Threat of Japanese imperialism cartoon

Threat of Japanese imperialism cartoon

This 1904 cartoon by E.F. Hiscocks depicted the perceived 'brown' threat of Japanese imperialism to Australia and New Zealand.

Japan's victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 had significant strategic implications for the Pacific region. The destruction of the Russian battlefleet saw Japan emerge as a major military power in the Pacific. New Zealand and Australia, anxious about Japanese expansion, were increasingly worried about the threat posed by the size and mobility of the Japanese fleet.

Although it had been an ally of Britain and its Empire during the First World War, by the outbreak of the Second World War Japan appeared to again be the biggest military threat to New Zealand's physical security. Japan’s invasions of Manchuria in 1931 and China proper in 1937 had reignited fears about its imperial ambitions in the Pacific region. Despite ongoing concerns about a potential showdown with Japanese naval forces in the Pacific, New Zealand's first naval engagement of the Second World War occurred in the far-off South Atlantic - in December 1939, the New Zealand-crewed HMS Achilles took part in the Battle of the River Plate against the German 'pocket battleship' Admiral Graf Spee. The Achilles would later fight against Japanese forces in the south-west Pacific, suffering damage and deaths in an air attack off Guadalcanal in January 1943.

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about Threat of Japanese imperialism cartoon

What do you know?