1944. Item #88891
[JAPANESE PROPAGANDA] Asahi Shimbunsha. SAKURA. Volume 6, #2 [#31 overall]. Large wrappered staple bound illustrated photomagazine in the tradition of FRONT and HOMELIFE. This number, published in February of 1944 celebrated the plans for a cross continental railway to cross Eurasia from Tôkyô to Berlin, complete with an undersea tunnel from Japan to the mainland. SAKURA magazine was written in English, Chinese and French. The whole world seems to lay at the feet of the Axis in this rosy scenario as sketched throughout the magazine. East Asia under the guidance of Imperial Japan is on the march to build a new world. Yet, by February of 1944, the Red Army was in Poland and the Ukraine, Sevastopol was cut off, times were bleak for the 1000 year Reich, indeed. Closer to home, the Allies had "turned the corner" in the Western Pacific, had isolated the large Japanese force at Rabaul and were headed north towards the homeland. At some point during the war reality and appearance began a rapid divergence and as the end approached it became all pure delusion. All of which does not obviate what an amazing visual feast SAKURA is, from the covers to the ads, a consistent message of normalcy, progress and steadfast purpose in a great task.