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Published from Tokyo under Japanese editorship before, during, and after WWII (1932-1970), Contemporary Japan is now seen as a beacon of rationality, especially during the ‘devil’s decade’ of the 1930s. While consistently presenting the Japanese case, Contemporary Japan spoke from the shrinking middle ground of the public sphere. Run by the semi-official Foreign Affairs Association of Japan, Contemporary Japan published informed, critical, long-form journalism by leading Japanese and Western commentators on East Asia. Disillusioned Pan-Asianists compete with anti-Western rhetoric on the road to war against China. Post-war, new voices bemoan the 'reverse course' of 1947-1952. This lively Primary Source offers a window into Japan’s most rational and yet most engaged debates of the day. Contemporary Japan ceased publication in 1970 and Brill has secured the entire run from Vol.1 1932 to Vol. 29, 1970, (with considerable gaps from 1954 - 1970, see full list of issues) but limits this first series to the period 1932-1954.

Note: virtually complete for the important years 1932 - 1954 (lacking two volumes: volume 9, no. 3 (1941) and volume 12, no. 1 (1943). Not complete for the years up to 1970. Should currently missing volumes emerge, these will be included at no extra cost to purchasers.

Israel's Messenger Online

Shanghai, 1904-1941

This fully text-searchable holding of the complete Israel’s Messenger (in Chinese Youtai Yuebao), 1904-1941, is a core resource for Asian Studies, with a particular emphasis on the Jewish community in Shanghai. Shanghai Jewry occupied near-outsider status within the Foreign Settlement. Influential commercial and political circles around the Sassoon and the Ezra families were closely attuned to the political agenda of nationalist China and well-entrenched in key committees of the Foreign Settlements. Nevertheless, in July 1933, following Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations, Israel’s Messenger championed Japan as the leader of Greater Asia, and the founder-editor of Israel’s Messenger, N.E.B. Ezra called on the Japanese Minister to Shanghai to say so. Here significant personalities in Shanghai Jewry, such as George Sokolsky and Ezra himself, and the Sassoon family organised and campaigned for the greater safety and political recognition of Shanghai and worldwide Jewry, and of the Zionist cause. Note: Publication was suspended from February 1910 - September 1918. This edition is therefore the complete edition.
Japan News-Week was the last independent, foreign-owned English-language newspaper published in Japan before the Pacific War. Brill’s exclusive holding runs from the first issue of November 1938 to within 6 months of the newspaper’s closedown on November 30 1941. A week later, on the eve of Pearl Harbor, the 8th November issue was scrapped and publisher W.R. “Bud” Wills and editor Phyllis Argall were arrested by Special Higher Police (Tokubetsu Kōtō Keisatsu) on espionage charges.

Each issue, published on Saturdays, ran for 8 pages across 7 columns, with the weekly schedule giving Wills and his team time to commission features excavating issues rather than simply reporting news, journalism desperately needed between the breakout of all-out war in China in July 1937 and the competing drumbeats of the press on both sides of the Pacific in the run-up to Pearl Harbor. The weekly edition carried a conventional mix of news reports and interpretative features, arts reviews, cartoons, light entertainment columns, radio schedules and advertising. Besides its editorial priority on balanced coverage from all sides, almost all Japan News-Week features carried by-lines and the newspaper declared that it was entirely “written by foreigners”.

• Impartial but US-tinged perspectives from Tokyo in run-up to Pacific War 1938-1941
• Last independent English-language newspaper published in Tokyo before Pearl Harbor
• 1368 pages
• Full-color 300 ppi pages from high-quality originals
• Fully text-searchable
• Sourced largely from founding family’s original holdings in USA
• Brill exclusive: there are no other holdings of comparable duration and quality
As flagship pictorial organs of Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere The Japan Times Weekly (November 1938 – December 1942) and its successor Nippon Times Weekly, were priceless investments in the expression of Japan’s master narrative (i.a., the victimization of China and Southeast Asia by Western interests) and therefore published in colour at a time of extreme newsprint shortages. As an optional, limited giveaway with the main newspaper Japan (Nippon) Times, these weeklies are now extraordinarily rare. This Primary Source from Brill therefore focuses on the wartime holdings, 1938-1944, of these consecutive titles showcasing Japan’s martial and geopolitical achievements in the all-out war in China and then in the Pacific War. Of the seven years of the wartime holdings, this Primary Source offers almost five years of the total.

