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[A rare Japanese view of the outbreak of First World War]

image of [Kokkei Sensou Sekai Chizu.] Ahumoros War Map of the World.

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TANAKA, Ryōzō.
[Kokkei Sensou Sekai Chizu.] Ahumoros War Map of the World. Tokyo: September 25th 1914. Chromolithograph. Sheet 465 x 625mm. Centre fold reinforced, small tear in margin repaired.
A Japanese serio-comic map of Europe, lettered in Japanese and Roman script, showing the outbreak of the hostilities of the Great War. At the centre is Germany, depicted as a bulldog wearing a pickelhaube (spiked helmet), one front paw crushing Belgium, the other resting on a howitzer. Firing back from the left are Britain (a dreadnaught) and France while, on the right, Russia has grasped the bulldog's hind leg, threatening to cut it off with a sabre. Switzerland, Spain and Italy are careful to look the other way. In the bottom right corner an inset shows more Oriental concerns, with Japan fighting a German bulldog in southern China, representing the Kiautschou Bay concession, a territory around Jiaozhou Bay that Germany had forced China to lease in 1898. An attack by Japanese forces aided by the British captured the concession in November 1914; Japan only returned the territory in 1922. China (a portrait of Yuan Shikai, the first president of the Republic of China, although he was briefly Emperor 1915-6), looks on helplessly. Above, Uncle Sam stands so far back he needs binoculars and a telescope to see what's happening. Ryōzō Tanaka (1874-1946) was a printer and publisher whose use of chromolithography led led to that medium replacing traditional woodblocks in commercial printing in Japan.
[Ref: 19104]