Manchuria reports

Building a model railroad

By William Wetherall

First posted 25 June 2007
Last updated 1 August 2007

Manchuria reports 1st 1907-1927 2nd to 1930 3rd to 1932 4th to 1934 5th to 1936 6th to 1939 Roy H. Akagi
Manchuria features Chientao and Korean nationality 1932 Manchoukuo proclamation Five races and five-color flag Model government
Maps of Manchuria League of Nations Chosenese in Manchuria End of extraterritoriality Mantetsu and Kenpeitai
Manchuria in world opinion Hosie 1901 Clyde 1928 Kawakami 1933 Rea 1935 China United Press 1935

Manchuria reports

Several organizations published reports on Manchuria or Manchoukuo. Here I will focus on the semiannual reports put out by the South Manchuria Railway Company (“ìŸÞF“S“¹Š”Ž®‰ïŽÐ Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki Kaisha) -- or "Manchu Rail" (ŸÞ“S Mantetsu) in short.

SMRC Report on Progress in Manchuria

The South Manchuria Railway Company published six reports on progress in Manchuria between 1929 and 1939. These reports also covered the founding and development of Manchoukuo.

1. Report on progress in Manchuria, 1907-1928
2. Second report on progress in Manchuria to 1930
3. Third report on progress in Manchuria to 1932
   [Third report on progress in Manchuria, 1907-32
   (The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Number Containing a
    Survey of the Manchurian Incident and
    League Council's Proceedings)]
4. Fourth report on progress in Manchuria to 1934
5. Fifth report on progress in Manchuria to 1936
6. Sixth report on progress in Manchuria to 1939
South Manchuria Railway

The Report on Progress in Manchuria volumes were published by the South Manchuria Railway because the company was the principle facilitator of Japanese development in the region. Economically, it was both the circulatory and nervous system of Manchuria.

Why 1907

1907 marked the beginning of "Manchuria" as an entity under Ching (Qing) Dynasty rule.

The Ching Dynasty was a Manchu dynasty. Governors were not appointed to oversee their native provinces, except in the three Manchu provinces of Fengtien (•ò“V Fengtian, now —É”J Liaoning), Kirin (‹g—Ñ Jilin), and Heilungkiang (•—´] Heilongjiang). Until 1907, these provinces had governors of Manchu ancestry.

Under new rules promulgated in April 1907, the military governors of the Manchu provinces were placed with civilian governors, and the governors were subordinated to at a viceroy or governor-general who oversaw all of Manchuria as a regional entity within the Ching Empire. On 28 February 1912, two months after the founding of the Republic of China, the Viceroy of Manchuria exchanged the dragon standard of the Ching Dynasty for the five-colored ROC flag.

The "Three Eastern Provinces" were sometimes called "Inner Manchuria" as opposed to Russian "Outer Manchuria". The Liaotung peninsula was also part of Manchuria, but it was treated separately as the Kwantung Leased Territory when leased to Russia, which later transferred the lease to Japan. The Railway Zone consisted of right-of-ways and other land leased for railway use outside the Kwantung territory.

Manchoukuo -- glossed as "Manchuria State" in some Manchuria reports -- consisted of the three provinces plus part of what had been Mongolia. After its founding in 1932, "Manchuria" in Japanese statistics consisted of Manchoukuo, the Kwantung Leased Territory, and the Railway Zone.

Why 1939

The series ended in 1939. Was there no interest in updating the English-reading world on developments in the region?

The 5th (to 1936) and 6th (to 1939) editions were compiled by Roy H. Akagi, who ran Mantetsu's New York office. He attributes the one-year delay in the publication of the 6th edition to his need to be in the United States. However, it is not clear that Akagi's availability had anything to do with the report's discontinuation.

Several events seem to have conspired against continuation. By the time the 6th report was published, the Sino-Japanese war, which had started in 1937, was in full swing, and Mantetsu, partly in response to the war, had undergone major reorganization.

In September 1939, a few months after the 6th report came out, World War II had started with Germany's invasion of Poland. Someone may have decided that -- since Japan had ended its extraterritoriality in Manchoukuo in 1937, and had sanctioned German trade agreements with Manchoukuo -- Mantetsu no longer needed to publicize Manchuria in English.

Then, in December 1941, the Pacific War began when Japan attacked territories of the United States and other countries.

See following comments about the reorganization of Mantetsu's research departments and the their run-in with the Kwantung Kenpeitai. Also see remarks about Roy Akagi under comments on the 6th report.

The Japan-Manchoukuo Year Book

The Japan Manchoukuo Year Book Company in Tokyo published a series called The Japan-Manchoukuo Year Book. Its subtitle is "Cyclopedia of General Information and Statistics on the Empires of Japan and Manchoukou". There appear to have been nine editions, from 1934 (published 1933) to 1942. The length increased from over 1000 to over 1200 pages. The last two editions seem to have been published in Hsinking, the capital of Manchoukuo.

The Manchuria/Manchoukuo Year Book

Toa Keizai Chosakyoku (“ŒˆŸŒoÏ’²¸‹Ç) or "The East-Asiatic Economic Research Bureau" -- the research arm of the South Manchurian Railway Company -- also published at least three yearbooks. The thickness of the yearbooks expanded as fast as the empire.

Toa-Keizai Chosakyoku
The Manchuria Year Book, 1931
Tokyo: East-Asiatic Economic Investigation Bureau, 1931
Manchuria, China, Japan
Second edition
xvi, 348 pages, plates and maps

Toa-Keizai Chosakyoku
The Manchuria Year Book 1932-33
Tokyo: The East-Asiatic Economic Investigation Bureau, 1932
xix, 534 pages

Toa-Keizai Chosakyoku
The Manchoukuo Year Book, 1934
Tokyo: East-Asiatic Economic Investigation Bureau, 1934
Manchoukuo, Manchuria, China, Japan
First edition
xxix, [3], 852 pages, maps

The East-Asiatic Economic Investigation Bureau

SMRC set up Toa Keizai Chosakyoku in Tokyo in 1908. The group was first dubbed "East-Asiatic Commercial Intelligence Institute" in English. It's first phases are known by the names of its directors, hence the Matsuoka Kinpei (¼‰ª‹Ï•½) period (1908-1921) and the Oikawa Shumei (‘åìŽü–¾) period (1921-1938).

In 1929 the bureau split off as an independent foundation, though it continued to be funded by the railway company. During this period a South Pacific Island Department was added, along side an already existing China Department.

New Asia

In 1939 the bureau was reunited with SMRC as part of a larger group called "Daichosabu" (‘å’²¸•”) or "Great investigation division". Within this structure, the bureau oversaw Southwest Asia, Australia, the South Pacific. But the vision encompassed Greater East Asia, including China.

In August 1939, bureau director Okawa Shumei launched the monthly magazine VˆŸ×ˆŸ (C. Hsin Yahsiya, J. Shin Ajia) as a vehicle for showing that the bureau's research was not limited to East Asia. The magazine was published in Chinese and the earliest issues (which I have seen) bore the English title "NEW ASIA" at the bottom of the cover. Its run continued until at least Volume 7, Number 1 (1945).

The editors of the magazine also published books like this.

SMRC East-Asiatic Economic Investigation Bureau "New Asia" Editorial Department (editor)
Race and society in South Asia
“ú–{o”Å”z‹‹ (”z‹‹), 1942
Japan Publications Distribution (Distribution), 1942
V˜±×˜±‘p‘ 2
New Ajia Library 2

Suppression by Kwantung Kenpeitai

During the expansion of SMRC research operations in 1939, a number of Marxists gained employment, and their presence and activities in the investigation bureau attracted the attention of the Kwantung Kenpeitai -- the state (military and government) police arm in the Kwantung Leased Territory. Kenpeitai were responsible for investigating any acts that appeared to violate laws and ordinances, including those that proscribed socialist activities -- hence their reputation as "thought police".

In November 1941, investigations into attempts by Japanese leftists to organize impoverished farmers in northern Manchuria from 1937 led the Kenpeitai to arrest over 50 members of the Manchoukuo Kyowakai (–žB‘‹¦˜a‰ï) and the Mantetsu Chosabu. This inspired a deeper investigation into Chosabu activities and the arrest in September 1942 of 33 more bureau members. Then Mantetsu gave the Kenpeitai a list of others thought to have leftist sympathies, and ten more bureau members were arrested in July 1943.

By then the war had also progressed to the point that the bureau was barely able to function, and there wasn't much left of it by the end of the war when it was disbanded.


1st Manchuria report

Report on Progress in Manchuria, 1907-1928
The South Manchuria Railway
Dairen, March 1929
238 pages (text), 12 unnumbered pages (index), plates and maps

Colophon in Japanese states that the volume was printed and published in June 1929, and compiled by Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki Kaisha [South Manchuria Railway Joint Stock Company], and printed in Tokyo by Herarudosha [Herald Press].

Covers the development of Japan's position in Manchuria from settlements following the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1894 to the late 1920s -- by which time Japan's stakes in Manchuria are so high that there is no question of the next step -- Manchurian (Mukden) Incident (18 September 1931) and establishment of "Man-chu-kuo" (1 March 1932).

