Tanaka's Secret Memorial to the Japanese Emperor

[likely Peking (now Beijing)]: Northeastern Affairs Research Society, [likely 1932?].

Price: $275.00

Softcover. Offprint. Octavo. 55pp. Printed wrappers. Fragile wrappers with chips and splits, first leaf toned, a good only copy of a relatively fragile production.

Likely a very early copy of the infamous "Tanaka Memorial," Japanese Prime Minister Giichi Tanaka's supposed plan for world domination, "presented" to Emperor Hirohito in 1927. According to the document, Japanese domination begins with China, and the domination of China begins in Manchuria and Mongolia. The Memorial was first printed in 1929, in a Chinese Nationalist publication. Its first appearance in English seems to be in 1931, in the *China Critic*, a Shanghai publication.

Scholars now believe that the Memorial is a clever piece of anti-Japanese propaganda, although whether it was created by Chinese nationalists, the KGB, or someone else, remains unknown. Historian Meirion Harries calls the document "one of the most successful 'dirty tricks' of the twentieth century – a bogus document so brilliantly conceived that thirty years later Westerners were still being taken in by it." (*Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Army*, 1991)

This copy begins with a one-page "gist" (their word) of the Memorial, the first of six points being that "Japan must adopt a policy of 'blood and iron' in order to settle all difficulties in Eastern Asia." The document begins on the following page, and notes that it was reprinted from the *China Critic*, who published the first English translation in late 1931. The pamphlet does not state the edition number or date of the article, which may suggest the fact that it was recently published and a common topic of conversation.

We have been unable to locate more information on the "Northeastern Affairs Research Society," the supposed publisher; it is likely a false imprint. *OCLC* returns only this document published by them (and only nine copies over a couple of records), and Peking as the place of publication. A series of Chinese ideograms printed on the inside of the lower wrapper—which we believe to be a price—may lend that credence.

A rare, very likely early, printing of an infamous piece of early 20th Century psychological warfare.

Item #456347

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Item #456347 Tanaka's Secret Memorial to the Japanese Emperor. Anonymous. Ascribed to Giichi Tanaka.