“Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” propaganda postcard, 1942.



1940sHistoric EventsMapsPatriotism/Military
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“Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” [Dai Tōa Kyōeiken] propaganda postcard, 1942, mapping the member territories and early Pacific War attacks and territorial gains against the ABCD powers (American, British, Chinese, and Dutch) in the early months of the war. The co-prosperity sphere was a pan-Asian concept created and promulgated by the Empire of Japan from 1930 to 1945 for occupied Asian populations. It promoted the cultural and economic unity of East Asians, Southeast Asians, South Asians and Oceanians against Western imperialism but was, itself, an example of Japanese imperialism.

See also:
National Spiritual Mobilization Movement propaganda postcard, c. 1940.
“Solid nation union to sail in rough sea” propaganda postcard, c. 1940.

“[T]he staff officers who had been wandering around the halls of peace at IGHQ [Imperial General Headquarters], the top advisors who fumbled the ball when given the chance for peace, as well as the emperor himself, all for the sake of insufficient material capabilities, were at once intoxicated by the dramatic reports of the first strikes [on 8 December against the US, Britain, and the Dutch East Indies] and at the same time struck with amnesia about how hesitant they had been in the past. The majority of the Japanese people as well went crazy over the Empire’s initial victories, without a clue as to why their generals, being aware of how reckless such a venture was, had plunged them into war.

“[On 10 December 10 1941, the] IGHQ/Government Liaison Conference decided to ‘designate the present conflict, including the China Incident, as the Greater East Asia War.’ As to intent of such a moniker, it seems that most people at IGHQ General Staff, including the War Planning Detail, who wanted to limit objectives of the war, understood it to be simply a geographical title … On 12 December, the Ministry of War’s Information Bureau publicly announced, ‘The title Greater East Asia War signifies a conflict for the purpose of building a new Greater East Asia Order and does not imply limiting the theatre of war to the region of Greater East Asia.”

Japan’s Colonial Moment in Southeast Asia 1942-1945: The Occupiers’ Experience, by Nakano Satoshi, 2018

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