Documents in Appendix run from "Provision relating to Cession of 'Liaotung Peninsula' to Japan in Treaty of Shimonoseki" (17 April 1895) to "Agreement between the Government of the Autonomous Three Eastern Provinces and Soviet Russia" (8 October 1924).

Documents appended to 1st report

The documents appended to the first report begin with the provision in the Treaty of Shimonoseki (17 April 1895), in which China, after losing the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, ceded Liaotung Peninsula to Japan, along with Formosa. Then comes the note -- in French -- in which Russia, France, and Germany recommend that Japan retrocede the peninsula to China, in what became known as the "triple alliance" (23 April 1985). The 5 May 1895 announcement by prime minister Ito Hirobumi, that Japan would agree to the retrocession and withdraw its forces from the peninsula, for an additional indemnity, is not shown.

Next comes a cycle of documents concerning a secret alliance China made with Russia (May 1896), the contract permitting Russia to construct and operate the Chinese Eastern Railway (8 September 1896), and the statutes for the railway company (16 December 1896). And then comes the convention in which China leased the peninsula to Russia (27 March 1898) -- effectively giving to its territorial rival what for a few glorious weeks had been Japan's.

The documents then jump seven years to the Treaty of Portsmouth, settling the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 (5 September 1905). In the treaty, in addition to ceding the Island of Saghalien [Karafuto] south of the fiftieth degree of north latitude, Russia transfered to Japan the lease of Port Arthur and related Liaotung territory, as well as the railway Russia had built between Chanchun and Port Arthur and all branches -- and the Railway Zone along the route -- with the agreement that the two countries would continue to develop their separate railways in Manchuria for commercial and industrial, but not strategic, purposes.

The rest of the documents in the first report are a guide to the entire process of setting up and running the South Manchurian Railway -- and how Japan dealt with the political issues that came up as the company laid track to accommodate the movement, by 1927, of a million Japanese subjects -- three-fourths of them Koreans -- "to make Manchuria a land of opportunity for the world, in co-operation more or less with China, Russia, and other countires" (page 1).

The Manchuria, as the report points out, was over three times as large as "Japan proper" -- and by the time of the report, it had become a major source of agricultural products and raw materials for the Empire of Japan.

Map of Manchuria

See 3rd report.

Chientao and Korean nationality

Japan, like other states with legations in China, exercised a variety of extraterritorial rights in the country. These rights varied somewhat by region, and even within regions, according to specific treaties.

When Korea became a protectorate of Japan, Japan also negotiated Korea's treaties with China. Technically these should have been treaties between Korea and China, proxied by Japan. But the way they are described in the Manchuria reports, they were Sino-Japanese treaties.

The most important of these treaties involved the status of Koreans in Manchuria. This is how the first Manchuria report describes the 1909 treaty solution to issues concerning Korean migrants in the Chientao district along the Chinese side of the Tumen river (page 37).


Another question which for several years caused controversy between Japan and China concerned the Korean boundary, involving the Chientao district lying on the north or right bank of the Tumen river. The possession of this district, covering an area of some 1,550 square miles, with a population of 82,999 Koreans and 27,371 Chinese in 1909, was a pending question for many years. In the years 1885 and 1887, respectively, "Boundary Commissions" were despatched to the distsrict by the Korean and Chinese Governments, with a view to solving the frontier problem but they failed to fulfil their mission. As time went on, maltreatment of Koreans by the Chinese authorities became acute. Furthermore, the Koreans were always exposed to attcks from Manchurian bandits. These Koreans in Chientao constantly asked their Home Government for protection. Following the establishment of the Japanese Protectorate in Korea [Note in XXXX], the Japanese Government entered into negotiations with the Chinese government.

These controversial questions became more and more acute, with unpleasant effects upon Sino-Japanese relations. . . . [ lines omitted] . . . two conventions were concluded, on September 4. One of these was called the "Convention relating to Manchuria," and the other the "Convention relating to Chientao."

. . . By the convention relating to Chientao, Japan waived Korea's long-standing claim to Chientao district and recognized China's territorial sovereignty in this region. Through this convention, Japan caused China to open four towns in Chientao to international trade and residence, which was another evidence of Japan's faithfulness to the principle of the "Open Door" in Manchuria. Japan also took the initiative in withdrawing her extraterritorial jurisdiction in China by recognizing Chinese law and jurisdiction over the Koreans residing in this district.


2nd Manchuria report

Second Report on Progress in Manchuria to 1930
The South Manchuria Railway
Dairen, April, 1931
viii, 307 pages, charts, plates, foldout maps



3rd Manchuria report

Cover Third Report on Progress in Manchuria to 1932
Title page Third Report on Progress in Manchuria 1907-32
(The Twenty-fifth Anniversay Number Containing a Survey of the Manchurian Incident and League Council's Proceedings)
The South Manchuria Railway
Dairen, June, 1932
vii, 235 pages, plates and maps

Colophon in Japanese states that the volume was printed and published in June 1932, published by Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki Kaisha, compiled in Tokyo by Hishida Seiji, and printed in Tokyo by Herarudosha [Herald Press].

Covers Manchurian (Mukden) Incident (18 September 1931) and establishment of "Man-chu-kuo" (1 March 1932).

Covers entronement of Pu Yi as Emperor of Manchoukuo on 1 March 1934, two years after the founding of the state. The third year of Tatung ("great unity") becomes the first year of Kangte ("tranquility and benevolent virtue"). Manchoukuo becomes an Empire.

Documents in appendices span 21 September 1931 to 3 June 1932.

Maps of Manchuria

The place names on the "Map of Manchuria" in the 1st and 3rd reports are tellingly different. Both show virtually all of Northeast Asia, but the labels, and some of the boundaries, are not quite the same.

The map in the 1st report shows "CHINA" as an area that includes what would be provinces in yellow plus INNER MONGOLIA in peach -- with the "A" of CHINA extending into INNER MONGOLIA. It also shows MONGOLIA, MANCHURIA, SIBERIA, CHOSEN, SAGHALIEN, and KABAFUTO. An it shows HOKKAIDO, HONSHU, SHIKOKU, and KYUSHU. But JAPAN appears nowhere on the map, which bears the date and attribution "11thFeb., 1928   Drawn by U. Utsumi" in the lower left corner.

The map in the 3rd edition has neither a date nor attribution. However, it is basically the same map. But some parts have been redrawn and relabelled, and other parts have been relabelled.

There is now no CHINA and no INNER MONGOLIA. In their place are a bunch of provinces, all yellow. MONGOLIA is now a smaller entity, since part of it has gone to the provinces that had been INNER MONGOLIA, and another part of it has gone to MANCHURIA. The border between MONGLIA and SIBERIA, and between with MANCHURIA and SIBERIA, appear unchanged.

JAPAN now appears on the map -- with the the "J" on the southern tip of CHOSEN, the "A P A" on HONSHU, and the "N" in the straits between HOKKAIDO and what is now KARAFUTO .

KABAFUTO on the map in the 1st report reflects the way the characters Š’‘¾ would be read by someone who has not learned to read them exceptionally as KARAFUTO (see Etymology of "Karafuto").

The map in the 3rd report also shows P'O-HAI GULF in place of GULF OF PECHIHLI -- among other such changes.


4th Manchuria report

Seiji Hisada (Compiler of the Report)
Fourth Report on Progress in Manchuria to 1934
The South Manchuria Railway
Dairen, June, 1934
Remarks by Seiji Hisada dated 15 June 1934
vii, 294 pages, plates and maps

Colophon in Japanese states that report was printed and published in June 1932, published by Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki Kaisha, compiled in Tokyo by Hishida Seiji, and printed in Tokyo by Herarudosha. Statement in English at bottom reads "Printed at THE HERALD PRESS, Hibiya Park, Tokyo".

Documents in appendices cover 14 November 1934 to 10 June 1936.

Report covers foundation of Manchoukuyo (1 March 1932) and Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations (27 March 1933).

Report uses "Korea" and "Koreans" for what Japanese texts of the period call "Chosen" and "Chosenjin".

League of Nations censure

Much of the new content of the 4th report is devoted to voicing Japan's position toward actions taken by the League of Nations, which moved Japan to leave the league.

The article on the founding of what was then being called in roman script "Man-chu-kuo" makes a point of the racial equality clause in the proclamation which established the new state (page 82). The article cites the clause, which is also in the full text of the proclamation in the Appendices (pages 211-213).

Japan walked out on 24 February 1933 after the adoption of a call for non-recognition of the Manchukuo government and for Japan's withdrawal of military forces from Manchuria. Japan submitted a formal notice of withdrawal on 27 March 1933. Though it left the league, Japan refused to abandon its mandates in the Pacific. It withdrew its cooperation with all League of Nations commitees on 3 October 1938.

A remark in the "Area and Population" section, echoes older grievances with the manner in which the United States annexed Hawaii (pages 13-14).

