Four Approaches to Japan


Four options, but only one real choice.

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This stunning group of four different views was illustrated by the talented Richard Edes Harrison and published in mid-1944. In the few months prior, successful Allied operations in Burma, China, the Marshall Islands, and New Guinea began to seriously impede Japanese ability of movement and resupply. The proverbial noose tightening around the home islands is shown via these four separate views, with approaches from each theater of recent victories in the Pacific.

The huge landmasses and massive expanse of the ocean are emphasized via a unique perspective that was Harrison’s hallmark during the war. The American homefront was voracious in their consumption of cartographic material and “Harrison redrew the world map in a way that engaged and challenged readers to consider the new realities of geography” [Susan Schulten]. His selected use of color, pictorial topography, and curated political information produced maps that were both aesthetically appealing and politically motivated.

The verso provides a wealth of contemporary information on the war across various fronts, and includes photographs, maps, and descriptive text. The map was prepared by the Army Information Branch of the Army Service Forces and printed by the Government Printing Office in May of 1944. It was issued as one of numerous NEWSMAPS published during the war to serve as educational (and slightly mendacious) material for consumption by both the homefront and troops deployed overseas.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1944

Author: Government Printing Office

Sheet Width (in): 47.00

Sheet Height (in): 34.90

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Several tears along the outer edges, including a 5" tear on the center left, 2" tear along the top center, and several smaller tears confined to the margins. All repaired on the verso with archival tape. Moderate toning and a bit of wear in the lower left are also confined to the margins. Remains in good condition overall.


1 in stock