Episode 473 – Southward, Ho! Part 2

When World War I began, many among the Japanese leadership were hesistant to take advantage of the opportunity to move into Micronesia. What changed their minds, and how were they able to square a colonial government with the idealistic language of the postwar League of Nations?


Peattie, Mark R. Nan’yo: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia, 1885-1945.

Hezel, Francis X. Strangers in their Own Land: A Century of Colonial Rule in the Caroline and Marshall Islands.

Tuori, Taina. “From League of Nations Mandates to Decolonization: A History of the Language of Rights in International Law.” Doctoral Dissertation, University of Helsinki, 2016.

Pedersen, Susan. The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire. 


A 1930s era map of the territories of the Nanyo’cho. You can see that most of Micronesia is covered by it; the dividing line between this and the Australian mandate was the equator.
The IJN Satsuma, one of the ships that participated in the sweep of Micronesia in the fall of 1914.
The Nanyocho offices on Koror, Palau.
The IJN Nisshin off the coast of Malta, 1917. Agreeing to protect British convoys against U-boat patrols was part of how the Japanese government got the British on board with recognizing Micronesia as Japanese territory.
Three indigenous police officers on Truk (now called Chuuk) during the Nanyocho era.
A Japanese hospital on Palau. Infrastructure like this was part of making the case for the ‘civilizing mission’ of the mandate system.