Area and Population

[ First several graphs omitted. ]

The indigenous peoples of Manchoukuo are the Manchus and Mongols although the greater part of the present population are descendants of Chinese settlers or immigrants from China proper. Even as early as the time of the Manchu conquest of China in 1644, the Manchu population was said to be about a million against some two million Chinese settlers in Manchuria. Indeed, the Manchu conquerors defeated the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty with the help of an allied force of Mongols and Koreans.

Regarding the population of Manchuria in modern times, the Lytton report [censuring Japan, accepted by the United Nations on 24 February 1933], stating that the great majority of the present inhabitants are Chinese settlers who came to manchuria from Shantun and Honan Provinces of China proper and "took possession of soil which is now unalterably Chinese Manchuria," awaiting "a favourable opportunity for China to reassert her sovereign right," suggested that those millions of Chinese farmers who came to Manchuria carried with them the right of sovereignty. Many of these Chinese in Manchuria, however, being seasonal labourers, have permanent homes in native Chinese provinces. Moreover, mere size of population cannot be a substantial test of the sovereign right in a particular territory. When the Hawaii Islands were annexed to the United States, the ruling American citizens were vastly outnumbered by the native Hawaiians as by the Japanese immigrants, and even today Americans and native Hawaiians are far less in number than the Japanese. Finally, the independence of Manchoukuo was brought about by a spontaneous movement of the Chinese inhabitants acting in concert with Manchu and Mongolian natives.


5th Manchuria report

Roy H. Akagi (compiler)
Fifth Report on Progress in Manchuria to 1936
The South Manchuria Railway Company
Dairen, July, 1936
Forewords by Roy H. Akagi dated 1 July 1936, Tokyo)
vii, 253 pages, plates and maps

Colophon in Japanese states that report was printed and published in July 1932, compiled and published by Minami Manshu Tetsudo Kabushiki Kaisha, and printed in Tokyo by Herarudosha. Statements in English read "MADE IN JAPAN" and "Printed at THE HERALD PRESS, LTD. Hibiya Park, Tokyo.

See 6th report for information about Roy Akagi.

Chosenese in Manchuria

This report uses "Chosen" and "Chosenese" ro reflect what contemporary Japanese texts call "Chosen" and "Chosenjin".

Chapter VIII, on Immigration and Settlements, give about four pages each to Chinese, Chosenese and Japanese movement into Manchuria (pages 121-133). Chinese immigrants outnumber Chosenese, who outnumber Japanese.

The account of Chosenese in Manchuria begins as follows (page 125).

Chosenese Settlements in Manchuria

The Chosenese immigration into Manchuria became more noticeable after the Japanese annexation of Chosen. In 1910, the year of the annexation, the Chosenese residents in Manchuria were estimated at some 53,000. This number has grown steadily to 459,00 by 1920 and 607,000 by 1930. At the end of 1935, there were 662,000 Chosenese in all Manchuria. In addition, 4,389 Chosenese were reported residing within the Kwantung Leased Territory.

Subsections include "Chosenese Concentration-Village Movement" and "Chosenese Farm-Settlements".

"Population in Manchuria"

The appended "Statistics on Manchuria" break "Manchuria" into three regions: Manchoukuo, Kwantung Leased Territory, and S.M.R. [South Manchuria Railway] Zone. The populations of all three parts of Manchuria are broken down by the following headings (pages 151-152).


The Railway Zone consists of land associated with the railways under Japanese control in Manchoukuo. Juristictional lines were drawn through populated areas, including major cities. Hence people residing in the Railway Zone within major Manchoukuo cities are tallied separately from those residing in the Manchoukuo-governed parts of the cities.

Because Manchoukuo is an independent state, its nationals residing in the Kwantung Leased Territory or the Railway Zone are tallied separately from Japanese and Chosenese -- yet they are not "foreigners" -- for the Japanese-controlled areas are being leased from Manchoukuo.

For that matter, "Japanese" and "Chosenese" are also considered as part of Manchuria -- according to the "five race" breakdown of the 1932 proclomation that established Manchoukuo.

The bureaucrats knew what they were doing -- as servants of a civil order that demanded consistent recognition of legally defined distinctions of jurisdiction and status.


6th Manchuria report

Roy H. Akagi (compiler)
Sixth Report on Progress in Manchuria, 1939
The South Manchuria Railway
Dairen, May 1939
Forewords by Roy H. Akagi dated 20 April 1939, Tokyo
vi, 236 pages, plates and maps

This edition was both printed and published in May 1939. The rest of the details in the colophon are the same as in the fifth edition.

Why the one-year delay in the appearance of this report? The "Forewords" explains in the first graph.

The Sixth Report roughly covers the two years and a half since the appearance of the Fifth Report, namely, from July, 1936, through December, 1938. It is a biennial report and its publication was due in July, 1938. The delay was caused by the editor's unavoidable absence in the United States from November, 1937, to May, 1938.

Extraterritoriality and unequal treaties

Japan has known how it feels to be unable to exercise full sovereignty in its relations with other states. Between 1854 and 1899, it was bound by unequal treaties to extended extraterritorial rights to several states as a condition for continuing diplomatic relations with these states. And between 1945 and 1952, Japan's sovereignty was partly suspended as a condition of surrender in World War II.

The late 19th-century treaties were not entirely disadvantageous to Japan. The demand by some Euro-American states for rights to establish their own settlements, within which their nationals would reside and be under their consular jurisdiction, partly satisfied Japan's desire to limit and contain alien activities in the country.

Yet most conditions of the early treaties were humilitating, not only because they were disadvantageous to Japan, but because they were premised on the view that Japan did not yet qualify for recognition as a fully sovereign state because it was not yet legally competent. It was legally inferior to Euro-American states to the extent that it lacked sufficiently compatible laws and credible courts.

Exterritoriality agreements are not unecessarily unequal. Under international conventions today, all states that exchange missions (1) recognize the mission of a foreign state as an extension of its sovereignty, and (2) extend jurisdictional immunity to its diplomats. If Peru and Japan exchange missions, then Peru will treat Japan's embassy in Peru as part of Japan's sovereign territory and exempt Japanese diplomats from its legal jurisdiction under certain circumstances. Jpan will reciprocate the same status and treatment to Peru's embassy and diplomats in Japan.

China and Japan

China signed a number of unequal treaties with Japan. The Shimogaseki treaty of 1895, which settled the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, and the Treaty of Peking of 1915, which incorporated some of the 21-demands Japan had made on the Republic of China early that year, gave Japan extraterritorial rights in China that China did not enjoy in Japan.

hat it meant to be under the fresh from its own experiences of granting extraterritorial rights to states as a condition for

By 10 June 1936, Japan and Manchuokuo were signing a treaty that allowed Japanese subjects to be treated equally under some Manchurian laws, but reserved extraterritorial rights (judicial procedures carried out by Japanese consular officers) until Japanese subjects come under the jurisdiction of Manchoukuo courts. The treaty was drawn in Japanese and Chinese, with Japanese the prevailing language in the event that differences of interpretation should arise. (Fifth report, 1936, pages 245-249).

Jurisdiction of the Railway Zone and a number of SMRC properties were transferred to Manchoukuo in December 1937 when Japan ended its territoriality in the state. This came after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (China Incident) of 7 July 1937 and Japan's invasion of Shanghai and Nanking (Nanjing) later that year.

Roy H. Akagi

Roy Hidemichi Akagi (1892-1943?) -- also known as Ô–؉p“¹ (Akagi Hidemichi) -- was the manager of the New York Office of the South Manchuria Railway Company at the time he compiled this (and the sixth) report.

Akagi was born in New York and in 1923 he received a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation on New England colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries. He was a visiting lecturer on Japanese Affairs at Columbia University in 1931 when he published a timely monograph called Understanding Manchuria.

Manchuria visits

In the foreword to Understanding Manchuria, Akagi says this about himself by way of prefacing his introduction to Manchuria (1st edition, page iii).

After my two extended visits in Manchuria, 1927 and 1929, and special studies of Manchurian problems in preparation for the Third Biennial Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, which was held at Kyoto, Japan, in 1929, I have made a speaking tour of America, appearing before all manners of clubs and societies, institutes and forums. Especially since the outbreak of the present [Sino-Japanese] Manchurian crisis, I have enjoyed numerous occasions to discuss Japan's position in Manchuria before unusually large audiences. My greatest discovery is the eagerness of the American people to understand Manchurian situation but the difficulty they are facing in getting information in convenient form.

Scholar, publicist, Christian, philatelist

From this it is clear that Akagi must have become interested in Manchuria shortly after he finished graduate school in 1923 and saw the publication of his dissertation in 1924. He most likely visited Manchuria and produced the handbook as an employee of South Manchuria Railway Company.

In addition to being a scholar and publicist, Akagi had also been a leader of the The Japanese Students' Christian Association in North America. And he appears to have had a deep interest in at least Manchurian stamps.

Akagi was a respresentative of the Boston Japanese Students' Association (ƒ{ƒXƒgƒ““ú–{lŠw¶‰ï) in 1920, according to Miyoshi Akira, the currator of the student association records for the The Boston Association of Japan (“ú–{ƒ{ƒXƒgƒ“‰ï‰ï•ñ Nihon Bosuton Kai kaiho, 10 October 2006, Number 28, page 3). The list of representative members is divided into those with kanji names and those with alphabet names. The former group is not labeled but are assumed to be "Japanese student" members. The latter group is labeled ŠO‘l (Gaikokujin). Akagi is included in the former group, in which he -- and he alone -- is labeled “úŒnl (Nikkeijin).

