1937 Japan Woman's Club Pictorial Map of China, Japan, Manchuria, and Korea
婦人俱樂部+-月號附録 一目でわかる支那事變と日ソ関係繪地圖 / Japan Woman's Club. Map of China Relations and Soviet Relations at a Glance.
1937 (dated) 21 x 15.5 in (53.34 x 39.37 cm)
1 : 9000000
This fascinating World War II propaganda map was released on November 1 of 1937 (Showa 12) by the Japanese Women’s Club to illustrate the East Asian war situation early in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Centered on Korea, the map extends from Manchuria to Hainan and from Lake Baikal to Japan. Although presented with a cartoonish aspect, the map betrays the harsh realities of an already bloody and drawn out war.
After the 1931 Mukden Incident, Imperial Japan seized control of northeastern China and Manchuria, ostensibly to protect Japanese citizens. From a more strategic angle, as is illustrated on this map, the Japanese saw resource rich northeastern China as a supply depot to fuel their military expansion into central and southern China. The map also illustrates the Russian buildup on the Manchuria/Siberia borders – something dreaded by the Japanese leaders who needed a secure and stable northern Manchuria border to pursue their conquest of China.
The situation got bloodier further south where the fighting was most intense. Red bombs are evident along the Yangtze River and the railroad routes north of Hong Kong. Japanese bombing raids into China were intended to destabilize Chinese supply lines. Air raid routes from bases in Japanese controlled Vladivostok, Japan, and Korea are identified with red dotted lines. The coastal blockade of coastal central China is also illustrated. As shown here, rich resources were to be gained from control of Central and Southern China, among them minerals, flax, rich farm lands, timber, and a hard-working populace.
It is of note that the title of the map references the ‘North China Incident’ (支那事變), the official Japanese name for the invasion of northeastern China in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Japan studiously avoided referring to the invasion as a war in order to avoid international involvement, especially by Britain and the United States. In China at the time, it was referred to as the War of Resistance against Japan.
This map was issued as an appendix for the November 1937 issue of the Women's Club (婦人俱樂部), a fashion and home life magazine issued by the Japan Women's Club. When the Pacific War broke out most Japanese women were confined to traditional roles as homemakers. The Women's Club magazine reflects this, with a focus on child fashion, cooking, and interior design. Nonetheless, the presence of this map in Women's Club is a sure indication of the incredible changes about to transform the life of women in Japan. Much like in the West, the Japanese war effort pulled women out of the home and pushed them into traditionally male roles at offices and manufactories. Although the war ended, the disruption of traditional gender roles in Japanese society began a process of liberalization that continues today.
Very good. Wear and minor verso reinforcement on some original fold lines. Light foxing.