1933 / 1943 Kato Map of Turanian Peoples in Eurasia

ツラン民族分佈地圖 / [Ethnographic Card of Turanians (Uralo-Altaians)]. - Main View

1933 / 1943 Kato Map of Turanian Peoples in Eurasia


Pan-Eurasian Unity?


ツラン民族分佈地圖 / [Ethnographic Card of Turanians (Uralo-Altaians)].
  1933 (dated)     19 x 30 in (48.26 x 76.2 cm)     1 : 69300000


An intriguing piece of ethnographic Interwar-WWII propaganda, this bilingual Japanese-English map, based on a 1933 manuscript by Kato Ryūshirō, displays the purported peoples of the 'Turanian' community. The present example was printed in 1943 in Hungary by the Turan Federation of Hungary and the Royal Hungarian Defense Cartography Institute.
A Closer Look
A map of Eurasia is displayed with administrative boundaries, mountains, waterways, railways, and fortifications noted. Lands ascribed to different ethnic groups are given patterned backgrounds, with groups belonging to the umbrella Turanian ethnicities shaded in color. Different colors and patterns indicate the subgroups and sub-subgroups of the Turanians, including the Tunguses (of which Japanese were considered a part), Mongolians, Turko-Tatars, Finno-Ugrians, and Samoyeds.

A lengthy explanatory note at right discusses the supposed basis for grouping the said peoples together in a single entity. It reflects the influence of racialist thinking on the concept, through the discussion of shared 'bloodlines' (血族), and the utility of such a movement from a Japanese perspective, that is, its delegitimization of the Republic of China and the promotion of (Japanese-aligned) separatist movements among the republic's ethnic minorities.
What on Earth is a Turanian?
Turanism, also as pan-Turanism or pan-Turanianism, was an ambitious pan-nationalist ideology popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. Borrowing an Iranian term from Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur, historian and Khan of Khiva (r. 1643 - 1663), proponents drew heavily on nationalism, linguistics (namely the now-disproven Ural-Altaic hypothesis), and pseudoscientific notions of race to posit an organic connection between all speakers of Ural-Altaic languages, a group encompassing peoples from Hungary and Finland through Korea and Japan. Turanism was closely related to the pan-Turkic movement but was potentially much more powerful with the support of imperial Japan.

It was a convenient ideology for the times, as all the putative members of the Turanian community faced the shared threat of Imperial Russia, and later the Soviet Union, as well as a Han-dominated China that emerged after the 1912 collapse of the Qing. As can be seen here, some imaginative intellectuals in Japan eagerly embraced this notion in the 1920s and early 1930s, but it gained more traction in the late 1930s and early 1940s as Japan's imperial expansion brought it into contact with peoples in Central Asia who, it was hoped, could be enlisted as allies against China and the Soviet Union. Similarly, in Finland and Hungary, the movement was a convenient means of bolstering nationalism and anti-Communism.
Publication History and Census
This map was originally drawn in 1933 (Showa 8) by Kato Ryūshirō and printed by Koshio Shinzo (小鹽信三) of the Dai-Ichi Printing Co. (第一印刷株式會社) for Nozoe Kinjirō (野副金次郎) of the Japan Turanian Association (日本ツラン協会). It was meant to accompany an explanatory booklet (「ツラン民族分布地図」解説書, OCLC 844777919) written by Kitagawa Shikazō (北川鹿蔵), founder of the aforementioned organization, but was never published with the booklet, instead remaining only in manuscript. The present example is based on the manuscript and was printed in 1943 by the Turan Federation of Hungary (Magyarországi Turán Szövetség) and the Royal Hungarian Defense Cartography Institute (Magyar Királyi Honvéd Térképészeti Intézet). The map is quite scarce, only being cataloged among the holdings of Oxford University, University of Southern Maine, the National Diet Library, and Harvard University.


Kato Takashiro (加藤隆四郎, also read as Kato Ryūshirō; fl. c. 1930 - 1943) was a Japanese cartographer and illustrator who made several maps of China and Asia during World War II, often appearing in magazines published by Kodansha (講談社). More by this mapmaker...


Excellent. Minor imperfections in the margins. Very light creasing along fold lines.


Rumsey 13409.000. OCLC 992986028, 1048770032.