Akagi's publications

Akagi's books and articles tell their own story.

Roy Hidemichi Akagi
The Town Proprietors of the New England Colonies
(A Study of Their Development, Organization, Activities and Controversies, 1620-1770)
PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1923
Philadelphia Press of the University of Pennsylvania, 1924
364 pages
Gloucester (Massachusetts): Peter Smith, 1963 (reprint)

Roy H. Akagi
The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1838
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
Volume XLVIII, October 1924, pages 301-333

Roy Hidemichi Akagi
The Second Generation Problem: Some suggestions toward its solution
New York: The Japanese Students' Christian Association in North America, 1926 (second edition)
39 pages

The above publication came out during the controversy surrounding a series of exclusionist immigration acts passed in the United States.

Roy Hidemichi Akagi, Ph. D.
[Visiting Lectuer on Japanese Affairs, Columbia University]
Understanding Manchuria: A Handbook of Facts
White Plains (NY), 1931
Preface dated 20 November 1931
viii, 68 pages, pamphlet
2nd revised edition, 1931, viii, 75 pages
(with full-page railway map of Manchuria)
3rd revised edition, November 1932, 32 pages

The first edition came out after the Mukden Incident of September 1931, while the third edition came out after the establishment of Manchoukuo in March 1932. So all editions appeared in the thick of the reluctance by most League of Nations members to recognize the new state. The edition in my library, which has no map, appears to be the first.

Roy Akagi
Japan and the Open Door in Manchukuo
The Annals
(American Policy in the Pacific)
[The American Academy of Political and Social Science]
No. 168, July 1933, pages 54-63

Roy Hidemichi Akagi, PhD
Japan's Foreign Relations 1542-1935: A Short History
Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press, 1936, 1937
xv, 560 pages
Greenwood Press, June 1979 (reprint)
Ô–؉p“¹A‰p•¶“ú–{ŠOŒðŽj 1542-1936
“Œ‹žF–k¯“°‘“XAº11”N (”Ÿ¥ƒJƒo[)

Roy Akagi
Future of American Trade with Manchukuo
The Annals
(Our Foreign Commerce in Peace and War)
[The American Academy of Political and Social Science]
No. 211, September 1940, pages 138-143

Jonathan Marshall, in To Have and Have Not: Southeast Asian Raw Materials and the Origins of the Pacific War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), refers the reader to the above article "for another optimistic analysis" of the prospects for economic prosperity in the United States if peace can be maintained (Chapter 7, Defining the National Interest, page 183, note 24).

Roy Hidemichi Akagi
The Postage Stamps of Manchoukuo
New York: Japanese American Review, 1941
101 pages, softcover

John Spivak on Akagi

John Louis Spivak (1897-1981), a journalist with socialist leanings who became well known for his exposes of corruption and inequality, regarded Akagi as a "Japanese propagandist". This paragraph comes from Spivak's Shrine of the Silver Dollar (The Documentary Story of Father Coughlin), New York: Modern Age Books, 1940.

I don't know whether Father [Reverend Edward Lodge] Curran knew that in his patriotic zeal to save America, [Allan] Zoll had gone to Germany in 1936 to confer with Goebbels, whom he met at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin. Shortly after his return to the United States Zoll approached Dr. Roy Akagi, Japanese propagandist in this country, and offered the services of American Patriots, Inc. which Zoll had organized, to the Japanese government for $5,000 a month. Dr. Akagi smelled a rat and declined.

Spivak's papers are archived at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Houston. According to a profile of his life on the Ransom Center website, "In the 1930s Spivak investigated the rise of fascism. He was particularly interested in fascist infiltration in the United States, and worked with several anti-fascist and Jewish groups to expose German and Japanese propagandists and spies."

The Shrine of the Silver Dollar "led to the downfall of the anti-Semitic broadcaster, Father Charles Coughlin." The above citation comes from a blogged excerpt of Chapter VII, called "Phony Patriots, Nazis and Coughlin". In 1938, according to Spivak, "the Reverend Charles E. Coughlin, who had already begun disseminating Nazi propaganda issued by the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin, launched his extreme anti-Semitic campaign." His efforts to arouse racial and religious hatred was met with such strong protest from not only Jews but some Catholics that several radio stations refused to broadcast his talks unless he submitted his scripts in advance or simply refused to let him go on the air (paraphrased from same excerpt).

Akagi on Christianity in Japan

Akagi's views on Christianity were quoted in a Time magazine article called "Student Volunteers" (Monday, January 9, 1928), reporting on the Tenth Quadrennial Student Volunteer Convention in Detroit that year (Time archives).

Right at the start, speakers began to find fault with present missionary and ministerial conditions. The most obvious and threatening obstacle to missionary success, they pointed out, is the effect of denominational rivalry upon the potentially Christian inhabitants of heathen countries. Said Canadian Dr. Richard Roberts: "The business of Christian missions is not to get people to call themselves Christians but to make friends." At this there was a murmur of approval from the students.

Other speakers found other faults, suggested remedies. Said small, earnest Dr. Roy H. Akagi of Japan: "If Christianity is to become a living force to the Japanese people, it must first be Japanized." . . .


1932 proclamation establishing Manchoukuo as state

The 3rd and 4th Manchuria reports have rather different versions of the 1 March proclamation of the establishment of Manchoukuo (spelled "Man-chu-kuo" in 3rd report). The first version (3rd report, pages 211-213) is lower in quality, most likely because it was rushed in order to meet the publishing deadline. The second version (4th report, pages 246-248) appears to be a rewrite of the first version, made while checking the original Chinese and/or Japanese text.

The following table shows five -- Chinese, Japanese, my structural translation, and the first and second received verions -- of two particularly significant passages.


Œšš éŒ¾   Proclamation of establishment of state

‘哯Œ³”NŽOŒŽˆê“ú   Tatung 1st year 3rd month 1st day [1 March 1932]

ŸÞFš ­•{  Government of Manchoukuo


–}ÝVš ‰Æ—Ì“y”V“à‹ZŽÒŠF–³Ží‘°”VŠòŽ‹‘¸”Ú”V•ª•ÊœŒ´—L”VŠ¿‘°ŸÞ‘°–Ö‘°‹y“ú–{’©‘NŠe‘°ŠO‘¦‘´‘¼š lŠè’·‹v‹—¯ŽÒ–’“¾‹•½“™”V‘Ò‹ö•Ûá‘´œä“¾”VžÜ—˜•sŽg‘´—LãNŸ|”VN‘¹


–}ƒ\Vš ‰Æ—Ì“yƒm“àƒjÝƒŠƒe‹ZƒXƒ‹ŽÒƒnŠFŽí‘°ƒmŠòŽ‹‘¸”Úƒm•ª•Ê–³ƒVŒ´—LƒmŠ¿‘°ŸÞ‘°–Ö‘°‹y“ú–{’©‘NŠe‘°ƒ’œƒNƒmŠO‘¦ƒ`‘´‘¼ƒmš lƒjƒVƒe’·‹vƒj‹—¯ƒ’ŠèƒtŽÒƒ‚–’•½“™ƒm‘Ò‹öƒ’‹ƒNƒ‹ƒRƒgƒ’“¾‘´ƒmœäƒj“¾ƒwƒLƒmžÜ—˜ƒ’•ÛáƒV‘´ƒ’ƒVƒeãNŸ|ƒ‚”VN‘¹—Lƒ‰ƒVƒƒX

Structural English translation

[As for] all those who are residing within the territory of the new state, there shall not be any discrimination of race or differentiation of status. Other than the originally present [members of] the Han race, the Manchu race, the Mongol race, and the respective races of Nippon and Chosen, namely those who are nationals of other countries and apply for long-term settlement, [they] also shall obtain the enjoyment of equal treatment. [The state] shall guarantee the rights thereby duly obtained, and shall not cause them to have a thread of infringement.

1st received English translation (3rd report)

There shall be no discrimination among those people who now reside within the territory of the new state with respect to race and creed, including the races of the Hans, Manchus, Mongols, Japanese and Koreans; nationals of other countries may upon application as permanent residents acquire equal treatment with others and their rights shall be guaranteed thereby.

2nd received English translation (4th report)

There shall be no discrimination with respect to race and caste among those people who now reside within the territory of the new state. In addition to the races of the Hans, Manchus, Mongols, Japanese and Koreans; the peoples of other foreign countries, may, upon application, have their right guaranteed.

Commentary on English translations

Both of the received English versions are flawed -- the first more seriously. In the first version (3rd report), not only is the phrasing skewed, but "status" has inexplicably become "creed" -- as though the translator had in mind the contemporary Republic of China constitution, which probably -- partly, at least -- inspired this "non-discrimination" and "equal treatment" clause. See "Commentary on terminology" below, and Race in ROC constitutions.

