Shashin Shuho presents a number of advertisements from the Railway General Bureau of the South Manchurian Railway Company.

The South Manchurian Railway Company was a national policy concern that was established to manage the railway and other rights and interests in northeastern China that Japan had gained from Russia as a result of the Russo-Japanese War. In addition to managing the railway, it was also involved in a variety of other activities, such as running coal mines and ironworks, managing the land belonging to the railway, and running survey and research businesses. With the establishment of Manchuria in 1932, it was required to return the land belonging to the railway to the new nation. The company was subsequently reorganized following the return of this land and other developments. In 1936, the Railway General Bureau of the South Manchurian Railway Company, which supervised the railway operations for which the company had been responsible, was established, and over time the company came to focus on the management of the railway. Advertisements from this office promoting travel in Manchuria provide information such as discount rates for return and excursion train tickets from the “home country” (mainland Japan) and “Chosen (Korea)”. In particular, it is worth noting that student groups and groups of 20 or more qualified for a discount of more than 50%.


With these special conditions, a number of school trips from mainland Japan to Manchuria were organized in the 1930s. In 1938, 311 Japanese groups totaling 16,388 people visited Manchuria. School trips accounted for 213 of these groups, with a total of 14,024 students traveling to the continent (page 17 of Ko En, “School trips to Manchuria before the war” ).

The historical documents provided by JACAR include several documents related to trips to Manchuria during this period.

Document 1 is the itinerary of the school trip organized for volunteers from the Chinese language faculty and the Mongolian faculty of the Osaka School of Foreign Languages (later Osaka University of Foreign Studies, now the Osaka University School of Foreign Studies) in July 1938. The document lists all the details of the trip’s itinerary, beginning with the group’s departure from Osaka on July 20 to its arrival in Kobe on August 17.

Document 2 is a document that lists the expenses for the trip.

As can be seen in the advertisements above, the Railway General Bureau of the South Manchurian Railway Company placed special emphasis on the development of Manchuria within its advertising. The program encouraging Japanese to settle in Manchuria intensified after the Manchuria Incident. The Ministry of Colonial Affairs carried out the settlement of the first armed emigrants in Jiamusi, Sanjiang in October 1932.

Document 3 is a set of documents concerning an update on the status of the Jiamusi colonization unit in April 1933, approximately six months after they came from Japan.

Document 4 is a group of documents in which the Ministry of Colonial Affairs asks for the cooperation of the Army Ministry when the Ministry of Colonial Affairs began seeking people to join the fourth group of emigrants later in 1935. Included within these documents is the “Application information about the fourth Manchuria agricultural emigration” (eighth through fifteenth images) and the “Internal rules related to the selection of candidates for the fourth Manchuria agricultural emigration” (sixteenth through twentieth images). These two documents describe the planned emigration methods and subsidies conditions, as well as selection criteria and other details about settling in Manchuria.

Document 5 is a booklet titled “The Manchurian Agriculture Emigrant General Condition.” It was prepared by the Ministry of Colonial Affairs in March 1936, and it describes the conditions of emigrants in Manchuria up to that time.


Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, National Archives of Japan