Completeness: Of the Japan Times Weekly, this Primary Source runs from the 2nd issue (September 1938) to November 1942, close to the end of the title. The Nippon Times Weekly runs from the first issue of 1st January 1943 to the end of January 1944. Should any further issues emerge after all, these will be added to this PSO at no extra cost to customers. In addition to the Weekly magazine, both the parent newspapers the Japan Times and its 1943 successor the Nippon Times established publishing arms bringing out books and booklets broadcasting the defining mission of the Daily and the Weekly editions. Brill has collected a good holding of these issues, which we will publish with this Primary Source with its own dedicated tab. Also in addition, the material here comes with useful Index issues and extremely rare Supplements, including the Nippon Times Supplement: News and View of Greater East Asia. Some issues of this consecutive title are available elsewhere in scattered form, but none are available in such a full run, and none have been digitised in full-text-searchable format
The Manchuria Collection offers scholars of Japan’s modern history an unparalleled inside view of Japan’s agenda in Manchuria and its plans for domination in Asia. Founded in 1908 in the wake of Japan’s victory in the war against Russia, the Manchuria Daily News set up in Dalian (Darien) at the headquarters of the South Manchuria Railway Company (Minami Manshū Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) (SMR).
Lavishly funded from Tokyo, and with the full resources of the SMR Research Department behind them, the Manchuria Daily News and the associated titles offered here constitute a formidable record of Japanese policy on Manchuria and the Manchoukuo project. From 1908-1940 this compact, feisty daily and its associated titles responded to the exigencies of the day, taking requests from a variety of official and often competing propaganda bureaux. In the Manchuria Daily News and in these associated publications, the SMR presented a powerful case for the Japanese leadership of Asia, after 1932 using Manchoukuo as a showcase for Japan’s technological, cultural and political advancement.
Apart from the early 1908-1912 holdings, and the October 1919 to February 1921 gap when publication was suspended , the 1912-1940 run published here is virtually complete and exclusive to Brill Primary Sources Online.
Brill has sourced an exciting range of associated English-language magazines published in tandem with the Manchuria Daily News. Here for the first time are extensive holdings from the irregular publications Manchuria Magazine, Manchuria Month, Contemporary Manchuria and the Manchuria Information Bulletin.
In Japan’s network of newspapers presenting the national case for expansion and leadership in Asia, the North China Standard (in Chinese, Huabei zheng bao) stands alongside the Japan Times & Mail as a real newspaper, distributing real news written by real journalists. Derided as a propaganda rag when it first began publication in December 1919, the Standard read better, and investigated and reported better quality news to a steadily growing readership in post-WW1 China and Japan. It was also a representative newspaper chosen for international conferences and delivered gratis to all delegates.
The North China Standard was founded in December 1919 by John Russell Kennedy (1861-1928), Anglo-Irish master architect of Japan’s modern propaganda programmes. Its most immediate functions, in the wake of propaganda failures at the Paris Conference and the Treaty of Versailles granting Japan continuing rights in Shandong Province, was to argue Japan’s claim to special rights and advisory powers in Chinese affairs, to question the ability of the Chinese to govern China, and to maintain British support for the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Throughout the 1920s it served as one of Japan’s representative newspapers at international conferences, delivered gratis to all delegates.
Sticking to Japan’s propaganda mission would have made for a dull read, and the Standard made a slow start under Satoh Kenri, (known as Henry), in 1919. However, the paper improved under the British journalist, John S. Willes in the 1920s. It took the gifted and imaginative Liverpudlian (1888-1956) George Gorman to turn the North China Standard around and make it into a real newspaper. Both Satoh and Gorman were seasoned publicists in the cause of Japan. However, Gorman’s long experience in this role convinced him that the best way to advance Japan’s cause was through polemic and debate. Under Gorman, the North China Standard served Chinese and foreign readerships intelligently and conscientiously, making this title a valuable primary source for scholars of Japan and China.

Printed on the abandoned presses of the South China Morning Post, The Hongkong News offers scholars the undiluted voice and mindset of the Japanese administration of Occupied Hongkong. This significant Japanese Occupation holding of The Hongkong News started publication on 31st December 1941, six days after the Christmas Day surrender of the British Crown Colony, and lasted until August 17, 1945, the day that the Shōwa Emperor’s Rescript ordered Japanese forces to surrender to the Allies. The Hongkong News traces Japan’s progress from the Colony's Imperial overlord to abject surrender, through large-scale internment and assurances of certain victory. In essence, 'A close, unvarnished, daily view of the recolonizing mind-set of the new masters of East Asia'. • Japan's perspective on East Asian and world news published from Occupied Hongkong (1941 - 1945)
• The complete Occupied Hongkong holding, December 31 1941 - 17 August 1945
• English-language
• 5000+ pages
• high-quality originals
• full-text-searchable
• not available elsewhere in full-text searchable format – exclusive to Brill
• holdings of the School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS), University of London

A NOTE ON COVERAGE:
This collection begins with volume 30 of The Hongkong News. The first 29 volumes of The Hongkong News in all probability do not exist anymore, or never even existed in the first place. Like other newspapers in other Asian regions, The Hongkong News first functioned as a 'shell publication' installed in readiness for the actual imminent Japanese occupation, in September 1941.