Patriotic, airminded, Mahjong

Via Peter Harmsen’s WW2 In China blog I found a link to this post from Mahjong Treasures.

The post describes a mysterious Mahjong set that left China in the luggage of one E.A.R. Fowles before 1939. The author assumes it was made after 1937, given the anti-Japanese content, but I am not sure that is right. It could have been made any time after 1932.



The bottom row of tiles are clearly calling for retaking Manchuria. the slogan across the top is kaifu jiangdi “Recover the Borderlands” and the gates have the names of places in the Northeast, so this is clearly after the Japanese took Manchuria in 1931. In 1932 the Shanghai Incident happened, and the bombing of the city led to a much greater interest in air defence and air-mindedness. The top row shows a plane, a Japanese person being bombed, what looks like an anti-aircraft gunner, and what might possibly be an observer looking out for enemy planes. The caption says “Aviation saves the nation”.  So I would put this after 1932 sometime. I am not very up on the literature on patriotic Mahjong sets, so I could be wrong about this.


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