The second version (4th report) corrects the "creed" to "caste" and improves the fidelity of the phrasing. But "the peoples of other foreign countries" implies that Manchoukuo is also a foreign country. And it simplies the last line even more than the first version did.

discrimination of race

Ží‘°”VŠòŽ‹   The 1912 and 1923 constitutions of the Republic of China had stated that there shall be no ™½•Ê (differentiation, distinction) because of Ží‘° (race), @‹³ (religion), or ŠK‹‰ (class). ROC's 1931 constitution added ’j— (sex) to the list. The 1947 ROC constitution also uses Ží‘° (race). No constitutions of the People's Republic of China have used either Ží‘° (race) or lŽí (race). All, however, have prohibited –¯‘°间“I歧视 (discrimination between ethnic nations) or –¯‘°“I歧视 (ethnonational discrimination) -- using a synonym of ŠòŽ‹.

differentiation of status

‘¸”Ú”V•ª•Ê   The compound ‘¸”Ú juxtaposes "esteem" and "despise" to express both high and low social status -- or simply "status".

Han, Manchuria, Mongolia, Nippon, and Chosen

Š¿‘°ŸÞ‘°–Ö‘°‹y“ú–{’©‘NŠe‘°   See The five races of Manchuria below for details about the implications of juxtaposing the "races" of Nippon and Chosen with those of Han, Manchuria, and Mongolia.

nationals of other countries

‘¼š l   This Chinese phrase is parsed into Sino-Japanese as ‘¼‚̍‘l (hoka no kokujin) rather than as ‘¼‘‚̐l (takoku no hito). The term ‘l (kokujin) has a number of meanings depending on when and where it is used -- but all mean a "person" (l hito) affiliated with a "country" (‘ kuni) in some sense of the word.

Before the Meiji period, ‘l referred to either the resident lord of a province (‘ kuni) as opposed to the lord's retainers or the masses -- either or both of which might be called ‘O (kokushū). ‘l also came to be used to included everyone in a province -- the lord, retainers, and others.

During the Meiji period, ‘l referred to a "national" of a country -- until displaced by ‘–¯ (kokumin). Well into the 20th century, some writers used both terms -- possibly not as exact synonyms. See, for example, Tokutomi Iichiro's "The awakening of the Yamato race" (1924).


The five races of Manchuria

Š¿‘°ŸÞ‘°–Ö‘°‹y“ú–{’©‘NŠe‘°   There are five "races" (‘°) in this list.

The Republic of China had established itself in 1912 as a "concord [republic] of five races" (ŒÜ‘°‹¤˜a wŭzú gònghé, J. gozoku kyōwa) consisting of the Han (Š¿‘°), Manchu (–žB‘°), Mongol (–֌Ñ°), Muslim (‰ñ‘°), and Tibetan (‘ ‘°) races.

Japan and the Soviet Union (among other countries) did not recognize Manchuria or Mongolia as part of what Japan called "China proper" (’†Œ´ zhŏngyuàn, J. chŭgen) -- a reference to the "central plains" dominated by Han Chinese -- which Manchurians, to the north, conquered in 1644, taking the mandate of heaven from the Han Ming Dynasty and establishing the Manchu Ching (Qing) dynasty. The status of the territories north of "China proper" was shakey even before the nationalists overthrew the Ching Dynasty in 1911.

Japan was now declaring -- throwing its voice from the mouth of Pu Yi -- that Manchoukuo as a "consonance [harmony] of five races" (ŒÜ‘°‹¦˜a C. wŭzú xiéhé, J. gozoku kyŌwa). The Han are those already domiciled in the country, as opposed to those with domiciles in China, who came and left as migrants, and were legally aliens. Manchurians and Mongolians are of course the focus of the 1 March 1932 proclamation, in which ŸÞ–Ö (Manchuria and Mogolia) appears five times, mostly in reference to its people. And naturally Japanese and Koreans are included.

Five-color flag

Manchoukuo's flag used five colors -- one for each constituent race. In the upper-left corner of a yellow (Manchu) field were four stripes -- red (Japanese), blue (Han), white (Mongols), and black (Koreans).

The same five colors were used on the flag of ROC's so-called "First Republic" in 1912, to represent the "five nations" or "five races" of the republic. The flag consisted of five equal stripes, from top to bottom -- red (Manchus), yellow (Han), blue (Mongols), white (Muslims), and black (Tibetans).

The current ROC flag, adopted by the "Second Republic" in 1928, shows a white sun in a blue sky over a crimson ground. The colors represent Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People -- blue (Democracy, plus eqality and justice), white (People's Livelihood, plus fraternity and frankness), and crimson (Nationalism, plus liberty and sacrifice).

PRC's flag shows a large star to the left of an arc of four smaller stars -- originally the larger Han and smaller other ethnic nations, now the Communist Party and the continuing struggle among the four classes.


Manchoukuo as model state

Another very import clause in the 1932 proclamation that establised Manchoukuo as a state was the expressed hope that the experiment would prove to be a model of government.

To be continued.

Manchoukuo as model of world government


›‰s‰¤“¹Žå‹`•KŽg‹«“àˆêØ–¯‘°ê¤ê¤皥皥”@“otäi•Û“Œ˜±‰i‹v”VŒõžÄਐ¢ŠE­Ž¡”V–ÍŒ^‘´›”ŠO­ô‘¥‘¸dM‹`—Í‹e–r–}š ÛŠÔäp—L”V’Ê—á–³•sŒh‹Þ…Žç


‰¤“¹Žå‹`ƒ’›‰sƒV•KƒX‹«“àˆêØƒm–¯‘°ƒ’ƒVƒeê¤ê¤皥皥täiƒj“oƒ‹ƒJ”@ƒNƒiƒ‰ƒVƒ“Œ˜±‰i‹vƒmŒõžÄƒ’•Ûƒ`ƒe¢ŠE­Ž¡ƒm–ÍŒ^ƒgਃTƒ€‘´ƒm›”ŠO­ôƒn‘¥ƒ`M‹`ƒ’‘¸dƒVƒe—̓ƒee–rƒ’‹ƒ–}ƒ\š ÛŠÔƒmäp—Lƒm’Ê—áƒn…Žçƒ’Œh‹ÞƒZƒTƒ‹ƒRƒg–³ƒV

Structural English translation

[The government will (among other things mentioned in the proclamation but omitted here) also] practice the principle of the way of [benevolent] kings. Inevitably [this] will cause all ethnic nations within the country to glow and shine as though climbing to a terrace in spring; and in preserving the everlasting glory of East Asia [the government] will make [itself] a model of world politics. As for policies toward outside [countries], [the government], holding faithfulness in high regard, will endeavor to seek friendship; and as for all conventions of old between states, there shall be no [cases of its] not humbly respecting their observance.

1st received English translation (3rd report)

. . . and to apply the principle of Wan-tao Chu-i and practice its teachings. Thus it [the government] is designed to give the people enlightenment who live within the state and maintain the honour of perpetuating the peace of Eastern Asia, thus setting a model example of good government to the world.

The Foreign policies of the new state shall be to seek and further promote cordial relations with foreign powers, winning their faith and respect, and to strictly observe international conventions.

2nd received English translation (4th report)

. . . and apply the principle of Wan-tao and practice its teachings. In this way the people will become educated and become prosperous and contented. The State can then assume its task of perpetuating the peace of Eastern Asia and set up a model government.

The foreign policy of the new State shall be to promote cordial relations with foreign powers by winning their trust and respect through strict observance of international conventions.

Commentary on English translations

Here, too, the second version of the recevied translation (4th report) is an improvement over the first version (3rd report). Still, one gets the impression that the translators (1) didn't understand the original text, (2) understood it but didn't know what to do with it in English, or (3) were aware what might have been done in English but decided it was not worth the effort.

Monarchy as "kingly way"

The "principle" or "ism" (Žå‹` WG chu-i, PY zhŭyì) of "Wan-tao" (‰¤“¹ wángdào, wangtao) alludes the idea, most famously argued by Mèngzĭ (–ÐŽq Meng Tzu, Mencius), that people are best ruled by a Confucian sage king (¹‰¤ shèngwáng).

The "kingly way" first appears in this line from Mengzi (Shinshaku Kanbun taikei, Tokyo: Meiji Shoin, 1962, 1978, Vol. 4, Moshi, Unchino Kumaichiro, pages 16-17, my translation).


Nurturing life and mourning death with no regrets,
is the start of the kingly way.

People were to go about their daily lives and leave matters of government to a wise and benign ruler. Or, rather, such ruler was someone who governed so as to secure the physical and spiritual needs of the people, so they could provide for their parents and families in this world and look after their ancestors in the next.

The justification for "monarchy" -- both in Japan and in the new state of Manchoukuo -- was precisely this notion of "kingly way".

Kingly way

The promise of a government that follows the "kingly way" is expressed with an allusion to, and partial quote of, the following line from Chapter 20 of the daoist "Dàodéejīng" (“¹德ãS, Tao Te Ching) by Lăozĭ (˜VŽq Lao Tzu) (Shinshaku Kanbun taikei, Tokyo: Meiji Shoin, 1966, 1975, Vol. 7, Roshi/Soshi, Abe Yoshio et al., pages 43-45, my translation).


