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1933 Keizo Shimada Pictorial Map of the World

Japanese Pictorial Map of the World

1933 Keizo Shimada Pictorial Map of the World


A uniquely Japanese combination of 'Kawaii' and military expansionism.



Japanese Pictorial Map of the World
  1933 (dated)    29.75 x 42 in (75.565 x 106.68 cm)     1: 38000000


A remarkable 1933 Japanese issue pictorial map of the world drawn by Keizo Shimada and published by Yasutarō Satō (佐藤保太郎). Centered on the Japanese Empire, which is highlighted in Red and includes both Taiwan and Korea, this map extends to cover the world with the exception of the Atlantic, which is only minimally addressed. The map presents a delightful array of vignettes intended to illustrate regional culture, flora, and fauna. Some of the images, despite being unbearably 'kawaii' are decidedly not politically correct, such as the rather intimidating looking Indian Chief in the Rocky Mountains. Despite the map's playful nature, Japan had already begun its grab for power in East Asia and the military aspect of the map is clear. Japanese destroyers patrol the western Pacific just as American destroyers stand watch on the Pacific Coast and in Hawaii. War was coming.

This map is quite rare. We have been able to identify only one other example housed in the David Rumsey Collection.


Keizo Shimada (May 3, 1900 - 1973) was an early Japanese mangaka or cartoon artist. Keizo was born in Tokyo and notable for being almost entirely self taught. He created 'The Adventures of Dankichi' ('Boken Dankichi') for Shonen Club in the 1930s, which was one of the most popular Japanese comics during World War II, because it imparted a dream of easy wealth. It told the story of a boy, who shipwrecks on an island in the South Pacific with his mouse, and becomes chief of the natives. Shimada was often criticized after the War because his comics often justified Japanese aggression.

Yasutarō Satō (March 5, 1893 – March 7, 1977) was a Japanese educator active in Tokyo during the Taisho and Showa Eras. Yasutarō Satō (加藤隆四郎). During and just prior to World War II he worked with the Japanese Youth Club, which published several important manga maps of East Asia. After the war Yasutarō became a professor at Tokyo University of Education and later, the the Senshu University.


Average. Map has been professionally repaired and restored. It is backed on archival tissue but the remnants of old fold splits and other tears remain apparent. Please use zoom.


Rumsey 10043.001.
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