Catalog Archive
Auction 167, Lot 16

Fascinating Japanese Satirical Map Published Prior to WWII

"[At a Glance: Cartoon Map of the Current World Situation] Hitome de Wakaru Manga Sekai Manga Genjo Chizu...",

Subject: World

Period: 1932 (published)


Color: Printed Color

42 x 29.8 inches
106.7 x 75.7 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This fascinating and rare satirical map was published as a supplement to a popular Japanese monthly magazine, Hi no De, which translates as "sunrise." The cartoon ("manga") illustrations were made by Sako (or Sagyo) Shishido and clearly depict the hostile relations between countries (particularly between Japan and the U.S.) and the impending war. Dozens of caricatures of famous figures are shown throughout, including: Herbert Hoover, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, and Jack Dempsey in the United States; Chiang Kai-shek and Chang Hsueh-liang in China; Stalin in Russia; Mussolini in Italy; Hitler and Hindenburg in Germany; Ramsay MacDonald in Britain; Ghandi in India; and many more. The map is also filled with references to war, including war ships, planes and zeppelins, cannons, and factories, with Saint Basil's Cathedral in Russia turned into a factory.

This map was published in 1932, or Showa 7, at a time when Japan had renewed imperial ambitions yet political problems internally. This map clearly illustrates to a Japanese audience the assets and liabilities in each country around the world, with notations (in Japanese) throughout. On verso is a collage of photographs divided into various regions around the world, as illustrated by the small world map at center. These photos demonstrate the culture, lifestyle, and costumes of the people in each region. Within the photos of North America are images of dancer and singer Josephine Baker, a Boy Scout kneeling with an American flag, and women in swimsuits holding a sign stating "Notice to Bathers," which were used to protest the restrictions on antiquated dress codes for bathing.

This piece is an incredible snapshot of the Japanese world view just prior to WWII.


Condition: B

Issued folding, with a number of separations, both long and short, that have been closed on verso with archival tape. There are a few small abrasions and several small holes along the folds.

Estimate: $1,400 - $2,000

Sold for: $4,000

Closed on 3/28/2018