All the people are glowing,
as though offering a fat ox,
as if climbing to a spring terrace.

People are elated, as when sacrificing a penned animal, or when going to a park in spring.

The rendering of ‘¾˜S as "fat ox" is a reduction of an expression that means "greater [sacrifice] of penned [animals]" -- an ox, sheep, and pig -- as opposed to a "lesser [sacrifice] of penned [animals]" (­˜S) -- a sheep and pig. The occasions for sacrificing animals were festive events at which they were also eaten.

The rendering of täi as "spring terrace" is also a minimalization. A ruler was supposed to build a park with a pond and terrace, stock the park with deer, birds, turtles, and fish, and now and then allow his people to share its beauty. Hence their elation when allowed to climb to the terrace in spring.


Division of world opinion

Manchuria was an important political issue long before Japan set up the state of Manchoukuo in 1932, following the Mukden Incident of 1931.

While the South Manchuria Railway Company and other Japanese organs were publishing reports in English to publicize Japan's achievements in Manchuria and justify Japan's actions in the region, others -- defenders, bystanders, and critics -- cranked out numerous publications to tell the world the "truth" about first Manchuria, then "Manchoukuo" -- or "Manchukuo" as some writers preferred to spell the "puppet state".

The establishment of Manchoukuo further divided opinion. Many books, taking one side or the other, were published during the 1930s. Decades later, scholars are still cranking out thick tomes dedicated to the task of unravelling the "truth" about Manchuria and Manchoukuo.


Alexander Hosie

Gloomy future falsified by events

Alexander Hosie
(Its People, Resources and Recent History)
London: Methuen & Co., 1901 (Preface, December 1900)
xii, 293 pages, hardcover

Sir Alexander Hosie (1853-1925), by his own account, "was in charge of the British Consulate at Newchwang in Manchuria, a country whose western frontier touches the Northern Chinese province of Chihli and Mongolia" from November, 1894, to July, 1897, and from April, 1899, to April, 1900" (Hosie 1901, page v).

Hosie describes the Sino-Japanese War, from the Battle of Phyonyang (Pyongyang) to the Japanese invasion of South Manchuria, and the "last stand" made by Chinese along the banks of the Liao about twenty kilomters north of the port of Newchwang, which Japan had also occupied.

Newchwang (‹äµ, Niuzhuang, now called 营口 Yingkou), was both a port at the mouth of the Liao river on Pohai bay and a town about fifty kilometers upstream. Hosie was in charge of the Port of Newchwang, one of the several Treaty Ports established by one of the Treaties of Tientsin (Tianjin) in 1858. At the time of Hosei's residence, it was the principal commercial port on the Liaotung peninsula, while Port Arthur was mostly a naval port.

He also describes the treaty settlements and the intervention by Russia, France, and Germany, China's cession and Japan's retrocession of the Liaotung peninsula, the Trans-Manchurian Railway Agreement between China and Russia, and China's lease of Port Arthur and Ta-lien-wan [Bay of R. Dalny, C. Dalian, J. Dairen] to Russia, with texts of documents. And then he describes the construction of railways -- including the line between Port Arthur and Newchwang, which had just been completed when the writer left. (Pages 39-49)

Though Hosie witnessed the musical chairs in Southern Manchuria only up to the point of Russia's discplacement of Japan on the Liaotung peninsula, he has this to say about Japan (page 240).

Very gloomy view were expressed in some quarters as to the commercial future of Manchuria, owing to the invasion and occupation of part of the Southern province by Japan, in consequence of the war between that country and China in 1894-95; but these views have been falsified by events, for Japan has become the principal market for Manchurian produce, and she is strenuously endeavouring, and with considerable success, to push her manufactures where she now buys so freely.


Paul Hibbert Clyde

International rivalries

Paul Hibbert Clyde
International Rivalries in Manchuria, 1689-1922
(Second Edition Revised)
Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 1928
iv, 323 pages, hardcover
[First edition 1926, 217 pages]

The Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 left Japan sitting in the South Manchuria chair, where it was to sit until 1945. By the 1920s, however, it was clear that Japan also had designs on the rest of Manchuria. During this period, many publications in English were addressing the historical and political issues -- like book, which the author quickly expanded and revised to incorporate new information and developments.

Paul Hibbert Clyde, an assistant professor of history at the Ohio State Univeristy, captured the dynamics of the period in his introductory paragraph (page 1, bold emphasis mine).

Since the year 1895, when, for a moment, Japan held within her grasp the Laiotung Peninsula and the fortress of Port Arthur, only to see the prize snatched from her by the combined efforts of Russia, France, and Germany, that northeastern section of the Chinese Empire, known to us as Manchuria, has played a major role in the drama of diplomacy. The day on which Japan bowed wisely to the "friendly" advice of these western powers marked the beginning of a fierce and sustained struggle, a struggle of both war and diplomacy, to control the "Three Eastern Provinces."1 This is the conflict that forms the story of the following pages, which we have called INTERNATIONAL RIVALRIES IN MANCHURIA.

class="indent1">1 Manchuria consists of three provinces: Fengtien or Mukden, Kirin, and Heilungkiang. Generally speaking these provinces lie to the east of Peking, hence the "Three Eastern Provinces."

The ratifications of the Treaty of Shimonoseki were exhanged at Chefoo on 8 May 1895. It was not yet clear that Japan would acede to the demands by Russia, France, and Germany to retrocede the Liantung peninsula.

Why Hyde thought it was wise of Japan to bow to the "friendly" advice of the Triple Intervention states is suggested by the following description of the harbor of Chefoo at the time (page 42).

In the harbor where the ratifications were exchanged Russia had concentrated the most formidable squadron ever assembled in Chinese waters, an unmistakable threat to Japan should she fail at the last moment to ratify the treaty. Two days later, on May 10th, the Japanese Government in an Imperial proclamation announced to the world that the advice of the powers had been accepted in the interests of the permanent peace of the Orient.

Hyde's book -- the best contemporary analysis of the conflicts over Manchuria -- covers the years 1895-1922, from "The Chino-Japanese War" (Chapter II) to "The Washington Conference (Chapter XII).


K. K. Kawakami

Yellow Japan carries on white man's burden

K. K. Kawakami
Manchoukuo: Child of Conflict
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1933
viii, 311 pages, hardcover

Karl Kiyoshi Kawakami (1875-1949) -- better known in English as "K. K. Kawakami" and in Japanese as "Kawakami Kiyoshi" (‰Íã´) -- was one of the staunchist critics of discrimination against Japanese in the United States, and -- though a Christian and critic of war -- a supporter of Japan's policies in East Asia and the Pacific.

The "Karl" moniker was inspired by an early infatuation with Karl Marx. Kawakami became K. K. Kawakami (K.K.ƒJƒƒJƒ~) after coming to the United States, disillusioned by his failure to establish the first socialist party in Japan.

Kawakami is the apt subject of a biography by Komori Yoshihisa, one of Japan's best known veteran foreign correspondents. I say "apt" because the year Mainichi Shinbun published his Kawakami biography, Komori -- born in 1941, and a Mainichi reporter since 1964 after graduating from Keio University and the Graduate Study in Journalism at the University of Washington -- moved to the conservative Sankei Shinbun, where he is now an editor-at-large.

Komori Yoshihisa
Arashi ni kaku: Nichi-Bei no hanseiki o
ikita jaanarisuto no kiroku
[Writing in the storm: A chronicle of a journalist
who lived the half-century of Japan-America]
Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun Sha, 1987
289 pages, hardcover

K. K. Kawakami was one of the most prolific proponents, in English, of Japanese policies everywhere. The title page of Manchoukuo: Child of Conflict bills him as the Washington Correspondant of "The Tokyo Hochi Shimbun" and as the author of "Japan in World Politics," "The Real Japanese Question", "Japan's Pacific Policy," and "Japan Speaks," etc. -- all in English.

Et cetera indeed! The dude was prolific. Here is a list of his book-length publications.

1903 Political Ideas of the Modern Japan
1910 The Manchuria of Today
     (Its Problems and What America Has to Do With Them)
1912 American-Japanese Relations
     (An Inside View of Japan's Policies and Purposes)
1914 Asia at the Door
     (A Study of the Japanese Question in
      Continental United States, Hawaii and Canada)
1917 Japan in World Politics
1919 Japan and World Peace
1921 The Real Japanese Question
1921 What Japan Thinks
1922 Japan's Pacific Policy
1928 Jokichi Takamine
     (A History of His American Achievements) 
1932 Japan Speaks on the Sino-Japanese Crisis 
1933 Manchoukuo: Child of Conflict
1938 Japan in China, Her Motives and Aims

In 1913, California enacted the Alien Land Law, which prohibitted "aliens ineligible to citizenship" to own land -- meaning Chinese and Japanese. In 1914, in response to the increase in such sentiments in the United States, the Foreign Ministry of Japan set up two publicity bureaus in the guise of private press agencies -- one in San Francisco, the other in New York. The San Francisco bureau was called the Pacific Press Bureau, and Kiyoshi Kawakami -- who was then in San Francisco working with the Japanese Association -- was appointed its first chief.

