Sekai Shin Manga Chokanzu
Ogawa, Jihei & Maekawa, Senpan
Date of Creation:
Issued as a supplement to the educational publication ‘Kokuisai shashin jōho / 国際写真情報’, this is a rare Taisho 13 or 1924 Japanese manga (or cartoon) map of the world. Centered on Japan, the map covers most of the known work with the exception of the Atlantic. Cartoon figures illustrate geography, culture, historical events, flora, fauna, and more.
Generally predating the greater hostilities of World War II, this map exhibits a fairly friendly and mostly open-minded world view. Scotland is described as 'beautiful and similar to Japan'. France is a land of wine, art, and fashion. The United States is a place of rich agriculture, shingling skyscrapers, scenic beauty, and sports, including tennis, boxing, and baseball. In the Amazon, there is a great anaconda snaking about the river itself. Canada is mostly forests and lumberjacks.
There are a few political references, particularly in China, where north and south China are shows in a tug of war battle, reference to infighting between regional warlords. The map also references the Japanese population in Hawaii. In addition, there are historical notes throughout, identifying the landing place of Christopher Columbus, St. Helena where Napoleon was exiled, and more.
The more negative aspects of the map include its illustration of Russia, with a chained slave populace, military aggression, and a rabid tiger bearing a bloody sabre north of Manchuria. Taiwan, then part of the Japanese Empire, is illustrated by a spear-wielding savage, clearly a reference to the aboriginal peoples of eastern Taiwan with whom Japan had an incident in the 1880s. It also references the Armenian genocide. Germany is gloomily represented by a skull sitting on a pile of books.