Unpinning History : Japanese Posters in the Age of Commercialism, Imperialism, and Modernism

Timeline of Japanese Colonialism in East Asia

1895 - Treaty of Shimonoseki (Conclusion of Sino-Japanese War, 1894-1895) - Japan acquires Taiwan, the Pescadores Islands, and the Liaodong Peninsula.

1905 - American led negotiations (Conclusion of Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905) - Japan acquires “railway rights and concessions in southern Manchuria” (Tipton, Modern Japan: A Social and Political History, p. 77). Regarded as a pivotal point for Japanese imperial expansion.

1910 - Japan annexed Korea 

1919 - Treaty of Versailles (Conclusion of First World War) - Japan able to keep the formerly German-held Shandong peninsula and other rights in China it had acquired during the First World War as an ally of Great Britain; Japan also acquired the former German colony of Micronesia as a trust territory. Provoked the May Fourth Movement in China.

1921-22 - Washington Conference - Japan returned the Shandong territories to China but retained economic rights.

1931 - Manchurian Incident - Japanese soldiers acting without orders from headquarters in Tokyo provoked a clash with Chinese soldiers on the South Manchurian Railway followed by an invasion of Manchuria. Regarded as a pivotal event in Japan’s path to war. 

1937 - Lugou (or Marco Polo) Bridge Incident - Japanese and Chinese soldiers exchanged fire near present-day Beijing. This marked Japan’s full invasion of China.