When war broke out with Germany the same year, Kawakami became not only an anti-Japanese buster in the United States, but a propagandist for Japan's actions against Germany and related demands on China. But Kawakami is also suspected of working as an intelligence agent for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, first in San Francisco, then later in Washington, D.C.

Scource   Ishii Yutaka, "The Activities of K. K. Kawakami as a Japanese Agent in the United States: 1914-1918", The Historical Society of Japan, Volume 114, Number 6, 2005, pages 1071-1096; Abstract. Îˆä—T, ‘æˆêŽŸ‘åíŠú‚̉͏㐴‚ÌŠˆ“®: ŠO–±È‚̑ΕĐ¢˜_Hì, Žj›{趎 Ishii Yutaka, Daiichiji Taisenki no Kawakami Kiyoshi no katsudo: Gaimusho no tai-Bei yoron kosaku [The activities of Kawakami Kiyoshi during the First Great War: Foreign Affairs Ministry public opinion operations toward the United States], Shigaku zasshi [History journal].

"For the first time in history, a non-white race . . .

Kawakami makes this statement in his preface (pages v-vi, bold emphasis mine).

While the world is discussing whether or not Manchoukuo should be recognized, Manchoukuo herself is making steady and signal progess as a new state. For some years to come, this youngest of nations will be much in the limelight. To some of her neighbors she may be an enfant terrible, even a nightmare. Geneva will continue to discuss her. America will reassert the non-recognition doctrine. For good or ill, the advent of Manchoukuo has registered a radical change in the Far Eastern situation. Certainly it is one of the most signficant developments in the present century -- a great experiment in the reorganization, regeneration and rejuvenation of an ancient nation long wallowing in chaos and maladministration so serious as to have become a manace to her neighbors. If it succeeds, the whole world will gain. If it fails, the failure will be due, not entirely to Japan's own incapacity, but largely to the interference of third parties. For the first time in history, a non-white race has undertaken to carry the white man's burden, and the white man, long accustomed to think the burden exclusively his own, is reluctant to commit it to the young shoulders of Japan, yellow and an upstart at that. Stripped of all diplomatic verbiage, that is the long and short of the whole story.


George Bronson Rea

Railway politics and conspiracy

George Bronson Rea
The Case for Manchoukuo
New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1935
xi, 425 pages, hardcover

The title page bills George Bronson Rea as the Counsellor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Manchoukuo. This was his title when, on 14 October 1932, representing the new state, he delivered an address called "Manchukuo, back to first principles!" before the assembly in the Hall of the Athenee at Geneva. The address was published under the same title (Geneva: Kundig, 1932, 43 pages).

Rea seems to have been somewhat of a roving publicist, judging from earlier works, like "Facts and Fakes About Cuba: A Review of the Various Stories Circulated in the United States Concerning the Present Insurrection" (New York: George Munro's SOns, 1897, 336 pages), and "Analysis of the China-Japanese treaties: Their bearing on American Interests" (New York, 1915). He is also the author of the pamphlets "The Highway to Hostilities in the Far East" (Shanghai and Japan: Japanese Association in China, 1932, 35 pages)

Rea also edited and owned, at times with others, "The Far Eastern Review" (Shanghai), a journal of engineering, finance, and commerce. By 1923, this journal was clearly anti-American and pro-Japanese. The Australian journalist William Henry Donald (1875-1946), an editor since since 1912, whose admiration for Japan had turned to criticism, resigned in 1920 over Rea's pro-Japanese views.

Railway politics and the fiction of a single nation

As an engineer and journalist, Rea had a passion for railway development in China and Manchuria. He also found himself Here, in his own words, is how he describes himself -- and his intent -- in a few graphs from his preface (pages v-viii).


[ First three graphs omitted. ]

I have lived in the Orient for more than thirty years. I came with a considerable experience with tortured people because the Cuban revolution had precipitated me, an engineer by training, into the role of war correspondent. I had lived with the Cuban armies for two years before the United States entered the lists against the Don. I was the first newspaperman to reach the Maine after she was sunk, and I watched the investigation into the causes of the explosion from a seat in the Spanish divers' launch; but, engineer though I was, I failed to find a scrap of evidence that the Spaniards were responsible for the disaster. I passed through a four-year baptism of fire and brought the heritage of it to the Far East.

As engineer and journalist I established in Manila in 1904, and in Shanghai the following year the Far Eastern Review, which I have owned and edited through the intervening years. And it falls to the lot of editors, wherever they may be, to know much of what goes on about them. Naturally I have known intimately many of the figures of the Orient who have passed in review through these years. It has not been surprising that I have been called, now and again, to the service of these men of the East.

Because I was an engineer and an authority on the international politics connected with China's railway problems, that greatest of modern Chinese patriots, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, drew upon my experience. When he was empowered by President Yuan Shih-kai to organize a National Railway Corporation to finance and construct a national system of communications for China, I became his adviser, redrafted his 100,000 mile vision into a practical 10,000 mile scheme, and was honored with his power of attorney to proceed abroad to negotiate the preliminary agreement for its financing.

President Yuan Shih-kai called me in to devise another 10,000-mile national system of railways and sent me abroad with full powers to organize an international construction company to execute it. . . . [lines omitted] . . . In 1929 I was once more called by Mr. Sun Fo, the Minister of Railways in the Nationalist Government, to help design another 10,000-mile system of lines that would consolidate the power of the government, and again I was honored by his power of attorney to proceed abroad to negotiate the financial agreements.

[lines omitted] . . . I won for them [the Chinese] the lowest railway construction and loan terms ever conceded by international finance to a foreign government, but the agreements could not be carried out. I fought and lost. Not through any fault of my own, not because the plans were impractical or visionary, but simply because foreign governments loudest in their declarations of friendship for China were the first to deny her sovereign rights when plans for their conservation were initiated by herself.

The harvest of all these experiences has been an overwhelming conviction of the futility of the program that the West, led by the United States, has for the East, the fiction that China is a republic, the theory that its vast multitudes can be bound together in a single nation. Yet all of this is written into treaties devised by the West for the advancement of its own selfish interests and saddled on a floundering Orient which knew not what it did or was important to resist.

Now one group of these Chinese who constitute a race but not a nation has broken away completely from its fellows. Manchoukuo has cut loose from the chaos, the carnage, the anarchy that is China and set up an independent government for itself. It has been asserted that Japan inspired its action and that it is merely a puppet state.

I am the representative of Manchoukuo in the United States. I am its advocate. I am partisan to its defense. I believe that what it has done constitutes the one step that the people of the East have taken toward escape from the misery and misgovernment that have been theirs. I believe that the protection Japan is extending to Manchoukuo gives it its only chance of happiness. I believe that Japan's action is to be commended. I should like present the case for Manchoukuo. I believe that I deserve a hearing, that Manchoukuo deserves a hearing, that Japan deserves a hearing. I challenge America to give it to us.

George Bronson Rea     

Factual and fake conspiracies

In his chapter on the "Tanaka Memorial", Rea returns to the theme of "facts" versus "fakes" he addressed in his 1897 book on Cuba (pages 304-305).

"Tanaka Memorial" and "Protocol of Zion"

The American public is not permitted to hear much about the Protocols of Zion and the plan on which the Jews are allegedly working to obtain world dominion. It may be fantastic, but it is only necessary to read the inside history of the Russian revolution, the Communist program for world revolution and dovetail these events in with the objects of the Protocols to make out a circumstantial case against the international Jew. Yet no sensible editor or writer would openly discuss or invite attention as to how these protocols are working out in every detail. They have no scruples about damning Japan on faked evidence, but soft-pedal or ignore this alleged Jewish plot.

The next time an American writer invites attention to the Tanaka Memorial as proof of Japan's aggressive designs, let him print the Protocols of Zion and the Communist Plan for World Revolution and then say which was conceived first and which is being carried out with mathematical precision and with the most hopeful chances of success. In view of the facts of history of the past fifteen years I defy any fair-minded person to condemn Japan for putting into operation a plan to defend herself against the rapid execution of another plan devised for her subjugation. I go further and challenge any impartial judge to read all these alleged documents and then say that the Tanaka Memorial is not almost a replica of the Muscovite-Jewish-Communist programs, circumstantial evidence, at least, that the hand which drafted the alleged Japanese document merely changed the principal character in a plot exclusively Russian in its conception and technicque.

A lawsuit brought by the Union of Jewish Communities in Switzerland to establish the falsity and forgery of the documents known as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," is now being tried in the courts of Berne. In 1921, the Times discovered that the "Protocols" were an impudent forgery, the work of a former member of the Ochrana, or Russian Secret Police. . . . [ lines omitted ] . . . and there is sufficient evidence to support the statement that the "Tanaka Memorial" released in Peking by Sovietized Chinese officials was the product of the same mind process. No Japanese or Chinese could have conceived such a plan.

In hindsight . . .

