Long-Term Construction

(between 1937 and 1941)

IHL Cat. #2681


A color lithograph patriotic fan sample print, likely created between 1937 and 1941 during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)[1], depicting two girls, one, calligraphy brush in hand, writing 祈武運長久 (ki būn chōkyū) “praying for continued war luck“ on a white banner, the other, likely our scribe's younger sister, holding the flag of the Imperial Japanese Army and wearing the sash of the National Defense Women's Association (大日本国防婦人會 kokubō fujinkai). Above the older girl are two more banners she has written reading 長期建設 (chouki kensetsu), "Long-Term Construction" and 帝國萬歳 (Teikoku banzai), "Long Live the Empire."

At its height the Japanese National Defense Women’s Association, formed in 1932, boasted over 9 million members. "A year after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War the Japanese government began to stress the urgent need to develop a sustainable wartime economy under the slogan of 'Long-term construction'."[2]

The print carries the sample catalog number そ印 參百號 (so in Sanbyaku kyū jū kyū gō [399]). These numbered fan prints (uchiwa-e 団扇絵) were gathered into a sample book (uchiwa mihonchō 団扇見本帳, or uchiwa gachō 団扇画帖.) to show wholesale customers the range of available designs.

Note: Transcriptions and translations are my own unless otherwise noted.

[1] The Second Sino-Japanese War is referred to in China as the War of Resistance Against Japan.

[2]  "Economic Development in Twentieth Century East Asia," ed. Aiko Ikeo, Routledge, 1997, p. 88.

Print Details