from the museum director
guidance in building
the fifteen-year war
The Japanese Imperial Army
Mobilization of the Entire Nation
Japanese Colonies and Occupied Territories
Air Raids, the Battle of Okinawa,and the Atomic Bombing
Pre-War Endeavors for Peace
Determining Responsibility for War Crimes
modern warfare
buiding peace
getting to the kyoto museum for world peace
Japanese Colonies and Occupied Territories
Japanese Territorial Expansion

Although the Manchurian Incident in 1931 launched the Fifteen-Year War and Japan's major push for territorial expansion, even before this drive began, Japan had colonized Korea, Taiwan and southern Sakhalin, taken control of the Chinese state of Guangdong through a leasehold agreement, and begun governing numerous islands in the South Pacific under League of Nations mandates. When the War broke out, many people from these occupied countries and territories were mobilized to work in the munitions industry, sometimes even being brought to Japan against their will to work for Japanese companies. Many were drafted as soldiers, while others were mobilized as civilian support for Japanese troops.

Local governments in occupied China and Southeast Asian were replaced with puppet regimes through which the Japanese army could exert control and force cooperation with Japan in the War. People in the occupied territories were also forced to assimilate to Japanese culture and show respect for the Japanese Emperor.

Anti-Japanese Activities

Many of the people in the Asian territories occupied by Japan actively resisted Japan's aggression and occupational rule. Japan, in turn, made excuses for its actions and tried to find people who would cooperate with the occupying forces, but it failed to win the hearts and minds of the local populations. When people refused to cooperate, Japanese troops used brute force to suppress resistance, destroying cities and villages where they encountered trouble. Even so, resistance did not die out. The anti-Japanese activities of the Asians under Japanese control were eventually tied into international movements against war and Fascism, and ultimately, formed the basis of national independence movements.


There are pass issued by the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party), and a "surrender certificate" issued by the Japanese army. Both say that holders could pass checkpoints freely and that their safely would be guaranteed. (Donated by Chikako Seguchi)

pick upComic "The Adventures of Dankichi"

Comic "The Adventures of Dankichi"“The Adventures of Dankichi”, by Keizo Shimada, seen right, tells the tale of Dankichi, a Japanese who became king of a South Pacific island. Along with "Norakuro" by Suiho Tagawa, this was one of the most popular children's comics during the War because it imparted a dream of easy wealth.