In hindsight, George Bronson Rea (1869-1936) was partly right and partly wrong. He was right that China was a bed of political corruption and that the United States was more concerned about blocking the expansion of Japan's interests in East Asia than in helping China. He was wrong to think that Japan's infatuation with "five-race harmony" in Manchoukuo was any less naive than China's dream of a racial republic.

Fredrick B. Hoyt wrote an article called "George Bronson Rea: From Old China Hand to Apologist for Japan" (Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Volume 69, Number 2, April 1978, pages 61-70). But Rea was less an "apologist" for Japan than an admirer of Japanese-style organization and a critic of Chinese-style chaos and Euro-American hypocrisy.

Rea shared the realistic view that China's first economic priority was the building of railways. He saw railways as the only means by which China could interconnect its vast and diverse territories, and hold them together while developing their industrial potential.

Frustrated by the failure to find sufficient international support for domestic railway development in China, he took his talent to Manchoukuo. The only foreign state that had any say in its affairs -- Japan -- had for more than half a century been showing the rest of Asia how to politically stabilize a society and develop railways and other vital infrastructure.

Rea did not live long enough to see what Japan attempted to do in China -- and the rest of Asia and the Pacific -- not withstanding the fabricated "Tanaka Memorial". He died in 1936, a year before the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, after which Japan truly strutted too far over the line. Given the several times in his life that Rea found himself disillusioned by political events, I would argue that -- had he lived -- he, too, would have shared Donald's disenchantment with Japan.



Tracing the Development of
Japan's Policy in China.

A Comprehensive Study of Thirty Years of Intrigue In
Manchuria, Culminating in the Armed Occupation Of
Chinese Territory and Japan's Establishing Of
A Vassal "State"

China United Press

Chinese nationalists defend the Republic

The Puppet State of "Manchukuo"
Shanghai: China United Press, 1935
viii, 278 pages, hardcover
China To-day Series
Edited by T'ang Leang-Li

China had its advocates, Chinese and foreign. The China United Press, in Shanghai, published a number of books in English -- and some in Chinese, German, French, and Dutch -- with titles like "Suppressing Communist-Banditry in China", "China's Problems and Their Solution" (Wang Ching-Wei), "Reconstruction of China", and "The Chinese Raiways" (Cheng Lin) -- as this volume.

Identical methods

The most cogent assessment of Japan's hypocrisy in Korea and Manchuria -- annexing the former as the subnation of "Chosen" and orchestrating the establishment of the other as the state of "Manchuokuo" -- may be the following statement toward the end of the volume (pages 266-267).

And did not Japan, China's most violent critic, use identical methods during the period when she suffered from similar abuses as China is suffering now? Was she herself free, during the ferst [sic] twenty years of the Meiji era, from a certain amount of what she now calls anti-foreignism? Did she not resent as keenly as China does do the impairments of her national sovereignty? And even today, liberated as she has been from the hindrances of the former unequal treaties, does Japan show, in her teaching of history and in her press, that equanimity which she likes to make the world believe to be lacking only in China?

1909 and 1915 agreements

The Mukden Incident (Manchurian Incident) of 18 September 1931, which gave the Kwantung Army an excuse for taking over all of Manchuria and creating Manchoukuo, was preceded by many disturbances, including -- barely two months earlier -- a controntation involving Koreans known as the Wanpaoshan (–œ•óŽR Wanbaoshan) incident.

The incident was only one of many that involved conflicts between Koreans and Chinese, in which Chinese argued that the Koreans should not have been where they were, doing what they were doing, because of earlier agreements that restricted their residence and activities to the Chientao (ŠÔ“‡ Jiàndăo, K. Kando, J. Kantō) district in eastern Manchuria along the Tumen river on the border between China and Korea. Wanpaoshan was a few kilometers north of Changchun, thus far outside this district.

The name of the district was coined by Japan in a 1909 agreement -- formally between Korea and China but actually between Japan and Korea, since Korea was then a protectorate of Japan, and Japan was conducting its foreign affairs. For a number of years, China had been permitting Koreans to settle in the area, and to acquire the land they cultivated. The agreement confirmed that these privileges would continue but that Koreans in the district would be under Chinese legal jurisdiction.

Japan continued to recognize this agreement even after it annexed Korea in 1910. However, after agreements made between China and Japan in 1915, during the World War, the Japan took the position that Koreans in China should be under Japanese consular jurisdiction, since Japan had extraterritorial rights in China, and Koreans were Japanese.

The second and third paragraphs of Article V of the "Treaty respecting South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia -- May 25, 1915" read as follows (Report on Progress in Manchuria, 1907-1928, page 215)

Civil and criminal cases in which the defendants are Japanese shall be tried and adjudicated by the Japanese Consul; those in which the defendants are Chinese shall be tried and adjudicated by Chinese Authorities. In either case an officer may be deputed to the court to attend the proceedings. But mixed civil cases between Chinese and Japanese relating to land shall be tried and adjudicated by delegates of both nations conjointly in accordance with Chinese law and local usage.

When, in future, the judicial system in the said region is coimpletely reformed, all civil and criminal cases concerning Japanese subjects shall be tried and adjudicated entirely by Chinese law courts.

Previous articles of the same agreement gave "Japanese subjects in South Manchuira" the freedom to reside and travel in the region, and to engage in any kind of business and manufacture. They were also permitted, by negotiation, to lease land and build structures necessary for trade, manufacture, and agriculture. (Ibid., page 214)

Chinese officials considered Koreans still be under the earlier Tumen river agreement, since Article VIII of the 1915 treaty provides that "All existing treaties between China and Japan relating to Manchuria shall, except where otherwise provided for by this Treaty, remain in force." While true that the 1915 treaty did not exceptionize the 1909 agreement, the 1909 agreement was not exactly between Japan and China.

Racial minorities

In any case, the China United Press book under review devotes an entire chapter to "The Wanpaoshan Affair" (Chapter V, pages 66-74). The chapter begins with an account of how, since 1869, when Korea was hit by a severe famine, China permitted Koreans to settle on the Chinese side of the Tumen, to cultivate and even own land.

The Republic of China has been "vexed by the thorny question of racial minorities" since its founding in 1912, and no racial minority has been more vexing than "the Koreans" (page 66, bold emphasis mine).

Racial minorities

Like many other countries in various parts of the world, China has for nearly twenty years been vexed by the thorny question of racial minorities. China's problem of the Koreans, however, transcends all others in degree of difficulty in that this racial minority is invested to seize any pretext for aggrandizement at the expense of the country which has given these people hospitality.

Since 1869, when a severe famine in Korea drove the first Korean refugees into the rich and sparsely-populated plains of Manchuria, a constant stream of Korean emigrants have settled down on Chinese soil, until the present time they have reached the number of approximately 800,000, of whom more than half are in the Chientao region, on the eastern border of Kirin Province. To the question of their national status may be traced practically all the Sino-Japanese conflicts that have arisen in connection with them.

The substance of Japan's charges against the Chinese authorities is that they have shown discriminatory treatment against and committed oppression of Koreans, particularly in the matter of acquisition, by purchase or lease, of land in Manchuria. Discrimination to an extent not unusual in any country faced with such a problem, the Chinese frankly admit. Not only is it entirely justified, but any Chinese Administration which did not follow such a policy would be guilty of remissness in its duty. This point will be clearly appreciated when Japan's policy in this matter is understood.

Dual nationality of Koreans

"The Wanpaoshan Affair" chapter later makes this observation about the "Question of Dual Nationality" of Koreans in Manchuria (pages 67-68).

Question of Dual Nationality

These rights of land acquisition, however, are only part of the larger and more delicate question of dual nationality. China from the beginning has looked upon the Koreans with sympathy as victims of Japanese oppression, and freely granted their requests for papers of naturalization, so that upon their adoption of Chinese nationality they enjoyed equal facilities with Chinese in the matter of acquisition of land. Japan, however, refused to recognize the capacity of the Koreans to expatriate themselves, notwithstanding that there are no provisions in her Nationality Laws to that effect, and "Japanese subjects" could freely renounce their nationality. This fact lends support to the Chinese attitude with respect to land acquisition, that Koreans are not entitled to the same privileges as are granted by the Agreements of 1915 to Japanese subjects, inasmuch as they do not enjoy the same status as natural-born Japanese. For it is neither logical nor equitable to hold that Koreans could be Japanese subjects with rights and responsibilities in some respects, but not in others, which is precisely what the Japanese claim amounts to.

The last seven pages of the Wanpaoshan chapter are devoted to examples of how Japan had been exploited the extraterritorial status of Koreans as "Japanese subjects" to spearhead Japan's colonization of Manchuria.

"Manchukuo" as a defector state

The China United Press cites every possible reason that "Manchukuo" should not be recognized territory separate from China, muchless as a state -- except the most important.

Yes, the establishment of Manchoukuo was engineered by Japan. But it was also welcomed by Manchus who did not want to be governed by China or the Soviet Union (or Russia before the communist revolution).

The most serious problem that "Manchukuo" posed for the Republic of China aws that it had succeeded from ROC. If Manchoukuo's experiment in "independence" was successful, then Mongols and Tibetans -- among other "racial minorities" -- might also want to break away from the republic.