1932 Fine Printing Co. Map of Shanghai and Vicinity - Shanghai War of 1932

[Shanghai and Vicinity.] - Main View

1932 Fine Printing Co. Map of Shanghai and Vicinity - Shanghai War of 1932


Demilitarized concessions after the 1932 Shanghai War.


[Shanghai and Vicinity.]
  1932 (dated)     39.5 x 38.5 in (100.33 x 97.79 cm)     1 : 126720


This is a scarce Showa 7, or 1932 map illustrating the vicinity of Shanghai shortly after the Shanghai Incident of 1932. The map was produced to illustrate the shanghai suburban region, and as such covers from the confluence of the Huangpu with the Yangtze to the sharp bend in the Huangpu near modern day Sheshang and Xixie. The Hunagpu River runs through the center of the map, with the International Settlement and French Concession areas highlighted in pink - essentially forming a demilitarized zone in the wake of the January 28th Japanese attack on Shanghai. The map seems to have been adapted with overprinting to add additional detail, including hachuring that identifies high-density population zones in the Chinese quarter south of the French Concession. Further coding identifies towns and villages of varying sizes. As well, the map beautiful illustrates the elaborate canal system surrounding Shanghai - which functioned as a de facto highway system for regional trade and commerce. There is a Chinese language stamp in the lower right for a Shanghai textile trade association.
Shanghai Incident of 1932
The conflict of January 28th, 1932, also known as the Shanghai Incident or Shanghai War, was a precursor to the Second Sino-Japanese War, which would begin a few years later. Following several alleged attacks on Japanese nationals, the Japanese launched a Blitzkrieg style attack on Chinese Nationalist forces with the supposed intent of protecting Japanese civilians residing in the Hongkou District, an informal Japanese Concession within the International Settlement. The Chinese Nationalist troops concentrated in Zhabei in order protect the strategically important Shanghai Railway Station, through which supplies and reinforcements could be readily delivered. The Chinese resistance proved stubborn and both sides established perimeters along the Hunagpu River. A similar perimeter was stabled to the south, along the Wusong River, to protect the British and French Concessions. The Japanese nonetheless pursued their attack, using gunboats on the Wusong River and Hunagpu River to harry the Chinese. Ultimately, the two sides fought to a near standstill. In late February the League of Nations forced both the Japanese to sign a ceasefire, the Shanghai Ceasefire Agreement, with china, turning Shanghai into a demilitarized zone.
Shanghai 1910 - 1932
The 1910s-20s were a golden age for Shanghai, at least in the Concessions. While China was ruled by Chiang Kai-shek (1887 - 1975), Shanghai was dominated by several consolidated foreign trade Concessions. Under the strict administrative control of the Concessions, the city became a cosmopolitan haven in the midst of political unrest and a center for global trade and finance. The Concessions occupied what is today central Shanghai's most desirable land, hugging the Huangpu River and Wusong River (Suzhou Creek). These extraterritorial European, Japanese, and American enclaves had modern housing, fine roads, streetcars, elegant shops, clubs, and more. It was a place of excess, art, and extravagance, where fortunes could be made by the enterprising - and lost by the foolish. Moreover, lacking the moral constrains that limited social life in Europe and America, Shanghai became nexus for the opium trade, sexual excess, gambling, and other vices. This ephemeral world come crashing down on January 28, 1932, when the 'Shanghai Incident' or 'January 28 Incident' pitted the Republic of China against the Empire of Japan. Responding to Chinese student protests against the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, the Japanese Navy bombarded Shanghai. Chiang Kai-shek sent the Chinese army in to defend the Shanghai students, threatening to escalate the conflict. The League of Nations, fearing all-out war, united to demand a ceasefire, which was signed. Nonetheless, most consider The January 28 incident to be the opening salvo of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1938 - 1945) which ultimately merged into World War II (1939 - 1945).
Shanghai International Settlement
The Shanghai International Settlement was created in 1863 when the British and American Shanghai enclaves merged. These concessions had been granted to England and the United States as part of the Unequal Treaties that followed the Opium Wars. From about 1854 the settlements were governed by the Shanghai Municipal Council, a British dominated board of government officials and powerful merchants. The board issued restrictions limiting Chinese habitation on International Settlement territory and oversaw the construction of public services, including trams, a sewage system, highways, and port buildings. The International Settlement expanded several times in the late 19th and early 20th century. In addition, they constructed and administered Extra-Settlement Roads into the surrounding country, which further allowed for informal expansion. It became an enclave of peace and prosperity when the Japanese invaded Shanghai in 1937 but this abruptly came to an end with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and subsequent invasion of the International Settlement in 1941. After the war the International Settlement lands were returned to Chinese sovereignty.
Publication History and Census
Printed in 1932 by the Japanese operated Fine Printing Company, Ltd. (精版印刷株式會社). This map is rare and we have identified no other examples. It does not appear in the Virtual Shanghai archive. Further research into the map is generally stymied by the fact that the map has no title. We do note a similar map covering the area northeast of Shanghai, in the Virtual Shanghai Archive, but nothing matching the scope or size of the present map.


Fine Printing Co., Ltd. (精版印刷株式會社; 1931 - 1945) was a Japanese owned and operated printing concern based in Shanghai, No. 4 Qiqihar Road, during the pre-War (1932 - 1939) and World War II (1939 - 1945) eras. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Some wear on old fold lines. Toning corresponding to original fold metric.