), and a set of Japanese shipping companies near the port in the foreground.

Attached to the view on the front (recto) is an overhead map of the same area, dated June 5, 1938 with a note of permission from Japanese army and naval intelligence units, the Japanese consulate, and the Kempeitai (憲兵隊).
Verso Content
As was standard with sketchbook mailers, the verso includes photographs (in this case a large panorama roughly oriented in the same direction as the view) and basic information about the city. Sections on geography and history, climate, urban life, maritime and rail connections, trade and industry, sightseeing (觀光) both in the city and in the surrounding areas (郊外), are included.
The German Legacy in Qingdao
The city of Jimo (即墨, at far-left) near Qingdao has a long history stretching back over two thousand years, but the history of Qingdao proper only really begins in the late 19th century (when it was known as Jiao'ao 膠澳). Reeling from repeated defeats by Western powers with superior navies, the Qing government sought means to improve its naval defenses and recognized the natural advantages of Jiaozhou Bay (a French fleet had anchored there during the Sino-French War in 1884). However, the German government and military came to the same realization soon afterwards, and used gunboat diplomacy to force the Qing to grant them a concession at Jiaozhou in 1897- 1898 (similar concessions with other foreign powers were negotiated simultaneously or soon afterwards).

Germany had big plans for Qingdao and outfitted it with wide streets, stone architecture, a range of impressive government buildings, electrification, a sewer system, and a safe drinking water supply. As with other concessions and treaty ports in China, most of the population of Qingdao was Chinese, and the de facto or de jure exemption from Chinese law that these territories created allowed for myriad opportunities, for both good and ill ends. The legacy of the brief but eventful German era can still be seen in the urban layout of the oldest parts of the city, the remaining German-style buildings (including the railway station, at right-center), and, of course, in the storied history of Qingdao's relationship with beer (discussed below).
Qingdao between Empires
Like the Qing and their counterparts in Germany, Japanese empire-builders recognized the strategic location of Qingdao and its usefulness for controlling Shandong as well as China's eastern seaboard. Soon after the outbreak of World War I in Europe, Japan (with some British assistance) besieged and occupied Qingdao, a bitter battle that lasted over two months and was the only land battle of World War I (1914 - 1918) in the Asia-Pacific Theater. Japan invested considerable resources into Qingdao, particularly in the 'New District' that was home to many Japanese residents.

China had also joined World War I on the side of the Allies on the understanding that Qingdao would be returned to Chinese sovereignty in the event of a German defeat. The competing claims between the victorious Allies became a sore issue (among many) at the Paris Peace Conference and led to China's refusal to sign the Treaty of Versailles. Eventually, Qingdao was returned to Chinese sovereignty with some concessions to Japan in the Nine Power Treaty of 1922. The episode left bitter feelings in both China and Japan, leading both to distrust Western powers in matters of diplomacy.

Having launched a full-scale war in China the previous year, Japan reoccupied Qingdao in January 1938. Japanese planners and bureaucrats set out to build on the bases of the earlier Japanese occupation. An ambitious new urban plan was launched in 1939, but amounted to little more than administrative reorganization due to the war. After the war, Qingdao served as the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Western Pacific Fleet, and after the establishment of the People's Republic was made the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army Navy North Seas Fleet.
The History of Qingdao in One Brewery
Internationally, Qingdao is best known as the hometown of Chinese beer. To the left of the Shinto Shrine is a brewery belonging to the Dai Nippon Beer Company (大日本ビール, also styled 大日本麦酒), by far the largest brewery in Japan at the time (after World War II, Dai Nippon split into Sapporo and Asahi). The Qingdao brewery was built as the Germania-Brauerei by the Anglo-German Brewery in 1903, and was transferred to Dai Nippon during the 1916 Japanese occupation. After World War II, the brewery briefly transferred to private hands before being nationalized by the Communist Party after 1949. After moving to develop an export market in the U.S. in the early 1970s, and then privatizing and merging with two other companies in the early 1990s, Tsingtao Brewery (青岛啤酒厂) was born, becoming the face of Chinese brewing to the world, with its distinctive green bottles and cans.
Sketchbook Mailer Maps
Sketchbook Mailers (書簡圖繪) were a style of bird's-eye view map that became very popular in Japan in late 1930s and early 1940s, often depicting cityscapes from across Japan's growing empire. Each map was designed to be folded and packaged for safe and easy mailing and came with information about and photographs of the city in question, as is the case here. Although these maps are fascinating, beautiful, and educational, they also served a political function, informing Japanese audiences about the empire and providing a visual aid to understand places they would have read about frequently in the news. Eventually, a system of numeric registration developed for these views (likely in order to conform with mail regulations); this is number 275211.
Publication History and Census
This map was printed on July 20, 1938 (Showa 13) and distributed on July 23 the same year. It was drafted and printed by Koyama Kichizō (小山吉三) in conjunction Nihon Meisho Zuesha (日本名所圖繪) and distributed by Hosaka Kyūnihachi (保坂九二八, the given name is almost certainly a penname) of Hakubundō Shoten (博文堂書店). This is one of a set of views of Chinese cities drawn and printed by Koyama in 1938 (others included Nanjing, Jinan, Beijing, Suzhou, and Wuhan). This map's only known institutional holding is with the Nichibunken (International Research Center for Japanese Studies) and it is very scarce to the market.


Koyama Kichizō (小山吉三; fl. c. 1929 - 1942) was a prolific cartographer who produced several dozen maps dealing primarily with Japan's expanding empire in Korea, China, and Southeast Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. He founded and often collaborated with Nihon Meisho Zuesha (日本名所圖繪社), a printing agency that published maps of famous sites in the Japanese home islands and throughout the empire. More by this mapmaker...

Nihon Meisho Zuesha (日本名所圖繪; fl. c. 1925 - 1942) was a Japanese publisher of maps, often dealing with cities or travel throughout Japan's growing empire in the 1920s - 1940s, founded by artist and cartographer Koyama Kichizō (小山吉三). They became especially known for bird's-eye views of cities, collaborating with leading artist-cartographers in that genre, such as Yoshida Hatsusaburō (吉田初三郎) and Kaneko Tsunemitsu (金子常光), and developing popular folding sketchbook maps (書簡圖繪) that could be easily mailed and transported. Learn More...

Hakubundō Shoten (博文堂書店; fl. c. 1880 - 1948) was a publisher of maps, journals, and books on geography, linguistics, history, diplomacy, and culture, often dealing with Japan's imperial possessions in East Asia. Learn More...


Very good. Some wear along fold lines.


OCLC 1126320001.