Fascinating Japanese Satirical Map Published After WWI
"[Japanese Manga World Map - New Cartoon View of the World]",
Period: 1924 (published)
Color: Printed Color
40.8 x 28.1 inches
103.6 x 71.4 cm
This fascinating and rare satirical map was published by Toshiaki Ishiharaas and the International Information Company. The cartoon ("manga") illustrations were made by Maekawa Senpan and Ogawa Jihei and show relatively neutral relations between countries as a result of the treaties following WWI. Dozens of illustrations are shown throughout the map to symbolize the culture, people, animals, and historical events related to each country. The United States includes depictions of scenic mountains and forests, the iconic Statue of Liberty (with wings), the motion picture industry, and several famous sports figures, such as Babe Ruth and tennis player "Big Bill" Tilden. Christopher Columbus is shown atop Hispaniola, and the Titanic is depicted crashing into an iceberg south of Labrador.
Political unrest in both Russia and China are also illustrated. In China, two men play tug-of-war between the north and south. In Russia there are chained slave workers, soldiers pointing guns toward eastern Europe, and a cross bearing an Imperial crown, symbolizing the death of Nicholas II and the Russian Empire. The defeated German Empire is depicted with a skull atop a pile of books and a blackened statue of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Other interesting features of this map include clocks positioned in numerous locations to denote the local time zone, and navigation routes shown throughout the oceans, with red indicating Japanese routes and black indicating the routes of other nations.
This map was published in 1924, or Taisho 13, at a time when Japan was experiencing peace with most international powers. This map clearly illustrates to a Japanese audience the varied culture of countries around the world, with notations (in Japanese) throughout. This piece is an incredible snapshot of the Japanese world view less than a decade after WWI. Compare this example with a later edition of this map published in 1932 that shows the growing tensions between Japan and the United States - click here.
A nice example, issued folding with bold color, good margins, light offsetting, and minor toning. There are two Japanese stamps in the South Pacific Ocean.