Lot 1: JUNZO ITO (DATES UNKNOWN). SOUTH MANCHURIA RAILWAY CO. Circa 1930. 41x19 inches, 105x48 cm. Toppan Printing Co. Ltd., Tokyo.
November 8, 2012
New York, NY, USALive Auction
JUNZO ITO (DATES UNKNOWN) SOUTH MANCHURIA RAILWAY CO. Circa 1930.
41 1/2x19 inches, 105 1/2x48 1/4 cm. Toppan Printing Co. Ltd., Tokyo.
Condition B+: restoration in image; minor repaired tears at edges.
The tracks for the South Manchuria Railway were originally built by the Russians as part of the Chinese Eastern Railway to connect Port Arthur (Lushun) with Dalian (Dairen) on the Liaodong Peninsula. The network was turned over to the Japanese as reparations in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War. The company developed commerce all along the line to take advantage of the region's abundant natural resources (from coal mines to soy fields), and then built the infrastructure necessary to support the industries there, such as warehouses, schools, hospitals and more. The railway literally became the vehicle by which the Japanese penetrated into China for both colonization and commerce. It grew to become the largest corporation in Japan. Japan formally invaded Manchuria in 1931, setting up a puppet state called Manchuko.