世界航空路圖 kōkūrozu./ World Aviation Route Map.
Osaka Mainichi shimbun /大阪每日新聞社編.
Published 1930, Osaka
Size: 29" X 41"
Condition: Seperation a folds.
A rare and fascinating Japanese sugoroku board game where players travel around the world using different aviation methods and routes. The game is of interest in that it shows historical flights paths taken by different notable aviators. These include; the United States Army Air Corps’ circumnavigation of the World in 1924 as well as that of the Graf Zeppelin’s attempt in 1929. It also includes Charles Lindbergh’s solo transatlantic flight of 1927, and Airship Italia’s route to the North Pole in 1928.
The map is adorned with 52 images that show different people, buildings, fauna and flora that can be found at the different stops that players may see as they make they journey around the world. An inset with the game’s instructions is located at the bottom of the game board. The play begins, with this game, at Osaka and ends when one of the players reaches Tokyo.
This map was issued as a supplement to the Osaka Mainichi Newspaper dated Showa 5 (1930) and was meant to be an “Education Game for a New Age.” Yet, contrary to the world view of openness and peace between peoples and nations that this map seems to portray, the 1930 era proved to be quite a turbulent time for the Japanese society. This decade is often described as one of fear coupled with the weakening of democratic institutions and foreign military aggression abroad which ultimately led to Japan getting embroiled in the Second World War.
As such, this map is a great reminder that as aviation technology evolved to make the world smaller, and where aviation milestones such Lindbergh’s transatlantic solo flight were celebrated throughout the globe, socio-political tensions remained.