In 1933 and 1934, the Japanese-owned South Manchuria Railway Company and the government of the newly formed nation-state, Manchukuo, sponsored a Manchuria pavilion on the Japanese exhibition grounds of Chicago's A Century of Progress World Exposition. Though small, this pavilion bore immense political weight. Opening a year after the Japanese Kwantung Army declared the formation of the new state in Northeast Asia and just three months after the Japanese delegation announced Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations, the Manchuria exhibit demonstrates how Japanese military and corporate interests attempted to sway international public opinion on the cultural world stage. This paper examines the ways in which the Manchuria displays functioned during this crucial diplomatic moment and how the visually dazzling American exhibit, the Golden Temple of Jehol, upset Japanese claims of dominance in the region.

You do not currently have access to this content.